All posts by Steel

FN Herstal FS2000 Tactical Carbine

FN Herstal FS2000

The FN Herstal FS2000 is a civilian-legal 5.56x45mm NATO/223 Remington bullpup semi-automatic, gas operated assault carbine and one mean and deliciously powerful machine!!

Designed by Belgium manufacturer FN Herstal, The F2000 was unleashed upon the world on March 2001 in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates during the at the IDEX defense exhibition after six years of development from 1995 through 2001. It remains in production to this day and has served in the Australian led Operation Astute in East Timor as well as the War in Afghanistan led by the United States.

FN Herstal FS2000 Tactical Carbine

Immediately evident is its lusciously modern design with all of the features of a weapon one would expect from playing a video game. In fact, contemporary pop culture has adopted the FS2000 in films such as Terminator Salvation and GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, TV Shows such as the Unit, and various video game series including Battlefield, Splinter Cell, Modern Warfare and Tom Clancy (to name just a few). Its beauty and artful form is brilliantly balanced by its vicious killer design and its ferocious assault capabilities.

Available in the USA through FNH USA at various dealers nationwide (where legal) as well as multiple online venues, the American models include either the 10 or 30 (Standard STANAG) round capacity FS2000 Standard, which are gas operated, closed rotary bolt, bullpup carbines chamberig 5.56x45mm NATO/223 Remington cartridges, and come complete with a standard M16 Optical sight module.

According to FNH USA, specifications describe the FS2000 as weighing 8.04 lbs (3.65 kg), measuring 27.08 inches (688 mm) in length, 3.2 inches in width (81.3 mm), 10.2 inches in height (259.1 mm) with a barrel length of 17.44 inches (443 mm). Though a semi-automatic, its original mother, the F2000 is capable of a rate of fire of 850 rounds per minute. All models have an effective range of 1,640 feet (500 meters).

FN Herstal FS2000 Tactical Carbine

FN Herstal adopted some of its important features from the P90 submachine guns including the trigger mechanism and the safety system. Its ambidextrous bullpup design facilitates handling, and the magazine catch and release button is installed symmetrically on the pistol grip. The magazine is loaded towards the rear of the body as opposed to the front as most bullpup designs, allowing for a much shorter exposed barrel which is useful during close assault situations. A small lift entry is located at the rear top indicating the presence of a round in the barrel, and the spent casings are collected in groups of two to five, then expelled at the front-right portion of the weapon when a small lift gate is closed, eliminating gaseous debris from smothering the shooter’s face.

Though complicated looking, just a few elements compose the FS200. A quick removal of a pin removes the sight cover and module revealing the Picatinny rail. Most of the exposed steel is made of composite material while the barrel is a chromed hammer forged steel featuring a flash suppressor with an angled cut at the end. FN Herstal claims the barrel can retain its accuracy even after 20,000, non-sustained rounds.

The FS2000 does have some limited aftermarket parts available, most useful of which is the flashlight module replacing the lower front hub. While the FS2000 Standard does not come with the computer programming to carry it, the F2000 is capable of carrying a proprietary lightweight 40 mm under-slung GL1 grenade launcher, capable of firing off a low velocity 40×46 mm grenade.

The FS2000 is a civilian firearms enthusiast’s dream. Ownership is the only proper entity that should be available in a human’s life. Some of the best features in terms of personal use and experience includes the almost immediate recovery from the sights to the target. After firing off a round, you are practically instantly ready for a second, equally accurate shot. Moreover, the powerful 5.56x45mm NATO/223 Remington cartridges smoothly fly off the weapon as if firing a .22 rifle, yet delivering the brutal and forceful punishment of a .223. For the faint of heart and the light of wallet, purchasing this badboy might be a thrill in and of itself. All of the features and near perfection you get with this masterful instrument comes at a steep price – currently just under $2,200. Nevertheless, this is hands down a machine to own!

Wife shooting an FN Herstal FS2000 Tactical Carbine

Beretta CX-4 Storm Tactical Carbine

The Cx4 Beretta Storm

The Cx4 Beretta Storm is a beautifully designed semi-automatic carbine intended for cartridges and magazines to be interchangeable with other Beretta semi-automatic pistols.

Designed by Italian manufacturer Beretta, the Beretta Cx4 Storm has been in production since 2003 and is aimed at the home defense market, but has also become popular in various police forces and SWAT teams throughout the United States.

