Firing Line: 09/05
Re “Full-Size Double-Action .45s: Taurus, Ruger Go Head To Head,”
I just got my first issue of Gun Tests and read it from cover to cover. Very enjoyable reading. I even checked out the website. It’s nice to read an honest evaluation of the guns tested, but I’ve noticed a strange twist in the comparisons. You like to compare apples to oranges. You test .45 ACP against .45 GAP or .40 SW, compacts against full-size target and other similar but not “same” types of weapons. Although I enjoy the info, I find it confusing. When I’m buying a particular firearm, I figure out if I want an orange or an apple, and then compare it to other apples of the same size, type and caliber. I’m sure you do too and have probably done so in past articles, but I haven’t seen enough to know better. I would like to see you compare the Glock 27 to the Springfield XD and any other subcompact .40 S&W carry pistols of the same style before I purchase one. Keep up the good work. I look forward to my next issue.
You’re right, we usually compare guns with the same cartridges and frame size, taking into consideration the difference between manufacturers. However, we often are asked to choose between guns and cartridges, so we sometimes examine both at the same time. —Todd Woodard
I really enjoy your magazine and find the reviews to be quite informative and helpful. There are a few guns I would like to suggest that you review:
The “Tactical Size” Glock 35, especially comparing against the “Full Size” Glock 22. I know you have reviewed the Glock 22 several times in the last few years, but I haven’t seen anything (anywhere) about the Glock 35. Is the performance superior, or is it just larger?
Reviews of the Ruger Mini-14 and the ArmaLite AR-180B, perhaps compared against a plain vanilla AR-15 type rifle.
We reviewed the Glock 35 in the August 2000 issue. We’ve got a review of the Mini-14 in the works, and we’ve reviewed several ArmaLights over the years, if not the specific model you mention. —Todd Woodard
Re “Blackpowder Comparison: KIK Takes on GOEX, Triple Seven,”
I really think that your article amounts to an apple-and-orange comparison. First, blackpowder is no longer readily available in many areas, except through groups such as NSSA. Blackpowder has been almost entirely replaced by Pyrodex, Triple Seven, and other blackpowder substitutes. Second, comparing a caplock revolver to a flintlock rifle is again apples to oranges.
My experience is that Pyrodex RS tends to hangfire in my Thompson Center New Englander, whereas that rifle has been completely reliable with GOEX black powder. My fix was to:
1) Replace the #11 cap nipple with a musket cap nipple.
2) After loading loose powder, lean the rifle in the direction of the flash hole and tap the butt to make sure the Pyrodex RS falls into the flash hole. Then load the bullet.
This fix reduced, but did not completely eliminate, the tendency to hang-fire with Pyrodex RS. I have not tried this rifle with Triple Seven.
I would have been interested in your results if you had taken a similar caplock rifle and tested it with various combinations such as: #11 caps vs. musket caps; or blackpowder vs. Pyrodex vs. Triple Seven; Thompson Center vs. CVA or Lyman caplock rifles.
Similar testing of replica caplock revolvers such as Colt 1860 and Remington 1858 should render really interesting and useful data. What about Uberti vs. Pietta replicas?
I believe that the real reason that manufacturers have been so quick to go to inline magnums is the reliability issue of Pyrodex in caplocks. I have never seen an inline magnum hang fire with 209 primers and Pyrodex pellets. An article comparing typical magnum inlines with Pyrodex RS, Triple Seven and other black powder substitutes should also render interesting results.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Re “Blackpowder Comparison: KIK Takes on GOEX, Triple Seven,”
In your comparison of blackpowder versus substitutes, I think a rematch is in order. Instead of Hodgdon’s Pyrodex you tested their Triple Seven. Triple Seven is intended exclusively for in-line rifles ignited by 209 primers. No surprise that it didn’t work in a flintlock. If you had picked Pyrodex, you would have had a choice between RS (rifles/shotguns) or P (pistols).
Which points to the other problem: you tested the 1860 Army with Goex 2-F (FFg). I have a replica 1860 Army, and there is no recommended load for 2-F. Only loads for Goex 3-F (FFFg) are listed. I sure hope no one blows up their revolver using Triple Seven.
Your anxiety is unfounded. FFg is, of course, coarser than FFFg, and thus gives lower velocities because pressure is less with FFg. I used to fire my Civil-War vintage 1860 with FFg, and it had larger chambers than my 2nd Generation Colt 1860. There are no problems with using FFg or the equivalent Triple Seven powders in any decent 1860, and there will be few problems with Triple Seven ignition if you choose your cap carefully. Some caps give a hotter/longer flame than others. Also, I have tested Pyrodex pellets in my 1860 Colt and a writeup of the results is in the works. —Ray Ordorica
Re “Three Tiny .45 ACPs: We Pick The Taurus Millennium Pro,”
Your review of the Glock 36 contained information that needs further clarification. One of the G36s evaluated appeared to have a burr on the polymer frame that could potentially impact the operation of that G36’s trigger safety, among other issues that have been addressed. Thanks for your consideration,
In our June 2005 report on the Glock 36, we found a burr on the polymer frame that interfered with the operation of the trigger safety. The small burr was easily removed, and the pistol then performed perfectly. In fact, we gave the fine little G36 powerhouse a Buy It recommendation. Glock has assured us that this potential problem has been completely dealt with at the manufacturing and inspection levels. In fact, the company issued a recall for Glocks falling within certain serial-number ranges.
Also, we incorrectly indicated in the article that Glocks “...have no safety other than the little tab within the trigger.” Glocks have three safeties, known as the “Safe Action” system. In addition to the trigger safety, they also have a drop safety, so they won’t go off if they hit the ground. They also have a firing-pin safety, which prevents the pin from striking the primer until the trigger is fully pressed.
With assurances from Glock that there will be no more burrs behind the trigger, our fears about this potentially dangerous situation are allayed. But be sure to check your own Glock for this trigger-sticking burr. —Ray Ordorica
Re “Black .308s: ArmaLite, DPMS, And Bushmaster Shoot It Out,”
Thanks very much for the review of these models. Could you please prominently list the cost of magazines in future tests? Since high-capacity magazines are now more available, I am determined never again to be caught without a large number for any firearms that use them. Thus the cost and reliability are important factors.
The cost of the Bushmaster (FAL) magazines was mentioned in the review.
ArmaLite’s AR-10 .308-caliber magazine prices: 5-round mag, $35; 10-round mag, $30; 20-round mag $39. The DPMS .308 20-round steel magazine is $59.95. —Todd Woodard