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March 5th, 2011

New Smith & Wesson Governor Revolver is Triple Threat

If you’re looking for a versatile carry revolver, consider the new Smith & Wesson Governor, introduced at the 2011 SHOT Show. The six-shot Governor will chamber three types of ammo: .45 ACP, .45 Long Colt, and .410ga 2.5″ shotshells.

Smith & Wesson Governor RevolverThe ability to chamber shotshells makes this piece more useful as a “trail gun” that can put down snakes and other threats that are difficult to hit quickly with a pistol round. If you choose, you can load a mix of shotshells and regular cartridges. The 29.6 oz. Governor has a Scandium frame with blackened stainless cylinder. The basic model ($679.00 MSRP) comes standard with a Tritium dot front sight. There is also a more expensive ($899.00 MSRP) version with a Crimson Trace grip with built-in laser. A button in the grip activates the laser.

This Editor personally likes the shape and feel of the laser grip better than the standard grip. The laser grip (shown in the slideshow below) lets you position your hand up higher on the frame for better control, and it has a smoother profile. The laser obviously offers an advantage in low-light situations. We think, if you can afford the laser version, that’s the smart choice.

CLICK HERE for more photos showing both standard and Laser grips and open cylinder.

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December 19th, 2009

Smith & Wesson Recalls Two Performance Center Revolvers

Two S&W Performance Center revolvers have been recalled by Smith & Wesson due to potentially dangerous manufacturing defects. The model 460PC is being recalled due to potential barrel failure, while the Model 329PC has been recalled due to possible frame damage during manufacturing.

Performance Center Smith Wesson recall

Performance Center Model 460 Revolver Recall
Smith & Wesson has received four (4) reports of barrel failures involving its Performance Center Model 460 revolvers. These barrels were manufactured by an outside supplier. S&W found that the quality of steel in some of these barrels was sub-standard and may have contributed to failure of the barrel. Model 460PC owners should stop using the revolvers and return them immediately to Smith & Wesson.

This recall applies to Performance Center Model 460 revolvers shipped by the Smith & Wesson Performance Center prior to September 18, 2006. This recall does NOT apply to Smith & Wesson standard production Model 460 revolvers. The affected revolvers can be identified by the following Serial Number Range: EBD0001 – EBD0524, EBF0002 – EBF0251, LHZ0000 – LHZ0511, LLL0000 – LLL0702, LRR0001 – LRR0552, MMM0001 – MMM1809, XMC0001 – XMC0109

Performance Center Model 329 Revolver Recall
Smith & Wesson has issued a recall for the limited edition model 329 revolver. This safety recall notice applies to 270 revolvers manufactured at the Performance Center bearing serial numbers ranging from BVA0004 to BVA0210 and DEW0001 to DEW0099.

S&W states: “It has been determined that damage to the frame may have occurred during assembly of the single-piece barrel. As a result, there exists the possibility that the revolver may rupture during firing, causing a failure of the firearm and creating a risk of personal injury.” NOTE: This safety recall notice does not apply to the model 329 PD. The model 329 PD is designed with a two-piece barrel.

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October 28th, 2009

Gun Give-Away Contest on

Smith & Wesson MP15Every month offers a handsome new firearm in a drawing. This month the prize is a S&W M&P 15, a 5.56 (.223 Rem) AR15 clone with adjustable stock and iron sights. The MSRP $1,406.00. To enter the contest, you need to provide personal info and the name of an FFL-holder to whom the gun can be shipped. In addition, you need to answer a question. The question this week relates to the Bianchi Cup: “What is the highest possible score on the barricades at Bianchi?” Suggested answers range from 370 to 1920. The answer can be found by watching this week’s episode of Shooting USA.

HINT: there are 48 shots total in the Barricade Event.

Smith & Wesson MP15

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September 4th, 2009

New 1911 Grips with Integrated Funnel Base

MAKO 1911 gripsWe know that a large percentage of our readers own 1911-style pistols. The 1911 platform is the favored choice for bullseye pistol competition, and it remains an excellent choice for IDPA comps, action pistol events, and personal defense.

One of the first accessories many 1911 owners install on their pistols is a funnel-type magwell base, such as a Smith & Alexander Mag Guide. A magwell base allows you to change mags more quickly and securely. Unfortunately, adding a metal funnel is an expensive proposition that normally requires gunsmithing.

Now you can get the benefits of an expensive magwell base with a polymer, two-piece 1911 grip system from MAKO Security that incorporates a speed funnel at the bottom. Instead of buying an expensive ($70.00+) magazine extension and having to drill into your 1911, simply replace your existing grips with MAKO’s WG1911 grip system.