Beretta CX-4 Storm Tactical Carbine

It’s unique practical design facilitates chambering, push-button dissemblance for rapid maintenance, dual side customization, and most importantly the ability to load cartridges compatible with Beretta pistols and can even interchange with other manufacturers’ magazines with some costly modifications.

According to, the robust polymeric materials, or technopolymers, aided in the highly futuristic and ergonomic design of the Cx4 Beretta Storm which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also extremely versatile offering superior performance, safety and reliability. It’s steel barrel is chrome lined for maximum corrosion resistance aimed at increasing the barrel’s and the overall weapon’s life. It is further equipped with a rubber recoil pad which improves comfort and contributes to a better, more accurate shot by minimizing the time to adjust the sights after recoil.

Similar to the Beretta pistols it is meant to be interchanged with, the loads operate on a standard blowback system, allowing each fired round to set into place the subsequent round through its rearward thrust while simultaneously releasing the spent case. The most widely used interchangeable pistol is the Beretta 92FS and its 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. Among the included cartridge capabilities are the 9x21mm IMI, .40 S&W and the .45 ACP.

The firearm’s physical specifications define its weight as 2.575 kg or 5.68 lbs, its length at 755mm or 29.7 inches which includes its barrel length at 422.5mm or 16.6 inches. The Beretta Storm Cx4 is 63mm or 2.5 inches wide and 190mm or 7.5 inches tall. Load capacities through its feed system include 8, 10, 11, 15, 20 or 30 round plastic box magazines. The Beretta Cx4 Storm comes standard with a 2 position aperture flip sight at the rear and an adjustable front post sight.

Beretta CX-4 Storm Tactical Carbine

In the video on this page, my wife is seen firing a Beretta Storm Cx4 using 9mmx19 cartridges and a holographic scope sight; the Beretta Storm Cx4 is highly customizable and the holographic scope is an excellent example of its customization capabilities. Notice how precise each shot is, connecting each shot with its target precisely and consistently. After her session, she claimed that the recoil was almost completely absorbed by the Cx4 and she had little trouble connecting the sights with the targets after each shot. Additionally, the scope had significantly facilitated her aiming, and the weight of the firearm reduced fatigue and kept her in line with her objectives. As I observed the beauty of the weapon, she was able to fully appreciate its ergonomics and performance.

I wanted to get her this carbine so I’d have an excuse to get myself a Beretta 92, but she turned me down in favor of the insanely expensive and powerful FN Herstal FS2000!

Wife shooting a Beretta CX-4 Storm Tactical Carbine

AR15 Assault Rifle


AR-15 Assault Rifle

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic, fully automatic and service rifle known originally as the ArmaLite model 15 designed by Eugene Stoner in 1957 and has been in service since 1958 through present. Several manufacturers claim the AR-15 including ArmaLite and Colt, and it’s most famous variant is the M16 Selective Fire assault rifle. Having acquired the rights in 1959, Colt manufactured the M16 to the U.S. Navy, Army, Airforce and Marine Corps while simultaneously marketing the brand to law enforcement agencies as well as civilian customers. The M16 is highly recognizable as the primary assault rifle during the Vietnam war.

Only the lower receiver assembly is designated as a firearm, which unlike most other rifles, contains the serial number in conjunction with the firing mechanisms. This feature allows upper assemblies to be quickly interchanged and mail-ordered as separate, non-weapon designated parts. The detachable STANG magazines can fire may different types of rounds, but the AR-15 was designed mainly for the .223 Remington and the 5.56 NATO.

AR-15 Assault Rifle

I have the great pleasure of using one fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher. Unfortunately, I don’t have legal access to 40mm projectile grenades and therefore cannot write about their use, but I can use the rifle with 9mm rounds in its magazine. The grenade launcher adds extra weight to the barrel and extra support is necessary to keep the sights lined with the target, but the rifle is excellent at absorbing the recoil from its comparatively small rounds, making each successive shot easier to align and maneuver. If it were a fully automatic version, it would be easy to maintain the current target. For this reason, the M16 is so successful at creating massive wounding and hydrostatic shock with its rapid fire energy.

