SIG MCX Rattler with bump helmet in the background

Range Report: The MCX Rattler

What do you get when you take some of the finest firearm engineers in the industry and ask them to design the smallest AR-based close combat weapon imaginable? Stipulations include that the gun needs to be piston-driven for the ultimate in reliability and ruggedness, modular for maximized flexibility, and chambered in .300 BLK so it will run a sound suppressor well. The culmination of that ballistic quest is the SIG MCX Rattler. This thing just drips cool.

Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite pistol right profile

Range Report: Mark IV 22/45 LITE

Ruger’s first departure from steel and aluminum construction was the Mark IV 22/45 Lite pistol. This is a polymer frame .22 caliber handgun meant to conform closely to 1911 .45 dimensions in order for the pistol to provide a good training understudy for the 1911-type handgun. It has done so, but also offers an excellent platform for anyone desiring a .22 caliber self-loading handgun as his or her only pistol. The original had molded in grip panels. The present version features removable grip panels. This is a considerable improvement for those who wish to upgrade or customize their pistol. I find the issued grips quite useful.

Springfield TRP pistol, black with several boxes of ammunition

Range Report: Springfield TRP 1911

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.

Storm PX4 SubCompact right

Range Report: Beretta Storm SubCompact 9mm

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.

Dan Wesson Guardian pistol on a used target

Range Report: Dan Wesson Guardian

After many years of carrying the 1911 Government Model .45, I find that the weight on my back is beginning to drag. It isn’t the handgun, but a number of difficulties, fights for my life including a fall from a porch of some four feet with 400 pounds of felons intertwined with me, car wrecks, and climbs in ancient artifacts of architecture have been a strain on the lumbar. Just the same, when the time came, the 1911 sounded loud and clear and did its job like no other I wish to consider.

Colt Competition 1911 pistol with assorted loaded magazines

Range Report: Colt’s Competition Pistol 1911

We all like to be competitive, which isn’t easy in fast paced shooting sports, such as IPSC or even in local IDPA matches. Custom grade 1911 handguns often cost well over $1,000, and the sky is the limit for a true top-end pistol. With standard and stock categories, and many matches catering to guns that might be carried on a day-to-day basis, there was a niche in the market for a high-quality but affordable competition-based handgun. Competition shooting has grown tremendously in the past decade, contributing its share to the ammunition shortage and making for improvements in factory grade pistols. The 1911 is among the most popular competition handguns.

Springfield XDE profile right

Range Report: Springfield XDE 9mm

With most new introductions in the concealed carry handgun market focused on polymer-frame striker-fired handguns, it is good to see that Springfield Armory has catered to the rest of us with a modern, polymer-frame double-action first-shot handgun with a decocker. Springfield incorporated a manual safety into the design as well.

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.