Sharing Downrange with CO

Reader Keith wants to send our editorials as “ammunition” to help politicians who don’t want to restrict gun rights in the Centennial State. We are happy to say yes. Also, problems with an LCP trigger.


Downrange to Denver? Sure

Hello, I’m a happy subscriber and would like permission to send the September and October “Downrange” columns to the Broomfield and possibly the Denver city councils here in Colorado. Broomfield is in the middle of evaluating a package of laws put together by the City of Boulder, with Giffords and “Moms” covering just about every gun control wish. These are being shopped to communities around the Boulder area to see who will bite. While I don’t think the Downrange columns will change minds, there are people on the councils who need “ammunition,” and others who jump onto the fence when they hear the word “lawsuit.” When the Broomfield council last had a study session on the issue, their attorney indicated that the only lawsuits going on were the local ones against the City of Boulder.

Please let me know if it would be acceptable to send those columns with an acknowledgement of where they came from. Thanks and keep up the good work, both in 2nd Amendment reporting and in testing! — Keith

Hey Keith: Go ahead and send. Thanks for checking. For as long as I’ve been doing this, I’ve encouraged sharing the 2A editorials with whomever can use them. — Todd Woodard

LCP MAX Trigger Bite

Todd, I have been an avid pistol shooter for more than 60 years, and when I was recently in the market for something smaller than my usual constant companion, a SIG P-365 in a Galco Predator, the Ruger LCP MAX caught my eye. The 10+1 capacity and the provided pocket holster sold me, and the little banger is small enough and light enough to be very comfortable in my pocket. My first trip to the range was clouded by the biting of the sharp-edged blade safety and the tip of the trigger itself. The small trigger guard and short trigger causes my finger to slip down during trigger pull until it was bearing the weight of the 5-pound pull on the very tip of the sharp blade and the trigger, with some finger slipping under the tip of the trigger. An uncomfortable bite occurred upon recoil. After six or seven rounds, I had to find a bandage to cushion my finger from this unfriendly trigger. I called Ruger to see if they could replace it with a trigger that was more user friendly, such as those on the SIGs, Springfields, or Shields we own. It was a very short conversation, with the lady representative promptly telling me that was the only trigger available, and not even to “have a nice day.” Do you have any thoughts on this issue? — Harold

Hey Harold: I looked to see if we had caught this problem in our reviews of the LCP Max, and saw that while we’ve tested more than two dozen LCP variants, we haven’t tested a Max yet. I will move to get that done. I have fired an LCP Max with a Galloway Precision Sigurd replacement trigger shown above that solves the pinching issue you describe, which plagued some other LCP variants as well. They’re $40 at — tw

Re “Firing Line,” December 2022

In your last edition, there was a letter from someone complaining about his treatment from a gun manufacturer. I don’t want to recount his complaint, but I wish to compliment Walther for their superb warranty treatment of me. I bought a Walther P22 back when Smith & Wesson was importing them and have always loved this gun. It’s great shooting, inexpensive, accurate, and just plain pleasant to shoot. I can’t tell you how many rounds I’ve put through it, but it’s a lot. Always a bit finicky about ammo, it would handle some brands better than others, but recently, it decided to not eject anything. I contacted Walther directly about the problem because they now have a plant and distribution in the U.S.A. Not certain how they would treat the guns imported through S&W, I explained the problems to them and asked if they could fix it. That same day an RMA with shipping label arrived by return email. I shipped my gun back at their expense the next day. Approximately eight to ten days later, I received a package from Walther. I opened the package, expecting to see my gun and a repair bill, but to my absolute surprise instead was a brand-new Walther P22Q as a replacement! At no charge! I was astounded by Walther’s commitment to their guns and their warranty. Not only did they pay the shipping both ways, but they chose to replace their gun originally imported and sold years ago by S&W. I cannot say enough about Walther and their warranty and their commitment to customer service. Wow. Thanks, Walther, from a fan for life! Other manufacturers should take note of how Walther takes care of their customers. — Robert

Hey Robert: I agree — that’s wonderful treatment. And Walther created some brand loyalty with you that will likely last the rest of your life. Thanks for sharing this experience. — tw

Target 9mm Pistols Under $600

I am looking for a good target pistol in 9mm that is in the $600 range. CZ Shadow, some 1911s, etc., are a bit hard to justify as a casual shooter. The Springfield XDM Elite 5.25 looks reasonable, but I can’t find anything on its out-of-the-box accuracy or a comparison to the SIG 226 (which comes up frequently in searches). I know conceal carry is the rage, but I want an inexpensive bullseye pistol. I am an ex-mil, 64-year-old NRA pistol instructor, life member and carrying since the early 1990s. Love to hear your input. — Scott