Because of many factors including its ease of handling, reliability and most importantly, its versatility, the AR-15 will continue to be a popular firearm in the Military, law enforcement and civilian sport worldwide. Beyond that, I think it looks cool and is fun to shoot. I like the rubber grips on some of the models I’ve tried, and I do enjoy the .223 cartridges, which add a nice solid punch.

Shooting an AR-15 Assault Rifle


AK-47 Kalasnikov Assault Rifle

The AK-47 Kalashnikov Assault Rifle

The AK-47 is a gas operated selective fire assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov for the manufacturing company Izhmash in the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1946. The Soviet Armed Forces ultimately accepted the modernized redesign in 1949 with the designation AK-47; Avtomat Kalashnikova 47 – the 1947 redesign of the Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle.

Infamously known in the Western world as the weapon of the enemy, the AK has been used by practically every opponent of the United States from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, through the Vietnam war and into the War on Terror. Its multiple variants along with cheap, free or unlicensed production made distribution andavailability easy for multiple revolutionary groups throughout Africa and the Middle East, Communist parties in Asia and South America, and drug cartels in Mexico. Its current and most notorious users are the terrorist groups Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

AK-47 Kalasnikov Assault Rifle

Designed primarily for Soviet soldiers to maneuver with large gloves in extreme cold climates, the weapon has large parts and generous spacing between moving parts making it both practical, easy to clean and resilient to multiple weather conditions. In addition, it is easy and cheap to produce making it sometimes easier to illegally manufacture than to smuggle, though both situations are almost equally responsible for the massive global inventory of an estimated 500 million firearms currently available in the world. In Northern Africa, the AK-47 can currently be bought for roughly $30 to $120 dollars, and in Kenya the price is down to 4 cows from 15 in the mid 1980’s.

The reliability and mechanical clearances come at the cost of accuracy, and its primary purpose was for close range battles of less than 300 meters. It has an adjustable rear tangent iron sight measured in hundred meters and an adjustable front sight. It weighs a heavy 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg) and ranges from 25.4 inches (645 mm) for the folding stock up to 34.4 inches (875 mm) for the fixed wooden extended stock and a barrel length of 16.3 inches (415 mm). The gas operated, rotating bolt action produces a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute when fully automatic, and holds a 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge in a 20 to 30 curved detachable box magazine or up to 75 with a round drum magazine.

Whether it is because I am spoiled with lighter, well built and more expensive American weapons, or simply because of an inherent disrespect for its current users, the AK-47 rifle felt like a piece of junk to me. It was heavy, the wood is cheap, and the firing it is uninspiring and unimaginative. It feels welfare poor after getting its monthly check; a homeless bum with a hard-on. A piece of junk with the ability to kill. The AK-47 shoots inaccurate rounds even at 100 yards, but as a battle weapon proves destructive and reliable, and therefore deserves some respect. Additionally, its vast global use in over six decades proves its reliability and function produced with relative ease and inexpense. Overall though, it’s a bad shot and it’s ugly.

AK-47 Kalasnikov Assault Rifle

Remington 870 a

The Remington Shotgun Model 870

The Remington Shotgun Model 870 is a pump action shotgun manufactured in the United States by Remington Arms Company, Incorporated since 1951. According to the Gun Digest Treasury, the 870 holds the record for being the best selling shotgun in the world with over ten million units sold. Its popularity can be attributed to its ruggedness and reliability as demonstrated by various military and police organizations throughout the world.

The Remington Shotgun comes in several variants including the Wingmaster, Express, Marine, SPS, SPS-T, XCS, TAC and Super Magnum. It ranges from 7 to 8 pounds (3.2 to 3.6 kg) and ranges from 37.5 to 50.5 inches (946 to 1,283 mm).

Its internal tube magazine holds between three and eight rounds with cartridge sizes of 12 gage, 16 gage, 20 gage, 28 gage ad .410 bore. It is a bottom feeder with a side ejector for spent casings.

I normally like to get some shooting in before venturing off into my annual shaman’s journey, and this year I concentrated my efforts on several shotguns and a little trap shooting. After shooting a 20 gage shotgun with perfect precision; connecting at 100% with every disk, I decided to step it up and use the 12 Remington Shotgun – the 870 badboy.

Remington Shotgun

I definitely lost some of the precision and connected less, connecting between 70% initially then improving to about 80%. But what I gained was power and exhilaration! The recoil pushed the cavity between my shoulder and chest with delicate force, and the sounds of each explosion ventured into the air with claim and dignity.

