Re “Rimfire Lever-Action Rifles: Chiappa, Henry, and Rossi,” February 2022
I own several bolt-action and semi-auto 22 LR rifles, plus one lever-action 22, a Winchester Model 9422. Over a few years, I also collected a 9422M, a 9417, and a 9410. Your earlier 22 lever-action comparisons have not included the fine 9422, which was one of the earlier 22 levers. Is there a plan to compare the 9422 with the other currently produced levers? Has there been a report on the 94XX guns in Gun Tests? — Jim
Hey Jim: We reviewed a 9422 in the March 1998 issue and a 9422 22 Magnum in March 1997. We also tested a Winchester Model 9422 Wintuff in December 1996 and the 9422 in June 1994. We probably won’t go back and test the 9422 again unless it comes back into current manufacture. In the March 1998 issue, the latest test of the 9422, we said of the rifle, “Winchester has produced the Model 9422 for a number of years, and this latest $407 version is a beauty. It has a checkered stock made of walnut. All the metal parts of the rifle are made of steel. It is an attractive and solidly built rifle. The round barrel is 20.25 inches long, and the tubular magazine underneath it holds 15 shots of Long Rifle ammunition, and several more Longs. This one doesn’t take Shorts.
“The sights are fixed, with a hooded bead-on-a-post up front and a spring-blade wide-angle V rear sight that has a white triangle below its generous U-notch. The receiver is grooved for tip-off scope mounts. The straight-grip stock ends in a checkered plastic buttplate that does a fairly good job of keeping the stock in place on the shoulder as the lever is worked. The only safety provided is the half-cock position of the hammer, which isn’t a problem for the experienced shooter.”
Further, our shooters said, “The Winchester 9422’s finish was darned near flawless. All metal parts were nicely polished and evenly blued. The wood had a dull satin sheen that complimented the rifle, and the checkering felt just great to all our testers. The straight grip felt much slimmer than that of the Henry H001, but it was actually larger in circumference. Part of that feel came from the fact that the lever rested tightly against the wood, while the Henry’s lever stood off a quarter inch from contacting the wood. The grip of the Winchester measured 5.75 inches, and the fore end girth was 4.75 inches. The dimensions for the Henry were 5.125 inches at the grip and 4.5 inches around the fore end. Our testers were equally divided as to which grip felt better.”
Then, the bottom line: “There is a significant difference in price, though. The Henry lists for $230 and the Winchester for $407, so we have to assess what you get for the additional $177. With the Winchester, you get all-steel construction, including the beautifully machined and finished action, a 1.75-inch-longer barrel, checkered walnut, slight additional weight, a bit more accuracy, and a slightly better sight picture. If you have only $230 to spend, you can buy the Henry and know that you’re not missing a lot without the Winchester. Most of our shooters said they’d probably buy the Winchester, but all agreed that the lighter weight, smooth function, and sound construction of the Henry made that rifle more than adequate. The Henry would save the shooter lots of money.” — Todd Woodard
Re “Double-Action High-Capacity 380 Auto Pistol Shoot-Out,” January 2022
Dear Gun Tests Editor, thank you for an honest evaluation of three budget 380 ACP pistols in the January edition. It featured one of my favorite pistols of all time, the CZ 82/CZ 83 pistol line. I became very well acquainted with them in 2007 when they were being heavily imported into the U.S. from Europe. My first four or five pistols were of the CZ 82 model (9×18 chamber and polygonal rifling) that were in very rough finish states and very good to excellent mechanical condition (per my gunsmith’s evaluation). I bought them for $225 each.
I noticed that the next two pistols (same chamber/bore) were in very fine finish (minor wear on muzzle end of slide), and my gunsmith said internal inspection revealed very little firing. I bought those at $250 each. I immediately contacted my importer and asked if they had any more from this import lot, and they said they had what appeared to be virtually-new old-stock pistols. I inquired about the pricing and was told if I bought one to five pistols, they would be $250 each. And if I bought in quantities of six or more, I could get them for $235 each. I immediately purchased 10 and was completely amazed at the condition of these pistols because they had no finish wear at all, and the only blemish on them was the importer’s markings on the left side of the slide. My gunsmith verified that each of these pistols were only test fired and put away in an armory. They had Cosmoline on them with a wax-paper type of wrap. I bought them as an investment and have kept five of the pistols for my own collection. All have been upgraded with fiber-optic sights and English walnut grips, and the others were sold to good friends for $400 with the upgrades. I was also able to get three nearly-new-condition CZ 83s for $260 each. I upgraded them, too. My wife has a CZ 83 and I have the other.
The last CZ 82 handgun was inspected, upgraded, and put into a walnut presentation box and certified by my gunsmith as New/Old Stock. He was very surprised when I gave it to him in appreciation of the extensive work in cleaning and inspecting these fine pistols. It is one of my favorite EDC pistols.
Now, the purpose of this letter is to note that the first two pictures in this review appear to be CZ 82 pistols that may have 380 ACP barrels as they have the lanyard ring on the bottom of the handgrip frame behind the magazine. The last picture appears to be a CZ 83 as there is no lanyard ring. Another tell-tale difference between the two models is that the trigger guard is rounded on the front of the CZ 82 frame and more squared (similar to the Bersa’s) on the CZ 83. My inquiry to CZ about these differences years ago was that there were very few (fewer than 50) low-numbered CZ 83’s that were really CZ 82s with the 380 button-rifled barrels and CZ 83–stamped slides.
