How to Get an Old Issue of GT

Reader Aaron wants to get an 13-year-old copy of the magazine. It’s doable, within limits. Also, how does the search function work on Reader Ronald remembers an older Featherweight.


How to Get an Old Issue?

I am curious as to the availability of past issues. I happened to be on the cover of the October 1997 issue, and I am looking to find an original issue (or good copy). I had a copy at some point but can only find a rough copy. If this is available, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your efforts. — Aaron

Hey Aaron: We do have very limited samples of back issues we will sell, but it’s month to month. You can contact customer service and ask what’s available. Many digital issues are also available. However, you’ll need the correct month and year. Based on the cover above, it doesn’t appear to be October 1997. — Todd Woodard

Searching On

I like the fresh new format of the redone website, but I am frustrated in trying to find reviews of specific guns. For instance, I tried to search “Ruger American Ranch” and got:

— a Master Index

— an updated index

— a letter to the editor

— a “rifles update”

— an article about new Ruger products that doesn’t include the American Ranch

— a comparison of 44 Magnum rifles, etc., and not one review of a Ruger American Ranch rifle of any caliber. I know the reviews exist because I have referenced them in the past. How do I find them now? Am I just slow? Is there a way to go straight to a review? 95% of what I use Gun Tests for is to research the reviews. Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong. — Frustrated

Well, first some general information. We have transferred material from the old website into a new container, and we’re working on a variety of data transfers to get some old functionality back on the current The easiest way to narrow your search results is to use a single keyword, the more nearly unique, the better. For instance, if you search for just “ranch,” you’ll get this title as your fifth listing: “Threaded-Barrel Bolt Guns In 300 Blackout and 308 Win.” The Ruger Ranch 06968 is reviewed there (May 2018). That’s the only review of the line we’ve done. We have done other reviews of “Ranch” rifles, but they’ve been rimfires or Mini-14s. We’ve also reviewed the Ruger American Rifle Standard 6903 and Ruger American Standard 6904. I appreciate the question because updating the website is a work in progress and can be frustrating. Also, you’ve pointed out how little we’ve covered that Ranch Rifle, and we probably need to get something going on it. Got a chambering you’re particularly interested in? — tw

Re “Shoulder Holsters Compared,” April 2020

Dear Editor: I enjoyed your review of shoulder holsters. I thought I would pass along a tip I received many years ago. Quickly reaching across your body to draw from a shoulder holster can tend to make your torso rotate, so you can find yourself “chasing” the gun as your body turns. For a right hander, grasping the cover garment with the left hand at the same level as the gun and pulling the garment the opposite direction (i.e., to the right for a right hander) and outward from the body will reduce or eliminate the rotation and help keep the holstered gun in position for the draw, plus it gets the cover garment out of the way of the draw. — John

Great tip. Thanks for sharing that, John. — tw

Re “Red-Dot EDC Pistols from SIG, S&W, Walther, and Springfield,” March 2020

I appreciate the time you guys took to review the Red Dot EDC Pistols in the March 2020 edition, but I had some issues with the review. At first, the review seemed genuine, but there seemed to be some subjectivity between the Walther PPS M2 and the SIG Sauer P365XL. You mentioned in paragraph two (half of the paragraph) of the Walther review that the slide rails on the Walther are different than the other polymer-framed pistols, which is true. But you didn’t mention any of this for the P365XL, which based on the pictures has the same type of slide rails (even more so as there is no cut out, it runs the length of both sides). I know this as being a certified P365/P365XL armorer, it enhances accuracy.

Another thing not widely known to note, as it isn’t designed this way by SIG, the P365XL and P365 have interchangeable grip frames (similar to the P320, the fire-control unit is the serialized item). With a quick use of a punch, the rear pin can be removed and the entire fire-control unit can be removed. This is not only a benefit for modularity of grip frames, but also for cleaning. I do stress to not attempt any further disassembly or replacement of parts. The process is very complex and should be only completed by SIG Certified Armorers. This modularity changes the game with the P365XL versus the others as one could have both the P365 and P365XL and swap slides or grip modules (or purchase them separately) and change their carry preferences, even more so if you add the P365 SAS.

You also mentioned in the P365XL review the proprietary rail “limits” its use of accessories. This is true, but mention in the Walther review there is no rail, but “probably isn’t that big a deal on a pistol truly designed for concealment.” Which is it, an issue or not? If there is anything, be it proprietary or not, is better than nothing — especially if the big-name laser/light companies, such as Streamlight, are designing the TLR-6 light/laser for it. Personally, I’d take the P365 or Hellcat over the Walther due to ammunition quantity, but being a LEO makes that a factor for me.

