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.
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.
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.
Les Baer handguns are legendary 1911s with more than a little hand fitting, and a vial of the maker’s sweat included. They are built, rather than assembled, and offer topflight performance for discerning shooters.
Springfield’s SAINT was the first AR-15 rifle to proudly wear the Springfield Armory stamp. The rifle has been described as entry level but this isn’t really true. There are more expensive rifles, but the Springfield isn’t cheap—it is simply below the $900 threshold. The rifle has good features, and it is built for reliability.
It is notable that while modern defensive ammunition has received a great deal of development—and competition is fierce—we are still using the same old lead and jacketed bullets as we have for the past 120 years or more. The high degree of reliability inherent in modern manufacturing by Federal Cartridge Company has crossed over into practices lines such as the Federal American Eagle, but by and large the same, jacketed bullet is used. Federal recently finished a years long development of a new practice load, and the American Eagle Syntech is well worth your time and effort to obtain and use.
For some time, American Tactical Imports has offered affordable firearms giving everyone a chance to get into the shooting game. These 1911s may be diamonds in the rough, but they are single-action 1911 handguns, and they are .45s. These GI-type guns have given many shooters on a budget the opportunity to try their hand at Old Slabsides at an exciting price.
Over the past century, many gun makers have offered their own branded ammunition. Among the most successful have been Remington and Winchester. A few makers have offered ammunition made by outside vendors, including Smith and Wesson and Taurus. In these cases, things did not go as well. Browning, however, is another story.
In the 1970s, SIG Sauer introduced one of the most reliable handguns the world has seen. The P220, and its later variants, gained an excellent reputation for accuracy, reliability, and durability by passing many difficult institutional test programs. The P220 sprang off the P225, P226, P228, P229, and other handguns. The original .45 caliber P220 remains a popular handgun. While SIG offered a handgun with comparable capacity to the 1911 .45, the pistol was eventually perceived to be at a disadvantage compared to the Glock 21 and HK .45s with their high capacity magazines. SIG introduced the P227 to counter this shortcoming.
I feel, among the best all-around defensive handguns for home use is the .38 Special revolver with a short barrel. The short-barreled .38 offers a host of advantages over the auto loader and a time-tested track record second to none.
Ruger’s SR1911 line continues to expand with the introduction of the Ruger SR1911 10mm. This handgun differs considerably from previous pistols and may arguably be one of the best 10mm 1911 handguns ever built.
It is common for makers to offer special versions of popular handguns with features that will appeal to many shooters. The price is often less than it would cost to add these features to an existing gun. Some of the features do not appeal to every shooter, so they are kept as special editions rather than production models. One of the most popular Glock models, and in my opinion, the most effective is the Vickers Tactical treatment of the Glock 17 9mm handgun.
A few years ago, the Canik TP9 pistol was introduced in America. A product of the Turkish arms industry, the pistol was a credible, but not exact, clone of a Walther design. The pistol has proven reliable and accurate enough. The price point is attractive and the pistol is well established.
I have considerable experience with CZ pistols, from the original CZ 75 to the CZ P-01 and other variants. But nothing prepared me for the experience of handling and firing the newest CZ pistol, the CZ P10-C. It isn’t radical in design and technology, but it is different from anything CZ has done before.
When I opened the box, my first thought was, “I am so lucky.” The stock on the new CZ 455 rifle showed excellent fit and figure. CZ rifles are never bad, but this was an exceptional piece.
Ruger has expanded its line of 1911 handguns considerably since the introduction of the original SR1911 a few years ago. There is a steel frame Commander version, lightweight Commander .45, and now an SR1911 9mm Commander. These handguns have proven to be reliable, accurate, and a good value. They are service grade and deserve the attention of anyone interested in a quality 1911 handgun.
I have a well-developed sense of history. I understand the emotional attachment some of us have for historical firearms. Just the same, I am not a collector, but by definition, I am an accumulator of firearms. I appreciate the great bolt-action rifles of the past including the Lee Enfield, Springfield, and Mauser. Wartime versions with the furniture intact are the most interesting and desirable rifles.
I am new to lever action rimfire rifles, having grown up with auto-loading .22 rifles like the Mossberg 702 and the Ruger 10/22. However, I was eager to review my Henry Golden Boy Silver the moment I picked it up at my local dealer, both as a firearm and from a perspective of someone completely new to the platform.