These five new firearms differ completely in design and function. From the truly innovative DPMS .308 Winchester GII AP4 to the classic Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle—there is not one gun on this list in which I could say, “No. I have no good reason for this firearm.” Hunters, collectors, competitors and those who are simply just shopping for a dependable self-defense pistol will find one of these five firearms will meet their needs.
Arsenal, Inc. SLR-104FR AK-74 Semiautomatic Rifle, 5.45x39mm
Available in the U.S.A. for the very first time, Arsenal, Inc. introduces the Bulgarian-made AK-74 variant, the SLR-104FR—a semiautomatic rifle chambered in 5.45x39mm. The SLR-104FR has a MIL-SPEC Bulgarian-made 1mm stamped receiver and barrel. Steyr manufactures the 16-inch chrome-lined barrel—which some believe are the best barrels in the world.
To meet 922r compliance, Nevada-based Arsenal, Inc. uses its own U.S.-made double-stage trigger group, furniture, removable muzzle brake and side-folding polymer stock. The stock meets the exact specifications of the original AK-74 design. Fitted with a 4.5mm pin, the folding polymer stock is interchangeable with standard AK-47/74 aftermarket stocks. The trigger features a 7-pound pull.
The SLR-104FR also has a hard chrome-plated bore and chamber, accessory and bayonet lugs, lower handguard heat shield, side-mounted AK riflescope rail and accommodates 30-round Bulgarian MIL-SPEC double-stack magazines. Folded, the rifle is 27 inches; when extended the SLR-104FR is 36 inches long. It comes with an oil bottle, sling and cleaning kit.
Learn more about the AK-74 by reading “The AK-74 5.45×39 Rifle.”
|Arsenal, Inc. SLR-104FR AK-74|
|Barrel Length||16.3 inches|
|Overall Length||27 inches to 36 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||7.3 pounds|
|Sights||AK scope rail|
|Stock||Side folding black polymer|
DPMS GII AP4 Semiautomatic Rifle, .308 Winchester
Much to many hunters and 3-gunners delight, DPMS releases a true AR-15-style platform in .308 Winchester—smaller and lighter than standard AR-10 rifles. The GII AP4 is not another modified AR-10; it’s a completely new redesign. DPMS scaled down nearly every part of the GII AP4 to the size of a standard AR-15. In fact, everything from behind the mag well is standard AR-15 spec—including the fire control group. Surprisingly, even the handguards are interchangeable with many aftermarket AR-15 handguards. The lightweight GII AP4 uses a standard AR-15-sized 25.mm bolt carrier. It is the first forged monolithic bolt carrier on the market and eliminates the need for a gas key. Also of the same diameter as the AR-15 is the 16-inch barrel, with the same thinner and lighter weight diameter of the original A1 “pencil barrels.”
Another innovative feature on the DPMS GII AP4 is the dual ejector system, improved extractor and lengthened ejection port. The redesigned DPMS GII AP4 allows the rifle to reliably fire more rounds than any other AR-10. Further cutting down the weight on this .308 is the forged 7075 MIL-SPEC aluminum upper and lower receiver.
Weighing only 7.25 pounds, the GII AP4 is a recipient of the NRA Golden Bullseye Award.
If you are unsure about the .308 Winchester, let CTD Rob convince you in his article,”How the .308 Became so Great.”
|DPMS GII AP4|
|Barrel Length||16 inches|
|Overall Length||34.25 inches fully extended|
|Weight Unloaded||7.25 pounds|
|Sights||F-marked front sight base with MagPul BUIS|
|Stock||M4 collapsible polymer stock|
Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 Undercover Semiautomatic Handgun, .45 ACP
For those who prefer to carry cocked and locked, but find the full-sized 1911 a bit too much to conceal, Magnum Research introduces the Desert Eagle 1911 U (undercover) compact 1911 in a lightweight aluminum frame. Though smaller, its design does not sacrifice accuracy. The lack of bushings in the barrel means that the DE1911U is more accurate than most 3-inch-barreled 1911s on the market. As an added feature, Magnum Research milled in an 11-degree muzzle crown.
The DE1911U’s operating system is the Series 70 firing system. The Series 70 is a Colt classic 1911 design dating back prior to World War II. This original GI-model operating system does not include a firing pin safety.
The Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 U has one of the best 1911 triggers on the market with a light pull and minimal reset. After disassembling, you will find a dual recoil spring—one captive and a guide rod bushing and full-length stainless steel guide rod. The grip is double-diamond checkered wood, with checkered front and back straps. There is a high-rise beavertail and extended thumb safeties. It holds six rounds, has an overall length of 6.85 inches, an overall height of 5 inches and weighs 25.8 ounces.
Looking for the full-sized Magnum Research 1911? Read an extensive review here.
|Magnum Research 1911 U|
|Barrel Length||3 inches|
|Overall Height||5 inches|
|Overall Length||6.85 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||25.8 ounces|
|Sights||Adjustable rear sight|
|Grip||Double diamond checkered wood grip|
|Frame||Aircraft grade aluminum alloy|
Grand Power K100 and P1 Mk7 Semiautomatic Handguns, 9mm
Eagle Imports recently announced its partnership with Grand Power of Slovakia to be the exclusive distributor of one of Europe’s most popular handguns. Hopefully, it will raise the competition pistols from being unknown to one of the firearm community’s best un-kept secrets.
First imported by custom 1911 maker STI International in the mid-2000s and then imported through Century International, Grand Power pistols have flown relatively under the radar as a quality, affordable polymer pistol.
The Grand Power utilizes a short recoil, locked breech operating system with a rotating, not tilting barrel—similar to the Beretta Px4 Storm. This rotating barrel reduces muzzle rise and therefore lowers felt recoil.
Currently, Cheaper Than Dirt! carries two models of Grand Power pistols, the P1 Mk7 and the K100 Mk7, both chambered in 9mm. Considered as the full-sized model, the K100 sports a 4.25-inch barrel and 7.97-inch overall length, while the “compact” P1 model utilizes a 3.66-inch barrel with 7.38-inch overall length. Both hold 15 rounds.
Built on a 4140 steel-reinforced polymer frame, the Grand Power pistol is fully ambidextrous. It comes with interchangeable backstraps to fit ergonomically and comfortably in a variety of shooter’s hands.
There is nothing fancy on the Grand Powers—fixed 3-dot sights, an accessory rail and a standard blued finish; however, they are accurate, reliable and retail for less than $400. Eagle Imports plans to make many more Grand Power models available in the future.
If affordable and obscure European handguns are your thing, check out the Canik.
|Grand Power K100 Mk7|
|Barrel Length||4.25 inches
|Overall Length||7.97 inches
|Weight Unloaded||1.8 pounds|
|Stock or Grip||Black polymer, four interchangeable backstraps|
|Frame||Steel reinforced polymer frame|
Navy Arms 1873 Lever Action Rifle, .45 Long Colt and .357 Magnum
Navy Arms returns to the firearms market with a beautiful and custom replica unlike any other on the market. Collaborating with Winchester Repeating Arms and Turnbull Restoration, Navy Arms is selling one of the finest-looking Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle replicas you can buy. As the only firearm Navy Arms currently has available currently, the model 1873 is manufactured in Japan to Winchester Repeating Arms‘ and Navy Arms’ specifications, then finished at Turnbull Restoration with its true bone charcoal color case hardening.
Turnbull finishes off the receiver, lever, hammer, buttplate and forend cap. The 1873 is available in two models—.45 Long Colt or .357 Magnum—with a 20-inch full octagonal barrel. Both lever-action rifles have a square, shotgun-style Winchester Model 71 buttplate and gold bead front and semi-buckhorn rear sight. Navy Arms handpicks the finest American Walnut wood for the stock. For SASS competition shooters, the rifle has an integrated short-stroke kit for quick shooting. Cowboy Action Shooters and collectors alike will appreciate this Navy Arms 1873 Winchester replica—The Gun That Won the West.
|Navy Arms 1873|
|Barrel Length||20 inches|
|Caliber||.357 Magnum and .45 Long Colt|
|Overall Length||39.25 inches
|Weight Unloaded||7.6 pounds|
|Sights||Semi-buckhorn rear sight, gold bead front sight|
|Stock||Deluxe American Walnut stock with full checkering|
|Frame||Turnbull color case hardened receiver and furniture|
Each of these five guns has a separate purpose. If you could only choose one of them, which one would it be and why? Tell us in the comment section.