Scott: “Inexpensive” and “Bullseye” are not terms we normally see used in conjunction. I think, however, you are on the right track. We’ve had good luck over the years with the Springfield Armory XDM Elite pistols, testing them chambered in both 9mm and 10mm. Their Match Enhanced trigger really helps makes a difference on those longer targets. Another pistol you might want to take a look at is the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro model. As of this writing, my research is showing those pistols available online in the $550 to $575 range. Both my wife and I have shot them extensively in USPSA competition with good results. Their trigger is also one of the better samples on the market. Hope this helps. — Joe Woolley

Re “Firing Line,” September 2022

I read with interest the letter from John, the 91-year-old gentleman wondering how to dispose of his 356 TSW S&W handgun. One option, for which he can get a tax deduction, is to donate it to one of the NRA charitable foundations: the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, the NRA Foundation, the NRA Freedom Action Foundation, or the Whittington Center. The NRA will professionally pick up, package, and ship the gun, and insure it, all at no cost to the donor. He can also donate the firearm to the NRA itself, but with no tax deduction. For further information, email Clifford E. Burgess, Jr. at The website link is: He could also donate firearms, with no tax deduction, to the Firearms Policy Coalition. The contact email is: — Donald

Super advice, Donald. Some readers will be mad at the NRA for the transgressions of the executives, but the non-profit arms of the NRA steer clear of that. Also, I love what the FPC is doing in the gun-litigation field. — tw

Makarov Review

In the past, your publication reviewed the 9×18 Makarov pistol and said the safety lever came off while firing the weapon and left an unusually shaped hole in the slide. I do not know if you are aware of this already, but the Makarov is intentionally made so the safety lever and firing pin comes out if you push the safety lever upward beyond the ready-to-fire position and rotate it backwards. Under the part of the safety lever that touches the outside of the slide, there is a spring-steel wire in a depression that keeps tension on the lever to prevent it from moving too easily. I have an East German Makarov that I have had for more than 20 years, and it is extremely accurate and reliable. I have never had any issues. I was taking shooting lessons with a 9mm Parabellum CZ. After the lesson was over, I let the instructor shoot the Makarov. The safety came out along with the firing pin. I put it back together and shot two mags without a problem. The instructor shot it again and it happened again. This had never happened to me in more than 20 years of ownership. The instructor holds his hands really high on the gun, and we wondered if he was hitting the safety with his thumb when the slide recoiled, or if when he took the safety off, he was pushing it up too far? I examined the Makarov at home, and it seems to be working fine.

Do you think any of your test shooters could have inadvertently caused the malfunction by pushing the safety lever way past the horizontal position? Or maybe hitting the safety with their thumbs inadvertently during recoil? I own more expensive guns, but I really like the build quality, accuracy and reliability of this old-school gun, so this disappointed me when this happened. To me, it seems like it is built like a tank. The slide fits tightly and does not have side-to-side play or wiggle in it. — John

Hey John: We actually had the problem with several pistols. I believe the issue you’re referring to is the March 2002 edition. In that test we said, “We didn’t collect accuracy or chro­nograph data because our Bulgarian Makarov threw off the safety lever and dislodged the firing pin on its very first (and last) shot. Firing a standard-pressure Federal American Eagle FMJ bullet, the Mak’s safe­ty lever came loose during recoil and fell off. We reinstalled the lever, but because of safety reasons, we don’t continue testing guns which lose parts when the guns fire. In the October 1999 issue, we tested a Makarov from the now-defunct Miltex Company that met exactly the same fate, albeit after several more rounds — 25 to be exact. Since we have now tried twice to purchase a working Bulgarian Makarov (once new in the box and once out of surplus) and failed each time, we would avoid them. In fact, the only good Makarov we have first-hand experience with is a Russian-made model.” — tw

Pistol Grip Reproduction Services

I have a request for information, as follows: I have a set of very functional custom-made but very rough-looking old grips for a pre-WWI single shot Smith & Wesson Target Model 2 pistol. I’d like to get these grips reproduced in a nice piece of wood.

I’ve searched on-line for businesses that provide this service, but haven’t found any that can help. I’ve also used the S&W online forum, also to no avail. If you can refer me to a grip maker or anyone else who can provide this type of grip-reproduction service, would you let me know, please?

The grips can be detached from the pistol by removing a single screw, so I can send them through the mail without special shipping. However, I would not be comfortable shipping the entire pistol. Thank you. — Dave

Hey Dave: I don’t know of a business that does this, but I’ll turn it over to the very knowledgeable Gun Tests readers and see what they say. If someone has a recommendation, they can email me and I’ll forward the information to you. — tw


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