Dear Santa: Any of these 10 guns will make me happy

Dear Santa,

Well, I wasn’t sure whether you were still mad at me for the ‘words’ we had last year after Christmas. I know I over-reacted, but I was pretty disappointed about not getting the AR upper I asked for.

But hey, you said you forgave me, and would try to do better this Christmas. So I spent some time considering what I might like from all the different reviews I’ve written over the last year. Here are my top-ten candidates – excluding the guns I already got for myself that is…

1. Alexander Arms AR15 in .50 Beowulf

I don’t really have a rifle for big game and I don’t have anything in an AR platform. This Alexander AR15 would certainly solve both of those, and would suit my likely hunting needs (out to 200 yards or so). And Alexander Arms makes a very nice rifle. Tempting.

Alexander Arms AR15 in .50 Beowulf

Alexander Arms AR15, Caliber: .50 Beowulf; Length: 31.25 – 35 inches; Barrel: 16.375 inches; Twist: 1 in 20; Capacity: 4 – 10 rounds; MSRP: $1,200 – $2,000. (Photo credit: Alexander Arms)

2. Beretta CX4 Storm

I do like pistol caliber carbines – a lot – but I don’t have one in .45. And the Beretta CX4 Storm was a hell of a lot of fun, in addition to being a nicely designed and well-made production gun. It’s also cool as can be with plenty of ways you can make it tacticool to your heart’s content. Wouldn’t mind having one of these. Not at all.

Beretta CX4 Storm

Beretta CX4 Storm; Caliber: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP; Length: 29.7 inches; Barrel: 16.6 inches; Weight: 5.75 pounds; MSRP: $915. (Photo credit: MFI).

 3. Boberg XR9-S Shorty

One of the most innovative self-defense handguns I’ve tried. I liked the Shorty so much that I was more than happy to revisit my initial review when I had a chance to shoot a couple of these guns extensively – something which is rare with a very small, very lightweight handgun that uses a significant cartridge. Yeah, these are excellent guns and they’re small enough to be stocking-stuffers!

Boberg Arms

Boberg Arms XR9 Shorty; Caliber: 9mm; Length: 5.1 inches; Barrel length: 3.35 inches; Height: 4.2 inches; Weight: 1.1 pounds; Capacity: 7 rounds; MSRP: $949. (Photo credit: Boberg Arms)

4. Ed Brown Damara .308

Oh, this was a nice rifle. Extremely nice. Excellent – exceptional, even – fit and finish. Mated up with a nice Swarovski scope from Brown’s shop, the Damara .308 would be an excellent hunting rifle for just about any game on this continent, out to a good 400 yards. Think how pretty it would look with a bow on top, sitting under the tree!

Ed Brown Damara

Ed Brown Damara; Caliber: .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., .260 Rem., .270 WSM, 7mm WSM, .300 WSM, .308 Win.; Length: 41.5 inches; Barrel: 22 inches; Weight: 6 pounds 2 ounces; MSRP: $3,100. (Photo credit: Optics Talk)

5. Ed Brown Kobra Carry

Also tempting. Very. Ed Brown offers the sort of quality in the Kobra Carry that you’d expect from a custom-shop. Intelligent quality, not just fancy tooling. And I was really quite surprised how much I liked the “Bobtail” modification to the 1911 design. If you ever get the chance to shoot one of these, Santa, you have got to give it a try.

Ed Brown Kobra Carry

Ed Brown Kobra Carry; Caliber: .45 ACP; Length: 7.75 inches; Barrel: 4.25 inches; Height: 5.5 inches; Weight: 35 ounces; Capacity: 8 rounds; MSRP: $2,745.  (Photo credit: Glock Talk)

6. Glock 21 Gen 4

Not a high-end gun. “Glock” is almost synonymous with polymer production guns. Although I never cared to shoot them in the past, this one changed my mind thanks to the ergonomic adjustments of the modular back-strap system. The new captured recoil spring on the Glock 21 Gen 4 also made this the softest-shooting .45 handgun I have ever tried. And it wouldn’t set Santa back too much money either.

