Gone But Not Forgotten


These are guns that, for one reason or another - or in some cases a whole bunch of reasons - are no longer in my collection.


RUGER KP-95D

Caliber - 9x19mm
Capacity - 10+1 (15rd magazines available)
Action - DA/SA with decocker or DAO
Barrel - 3.9 inches
Weight - 27 oz. with empty magazine

This was my first handgun, which I bought it at a gun show in June '96. I found the P-95 to be typical Ruger - rock solid, reliable, and a great value for the money. Though billed as a "compact," it was actually rather cumbersome for extended or discreet concealed carry. It did, however, make a fine nightstand/car gun and was loads of fun at the range.

For those on limited budgets looking for a DA auto for vehicle or home defense, the Ruger is a viable contender.


ASTRA A-75

Caliber - .45ACP
Capacity - 7+1
Action - DA/SA with decocker
Barrel - 3.5 inches
Weight - ~28 oz. with empty magazine

I purchased this gun in the fall of 1996. I really wanted to like it - it had attractive lines, a decent trigger, manageable size and weight... unfortunately, it wasn't accurate or reliable enough to trust with my life, which is the mission I bought it for. When the rear sight comes off the slide and the gun won't reliably feed hardball, it's time to send it back to the factory. EAA's customer service was a joke! After being gone two weeks, the gun was returned with a new barrel, which didn't fix anything. I sold it to help finance my Glock 26, and never looked back.

You can likely find A-75s at bargain-basement prices these days, and with good reason - Astra has gone bankrupt and EAA no longer imports the line. Thus, finding parts and support is next to impossible (and if my A-75 was any indication, you'll need both)! Given that there are other, higher-quality pistols in the same price range that are still in production, even the lowest price isn't enough to justify buying one of these Spanish DA's.


Kel-Tec P11/P40

Caliber - 9x19mm / .40S&W
Capacity - 10+1, can accept some high-cap S&W magazines
Action - DAO
Barrel - 3.0 inches
Weight - ~14 oz. unloaded

I bought my P11 from a local dealer in March of 1997, and ordered the .40S&W conversion kit later. Eventually I purchased a second P11 (used) to serve as the .40's permanent home. My experience indicates that the Kel-Tecs are a good idea, somewhat poorly executed. The guns are small and light enough to carry like a dream, have well-conceived accessories (belt clip, trigger shoe, etc) and stellar customer service from Kel-Tec CNC. On the flip side, accuracy in either caliber is borderline (even at closer ranges), the quality control seems to be somewhat hit-or-miss, and most .40S&W ammo is way too hot to be comfortable in a 14oz gun!

Admittedly, both my guns were fairly early samples, and I most of the QC and reliability issues seem to have been worked out by now. I once considered revisiting the P11, but now that I've got my MK9, I really don't see the need. If you're on a tight budget and can live with a long, heavy DAO trigger, you might want to consider the P11. I'd still pass on the P40, though (and evidently I'm not alone in that opinion; Kel-Tec discontinued that model a couple years ago).


GLOCK 30

Caliber - .45ACP
Capacity - 10+1
Action - Glock's proprietary "Safe Action" system
Barrel - 3.78 inches
Weight - 26.5 oz. with empty magazine

With my adoption of the single-stack P9 as my primary carry gun, the G30 really started to look... fat. To be honest, I never did carry it that much; my preference for IWB holsters and the G30's substantial girth did not make a very good combination. As a shooter, it was the most manageable .45ACP I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and was hella accurate, to boot. But it just wasn't getting shot much, as I tend to practice most with what I carry. Thus the G23, G26 and Kahrs were seeing most of the action. So I traded the G30 in on the single-stack G36, which had recently become available in my area. Reduced slide and grip width makes the 36 much more carry-friendly to those of us who favor IWB rigs; it packs almost as effortlessly as my 9mm P9, but carries only one less round of a much more potent caliber.

