Gun reviews are one of the key components of the GunsHolstersAndGear.com site. I aim to deliver useful information for consumers that are looking to purchase a firearm.
Many websites and magazines provide firearm reviews. Fundamentally, GHG is different. I write reviews with you – the purchaser – in mind. I don’t cater to fanboys and give every manufacturer a fair shake. I tell you the good and the bad.
I think GHG also sets itself apart in a number of other ways that are listed below.
Guns We’ve Reviewed
Here is the list of all of the guns I have reviewed on GHG. The list includes pistols, rifles and shotguns.
- ATI Polymer AR-15 Lower – Looking for an inexpensive lower to build an AR-15? You would be hard pressed to find anything less expensive. But low cost doesn’t always mean good value. Read the review to see how the ATI lower fared.
- Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun – This is one of the best “tactical” shotguns I’ve had the pleasure of running. It is well made and runs great. The fact that looks good is just icing on the cake.
- Bersa BP40CC – Another in the company’s series of polymer pistols designed for concealed carry, this one is chambered for the .40 caliber cartridge. It wound up being a very good running pistol, though there are one or two things you need to know about before you drop your cash on it. In the end, I really like it, but there are some things it can improve on.
- Bersa BP9CC – This is the first Bersa pistol I have ever owned, and I am very impressed. This gun shot extremely well and was reliable.
- Black Creek Precision 9mm AR pistol – Based in Jacksonville, FL, Black Creek Precision is making some very nice AR pistols and rifles chambered in .223, 300 BLK and 9mm. I took one of the 9mm pistols for a test drive and liked what I found.
- Charter Arms Off Duty – The Off Duty is a credible alternative to the model 642 revolver from S&W. The price is reasonable and the features are surprisingly good – superior in some cases to the Smith & Wesson.
- CMMG Mk4 PDW Pistol – It’s a long name, but it is a good gun. Well, except for one thing that I didn’t like regarding subsonic ammunition. You need to read this if you are thinking about buying one.
- CMMG Mk47 Mutant – This crazy rifle blends aspects of the AK and AR platforms into one rifle. I was really impressed with how well this gun ran.
- CZ P-07 Duty – In this gun review, we take a look at the CZ P-07 Duty, a polymer-framed version of the popular CZ 75 line of handguns.
- Dark Storm Industries DS-9 – A recent trend has more and more 9mm carbines appearing on the market. One of the newer models is the DS-9 from Dark Storm Industries. This new AR-style rifle takes Glock magazines and proved to be very reliable.
- Diamondback AM2 – This is a very affordable 9mm pistol. Compact enough for concealed carry, yet large enough to comfortably shoot, the gun proved reliable and accurate. The price tag would up completing the overall package.
- Diamondback DB9 – Review of the tiny pocket 9mm made in Florida. We push this little gun well beyond its stated limits and were pleased to see that it, and we, survived.
- Diamondback DB9 GEN 4 – I got a chance for some hands-on testing with the latest version of the DB9 pistol. It is a huge step up for this line, and I strongly recommend reading this review.
- Diamondback DB15 pistol – I review the pistol version of the company’s DB15 rifle. The short (7.5″ barrel) gun turned in a great performance, though I wonder how short is too short when it comes to .223/5.56 ammo.
- DoubleTap pistol – I don’t care if you are shooting .45 or 9mm, the recoil is ugly. I shot both and have some very pointed thoughts about this gun. Make sure you read about the pierced primers.
- Gen 4 Glock Review: Evolution, not Revolution – When the Gen 4 Glock pistols came out, we got them out on the range. They are a nice evolution in the line.
- Glock 42 Review – The Thin American – Our review of the new Glock 42 pistol is up. We beat it up on the range, test it with lasers and generally give it the third degree. It took it all and kept on rocking. Hey, it IS a Glock, right?
- Glock 43 – I take the single stack 9mm pistol for a multi-month test drive. I discovered a few things about the gun that you should consider before buying it.
- HK VP9 – We put the new VP9 through its paces with more than 1,200 rounds of ammo and 10 shooters. The gun ran flawlessly and was an instant hit with everyone. Check out the photos, details, and video here.
- IWI Tavor SAR – Aaron gets range time with the newly imported IWI Tavor rifle. This is an amazing combat rifle that will make an excellent home defense or patrol rifle.
