July 2014

Fingers on the Triggers

Reader Ailshire points out a safety concern that was really a captioning mistake. Reader Richards wants some love for the Hi-Point carbine. Reader Jewell offers a holster recommendation.

Re “22 Target Pistols: Model 41 Versus Supermatic Citation 10X,” June 2014
Love the magazine, but was terribly disappointed that page 10 shows two pistols with the shooter’s finger on the trigger. I carefully read the caption to see if you were trying to illustrate something about finger placement, but found nothing. Neither photo appears to show a shooter prepared to shoot. —Tess Ailshire on Facebook

My mistake — I moved the two images of the bullseye pistols to the start page and cut the caption because it was too long. Thanks for pointing that out. Here’s the missing text: “In hand, the 10X (left) felt familiar to those who train with a 1911 — the trigger span was what they expected. The Model 41, right, was a natural pointer, but some felt the grips did not fit their hands properly. For some shooters, the trigger finger touched the side of the shoe.” Sorry about that. — Todd Woodard

I own a High Standard Trophy made in Houston and a S&W Model 41. I purchased the Trophy new and the Model 41 used, much as your article suggested. I have owned both for years and for some time was an avid Bullseye shooter in North Carolina. The High Standard is very accurate and so is the Model 41. I gave up using the High Standard because mine became very unreliable. I shoot standard-velocity CCI ammo and never load the magazines with more than five rounds. It has been serviced by the factory several times, but continues to have feeding and jamming problems that cannot be cleared up. The Model 41 has never had a problem in all the years I’ve used it. In Bullseye circles in my area, the High Standard name has been jokingly referred to as “low standard.” — Ed in Greensboro, NC

The article on 22 target pistols refers to “partridge” sights twice. The correct name for that sight is “Patridge,” named after E. E. Patridge who developed the sight around 1892. — David W. S. Mason

Great magazine! However, I note the common misspelling of E. E. Patridge’s name in Mr. Sadowksi’s article in the June 2014 issue. Adding the extra “r” to Patridge has become so common as to be arguably as acceptable as “Derringer” for Deringer. Perpetuating this oversight does a disservice to these inventors. I hunted in an area of Vermont where the locals referred to grouse loads as “catidges fer patidges.” If we spelled the two inventors’ names correctly, we could sent the extra “r” characters to New England where they are needed. — Jack Moisuk
Richardson, Texas

Actually, it was four times. This time, I double-checked the pages as they were uploaded to the printer, to ensure a final spell-check doesn’t “fix” them wrongly. We regret the error. — tw

Re “Praise for Pistol-Caliber Carbines,” April 2014
In response to your comparison between the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 versus the Beretta Storm. I own a 40-cal Sub-2000, and I added the $12 stock extension, and it makes all the difference in the world. Too bad you didn’t have it on yours when you tested it. Also, I paid $349 new for my S2K versus $915 you list for the Storm. And I absolutely love that my S2K folds and fits in a briefcase! — Mike Nystrom

Mr. Nystrom is referring to the Kel-Tec #SUB-300Z part available at Kel-Tec.com for $12 (shown adjacent). One customer also suggested it’s possible to add a small Limbsaver buttstock pad to the extension. — tw

Re “Ruger GP100 or S&W Dilemma,” June 2014
Regarding your comment to Mike about whether to keep the GP100 or the S&W 686: I think I would have suggested he base his decision on which one he can shoot most accurately. I have found that no matter the weapon, most shooters can shoot better with one of them. Thanks, and keep up this great magazine.— Butch

Todd, my recommendation would be to keep the S&W. The GP100 is a good revolver, but the trigger action of any Ruger is not comparable to the S&W. I own revolvers from both manufacturers, and S&W simply has the best break.

A ported muzzle can make for a very loud gun, and if the barrels are the same length for both revolvers, I prefer a standard barrel. Even though the muzzle flip will be less for the ported gun, it may not be as much as one might think. I’ve had my gunsmith (Jack Huntington in Grass Valley, California) remove a muzzle brake on a revolver of mine, and the noise blast was noticeably less without a lot of increased muzzle flip. Blast noise is more noticeable if you go to an indoor gun range or in a confined outdoor area with hard surfaces around you. I shot my S&W 460V at an indoor gun range, and I had to wear double ear protection (plugs and muffs) to keep my ears from ringing.

S&W has an unparalleled repair policy. I can request (via the S&W webpage) a free Authorized Return to Ship (ARS) label, and once they have confirmed the serial number on the gun, they will email the label to me. The ARS will allow me to ship my gun to S&W, have it repaired, and shipped back to me for no cost. I can ship it from the neighborhood FedEx/Kinkos, which in CA is not permissible if I don’t have a factory ARS label. Ruger does not do this, with the exception of warranty work, and then it is a reimbursement if they decide to authorize it. Shipping a gun in my area costs about $85 and has to be done at a special UPS or FedEx location.

