January 2019

Lever-Action Fans Comment

Readers Mark and Lin know their way around the Ubertis and pass along some advice on how to make a good rifle even better. Reader Stephen prefers a revolver over his Shield.

Re “Cowboy Up with Lever Guns From Cimarron, Uberti, Taylor’s,” November 2018

I enjoyed your review of the 1873 from Uberti. I agree that the rubber recoil pad is distracting and probably unnecessary. I prefer a traditional brass or steel buttplate, but with checkering or texture. On my 1892, I added a leather pad for texture, but only because I couldn’t figure out how to checker it appropriately. If I were doing it again, I think I would use pin punches and stipple it. Keep up the good work and unbiased reviews.

Also, I appreciated your coverage of 308 bolt-action rifles. I know you’ve covered the Remington 783 in the past, but I can’t help but wish you’d covered the Mossberg Patriot (currently in production) rather than the Trophy. I suppose there’s always someone asking for another gun in the mix, but therein lays job security if you’re in the firearms-magazine business. — Mark

Hey Mark: It’s mostly a matter of page space. The four- and five-gun reviews are comprehensive, but they eat pages, and there’s always another gun we could have included. The Mossberg Patriot in 7mm Rem. Mag. is covered in this issue on page 16. — Todd Woodard

lever action rifles

Read the article comparing the Uberti-built 66 and 73s in the November issue. I have an Uberti 73 with the half-round half-octagon rifle-length barrel in 44-40. I really like the rifle; it shoots well and has a great trigger, which I understand is not the usual thing with stock Ubertis. However, I did have a big issue with the safety bar, which was discussed in the article. In order to fire the rifle, I had to get a death grip on the stock wrist and the lever. The reviewer used the word “distracted” as the situation for a shooter trying to fire the rifle under those conditions, and I agree. Rather than a $200 action job, I opted for a couple of spring kits from The Smith Shop in Warwick, RI. For less than $50, I replaced the stock lifter/lever spring with “Whisper Springs,” and installed a coil spring lever safety bar spring. Still had to stone the back of the safety bar a bit so it would move more freely, but both made a huge difference in the function of the rifle. This does not do anything to shorten the lever stroke, but I am not a Cowboy Action Shooter, so that is not a problem for me. Really enjoy Gun Tests and have made some good decisions and avoided some bad ones by reading the magazine regularly. Thanks for a great job. — Lin

Re “9mm Slim Line Compact Pistol Shoot-out: Five Go Head To Head,” November 2018

This was a good read, thanks. I’ve got an S&W Shield and an S&W 442 snubnose 38 on my permit, so the comparison between the wheelgun and the single-stack pistol in the article was worthwhile. In my experience, the 442 is a lot easier to carry, it’s noticeably lighter than the Shield, and with a small round-butt Crimson Trace laser grip (must have), it easily fits in pants and vest pockets and OWB carry under a jacket. The Shield is much easier to shoot well, but for me, its extra weight and angular butt make it a gun I don’t carry every day. — Stephen

I like wheelguns for everyday carry, too, for all the reasons you mention. And I agree wholeheartedly the Laser Grips are “must haves” on such short-barreled handguns. There’s just not much sight radius. — tw

S&W M&P9 Shield SW180021BW

S&W M&P9 Shield SW180021BW

I just finished reading the article “9mm Slim Line Compact Pistol Shoot-out: Five Go Head To Head.” I am somewhat confused by the write-up on the S&W M&P9 Shield SW180021BW. I understand this is a Battleworn version. I know it’s quite simple to look for that version online, but explaining where or who has it helps. My confusion comes from the magazine capacity that is both listed in the stats and mentioned in the article. Being that I have an S&W M&P9 Shield, when I read it, I immediately looked up what this model’s capacity was. You have capacity listed as “6+1 Standard” and magazines listed as “(1) 6- and (1) 7-round.” The S&W M&P9 Shield, no matter the version, comes with (1) 7- and (1) 8-round magazines standard. It seems as if the magazines used in the test also have an aftermarket pinky-finger grip extension, which is not mentioned. I’d also like to inquire as to the additional grip surfacing. The article makes it seem like this had been taken to a gunsmith to have the grip refinished. It looks as if it is really just grip tape by Talon Grips. I enjoy the Shield, carry for both on and off duty (LEO), and agree 100% with your review, I just wanted some clarification. Thanks and keep it coming. — KJZ

Bob Campbell replies: KJZ, you are correct concerning the magazine capacities. The module for the Battleworn has the correct round counts of (1) 7- and (1) 8-round magazine. The capacity listed in the module (7+1) is also correct for the standard magazine. The text and captions should have reflected those counts. Sorry for the confusion. As far as the grip texturing, it isn’t grip tape! Not certain who did the grip re-work, but it is definitely a custom job and turned out well. Also, thanks to Readers Scott and Paul W. for pointing this out.