MAKO 1911 grips

According to Addy Sandler, MAKO’s CEO: “The WG1911 makes it much, much easier to put a magazine in a 1911 handgun. There is nothing that provides all the features and benefits of the WG1911 on the market today at this price point.” MSRP for the WG1911 grip is $27.20, but you can buy it from Trading Post Supply for just $19.74.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the WG1911 and view more photos.

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August 21st, 2009

Thomson/Center Introduces ICON™ Precision Hunter with Accuracy Guarantee

Thompson/Center (TC) has started shipping its new, ICON™ Precision Hunter varmint/deer rifle. From what we’ve heard, these guns should be shooters. Five chamberings are offered: 204 Ruger, 223 Rem, 22-250, 243 Win, and 308 Win. TC’s Precision Hunter features a 22″ heavy-contour, fluted 5R button-rifled barrel. The action mates securely to the stock via a machined aluminum bedding block (see photo below). All models feature a 3+1 detachable magazine with single-shot adapter. Tom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks has tested some wood-stocked ICONs with 5R barrels, and he says they “shot really well”. The ICON™ Precision Hunter comes with a 1 MOA accuracy guarantee, and we’d expect it to shoot quite a bit better than that with quality handloads.

TC Icon Precision Hunter

The ICON Precision Hunter features a laminated hardwood stock with a beavertail fore-end incorporating vents on the underside. TC claims these vents allow better barrel cooling. Hmm… well those vents can’t hurt. The action, which has a 60° bolt lift, is very smooth to operate. The action comes standard with integral Picatinny-style bases for scope mounting. The trigger adjusts from 3.5 lbs to 5 lbs. On the prototype units we tried, the triggers broke clean and crisp, with very minimal creep. It’s a nice hunting trigger and we expect that with a spring swap you could lower the pull weight a bit.

TC Icon Precision Hunter

TC is now owned by Smith & Wesson. It appears both S&W and TC are committed to building a quality varmint rifle with serious accuracy. “Thompson/Center has continued to push the definition of accuracy in a production rifle with the new ICON Precision Hunter, which is certified to deliver sub-Minute of Angle (MOA) accuracy right out of the box,” said Tom Kelly, Vice President of Marketing for Smith & Wesson. “We have listened to the bench shooters and varmint hunters, heard their ideas on what a perfect gun for their style of hunting would be and have designed the ICON Precision Hunter to exceed their expectations.”

What’s the price? MSRP for the ICON Precision Hunter is $1,149.00, so we figure street price will settle around $950.00. For more information, visit

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June 22nd, 2009

Smith & Wesson Recalls M22-A Pistols

Smith model 22-ASmith & Wesson announced a recall of Model 22-A pistols, with serial numbers UBW0000 – UBW9999; UBY0000 – UBY4104. Smith & Wesson “has identified a condition that may exist in certain model 22-A pistols. … We have determined that the slides of certain pistols manufactured from August 1, 2008 to February 19, 2009, may not meet the design specification. This can create a situation where insufficient headspace exists, creating a risk of unintended discharge.” If you have one of the problem 22-A units: STOP USING YOUR PISTOL AND RETURN IT TO SMITH & WESSON AT ONCE.

CLICK HERE for Photos of Breakage Suffered by Defective Pistol

NOTE. This recall applies only to 22-A pistols manufactured from August 1, 2008 to February 19, 2009. Affected pistols fall within the following serial number range: UBW0000 – UBW9999; UBY0000 – UBY4104.

Free Return Shipping Offered
To receive a UPS pre-paid shipping label for your pistol CLICK HERE or contact Smith & Wesson directly at 1-800-331-0852.

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December 31st, 2008

Smith & Wesson Issues Recall of I-Bolt Rifles

Smith & Wesson has announced a recall of the bolts of all i-Bolt rifles manufactured by Smith & Wesson prior to December 1, 2008. This applies to all i-Bolt rifle chamberings. The potential problem is a flaw within the striker mechanism that would allow discharge without pulling the trigger. S&W’s recall notice explains: “A condition that may exist with the bolt supplied with some rifles that would allow the striker to become disengaged from its locking tabs during cycling of the bolt, allowing the rifle to fire without the trigger being pulled. In the interest of consumer safety, we are initiating this recall to allow for the prompt inspection and, if necessary, the repair and replacement of each bolt.” Owners need not return the entire rifle, but you may be asked to return your bolt assembly for inspection, and (if necessary), repair.


Smith Wesson I-bolt Recall

Smith & Wesson advises all i-Bolt rifle owners to contact Smith & Wesson directly at 1-800-331-0852 or send email to to arrange for the inspection and repair, if necessary, of your bolt. You may also use THIS LINK to enter your i-Bolt return information. Smith & Wesson can then provide a prepaid UPS shipping form and shipping instructions.

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