August 2001

Firing Line: 08/01

Strong Chamber Walls
Regarding the matter of our .480 Ruger Super Redhawk chamber walls (May 2001), please be advised that no less than four major metallurgical and engineering publications have run feature stories about our breakthrough metallurgy utilized in the new .480 and .454 Ruger Super Redhawk revolver cylinders.

I hope you will inform your readers that your writer’s concern about chamber-wall thickness was unfounded, and that our pioneering efforts have resulted in new materials and construction which safely permit the use of a six-shot cylinder for all factory loadings of these powerful new cartridges. Extensive research and testing was of course done upon these cylinders long before they were introduced as commercial production.

Your writers are of course free to write whatever subjective impressions they might have about any product. However, the safety of our customers has always been paramount, and the above article might erroneously suggest otherwise.

—Stephen L. Sanetti
Senior Executive Vice President,
General Counsel
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.
Southport, CT

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More About M1-A Mounts
I just finished reading the July 2001 issue of Gun Tests, in which on the back page there was a question posted by Kirk Hunter from Long Beach, Indiana, asking about scope mounts for an M1-A. I have several Springfield M1-A rifles (Standard Rifle, Scout and Super Match). I have found that the best mount for an M1-A is an ARMS-18. It is very low profile and is rugged, and it generally retails for about $169. As far as rings go, I prefer Badger Ordnance. I have found that Clint McKee of Fulton Armory (www. fulton-armory.com) is very knowledgeable about M1-A rifles and what makes them tick. He recommended the ARMS-18 mount, and I have been very happy with it. The only problem with the ARMS-18 is that it is a dedicated mount. If you use removable scope rings, you can still use the M1-A rifle sights, because the mount will not cover your line of sight. Fulton Armory has a lot of good stuff for M1-As. I am not trying to promote them, they have just been knowledgeable when I had questions and always had the parts I needed.

—Mike Scott
Houston, Texas

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Slug Guns
Just a quick note to respond to the July 2001 article about bolt-action slug guns. I have an early model Marlin 512. After some initial ammo testing, I settled for Lightfield 2.75-inch slugs. I found these to be the most accurate in the gun.

The following spring I bedded and free-floated the barrel. That did even more for the gun’s accuracy, cutting the three-shot group sizes to about 2.5 inches at 100 yards. This past fall I went ahead and did a porting job on it. Up to this point it was brutal to shoot from the bench. After the porting, the groups again decreased. It now shoots about 1.5 inches at 100 yards and is pleasant enough to shoot from the bench that I do not flinch after three rounds.

I feel that the 512(P) is a very good buy, and with the alterations I have done to mine, I do not have any reservations about taking a head shot on a whitetail doe at 50 yards, or with a rest, 75 yards.

—William W Machauer
via juno.com

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Lightweights Were Lightweights?
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I found that the test of .308 carbines (May 2001) left a bad taste in my mouth. An inherently accurate cartridge, the .308 is easily capable of 1/2 MOA. None of the test rifles was anywhere near capable of MOA. In fact, they were barely capable of 2 MOA. The old wisdom says that a big-game rifle only needs to pass the “pie plate test” at 100 yards, and if we were talking about a used lever action at a bargain price I could swallow it. However, we are talking about three brand-new rifles from three of the “Big 4,” and at prices in the $700 range.

The truth is that I can pee straighter than those rifles can shoot even the ancient Moisin-Nagants in the last article could shoot as well or better. If I had shelled out that much cash for a rifle that inaccurate, I would feel like a first-class sucker. The manufacturers should be ashamed of themselves to have let such examples be shipped for sale. At such prices, a rifle should be able to at least approach MOA with factory ammo, and meet or exceed it with careful handloads. I would like to think that if I had indeed purchased one of those rifles, a polite letter to the manufacturer might at least get them to check it out and tune it up or replace it.

