Firing Line 07/99


Ruger 10/22 Still The One
Your publication is excellent. I read a few other mags for entertainment, but I read yours for objective and accurate information. I found your article in the June 1999 issue comparing Remington’s 597 and Ruger’s 10/22 very interesting. I happen to own two copies of Ruger’s 10/22 and consider them excellent little rifles.

I agree with your assessment regarding the rather unwieldy mag release on the Ruger. However, for around $3 to $5, you can purchase an aftermarket mag release that dramatically improves this and makes the Ruger far superior (at least in the mag-release department) to the Remington 597 or any other detachable-mag .22 I know of. This aftermarket part has a protruding tab that makes the mag release far handier. It can be installed without tools and allows the shooter to do a one-handed mag change by simply pushing the tab with the thumb and allowing the empty mag to fall into the hand.

One other point in favor of the Ruger: The extended mag release is far from the only aftermarket part manufactured for the rifle. In fact, there are enough custom parts for these little rifles to make them into virtually anything the shooter wants. Not so for any other inexpensive .22, including the 597.

Dan J. Willis
DeSoto, Texas

Of course you’re right about the aftermarket possibilities for the 10/22, which gave that gun an edge (as noted in the article conclusion) in the head to head against the 597. Still, we believe the 597s will give the 10/22s a run for their money in the years ahead, but then, we bought 8-tracks instead of cassettes in the 1980s, so what do we know? Moreover, we rarely base our judgments and recommendations on what modifications can be done after a consumer buys a gun. That would be an enormous can of worms to open.

For readers interested in 10/22 mag releases, Brownells ([515] 623-5401 lists several choices on page 91 of the Catalog 50. They range in price from the $4.95 Eagle nylon latch to the Power Custom’s titanium release, $46.66.

Not-Stock Glocks
Regarding the “Full-Size .45s” cover story in June, as a competitive bullseye pistol shooter, of course I love the 1911-style .45 ACP. But I’ve also owned a Glock 21 for the past five years and appreciate its many qualities, too. Your readers may not be familiar with the Glock 21 and should know that there are a number of gunsmiths and aftermarket accessories that can customize the Glock. The grip can be made smaller, the trigger smoother, the sights better. A representative listing of smiths and suppliers can be found at and elsewhere on the Web.

Personally, I was not happy with my Glock 21 (i.e. I couldn’t hit a soup can at ten paces with a full 13-round magazine) until I changed out the trigger ($30 from Alchemy, no gunsmith needed) and added adjustable 3-dot night sights from Meprolight ($100). Now it shoots like a dream, it’s super light to carry in a Blade-Tech holster), gives me 14-round capacity, feeds all kinds of ammo, and it’s easy to strip and clean. Like I said, I love the 1911 and a good 1911 trigger is a joy, but I carry the Glock.

After saying that, I’ll have to take a lot of backtalk from the guys at the Club!

Ned Deming
Pistol Executive
Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Club, Tacoma, WA

That’s exactly why we included the Glock in the June evaluation. Thanks for the insights.

Updated Lock Email Address
You may be one of the many who have experienced some difficulty in contacting me by email. Needless to say, there are recurring problems with the “” address and so, in future, please forward all emails to “”.

This newly registered domain should ensure these problems are eliminated. Similarly, to ensure smooth access to the Australian Lock Co. web site, please use “”.

John Rava
National Marketing & Export Manager
Australian Lock Company Pty. Ltd.

The Australian Lock Company manufactures the Bi Lock device we recommended on page 28 of the June issue.

HK-91 Correction
Reference your excellent and otherwise correct article on “Defense Rifles”, April 1999: Your article on the original German HK-91 had one misleading statement. You state: “It was never available as a fully-auto rifle, so if you can find a German original, you’ve got the same thing that German troops used.” While the HK-91 was only semi-automatic, it was an almost exact copy of the German military issue G-3 rifle. The G-3 was a select-fire semi-auto/full-auto weapon. In my military service, I had the opportunity to fire the G-3. It was a reliable weapon with a slow rate of automatic fire. I was usually able to get a single round fired with a short squeeze of the trigger, and accuracy was excellent. The only design flaw besides its heavy weight is its failure to automatically lock open after the last round in the magazine is fired.

