Handguns - Latest Reports

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Ruger LCR-BGXS 38 Specia...
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard...
Ruger LCR No. 5401 38 Sp...


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Special Reports

Converting Old Browning Model A-5s

Newer versions of this famous shotgun use roll pins instead of screws to hold certain action parts. Here’s how to convert early Auto-5s.

Glock Mods: An M1911 Man Branches Out

I’ve worked with the 1911 for many years, and sometimes that experience has been helpful with other pistols, such as the Browning Hi-Power, for example. Sometimes the differences between pistols are hard to spot, and other times we find similarities between handguns that at first seem very different. Another example: If you can work on the Savage 1910, you can work on the Astra 400, and you won’t be confused by the H&K P7M8. But the Glock? Ah, the Glock is an altogether different creature. Sometimes my 1911-based reasoning produces positive results with the Glock, and other times it does not. With the Glock so popular with law-enforcement and now proving itself in competition—winning the first top-class award at IPSC—we’re going to see more and more Glocks turned in for improvement. And at the very least, we should be familiar with the similarities and the differences between the Glock and “old Slabsides.”

Commentary

Semi-Annual FBI Report Confirms Crime Down As Gun Sales Up

The FBI's semi-annual uniform crime data for the first half of 2013 confirms once again what the firearms community already knew, that violent crime has continued to decline while gun sales have continued to climb.

GunBroker.com Names January 2014's Best Selling Firearms

GunBroker.com has released its list of Top 5 best-selling firearms for January 2014, topped by Smith & Wesson's M&P semi-automatic pistol.


Gun Detail

S&W Model 438 Bodyguard 38 Special, $625

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We believe S&W is going to sell plenty of these revolvers. The easy double action (compared with the two older guns) and the small grip help make this a gun anyone can handle. We thought the laser added a great deal to the package. It makes night sights unnecessary, and can add a measure of tactical advantage to the holder of this handy revolver.



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Model Name
Model Number
Home Defense
Surplus/Collectible
Law Enforcement
Concealed Carry
Hunting
Recreational
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Price
Caliber/Gauge
Caliber plus cartridge
Capacity
Weight Unloaded
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Overall Length
Barrel Length
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Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
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Grip Circumference (Max)
Frame Material
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Trigger Pull - Single
Trigger Pull - Double
Trigger Span - Single
Trigger Span - Double
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Note the clever frame-mounted “star” that engages the cylinder, and also has the lone locking point for the cylinder in the form of that hole in its center. This star engages the real star on the rear of the cylinder, and as the trigger is pulled this rotates the cylinder—in the wrong direction, if you know Smiths. Also note the laser’s front window in the upper left of the photo.

Note the real star, which has slots to accept the rotating mechanism housed in the frame. The small pin in the center of the star locks the cylinder closed. See also the bevels on the chamber mouths for easier reloading. However, the ejector edges are not similarly beveled.

READ GUN TESTS RATING AND RECOMMENDATION