In any case, thank you for an excellent article on this really great pistol line, and I really enjoyed it. Another comment, you said that the CZ may have been “over-built.” It is a very-well-built, sturdy pistol that will take a lot of abuse and remain intact. Buffalo Bore Ammo company personnel say that they use a CZ 82 to test-fire their 9×18 Makarov ammo line because it is a tough pistol! — John P. Kirkpatrick, 3-J Firearms Association
John, thanks for the insights on the CZs. It seems to us that a CZ chambered in either 380 ACP or 9×18 Makarov would be a good bet as an everyday-carry gun. — tw
Dear Todd, I was interested in the January 2022 issue’s comparative test of pistols chambered in 380 ACP because it included the CZ 83. I was sad that your enthusiasm was dulled by its limited availability. You should have mentioned that the CZ 83 was a variant of the otherwise identical CZ 82, which was chambered for 9×18 Makarov, a cartridge very comparable (if not superior) to the 380 ACP. It is hard to say how many CZ 82s are available, but your readers should know it is a viable alternative. — Michael
Re “9mm and 38 Specials: SIG vs. Ruger and Smith Wheelguns,” December 2021
I’m a revolver fan and enjoyed reading “The Bottom Line” points in your handgun comparison in the December 2021 issue of Gun Tests. I especially enjoyed the six-point comparison of snub-nosed revolvers and pants-pocket-size semi-autos. Let me add two more thoughts on that. For safety and security, I almost always carry pistols in a waistband holster with a retention strap. I’m a big fan of CTC lasergrip sights because just about any inexpensive off-the-shelf holster fits. That’s not so for the small semi-autos with laserguard sights, and getting a custom holster is expensive and takes too long. More important, the comment in the second bullet on page 13 reads, “The revolver doesn’t care if you put five different kinds of old ammo in there. If it doesn’t work, press the trigger again.” I learned not to do that when I was about 10 years old, and my dad was teaching me how to shoot his Colt 38 Special revolver. We were shooting old ammo, and I pulled the trigger a second time on a squib load. Boom! The barrel peeled back like a banana and my hand stung. That day I learned a lasting lesson to wait a few minutes and then check for barrel obstructions after a squib round before you press the trigger again! — Gary
Re “Dry-Fire Trainers: Save Money While You Gain Performance,” October 2018
Although I read a number of magazines, I have yet to see an article comparing the various training systems that are made to practice skills at home. I would certainly like to see an objective comparison of the systems available, and I am sure your other readers would as well. In this time of overpriced ammo and lots of new gun owners, such an article would be a great money saver. — Carl
Hey Carl: Robert Sadowski did a test of several systems in the issue mentioned above, in particular, units from LaserLyte, Dry-fire Mag, CheapShot, Laser Ammo, iTarget, Mantis, and G-Sight products. He wrote, “Remember when dry-fire training, first be sure your weapon is unloaded and ammunition is not accessible. Holes in the living room wall can be embarrassing at the least and at its worst, deadly for someone in the next room. Always follow common-sense gun-handling safety rules. Also, when using a laser, never point it near your face because it can damage your eyes.” We tested two Dry-fire Mags, one for Glock Standard Frame and one for Smith & Wesson M&P, giving both A- grades. Of them, we said, “The Dry-fire Mags would be enhanced if they were the actual weight of a fully loaded magazine because it would give the pistol a more realistic weight and better simulate the shooting experience.” Next, we tried a LaserLyte Trainer Pistol 9mm, grading it as an A-. We said, “It worked with all laser-compatible targets, and that is the way we preferred to use it. On its own, the red-dot flash of the LaserLyte gave the user instance feedback about whether the target was hit. On its own, it is good, with a laser-compatible target, it is better. The CheapShot Tactical Training Laser 9mm also got an A- grade, with it being similar in design to the LaserLyte. We said, “The CheapShot cost less than the LaserLyte and Laser Ammo cartridges and worked just as effectively.” The Laser Ammo SureStrike Premium Kit 9mm got an A grade. What sets this laser cartridge apart from the others is that you can buy optional caliber adapters, so the 9mm laser cartridge can be configured to train with 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 357 SIG, 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, and 300 Win. Mag. and 12- and 20-gauge shotguns.
In the review, we said, “Though the most expensive, the SureStrike offered better construction and added safety with the threaded pipe extensions and safety cap. We also liked that the kit was stored in a case and not easily misplaced. We liked the included target and the cartridges’ ability to adapt to other pistol and rifle calibers as well as shotgun gauges.” The Laser Ammo LaserPET also got an A grade. We said, “The Laser Personal Electronic Target (PET) is a standalone laser training target that is used in combination with the SureStrike laser cartridge or any other laser cartridges. The LaserPET helps you record hits and times, and this makes the training more valuable because you can chart your progress. In our opinion, this target is well suited to drawing and firing on a target. Most public ranges do not allow this type of training, and for good reason — it is dangerous for bystanders to be swept with a loaded pistol. This allows you to train in ways you cannot at a public range. If you want to get a general indication of your progress, we’d pair the LaserPET with a laser cartridge.”
Also earning an A grade were the iTarget, Target Sled and Laser Bullet Package and iTarget Quick Draw. The iTarget works with both Apple and Android devices. It comes with a plastic base that holds the smart phone in front of the target. As the laser hits the target, a subtle gunshot sound is made and a hole appears on the phone screen. We liked that this system provided a holder for your smart phone, which makes using these apps easier. We also liked the ability to save targets and refer to them after multiple training sessions to see if our scores decreased or increased.
The Mantis Tech Mantis X earned an A grade as well. The Mantis Xtrainer is quite different compared to the other trainers. It can provide immediate feedback on each shot you take, whether dry-fire or live fire. It uses a sensor that attaches to the Picatinny-style rail of any pistol or rifle. Our Team Said: “We used the Mantis in live- and dry-fire training, and we felt this trainer provided the best data collection, plus it offered recommendations on how to correct bad shots.” Hope this helps out. — tw