Glock 21 Gen 4

Glock 21 Gen 4; Caliber: .45 ACP; Length: 7.59 inches; Barrel: 4.6 inches; Height: 5.47 inches; Weight: 1.65 pounds; Capacity: 13 rounds; MSRP: $640.  (Photo credit: Aim Surplus)

7. Kimber Classic “SuperAmerica” .22 rifle

Wow, did Kimber make a nice gun with this one. Perfect fit for me, and the quality truly was impressive. The SuperAmerica rifle shot so well that I almost felt guilty, like I had entered into some kind of pact with the devil or something. Seriously, just handling this gun made me feel like I was a better person. And I could get used to that feeling, year-round, Santa.

Kimber SuperAmerica rifle

Kimber SuperAmerica; Caliber: .22 LR; Barrel: 22 inches; Capacity: 5 rounds. (Photo credit: Gun Auction)

8. Rohrbaugh R380

I like innovative guns. I have an early model Rohrbaugh R9 – it’s a hell of a gun – but it is also hell on my hands shooting the thing. The R380 is virtually the same gun, but oh what a difference a slightly less powerful cartridge makes. That’s where this design shines and this is what the R9 should have been from the start. Wow, that would be one hell of a package to unwrap Christmas morning.

Rohrbaugh R380

Rohrbaugh R380; Caliber: .380 ACP; Length: 5.2 inches; Barrel: 2.9 inches; Height: 3.7 inches; Weight: 13.5 ounces; Capacity: 6 rounds; MSRP: $1,200. (Photo credit: Rohrbaugh Forum)

9. Springfield Armory Range Officer

I like Springfield products so much that I went out and got an EMP in 9mm this year after reviewing it. This, the Range Officer, is a sweet, sweet full-sized 1911 in .45 ACP and an excellent value for the money. It’d make a great “big brother” to my EMP, and would be suitable for doing target competition if I wanted to get into that. Hmmm…

Springfield Range Officer; Caliber: .45 ACP; Length: 8.5 inches; Barrel: 5 inches; Height: 5.5 inches; Weight: 40 ounces; Capacity: 7; MSRP: $939. (Photo credit: The Outdoors Trader)

10. Steyr Scout .308

Another excellent hunting rifle. Top-of-the-line quality for any factory gun and the factory Leupold 2.5x scope was a perfect match for it. Not quite comparable to the Ed Brown Damara, but damned close. The Steyr Scout would be one of those rifles you can enjoy for a lifetime and then pass it down to your kids or grandkids. See, Santa, I’m not being selfish – I’m thinking of posterity here!

Steyr Scout .308

Steyr Scout; Caliber: .223 Rem. or 5.56 NATO, .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem., .308 Win. or 7.62 NATO, and .376 Steyr; Length: 38.9 inches; Barrel: 20 inches; Weight: 6.6 pounds; Capacity: 5 or 10 rounds. (Photo credit: Digital Zone Board)

Decisions, decisions…

So, which would be my final choice? Well, I’d be happy – ecstatic – to find any of these under the tree come Christmas morning, but if I had to choose one … it’d be the Glock. Yeah. The Glock. Model 21, Generation 4.


Well, in spite of having been stiffed by you, Santa, last year, and not getting the .460 Rowland upper I asked for I still have a bug up my butt about that cartridge. And this past year I got to try the Glock 21 with the .460 conversion. The ballistic results were very impressive – solidly into .44 Magnum territory.

Match that up with the much better (for me) ergonomics of the Gen 4? Oh, baby. Thirteen rounds of serious power in a handgun I could shoot well and depend on through just about anything? And which I wouldn’t need to get *anything* in order to reload?

Yes, please. Santa, make mine a Glock 21 Gen 4. And if you want to throw in the .460 Rowland conversion kit, I won’t mind at all.



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