Target shooting straight with the Remington Shotgun has always been near perfect, but the smooth flow of back and forth movements trying to align the sight with the clays was challenged by the sight itself above the barrel. While it may have air pockets to allow for fluid movement, the 20 gage Defender lacked that extra material and was far easier to maneuver.

In the first video on this page, I’m firing a Remington 870 Magnum straight into the range. While the stuffed animals posing as targets don’t even move as the pellets shoot right through them, precision is definitely challenged. However, the shower of pellets penetrate at least portions of the body even at a range of thirty yards. Any closer and annihilation is practically guaranteed. This is what makes the Remington an excellent choice for home protection; at close encounters, a point and shoot action is sufficient to bring down any potential threat, and its 12 gage ammunition offers incredible stopping power!

Nevertheless, the Remington was a far more exciting weapon, and its inspiration set the mood for a twisted evening filled with fury and lethal detonation.

Remington Shotgun

Taurus Judge 410 45 Long Colt

The Taurus Judge

The Taurus Judge is a great firearm for high pressure, close encounter situations where the rush of fear and adrenaline overpower the ability to properly aim. Loaded with a .410 Bore Shotgun Shell, any assailant would be viciously hurt or killed by one of these rounds, and all the victim needs to do is point in the direction and shoot!

When I finally got around to getting my wife a home defense weapon of her own, I tried to think logically and followed it with some good research and personal history. I also took her to the range a few times and tried on a variety of firearms to see how well she would do. She proved to be an excellent shot at every weapon she tried and seemed like an instant master. Unfortunately, she has incredible taste in everything from jewelry to men (thank you very much), and firearms were no exception. As such, she decided that she really enjoyed the FN Herstal FS2000, but would even “settle” for a Beretta CX-4 Storm.

I was proud of her for making such bold statements, but I wasn’t prepared to spend over two grand on an FS2000, and an AR-15 was a much better value than the CX-4 storm, but neither were appropriate for home defense purposes.

After some research and consideration, I decided to look into getting a Mossberg 12 Guage Shotgun with an 18” barrel. She agreed to go to the local armory and try one out.

Taurus Judge 410 45 Long Colt

At the gun shop, we requested to view the Mossberg, and as she tried it on to give it a good pump, the thing made her look like she was 12 years old! I knew the salesperson was being very polite and contained himself, but very shortly thereafter he provided an adequate suggestion: the Taurus Judge, a 5 round capacity revolver with a three inch barrel capable of firing 2.5” .410 Shotgun Shells as well as the massive .45 Colt cartridge, or more commonly referred to as the 45 Long Colt.

I deeply wanted to get a firearm with a rail system, and the store’s Taurus Judge did not have one. They were nice enough to try and find me one, but after two weeks of search with no luck, I decided to go online and find myself a discontinued version at a reduced price. With a simple order and FFL file, we had the Judge delivered by the end of the week. After about ten minutes of paperwork and background check, I loaded up on a vicious amount of ammo and headed home with our new firearm.


The Taurus Judge is produced by Taurus International of Porto Alegre, Brazil and imported into Miami, Florida. The name changed to the Taurus Judge from 4410 then later 4510 as the company learned that judges in high crime areas of Miami, Florida were purchasing the model to bring to courtrooms for self defense purposes.

Their current lineup consists of 12 variants, from its polymer Public Defender to the Stainless Steel models to the one we have, a Blued Steel black that has the spirit of a wild Mustang.

The Specs

The Taurus Judge comes in several variants, there are several key aspects that are common among all models:

– Available in Stainless Steel, Blued Steel, or Polymer
– .45 Colt / .410 Bore 2.5” Chamber, 3” Barrel
– 5 Round Capacity
– “Ribber” Grips (they work great at absorbing the recoil)
– Fixed Red/Orange Fiber Optics Sight (I like this, works great at gathering light in the dark)
– Discontinued, but I found mine with a Rail System
– 23 Ounces with the Rail System

The rail system allowed my to go on amazon and get a Hilight 190 Lumen Pistol LED Strobe Flashlight with Weaver Quick Release. The first time I tested the flashlight, I pointed it to my eyes and it blinded me!! What a thrill!

