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March 18, 2013

Handgun Value Previews: 380s and 357s from Beretta, CZ, Colt, and S&W
Courtesy of Gun Tests magazine

( — Gun Tests’ Houston- and Idaho-based test teams take detailed looks at two very different sets of handguns in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.

Based in Idaho, Sr. Technical Editor Ray Ordorica and the magazine’s Western test team examined two high-capacity 380 ACPs.

Ordorica said, “Our test pistols were a $650 Beretta Model 84 and a $550 CZ Model 83. Both were DA/SA pistols. Their size was about that of the two 40-cal pistols we tested recently here in Idaho, the S&W M&P 40 Compact and the Kahr CW40. ”

He added, “These two guns were uncannily alike in some ways, though of completely different designs by two proud old makers. Although both were DA/SA guns, they could be carried cocked and locked.”

Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard said, “Like the rest of the world, Ray currently has a shortage of common ammunition in Idaho, so he had to test this pair of 380s with just one type of ammo, 95-grain FMJ, in two brands.”

“While the 380 would not be our first choice for self defense, it’s lots better than nothing at all, or anything smaller,” Ordorica said. “The two 380 pistols were remarkably alike. They both had fat grips and held lots of rounds. Both were DA/SA pistols with smooth pulls, and both were lots of fun to shoot.”

In Houston, Contributing Editor Austin Miller compared two revolvers head to head that are considered by some to be the best 357 Magnums available: the Colt Python and the Smith & Wesson Model 686-2.

Miller said, “We chose these two for a range of reasons, but the overriding motivation was fun. We believe most people who are purchasing these kind of revolvers are doing so for collecting and shooting entertainment, especially the Pythons, but there is the issue of availability as well. We also wanted to look at these pistols on a value basis. ”

“People have always been pretty proud of their Pythons, but maybe things are getting a little out of control,” GT Editor Woodard said. “We found several recently-sold Pythons running from $2000 to $3000 dollars.”

Gun Tests subscribers should receive their printed magazines in about 3 days. Subscribers with electronic access can check to read these matchups in a couple of days, GT Publisher Tim Cole said.

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