Gun of the Week

Giving a Firearm as a Gift? Some Reminders from Gun Tests

December 11, 2017 - News Article

The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18), generally speaking, are precluded by law from possessing a handgun.

Kimber Eclipse Target II 45 ACP, $1393

October 3, 2016 - Gun of the Week

We compared two full-size 1911 handguns in the June 2013 issue to see which model offered the most bang for the buck. This Personal Defense test pitted two pistols of disparate price points to see if the less expensive model offered enough to consider it versus a fully equipped modern handgun. Tested were the Rock Island Armory Standard GI No. 51421 45 ACP, $410; and the Kimber Eclipse Target II 45 ACP, $1393. Here’s an excerpt of that test.

Bersa Firestorm .380 ACP, $307

October 3, 2016 - Gun of the Week

Back in April 2006 Gun Tests magazine tested three .380 ACP pistols, one of which was the Walther PPK, as made here in the U.S. under license by Smith & Wesson. They loved the well-built little PPK, even though it had to go back for rework before they gave it a clean bill of health. It had failed in DA shooting, but a stiffer spring gave it the equivalent of their Grade A appraisal. They recently found a gun that looked a lot like the PPK, the FireStorm by Bersa ($307 MSRP), from Argentina. Here’s what they found.

Correcting The H&R Single Shot’s Problems

October 3, 2016 - Special Reports

Harrington and Richardson made single-barrel shotguns for more than 100 years, and the basic design didn’t change when New England Arms took over. The shotgun action we will use for this chapter is from one of the company’s latest model series.

Smith & Wesson 638 Bodyguard .38 Special +P

October 3, 2016 - Gun of the Week

The name Bodyguard has to be one of the all-time classic names for a self-defense gun. Certainly this Smith & Wesson design has been with us a long time, and in many ways it should be considered an unsung hero among the latest super-light firearms, mainly because it did so much so well.

Working with Pins and Punches

October 3, 2016 - Special Reports

One of the things some gun owners—engineers or fairly well-educated hobbyists who have a good grasp of mechanical things—ask about is how to handle the different kinds of pins in their guns. Particularly, they often want to know if their punches are the right ones, or if they can use a slightly different one without damaging their pins.

Pillar Bedding: How to Spot Botched Jobs on Rifles

September 8, 2016 - Special Reports

In my years working on guns, I have seen a large number of totally botched bedding jobs. In fact, you would be shocked to see what people do to their guns’ bedding to increase the accuracy of a rifle. But do you know how to spot the most common mistakes in bedding, thereby giving you a leg up in improving a gun’s accuracy, or avoiding it altogether? Following are the most common problems shooters should watch for:

Colt Trooper Mark III .357 Magnum

September 8, 2016 - Gun of the Week

The Colt Trooper was made from 1953 to 1969. The Trooper Mark III superceded the Trooper and had a redesigned lock mechanism. It was manufactured from 1969 to 1983 in blue and nickel finish with 4-, 6-, and 8-inch barrel lengths. An owner's manual can be obtained by calling Colt at (800) 962-2658. The Trooper III in our test was made in 1974.

We paid a published dealer price of $350; retail price is $400. Blue Book lists the gun's value as between $225 (95 percent), $325 (98 percent), and $395 (100 percent).

The Colt Trooper Mark III is for all practical purposes the working man's Python. Sound good? It features a serrated front sight pinned in place. The rear sight is fully adjustable, and it should be more durable than similar designs since the rear notch moves back and forth inside a protective frame. While adjustment for elevation is clockwise for down and counter-clockwise for up, the windage adjustment is reversed. Turn it to the right if you want the point of impact to move left, and turn left to bring the POI to the right.

Another feature is the direction in which the cylinder rotates. While other revolvers move counterclockwise, expecting a Colt to go bang requires the first round to be in the 11 o'clock position prior to cycling. Also, to release the cylinder one pulls rather than pushes on the latch.

Repairing Crosman Air Guns

August 31, 2016 - Special Reports

The quantity of air-gun parts per gun is about the same or less than the number of parts in cartridge firearms. In fact, many air-gun parts look and function like their counterparts in firearms we’re already familiar with. Here's an inside look at the Crosman 760 air rifle.

Pillar Bedding Your Rifle

August 13, 2015 - Special Reports

Any mass-produced product, no matter how technically advanced, will have manufacturing tolerances that will dictate a variation in the dimensions of the parts. Rifles are not exempt from this, but it is inarguable that with the increasing use of computer controlled manufacturing machines, today’s factory rifles have reduced these tolerances dramatically. Enough, it would seem, that the accuracy goals of a “tuned” rifle from a couple of generations ago are generally close to the minimum out-of-the-box standard today. However, while we may be getting closer, perfection is still elusive.

(Gunsmithing Made Easy #2) Stripped Allen Head Screws

August 13, 2015 - Special Reports

The tiny hex head or Allen head screws used on scope mounts have an annoying habit of stripping at just the wrong time. (Kind of a dumb expression isn’t it? When is exactly the “right time” for a screw to strip?) This is particularly true when removing a scope mount that’s been installed for a while. The screws might be a little rusty from years of hunting and there usually is a bit of corrosion between the screw and the ring threads. Also, the screws were often overtightened when they were installed. It’s very common that the screw was damaged during installation by the wrench slipping and buggering up the head. All this adds up to screws that are very tough to remove.

In Texas, Better Protection for Class 3 Devices Is Coming

July 31, 2015 - News Article

In about a month, gun owners in Texas and visitors to the state will feel the positive effects of SB 473, a bill which Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signed into law that extends protections for Class 3 devices, such as short-barreled rifles (SBRs), suppressors, and “any other weapons,” as defined by the National Firearms Act. SB 473 will take effect on Sept. 1, 2015.

Proposed Settlement Has Taurus Paying $30M

July 29, 2015 - News Article

Gun maker Forjas Taurus SA has agreed to settle a $30 million class-action suit with plaintiffs who claim that some Taurus handgun safeties, even when engaged, may allow the gun to fire if it is dropped, according to a review of court documents.

California Bans Advertising of the Sale of Handguns

July 20, 2015 - News Article

California has argued that a provision of California Penal Code section 26820 enacted in 1923 prevents the displaying of any “handgun or imitation handgun, or placard advertising the sale or transfer thereof” anywhere in or on their store that can be seen outside their store by passersby.

3rd Circuit Rules for Wal-Mart Stocking AR-15s

July 15, 2015 - News Article

In a review of a recent court case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has released its full opinion in the case of Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart, and it’s a victory for the giant retail chain’s ability to sell the firearms it wishes to sell.

At issue was whether Wal-Mart improperly excluded from 2014 proxy materials the church’s shareholder proposal to require the corporation’s board of directors to have standard-capacity AR-style rifles removed from the…