Step Aside, J-Frame: Make Way for the Smith & Wesson Shield

Shooters may have noticed that the Smith & Wesson Shield is making serious inroads into the market lately. Since the nationwide explosion in concealed carry began, the .38 Special five-shot revolver—best represented by the S&W 642 Airweight—has been the lead offering from the firm for backup and concealment. The small “J” frame designation is nearly

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For Tactics or Trophies: CZ 75 Tactical Sport

There is no debate that CZ makes beautiful, rugged and reliable pistols, be they in steel, aluminum or polymer. While not as popular in the United States, the CZ 75 is recognized for its excellence by foreign military and police departments and most recently has been acquired by Egyptian law enforcement and Special Forces. The

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Charge!: Ruger .22 Charger and .22 Charger Takedown Pistols

The Ruger Charger pistol is not exactly new. It was introduced in 2007 but then discontinued. A few months ago, Ruger released the re-engineered .22 Charger pistol with enhanced features and introduced the new .22 Charger Takedown pistol. I acquired one of each and spent quite some time putting them through their paces. Charger has

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Mighty Miniature: Browning Black Label 1911-22

“My, that is cute!” The grizzled, scarred, nasty old Command Sergeant Major looked like the last critter on earth who’d call a pistol “cute.” His military and police careers had made him as hard as woodpecker lips, and “cute” sounded strange coming from him. However, “cute” is the perfect word to describe the Browning Black

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Hitting the Sweet Spot: Smith & Wesson Model 69 .44 Magnum

At the 2014 SHOT Show, Smith & Wesson introduced a new revolver—the Model 69. The 69 is an L-Frame five-shot stainless steel .44 Magnum. Did you catch that? An L-Frame .44 Magnum five-shooter? Those three things do not seem to go naturally together. With all the fanfare over better-publicized releases from SHOT, most shooters didn’t

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Glock Pistols: The Good, the Bad And The Ugly

The Glock has become a fixture in American pop culture, from its “X-ray proof” beginnings to its current ubiquity. It is the defining example of the contemporary polymer service pistol and has become the benchmark by which other models are judged in terms of reliability, ergonomics and cost. I’ve recently been training with a few

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Master Blaster: Coonan Classic .357 Magnum Pistol

Most handgunners are familiar with the 79-year-old .357 Magnum revolver cartridge and that Messrs Elmer Keith, Phillip Sharpe and Colonel D.B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson were responsible for its design and development. To this day, it enjoys a reputation as a reliable man stopper. Its vaunted 125-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) at 1,400 to

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Double-barreled Diablo: Doubletap Tactical Pocket Pistol

In the last year, a two-shot derringer-type pistol—the DoubleTap™ Tactical Pocket Pistol from DoubleTap Defense—came to the market. Wanting to see for myself what all the fuss was about, I placed an order. The small pistol is available with either a 7075 aluminum frame or 6AL 4V titanium frame. The aluminum version is Type 3

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