My 30-year-old Remington 788 in .308 can still (after about 4,000 rounds) keep ten shots under an inch at 100 yards if I let the barrel cool, and it will put the first three in half an inch. As to the “pie plate test,” it passes that at 250 yards. I bought it used eighteen years ago for $215. Why should I buy a new rifle to embarrass me at the range?

—Tom Diegoli
via juno.com

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Carbine AR
I make no gun-buying decisions without checking you guys first, which brings me to a question on the ArmaLite M15A2 which you so highly recommended. I ordered one but now have immediate access to a carbine version of the same rifle. Would I lose any accuracy with the shorter barrel at up to 200 yards? Most of my shots will be 100 yards or less. I fell in love with the little green carbine and really would appreciate your thoughts.

—Bart Jeffery
via aol.com


I’d go with the carbine. My recent evaluation (June 2001) of three carbine-versions of the AR by Wilson, Bushmaster, and American Spirit Arms told me they’re outstanding ways to put the little .223 cartridge to use, and give up essentially nothing to the longer versions. There’s a bit more noise, and that’s about it.

—Ray Ordorica

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Extended Mag Release
You don’t mention in your write-up of the Glock 27 (January 2001) whether or not it came equipped with the optional extended magazine-release button, although your photograph in the article looked as if your gun had one. You should warn your lefty readers that they should stay away from this gun if so equipped.

I happen to be a lefty and bought a Model 35 Glock that has that same extended magazine button, and after about the third shot that damn sharp-edged button started removing skin from the palm of my left hand, just below the index finger! A few more shots, and it would have drawn blood! I wrote Glock about it, and they refused to acknowledge there was any problem, but suggested that I could get the standard button and have a gunsmith install it (at my expense, of course).

It seems really stupid on their part not to consider the problems a left-handed shooter would have with that magazine release button. I am going to “tame” mine by grinding it down with a moto-tool. Glock generally makes very good guns, but it seems inexcusable that they would overlook this problem, since about 1 in 9 shooters is a lefty.

—Bob Budd
via owt.com.

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H&K USP45 Super?
Unless you read the owner’s manual (page 21) you wouldn’t know that the H&K USP45 (May 2001) will shoot .45 Super right out of the box. This was the deciding factor in my purchase of this gun. I’ve shot more than 500 rounds of Triton FMJ truncated cones in this gun as well as a bunch of JHPs with no failures to feed or jams. I use it as “bearepellent,” and it seems to work really well. It has 42 inches of penetration in 10% gelatin (according to Ed Sanow) and feeds perfectly. I’d like to add that this round is rated at 738 foot-pounds of energy .What other .45 can match that?

—Roger Ramsey
Shelton, Washington


When we asked about this, we received this response from Jennifer L. Golisch at HK:

“In reference to your question regarding the .45 Super round through the USP .45, the HK USP. 45 is designed to fire quality, factory-loaded ammunition only, specifically .45 ACP. Heckler and Koch strongly recommends firing only factory-authorized ammunition and advises against shooting anything other, including .45 Super rounds.”

From our view, we would not put a grenade in any chamber that was not specifically built for it. This would be the equivalent of firing an IPSC Major .38 Super round in a stock Beretta 92.

—Roger Eckstine

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Glocks, SIGs, Hi-Powers
Based on your comments in the March 1999 issue and the preview that .357 SIGs [see page 3 in this issue] would be reviewed, I purchased a Glock 31 in .357 SIG for $474. I ran two boxes of Speer Lawman hardball through the gun. Not a failure to feed, hiccup or stutter.

A few comments: Usually, I could only get nine rounds stuffed into the 10-round mag. One of the local police chiefs was at the range with his SIG 239 (.40 S&W), and only after a great deal of straining could he get the ninth and tenth cartridges into the magazines.

Magazine ejection was like watching molasses ooze from a Bell jar. It came out, but not like the SIG, 1911 designs, or Browning’s new spring-assisted magazines. If you think that two mags isn’t enough, you had better purchase another ‘cause if you had to reload a clip under duress, you might want to take up jogging at a fast pace. The Glock is light! I thought it would be difficult to control, but it wasn’t. I carried it around in my pocket most of the afternoon. Could never do that with anything bigger than a .32 ACP or small .380.

