October 2018

New Threats to Gun Ownership

I honestly thought that once Donald Trump became president, we’d see fewer onerous gun regulations being rolled out - and, perchance, a rollback of some existing regulations, or even an expansion of gun rights. Silly me. President Trump did make it a campaign pledge to delete two regulations for every new one installed, but that effort hasn’t been extended to gun regulations, at least that I’ve heard of. Moreover, while wide-ranging federal efforts to restrict gun ownership and simply make it harder to own, buy, and transact firearms have stalled at the national level, that doesn’t mean that the inalienable right to self-defense with guns isn’t being challenged across the country. In fact, the new challenges to 2A rights are especially pernicious.   More...

Two Thumbs Up for EZ, 911

Subscribers Only — Jackpot! You reviewed and gave an “A” grade to two guns that I am very interested in. First is the S&W M&P 380 Shield EZ. I am an NRA instructor and we are constantly faced with the problem of recommending a semi-auto gun for women and older students who have trouble loading the magazine, racking the slide, and handling recoil. I have felt that the S&W Shield EZ would be perfect for them, but haven’t had a chance to fire one. Your review solves that — I now feel that I can recommend it with confidence.   More...

Home-Defense Shotguns: Are Magazine-Feds the New Thing?

The recent introduction of magazine-fed versions of the Remington 870 and Mossberg 590 pump-action shotguns have led to immense interest in the new designs, but we have not jumped onto the mag-pump bandwagon because, in our view, these shotguns are not without some trade-offs. Some of our shooters see nothing wrong with the tubular-magazine-fed shotgun, which can be topped off on the fly by a trained shooter. Others on our team question the balance of the converted shotguns and the loss of the natural pointing characteristics of the tube-fed pumps. (We use the term “converted” as a means of describing the modifications made to existing pumpgun designs). Despite our misgivings, the magazine-fed pump-action shotguns have been at the top of our test list, so we acquired a Remington Model 870 DM and the Mossberg 590M. To make for a broader field of reference, we added two proven tube-fed pump shotguns. The Remington 870 Tactical features Magpul furniture and XS sights, and the Mossberg 590 Tactical has a heat shield and a SpeedFeed Synthetic Stock. Then, to cap it off, we added a Saiga-style JTS M12AK shotgun, a magazine-fed semi-auto. This allowed us to compare two familiar shotguns against the magazine-fed versions of the same shotguns, as well as a previously tested magazine-fed semi-auto style that ranked well. The test was very involved and very interesting.   More...

Dry-Fire Trainers: Save Money While You Gain Performance

Dry-fire training should be part of every shooter’s training routine. It helps build the fundamentals of shooting and reinforces muscle memory. In the old days, we bought a SnapCap or other dummy round, loaded it into our firearm, and practiced our grip, sight picture, and trigger press. You knew you were in a good place if you could dry-fire the firearm without flinching and keep the sights rock steady as the pistol fired. The fact is, however, you didn’t know if you actually hit the target you were aiming at, nor was there a better way to measure training success and progress. Enter technology, which offers a variety of high-tech lasers, laser-friendly targets, and apps that allows shooters to train in the comfort of their own homes, without the cost of going to a range and, further, without incurring the cost of ammo. The beauty of dry-fire training is you can do it any where you want and at any time. No loud noises, just the clicking of tripped firing pins and a flash of red laser, though some apps and target do have sound effects.   More...

We Compare Three New 45 ACP 1911 Commanders Under $750

Subscribers Only — The 1911 Commander is basically a full-size pistol receiver with a shorter 4.25-inch barrel and slide. These 1911 variants are more compact than the full-size issues, yet they offer all the features of the standard 5-inch-barrel variant, albeit with a bit less velocity. Some members of our team like the Commander format with the full-size grip and shortened slide, which makes the pistol easy to hang onto when firing 45 ACP as well as more comfortable to carry concealed due to the shorter barrel. One issue when carrying concealed, though, is the grip, which can print under clothing. To see which pistol best fit our testers’ everyday-carry needs, we procured three 1911 Commander models for testing: the recently introduced Taurus 1911 Commander ($459), a Metro Arms MAC 1911 Bobcut ($746), and an American Classic Commander ($568). The Taurus is manufactured in Brazil, and the Metro Arms and American Classic pistols are manufactured in the Philippines and are both brought into this country by Eagle Imports. All three showed great fit and finish and chewed through 45 ACP ammo as fast as we could load magazines. All featured the classic GI-style domed slide, long skeletonized triggers and hammers, straight rear grip straps, dovetailed combat-style sights, flared ejection ports, extended beavertails, extended thumb safeties, textured grips, and 8+1 round capacities. In short, these pistols have all the features a modern 1911 shooter expects in a concealable package. The Bobcut and AC came in hard-plastic cases and included one magazine. The Taurus included a plastic bushing wrench for ease of takedown. At first glance, these three Commanders looked the same in terms of features, if not cosmetics, and it was the value-added items in each that eventually allowed us to judge one over the other.   More...

October 2018 Short Shots: New Guns and Gun Accessories

Humidity and moisture can affect your guns’ performance and make cleaning difficult. The new Firearms Storage Pouch from Absorbits Ballistics deploys the company’s patented Bone-Dri technology, developed to dry out smart phones that get dropped into water, and applies it to firearms.   More...