May 2018

Bad Luck with Ammunition

Reader Mike says hes the guy who gets all the duds when he buys ammo. We should thank him for his great public service. Also, Reader Bill thinks the M1 should have won a recent test.

Re: “Affordable Handgun Ammo: Is It Up to Par for Your Firearms Use?” April 2018

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. — Mike

Re: “Affordable Home-Defense Rifles: AR-15 or M1 in 30 Carbine?” April 2018

Hi Todd: I just got the latest issue and have many comments on the M1 Carbine vs. AR. I have a Carbine and have shot an AR, but much prefer the Carbine. I’m an old fart who has no use for plastic-fantastic. Yes, the 1911 or Hi-Power are my choices. I do not intend to have to defend my farm and home at ranges of 100 yards. Lawyers would have a field day were I to shoot “aggressors” at long range. So, either gun is a short-range weapon applicable only if you are directly threatened and must “stand your ground” and cannot retreat. And no, the Carbine isn’t a “minute of coyote or feral dog” gun at 100 yards. It is what it was. A rifle designed for people who couldn’t master a handgun.

In this era of what is socially acceptable, the M1 Carbine doesn’t raise hackles, as does the AR. The writer was definitely biased towards the AR. Perhaps he should have included more comments from the distaff shooters and folks less experienced in shooting anything but a 22 LR. He should have commented on the difference in muzzle blast, as you are not going to be wearing ear plugs if you need to use either gun for immediate self defense.

Yes, the Carbine is a better alternative for those who cannot readily master a handgun. As someone in his 70s, I cannot shoot a handgun as accurately as I once could, due to loss of muscle mass and aging eyes. But, I can still shoot a 38-40 ‘92 SRC or an M1 Carbine. Shortcomings? What shortcomings, other than the fact that the 110-grain bullet penetrates more than the 55-grain bullet. Which is more easily mastered and which can be readily cleared of malfunctions? I think the Carbine. Fifteen-round magazines vs. thirty-round magazines? Did you forget that thirty-round Carbine magazines are available on the internet and from some aftermarket manufacturers? They have the last round hold-open follower that surplus fifteen-round magazines don’t have. Availability of ammunition? Yes, 223/5.56 is available almost anywhere, but one needs to plan ahead for potential future needs. In the event of a natural disaster or social upheaval, neither Carbine nor 223/5.56 ammunition will be available. One needs to buy sufficient ammunition before an upheaval occurs.

You alluded to the fact that the Carbine was easier to learn how to shoot and manipulate. I think you should have elaborated more on that aspect. Home defense requires a firearm designed for immediate, short-range use, not long-range use. One all family members can readily use. That leaves handguns, shotguns, and the AR in the dust. Just my biased opinion. Readers must judge for themselves. — Bill

Terrific issue. I especially liked the article comparing the M1 carbine with the AR. I own a 1943 Winchester M1 carbine and a Olympic Arms PCR. I would like to see an article about the Ruger ARX ammunition. I carry a Kahr P-40 now that I am retired. Have a great day. — Robert

One of your best issues ever, loved the M1 carbine material, loved the inclusion of previous reviews, really thoughtful for your readers. I bought my M1 carbine from the DCM around 1965, well worn but serviceable. The accuracy is all right for 100 yards. It is reliable and would make a good home-defense carbine, very handy. I have read that if you are going to use a 30-round magazine, you should have an M2 magazine catch installed for better retention and reliability. — David

I am surprised that you did not include the Ruger Mini-14. That is my wife’s choice. She calls it her can killer. They are well within the price range of a 5.56, and lots of accessories readily available. I should say I am not a real fan of the 30 Carbine cartridge and never have bonded with the AR frame, ever since I had to qualify with one. — Bruce

Re: “New Rifle Introductions for 2018,” April 2018

Dear Mr. Woodard, I want to thank you for making the section much clearer about the SHOT show material and that it is not a review, just material from the show. And thanks for the material. It is useful. Also, thank you for the review of the cheap ammo. You verified what we have thought here in our group for quite some time, that Fiocchi makes very good and very accurate ammo, from our experience the best of the lower half of ammo manufacturers, and in some cases, better than the expensive ammos. One of my colleagues also shoots a lot of Wolf and Bear ammo, and he likes it for the price, exactly what you reviewed. All of that review is very helpful.

You recently reviewed a gun case that you use to transport guns to and from the range. That was helpful, but it would have been much stronger of an endorsement if you had reviewed two, or better yet three, four, five or more along with it and it had come out on top. And it would have served us readers better to know what the cheaper ones do and don’t do, have and don’t have. You could also run a test on some range bags, but those tests might be better done over five years or so to see how they hold up.

I appreciate the reviews on reloading items. They have been helpful to me at least, and I would like to see more. I would like to know if it is possible to verify which dies are the most accurate, which presses, that sort of thing. Not just opinion, but actual testing or measuring or whatever to see what is the best stuff.

