Too Late to Leave Illinois? Nah.

Reader Walter asks about his home state’s recent gun-ban law. Yeah, it’s a doozie. Reader Ron wonders if we might “Equalize” an upcoming test with a Walther PDP. And more lever-action reviews?


Re “Downrange: The Commonly Owned AR-15,” September 2022

Todd, have you had a chance to review the Illinois gun ban? A handguard makes a weapon an assault weapon? A mass shooter couldn’t wear gloves? Why 50-caliber weapons and ammo? I wish I would have moved out of Illinois when I had a chance. Wish us luck. — Walter

Hey Walter: Yes, I’ve looked at the Illinois gun ban extensively, and it’s a bad one. But I’ve already read where the National Shooting Sports Foundation and others have sued to prevent Illinois from enforcing the recently enacted law that bans most semi-automatic firearms, including Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), certain models of semi-automatic handguns and standard-capacity magazines. For our readers in other states, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB 5471, among the nation’s most expansive gun-control laws. It bans the sale of hundreds of models of rifles, including commonly-owned MSRs, certain semi-automatic handguns and rifle magazines with a capacity greater than 10 cartridges and pistol magazines with a capacity greater than 15 cartridges. This law is clearly unconstitutional, and it deprives law-abiding Americans from being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. A lot of the gun-banners think MSRs are some new tech, but semi-automatic firearm technology is more than a century old. The Mannlicher Model 85 was designed by gunsmith Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher in 1885. Winchester Repeating Arms introduced the semi-auto Model 1903 to the U.S. commercial market in 1903. Detachable box magazines were first introduced with the Jarre harmonica pistol of 1862 and later saw commercial success with Mauser in 1896. The AR-15 was first designed by Eugene Stoner for ArmaLite, Inc., and introduced to the commercial market by Colt Manufacturing in 1963. Since then, the AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle, produced by hundreds of firearm manufacturers, has become the most popular-selling semi-automatic centerfire rifle sold in American today. It’s hard to believe it won’t be covered by the “in common use” test in Heller and Bruen. I wish you did not have to suffer under these rules. But it’s never too late to leave, right? — Todd Woodard

Re “Testing the 30 Super Carry Vs. 380 ACP and 9mm Pistols,” July 2022

First there were the S&W EZs, now there is the S&W Equalizer and Walther PDP F-Series. With my 70-year-old wife deciding to learn to shoot, I would like to see you compare these handguns, including slide-retraction effort, a measurement that none of my other gun magazines report. — Ron

Ron, I do have a test of the Equalizer in the works, and separately a PDP F that I will get published asap. Thanks for the interesting ideas. — tw

Re “Drop-In Glock Triggers: Apex, OverWatch, Timney Compared,” January 2023

Todd, first of all, congrats for a great publication. I may not be interested in all of your reviews, Glock triggers to name one, but a lot of people love and use those pistols, I just have never been enamored with a Glock. All the reviews of 10mm pistols don’t appeal to me either because they are too much recoil on my arthritic wrists and the pistols themselves are too heavy to carry. But it doesn’t hurt me a bit to be better informed on all aspects of firearms.

May I suggest a comparison of lever-action rifles, 38 Special/357 Magnums by Rossi, Henry, and Winchester, and .410-bore lever shotguns by Henry, Winchester, and the new G Force, for evaluation? Also, it was mentioned there’s a new version of the 1903 Colt hammerless in 32 ACP, and in my mind the Browning 85% 1911, not an exact copy, as it has an exposed hammer, but the width and size are comparable as caliber, and the Colt advertising slogan comes to mind: Flat as a book, to fit in a pocket of a coat, and not be seen. Also, in my book, a substitute for the J-frame for concealed carry is the Kimber Micro 9, which has more ammo capacity, is thinner, and is just as compact, but that’s a deal breaker for many because it’s an automatic, and not a revolver. In another vein, I recently purchased a Hellcat and a SIG XL365. The SIG came with a factory-mounted red dot, and the Hellcat I put a Shield red dot on, but no optics plate as with the SIG. But the SIG didn’t have a Romeo instruction manual supplied either. Instructions were available online. They also tell you some magazines will work, and others for the 365 won’t, but they fail to mention all that’s needed is to switch out the base plate. It’s amazing what the companies don’t tell you.

I like the size and night sights of the SIG and the little longer barrel at 3.7 inches. The SIG grip feels thinner than the Hellcat. The Hellcat is a great pistol also, and lends itself to carrying in the 9- to 10-o’clock position, which after my hip surgery was much more comfortable than 4- to 5-o’clock carry. Both are great pistols, and red dots take a little getting used to, and I have found that putting the red dot in line with the iron sights is where I can hit what I’m aiming at, and at a higher percentage of the time.

I better quit for now Todd; thanks again for all you guys do. I look forward to each publication. — Mike

Hey Mike: I appreciate the ideas on the lever-actions and the smaller-cartridge pistols. I’m interested in the .410-bore comparison, having owned a Winchester 9410 lever-action .410 bore in the past. Also, we enjoy doing the before-and-after comparisons on older guns, such as the recent Hi-Powers. — tw

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