Gun Review: Ruger Mini-14 Tactical in 300 BLK


The Ruger Mini-14 is one of Ruger’s flagship rifles. First designed in the late 1960’s as a smaller civilian version of the U.S. Military M-14, the rifle has been used by generations of hunters and target shooters. It’s also been featured prominently in movies and TV shows throughout the years. This rifle was the AR-15 of the 1970’s and 1980’s, the semi-auto firearm of choice — and for good reason. There’s just something quintessentially American about the look of the Mini-14, and now Ruger has released a version in my favorite caliber: 300 AAC Blackout. Is it the awesome “peanut butter in my chocolate” moment that hunters like me have been waiting for? . . .

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Gun Review: Lone Wolf Distributors Compact Timberwolf 9mm


I know it’s a matter of considerable debate, but I think GLOCKs are ugly. A powerful tool shouldn’t look like a bar of bad hotel soap. Enter the Lone Wolf Distributors Compact 9mm on a Timberwolf Frame. The modded GLOCK’s Cerakoted sniper grey color and radically customized slide cuts transform a ditchwater dull handgun into the firearm you were handed when you joined Starfleet. Our snag-free T&E gun didn’t have a single number or letter on the slide. There wasn’t even a barrel caliber marking. But my God, did it have new parts. Our package contained every GLOCK part Lone Wolf could throw at it, in it or around it. This example includes . . .

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Gun Review: TISAS ZIG M1911


I’ve come to my senses over the last few years when it comes to the 1911. I used to think of it as a dated and archaic design, but the more I learned about firearms design the more respect I have for the firearm. I now own a couple copies myself, a nice Wilson Combat and an okay Springfield. That Springfield always irked me a bit, though — the gun is inexpensive, and it shows in the details, but it would take such little effort to make that ~$500 gun feel like a $1,000 gun. When TISAS sent us an email and offered to send us a copy of their ZIG 1911, I was looking forward to seeing if the Turks could succeed in providing a quality budget-priced 1911 where the Americans had failed.

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Gun Review: Rock Island Armory 22TCM Midsize Ultra Combo 22TCM/9MM


By Sean Nolan

It’s like holding onto a fistful of thunder. Wrapped in the world’s most comfortable cactus. Yeah, I know. We’ve taken you down a similar road before. But there have been a quite few changes at Rock Island Armory in the past twelve months, and their Ultra MS Combo 1911 is one of them. RIA had introduced a single stack 1911 chambered for their their 22TCM. I picked up their MS model, (or Commander sized, if you don’t fear Colt’s lawyers). I thought it was the most fun gun I had ever owned. I was wrong . . .

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Gun Review: X-Products AR-15 Can Cannon


By Roy H.

I took a gamble and spent $399 on an AR-15 upper receiver to see if it’s worth the money to use M200 5.56x45mm blanks to hurl still-full-of-soda cans 105+ yards down range. My high hope was that it would induce Universal Giggles. Universal Giggles is a recreational device-driven term I came up with to describe experiences capable of instantaneously, spontaneously, and reliably reducing uninitiated grown men to giggling uncontrollably like little school girls after during a particular experience. Other devices and products in this category that are capable of inducing Universal Giggles include machine guns, and exploding rifle targets. Did the X Products Can Cannon deliver the Universal Giggles response? Oh yes, yes it did . . .

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Gun Review: Bill’s Custom Automatics Master Grade 1911


Right off the bat, Bill’s Custom Automatics does it right. I opened the custom case to find the Master Grade 1911 well presented and six Wilson Combat magazines, each inside their own little foam home, with numbers etched into them for easy performance monitoring. Bill’s Custom Automatics had polished the feed lips on each magazine. But wait, there’s more! Included in the case: extra fiber optic inserts, both red and green, for the Dawson Precision Front Sight. Now how much would you pay? Don’t answer . . .

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Gun Review: Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS 1911 – Part 2


According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are no second acts in American lives. The rule does not apply to Phillipino firearms. After the GI Standard FS’s abysmal showing during my initial review I sent the gun back to Rock Island for repair. They returned it pronouncing that the bargain basement 1911 had been “complete reliability tuned.” Although Rock Island’s guns are backed with a lifetime warranty, I’m not sure the company offers the exact same vaguely-worded comprehensive service to all their customers (see: bolded typeface below). Anyway here’s my review of their best effort to make the gun run . . .

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Gun Review: Chiappa X-Caliber


When the X-Caliber arrived, I was excited about shooting something so bizarre and definitively ugly. I compared the X-Caliber to the weird kid in class: the one who’s fun to hang out with but tanks your popularity. I found the opposite to be true. Everywhere I took the X-Caliber, people wanted to shoot it. With each shot, I wanted to hang out with it less and less…

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Gun Review: Canik TP9SA


“Performance on a budget” describes the subject of many of TTAG’s most popular gun reviews. I’ve had some cheapies through my hands thinking there are probably quite a few gems out there that truly outperform their price brackets, and while most have been fun to shoot, they’ve basically all had one or more drawbacks (or outright fatal flaws). They’re often fine as a beater “truck gun” or for plinking, etc., but really not up to snuff in the role as the only pistol one owns or for use as a competition or self-defense gun. Canik’s TP9SA wants to be the exception to the rule; the inexpensive pistol that can hold its own with the big boys across the board. I put a lot of rounds through this one, only to find that . . .

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Gun Review: MILTAC Alpha


There are a ton of AR-15 “manufacturers” these days. In general, when you’ve seen one AR-15, you’ve seen ’em all. And most shops simply assemble OEM parts and call the rifle their own. In that sense the MILTAC Alpha isn’t all that different, since it’s still predominantly a parts build. But there are one or two features that might warrant it a second look . . .

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Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD(m) 4.5


In a market dominated by tiny handguns, there’s a certain bravado that comes with not only owning, but carrying a pistol that weighs over two pounds loaded, and packs twenty rounds at the ready. It takes some getting used to at first. You stare at your friends salivating over the GLOCK 43 and ask why they’d want to carry a third(ish) the ammo you do. They stare back, hollow eyed.  You grow even more concerned with their desire to try to get a good grip with but a few fingers when they could easily maintain a two-handed kung fu grip with the gun you carry. It’s a weird world out there once you start carrying the XD(m) 4.5 chambered in 9mm…Read More