My experience with this weapon led to my purchase of an HK-91. With the addition of an outstanding Williams trigger modification, this gun consistently achieves better than minute-of-angle groups. With the addition of a ARMS scope mount (a quick on/same zero lock) and a Leupold 3×9, this gun is exceptional, but now prohibitively expensive, as you pointed out.

Lt. Col. Michael J. Rooney
USAF (Ret),

Reader Rooney is correct. The G3 has a cyclic rate of fire from 500 to 600 rpm, which he noted is quite slow. That for the M14 is 750 rpm, and the FAL has a rate of fire of 650 to 700 rpm.

More .357 Sig Questions
I have a few questions regarding the March 1999 article on .357 Sigs.

Question 1: The S&W Sigma was rated bad. I have a 9mm S&W Sigma Model SW9F. Since it’s also a Sigma, are they in the same boat, meaning the 9mm would be just as bad as the .357 you tested? I have not fired more than a dozen rounds through it and keep it as a home-defense gun.

Question 2: In your opinion, which semi-auto would you consider to be tops in both quality and reliability in a defense capacity?

Question 3: What make and caliber do the top law agencies (FBI, Secret Service) carry?

Question 4: Is the Federal Premium 9mm center-post hollow point used by the top agencies?

Vic Deutsch
Bonners Ferry, ID

Answer 1: The problems we encountered with our Sigma included failures to feed and failures to fire due to light firing-pin strikes. Because of its bottle-neck shape, the .357 SIG cartridge has a theoretical feeding advantage over your 9mm, and the firing pin springs ought to be identical, which means your Sigma has a strong potential to malfunction, based on our limited testing of one handgun. Why not find out if your gun works? If you are going to trust your life to a handgun, we believe you should fire at least 1,000 rounds through it and expect zero malfunctions of any kind. If you have any problems, fix them and begin again to count to 1,000 shots, with zero malfunctions. Only then should a prudent person begin to have enough faith in the machine to trust one’s life to it. Now, 1,000 rounds at $20 per 100 means spending around $200 for ammo. Is your life worth that? By the time you’ve fired all that ammo through the handgun, you’ll be very familiar with it, and that means you’ll be better prepared if you ever have to use the gun. Let’s assume the gun can’t fire even 200 rounds without significant problems. By the time you’ve fired those you’ll know whether you really want to keep the gun.

Question 2: There is no self-defense handgun better than the Colt 1911A1 (and its variants) in .45 ACP. For legal reasons we suggest top-quality hollowpoint ammunition; never use handloads.

Questions 3 and 4: A variety of agencies, plus divisions in those agencies, use different guns and ammo. We don’t necessarily think it’s the right decision for a consumer to base his buying decisions on what professionals use on the job.

CVA Criticism
I cannot agree with your March 1999 assessments of the CVA Bobcat and the T/C Hawken. I have been shooting a T/C Hawken for nearly 25 years and two years ago bought a Bobcat new in the box for the princely sum of $96 at Wal-Mart. These are not the only muzzleloaders I own and shoot. I have a pair of .50-caliber Italian-made rifles from Cabela’s, a wonderful Knight in-line, and a fairly valuable Johnathan Browning Mountain Rifle by Browning.

Of all the smokepoles I have owned over the years, the CVA Bobcat stands out as one of the poorest examples of blackpowder rifles I have ever seen. This is not true of other CVA rifles. I had a CVA Apollo that had the original barrel recalled. CVA promptly sent a replacement barrel, and then the bolt/hammer assembly would not work. The company repaired the entire unit and sent it back to me at no charge, and it not only was a dependable hunting gun, it actually was as accurate as the Knight. The Bobcat, on the other hand, was a fiasco from the time I opened the box. Granted, the rifle was light and quick handling, but the gun misfired on virtually every drop of the hammer. For the same money ($150 to $175) hunters could do a lot worse than one of the Cabela’s Hawken type rifles.

Bill Lynn
Halfway, MO


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here