September 2011

What? What’d You Say? What?

Reader Riggio makes the case that defending your home with a shotgun may disable the bad guys, but it will also disable your hearing. Solution? Silencer. Also, lots of talk about 22 pistols.

Re "45 ACP Carbine Showdown:

Is Kriss Vector a Hit, or a Miss?" August 2011

Like many others, this really excellent article refers to the presumed suitability of the shotgun for home defense, particularly the 12 gauge. Frankly, unless the defenders all have donned appropriate ear protection, the shotgun’s blast (especially 28 gauge and up) probably will "take out" their hearing and, of course, permanently disable any unfortunate pets. Therefore, not only is the pistol-caliber carbine more appropriate, the best would be subsonic, especially a 45 like those

These are the DS-10 IM injection-molded speedloader and the Classic design (right). Both loaders have staggered-length push pins to reduce the required loading force. Both loaders work with the stock rubber grips and other grips with speedloader cutouts. To order, email . Hat tip to readers Silas and Edward Cotter for sharing this source.

covered, equipped with a silencer. An alternative would be a suitable sidearm, also silencer-equipped.

For home defense, it’s worthwhile to go through the Federal hoops to obtain a silencer or silenced-firearm.

—Lou Riggio
Hollywood, Fla.

Re "Smith & Wesson Vs. Ruger:

22 LR Wheelguns and Pistols," August 2011

The article testing the S&W Model 41 versus the Ruger Competition Model was interesting, to say the least. While the Ruger Marks certainly predate the Smith 41, the Competition Model does not, I think. The 41 has been in production since 1957 (see Roy Jinks and Sam Fadala). Since that era I have proudly owned a model 41 with a 7 3/8-inch barrel, muzzle brake, and Olympic weights, which attach via grooves in the barrel under the front sight. This gun is a shooter, and it does not seem to be ammo sensitive, although I have never used a variety of ammo in it. By the way, the triggers on the 41 are user-adjustable for pull weight; while tricky, it can be done with the barrel assembly removed and the adjusting of a spring-loaded stepped wedge.

I also own a 5-inch Ruger Mark III, which is surprisingly accurate, but not the shooter the 41 is. I’d need to change out the trigger to make it really useful, if I were to consider bullseye shooting. Not for me anymore. Disassembly of the Ruger is a bear for cleaning, which brings up a point regarding the cleaning of 22 LR firearms.

I have a Winchester Model 52C bull barrel rifle which has had a cleaning rod pulled through it maybe a dozen times in its lifetime (55+ years or so). It was used by me in high school and college in gallery competition, and it still shoots very sub-MOA groups with just about anything you can feed it. Conventional thinking used to be to leave well enough alone. In the case of the Win 52 (or the Model 41), they will generally shoot much better than the shooter can. Suffice to say, the Ruger Mark III and the S&W Model 41 get cleaned when the mood settles on me, leaving the Ruger cleaning disassembly routine a very occasional thing in my life.

—Leland (via email)


That seems to be a smart strategy. Let sleeping dogs lie, and all that. ~Todd Woodard


I just read the August 2011 article including the Smith & Wesson Model 41, and I want to share a couple of observations, plus I have a question. I have never seen this addressed, but it is apparent to me that the 41 began life as the S&W 1913 35 Automatic. This pistol was intended for bullseye competition, so the safety catch was not designed for ease of operation but to ensure it was not accidentally engaged by high thumb hold during a match. And a question: Was this a typo, or did your test pistol really have a 7.5-pound trigger? Mine is closer to 2.5 pounds.

—Charles Mann


The S&W Model 41 has a 3-position weight of trigger-pull trigger adjustment above the sear/trigger. It is accessible once the barrel and slide are removed. I believe this is one of the finest 22 rimfire pistols made.

—Mark Skuller


Charles and Mark, my apologies. In my handwritten notes, I read the numeral "2" as a "7." But to be sure, I went back and measured the trigger again, being careful to remove the right-side grip panel so the trigger bar was unencumbered. The trigger pull was 2.5 pounds. ~Roger Eckstine


As a long-time subscriber, I can attest to the helpful information routinely found in the pages of Gun Tests magazine. However, in the August 2011 issue, I believe the Smith & Wesson Model 617 was incorrectly described as being an L-frame. I’m pretty sure it’s still a K-frame Smith.

—Don Ludwig


Mr. Ludwig is correct: the 617 is a K-frame revolver. Smith & Wesson purposely constructed the 617 to look like the 686 series, which is a true L-frame revolver. (The K-frames have been all but phased out). The tell-tale sign is the flat spot in the lower radius of the forcing cone. This was to make room for the crane. The L-frame guns are slightly taller and allow for a full-gauge forcing cone. This makes the forcing cone more durable, which is not necessary for 22 LR ammunition. ~Roger Eckstine


I have owned Ruger 22 pistols since the beginning: I have one Mark I 22/45, two Mark IIs, two Mark IIIs, and a 1949 Bearcat. I really despise their disassembly, even though I had 24 years of various weapons experience courtesy of Uncle Sam and 21 more years firing, cleaning, and carrying guns as a probation officer/deputy sheriff.

I highly recommend a device that simplifies Ruger pistol cleaning. Go to or call (718) 356-6765 and take a look. I wish I had known about this outfit sooner. The Speed Strip Kit really simplifies cleaning the bore, the bolt and all the crevices therein. Still have to do the whole drill to strip it down completely.

—Seabie P. Rucker
Lake Butler, Fla.

Go to for purchase information for speedloaders and loading blocks, etc. for the 10-shot S&W Model 617 as well as the same for the 8-shot Model 317 and others. I’ve used these fine products for two years without any problems. Easy and fast purchase process, too.