I would like a review of shooting benches, tripods, bipods, etc. Also, and most helpful to me, I would like a review of the sandbags, vises, rests, and whatever else the stuff is called that you put a gun in to sight it in and shoot to test loads.

I really appreciate your tests and your approach. I remember reading the ad or flier or whatever it was I saw on your magazine years ago. I had never heard of you or the magazine. I had subscribed to Field & Stream and Outdoor Life regularly as a kid, mostly to read Pat McManus, but I liked the rest of the information as well. Sometimes I also subscribed to Sports Afield. But as I got married and had many other expenses as our six boys arrived, I could not justify subscribing and reading so much. But when I saw your magazine ad, and read that you actually fail guns when they don’t perform, I thought you would be worth the money and worth the time to read. And that has turned out to be completely correct. We still have four people reading every issue here that I get. We initial the inside front cover corner to make sure we don’t miss anyone. Thanks for turning out content worth reading, and worth keeping. — Don

Re “Firing Line,” March 2018

Greetings, Todd. I just wanted to get my two cents in regarding the beauty of the Walter P22. Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m beholding two Walter P22s in my collection because they are a hoot to shoot and they look great too! Keep up the good work and keep up the good fight. Regards, — Jim

Re: “Downrange,” April 2018

Hello Todd and staff. I’m just back from my local indoor range and picked up my April copy of Gun Tests and started reading Downrange, “Say something leads to do nothing.” As information comes out about the female shooter at YouTube, it looks like law enforcement had some solid intel about her frame of mind and her destination well before she showed up in San Bruno. Communication has to happen between law enforcement and public health agencies, and it has to happen now. Your article is right on the issue. —Richard

Dear Mr. Woodard: Your editorial about the Parkland tragedy is full of common sense, empathy, and sound suggestions. A real pleasure to read. Thanks. — Otto

Dear Editor: I have been a devoted reader of Gun Tests since Vol. 1., No. 1, but have never been prouder of the magazine than this year. Todd Woodard’s editorial comments on the 2nd Amendment are always insightful, informative, balanced, and effectively quotable to those who would restrict our right to bear arms — quite in contrast, unfortunately, to lunatic editorials regularly appearing in other venues. Sincerely, —Eugene

I enjoy Todd Woodard’s editorials each issue. The one in April 2018 issue of Gun Tests made the point that responsible gun owners have responsibility to report people in their community who demonstrate erratic or dangerous behavior. Report to whom? Local law authorities are the first and most appropriate response. But when you say to the FBI, and then the FBI failed to act, or the FBI “could have pursued…,” then that presumes the FBI has been provided the resources to respond, including but not limited to manpower and state-of-art computers to cross-check all these incoming reports from concerned citizens, then zero in on a potential threat. How do we make sure the FBI has those resources? Ante up, fellas, Federal taxes. Nobody likes paying taxes, but I don’t want criminals escaping capture. Sincerely, — Nicholas

Just got the issue. A superb editorial which needs to be disseminated to congressmen/senators and the public. You hit the nail on the head about being responsible shooters/gun owners. To add to your editorial, I would add that the school officials, the Broward County Sheriffs Office/Scott Israel and the FBI need to be held accountable and held liable for their failures to adequately report the mental problems of this maniac so that a background check would have prevented him from the gun purchase. They share the blame, not the NRA or law-abiding gun-owning citizens. The same holds true for the gay-nightclub shooter in Florida, the Texas church shooter, etc. These maniacs were all known to various law enforcement/governmental agencies who did nothing to intervene beforehand. My son is a decorated police officer in Tampa, and he clearly states that their training mandates active (cautious) confrontation of the shooter to kill the shooter... not just setting up a perimeter while active shooting is in progress. The Parkland tactics were deplorable non-actions taken by those deputies. — Paul

In light of your editorial in this month’s issue, will Gun Tests (or have I missed it) do testing on gun locks (I just bought a Zore, on sale), gun safes (quick open, full combo, etc.) and lock boxes, etc.? You check out different kinds of ammo, holsters, etc., I think it’s a good idea to give us readers unbiased reviews of all the important safety items for pistols and rifles. And it would be a worthy contribution to the cause. As many people often forget, rights come with responsibilities. Thank you. — Jerry

Yes, I’m arranging upcoming tests of quick-access gun safes now, and other safety items you mentioned are in development. — Todd Woodard

Re: Website Access

How do I access the index to find information on prior reviews of weapons, ammunition, holsters, etc.? — John

There are two ways to find guns we’ve reviewed. The Compare Guns feature (top left corner of the page under the logo) allows you to input several descriptors and narrow the search results. Or you can use the Search function. If you search for a common item, such as “22 LR,” you’ll get tons of references. Basically, the search function finds every instance of the searched-for topic and lists the accompanying articles the topic appeared in. The more specific and unique the reference, the better the search. We do our best to list the catalog numbers for guns we’ve tested, so that’s usually a good place to start. There’s also an “Advanced Search” area to help you narrow the results. - tw

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