When Masterpiece Arms announced that they were planning on releasing a bolt action rifle at SHOT Show, I wasn’t all that impressed. Masterpiece Arms has a bit of a reputation for making odd firearms, and they’ve never really been known as a precision firearms manufacturer. That was before I took a trip down to Georgia to see their operation in person, and the impression I had of their products changed a great deal following that weekend. To make sure that their build quality wasn’t a fluke I asked to test one of their new bolt action rifles back in Texas and see if it was really worth the coin . . .
HK is no stranger to striker-fired pistols, but it’s been a while since they’ve designed a new one — close to four decades. With the VP9 hot off the presses, the wait is over and Heckler & Koch has reentered the striker-fired handgun market. This bad boy is sort of like a cross between HK’s own P30 and Walther’s PPQ, with a trick or two of its own thrown in for good measure . . .
At some point, everyone looks back on their achievements and says, “Why not do more?” Primary Weapons Systems is known for their piston driven wonderguns and TTAG has had the pleasure of testing their MK 114 rifle and MK 107 Pistol in the last few months. Short story, we’re impressed with what they’re putting out. But back in early May, PWS announced that they’d also be releasing a direct impingement (DI) upper for the masses. It still uses the same high quality parts and manufacturing processes Nick and I raved about in our reviews, but in a simple, more cost effective package. When you make one of the best piston guns out there, making a good DI gun shouldn’t be too hard, right? . . .
By: Austin Knudsen
A few months back, TTAG was kind enough to post a review I did of the Robinson Armament XCR-M rifle in .308 Winchester/7.62 x 51 mm. The review was not flattering; the sample rifle, owned by a friend, had serious accuracy and reliability issues. Cosmetically and feature-wise, I was very impressed by it. However, after putting several different factory and bulk loads through the rifle, I ended up giving it only a 2-star rating. I added the caveat at the time that Robinson Armament had agreed to ship the rifle back for diagnosis and service. The rifle is now back from Robinson Armament, and, true to my word, here’s a second look at this controversial rifle . . .
Joe and I both really enjoyed Walther’s PPQ M2 5″ in 9mm. Actually, Joe is still enjoying it since he couldn’t bring himself to return the loaner and decided, instead, to purchase it. Considering how good that gun was, it was clear I had to get my hands on Walther’s .22 LR version of the PPQ. This isn’t a smaller scale, pot metal, cheapo plinker like so many .22 pistols out there — it’s the full-size PPQ you know and love, made by Walther, with the same controls and slide length options as its centerfire brother and with a pretty darn good trigger in its own right. This time I’m calling “dibs,” and just plunked down some sawbucks of my own to add this bad boy to the stable . . .
By Diego Cesarei
It took them more than a year a half year from order to delivery. That’s kind of a long wait for pretty much anything industrially made, particularly for a gun. Well, the wait is over. I finally got my brand new Arsenal Firearms Strike One, one of the first 200 produced, the first passing the Swiss border, and in the last week I have been shooting the hell out of it to see if it was worth the wait. But before the evaluation of the tool, a little about the gun itself . . .
The name Les Baer conjures up an image of expert gunsmiths sitting in well lit rooms that smell faintly of Flitz and CLP. I like to imagine them taking their time with each and every single action masterpiece so that they can make each one feel loved and have enough time to sprinkle some magical gunsmith dust into each and every beautiful blued frame. The one we’re taking a look at is a well-used Thunder Ranch Special in .45 ACP. The TRS is kind of unique in that it was designed in conjunction with Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch to be the perfect combat 1911. And when I say it’s well-used, I mean over 6,000 rounds fired by me in a dozen ranges across Texas. So I think it’s safe to say that I’ve put enough rounds down range to make an informed decision as to its quality . . .
A departure from your traditional gun review, what follows is more of a “shootout.” It’s a review of the SPHINX SDP Compact Alpha through the lens of how it compares to the CZ P-07 and the popular CZ 75 line. You see, in the 80’s SPHINX began producing pistols for the first time, and it did so by licensing the CZ 75 design. Since then it has modified and adapted CZ’s platform, all with Swiss precision and the attention to detail, finish, fitment, and materials that SPHINX has been known for. To some, it’s an upscale CZ. The question, then, is what can you expect from a $1,295 SPHINX that you don’t get from a $510 CZ? . . .
In my recent review on the Steyr Aug A3 I discuss at length what I perceive as the few downfalls of the design. Namely the charging handle’s profile and the horrid awful rotten terrible trigger. Well with the investment of about $100 both of these problems have been completely eradicated . . .
The AR-15 is the most popular firearm design in the United States. The reason behind that fact is the gun’s ability to easily and quickly transform to meet the end user’s requirements. Everything from heavy-barreled long range precision to tiny stubby 9″ lightweight designs are possible, and swapping from one to the next can be accomplished using everyday tools and a little elbow grease. MGI recognized this fact and decided to take it one step further — why need tools at all? Why not make a gun where you can change barrels, calibers, and even magazine types easily and quickly on the range without any tools? And so they did, and dubbed it the Hydra . . .
TTAG has a reputation for hard-hitting, no holds barred reviews. That’s why it pains me to tell you that this review is pretty much the same kind of slobbering lovefest that you’d expect from industry glossies. But after spending six months and well over 3,000 rounds running the Walther PPQ M2, Jeremy and I could find precious little to complain about. Even my quibbles amount to nothing more than minor personal preference issues. So without further ado, let me tell you why I think the Walther PPQ M2 is one of the best of the polymer wonder 9s . . .
I’m starting to feel like a real old timer with my endless rambling about the good old days of cheap and plentiful .22 LR. While some parts of the country are seeing the most popular rimfire cartridge back in stock, our brethren in other areas are more likely to find hen’s teeth than affordable .22 LR. But I’m an optimist, and given the long term traffic our gun reviews get, my hope is that years from now, someone will read this review and laugh about those dark days of short supply for .22LR. If you’re reading this in the future, and looking for an affordable, flexible bolt gun in .22 LR, you very well could have found it in the Ruger American Rimfire . . .