January 2013

A Nice Note from Evil Roy

Reader Pearcey knows how to make a danged good revolver. Two readers find S&W oil in quantity. Reader Stone makes a spirited defense of the CM9’s simplicity. And, no ‘crazies’ here.

Re “Cowboy Revolvers: Cimarron Outduels Ruger, Heritage 357s,” August 2012

I wanted to thank you for the nice things you said about the Evil Roy revolver, which bears my name. I have direct supervision of what goes into the gun as far as tuning, sights, and grips, and I enjoy working with Cimarron to produce what is, in our view, a quality and functional product. I have subscribed to your magazine for several years and always enjoy reading it. Thanks for providing a great read.
— Gene Pearcey, aka Evil Roy

Re “Firing Line,” December 2012

I saw the reference to Smith & Wesson gun oil. I was able to purchase several of the S&W-branded gun oils and cleaners from RSC Chemical Solutions (makers of Gunk, Liquid Wrench, etc.) directly from their website. Go to the RSC search page, www.RSCBrands.com/products/search.asp, and enter “wesson” in the box in the upper right corner of the page. Click the arrow, and you’ll be presented with a full list of oils and cleaners that can be purchased by the case or individual can/bottle.

— Dennis A. Alexandria, Virginia

The entire line of S&W lubricants and cleaners are available from their manufacturer, Radiator Specialty Company, although finding this out has been tough. Go to “<www.smithandwesson.deepblue.com/products>” to get the S&W product code (example: SW002) for the product you want. Then go to “<http://www.rscbrands.com/>” and enter the S&W product code in the search section. It will allow you to buy directly from RSC online or bring up a screen that allows you to look at stores in your state that might carry the product.

— Charly Ryman

Dennis and Charly, thanks for the tips. — Todd Woodard

Re “Three-Way Handgun Showdown: Springfield, Chiappa, and Kahr,” Dec. 2012

As a newer subscriber, I carefully (and joyfully) read each article for the expert opinions and technical commentary. I was eyeballing the grip on the XD-S 45 pictured on page 7, and it looked a bit small to me. Lo and behold, the grip front height was quoted at 0.9 inches, and the backstrap height was quoted at 0.8 inches. Now, I have small hands, but are those measurements really correct?

— Earl G. Adams

We regret the error. The XD-S frontstrap measures 1.7 inches, and the backstrap measures 2.09 inches. — tw

I generally agree with most of your reviews, but I have an issue with some of your objections on the Kahr CM9. I don’t understand this obsession with external safety devices. As long as the gun is safe, why does it matter if the safety mechanisms are internal or external? If you examine the rotating cam system of the Kahr, you will see that there is absolutely no way that the striker can be released without fully pulling the trigger, short of a total failure of the cam. And if this were to happen, you still have a very capable firing-pin safety to prevent discharge. Drop the Kahr, throw it against a wall, mistreat it any way you can think of and it simply will not fire. Why do you need more? You also mention the long trigger pull. This itself is a safety feature. It takes a long, deliberate pull to fire the gun. Exactly what you want on a defensive handgun? You admit that the long trigger pull does not interfere with the gun’s function, or the ability to shoot it quickly and accurately. So why is it an issue? I’ve carried a CM9 in my pocket for some time, which you can’t do with the other two pistols in the review, by the way. Anyone seeking a small 9mm for personal defense would be well served by the CM9.

— Mike Stone St. Louis, Missouri

The Rhino has been my primary carry gun for the last year, and although the review had some interesting points, it was, as you said, mixing apples and oranges. I must first say that I have fired thousands of rounds through my Rhino and have never had a failure to fire. I agree that the hold that you must use on the gun takes some getting use to, but once you realize that you can’t grip it like other revolvers, the grip can become very natural.

What concerns me about the review are the comments about the bulk and weight compared to the semi-autos. If you compare the Rhino (26 oz.) to a Ruger SP101 (26 oz.) or an S&W 686 (34.7 oz.), it compares very favorably in both weight and bulk. The cylinder does flatten the gun and makes concealed carry easier compared to the other revolvers.

I do not question your grade due to the failures to fire, but I do not believe that comparing the Rhino to the semi-autos was a good comparison. I find the Rhino to be my favorite 357 Magnum to shoot, because of the controllable recoil. It is also easy to conceal (yes, it gets heavy after a full day), and I find it very reliable. I would compare the Rhino to my other 357s and 38s, not to semi-autos.