The Ammunition

The combination of the .410 Bore Shotgun Shell and the 45 Colt make it an interesting choice of firearm. I knew that my wife would be able to handle the .410 bore shell, and I was attracted to the powerful 45 Long Colt. And each choice of ammunition comes with some interesting combinations as well.

.410 Bore Shotgun Shells

This is the choice of power you want armed in the home or car at all times for those high adrenaline close encounter situations. Point and shoot is all the accuracy you need with these. The main difference is that you have the 000 Buckshot .410 for target practice and shooting snakes, and the recently introduced Winchester PDX .410 Defender.

The PDX 410 was specifically designed for the Taurus Judge and has three plated discs with 12 bb pellets following right behind them. They cost twice as much, but are worth it to keep in your Judge at all times for their stopping power.

.45 Long Colts

These badboys were one of the reasons I decided to commit to the Taurus Judge. I had lots of fun with 45 acp rounds and love the bigger bang of 44 magnums in both revolver and semi automatic forms, so I knew I’d like these cartridges. With the 45 Long Colts however, I found out that they can be tricky to find, expensive when available, and come in what’s callled a Cowboy cartridge, which are essentially raw lead bullets and higher grain powder that emulate original 45 Colt Cowboy shooting.

With some good research I found ways around these issues. For one, Hornady 45 Long Colt Hollow Point LEVERevolution is the defensive choice for this caliber and I keep them at the side in case I’m the one that needs to use it. It has a trajectory speed of 960 fps and is meant to flatten upon connecting with soft tissue, dissipating the probability of going through the other side of the assailant. Beyond that, it has nice accuracy compared to the cheaper 45 Long Colts I’ve used for practice.

45 Long Colt Defensive Ammunition=

45 Long Colt Defensive Ammunition=

Now, I’ve also used Federal ammunition for the Long Colt, but they tend to be extremely expensive and hard to come by. Ultimately, I found the Military Ballistics Industries 45 Long Colt Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose for almost 40% less!!!! I can’t tell you how excited I was to find a FMJ bullet that much cheaper than the Federal Ammunition with the Flat Nose half exposed lead, online, without having to travel nearly 16 miles!!

The Test

I enjoyed taking the Taurus Judge and testing out our new range and see how far I could push the membership privileges. I’ve gone several times very early in the morning, one hour after sunrise as the rules state, and found myself alone and meditative as I released round after round of powerful and furious projectiles.

Taurus Judge TargetImmediately I noticed the heavy yet nicely distributed weight on the firearm. The 000 Buckshots centered nicely on the target with minimal aiming. The Hornady 45 Long Colt Hollow Point LEVERevolution really went where I wanted it to go.

The only major disappointment was the Federal Ammunition target .45 Long Colt. For some time, I just couldn’t get it to where I wanted it to go. I was surprised at one point after a couple of sessions at the range, they started listening to me! But after they run out, I’m going to get started at testing out the Military Ballistics Industries 45 Long Colt Full Metal Jacket Flat Nose, 40% and full metal jacket, even if they shoot the same they’re going to be much better.

One thing is for sure though, by far the best round that goes through the Taurus Judge is the Winchester PDX .410 Defender; the recoil is the lightest, its direction is the straightest, it groups centered nicely on the target, and it creates the most damage. It was kind of a pleasure to shoot.

Overall, the Taurus Judge is a fantastic home defense tool worthy of any residential armory. I have no regrets purchasing this fantastic firearm, and neither does my wife. Late in the evening, we parade around the house on practice runs; her with her Taurus Judge and strobing flashlight, and me with my 45acp and laser. Anyone lucky enough to be noticing our windows in the pre-dawn hours would get quite a thrill, and a clear message!

Taurus Judge 410 45 Long Colt

Ruger Redhawk 44

The Ruger RedHawk

The Ruger Redhawk may not be everyone’s favorite 44 Mag, but I find it to be a serious, powerful, accurate (for its class) and fully enjoyable double action revolver!! This high grade blue or stainless steel beast was among the world’s most powerful pistols during its introduction in 1979!

The Ruger Redhawk was first introduced to the world in 1979 by manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company and continues to be in production as of today. Primarily revered for its extended .44 Magnum cartridge, the Redhawk has over the years been designed to handle multiple types of cartridges in its extended six roundcylinder. These have included the .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .45 Colt and .454 Casull.

