Well, they got the name right…

*disclaimer: the following is merely my opinion based on the reports of one of the interested parties in the story.  This opinion may or may not be shared by WizardPC, and should not be construed as anything beyond one man’s opinion.  By the way, if by some strange circumstance, someone would like me to test and evaluate their equipment after reading this, let me know.  Buying the stuff I review is pretty expensive.*

So, it looks like Linoge got to test and evaluate one of US Firearm’s new ZiP guns, and things did not go well at all.  You can read his write up here.

Initially, I was eager to read a review from him about this weird little new firearm.  Like him, there’s something inside me that attracts me to unusual designs.  This one is about as quirky as it gets with modern firearms.  It’s a .22 pistol that uses Ruger 10/22 mags.  The magazine not only is used to feed the rounds into the chamber, but also as the hand grip.  The creators also designed it with the idea of attaching it to a rail under a long gun.  I’m not sure what practical use having a small .22 slung under your rifle or shotgun would give you, but there you go.

First up, that lovely 25 round BX-25 magazine that you see sticking out of the ZiP gun on their website and other promotional materials?  Yeah… don’t use those.  Well, unless you’re willing to buy their modification parts to mod the “BX-25 magazine you already own.”  So, the magazine that they designed the gun around won’t work with their gun unless you modify it, but they advertise that it will work anyways.  This throws up a red flag in my book from the get go.

As per Linoge’s write up, he unboxed it, examined it, and took it to the range with 5 different brands of .22 ammo.  Apparently it only like one brand out of those 5 and would consistently choke on the rest of them (mostly stove pipes).  While a couple of the brands used were cheap bulk ammo labels, one of them was CCI MiniMag.  As a fellow blogger has stated recently, if it’s not working with CCI MiniMag, it’s broken.

The thing that has really set off alarms  is that the gun fired not once, but twice out of battery.  After those incidents, he packed up and went home with the intent of calling the manufacturer.  He also was able to reliably reproduce the hammer falling with the pistol significantly out of battery.

And then the really, really scary part.  The CEO of US Firearms, Douglas Donnelly first blamed the ammo for the out of battery discharge.  I’ve shot a lot of bulk .22.  I’ve seen my fair share of failures to fire due to bad ammo.  I’ve never seen one spontaneously go off.  When questioned about the firing pin being allowed to drop when the gun is out of battery, apparently his response was “yes, it’s supposed to do that.”

Just in case Mr. Donnelly is unaware, there have been gun manufacturers that have been sued out of existence for lesser design flaws.

Mr. Donnelly also clarified that the reason for the other failures were due to either a. bad ammo, or b. the wrong spring being installed for the type of ammunition being used.  This is the first I’ve heard of someone needing to swap out a spring in a .22 depending on the ammo used, and the ammo being used in this case was, in my unscientific opinion, the most common type that it would see.

So… to sum up, the US Firearms ZiP gun is a gun of questionable use, requires the shooter to swap out recoil springs depending on the ammo, and even then has a high likelihood of blowing up in your hand if you don’t check to make sure that the bolt didn’t properly close ever time.

Do to this callous lack of concern of the safety of the end consumer, I don’t think I’ll ever touch, must less buy something from this manufacturer.  At least they named the gun properly.  Just like the items that that term originally referred to, it might work, and, if you’re lucky, it won’t blow up on you!

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