- IWI Tavor X95 – This rifle does not disappoint. A top tier civilian version of the IDF’s X95, the semi-automatic Tavor X95 is a real joy to shoot. It balances exceptionally well and was flawless in testing. However, there are some considerations you should ponder on before buying one. I give you all of the details in this review.
- Kahr CM9 – Photos and video augment this evaluation of the inexpensive CM9 pistol from Kahr. I liked this gun so much, that I bought it. That is a lot more than I can say about some of the guns I have reviewed.
- Phase 5 CQC Pistol – Phase 5 makes a variety of AR pistols and rifles. I had the chance to test one of their CQC pistols chambered in 5.56 NATO.
- Remington 783 – In this review of the model 783 rifle from Remington, Aaron takes a close look at the amazing new hunting gun that replaces the 770 series.
- Ruger American Compact 9mm Pistol Review – Ruger is known for making tough guns, and this one is no different. But how does that work for a pistol that is designed to be compact? Take a read and find out what I discovered.
- Ruger LCR – The original polymer revolver is also the best of the bunch, rivaling even the highly-regarded Smith & Wesson J-frames. I trust these guns and recommend them for self-defense and backup gun roles. Calibers range from .22 LR to .357 Magnum. The company even has a 9mm version.
- SIG SAUER 1911 Traditional Ultra Compact – Compact 1911 pistols – especially those chambered in 9mm – get a bad rap. But, SIG seems to have unlocked the puzzle with this one. The gun was reliable and very accurate. As icing on this cupcake, it looks darn good also.
- SIG SAUER P224 – A chopped SIG, the P224 was surprisingly easy to shoot. Like all SIG P-series pistols, it proved to be very reliable.
- SIG SAUER P226 E2 – What is now standard started life as an E2 option. SIG SAUER’s attempt to improve the handling characteristics of its classic P226 was successful beyond imagination.
- SIG Sauer P226R – This is the third SIG Sauer P226 I’ve reviewed, and the fourth I have owned. The current generation of P226 pistols now incorporate an accessory rail and the E2 improvements made several years ago to the line.
- SIG Sauer P227 – Introduced in 2013, we got to shoot the SIG P227 and give it a solid workout. It shot very well and feels great in the hand. It has the E2 enhancements.
- SIG Sauer P290 RS Enhanced – The SIG P290 RS pistols are an updated version of the company’s subcompact 9mm handguns. It proved to be very reliable and accurate.
- Smith & Wesson CORE – If you are thinking about adding an optic to your self-defense handgun, take a good look at the CORE pistols from Smith & Wesson. These M&P handguns are optics ready from the factory.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm – This is one of the better compact pistols I have had the chance to shoot. It is so good, I bought it rather than sending it back. The only hard part is trying to get it back from my wife.
- Smith & Wesson Model 610 – If you’ve ever wondered what a 10mm revolver was like to shoot, I can explain in one word: fun. This wheelgun had moderate recoil and put rounds accurately down range. Bonus: it also shoots .40 S&W cartridges.
- Smith & Wesson Model 66-8 Review – I test the 4.25″ and 2.75″ versions of the new guns. Any time I get to test a quality revolver, it is more fun that works. That’s the case with these guns as well.
- Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P380 EZ – This is the tuned version of the .380 ACP pistol. I was impressed by this gun. It ran reliably, was very accurate and was a lot of fin to shoot.
- Smith & Wesson SD40 – Shockingly, this inexpensive S&W pistol proved to be a great little shooter and a flawless performer. It could be the best bargain in modern handguns.
- Springfield XD-S 4.0 9mm – We take the 4″ version of this subcompact pistol out to the range and get some serious trigger time in. It wound up impressing us, and we share the details. But, be warned, there is one serious problem with the gun that you need to know about before carrying it for self-defense.
- Springfield XD-S 45 – We got to shoot the .45 caliber version of the XD-S concealed carry pistol and talk to “the great one” about the new pistol. Multiple videos and photos, plus lots of information.
- Springfield XDS 9mm – We got a chance to shoot this new, single-stack pistol at the SHOT Show. It is a great little shooter and will be a huge seller when it hits the stores.
- STI Escort – A lot of readers have asked me to review some high-end 1911 pistols. The guns made by STI enjoy a great reputation, so I obtained one for a review. My findings might be a bit surprising.
