Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0

10 Top Handgun Choices for 2017

2017 saw its share of new guns, as well as overstocked shelves before the election of President Trump. Looking back, there are still plenty of new 2017 models to check out or to slip under the tree or ring in the New Year.

Springfield M1A Loaded in 6.5 Creedmoor

Springfield M1A Loaded Released in 6.5 Creedmoor

Springfield Armory’s M1A Series has a hard-won reputation for handling any mission, any condition, any foe, at any range—and for taking home trophies from monster bucks to National Match crowns. Highly precise .308 WIN-chambered M1A models are found in the hands of elite tactical teams, snipers, backcountry hunters and competitive marksmen. Now, skilled shooters can get unmatched Springfield M1A performance in 6.5 Creedmoor caliber.

Springfield XD pistol with three boxes of SIG Sauer ammunition

Range Report: Springfield .357 SIG with XS Sights

I have been exploring a packing handgun for a specific scenario. The bottom line criterion is that the pistol must be completely reliable, accurate enough for personal defense and taking accurate shots at an adversary behind cover, and powerful enough for defense against both biped and quadruped threats. Vehicle penetration is important, and so is penetration against heavy bones.

Bob Campbell cycling the bolt of the Ruger American rifle

Range Report: Ruger American — Ruger’s Go Anywhere Do Anything Rifle

Many of us are looking for a rifle that will be a jack of all trades. In the past, the Winchester .30-30 rifle came close with its wide use in hunting and law enforcement. A rifle for taking thin-skinned game, protecting the homestead from predators, and for recreational shooting is a desirable commodity. The Ruger American is a light, handy, powerful rifle that clearly fills the bill for most needs. The Ruger American has been a successful firearm, offering reliability and affordability, combined with excellent performance for American shooters.

Henry lever action rifle over an American flag

Range Report: Taylors and Company 1860 Henry Rifle

I recently took the Taylors and Company Henry rifle to the range. When the Uberti 1860 Henry rifle came out of the case, I was the center of attention. The rifle is historically accurate, beautifully made, and a superior conversation piece. It is all somewhat secondary to the shooting but satisfying just the same. The kindred soul that understands what the rifle is admires the purchase while others listen attentively to the tale of the Henry rifle.

Taylors Cattlebrand revolver and Randall Trailblazer Bowie knife

Handguns and the Backcountry

America is far from tame, as we have seen recently. Despite the advance of civilization, there are places that are wild and free and not occasionally, but daily dangerous as a matter of course. Intense aridity, sweeping blizzards, terrible heat, dangerous wildlife and natural disasters come often. There are many challenging landscapes. Those who live in Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming on a permanent basis are prepared but sometimes make a misstep. God help the occasional visitor such as myself. Resident or visitor, you need the right caliber handgun for the backcountry.

Chrome revolver top and SIG Sauer Emperor Scorpion bottom

Review: SIG Sauer Emperor Scorpion 10mm

The 10mm cartridge seems to be enjoying a revival. This powerful and accurate cartridge has enjoyed a small but loyal following since its introduction, and there are many reasons this handgun and cartridge combination are enjoying a new appreciation. As the late Jeff Cooper remarked, the 10mm will do things at 50 yards the .45 ACP cannot.

1911 pistol that is cocked and locked

Pistols 101: Pistol Actions and Triggers Versus Performance

The story of handguns and how they work is very interesting but may also be frustrating to the beginner. Some definitions are stretched by the makers. As an example, quite a few handguns cloud the definition of double-action or double-action-only operation. Even within types such as double-action first shot there are other categories such as selective double action.

Kel-Tec KSG shotgun, gray, profile right

By the Numbers: America’s Top 5 Shotguns

Semi-auto handguns topped the list, which was not much of a surprise. Likewise, semi-auto rifle topped it category, but when it comes to shotguns, that sweet sound of a pump being racked tops the list. Then again, with some of the awesome sales over the past couple of years, who hasn’t picked up a couple extras for when a SHTF scenario becomes reality?

Sarsilmaz SAR 9 pistol with slide locked back and loaded spare magazine in a gray t-shirt

Review: Sarsilmaz SAR 9 Pistol

Though not a familiar name on this side of the globe, Sarsilmaz has been manufacturing guns since 1880, when it opened as a small producer of shotguns. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, the factory has massive CNC machining capabilities and other modern equipment. It is also the only privately-owned gun factory in the country, as well as the only company supplying pistols for Turkish law enforcement and military use.

Colt LE6920 AR-15

By the Numbers: America’s Top 5 Rifles

The ATF numbers show that rifles gave pistols a close run for the top spot. While the category can be broken down into three subcategories, semi-automatic, bolt action, and lever actions, no one reading this will be surprised that semi-autos dominate the category.

Woman shooting the M249S rifle

Recall: FN Issues Mandatory Safety Recall of FN M249 Rifles

Safety first of course. FN has discovered a design flaw that could make your FN M249S or PARA unsafe, but the company is stepping up and fixing the problem at no cost to the owner. Not all M249Ss are affected so FN has set up a web page to check your serial number and determine whether your rifle needs a new hammer group. Read the full detail in the release from FN America.

Performance Center Ported M&P Shield pistol

By the Numbers: America’s Top 5 Pistols

If there is one thing I love, it is a good debate over which gun is best. The regulars all make the list, and that is fine, but the creativity and opinions of the readers is really what’s eye opening and makes it a good a read for me. That being said, this list is strictly based on the numbers, so it is perfect fodder for a good shredding—do your worst.