We took turns shooting each others’ weapons. The SIG seemed to have an edge in accuracy with aimed slow fire, offhand at 15 yards. However, that could be due to unfamiliarity with the Glock. In turn, the Glock seemed to have the quickest follow-up shot, which may have been due to the “dot in the bucket” sights rather than the three standard sights of the SIG. Or it could have been the lower-to-the-hand slide axis. Recoil from both was about the same when using Speer 125-grain hardball versus the 165-grain Speer Gold Dots. The .357 seemed to recoil a tad sharper, while the .40 S&W had more of a push. Neither was uncomfortable or uncontrollable during rapid fire.

I still have not gotten over the nagging feeling of handling an unsafe gun with the Glock. Must have been the years of training to keep the safety on. That is, the first thing you do when you pick up a gun is verify whether it is loaded. Second thing is put it back on safety, and the third thing is to check that you didn’t forget to engage the safety. And before you shoot, check the safety before you put your finger on the trigger. Without the various safety/decock levers which have become second nature to me, and considering all the safety poop about a trigger safety, nothing would prohibit a child, fool, or perp from picking up the Glock and shooting you with it. That’s not so with the SIGs.

When the Glock locked back and I saw the fiberglass guide rod was sticking out the front, I felt that Glock could have used a stainless guide rod which wouldn’t flex when you pushed on it and probably would last a lifetime. Also, Glock could have spent another six bits and plugged the hole in the back/bottom of the grip.

All in all, I like the gun, but I will have to get accustomed to the Glock 31. As long as all those little pieces of metal say put and that plastic guide rod holds up, I think it will grow on me. I’d rate it a “try before you buy” if you’re interested in a .357 SIG.

However, as good as the SIG and the Glock felt and handled, I let the chief shoot my favorite piece, and we agreed that neither gun compares to the .40 S&W Browning Hi-power with factory adjustable sights. It’s a warhorse that may be the best ergonomically designed shooting machine ever produced.

On another subject, for those who write in about the problems you find on a particular gun not being representative of all the guns in a model line, I wonder what song they would be singing if that particular gun ended up in their new box? And last, how about an article about what readers think about their new purchases, pro and con. Give us a format and word limit to follow. You might get some interesting reports about some of the “favorites I have owned” like the much maligned Remington 600/660 a short action rifle with an 18-inch tube, chambered for many rounds ranging from .223 to .350 Remington Magnum. It was the first real Scout Gun—no matter what Cooper thinks!

—Dan Henkel
via us.adtranz.com

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Defending the P10-45
In the June 2001 issue, I noticed that you gave the Para-Ordnance a “Buy It” rating. I wholeheartedly agree. I have owned a P12-45 for the past five years and during that time I have fired well over 10,000 rounds through it without one malfunction. As a Texas Certified Handgun Instructor, I have had many students ask to try my Dual Tone out, and I happily oblige. When asked which single-action .45 ACP I recommend, you can guess the answer.

There was one thing that truly perplexed me, however. On page 14 you rate the P10-45 as unreliable, which I don’t understand at all. I also own a Dual Tone P10-45 and have had the same luck with it as with the P12.

As mentioned above with the P12, between myself and my students I have put many thousands of rounds through the P10. The only problem I’ve had was the recoil spring plug cracked around the lip. When I called the factory to inquire about the problem, they sent a replacement out immediately, at no cost, via air express.

I do enjoy reading articles you publish; I just have to disagree with you on the P10 recommendation.

—Chuck Hamblin
Austin, TX

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Corrections
Area codes for Hastings have changed to (785) 632-3169 or Hasting’s parent company, Yellow Brick at (785) 632-2184. Also, the company’s adjustable triggers for Remington shotguns are no longer available.