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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.

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.

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 The Trooper Mark III superceded the Trooper and had a redesigned lock mechanism.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.

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…

Olympic Arms OA 98 223 Rem

February 11, 2015 - Gun of the Week

The design of the OA series of AR-15 type rifles connects to the OA 98 pistol. To accommodate a folding stock, Olympic Arms developed an upper that eliminated the need for a buffer tube. However, due to subsequent legal restrictions, folding-stock models such as the OA 93 and its cousins now feature fixed stocks, but these rifles still benefit from their minimal design and lighter weight. If you look at an OA-built AR-15 and imagine it without a stock, it is easy to visualize how the OA 98 pistol came into being.

Ruger Redhawk KRH-444

February 4, 2015 - Gun of the Week

Ruger’s $780 KRH-444 Redhawk was our top pick among three 4-inch .44 Magnum revolvers. Here’s why. When Ruger engineers sought to make a more compact revolver, they did so by shortening the barrel and introducing a new grip. They left the frame alone. This meant the gun was plenty strong to take any punishment we could dish out.