May 2018

Did You Know?

Did you know that a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court had penned a New York Times op-ed entitled, “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment”? In his op-ed, Stevens (nominated by a Republican president) praises the work of the March for Our Lives organizers and urges the group to “seek more effective and more lasting reform” via a “repeal of the Second Amendment.” He calls the Second Amendment a “relic of the 18th century.”   More...

Bad Luck with Ammunition

Hey Gun Tests, just finished reading the April issue. Another great issue. One thing I wanted to point out was the affordable ammo tests. I personally love those kinds of tests. It also shows me that I am in the minority on the Remington Thunderbolt 22 LR ammo. I’ve bought a few boxes of that stuff throughout the years and it hasn’t performed that well in any of my 22s. I’m the customer that gets the boxes with the duds in them. Or the bullets that do not cycle the gun at all. CCI Blazer is my affordable 22 ammo of choice. Shoots quite well in my rimfires. I also loved the home-defense section, too. Keep that kind of test coming as well. Thanks for making the best firearms magazine out there.   More...

Threaded-Barrel Bolt Guns In 300 Blackout and 308 Win.

Subscribers Only — A few years ago, the incidence of factory-supplied threaded barrels on rifles was negligible, because most people didn’t have a lot of interest in changing their muzzle devices, including flash suppressors and sound suppressors. Sound suppressors, also incorrectly known as silencers, and more accurately called “mufflers” or “moderators,” just weren’t that common because the devices were regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. In that law, Congress used its tax power to set up a tax-and-registration system for machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, grenades, mortars and various other devices, including sound suppressors. Under the NFA today, a prospective owner must go through a months-long registration process with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and pay a $200 tax, in advance, before he or she can purchase a suppressor. Despite the difficulties posed by the regulatory system, suppressor sales have continued to grow over the last decade, and especially the last five years. Suppressor ownership is legal in most states. The exceptions are Hawaii, California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In the 42 states where suppressors are legal, they are allowed for hunting in all but Connecticut and Vermont, and states are de-regulating suppressor use every day, so this list may be outdated by the time you read this. Concurrent with the sales growth of suppressors, manufacturers have responded by making the muzzles of some of their rifles and pistols easier to receive the devices. Thus, the growth of factory-threaded barrels, three models of which we recently tested, with and without a suppressor.   More...

New Kit-Gun Revolvers from Charter Arms, S&W, Heritage

Subscribers Only — A Kit Gun, by definition, is a small-frame revolver that is packed up with rest of the kit when fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, or some other outdoor pursuit are being planned. The intention of the Kit Gun is to deal with pesky varmints raiding your cooler or a coiled viper in the middle of a foot trail that refuses to move. They also help decide bragging rights around the campfire after a session of plinking empty soda cans. These revolvers have been called Kit Guns since after WWI, but S&W was the first to use the name in 1935 on the 22/32 Kit Gun, which was built on the now-discontinued I-frame. This original Kit Gun had an adjustable rear sight, a DA/SA trigger, short barrel, and a smallish grip. Since then, the features of a Kit Gun have come to include single-action triggers, fixed sights, and snubnose-length barrels. It could be argued the semi-automatic 22 rimfire pistols have usurped the revolver’s position, but that is for another test. We took a look at three of the latest packable handguns, which included a S&W Model 317-3 Kit Gun, Charter Arms Pathfinder Lite, and Heritage Manufacturing’s Small Bore single action. We were looking for a lightweight revolver that was accurate enough to shoot the head of a snake at 10 yards, had the ability to accurately fire a variety of 22 rimfire ammo, and be safe should we accidentally drop the revolver while trekking through the great outdoors. We tested at 10 yards, which we thought was an optimum distance for these rimfires and used a variety of 22 rimfire ammo, including 22 LR with a range of bullet weights and types, 22 Short, and 22 Shot cartridges. Ammo consisted of commonly found CCI Mini Mag with a 36-grain copper-plated hollowpoint (CPHP), CCI Target 22 Short with a 29-grain lead roundnose (LRN) bullet, Browning BPR 37-grain fragmenting hollowpoints, and the hot Aguila Supermaximum loaded with a 30-grain CPHP. We also tested Federal Game-Shok Shot cartridges loaded with #12 shot. We used a rest and fired the revolvers in single-action mode to gauge accuracy. Then we let loose, plinking away in both DA and SA mode, using a two-hand hold until all the ammo was gone. Here’s what we found out.   More...

Buying Self-Defense Insurance: Important Factors to Consider

As an attorney (and, for full disclosure, someone who was formerly an independent program attorney for Texas Law Shield), it is abundantly clear that the legal system puts self-defense shooters in a bad spot. It is costly, time consuming, slow, and worst of all, the legal system decides whether you keep your freedom after you have defended yourself. To make matters worse, this system is, from what I’ve seen, biased against gun owners. From my own experience, many law-enforcement officers, district attorneys, and even jurors seem to think that if you own or carry a firearm, you are inherently guilty in some way. They believe that even though you were actually carrying your lawfully owned firearm, you were really looking for trouble, you wanted an excuse to shoot someone, or similar mental fictions. I’ve honestly lost track of the number of times a gun owner was arrested after a lawful incident of self-defense. Accordingly, due to the nature of our legal system, individuals are purchasing legal protection in case they have to defend themselves.   More...

New Handguns and Ammo for 2018

Subscribers Only — Gun Tests reporters and editors on the scene at SHOT Show 2018 in Las Vegas scoured the show for new pistol and handgun accessory entries for our readers to consider this year. Amazingly, a handgun made of steel with a design more than 100 years old — the fabled 1911 — still drives the market. A third of the new guns that follow are based on this legendary platform, followed closely by pocket pistols, and it’s clear the revolver is not the antiquated firearm many assume. In fact, when it comes to handguns, 2018 is a good mix of old, new, plastic, and steel, with a wheelgun or two thrown in for good measure, along with loads for defensive handgun use to feed these new beasts. Here’s a rundown on a few new handgun and ammunition choices for 2018 that our staff thought were notable and which we’ll be looking to include in future issues.    More...