September 2018

Firing Line

Wants Replacement Sights

Readers Scorza and Wisniewski think a review of costly aftermarket handgun sights is worth a few pages. We agree. Reader Phil wants more wheelgun reviews. Okay with us.   More...

Classic Bolt Rifles, Round Two

Just a comment on your review of the 1903A3 Springfield rifle. I fully understand you test the rifles as you buy them, and that’s the way it should be. And I agree about the jolt the 1903A3 gives you. Anyone who wants either a 1903 or 1903A3 as a shooter would be well served to either find one with the full pistol grip “C” stock as opposed to the straight stock you tested, or the semi-pistol grip (“Warthog stock”) that many are found with.   More...

Targetsman: Only a Collectible?

In his book Greatest Handguns of the World, Massad Ayoob says about the Colt Woodsman 22 LR series of pistols, “The big weakness I discovered over the years in the Woodsman was that it was capable of unintentionally firing when subjected to violent forward or backward inertia with a live round in the chamber, even if the thumb safety was engaged.”   More...

KimSon Grips Worth the Wait?

KimSon Handicraft Co. grips from the Republic of Vietnam are great grips and always get noticed. However, it is noteworthy to inform your readers of my experience with KimSon. Worth the wait? Maybe for some, but not for most. I placed my order in March 2008 with a prepayment of $240 for four sets of grips. One was a custom set made from water-buffalo bone with abalone inserts. The work is exceptional, and the grips are beautiful. The only caution was the time of delivery. Even though they promised a delivery of 45 days, it took eight months and at least 45 emails to get my grips. Also, all four sets for different 1911 models had to be adjusted with a file to make them fit.   More...

Reader Gives His Moisin an ‘F’

I really like the fact that Gun Tests does not have advertisements in the journal. It has been refreshing to read articles without having to flip past several ads for products I’m not interested in. However, lately I’ve noticed that your publication has been making reference to products you are using during tests. In the New Polymer Forties article, you reference a Falco holster, Caldwell pistol rack, and LED rope lighting from LockdownVault.com. Seriously, rope lighting? I understand if costs are rising, and this is a way of making ends meet (or profit), but these product mentions are almost comical. I’d rather see an ad or two instead of this. Otherwise it’s a great publication!   More...

Obama: Best Gun Salesman Ever

You asked in last month’s “Downrange” editorial, “Have you added guns and ammo to your safe during the current regime? I’d love to hear how much, and why.” I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I will add some observations about family and friends who don’t read gun magazines. Yes, I’ve added to my collection and beefed up my stock of ammunition since Obama looked to be winning the election in 2008. I’ve bought a dozen rifles and shotguns in the past three years, and the same number of pistols. I also keep about twice the number of ready-to-use rounds on hand that I used to. I’ve lately taken to stockpiling “universal caliber” ammo for my guns that shoot those calibers, plus buying 7.62x54R by the spam can for my Mosin Nagants.   More...

Dangerous-Game Ammo Choices

I looked at all five definitions of “rake” in the dictionary, and I have no idea what you mean here. Later in that paragraph, the writer says to shoot “higher, above the spot the collar would normally ride.” Does he mean hit the dog in the neck or in the shoulders? If you have trouble fitting in a little more clarity in passages like this, try cutting out a few bullet box photos and add some text here. The Grizzly ammo box was worth seeing, since it is new. All the rest of those boxes I have seen in your magazine, and I would rather have a little more text on how to kill charging animals than those photos of boxes. The spent bullets are great to see, but the boxes are not needed.   More...

Another State with Suppressors

Just a note regarding the test on the GSG M1911 22. I purchased one about a year ago and had the same problem with the slide action. I disassembled the handgun and put a little Flitz metal polish along the rail. I then reassembled and worked the slide back and forth about 20 times. Then disassembled and cleaned both the slide and frame. This little gem now works slick as butter. It never jams no matter what I feed it. Just wanted to share some tips with your readers. Great magazine, by the way.   More...

