May 2012

Praise for CTC’s Laser Grips

Olí Sarge and Reader Ramirez really like the performance of their laser grips and customer service at Crimson Trace. And two readers donít sing the virtues of their Walther P22 handguns.

Re “Wheelgun Lasers — LaserMax And Crimson Trace Face Off,” April 2012

Just a follow up to this article: While all the test units fared well, I have to tell you and your readers about a quality company, Crimson Trace (CTC). About a year back I was able to purchase a Kimber custom pistol, my first. As many know, retired LEOs don’t exactly have money flowing in, so it was many years before I came across a nice quality used pistol for the right price. When I finally did, I jumped at the opportunity to buy it — and it came with CTC laser grips already on it. I’m guessing the Kimber was a couple of years old before I bought it, and now I have had it over a year.

One day after a long session of fun at the range, I broke it down for a major spring cleaning. Upon reinstalling the CTC grips, I found they wouldn’t operate the laser. I checked everything from batteries to light-switch connections and was unable to locate the problem. So I sent them off to CTC for repair. I had no problems with CTC charging me for repairs, since I was not sure of their age, but I knew it would cheaper than purchasing new ones.

Result: They still stood behind the warranty and replaced the laser grips free of charge. When a company works with the public like they did, this means the customer is #1 to them, and it’s our duty to inform other shooters of this great service.

As a semi-active firearms instructor in several states, I always recommend Gun Tests to my students for accurate, up-to-date gun-buying information without bias.

—Sgt. G.F. Oldziej (ret.)
Your friend and long-time subscriber

I bought a S&W 12-ounce 357 Magnum snubbie, which has a very sharp recoil. I fitted it with a Crimson Trace LG-105, and later with a LG-405. I completely agree with your comments about the felt recoil being less in the LG-405, due to the rubber over-mold that wraps around the backstrap. I have also found holding a very tight grip reduces felt recoil. You want to add the weight of your hand, arm, and shoulder to the gun.

I hope I will never be forced to use this gun for defense, but I carry it all the time. Chances are that the laser will not be much good in the Arizona sun, but it can improve your skills. With the snubbie filled with dummy rounds, I can draw, turn on the laser, and see if I am point-shooting correctly. Then I pull through the double-action trigger and see if the laser stays on target or wanders all over the wall. Practicing at home, aiming at spots on the wall, taught me trigger control. At the range, I went from being all over the target to eating one hole in it.

I would also suggest not just dropping the gun in your pocket. Get a pocket holster, which protects the trigger and keeps lint and sweat out of the gun. I have found no problems with the LG-405 on any of the pocket holsters I have tried. Thunderwear is also a great way to carry without anyone knowing.

—Bill Ramirez
Chandler, Arizona

Re “Two 7.62x54R Semiauto Rifles: Surplus Tokarev Beats PSL-54C,” March 2012

I very much enjoyed your comparison of the classic SVT-40 vs the more modern PSL-54. You mentioned that the SVT was developed about the same time as the FAL. Is it possible that you actually meant the same time as the FN49? The FN was basically a pre-war design, but production was delayed due to the Nazi invasion of Belgium. I believe the FAL was contemporary to the M-14, produced much later.

On the PSL you also mentioned that rounds could not be loaded by pressing down from the top, but that the follower had to be depressed and the round inserted by sliding it in from the front of the mag. If you look very closely at the mag lips, you will see a very short area 3/8-inch forward of the rear of the magazine, where both lips are slightly bowed out. Align the large rim of the round just at the bow out, and they can be inserted into the mag by just pressing down. The bullet tip is slightly forward of the front of the magazine, but it’s easy to slide it back all the way. As noted, loading the mag by depressing the follower and inserting from the front is a pain, and it took me quite a while to figure it out. Please keep up your evaluations of classic military weapons, they are my favorite part of Gun Tests.

Rockville, Maryland

You are correct that the FN49 was what Saive designed before WWII. The FAL essentially utilized the FN’s principles, and was a later development by Saive. Thanks for the tip on loading the PSL’s magazine. Works great! —Ray Ordorica

Re “Firing Line,” April 2012

You have made my day publishing articles about 22 LR and 22 Magnum rifles and handguns recently. I have been a 22-caliber supporter all my life, and I support the Mighty Mouse 22 Mag all the way. Please take the advice from those in the Firing Line April 2012 issue. The 22 Magnum is hot and very deadly in self-defense — just look at the surge of 22 LR ammo being introduced in 1911 firearms. Heck, we can’t even buy the PMR-30 from Kel-Tec because of demand. I have to have one after shooting my nephew’s pistol. Wow! And please test the new ammo for it. I recall seeing eight new loads for the 22 Magnum. Maybe they’ve added powder and made it hotter. It can be very practical in a revolver, with up to 11 shots. At 25 yards it’s deadly.

—Frank Katzler,

Re “22 LR Semiautos: Walther’s P22 Versus the Similar Ruger SR22,” April 2012

I purchased a Walther P22 last year. Got the 5-inch-barrel Target version. After reading your article regarding the Walther and Ruger 22 autos, I wanted to let you know the blank-numbered sight is used to fill in the front sight hole on the Target pistol.

Out of the box, my gun jammed, failed to feed, or failed to fire about 25% of the time. I disassembled and reassembled it, and most of the problems went away. Everything was loose!

Also, I discovered that I must shoot roundnose ammo or it will fail to feed. And I must use high-velocity cartridges or it will fail to eject or cycle, or both. And, even with roundnose high-power cartridges (CCI Mini-Mags or Winchester Super-Xs), it still fails to fire about 1% of the time. This is where the single/double action its appreciated. Double or triple strikes are sometimes needed.

I feel the hammer strikes are much too light and that needs to be rectified. Another problem I see is when a cartridge is chambered, the feed ramp slices a piece of the bullet off. This is what makes chambering hollowpoints impossible.

The quality of the components and magazines is good, and the feel of the grips is fantastic for smaller hands. I wouldn’t trust it as a trail gun, but for plinking, it’s ok. Out of all the guns I have fired in more than 30 years, this is my least favorite. Please let me know if you have heard of any fixes for the feed/scraping issues.

—Bob DePino
Westminster West, Vermont

I had a P22 for 14 months. It developed a crack in the slide behind the muzzle after about 5,000 rounds. It could have been a catastrophic failure if the front of the slide had broken off. It was hanging on by a thread of metal. I shouldn’t use the word metal; the factory (S&W) said the slide was really made of pot metal, aka zinc. A new slide assembly was only $50, so I bought one and promptly traded it off. Hopefully, they aren’t shooting as much as my grandson and I. I went out and bought a Model 41. I could have saved a few hundred dollars if I had known this beforehand. I will never again buy a gun made of pot metal. Please include in your test whether there are pot-metal parts present.

Love your mag! You are the only magazine I can trust to not sugar-coat the facts. Way too many gun writers dismiss or play down faults in their tests.

—From Attica, Michigan

We list component materials in the Specifications table in each gun module. — Todd Woodard

Gun Tests Report Card Grading

Gun Tests Welcomes Letters