Friday, December 30, 2005
THE GUN OF THE YEAR FOR 2005
Without further ado...
The SHOOTING GALLERY GUN OF THE YEAR FOR 2005...
...is the Taurus Gaucho single action revolver.
The Taurus Gaucho shares the legendary handling of a Colt Single Action Army, the accuracy and trigger pull of a custom tuned gun and the production values and quality of a 21st Century gunmaker with a breathtakingly reasonable price tag.
I've lived with this gun, a Sundance Blue/Color Case-Hardened framed .45 Colt 5 1/2-incher, for more than six months, and I like it more every time I handle it. It is fiercely accurate with Winchester .45 Colt Cowboy loads, and I LOVE the four clicks when you pull the big hammer back. The slightly tapered front sight and wide rear notch gives a perfect sight picture for fast and accurate cowboy shooting.
More importantly, the Gaucho has the undefinable feel of a bank vault, the sense that this is a substantial gun built for the long haul.
Here's the bottom line...I'm lucky enough to shoot lots of guns in the course of the year, a fact my shooting friends take ready advantage of when we're at the range. One of my secret, sneaky tests is to watch which guns my friends come back to and want to shoot more. The Gaucho wins that competition hands down. No matter whether they're cowboy, IPSC, three-gun or law enforcement shooters. I've invariably been asked if I had more ammo, "...for that new cowboy gun..."
My hat is off to Bob Morrison and the Boys from Brazil.
You got this one exactly right!
BTW, we'll be making a formal presentation to Taurus at SHOT.
Honorable mention goes to:
• Ruger Alaskan
• SIG Mosquito
• Para-Ordnance Warthog
The State of the Industry
My friends, it has been a spectacular year for handguns!
It seemed like every month we were presented with another amazing piece of hardware. And for the first time the industry was truly committed to filling all the various and sundry niches. S&W introduced not only another plastic gun, the M&P, but blue steel "retro revolvers" in .44 Special and .45 ACP, not to mention their harry-chested ultra-velocity .460. SIGARMS not only expanded their already impressive 226/228/229 "Classic" line, but added an equally impressive .22, the Mosquito, that looks all the world like a 226 that went through the dishwasher and shrank. Freedom Arms added a new .50 caliber, the .500 Wyoming Express...Ruger downsized the Vaquero, granted the wish of hundreds of shootists by reintroducing the .357 Blackhawk Flat-Top and shocked the shooting world by delivering the World's Greatest Big Game Back-Up Gun, the .480 Ruger Alaskan Redhawk snubby.
It practically rained 1911s — you can now get everything from a magnificent US Fire-Arms 1910 Commercial replica to duplicates of WW1 and WW2 warhorses — the Auto Ordnance WW2 Parkerized is exceptional — to multi-thousand dollar masterpieces of the pistolsmiths' art. You can get 'em little, like Para-Ordnance's Warthog, or big, as in .50 GI, from Guncrafter Industries. An old friend — Detonics — returned from the dead; companies like Nighthawk Custom continued narrowing the gap between production guns and full-house customs; Kimber continued its policy of introducing what seems like 100 (or 1000) new 1911 models a year, dominating 1911 sales with their new Desert Warrior series; SIGARMS overhauled their GSR series and began offering a Chinese menu selection of guns; S&W jumped into the void left by Colt to produce a GUNSITE 1911 Commander-sized gun with a lightweight Scandium frame; Springfield offered the TGO "Legend" model, which includes (for an extra fee, of course) having Rob Leatham actually move into your home for a week and cook for you...WHEW!
What am I leaving out? Glocks in green; HKs in beige; Rugers in red...any color is the new black! Taurus' 50 or 60 new models, including the sterling 9mm snubbie I-frame 905 revolver.
If you couldn't find the handgun of your dreams this year...you weren't looking hard enough!