Duty-Gear Advice From A Pro

I’m a private security officer. When I was deciding on a duty gun, I considered the Springfield XD45 Tactical, but the lack of a thumb safety concerned me. Does an aftermarket safety exist? For now, I’m carrying a Series 70 Springfield 1911. Is there a duty holster you’d recommend? Also, any recommendation for cold-weather gloves when manipulating the 1911, and do you have a preference for a particular tactical light? Thanks for your great research! - Mr. France’s specific questions were outside our areas of expertise, so we turned to Duane Liptak, director of Government Programs and Training for Brownells, to get answers.   More...

Apostasy? Scout Rifle Pushback

As a longtime subscriber, I’ve really had it with Scout-style rifles. Nothing against Ray Ordorica’s recent series of Scout reviews, but the concept has proven to be a market failure. I know Jeff Cooper sits next to Jesus in heaven. Being dead has its advantages — ask Elmer Keith or Jack O’Connor! I would note, that at age 69, I read everything these guys and their contemporaries wrote when it was 'new.' The original Cooper Scout was a concept looking for a home at a price, as I recall, of $3,500. By the time Cooper’s Scout hit the street, any competent AR builder could build an AR-10 in 308 Win. that was just as light, held more ammo, shot faster and as accurately for a lot less money.   More...

Which States Offer Reciprocity?

I just received my July issue and read the article, 'Aluminum, Polymer, and Steel 45 ACP Semiautos Square Off.' For the uninformed, the reviewer has unfairly evaluated the Glock 36. He mentions the G36 magazine is thicker than that for the 1911. What is probably more important for personal defense is the pistol width. The max width of the Glock itself is nearly a half-inch less than that of the Colt. He expressed 'caution' for the unsupported chamber in the Glock barrel, as it is a concern, stating that '+P loads should be used sparingly.' This is downright misleading. Documented personal experience and online forum comments from actual Glock owners would summarily refute such a ridiculous assertion.   More...

Interchanging 308/7.62 Ammo

I look forward to reading your magazine cover-to-cover. Over the years I have learned a lot, not just about the guns but also about choices of ammunition and potential hazards in both gun and ammunition choices. That is why I paid particular attention to Ray Ordorica’s response to a Firing Line on feeding 308 Win ammo into an M14 variant. I can’t argue with the statements that 7.62 is the right ammo for the M14 and that it should not be used with standard 308 ammo. However, Ray went further than that and stated: '…it ought not be a gas-driven semiauto such as the M14 variants.' The 'such as' led me to think in terms of other 'gas-driven semiautos.'   More...

ATF Details on ‘Shoulder Stocks’

I have recently acquired a 1911 pistol with shoulder stock and correct mainspring housing, so I found your test on shoulder-stocked pistols to be quite timely. My understanding is that attaching a shoulder stock to a handgun changes a legal firearm into an illegal short barrel rifle. A police officer/friend I talked to agreed. I ordered a 16-inch barrel, so I should be legal. My stock has no markings on it, and the only info that I can find stated that it was made in the 1970s for covert operations. There may be some nuances in the law that I am not aware of. Perhaps Gun Tests could clarify this for future buyers/owners of such accessories.   More...

No Soft-Tip Bullets in M14s

I gathered from your article on M14s that the Springfield M1A functioned fine with either 168-gr Federal Gold Medal Match or 150-gr Magtech. I checked their owners manuals and the M1A is chambered for 7.62. My M1A will not function correctly with Remington Core-Lokt ammunition. I found some Winchester 7.62 and was hoping that it would function correctly with it. Your thoughts?   More...

What About the 10mm Upper?

Let me start by asking, why not compare Olympic’s 10mm AR conversion instead of a 5.7x28 upper? When you ask, 'Is a $700 5.7x28 Upper a Good AR Buy?', I think, 'Is the 5.7x28 better at anything than a 223 or 22 Hornet?' My own answer is a resounding 'Nope!' If I want a small-caliber rifle bullet with lots of speed or penetration, the 223/5.56 seems more than adequate. If I need a smaller caliber than the 223, I can buy a complete 77-22 Hornet for less than the AR upper and feed it less expensive 22 Hornet ammo. The 5.7x28 may be of some value in a handgun, I’ve never found myself in a situation to ponder that question and would speculate that I never will. If I were looking for a personal-defense rifle less powerful than the 223, I think the 10mm is a good start, as I’ve determined that the 9mm makes a fine pocket-pistol caliber but a poor rifle.   More...