FROM THE EDITOR
Sometimes it’s like taking candy from a baby.
I’ll receive a new gun on loan from a manufacturer, get to shoot it, put it through some drills and really develop a fondness for it. Then, just when I think that this is the gun I should be carrying regularly, I have to send it back.
The painful truth is that I can’t buy every gun that I test. Part of the problem, of course, is that I like most types of handguns: single-action revolvers, double-action revolvers, DA/SA autos, 1911s, striker-fired pistols. You name it, I’ll find something I like about it.
At the same time, I’ve never been hesitant about expressing my dislike of certain features. Cocking serrations at the front of a slide, extended magazine releases and pink polymer frames are all things I can do without on a pistol. All of those things come down to personal preferences, and I have mine.
Yet sometimes there are real deficiencies that transcend personal preference. It’s not just a preference that a gun should be reliable, it’s a necessity. And if it’s not reliable, I’m going to tell you about it. No one has ever pressured me into saying good things about a gun if I didn’t truly believe them.
So why are so many gun reviews gushing with enthusiasm? The main reason is that the major manufacturers are turning out very good products these days. They have to in order to stay competitive. When you look at all of the great handguns available today, there’s no doubt that these are the good old days you’ll tell your grandkids about years from now. Another reason you see mostly favorable reviews is that writers tend to be selective about their assignments. They want to shoot the good stuff.
Having such a vast selection of excellent handguns is a good thing. Having to choose among them is difficult. To newcomers out there, I would suggest trying as many different types of guns as you can. Then, when you decide on one gun, shoot it a lot. Develop your abilities with it. Make it your gun. Don’t keep bouncing from one to the other.
To more experienced shooters, I would suggest keeping an open mind and occasionally trying to shoot something new. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with the gun that used to belong to Grandad if it functions flawlessly, you know where it hits and you’re able to shoot it well. A good gun should last several generations.
But, don’t overlook innovation. Gun expert Chuck Taylor’s willingness to adapt is a good example. He could have stuck with a 1911 of the type that helped him to make it back from Vietnam. Or he could have said the Glock he came to love a bit later was all he could ever want in a pistol.
And while he still rates those guns very highly, Chuck has found there are benefits for him with the Smith & Wesson M&P.
As for me, I have my old favorites. But when it comes to the new guns, I am a kid in a candy store.