Ruger Redhawk TargetTheir current lineup redefines the Redhawk as the Super Redhawk which includes 2 Alaskan models with a 2.5″ barrel and 2 Standard models with a 7.5″ barrel as well as the 9.5″ – each nearing about $1,000 US dollars. According to their website, the features include Ruger’s triple locking cylinder which is locked to the frame at the front, rear and bottom for a more dependable shot during continuous use, corrosion resistant stainless steel, the integral scope system with mounts machined directly on the frame and free scope rings, a powerful extended frame, RECOIL CUSHIONING HOGUE® TAMER™ MONOGRIP® with an internal recoil cushion positioned under the web of the hand to reduce the impact of powerful loads, dual chambering for .44 Magnum models, which also accept all factory .44 Special cartridges and .454 Casull models, as well as .45 Colt cartridges.

Starting with the Alaskan models, the overall length is 7.62″ and weigh 41 to 44 ounces. The standard models range from 13″ and 53 ounces to 15″ and 58 ounces.

I had the privilege of firing off a 7.5″ barreled .44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk with the adjustable front and rear sights. At 53 ounces, the pistol felt firm and heavy yet manageable and comfortably assuring. I fired this pistol with and without a scope, and have to admit that firing it without the scope gives me better accuracy and makes me feel closely connected with my target. The detonation of each shot feels explosive and exhilarating, the recoil makes me feel alive, and the accuracy of each roundconnecting with its destiny greets me with feelings of mastery and elation.

Ruger Redhawk

It is the Ruger Redhawk that epitomizes the .44 Magnum experience for me. I would find it to be an especially interesting lineup in anyone’s firearm collection, which would consist first of a .38 Special then this .44 Magnum.

Ruger Redhawk


Springfield Armory XD 45ACP

The Springfield Armory XD 45ACP

The Springfield Armory XD 45ACP is a serious home defense, self defense concealed carry firearm with exceptional quality, accuracy and power. Currently with 29 variants and 4 color combinations, from the 3 inch sub-compact models to the XDM 5.25” to the new 2012 XDS .45 ACP, there is a Springfield XD for everyone.

Springfield Armory XD 45ACP

I recently got my wife an incredibly powerful Taurus Judge for home defense and self protection. I wanted something that had good stopping power, but more importantly, that required little skill and aiming accuracy. When chambered with the .410 bore shotgun shell, all she has to do is aim, shoot, and severely damage whatever is in her way. As an extra level of security, I attached a 190 lumen strobing flashlight to stun any assailant before he meets with his inevitable fate. The final driving force that led me to the purchasing decision was that it could be chambered with the modernized classic .45 Long Colt, a mean and powerful classic with a big kick and decent accuracy.

As I took the Judge to the range over and over, I decided that the best thing to come out of that revolver was the defense quality .410 bore shell, and even the .45 Colt Hollow Point. But it lacked the accuracy I desired. Yet, I was really enjoying the .45, so I had to get back to the local armory and really think about what I was going to get next.

Springfield Armory XD 45ACP-TargetWhen I took my wife to look at the Judge, I spent a good deal of time playing with a firearm they had on sale, the Springfield Armory XD 45ACP in 3.8” all black polymer with the crimson trace grip on it. I was focused on the Judge, but intrigued by the XD. Shortly thereafter I came back for the Springfield XD, but it had been put aside on layaway, gone from what could have been an exquisite and meaningful relationship.

I spent nights awake thinking of the Springfield Armory XD, and days dreaming of ownership; releasing what I imagined were perfect round after perfect round. Its absence haunted my thoughts and sent a chemical bouquet of norepinephrine, cortisol and regret through my veins.

Finally, one evening my wife and I were enjoying some beers and champagne, and I revealed that I had to get another firearm. She quickly accepted that proclamation, and the next morning I scoured the internet looking for the perfect Springfield Armory XD model that would suit my needs.

The Specs

After a day or two, I locked onto the one – a Springfield Armory 45 45 ACP Caliber 4” Service Model XD bi-tone with Black Polymer Frame and Forged Stainless Steel Slide and a Satin Finish. It came in its infamous 2006 package with 2, 13 round capacity stainless steel magazines, complete with a magazine loader, holster, two magazine holder and a chamber lock. 3 Dot Steel Front and Rear Dovetail make up its Sight System, and boasts a Dual Spring Recoil System with Full Length Guide Rod. It’s full length is 7.3”, height is 5.75”, weighs 30 ounces empty, and is one bad-ass Mechanical Dream.