Please keep up the good reviews. I’d love to see the Hellcat/Hellcat OSP and the P365/P365XL/P365 SAS go head to head in a review, and I am sure based on the various forums and YouTube video, the CCW reader would as well. Please include holster options in the reviews as well, if at all possible.

By the way, I do agree with Paul and Ed that your comparing apples to oranges when comparing the P365 to the Ruger Security-9 Compact (M&P Compact9 seems more in line), the Stoeger STR-9, and Arex Rex Delta. — KJZ

And we appreciate your thoughts on the hot-selling P365XL, shown above with an extended magazine. I would point out that it earned an A grade in the review. — tw

Re “A Blueprint To Take Your Guns,” April 2020

First, allow me to thank you and your team for all the information you compile. Some I agree with and some I don’t, but it has lead me to rethink some of my opinions on other weapons I have shot, purchased, and sold over the years. Since subscribing to your magazine, I really like to start with your editorial. I look back on my 20+ years in the service (Marines), and I really wonder if the time I spent was worth all the head pain. Then, I read the magazine and relax on my front porch, watching my deer as they walk around the yard, and I conclude that the time in service was worth it, at least that’s what my wife says. As for your latest comments in the Downrange column, you’re dead on, and most people act like they’re not interested due to the fact they believe it will never happen, that they could lose their gun rights. My wife and I talk a lot about the topic, and she believes that until the people lose their rights, they’ll have no idea what is going on until it’s too late. Well, I will wrap this up and leave you with a few thoughts:

  1. Back in the late 70s, early 80s, the politicians tried the same thing, taking away our guns.
  2. With the coronavirus today and more people purchasing handguns for protection, a politician made the remark, “What people are thinking today is, ‘This country was founded by intelligent men, and is now being run by idiots.”

Mr. Woodard, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your team, and again I thank you. — DJ

DJ, thanks are due to you for your service. Two decades in the Marines is a big commitment, and we appreciate it. Your wife seems like a super-smart lady. I fear she’s right. In fact, the suspensions of gun rights in several states and cities due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic have shown a lot of very dangerous people how to short-circuit 2nd Amendment rights. Scary. — tw

How About a Rec on a 10mm Auto 1911 Pistol?

My Dad is a retired sheriff’s deputy of 30 years and is in search of a 1911-style 10mm. He is interested in your opinion of the most durable and reliable in the $1300-or-less price range. –Will

Hey Will: We’ve reviewed a few 10mms, some them 1911-style builds. In the March 2019 issue, we recommended the Springfield 1911 RO Elite Operator, $1145. In the November 2017 issue, we liked the Colt Delta Elite O2020XE 10mm Auto, $1099 at the time. The EAA Tanfoglio Witness, $665, was the most affordable gun recently reviewed (May 2017), but it’s not a strict 1911 set up. The Kimber Custom TLE II 3200347 was in your budget window at $1028 in May 2017. Possibly the purtyest gun we’ve reviewed was the now-discontinued Dan Wesson Bruin Bronze 1881, $2194, also reviewed in the May 2017 issue. That should get him started. — tw

Re “308 Bolt-Action Rifles: We Compare Four Head to Head,” April 2020

As a long-time subscriber, I read with interest about the Winchester 70 Featherweight rifle. I bought mine in 2015 (blued not stainless). Before taking it shooting, I cleaned the barrel well of any grease/oil from the factory. I had a Winchester 70 XTR Sporter that I bought back in 1992, that I have put more than 5,500 rounds through it. Even with the 22-inch barrel versus the 24-inch barrel of the Sporter, I got higher velocities with the 22.

Anyway, my Featherweight’s barrel was free floated, except it was hard against the left side of the barrel channel. I carefully pulled the barrel/receiver from the stock and with dowel and 60-grit paper, proceeded to sand away the left side to where I could get four $1 bills through and reshot it.

I shot it at 200 yards and knocked an inch off my group size with match ammunition, getting two 3⁄4-inch five-shot groups with Hornady and Federal factory 168- and Federal factory 175-grain match bullets. Also, I was surprised to see the stock had a solid glass bedding, as opposed to my old Sporter XTR, which had only light bedding.  — Ronald


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