Many of my friends have elected to stick with the G30, preferring its extra capacity over the G36's slimmer profile and lighter weight. I certainly don't blame them for their choice, but they're built to carry a larger gun. If you're looking for an accurate, reliable, easy-recoiling .45ACP and don't mind the thickness, the G30 is tough to beat.


Mossberg 500

"The Persuader"

Caliber - 12-gauge
Capacity - 5+1
Action - Manual (Pump Action)
Barrel - 18.5 inches
Weight - ~6.75 lbs.

The last word in home-defense artillery, the 12-gauge shotgun forms the defensive triad with the rifle and pistol. The Mossberg 500 is reliable, lightweight and accurate, and its ambidextrous safety makes it a natural for right- or left-handed operation. It is a viable choice for the budget-minded, but is surpassed by the Remington 870 in durability, ease of breakdown and availability of upgrades and accessories.


Romanian SAR-1 AK

Caliber - 7.62x39
Capacity - 10, 20 & 30rd mags, 75rd drum
Action - Gas-operated semi-automatic
Barrel - 16 inches
Weight - ~7 lbs.

Capsule Review:
The Romanian SAR-1 is the one of many civilianized variants of the Kalashnikov AK-47. Long the standard infantry rifle of Eastern-bloc countries, the AK is renowned for its simplicity and reliability. Today such features also endear this Cold Warrior to many an American shooter as well. My SAR-1 gave good service once the type's inherent bugs were sorted out. That said, it just wasn't an exceptional performer... its recoil, substandard ergonomics and lack of accuracy were all the more evident when shot alongside my AR's. It was supplanted in my collection by the SAR-2 in 5.45x39.


Remington 870

Caliber - 12 Gauge
Capacity - 6+1
Action - Manual (Pump Action)
Barrel - 20 inches
Weight - ~7 lbs.

The last word in home-defense artillery, the 12-gauge shotgun forms the defensive triad with the rifle and pistol. Rugged, reliable and cost-efficient, the Remington 870 is the standard by which all other pump shotguns are judged. With the addition of a few carefully selected accessories, it is transformed into a first-rate defensive weapon. However, I wanted to switch to a semi-automatic shotgun to maintain consistency of function with my other defensive weapons. I sold my personal 870 to help finance the 11-87P, but highly recommend the model to those looking for a pump shotgun.


Kahr K40

Caliber - .40S&W
Capacity - 6+1
Action - Striker-Fired Double-Action Only (DAO)
Barrel - 3.5 inches
Weight - ~28oz w/ empty magazine

I liked the K40 very much; it offered a lot of power in a small package, and was made even better with the addition of night sights and the outstanding Elite 98 trigger upgrade. But as I continued to streamline and maximize the efficiency of my pistol battery, some of its shortcomings became clear. The K40 lacked the precision and low recoil of the K9, the light weight of the P9, and the capacity and controllability of the G23. Being somewhat a "jack of all trades but master of none," the K40 often got passed over for carry duty in favor of other weapons. Eventually, I arrived at the conclusion that I'd rather shoot .40S&W out of a larger gun than a smaller one, and if I needed a really concealable piece, I'd step down to a 9mm. Thus, I sold the K40 to help finance the Glock 35.


SAR-2 AK-74

Caliber - 5.45x39
Capacity - 30rd bakelite or polymer magazines
Action - Gas-operated semi-automatic
Barrel - 16 inches
Weight - ~7 lbs.

The 5.45x39 round is accurate, light-kicking and wickedly effective; on par with the American 5.56. The AK-74 is a natural evolution of the Kalashnikov design, and maintains the ruggedness and reliability for which the family is known. The Romanian SAR-2 is an affordable AK-74 clone that is decent out of the box, but with a little extra work can become something much better.

The SAR-2 was slightly inferior in finish and accuracy to my earlier Intrac MkII. Not really needing two AK-74s (they are "fun guns" to me, rather than serious defensive tools), I sold the SAR-2 to make some room in the safe and help fund my Title II purchases.