— Bob Strauss Las Vegas

I read your report on the Kahr CM9. I own one and use it as my primary concealed carry gun. I replaced the factory sights with XS Sights, and as a result, I consider this to be a fine gun. The long trigger suits my bigger hands well, and its accuracy is very good considering the size. Just thought I’d give you my 2 cents.

— C Teichman Parker County, Texas

Mr. Stone: You make a great argument for stripped-down controls of a deep-carry gun. Those of us who prefer 1911s do miss the external safeties that platform offers. So we mentioned that, especially since the XD-S had a grip safety. Mr. Strauss: All good points. The piece was driven by a reader who inquired about deciding between a pistol and a revolver. I do expect to look at the Rhino against other revolvers as a head to head. Mr. Teichman: I appreciate your thoughts. The sight change makes a lot of sense. — tw

Re “Downrange,” December 2012

As a “recovering liberal” I can understand the viewpoint expressed by Russ Rothman. Indeed, many years ago (while in the process of recovery), I expressed a similar concern about how Gun Tests was discussing Hillary Clinton. Then the 1994 Crime Bill was enacted, and I became a devoted supporter of the 2nd Amendment. As I got older, I could more easily read the intent of those people who not only do not support my right to bear arms, but are working actively against that right. So I say stay the course and keep up the good work. Hopefully, over time, Mr. Rothman’s view’s will evolve. I just hope that it won’t take another huge setback to change his mind.

— David Levy Fort Washington, Penn.

Here come the letters from the “crazies.” I love this magazine. Read it from cover to cover every month. I roll my eyes at your short-sighted political views in issue after issue. As a “journalist” at least have the intellectual honesty to admit your right-leaning political bias. Obama has done nothing to curb gun rights. You know it and I know it. If he ever does, I will be the first to admit it. You’re after him because he is a democrat, and democrats historically have been against gun rights. Your political leanings are your own business. It becomes the business of your readers when you write about it in your magazine. I will continue to read this magazine, and I respect your right to write what you feel. While your readers are overwhelmingly right leaning, not all are. It is possible to be pro gun rights and liberal.

— James Hicks

Re “Three More Small Nines: Ruger, Kel-Tec, And Sig Sauer Compete,” November 2012

I’m a new subscriber. Good for you on your reply to a subscriber in the December 2012 issue. But what I really want to talk about is something you wrote in your November 2012 issue. I was looking for a small 9mm semi-auto. I read your tests on the Ruger and Kel-Tec P-11. Both made in the USA. I chose to purchase the Kel-Tec P-11 plus an extra 12-round mag. I used both mags. It came with a 10-round mag. I used three types of ammo plus defense ammo. I did the trigger modification you talked about; had no problems with anything. The trigger pull reminds me of my favorite cap pistol of the 50’s. At 25 feet, it shot groups at 6 o’clock with no jams at all. I called Kel-Tec. They had different rear sights available. At no cost to me, in one week I had a sight kit with two front and three rear sights. Hooray USA! Good company, Kel-Tec, and good magazine, Gun Tests.

— Frank Morrone Sun City, Arizona

I was really surprised at the evaluation of two relatively newer designs against Kel-Tec’s first entry into the market. The Kel-Tec PF-9 would seem to be a more realistic comparison to the Ruger and SIG. As a P-11 owner (very early model), I want to note a very quirky problem with the early P-11’s reassembly. Mine arrived with a plastic guide rod, which was quickly chewed beyond repair upon reassembly. It did not take long to figure out that in the final step of reassembly, if you did not push down on the guide before releasing the slide to complete the procedure, you would not be successful. I contacted Kel-Tec customer service, and a steel guide rod was at my door within a week. Due to your article, I am contacting Kel-Tec about getting a lighter spring to get this sucker back out on the street. Gun Tests is a great magazine, even when it contains nothing of interest to me. I have amassed a 15-year cataloged inventory of your magazine.

— A Gun Tests Reader

I enjoyed your comparison articles of the compact 9mm pistols. I’ve had the Kel-Tec P-11 for a couple of years, although the trigger is somewhat long and heavy, as you described. However, it never hurt my finger and has been dependable. The piece on 38 Special ammo leads me to ask: How about an ammo test for the pocket 9mm pistols? I’ve done a little informal testing with four layers of denim and water jugs and found not all bullets will expand when fired from my P-11.

— James Washburne Chana, Illinois

I forwarded your idea on the pocket-9mm-pistol ammo test to Bob Campbell for development. —tw

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