G&A's Best Gun Reviews of 2013

G&A's Best Gun Reviews of 2013

Our trigger fingers have been busy again this year to bring you exclusive gun reviews on an arsenal of firearms.

We've reviewed quite a collection of firearms since January, but a few select pieces stick out as some of our favorite reviews from the past 11 months. Whether you prefer rifles, pistols, shotguns or all of the above, odds are the guns on this list would look great in any collection.

Check out our picks for the best gun reviews of 2013, and be sure to read the full reviews of each.

LaRue Tactical Costa Edition Hybrid

The Costa Edition Hybrid rifle has a number of features that make a tremendous amount of tactical sense. My favorite features of the Hybrid rifle are the barrel length, handguard length and placement of the muzzle device. A carbine should be as short as possible, and the decision to shorten the barrel as much as possible so that it just makes the 16-inch legal limit once the muzzle device is pinned into place is awesome.

Read the full review

Benelli M2 Tactical

Besides the shorter barrel, the main differences between the M2 and my old M1 Super 90 were the redesigned magazine tube (5+1, no barrel clamp, no fore-end washer/flat spring arrangement), the square-backed synthetic triggerguard (as opposed to the old rounded alloy one), a redesigned safety button, a more user-friendly contoured bolt handle and the choke tube-threaded Crio barrel.

Read the full review

Beretta 1301 Competition Shotgun

The most noticeable aspects of the 1301 are the oversize controls — bolt handle, bolt release and crossbolt safety button (reversible for lefties). The bolt release consists of a large, serrated tab right below the ejection port. It's very quick to access from under the receiver with your support hand (assuming you're right-handed). One caveat: If you're carrying the gun with the bolt locked back, do not grasp the receiver over the top.

Read the full review

Colt Mustang XSP

The slide and barrel are machined out of solid stainless steel bar stock, then given a blackened finish. Next, even the serrations on the slide have been improved when compared with the original Mustangs and the Pocketlite. While both the Pocketlite and XSP have the same dovetailed notch rear sight, the XSP has a better front sight.

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Daniel Defense DDM4 300 SBR

The DDM4 300 SBR Blackout gives the shooter a .30-caliber projectile fired from an AR platform without the need to increase receiver size, magazine type or bolt. Though the dimensions and handling characteristics are similar to a 5.56-chambered rifle, this Blackout offers its user comparable ballistic qualities as the .308 Win. and venerable 7.62×39. And felt recoil is similar to shooting a 5.56, if not a little less with certain subsonic loads.

Read the full review

Glock 20 Gen 4

The Gen 4 Glocks feature a more aggressive nonslip frame surface; replaceable backstraps and enlarged magazine-release catch; a notched magazine to allow a more positive operation; and a dual recoil-spring assembly to increase spring life and decrease felt recoil.

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Mossberg Maverick HS12

With the Maverick HS12, those looking to defend themselves and their family have another viable option. The HS12 compares favorably to the side-by-side coach guns available. Mounting accessories is easy, and because of the low price you will have enough left in your bank account to buy plenty of practice ammo. Trap, skeet and wing shooters who are already familiar with over/under shotguns should fall instantly in love with this home defense tool.

Read the full review"

Nighthawk T4

Barrel length is 3.8 inches, and the frame has been thinned out. The latter feature allows more grip purchase for smaller hands and a flatter presentation against the body for concealed carry. I don't have big hands, and I find the thin frame noticeably more comfortable. The ramped National Match barrel is flush-cut to the frame and nicely crowned. There's a small window cut at the chamber end to serve as a loaded-chamber indicator.

Read the full review

Nosler Varmageddon AR

Operation is standard direct-gas impingement, and both upper and lower receivers are mil-spec with brass deflection knob and bolt-assist lever. The upper receiver has an integral Picatinny rail, and the supplied battle sights fold down so as not to interfere with scope mounting. The safety is ambidextrous and has about a 60-degree rotation vice the customary 90 degrees, a 'little ' feature I found very handy in the field.

Read the full review

Remington R1 Carry

The R1 Carry slide is blued steel, with Novak-like sights front and back. If you reload, you'll be happy to know that the ejection port has been lowered and scalloped at the rear, so your empty brass will have an easier — and less dinged — path to the ground. These are all things we used to pay extra for that now, in the 21st century, expect out of the box. Here, we get them out of the box.

Read the full review

Saiga-12

Overall length is just 363/4 inches. Balance point, with no magazine, is right at the bolt handle. With target loads and low-recoil LE buck and slug loads, it's fairly pleasant to shoot. However, with full-house 00 buck or slug loads, the narrow military buttplate will not be denied its pound of flesh. However, recoil is quite tolerable with 2¾-inch low-recoil 00 buck and slugs. Controllability is also quite good.

Read the full review

Springfield XD-S 9mm

The short barrel and slide make it a whole lot more pleasant (and comfortable) to carry, but I'm sure some are wondering, 'What is the cost in velocity? ' After all, while the .45 ACP does its work mostly through bullet mass and frontal area, the 9mm depends on velocity to try and keep up. The pumpkin-like bullets out of the XD-S .45 are slowed some, but not so much that it really matters.

Read the full review

Weatherby SA-08 28-Gauge Deluxe

The real sex appeal of the new 28 gauge became apparent when I switched back to a 'real ' gun. I'd always considered my old A-390 a near-perfect shotgun — light, yet still soft-kicking. But when I picked it back up after a round with the 28, I was shocked to find that it felt like a recoil monster. What really impressed us was just how hard the Weatherby 28 hit the clays. I expected them to break, sure, but I didn't expect to smoke them with a 3/4-ounce shot load.

Read the full review

Wilson Combat Recon Tactical

Button rifled and machined with a 1:8-inch twist, this version measured 16 inches. Wilson offers 11.3-, 14.7- and 18-inch barrels with optional 1:7 or 1:8 twist rates. Built specifically for suppressed fire with heavier projectiles, the match-grade barrel handles the supersonic stuff just as well when there is a need to shoot at farther distances. When shooting the heavier loads versus 5.56 offerings, I noted that the recoil from the Recon's gas system was pleasantly soft.

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NEMO Omen .300 Win. Mag.

An entire generation of riflemen has grown up with the AR and is intimately familiar with its handling characteristics. The modularity of the design lets the user tailor the rifle to exactly what he wants and draw from several options that already exist on the commercial market. Last, but not least, we get the superb external and terminal ballistics of the .300 Win. Mag., a cartridge much superior to the 7.62 NATO for long-range work.

Read the full review

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