Tag Archives: ruger

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

Turns Out, People Like Pistols

Out of the thousands of firearms that Guns.com sold this year, the most popular category was for semi-auto handguns, which is not surprising as that category has consistently seen the highest production numbers by the domestic firearms industry for the past several years.

Want to take a guess at the top 10?

Spoiler alert: it includes a single Taurus and Ruger, two Sig Sauers, two S&Ws, and four Glocks…

Ruger’s Triple Roll of Double Sixes

Introduced first with the square-butt Security Six in 1972 and soon followed by the Police Service Six and rounded-butt Speed Six, these guns were born from what the Connecticut-based firearms maker described in their marketing ads of the day as the product of “Ruger engineers who started with a fresh sheet of paper and an unlimited budget!” in a move to ditch what was characterized as outmoded and obsolete designs and manufacturing methods.

By 1985, more than a million had been produced, making the company’s first commercially-available double-action revolver a success.

And if you have ever held one, you can tell why.

More in my column at Guns.com.

That’s a mighty thick wheel gun

When Ruger introduced the GP100 in 1986, they emphasized the tough new double-action revolver’s modern design with a full-frame and thick top strap, attributes it still has today.

“Strength and design separate an ordinary .357 from the Ruger GP100,” the company said of their newest DA wheelgun installment, a revolver intended to replace the company’s popular Six series guns (Security Six, Speed Six, Service Six) which had been around since the 1970s.

And some people just like ’em thick, as the line is still going strong nearly 35 years later.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Foldy Minis

For those who loved the old-school looks of the folding stocked Ruger-14, but found the $1K cost of hard-to-find O.E. stocks way over the top, New Hampshire-based Samson has finally come through.

You can almost hear, “In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit…” in the background.

Of course, they are still $279, but the new stocks are made in conjunction with Ruger– even drawing from the gunmaker’s in-house supply of walnut– and are reportedly a better product than the original.

For those who love it when a plan comes together, there is more on this in my column at Guns.com

Smack talk, 357 edition

In the summer 1988 issue of American Handgunner magazine, Ruger hyped their then-new GP100 revolver as being thicker and beefier than “an ordinary .357,” showing their frame next to that of a Smith & Wesson Model 686. The argument being that thickness= strength.

Smith, on the other hand, fired back in the next issue, complete with a Ruger-shaped burger including the company’s distinctive grip panels.

Because baffle strikes suck, that’s why

Mmm, look at that sweet, sweet bore alignment from the breechface to the suppressor end cap.

Regardless of whether you call them silencers, suppressors or mufflers, these Class III sound moderators have never been more popular but come with their own host of special considerations to keep them plugging along.

In addition to regular care and maintenance, you want to make sure you have a good bore alignment with your can– because a baffle strike can ruin your whole day.

More in my column at Tac.44.com

Ruger shows off Silent-SR integrally suppressed 10/22 barrel

Designed to work with any 10/22 Takedown rimfire, Ruger debuted its new ISB last week.

Nope, that is not an O/U double shotgun barrel. It’s a 16-inch long integrally suppressed 10/22 barrel.

Billed to be able to reduce the report of standard velo .22LR to 113.2dB on average, the lightweight Silent-SR ISB is Ruger’s follow up to their first suppressor introduced last year — the screw on Silent-SR. Designed to work with their new Takedown series of 10/22, the 16.12-inch suppressed barrel is a simple changeout and its 2.6-pounds retains a center of gravity close to the rifle’s receiver.

You get the idea

More in my column at Guns.com (including a look at that beautiful baffle system). 

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