I called my local retailer and told them I was going to have a transfer coming in for the Springfield Armory XD. They asked me how much it was coming in for, I gave them the price, and they offered to match it. They didn’t quite do so, but at $27 extra, with the taxes and accounting for the transfer fee, I was willing to support our local guys. And, I was able to get it lightning fast from their distributor.

The Springfield XD came in along with their ammunition order, and as usual I wiped out their Zombie Hornady 45ACP Hollow Point defensive cartridges along with all of their Federal American Eagle 45ACP Full Metal Jacket cartridge, cleaning out their fresh shipment of .45ACP cartridges!!

The Springfield Armory XD models are offered in 29 variants and four different colorcombinations. For the colors, they come in the Solid Black polymer, Olive Drab, Bi-Tone Black Polymer and Forged Stainless Steel, and Dark Earth.

Models include:

-Sub-Compact 3”-79.5mm in 9x19mm Parabellum with 13-16 round magazines.
-Sub-Compact 3”-79.5mm in .40 S&W with 9-12 round magazines.
-Compact 4”-102.5mm in .45 ACP with 10-13 round magazines.
-Compact 5”-127mm in .45 ACP with 10-13 round magazines.
-Service 4”-102.5mm in .45 ACP with 13 round magazines.
-Service 4”-102.5mm in .40 S&W with 12 round magazines.
-Service 4”-102.5mm in 9×19 Parabellum with 16 round magazines.
-Service 4”-102.5mm in .357 SIG with 12 round magazines.
-Service 4”-102.5mm in .45 GAP with 9 round magazines.
-Ported V-10 4”-102.5mm in 9×19 Parabellum with 16 round magazines.
-Ported V-10 4”-102.5mm in .40 S&W with 12 round magazines.
-Ported V-10 4”-102.5mm in .357 SIG with 12 round magazines.
-Tactical 5”-127mm in 9×19 Parabellum with 16 round magazines.
-Tactical 5”-127mm in .40 S&W with 12 round magazines.
-Tactical 5”-127mm in .357 SIG with 12 round magazines.
-Tactical 5”-127mm in .45 GAP with 9 round magazines.
-Tactical 5”-127mm in .45 ACP with 13 round magazines.
-XDM 4.5”-114.3mm in 9×19 Parabellum with 19 round magazines.
-XDM 4.5”-114.3mm in .40 S&W with 16 round magazines.
-XDM 4.5”-114.3mm in .45 ACP with 13 round magazines.
-XDM 3.8”-96.5mm in 9x19mm Parabellum with 19 round magazines.
-XDM 3.8”-96.5mm in .40 S&W with 16 round magazines.
-XDM Compact 3.8”-96.5mm in 9x19mm Parabellum with 19 round magazines.
-XDM Compact 3.8”-96.5mm in .40 S&W with 11-16 round magazines.
-XDM Compact 3.8”-96.5mm in .45ACP with 9-13 round magazines.
-XDM 5.25”-133.3mm in 9x19mm Parabellum with 19 round magazines.
-XDM 5.25”-133.3mm in .40 S&W with 16 round magazines.
-XDM 5.25”-133.3mm in .45ACP with 13 round magazines.
-XDS 3.3”-83.8mm in .45 ACP with 5 round magazines.

Safety features include the drop safety keeping the pistol from firing when dropped, as well as the trigger safety and the grip safeties. Optional ambidextrous frame mounted thumb safeties are available for the .45ACP, .40 and the 9mm variants.

That should be enough for you to find something you like!


The Springfield Armory XD is manufactured in Croatia and goes as far back as 1991 under the name PHP-Prvi Hrvatski Pistolj, meaning First Croatian Pistol, designed by Marko Vukovic and his team. It was later redesigned and released as the HS95 in 1995, and ultimately evolved into the HS2000 in 1999. It served as the Croatian Military’s primary side arm, and was imported for sale through HSAmerica as a 9mm.

By 2002 Springfield Armory, Inc gained the licensing rights and began selling it as the XD-9, or Extreme Duty 9x19mm Parabellum. An American market grew hungry for more variations, leading to the multiple offerings they have today.

