TTAG's Most Popular Posts of 2017
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A few readers of our first 2017 Top 25 countdown post yesterday seemed to misunderstand the posts we’re including. We’re listing the posts that were the most read during 2017, no matter when they were originally published. If someone wanted to read a review of the Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 in 2017 — and many of you did – that showed up. So with that clarification out of the way, Here’s the next five most read posts of the year . . .

No. 20The NRA’s Position on Bump Fire Stocks was Genius

The National Rifle Association’s decision to stand down over the issue of bump fire stocks has generated a lot of concern, both among TTAG’s readership and elsewhere in the gun owning community. From my current vantage point on a busman’s holiday in a Northern Michigan lakeside hamlet, geographically and emotionally removed from the Potomac, I’m not worried.

This is the strongest position the NRA could have taken, and it has made me roll back some of my general concerns over whether the gun rights org’s leadership has the chops to fight for the Second Amendment during the Trump years and beyond.

Taurus 738 TCP

No. 19 – Gun Review: Taurus 738 TCP

Summer’s coming this weekend. You know what that means. Shorts. T-shirts. Lighter clothes. And concealment issues. The time of year when even the most ardent caliber warriors make compromises. If you’re in the market for something smaller and lighter than your usual 1911 carry piece, you need to check out the Taurus PT 738 TCP. No, it’s not the first .380 ultra-compact that comes to mind. But despite being on the very bottom end of the MSRP scale of pocket .380 mouse guns – with a price ranging from $199 to $249 – it’s at the top end of the scale for reliability and quality. A Taurus? Yes, a Taurus.

My local range rents basically all of the .380 micro compact pistols on the market – Kahr, Diamondback, S&W, Kel-Tec, SIG, Ruger, AMT, Magnum Research, Colt, etc., etc. They’re popular rentals and popular sellers. Some of them have been trashed and replaced with new ones due to extreme wear and breakages. One had gone back to the factory a dozen times for repairs and had also been fixed in-house at least as many times before they just trashed it. In fact, they’re on their third example of that same gun and the same parts continue to break every thousand rounds or so (and weird parts, like the trigger return spring).

.30 Caliber Muzzle Brake Shootout

No. 18.30 Caliber Muzzle Brake Shootout

In response to popular demand, we’ve scaled it up a notch and have taken the 5.56 muzzle brake testing to 7.62. Specifically, 24 muzzle devices threaded 5/8-24 for use with .30 caliber cartridges joined in the fun, all of them getting tested for recoil reduction prowess on a .308. Come on in, the water’s just fine.

The procedure for this .308 test was basically identical to the 5.56 muzzle brake tests. You can find the first one here, the second one there, and the third one over here. For the Operators out there, we got a sweet Lux meter and tested the muzzle signature reduction effectiveness of flash hiders and other muzzle devices as well. Flash hiding test #1 is here, and #2 here.

AR-15 muzzle brake shootout

No. 17AR-15 Muzzle Brake Shootout #2

Welcome back! Last November, we compared 35 different AR-15 muzzle devices. That shootout, like this one, pitted them against each other in a sled test to see which reduced rearwards recoil energy the most. However, this time around there are [almost] no flash hiders, linear compensators, or other devices not actually designed to reduce recoil. A total of 37 brakes and compensators joined in the fun for roundup part deux, although 8 of them are carry-overs from the first test, including the previous recoil eliminating winner.

Again though, recoil reduction is only one of many variables worth considering — and how they’re each weighted is a matter of personal opinion and/or intended use — when choosing which muzzle device will adorn one’s rifle. In addition to the objective recoil test, all brakes are listed alphabetically below and I have stated my frank opinion on machining, fit/finish, and utility plus included any items of note as well as the relevant stats for each. Hopefully both muzzle device shootout installments will help narrow down the shopping list.

Smith & Wesson SD9 VE

No. 16 – Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE

Based on the TTAG reader survey, it looks like our readers want to read more about budget minded guns. As your loyal scribe, I aim to please (pun intended). So before you today, we have the Smith & Wesson SD9 VE. This fine piece is the lowest priced pistola de plastico in the S&W lineup. You might remember some similar looks from their Sigma range of inexpensively priced pistols. Having stripped both guns, I can tell you that the guts look mostly the same between the two. And having shot both of them, I can tell you that the trigger woes the Sigma suffered continue with the SD9 VE. Be not afraid though, as the SD9 VE has many redeeming qualities, too.

Comparing an off the rack M&P to the SD9 VE, it’s plain to see that the VE is the “budget” option. You’ll notice things like the stamped sheet metal slide release and plastic guide rod. But you’ll also notice nicely textured grips and very well finished metal surfaces. The SD ships in a cardboard box, but you get two — yes two — chrome-finished magazines that glide smoothly in the magazine well. Not bad for a low-priced heater.

Tune in tomorrow for the next tranche. Especially if you’re a fan of AR’s and muzzle devices.

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