In 1964 there were no surviving bigbore, lever-action rifle cartridges. The Winchester lever-action rifles were long out of production and the Marlin .45-70 rifles only a memory. Marlin saw a market for a bigbore rifle that used a hard-hitting cartridge, which was instantly recognizable as a woods rifle. The result of its market research and testing was the .444 Marlin cartridge.
Fabrique Nationale recently announced that the Browning Hi-Power pistol is being discontinued from manufacture. In the perfect handgunning world, all pistols would have the mix of history, performance, and collector interest of the FN Hi-Power. The Hi-Power is among the most recognizable handguns worldwide. If you scan the news, you may see a Hi-Power in the hands of Indian police or being waved by a woman during a street battle in Iraq.
Kel-Tec has discovered a potential issue with the Sub-2000 rifle. Although it only affects a limited number of firearms, all sub-2000 rifle owners are advised to stop use until they can determine whether their firearm is affected and/or repaired. Here is the full recall notice from Kel-Tec.
A handgun I wanted to shoot for decades was the Coonan 1911-style .357 Magnum. This combination of power and function is uncommon in a relatively compact package. Recently, I finally had the chance to fire the Coonan. The Coonan isn’t a lightweight handgun but it is far more compact than the Desert Eagle .357 or a six-inch barrel revolver, as an example.
The Smith and Wesson 625 JM is a big burly revolver that has many good design features. This stainless steel revolver features fully adjustable rear sights, a post front sight with a brass insert often referred to as a gold bead, a full underlugged barrel, and a smooth trigger action. The piece is named for Jerry Miculek a wizard of the handgun. Miculek has demonstrated the ability to fire six shots from a custom 625, reload, and fire six more in the span of three seconds.
Some time ago, I began upgrading my on duty gear by a great degree. During the war on terror, and the war on drugs, peace officers often faced heavily-armed felons willing to shoot it out with peace officers. Working in a rural environment, where every household it seemed had a scope-mounted rifle, also colored my choices. The primary focus was people passing through, and I worked a pipeline of drug smuggling.
When it comes to handguns, everyone has a favorite. There are a few I respect for service grade reliability. I give a picayune nod to the big bore revolver, but the 1911 is a handgun that fits my world view. On more than one occasion, the 1911 has adjudicated an argument in my favor. On a personal level, the 1911 has defended me against adversaries with a ferocious enmity toward me, for no other reason than I was attempting to put and end to an illustrious criminal rampage. Those who have vigor and proficiency at arms will find the 1911 is a great fighting handgun.
Over the years, I have seen many people struggle with the handgun. Some older folks, and others with limited hand strength, have a difficult time with the revolver. While revolvers are simple enough to handle, the long double-action trigger press challenges some shooters. The Smith and Wesson M&P .380 pistol is the answer they have been looking for.
I think, in practical terms, I have learned more concerning the world around me, and how to work through an emergency, than most. My father taught we how to manage my finances, maintain vehicles, and be a man. My grandfather had a genuine love for animals and taught me to care for them and also taught me how to hunt successfully. My grandmother taught me to prepare food. Today, many are concerned with being prepared. We call them preppers. I think they are simply self-reliant folks who do not wish to stand on the corner and beg for help with the sheep when things go wrong. Firearms are a critical part of the plan too.
Among the most exciting rifles to come down the pike this year is the Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle. This is a bolt-action rimfire rifle chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The rifle is based on the full-size Ruger Precision rifle. The rifle would make a great understudy for the .308 rifle, but it is also a fine choice for anyone interested in using an accurate rifle for recreational shooting or small game hunting.
Recently, The Shooter’s Log reported on the release of M1 rifles (Initial Release and Ordering Update) to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Several readers left comments regarding price, availability, and quality. As opposed to new, the M1s from the CMP are pieces of history. Many of those M1s will be scooped up by collectors, other buyers have intentions such as home defense or competition. Whatever your intention, the M1 has been serving Americans since it replaced the M1903 Springfield in the 1930s, and saw service into Vietnam. Later, the M1 was replaced by the select fire M14. For those who want a new M1A—the civilian version of the M14—Springfield’s Master Gunsmiths are on the job. See what goes into building an M1A and check out Springfield’s limited time offer to get three free additional magazines with a purchase of a new M1A.
When I was looking for my first self-defense pistol, I surveyed law enforcement. SIG Sauer ranked well among law enforcement as a personal choice. This was a couple decades ago and at the time, the SIG P226 or P228 topped many officers list. The only handgun I regularly heard LEOs state they would (or had) traded their SIG for was the HK USP—they were that good. Technology, trends, and attitudes have changed considerably in the last 20 or so years, but Heckler & Koch’s quality remains a top contender with the HK VP9.
Pink guns are great, and Tiffany Blue models earn plenty of style points. However, firearms have a purpose and that is putting rounds on target. If you want a particular color, order it or send it to your favorite gunsmith to have it Cerakoted. That works for all guns, but color does not make a handgun right for a woman. Women need guns we can count on to defend our family or person. Guns that ring steel in competition or tear the center out of the 10-ring out of paper when in capable hands, so those were the criteria for this list.
Among the biggest and most interesting markets for firearms is the cowboy action shooting market. The appetite of the buying public for replicas of the guns of the Old West is a healthy one. The originals are pretty expensive these days. Many were well made of good material, but they are simply are too valuable for most of us to use.
This will be the final auction held at Julia’s fabled Fairfield, Maine auction barn before all future auctions move to Morphy Auctions Locations in Denver, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas. Here is the entire release, for those who are serious investors and the rest of of us who will simply drool and dream…
Legislators are proposing all sorts of new legislation that ranges from changing the legal age to buy certain to firearms to outright bans on entire types of firearms, primarily Modern Sporting Rifles such as the AR-15. Although no one can be certain what the future may hold, these situations always cause a spike in interest among first time buyers and seasoned enthusiasts alike. It would be an impossible task to whittle any Top AR list to 10, so instead, we decided to pull a handful of favorites that cover law enforcement, home defense, sporting, and hunting, just to get you started.
Last week, Cheaper Than Dirt!’s The Shooter’s Log ran an article announcing the U.S. Army’s release of 100,000 M1 Garand rifles to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Several of you expressed great interest in owning one of these fine, historical shooting pieces and requested that more details to be forwarded along as soon as they became available. Here is the full story straight from the CMP.
Beretta introduced a handgun a few years ago that was not revolutionary—instead it was evolutionary. The PX4 Storm married the proven Beretta double-action trigger and de-cocking safety to a polymer frame. Those preferring a double-action first-shot pistol had a relatively inexpensive alternative to the Beretta 92, and those wishing a durable and reliable polymer frame handgun had a counterpoint to the Glock. The primary advantage of the pistol is accuracy.