Kahr MK9

Caliber - 9x19mm
Capacity - 6+1 or 7+1
Action - Striker-Fired Double-Action Only (DAO)
Barrel - 3.0 inches
Weight - 23.9 oz. with empty magazine

The MK9 was an excellent subcompact carry pistol - easy to conceal, reliable and accurate. Its size and weight put it out of the "pocket pistol" realm, though, and I found myself usually carrying my P9 or a Glock in an IWB holster and/or the Kel-Tec P32 in a pocket holster, while the MK9 sat in my safe and collected dust. And guns that don't get used, don't stay in my collection very long. I sold both the MK and the P32 when I purchased the Colt Pony.


Kel-Tec P32

Caliber - .32 ACP
Capacity - 7+1
Action - Double Action Only (DAO)
Barrel - 2.5 inches
Weight - 6.6 oz.

The P32 is hands-down the neatest pocket pistol to come along in the last decade. Smaller than many .22 or .25 autos, but offering the marginally better stopping power of the .32ACP, the tiny Kel-Tec could be carried virtually anywhere. Mine rode in my left front pocket on a daily basis for almost four years, and had about 1000 rounds through it. My only real complaints are the relatively anemic cartridge, and the gun's "toylike" feel. I traded the P32 and some cash for a friend's Colt Pony .380.


Glock 36

Caliber - .45 ACP
Capacity - 6+1
Action - Glock's proprietary "Safe Action" system
Barrel - 3.78 inches
Weight - 22.51 oz. with empty magazine

The G36 is a slimmed-down version of the popular G30 compact .45. Flat and easy to carry, yet still accurate and controllable, the 36 makes an excellent CCW piece. My only gripes are a relatively low magazine capacity (but similar to my smaller-caliber Kahrs) and the fact that it has very few internal parts common to the rest of the Glock family. I sold my G36 because despite its excellent form factor, I still carried my G23, Kahr, and/or Colt Pony more frequently. Plus, it was my only .45, and getting rid of it allowed me to streamline my reloading operation and ammunition needs.


Remington 11-87 Police

Caliber - 12-gauge
Capacity - 6+1
Action - Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic
Barrel - 18.5 inches
Weight - ~9 lbs.

The 11-87P is a rugged semi-auto shotgun designed for law enforcement and home defense applications. Once I started really working with the Saiga-12 as a defensive weapon, the Remington's weight, nuanced manual of arms and inability to cycle low-brass shells quickly became tiresome. I sold the 11-87P to finance other projects - among them the purchase of a second Saiga-12!

Arsenal SLR-106F

Caliber - 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem.)
Capacity - 20 or 30rd polymer magazines
Action - Gas-operated semi-automatic
Barrel - 16 inches
Weight - ~7 lbs.

The SLR-106F combines the simplicity, ruggedness and reliability of the AK platform with the accuracy, effectiveness, low recoil and wide availability of the 5.56 (.223 Rem) cartridge. Arsenal's AKs are some of the best on the market, and with the addition of some practical enhancements, the SLR-106F becomes a viable alternative to the AR/M4 series as a compact, fast-handling and reasonably accurate defensive or tactical rifle. While I liked the SLR-106F very much, it didn't handle quite as well or shoot quite as accurately as my AK-101 Saiga conversion. I sold it to an acquaintance of mine in March 2008 in order to help fund my anticipated Bushmaster ACR purchase (which was then delayed indefinitely. D'oh!).


Intrac MkII AK-74

Caliber - 5.45x39
Capacity - 30 rounds (standard; can accept magazines from 5 to 45 rounds)
Action - Gas-operated semi-automatic
Barrel - 16 inches
Weight - ~7 lbs.

The MkII was probably the highest-quality Romanian AK variant ever to be imported. Converting it from its 1994 Assault Weapon Ban era configuration to a clone of the current Romanian service rifle was a fun project that yielded a fun, accurate and aesthetically pleasing carbine. But as my focus shifted from the collectible to the more practical, the MkII began to see less and less range time. Already having two other 5.45x39 AKs that I enjoyed more and shot better, I sold the MkII to a fellow INGO member in the spring of 2009.



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