Year In Review: 12 Of Our Best Reviews From 2023

We’re proud to present 12 of our best reviews published in 2023.

by
posted on December 28, 2023
Springfieldprodigy 1
A perfect fit with the HEX Dragonfly red-dot optic, the Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy is also compatible with other red-dot sights using AOS steel adapter plates.
Photo by Peter Fountain

Here at Shooting Sports USA, we review many of the newest guns, ammunition and more, both in the monthly digital magazine and on the website. This past year was a big one for the firearms industry, so let’s take a look back at some of the more memorable reviews that were published in 2023.

Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy AOS

Springfield Prodigy
Springfield Armory’s Prodigy—a loaded double-stack 9 mm 1911 pistol—costs less than $1,700, including an optic and two magazines. (Photo by Peter Fountain)

 

Springfield Armory launched its new Prodigy AOS 9 mm pistol in September 2022 to much fanfare. The initial offering in the company’s new 1911 DS double-stack line of pistols, the Springfield Armory Prodigy is optics-ready and comes in two sizes, five and 4¼ inches. Read the review by John Parker.


Benelli’s New And Improved Montefeltro Shotgun

Benelli Montefeltro
Benelli went the full mile in bringing a sleek semi-automatic to market with its revamped Montefeltro shotgun, incorporating functional improvements that should satisfy even the most discerning scattergun fans.

 

Since its 1983 debut, Benelli’s Montefeltro shotgun has been a staple for clay target shooting and upland bird hunting. Earlier this year, Benelli released a revamped version of its classic semi-automatic scattergun with updated ergonomics and improved performance. The modernized model marks the first redesign of the Montefeltro since 2004. Read the review by John Parker.


New Steel Among The Polymers: Savage Debuts Its Enhanced Model 1911

Savage Arms 1911
Savage offers several versions of its Model 1911, including two with Picatinny rails on the dust cover for a light or laser. (Photo by Art Merrill)

 

The Savage Arms 1911 GOVT Style Stainless sports a stainless frame and slide bearing a matte gray finish. Like the original Government model, it has a five-inch barrel, but unlike the USGI M1911, Savage machined the barrel from billet, finished it to a high polish and terminated the muzzle in an 11-degree target crown. The back of the barrel hood has a tiny witness hole for a visual check of the chamber. Read the review by Field Editor Art Merrill.


Stag Arms Stag 15 3-Gun Rifle

Stag Arms Stag 15 3-Gun Rifle
Well-balanced, the Stag 15 3-Gun weighs in at slightly more than six pounds. (Photo by Peter Fountain)

 

Stag Arms arrived on the scene two decades ago with a singular focus on producing left-handed AR-15s, but recent years have seen the brand revitalized, complete with a modern logo and now a new entry-level rifle for prospective multi-gun competitors. Chambered in .223 Wylde and sporting some serious upgrades, the new Stag Arms Stag 15 3-Gun rifle is light, nimble and flat-shooting. Read the review by John Parker.


The Saints From Springfield Armory

Saint Victor AR-15
Springfield Armory Saint Victor AR-15 5.56 mm rifle in Tungsten Gray.

 

When you say Springfield Armory, what comes first in many people’s minds is the company’s 1911 lineup of handguns. However, Springfield Armory has been building AR rifles since 2016. Springfield Armory offers several variants of their ARs, starting with the Saint, then Saint Victor and the Saint Edge. In each model there are several different variants with distinct features. Read the review by Jake Martens.


Ruger 10/22 Compact

Ruger 10/22 Compact
Field Editor Chris Christian leaped from Rimfire Rifle Iron Sight C Class to A Class after shooting the Ruger 10/22 Compact rimfire at only four Steel Challenge matches.

 

One could make a strong case for Steel Challenge being the most family-friendly action shooting sport. The courses of fire, range procedures and close supervision all make it easy for shooters of any age to participate. It’s also loads of fun, especially with .22 rimfire rifles being allowed in both iron sight (Rimfire Rifle Iron Sight) and optical sight (Rimfire Rifle Open Sight) divisions. Ruger’s 10/22 Compact is the most affordable version of the venerable 10/22 semi-automatic rimfire platform. With a lightweight synthetic stock, it weighs in at 4.4 pounds. The .22 Long Rifle barrel is 16.12 inches long, but not threaded to accept compensators or muzzle brakes. Read the review by Field Editor Chris Christian.