- T/C Venture Compact Rifle – We get a great evaluation of the Venture Compact rifle from T/C. Aaron gets the opportunity to shoot the gun and talk directly to the designers about this gun.
- Taurus 709 SLIM – This gun was one we wished had worked, but between bulging cases and the warranty center breaking the rear sight, we were very displeased with our experience.
- Taurus 740 SLIM – We take a look at this little .40 caliber handgun and are ultimately disappointed with a gun we really wanted to like.
- Taurus 905 Review: 9mm Revolver – While not perfect, this rimless-ammo-fed revolver offers some interesting characteristics worth considering for self-defense.
- Taurus Spectrum – Another in a line of disappointing guns I have tested from Taurus, I really like the look and feel of this pistol. Unfortunately, the gun just isn’t reliable enough for self-defense use.
- Walther PPS – I took this single stack pistol for a two-month test drive. It was accurate and reliable, but it had one flaw that was called a “deal killer” by another shooter.
- Walther PPS M2 – The updated version of the PPS is here – and wow – was I blown away.
- Winchester 1873 – Bringing back a classic, the Winchester 1873 made its way into our hands for a range review. This sharp looking lever-action rifle is a great performer.
General Testing Procedures
Getting out and testing guns is very enjoyable, but we take gun reviews seriously.
You, my reader, deserve to hear the good and bad aspects of every gun I test. Few of us have an unlimited gun fund, so we have to be careful about where we spend our money. I’ve bought bad guns – my goal is to help you avoid doing the same.
I believe manufacturers should get a fair shake. I’m not out to “hammer” any manufacturer, and I try to give a company to respond to any problems that pop up. However, I do not bury problems. I report my experiences and opinions regardless of what a company might prefer.
We’re not going to give you a load of bovine excrement in these reviews. If we like it, we say so. If we don’t, we tell you why.
In general, I test guns using the following procedure. Keep in mind that the procedure evolved into what it is now. In an effort to keep improving, it is likely to change in the future. The goal is to provide the best information possible.
- After receiving the gun, I check the package contents to ensure everything is present. Any damage from shipping is noted and addressed (if needed.)
- I read the user manual. Some guns have specific safety notices, takedown procedures or ammunition restrictions.
- I clean and lubricate the gun according to manufacturer directions. In general, I use an all-purpose gun solvent like Hoppes #9 or Breakthrough. For a lubricant, I will use a light oil or CLP. Most often, I use Break Free.
- For range testing, I use no fewer than three different factory loads. I prefer to use five or more different loads of varying types to better test the gun’s ability to run all kinds of ammunition. Whenever possible, I try to shoot no less than 500 rounds through each handgun tested. Rifle round counts vary depending on the expense of the ammunition. For example, I would shoot no less than 500 rounds through an AR or AK variant, but much less through a .338 Lapua Magnum bolt gun. Specific ammunition information is included in each article.
- I measure bullet velocities, track malfunctions (if any) and record other observations while shooting.
- If I experience significant problems, I will contact the customer service department for the firearm and give them an opportunity to address the issue.
Every gun review I do includes a disclosure. The disclosure will tell you a number of things including how I obtained the gun and what financial interests I may have in the company and review.
I make no bones about it: GHG is a for-profit website. For me, it is part of my business and helps to put food on the table – literally.
However, I do not think that earning a profit and serving you is a mutually exclusive proposition. Rather, I firmly believe that long term business viability is only possible through excellent service to you – my customer.
All information is free. Read all you like – I’ll never ask for a penny.
Also, I don’t use banner ads, autoplaying videos or any of the other annoying crud that seems to populate many of the firearm sites today. Those slow down the web and clutter your screen. Neither is acceptable to me.
Instead, I built affiliate relationships with several companies like Brownells and Amazon. Some of the links on GHG will take you to one of the companies I have associated with. If you choose to use one of those links to make a purchase, I earn a small percentage of the purchase price as a finder’s fee or commission. My commission does not alter your price.
My plan is to provide you with unlimited free content, and if you appreciate my work, you can use one of my links to make a purchase. You don’t have to come out of pocket to help me feed the kids, and I don’t have to ask Smith & Wesson or Remington for sponsorship money. That helps to keep the reviews unbiased.
So, what guns do you want to see reviewed? Old guns, new guns, surplus guns? Crazy expensive or firearms that are within the reach of the common man? You let us know and we will try to bring you the gun reviews you want!