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


Gun Review: Beretta Cx4 Storm

Courtesy Joe Grine

Beretta released the “Cx4 Storm” in 2003, hoping to compete in the law enforcement market. The case for the Cx4 is strong, since it’s a lightweight, accurate, reliable blowback-operated carbine that allows an officer to use the same magazine as his or her 92 FS or Px4 pistol. Unfortunately for Beretta, most departments have opted for AR-15s and M-4s, so the Cx4 never really achieved the type of US LEO market acceptance that I imagine Beretta would have hoped. But that doesn’t mean the venerable Cx4 isn’t a viable option . . .

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Gun Review: Kel-Tec CMR-30

cmr-and-pmrKel-Tec’s PMR-30 has earned the nickname “poor man’s Five-seveN” thanks to its light weight, high capacity, and fairly potent little caliber all in a semi-auto pistol format. While the 5.7×28 FN Five-seveN has always had a carbine companion in the PS90, Kel-Tec didn’t offer a buddy for its .22 WMR PMR-30 until now. Taking it a step further than FN, the release of Kel-Tec’s CMR-30 offers much more than simply a compact rifle in the same caliber, though, as the CMR uses the same magazines, controls, trigger, and more. . .

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Gun Review: Armalite M-15 18″ 3-Gun Rifle


Things have been changing over at Armalite. There’s been an invasion of 3-gun shooters, and it has had a radical impact on the company’s products. They’ve gone from producing National Match style AR-15 rifles that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the 1990’s to offering what might be the slickest 3-gun rifle on the market in less than a year, and the man behind the push is Tommy Thacker, former 3-Gun Nation national champion and pro 3-gun shooter. The flagship product they are leading off this new charge with is their M-15 3-Gun Rifle, a gun designed to Tommy’s specifications, and it might just be the new go-to gold standard for 3-gunners.

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Gun Review: Wilson Combat .308 Project


When you think “Wilson Combat,” you think Bill Wilson and his love affair with the 1911 platform. The man is so ga-ga over Browning’s masterwork that he built an entire competition shooting sport around the gun, and now produces what are arguably some of the finest hand-crafted 1911 handguns the world has ever seen. But Wilson Combat does more than 1911s and the odd 92FS — they’ve been in the custom AR-15 business since time immemorial. One place they have yet to firmly plant their foot is in the .308 AR-10 market, which is something their latest creation attempts to fix.

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Gun Review: GLOCK 43


The GLOCK 43 for this review was provided by the Kentucky Gun Company.

The GLOCK 42 was something between a huge disappointment and cruel joke on expectant gun guys and gals. A .380 single-stack? Been there, done that, bought the Colt Mustang clone, sold it for a larger-caliber everyday carry (EDC) gun. Now that Gaston’s mob has unloaded freight containers of 42s – which they wouldn’t have sold had they started with a proper 9mm single-stack pocket pistol – they’re finally ready to sell train loads of 9mm GLOCK 43s. Should diehard GLOCK jocks and pocket-carrying newbies hold a grudge or buy a 43? Let’s start with a simple comparison . . .

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Gun Review: CZ 712 Practical Shotgun


CZ’s line of shotguns is pretty well fleshed out these days, spanning the spectrum from classy side-by-sides to go with your elbow-patched tweed jacket to tactical pumps for the bedroom closet. The 712 Practical seen here, which I’ve been playing with since November, is intended for use in 3-Gun competitions but can certainly suit other roles as well. At its core, it’s meant to be an affordable — yet quality — entry-level, semi-auto shotty to get into the 3-Gun world. Where “quality” and “budget” collide you might expect to see “compromise” joining the party as well, and the 712 Practical does have its compromises. . .

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Gun Review: Underground Tactical Long Range Bacon Maker


There’s a certain swagger that goes along with shooting a hotrod rifle. It is the sort of thing that makes you act downright intolerable around your shooting buddies. People might tell you that money can’t buy your way out of bad shooting skills, but I’ve come to believe that this is only partially true. Spend enough money, and you can certainly outshoot some guys with much cheaper rifles. And when you buy a gun that’s straddles the line between “finely assembled” and “bespoke”, you find a certain mechanized perfection that’s not available in off the rack guns. The Underground Tactical Long Range Bacon Maker is one of those guns . . .

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Gun Review: Ares Defense SCR


Living “behind enemy lines” sucks. Thanks to “assault weapons bans” (AWB), shooters in New York, California, New Jersey and other so-called “slave states” can’t take advantage of their Constitutionally protected right to sample the latest in firearms technology. The only guns [legally] available are often less accurate firearms that cost more money. And so the good folks at Ares Defense set out to enable even those citizens living in those awful places to have access to the very best in modern firearms. Although it looks like the unholy union of a rifle and a shotgun, the result could well be the best AWB-compliant firearm configuration on sale today. But in addition, the Ares Defense SCR  might also be a firearm that suits hunters in the rest of America. . .

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Gun Review: STI Tactical DS 4.0


The single stack STI Duty One 4.0 in .45ACP with an aluminum frame [not shown] is my everyday carry gun. That firearm changed my mind about the accuracy and reliability of sub 5″ 1911s in general, and the reliability of aluminum-framed guns in specific. Despite my faith in STI’s ability to build a smaller. lighter 1911 that puts lead where I want, when I want, every time I want, I’ve never shot an STI double stack in 9mm. I was put off by the idea of a gun with a big fat grip on a 4″ slide. But so many people I know – good shooters and highly competitive shooters – deploy an STI double stack in 9mm as their workhorse gun. So when TTAG asked me if I would put the STI Tactical DS 4.0 9mm through its paces, it was deja vu all over again . . .

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Gun Review: Double D Armory SST Rifle


The name of the company whose rifle I am reviewing today is Double D Armory. And their logo kinda looks like, well, boobs. Which is grand for the inner kindergartner. But while their SST 5.56 rifle might appear to be a rather common AR-15 configuration with little else to offer than a name that makes grown men giggle, there’s something really really cool going on that might makes it worth a second look. But before we get to that, we need to check all the other boxes on the review template . . .

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Gun Review: SIG SAUER 556xi Russian


The AK-47 is one of the most popular firearms ever made. Millions of copies of the firearm have been used in nearly every single conflict worldwide since the gun was first produced, and it even appears on the national flag of at least one country. Its reliability is unquestioned, its effectiveness well acknowledged, and its ease of use is without equal. But SIG SAUER thought they could do better — produce a modern AK-47 for the modern world. The result: the SIG SAUER 556xi Russian.

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