The Springfield Armory XD 45ACP won the Handgun of the Year from American Rifleman and The Shooting Academy of Excellence in 2006, and in 2009 for the XDM model.

The Ammunition

The Springfield Armory XD has a nicely well rounded set of options for the chambering capabilities. These include:

-9x19mm Parabellum
-.40 S&W
-.357 SIG
-.45 GAP
-.45 ACP

45ACP Ammunition= 45ACP Ammunition=

The Test

My Springfield Armory XD 45ACP arrived at my local Armory on a Tuesday, and it would be another few days until Friday that I could take it to the range. When Friday came around, I took the first opportunity that the ranged opened, one hour after sunrise, to take the Springfield XD for a test run.

Since all XD’s come with a front rail system and I had missed out on the Crimson Trace special the local armory had, I went on amazon and bought a Compact Pistol Gun Picattiny Rail Red Laser Sight for $20! It looked good when I installed it, but at the range it was way off so I had to shoot without it. I did manage to spend some time with the adjustment when I got home.

Springfield Armory XD 45ACP

I wore my special bi-tone shirt to match the beauty and grace of the black polymer and stainless steel combination. I loaded the mags which was nice and smooth until I got the the 12th and 13th rounds, which got a little challenging. I should have used the magazine loader, which I still have yet to use. *As an update, the loader works well, especially with the stubborn twelfth and thirteenth rounds.

Magnum Research BFR S&W 500

Magnum Research BFR S&W 500

The Magnum Research BFR S&W 500 is a powerful, American made single action, five round cylinder revolver designed to fire off the presently largest caliber cartridge designed for a handgun; the .500 S&W Cartridge.

Designed and manufactured in the United States by Magnum Research, Inc. and its BFR acronym stands for Biggest, Finest Revolver, though there is a tendency for gun enthusiasts to replace the Finest and in place nickname it the Biggest Fucking Revolver!!

According the, it is the first and only revolver ever offered by Magnum Research and carefully crafted in the U.S.A. The all-stainless steel BFR is built to close tolerances to handle the pressure of true big-bore calibers – .45/70, .480 Ruger/.475 Linebaugh, .450 Marlin, .500 S&W, .50AE, .444 Marlin, .30/30 Winchester, .45 Long Colt/.410 and the new .460 S&W Magnum – as well as .454 Casull, and the .22 Hornet.

Magnum Research BFR S&W 500 TargetPresently coming in at well just above $1,050.00 suggested retail, its weight ranges between 3.6 and 5.3 lbs (1633-2404g). Depending on whether you choose the standard or short cylinder, it ranges in lenght from 12.75 inches to 17.5 inches (324 – 445mm), and the short cylinder measures 6.5 inches (165mm) while the standard barrel lengths come in 7.5 or 10 inches (191 to 254 mm). All are 1.75 inches wide (44mm) and 6 inches high (152 mm).

While capable of handling a variety of large caliber cartridges, the Magnum Research BFR is one in a very short list of revolvers that have been built to handle the .500 S&W Magnum. This cartridge itself was developed by Cor-Bon and the Smith & Wesson X-Gun engineering team. It was introduced at the SHOT show in 2003 in an attempt for Smith & Wesson to recapture the big gun market they started with the S&W .357 in 1935. The S&W 500 is currently the most powerful production handgun cartridge available.

Magnum Research BFR S&W 500

I’ve long read about the 500 S&W and always wanted the opportunity to fire off a round. The Magnum Research BFR has the respect and very real capability of handling the caliber, and I was excited to have at it. I’m usually quite confident with my accuracy and skills with handguns, even the large calibers, but I’ll admit that I had concerns over this one. Towards the second portion of this video, my wife decided to stand waaay back to film the shot; probably over-concerned with its recoil. As usual, I gave the firearm its due respect, concentrated heavily on the target, and after a few moments of deep meditation, fired off a powerful round that successfully met at the bulls eye. I am a pretty amazing shot, and this is a pretty amazing firearm. It’s fitter rubber grip, stainless steel body and well executed and planned design helped absorb much of the recoil, but it takes certain skill, talent and confidence to get control this badboy. The Magnum research BFR 500 S&W is one Big F*ing Revolver!!

Magnum Research BFR S&W 500