From the "Caliber Wars" to skill-building drills to new-gun roundups, Shooting Illustrated contributors and editors have covered a lot of ground in 2019! However, a few stories stood out above the rest, so as we look back at 2019, we want to take a chance to highlight some of the most popular stories with our readers. Here are the top five articles we've published over the last year.
How long have we been having this debate? 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP...it never seems to stop. Even when the FBI and many state and local law-enforcement agencies began transitioning away from the .40 S&W and to the 9mm, that certainly didn't settle the question. In fact, it seemed to revive this never-ending debate. However, there are concrete reasons for why the FBI went back to 9mm, and our Ammo editor covers them in this piece.
Following the 9/11 Terror Attacks, the U.S. government needed air marshals who could respond to immediate threats in the sky. Of course, engaging hostile and possibly armed terrorists on board an aircraft traveling at 30,000 feet required an unparalleled blend of rapidity and precision. To ensure marshals were up to the task, a qualification test emerged that is considered one of the toughest tests out there for a defensive-gun handler. Can you meet the requirements? Try it out for yourself.
One of the critical components inside a firearm magazine is the spring, and springs lose tension as they're used, leading to the need to replace mag springs or obtain all-new magazines. That's clear, but how long does your magazine spring last if you keep it loaded? Our Tech Wisdom editor tackled the issue in this popular story.
One of the monumental efforts of Shooting Illustrated staffers is the compilation of as many new guns as we can find toward the beginning of the year. This allows us to present as much of a comprehensive look as is possible for today's enthusiasts. One of the hottest new-product categories in 2019 was that of concealed-carry guns, and readers came to our definitive list to find the latest and greatest. Check out all these new guns that were released this year.
Getting into one of the other great debates in the firearm world: how many eyes should you have open when shooting? Like all controversial topics, the answer to this one is pretty typical: it depends. We cover some of the potential scenarios you're getting into and what kinds of pros and cons there are to having an eye closed when shooting.