I also want to complain about your results and the grades assigned in two reviews in the August 2011 issue. Specifically, for the Taurus Judge (B+) and S&W Model 41 (A-), both of which had issues that required gunsmithing before they would work properly out of the box. In my mind, both of those should be failures and should be assigned a failing grade, even if provisionally. Both guns should never have passed manufacturer quality control in their respective conditions and you, too, are failing your mission as "The Consumer Resource for the Serious Shooter" if you continue to give the manufacturers a pass on such items. Please regain your critical edge and leave the grade inflation to the modern-day school classroom.

—Leftshooter (Rick Silas)
Boston, Mass.

Regarding the Gun Tests Report Card Summary on the S&W Model 41, it was excellent. As a competitive Bullseye shooter, I use the Model 41 with a 5.5-inch barrel. Unfortunately, a little glitch described in the article — a magazine problem — lowered the rating to an A-, which is still a very good rating. My Model 41 seems to like CCI Pistol Match (1070 fps) and Eley Match Pistol (1070 fps) and has no jams and no problems. However, I did have jams with both Remington and Winchester loads. Also, the review mirrored my own experience and observations concerning this wonderful, well-made competitive pistol — crisp adjustable trigger, excellent grip contour and fit, wonderful adjustable sights, and ease of field-stripping and cleaning.

—Joe Gallagher
Hellertown, Pa.

Re "Two More Small 9mms: Solo Goes Solo

Against Kahr’s CW9," May 2011

I want to talk about the timing of your tests. No sooner did I get home from buying my Kahr CW9 than I find your magazine in my mailbox with the very same gun. What are the odds?

Also, over the years I’ve seen just about every 45 auto tested in the pages of Gun Tests, a plethora of revolvers, shotguns, rifles, and even a few pistol-caliber carbines. But what I’ve never seen tested is an Uzi carbine. The magazines I have (dating back to 1992) along with your archive section on the website bear this out.

There are now two examples of Uzi Carbines on the market today. The first is from Vector Arms. They make the standard Uzi carbine, the Mini Uzi and various pistols made from their carbines. The second is from Century Arms. They have a UC-9 carbine that is almost identical to the Uzi carbines of the past. Not to mention that they have two copies of the Sterling carbines. How about a comparison test of the two Uzi carbines along with a test of the Sterlings?

—Michael Chero

Huntingdon, Pa.

Great story idea. Routed to FFL Kevin Winkle for development. ~Todd Woodard

Re "Four M1 Carbines: CMP, Fulton,

And Auto-Ordnance Compete," December 2009

Thank you for guidance on the Fulton M1 Carbine. I bought one from the owner of Fulton, as Ray Ordorica suggested. And I bought ammo from, as Ray suggested. I like the carbine, but it’s tough to shoot tight groups with middle-age eyes. When I shot at Camp Perry, my vision was better, and it matters.

New subject. I want a Ruger 10/22 and definitely a 22 Magnum. Where do I go to buy one? Any special options/extras you suggest? Any special scope/mount you suggest?

—M.W. Offutt, IV
Annapolis, Md.

A quick check on finds 15 various choices of scopes bases and mounts. The Picatinny rail versions offer a lot of flexibility. The 22 Magnum is an interesting choice. Trying to split the difference between the 22 LR and the 223? ~Todd Woodard

Re "‘Judging’ the Governor: We Pit Taurus

and S&W Wheelguns," August 2011

I love your publication and am a long-time subscriber. I have found that your opinions do matter a great deal. These opinions are unbiased and truthful, and Gun Tests is the only place that this can be found. Having read the informative and fact-based article on the comparison of the Judge and the Governor, I feel compelled to relate a couple of personal experiences with the Taurus. Unfortunately, neither of these experiences were good.

About a year after the Judge came out, I purchased one. I took it to the range and shot it, with factory American ammo, fewer than 10 times and the cylinder would no longer turn. It was in a serious bind with the barrel. Yes, I sent it back and yes, it was repaired, free of charge, and returned within a month or so. After the 3-inch-chamber Judge came out about a year later, I bought one. To make a long story short: It fell apart in my hands in fewer than 10 shots. And, yes, it was repaired just like the first. But, there will be no other Taurus products in my house. Where was quality control in the Taurus plant? The real question, the major question, is one of reliability. The Governor now protects my house. I will depend on him.

—Craig Williams
Kingsport, Tenn.

I just got my August issue in the mail and enjoyed the article on the new S&W Governor, even though we cannot own them here in Kalifornia. Yes, I meant the "K." Have you ever contacted the Kalifornia DOJ, and asked them why they consider the Taurus Judge and the S&W Governor revolvers to be sawed-off shotguns and will not allow them in this state?

Help me out here. You can put snake loads in a 45 Long Colt or ACP and fire them in a revolver, and it is not considered a shotgun. Isn’t a shotgun still a shotgun small shell or large, and a revolver still a revolver (handgun)? If you ever get a reasonable answer from the DOJ on this question, please pass it along to your readers. They never could give me one even while I was a police sergeant. It was like the pistol I was going to buy a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t get it in a blued finish, though the two tone was available. Bottom line, it wasn’t allowed in Kalifornia because of its color.

Figure that one for a such a diversified state.

—Mike V.


Re "Three Big 9mms: Sig Sauer P6 Does It All, at a Great Price," July 2011

I tried to order a set of Ahrend Tactical Grips for my Colt Defender from Brownells, who said these grips are for full-size 1911s only. So where did you get the grips for the Defender tested in the article?

—Bob McKee


These grips were ordered direct from Ahrends grips, and they are certainly a steady item. Check, where it says, "All of our grips are available for Government Model and Officers Model frames." Tell Kim I told you to call. ~Bob Campbell


Gun Tests Welcomes Letters