To the benefit of Ruger, the GP100 is a solidly overbuilt revolver. “Overbuilt” to mean they are built like a tank and can handle loads like no other revolver. This is evident in powder guides for reloading. There is load data, for example, for 45LC and then 45LC Ruger. When you look at the pressure ratings, it is clear the Ruger loads are hotter.

Ruger does not use metal injected molded (MIM) parts on the small components like S&W does. The trigger, hammer, and other internal parts on the S&W are MIM. They will easily last for many, many rounds; however, they are not the same metal quality as Ruger’s, in my opinion. Personally, I don’t see this as a drawback to S&W handguns because the MIM parts are high quality. When I consider S&W’s repair policy, it is difficult to be concerned about MIM parts.
Last, S&W revolvers are often more polished, pretty, and refined than Ruger’s. S&W wheelguns just have a style that many Ruger guns don’t quite match, for the most part. I like guns from both manufacturers, but if you had to keep only one, I would recommend the S&W.
— Kevin Buchan, Sacramento, California

GT readers, if you’ll recall from last month’s issue, Mike, a Gun Tests reader, was on a deadline and had to decide between a Ruger GP100 and an S&W 686-4. As you might expect, advice I gathered from the Gun Tests Facebook page was split, with perhaps a slight tilt toward keeping the Ruger. Butch offers some valid advice that transcends brand loyalty of both groups.
I appreciate Mr. Buchan con-tributing his insight as the owner of both builds. — tw

Re “45 ACPs: Just Right Carbine Versus Thureon Defense Carbine,” June 2014
I am a charter subscriber to your fine publication. The June 2014 issue just arrived in my mailbox, and I read the test of 45 ACP carbines. I am a bit surprised that you did not include the Hi-Point 45 ACP carbine in the comparison. After reading your test report on it in the August 2011 issue, I picked one up. Last year, a really good ‘smith did a trigger job on it (a smooth 3-pound break now) and DuraCoated the gun. I paid $325 for the carbine and $200 for the trigger job and DuraCoat. This costs a lot less than the Just Right Carbine, the Thureon, and the Beretta Storm, also recently reviewed.

I would put my Hi-Point “Ugly Duckling” carbine up against any other and expect it to do just as well (including the Kriss, as you pointed out). A holosight sits atop it, sighted in for 75 yards. My handloads for it use 230-grain ball running a bit hotter than GI loads. It goes bang every time and consistently groups well at that distance. I consider this carbine a fine perimeter-defense weapon, switching to my M1A for anything beyond that distance. However, my preference for home defense is my Gold Cup loaded with 200-grain Speer Flying Ashtrays. —William B. Richards III, Charter Subscriber

Mr. Richards: You’re right, a mention of the Hi-Point would have been appropriate. Thanks for pointing it out. I see you took our advice about getting the trigger worked on, to good effect. Here’s the summary of that test pitting the Kriss Super V Vector CRB/SO KCRBS0803801 45 ACP, $1895; the Heckler & Koch USC 45 ACP, $1883; and the Hi-Point Carbine w/Front Grip 4595TSFG 45 ACP, $340: “Our Team Said: The Hi-Point was the least attractive gun in the test. It felt rough in the hands, even pinching the web of one of our shooter’s hands when the skin got caught between the screw-in bolt and the receiver. It definitely had the worst trigger, but offsetting that were the best sights of the rifles tested. Also, in accuracy testing, it was as accurate as the Kriss with two choices, and outshot the HK with everything. Of course, it was 100-percent reliable.

“Cosmetically, our test team members didn’t like the Hi-Point, but several of our shooters liked the rifle’s feel. The bolt handle looked like a hardware-store bolt that had been anodized, and the rifle will not fit in the cardboard shipping box with the handle installed. However, if you lose it, you can always go to a local hardware store to replace it.

“All in, if we needed a carbine for tactical use, we would buy the Kriss Super V Vector, because of its high-capacity magazines, reduced recoil, and folding stock. However, that’s only if we could afford it. If we wanted a carbine to shoot for fun, we would buy the Hi-Point and try to find a gunsmith who could fix the trigger.” — tw

Re “Outside-the-Waistband
Holsters: We Test 20, Part I,”
June 2014
Love your magazine and your integrity, and you will probably get hundreds of similar emails, but there is a small holster maker in Kuna, Idaho — Zack Davis Leather — who does great custom work, has reasonable prices, and is a good guy. You should include his product in your OWB review.— Tom Jewell
Boise, Idaho

Hey Tom: Bob Campbell’s article was already complete for this cycle, but thanks for the referral. We’re always willing to consider reader-recommended manufacturers. Adjacent is a look at the Zack Davis Advantage Series Holster Model ADV02, an outside-the-waistband unit that attaches to the belt with a belt slot in front of the gun and one behind the trigger guard. It is hand made from Hermann Oak American leather and custom molded to the specific gun as well as pre-shaped to fit the natural curvature of the body. Strong side only. ZackDavisLeather.com. — tw