by Patrick Sweeney
At the last SHOT Show, I walked up to the Springfield Armory range (the day before the show opens, there’s a hands-on range day) and saw Springfield’s Robbie Leatham. After our usual exchange of greetings, he asked me, “Have you seen it?” There on the table was the new Springfield XDs. The little blaster in question was a surprise to just about all of us.
“I didn’t know about it until I walked on the range this morning,” Robbie told me. That’s how much of a secret it was. I’m glad I got there early. Everyone was soon crowding around to see, handle and shoot it. I’m sure whatever ammo they planned on shooting was exhausted soon after lunch.
by J. Guthrie
My formative pistol years (the “age of darkness,” as Metcalf calls it), were spent shooting striker-fired DAO autos with polymer frames. I was certainly familiar with 1911s, like most shooters on the planet. Heck, I even own a couple today. But I don’t hang a halo around the 1911, because, after all, it’s just a pistol, one whose design is more than 100 years old.
Dissecting the Ruger would be a team effort. I leaned on Metcalf’s encyclopedic knowledge of the 1911 for historical perspective (he was, after all, a history professor) and one of Ruger’s product managers, Mark Gurney, for the dirty details.
The 12-gauge, pump-action KSG bullpup has a 14-round capacity (courtesy of two parallel seven-round tubular magazines), a weight of 6.9 pounds and an overall length of 26 inches, including, of course, the legally compliant 181/2-inch barrel. For purposes of comparison, in case you’re interested, an 18½-inch-barreled Benelli M2 Tactical has an OAL of 393/4 inches.
With its pistol grip; skeletonized, bullpup-style stock; and black synthetic furniture, the KSG is pretty far removed from the old-timey pump-action Ithaca 37 or Winchester Model 12 riot guns that have been a fixture in squad cars since well before Broderick Crawford swung his bulk into a 1955 Buick in the old “Highway Patrol” TV series.
A couple of issues ago we reviewed CZ’s 455 FS, a very traditional-looking Mannlicher-stocked bolt-action sporter in .22 WMR—definitely on the sedately elegant side of things. Now some scary-smart Czech engineers took the company’s Model 452 rimfire bolt-action gun and reworked it to quickly swap from one barrel/chambering to another, each time creating a precision target/varmint rifle.
It’s called the Model 455 Varmint Evolution, and aside from the fact that it’s a bolt-action rimfire, it’s anything but conventional. The general staff opinion on the radical-looking, blue-gray laminated hardwood stock was mixed. Some loved it. Some gasped in horror. Its semi-skeletonized (for lack of a better term) stock is fully ambidextrous, including the cheekpiece and palm swell.