TTAG’s gun reviews are our bread and butter. (Our news blogs are the turkey, mayonnaise and sea salt.) We’re privileged to shoot and review so many firearms on your behalf. While I don’t get much trigger time — too busy making sandwiches — I get a lot more than most. Again, grateful. Here are three guns I recommend without (m)any reservations, with links to TTAG’s reviews . . .
1. GLOCK 19
Too easy you say? Great gun I say. But then I’m a minimalist and the GLOCK 19 is a do-it-all minimalist machine. The 9mm 19’s good for carry (with a bit of effort), home defense and range time. If ballistic bling’s the thing, there are enough 19 accessories to satisfy even the most fashion-conscious operational operator (operating operationally).
Setting aside the issue of the non-existent frame-mounted safety — which would absolutely ruin the lines — the GLOCK 19 has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Feed, point and shoot. Yes, the polymer pistol’s point-of-aim isn’t nearly as intuitive as a Springfield XD (for example). But practice enough and you’ll discover that time wounds all heels, if you know what I mean.
As for the GLOCK 19’s gritty trigger, it’s nothing that 10000 rounds won’t cure. Or a Ghost trigger. The GLOCK’s reliability may not be “perfect” but mine’s never failed to go BANG when so directed. The GLOCK 19’s a bit pricey, but, as they used to say, no one ever got fired buying an IBM. Oh wait. Anyway, the GLOCK 19 is a legendary gun because it deserves to be.
Pocket or snub-nosed revolvers are damn useful firearms — and not just at bad breath distances. With [a lot of practice] you can hit the bullseye at 15 yards — and beyond! (Jerr-ry! Jerry-ry!) More than that, modern .38 caliber self-defense rounds are plenty powerful for personal defense. Slotted in a 642, they’re a bad guy’s bad day waiting to happen.
The J-frame 642 is built like a proverbial brick sh*t house. You can feel the quality just by picking it up. Or pulling the trigger, which can be staged for you dining and dancing pleasure. The superb Smith smithing makes the 642 a family heirloom, well worth the price of admission.
The 642 comes in an assortment of flavors: LaserMax, Crimson Trace, LadySmith, No Internal Lock, Deluxe, Deluxe Again, yet another Talo “exclusive” and Plain Jane (not it’s real name). There are Airweight versions and black, grey and silver finishes. I’m partial to the stainless steel NIL lock-less version. It’s the classic snubbie. Easy to carry, easy to shoot and deadly in the right hands. Or left, depending.
Good Lord the Henry Repeating Arms .22 is a good gun. The American-made-or-n0t-all lever gun’s action is smoother than a J.J. Cale guitar solo. In the same way Clapton said he could play J.J. Cale’s versions of his songs “’til the cows come home,” you can shoot Henry’s lever gun until you run out of ammo. Which, given the .22 ammo shortage, might take you less time than listening to Mr. Cale’s fretwork.
Especially when you consider the Henry’s Classic Lever Action’s front-loading-only routine. Then again, we are talking about very small cartridges and once you load-up, say, 15 .22LR’s, you have a fair bit of shooting ahead of you. Unless you’re like my man Wayne above, who can’t seem to get rid of those bullets fast enough.
The Henry is ridiculously accurate and not half useful. Whether you’re hunting varmints, plinking or yes defending hearth and home, the Henry is a gun you can trust. A gun that rewards practice and punishes you not at all, ever. And it’s a real looker; the gun’s glove-friendly loop and blued steel barrel is the dictionary definition of understated elegance.
All this for under $400. Just four bills to have and to hold a gun that connects you with history in a way that few firearms can approach. You should. Approach Henry Repeating Arms Classic Lever Action .22. But only if you’re prepared to spend the cash for the love that dare speak its name. Well, here, anyway.