February 2019

Why Hide Your Sources?

One of the more important claims in the gun-control debate is that the United States has more mass public shootings than any other countries. I’m sure you’ve heard that reported on gun-ignorant major media outlets. But as John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center points out in a new video, conventional TV wisdom on this topic is likely misinformed — but we can’t find out for sure.   More...

Praise for ‘Penetrating’ Test

I really appreciate the heavy 9mm loads article. I don’t have the time or resources to buy and test a bunch of loads, even though I am very interested in selecting a load for my 9mm that fits my needs. You guys did all the work for me! I trust your opinions and appreciate your straightforward approach to testing and review. I now have a few options that I can try to see if they work for me personally. Case in point, I recently went on a hiking trip with my 12-year-old son in cougar, bear, and, unfortunately, now wolf country. I had to choose between a high-capacity 9mm and a 5-round 357 Magnum. I went with the magnum for better penetration potential. But after reading your article, I am definitely going to pick up some Buffalo Bore Outdoorsman Hard Cast Lead Flat Nose cartridges and see if I can get the best of both worlds. Thanks for the great magazine and keep up the good work!   More...

Threaded-Barrel 1911 Pistols: Some Choices Come Up Short

Subscribers Only — Last year, we began testing suppressors on rifles and handguns because we saw that the sound-abatement equipment was becoming a lot more popular. This was a surprise because suppressors are expensive and hard to transact, so it takes a lot of patience and money to get started, and there is a fair amount of legal liability if you get it wrong. Despite these drawbacks, since we began this journey suppressor regulations have become much more relaxed across the country, with all but a handful of gun-restrictive states allowing the devices. Still, it will take a couple of generations for suppressors to become mainstream and for the misconceptions about them to evaporate. For some, these unobtrusive pieces of hollow metal will always be tied to clandestine assassin or spec-ops use rather than as portable hearing protection. Pity, because during our testing with them, we have found a lot of salutary benefits behind the gun, whether long gun or sidearm. Suppressed firearms not only have shown better accuracy in most cases, they are certainly better mannered with a can hanging off the front. Muzzle flip and blast are easier to control with a can in place, and that improves accuracy and enjoyment. We initially chose handguns chambered in 45 ACP because they offered a lot of full-power bullet weights and shapes that run below the speed of sound, so it’s easy to find good ammo that suppresses well. For the handguns, we started with three full-size non-1911 45s from Glock, HK, and FN, all of which come from the factory suppressor-ready. Reviewed in the September 2018 issue, we recommended the FN America FNX-45 Tactical FDE 66968 45 ACP, $1200. We had function trouble with a Glock G21SF PF2150203TB 45 ACP, $511, and didn’t recommend it. The third polymer gun was the Heckler & Koch Mark 23 45 ACP M723001-A5, $2300. It was big and expensive and very nice to shoot. Some of our testers said that if they were to buy the HK Mark 23, they would remember the day as fondly as when they got their favorite dog, which is high praise indeed. Our 1911-style test guns this time included the Kimber America 1911 Warrior SOC 3000253 TFS with Crimson Trace Rail Master Laser Sight, $1309. We had loan of this immaculate early-model SOC with about 250 rounds through it, half of which were fired with an Osprey 45 suppressor like the one in this test. The Warrior SOC has an accessory rail built into the dust cover, which allows fitting a desert-tan Crimson Trace Rail Master laser as part of the package. The second gun was a Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced Threaded Barrel 96339, $675, a recent in-stock price from TombstoneTactical.com. This was a well-outfitted gun for the money, coming with the 5.5-inch barrel threaded .578-28 like the others, two 8-round magazines with bumper pads, and a lot of other features we detail below.   More...

Budget 20-Gauge Pumpguns: H&R, Mossberg, Remington

Subscribers Only — Every day there is a headline of some deadly incident that could have been stopped with a shotgun. Home invasions and animal attacks are common in this dangerous world. The shotgun is formidable protection for prepared individuals who might be short statured, aging, or have a physical impediment. The 20 gauge offers a strong choice for most shooters. A string of twenty #3 buckshot pellets makes for a formidable way to stop a home-defense attack. Our calculations and best formulas show that the 20-gauge shotgun generates about three quarters the recoil of the 12 gauge versus the often quoted half the recoil but the 20 gauge delivers about three-quarters the payload at the same time. We collected and tested three 20-gauge pump-action shotguns that happened to be marketed to younger shooters, but which the home defender can use as fast-handling hallway and interior-room guns right out of the box because of their shorter barrels and overall lengths and lighter weights. These included: the Remington 870 Youth Model 25561 20 Gauge, $340; the Harrington & Richardson Pardner Youth Model NP1-2S1 20 Gauge, $165; and the Mossberg Maverick 88 Youth Model 32202 20 Gauge, $198. For this use, we would purchase any of the three and feel well armed. Also, we ended up with a Best Buy, and we were not being easy on either of the less expensive shotguns. They simply had different characteristics folks should consider for themselves. To evaluate the shotguns, we used three loads, including the Hornady 3-inch #6 nickel Magnum load ($12.72 per 10 shells at Brownells.com). Then, we shot Federal’s 3-inch #3 buckshot rounds ($6.45 for five shells from SportsmansGuide.com) and Winchester’s AA 2.75-inch 7⁄8-ounce # 7˝ shot ($9.49 per 25 shells from BassPro.com). This gave a good mix of light loads, buckshot, and a heavy field load. We also used Winchester’s 20-gauge slug ($3.48 per five slugs from BudsGunShop.com). All of these shells fed, chambered, fired, and ejected normally. We loaded each shotgun with Winchester birdshot first then progressed to the heavy Hornady field loads, firing 25 Winchester birdshot shells followed by ten Hornady heavy field loads and five Federal buckshot loads. Recoil was simply not a factor, although we did notice the Hornady was the most powerful load tested. This is a highly developed 20-gauge choice, in our opinion. Here’s how the rounds performed in each firearm.   More...

We Test Inside-The-Waistband Holsters for $50 and More

Shooters know that quality leather gear is increasingly expensive. Like a good shoemaker, workmen capable of making quality holsters are few and far between. For many of us, this means buying off-the-shelf holsters. In this installment, we test more than a dozen holsters from makers large and small. While we tried to keep the price around $100 or less, in several cases we went over. This was a result of the raters adding options such as special reinforcements and sweat guards.   More...

Short Shots: February 2019

The American Rodeo Tribute Edition Rifle from Henry Repeating Arms is built on the company’s Golden Boy platform and features images of popular rodeo events. Henry Repeating Arms debuted the American Rodeo Tribute Edition lever-action rifle in Las Vegas in December at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Cowboy Christmas, and the RMEF Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo. The imagery on the receiver cover and the stocks celebrate three staple rodeo events where contestants compete against the clock.   More...