Smith & Wesson’s New Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Competitor

S&W Performance Center M2.0 Competitor
Built on the M&P9 M2.0 Metal’s frame, the new Smith & Wesson Performance Center M2.0 Competitor 9 mm is packed with features. (Photo by Jake Martens)

 

The new Smith & Wesson M&P Competitor definitely turned heads with its release at SHOT Show 2023 this past January. The gun’s sleek lines, slide serrations and speed cuts to the top and sides of the slide make this M&P model stand out from all the previous variations of the M&P lineup. The Smith & Wesson M&P Competitor is loaded with features and comes in two distinctive colors, not to mention the metal frame. Read the review by Jake Martens.


CZ 600 Range Rifle

CZ-USA 600 Range
Remarkably streamlined, the only protuberance on the CZ-USA-600 Range rifle’s receiver is the unobtrusive bolt release. (Photo by Art Merrill)

 

The CZ-USA 600 Range rifle is fully capable of shooting High Master scores at 600 yards out-of-the-box with select ammunition. From the box, CZ-USA’s 600 Range has the accuracy for nearly any competition that includes the elements of centerfire slow fire shooting with an optic. The “Any rifle-Any sights” class of NRA Mid-Range prone and NRA Long-Range (1,000 yards) comes to mind, and the 600 Range conforms to the rules for an NRA Match Rifle and F-Class Rifle. The 600 Range surely qualifies for many other games, as well. Read the review by Field Editor Art Merrill.


Springfield Armory Echelon

Springfield Armory Echelon
A modular, highly adaptable handgun, the Springfield Armory Echelon boasts superior ergonomics and is built to withstand harsh conditions. (Photo by Jake Martens)

 

The Echelon from Springfield Armory merges design with function; it isn't merely another firearm, but the beginning of a new chapter for the company. Continuing Springfield Armory’s spartan method of shipping firearms, the gun arrived in a simple black cardboard box, with the small, zippered pistol sleeve containing the firearm—no hard shell case. The gun sports a 4½-inch barrel, optics-ready slide, tritium front sight paired with a tactical rack U-dot rear, plus front and rear cocking serrations. Read the review by Jake Martens.


Ruger .22 LR/.22 WMR Super Wrangler

Ruger Super Wrangler
The Ruger Super Wrangler presents excellent quality at a surprisingly low price when we compare its $329 MSRP to that of a new Single Six, which starts at $800 (prices current as of December 2023). (Photo by Art Merrill)

 

Comparing features with price, Ruger’s new Super Wrangler is in a class of its own. Boasting steel construction with a bare minimum of alloy and an adjustable rear sight that competitive shooters know is necessary on a convertible revolver, the .22 Long Rifle and .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire Super Wrangler performs about on par with Ruger’s classic Single Six costing nearly three times as much. Read the review by Field Editor Art Merrill.


Federal Gold Medal Action Pistol Ammunition

Federal Gold Medal Action Pistol
Federal’s new Gold Medal Action Pistol ammunition meets competition power-factor requirements. (Photo by Art Merrill)

 

Action pistol shooters need accurate, reliable ammunition that also meets minimum “power floors,” and now two new factory cartridges are specially loaded to meet these requirements. Federal’s Gold Medal Action Pistol offerings in 9 mm Luger and .40 S&W feature flat-nose bullets for enhanced steel knockdown, and Federal says accuracy and consistency are improved over the original Gold Medal ammunition. Read the review by Field Editor Art Merrill.


“Straight Shooting: A World Champion’s Guide to Shotgunning”

“Straight Shooting: A World Champion’s Guide to Shotgunning”
Following forewords written by world champion Cory Kruse and Olympic medalist Dan Carlisle, “Straight Shooting: A World Champion’s Guide to Shotgunning” is divided up into eight sections, each containing multiple chapters. (Photo by Dana Farrell)

 

World class sporting clays competitor Anthony I. Matarese, Jr., is a member of the National Sporting Clays Hall of Fame and was the first person in history to win the quadfecta of the sporting clays world—the National Sporting Clays Association Nationals, U.S. Open, World Sporting Championship and the World FITASC Championship. Now 40 years old and still in his prime, Anthony is a perennial threat whenever he shows up to compete. Now, he has written a comprehensive book, titled “Straight Shooting, A World Champion’s Guide to Shotgunning,” that every serious student of the game should own. Read the book review by Dana Farrell.


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