Re “Firing Line,” November 2018

I will not be using Google any longer. Would like to know what you changed to. Thanks in advance. Big fan of your magazine. — KC

DuckDuckGo is the search engine I switched to. It does a much better job on firearms searches than the other ones. — tw

Re “Firing Line,” November 2018

Hello, Todd. Saw you published my letter in the November issue. Thought I’d give you an update. A friend bought a 12-gauge Shockwave and was kind enough to let me borrow it. Even with the mini shells, it generated too much recoil for my damaged shoulder, so guess I will be sticking with handguns. Thanks again for all the info and advice you provided. Speaking of which, I just read the five 9mm comparison in the same issue, great stuff. Am going to give the Taurus a try. All the best. — Bruce

Re “Deep-Penetrating Heavy-Bullet 9mm Loads: Pretty Good Picks,” November 2018

Todd, I really enjoyed the review on the heavy 9mm loads. I recently purchased a Ruger PC9 Carbine, and I was curious to see what difference the 16-inch barrel made over the 4-inch pistol barrel. I found the results to be a bit surprising, and thought I’d share them with your readers. I use the same protocol that your testers did: four five-shot strings, and I set my chrono at 10 feet from the end of the muzzle. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of your “heavy hitters” and seeing what the results are. Thanks for producing a really fine magazine for serious shooters! — Mike

Liberty Civil Defense 50 Grain LA-CD-9-014

Pistol Velocity: 1932 fps

Carbine Velocity: 2604 fps

Carbine Muzzle Energy: 753 ft.-lbs.

Federal 105 Grain

Pistol Velocity: 1124 fps

Carbine Velocity: 1386 fps

Carbine Muzzle Energy: 444 ft.-lbs.

Freedom Munitions 115 Grain

Pistol Velocity: 974 fps

Carbine Velocity: 1251 fps

Carbine Muzzle Energy: 400 ft.-lbs.

Hornady Critical Defense 124 Grain

Pistol Velocity: 975 fps

Carbine Velocity: 1294 fps

Carbine Muzzle Energy: 461 ft.-lbs.

Mike: Thanks for sending these along. — tw

heavy 9mm loads

Re “Firing Line,” December 2018

Testing hearing protection is a great idea! Most folks do not understand decibels and don’t understand how muffs are likely tested. Now, I’m not a pro, but I have some knowledge of architectural acoustics, hearing loss, and trying to preserve what I have left and I think it is important to address. Do not buy cheap muffs. Muffs should not be a shooter’s primary hearing protection; custom inserts should be. The arms on eyeglasses compromise the seal between the cushions and flesh, so that 25 dB muff is really rather less. Facial hair likely degrades the noise reduction more than eyeglass frames. Roll-up yellow cylinders and other generic in-the-ear protection products don’t always seal properly. Yellow cylinders work great in my right ear but don’t seal at all in my left ear canal. Nor do several other generic products. I have custom, cast-in-the-ear plugs as my primary hearing protection. Do I put active muffs on after I insert my custom plugs? You bet! Hearing-aid lubricant is often a must: My custom left plug will not go into my ear canal without lubrication. Active noise cancellation is fabulous as a second layer! For those who complain about all of this, ask if they would prefer to have strong tones and harmonics ringing in each of their ears, all the time, day and night. — Ronald

Re “New Snubnose Revolvers Under $400: S&W, Taurus Compete,” December 2018

So much for people bad-mouthing Taurus. Thanks folks! I know they may have had problems at one time, but so have so many others. No question S&W makes a great firearm, but just wanted to give the devil his due. For a good price, you can get a good product in a Taurus. Good news for the little guy. — GoldenClays on Gun-Tests.com

Re “6.5 Creedmoor Bolt Actions From Howa, Ruger, and Savage,” January 2016

Sampson makes a nice triangular rail which is flat on the bottom, specifically for the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). It is intended to provide a stable platform for shooting from a bench, window ledge, or fence post. I put one on my RPR and also purchased an aftermarket aluminium bolt shroud. The only thing I don’t like about the Sampson rail is that they have KeyMod slots on it. I much prefer the M-LOK.

I own a Savage 10 in 308 Win., and it’s a very nice rifle. I wish I owned a Howa also, but enough is enough. By the way, my RPR, sighted in with an SWFA 10x riflescope, printed .441 MOA with Gold Medal 175-grain bullets when it was new, out of the box. All three are excellent choices. — GWDean on Gun-Tests.com

Add your comments ...

New to Gun Tests? Register for Free!

Already Registered? Log In