2012 is in the rearview window now. Some guns I handled and shot in the past year have come and gone and won’t be missed. However, a handful made a big impact, and now that they are gone, I want them back. So in 2013, I may slake my gun-buying thirst with a handful of interesting rifles, pistols and shotguns that I knew only too briefly last year, and whose absence I now regret.
Benelli Ultra Light 28 Gauge
The slim Ultra Light weighed just under 5 pounds. It felt great between my hands and was lightning-quick on both birds and five-stand targets. Unlike a light 12 gauge, less recoil from the 28-gauge shell made the UL fun and easy to shoot. Patterning (30-inch circle at 30 yards) with the supplied Modified choke produced 75% density when fired with Winchester AA Target loads (2 3/4 inch, 3⁄4 ounce, No. 7 1⁄2 shot, average muzzle velocity of 1300 fps). On the outside of the circle, I found only three 3-inch holes in the pattern. The Ultra Light uses Benelli’s Inertia Driven system that features only three moving parts—the bolt body, inertia spring and rotating bolt head. So cleanup was a snap afterward. Going price: We don’t have this shotgun listed at CTD, but “buy it now” prices at GunAuction.com and other online sites put the counter price around $1600, with the MSRP being $1760.
H&K P7 9mm
Long ago, I had a P7M8, but I’d never handled a P7 until June 2012. First, I dry-fired it with a snap-cap and noticed how naturally it pointed. For a steel gun firing 9mm +P rounds it didn’t kick much, and I found the squeeze-cocking mechanism to be easy to use. The trigger and sights were excellent, and I didn’t have to fight muzzle flip like on many lighter polymer guns. Cleanup was easy, with most of the parts that need day-to-day attention right under the grip panels. It’s a collectible to be sure, but still has game. “Buy it now” listings at GunAuction.com and other online sites puts the counter price around $800.
Smith & Wesson 108485 1911 SC Enhanced E-Series Pistol .45 ACP
Bobtailed 1911s from Wilson and Kimber have more competition now. I fired about 200 rounds through a friend’s Enhanced pistol and loved the way the round butt felt in my hand. The E-Series is packed with features, the biggest being the frame alloy. This gun weighed in at 29 ounces empty, a result of weight savings of scandium versus steel, plus, this is a Commander-sized pistol with a 4.25-inch barrel. The two-tone gun came with tritium night sights, oversize extractor and combat ejection port in the stainless slide. Scalloping in the slide looked great, and the wooden laminate E-Series grips are likewise distinctive. The trigger pull was 5.3 pounds, which seemed to improve the more I shot it. Another item not listed here at CTD, it seems to be selling for around $1100.
Adcor Defense Brown Enhanced Automatic Rifle (B.E.A.R.) #201-2040E 5.56mm NATO/223 Rem.
In the B.E.A.R., the gas block is attached to the rail rather than the 18-inch barrel. Having the gas block separate from the barrel allows the barrel to be free floating. The ambidextrous forward-placed charging handle/forward placed assist allowed me to work the bolt without raising my head—a big plus in prone. The B.E.A.R wears a Magpul telescoping six-position buttstock and Magpul pistol grip. The rifle comes supplied with two Magpul P-Mag magazines. The Adcor had a decent 8.0-pound trigger break. I fired five-shot groups at 50 yards with red-dot sights and got 0.7-in. average group sizes with Ultramax .223 Rem. 52-gr. HP #223R1 rounds. Monarch (Barnaul) .223 Rem. 55-gr. FMJBs came in at 1.1 in. average group sizes. Earlier this year, I found a B.E.A.R Elite for $1665 and didn’t buy it. Mistake. Now, prices for it is through the roof.
Cimarron Evil Roy 357 Magnum #ER4104
The Cimarron Evil Roy is the SASS-tuned version of the Uberti-made standard Model P single-action revolver, made to the specifications of world champion “Evil Roy” Gene Pearcey. Among the speed improvements, the front and rear sights are slightly wider than normal, thus faster to acquire. The trigger was lightened to just 2 pounds, and the cylinder rotation is especially smooth. Winchester .38 Special +P 125-grain ammo fired at 10 yards recorded average group sizes of 1.7 inches. A Cowboy load by Black Hills, the company’s 158-grain lead bullet, fired into 3.1-inch groups, on average. It costs $770 from Cimarron.
We’d like to hear which firearms you really want to buy in 2013. Please tell us in the comments below.