2014 was a good year for the gun industry as well as gun owners. Plenty of firearm manufacturers produced affordable, yet reliable and accurate compact and sub-compact semiautomatic handguns and revolvers suitable for concealed carry and self-defense. Further, approval of firearm ownership hit record numbers, with more Americans favoring gun rights over gun control.
With more and more people buying firearms for self-defense, The Shooter’s Log’s role becomes more important by providing expert advice and real-world product reviews to potential gun buyers helping make their decisions easier. Purchasing a life-saving tool is a major decision. You want to make the right choice. Not only does a gun need to be reliable and accurate, it also needs to fit you comfortably and fall within your budget requirements.
Though there are many popular product reviews on The Shooter’s Log, all of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s most-read product reviews of 2014 are gun reviews. Two of those—the Beretta ARX 100 and the GLOCK .380 42—were new firearms introduced this year. The other three, the M&P Shield, SIG P938 and the Beretta Nano, all show these subcompact pocket pistols still gain a lot of interest in the shooting community. Here are the top five most-read product reviews of 2014.
After briefly shooting the Beretta ARX 100 at SHOT Show 2014, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one run it through its paces. An innovative and truly ambidextrous battle rifle, the ARX 100 is a straight contender in the alternative AR-15 market. Selling for less than the FN SCAR, IWI Tavor, Bushmaster ACR and the Steyr AUG, the Beretta ARX 100 is definitely an improvement to the black rifle platform. The ARX 100 is a modular rifle that both left- and right-handed shooters love with quick and simple barrel changes, easy takedown with no pins involved, and proven reliability and accuracy. When reviewed, we concluded the Beretta ARX 100 produces consistent tight groups, handles well, and works well for personal defense, target shooting and even hunting medium-sized game.
The S&W Shield is one of the top searched terms in The Shooter’s Log. Always producing reliable guns, Smith and Wesson has always produced reliable guns, many shooters depend on Smith and Wesson’s Airweight revolvers, Bodyguard and M&P line of semiautos for concealed carry. Designed for concealed carry, the M&P Shield 9mm piqued quite a bit of interest in people looking for a new self-defense gun. It is slim at just 0.95 inches and has a 3-inch barrel. Starting at $370.70, the Shield is accurate, shoots well, comfortable to grip and produces 2-inch groups with quality ammo. Everytime we review the Shield, it impresses us. It’s set at a great price point, especially for a Smith & Wesson.
Get another perspective on the Smith & Wesson Shield here.
Have you found “the one” yet? You know—that one firearm that feels like it was customized especially for you? I found that in the subcompact SIG Sauer P938 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Though the trigger pull is long, it is smooth and consistent with a natural break. The bright night sights make target acquisition quick and racking the slide on the P938 is easier than most guns in the same class. If you need a new concealed carry gun or want to switch from a revolver to a semiautomatic, check out the SIG P938.
Many women find the GLOCK 42 .380 ACP—GLOCK’s newest model pistol—to be nearly the perfect self-defense gun. In terms of size, handling and recoil management, our reviewer found it to be the best-handling and most accurate .380 ACP they have shot in a long time. When testing the GLOCK .380, Bob Campbell found no failures or malfunctions when shooting a variety of ammo. Many shooters agree; the GLOCK 42 is a winner.
The Nano is Beretta’s first striker-fired handgun and the most affordable gun from the manufacturer in a caliber larger than .22 Long Rifle. Therefore, the Beretta Nano generates a lot of curiosity of how it shoots and its reliability. Our Shooter’s Log reviewer found that in terms of recoil, the 9mm Beretta is extremely manageable and describes that it feels more like a .380 ACP than a 9mm. For the price, the Beretta Nano has excellent ergonomics, a snag-free design and is a soft-shooting pistol worthy of concealed carry.
Did any of The Shooter’s Log gun reviews help you make a final decision on a gun purchase? Tell us which one in the comment section.