August 2018

Rifles Not Ready for 50 States

Reader Ray worries about coverage of firearms choices in anti-gun states. We are 2nd Amendment absolutists at Gun Tests, but we realize readers in some states have constrained choices.

Re "Rifles Ready for All 50 States: Springfield, Troy, and Uintah," June 2018

Dear Mr. Woodard: I look forward to each issue of your magazine and have just extended my subscription an additional two years. However, I must take exception with your presentation of “Rifles Ready for All 50 States.”

Although the article’s coverage on the firearms was of its usual quality, your implied acceptance of violations to the Second Amendment in the opening paragraphs was shocking. From the article it can be inferred you have accepted these restrictions as lawful restrictions on our private-sector firearms. At a minimum, an article such as this should have included a position statement.

Please consider the following. The issue of gun control, regardless of degree, is a cultural issue — not a national safety issue. When the Constitution was written, less than 15% of our population lived in urban areas. Today, approximately 80% of our population is urban. However, cities account for only about 5% of the geographical landmass of this country. We now have two opposing gun cultures in this country — with urbans believing guns are only for killing people and rurals viewing them as tools, much as a rod and reel are for fishing.

Unfortunately, this unbalanced distribution in population leads to an inequitable balance of representation in Congress.

The assault on the Second Amendment is perhaps the greatest test of endurance for the Constitution. The 1787 delegates included the Second Amendment for a purpose, as a definitive statement of freedom and individual rights. The 1787 delegates felt strongly enough about the issue to place double protections on the Second Amendment. The “Shall Not” prohibits Congress from passing laws against that right, and the “Infringed” is an absolute, stating Congress cannot make any laws affecting that right. That is not to say unconstitutional cross-laws are not being made.

The government, whether federal, local, or state, has no constitutional power to enact or enforce laws not given it by the Constitution.

Make no mistake, we do have those wishing to impose their will and vision on the rest of us, and the Constitution stands resolute in its protection of us from them. Your opening paragraphs in the “Rifles Ready for All 50 States” may easily be perceived as an endorsement or, at a minimum, acceptance of those states and municipal laws unconstitutionally violating the people’s rights as defined under the Second Amendment. I hope you will clarify your position. — Ray

Hey Ray: I appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful letter. It’s pretty simple: I personally and the magazine do not endorse the 2nd Amendment infringements that have led to the products that we reviewed in “50 States.” In fact, we have fought such laws as best we can, remotely, I admit. However, there are several states in which those products are the best that my subscribers can legally do. I have received dozens of reader letters over the years asking for coverage of firearms legal in their states. I can’t just ignore them or tell them to move to a freer state. So we do what we can for gun owners who aren’t legally able to buy all the firearms we should be entitled to as citizens of this country. — Todd Woodard

How About the Taurus Spectrum?

Mr. Woodard: Could you do a review of the Taurus Spectrum? The gun is finally available. I bought mine a few months ago, and it is everything I wanted: an easily concealable 380 ACP, an easy-to-rack slide for an old guy like me, fits my hand perfectly, slide stop holds it open after the last shot is fired, disassembles in about two seconds and reassembles in about three seconds. I fired 40 rounds with it right out of the box until my ammo was gone, with no failures of any kind, and it hit where I aimed it. Also there’s no sneaky problems or puzzling features that you don’t learn about until after you buy it, like with some guns. It’s a simple, flawless handgun that works like it should — at least so far. I’m happy with mine, but I respect your opinion and would like to get your comments. I’ve seen mostly favorable reviews from people who’ve fired it, but it seems like the major gun publications are not commenting. —Marshall

Re “Double Rifle Versus Single Shot,” December 2007

Todd: I’ve just finished reading your on-line test of the subject rifle in 9.3x74R. I own a Ruger No. 1 Tropical in 375 H&H Mag. My rifle had the same issue with the ejected case catching on the safety button on every shot. I wrote to Ruger asking for a fix for this concern. Ruger replied, indicating that there would be no fix because the rifle was designed that way. I corrected mine by cutting off the front portion of the safety button. It isn’t pretty, but it will no longer slow down a quick reload under pressure. I love your magazine. I’ve recommended it to several friends and family members. —Jerry

We appreciate the kind words. — tw

Are You Ready for Some Shotguns?

Todd, I have recently seen articles about the 20-gauge Remington 870 TAC-14 and possibly Mossberg pump-action shotguns. Have you thought about doing a side-by-side test of these two shotguns in 20 gauge? What size shot would be the most effective? No. 4’s to “0” size? No. 5’s and smaller, not so much, unless you are after snakes in the grass. Mom got pretty good with an old .410-bore bolt-action J.C. Higgins in killing snakes, but that was back in the 1950s. Also, I see shotguns with just a short rear stock to hold on to in 20 gauge. Can you control a 20 gauge with a short rear stock versus a 12 gauge with the same kind of rear stock? Maybe there are other brand-name shotgun makers out there I am not aware of who also make 20-gauge home-defense shotguns that could be included. I like the idea of a magazine on the shotgun. Remington holds six rounds vs. the Mossberg’s 10 rounds. Something to consider testing. Keep your powder dry. — Ken

Ken, thank you for the suggestions. I agree, these topics are interesting, and we are working up tests on both the magazine shotguns and the shorties.— tw

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