SHOT Show 2014 Special Edition Day 3: New Handguns

Remington R51 Slide Open

Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers covering the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas have added a third day of articles about new handguns introduced at the show. In this edition are details about Kahr Arms’ CT4543 and full-frame CT40 and CT45 and Magnum Research’s 3-inch ultra-compact 1911, the Undercover DE1911U. Also, Para USA has new 9mm 1911-patterned handguns, and Remington surprises the firearms industry again with the introduction of the new R51 compact 9mm semi-auto.

Kahr Arms

New for 2014 is a larger-frame addition to the Kahr CT, a 4-inch barrel handgun with a single-stack magazine and double-action-only trigger series. The new CT4043 is chambered for .40 S&W and ships with one 7-round stainless-steel magazine, for a 7+1 capacity. It is built on a black polymer frame with a stainless-steel slide and wears Kahr’s very effective white bar-dot fixed sights. Empty weight is 19.7 ounces. The overall length is 6.5 inches, and the height is 5.13 inches. The slide width is a slim .94-inch.

The new CT4543 is also built on a black polymer frame with a stainless-steel slide and also features Kahr’s white bar-dot sights. Chambered for .45 ACP, it has a 7+1 capacity and ships with one 7-round stainless-steel magazine. Empty weight is 21.4 ounces, 6.57 inches overall length, height is 5.25 inches, and the slide width is 1.01 inches. SRP: $499.

Kahr Arms CT4543 pistol with two tone finish
Kahr Arms CT4543

In addition to the new compact models, Kahr will also introduce a new full-frame CT40 and CT45. The first value-priced full-frame firearm offering from Kahr, the new CT4043 (.40 S&W) and the CT4543 (.45 ACP) feature a polymer frame with a stainless-steel slide and white bar-dot sight configuration.

The CT4043 has a 4-inch barrel with an overall length of 6.5 inches and height of 5.13 inches. The slide width is slightly less than one-inch and it weighs 21.8 ounces with the magazine making it very slim, lightweight and perfect for concealed carry.

The CT4543 has a barrel length of 4.04 inches with an overall length of 6.57 inches and height of 5.25 inches. Slide width is 1.01 inches, and the gun weighs 23.7 ounces with the magazine. Both models feature a 7+1 capacity and ship with one 7-round stainless-steel magazine. SRP: $499.

Magnum Research

John Browning’s 1911 is a handgun design that not only refuses to retire after more than a century of service, but seems to grow more popular among handgun owners every year. For the last three years, Magnum Research has offered the classic 1911 Gov’t model .45 ACP in a full-size, 5-inch model and Commander-length version. For 2014, the company will expand that line with a 3-inch ultra-compact model—the Undercover (model DE1911U). SRP: $946.

Magnum Research Desert Eagle Undercover DE1911U 45 ACP

The Undercover is chambered for .45 ACP and features a 3-inch bull barrel with 11-degree muzzle crown. It uses the Series 70 operating action that is much admired by 1911 aficionados. Built on an ultralight frame constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, it incorporates a 4140 high-carbon-steel slide. The sights are a fully adjustable (windage and elevation) rear and a ramp front sight. Standard features include a checkered front strap and mainspring housing, double-diamond checkered wood-grip panels secured with stainless-steel hex screws, a skeletonized combat-style hammer, an aluminum trigger, and a high-rise beavertail safety. Overall length is 6.85 inches. Height is 5 inches. Empty, the weight is 25.8 ounces. The Undercover has a 6+1 capacity and is shipped with two 6-round magazines.

Para USA

Three new 9mm 1911 patterned handguns enter the Para line this year. The Expert 9mm (SRP: $663) is a classic full-size single stack 1911 with a 5-inch match-grade barrel. It features a carbon steel frame, oversize and flared ejection port, beavertail grip safety, adjustable skeletonized trigger, polymer grips, green fiber-optic front sight and black nitride finish. It ships with two 9-round magazines.

Para USA Expert 9mm pistol with black finish
Para USA Expert 9mm

The Black Ops Recon 9 (SRP: $1,299) is built on a double-stack stainless-steel frame/slide with a ramped 4.25-inch match-grade barrel. It features an oversize and flared ejection port, beavertail grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safeties, adjustable skeletonized trigger, black IonBond finish, VZ G10 grip panels and three-dot Trijicon sights. It ships with two 18-round 9mm magazines.

The compact Warthog 9mm (SRP: $884) is built on a double-stack aluminum frame with a black anodized finish. The barrel is a stainless-steel 3-inch match grade. Features include a beavertail grip safety, adjustable skeletonized trigger, polymer grips, black nitride finish and green fiber-optic front sight.

Remington Arms

Remington recently surprised the firearms industry by entering the handgun market with a line of 1911 semi-auto handguns. This year the manufacturer springs another surprise with the introduction of the new R51 compact 9mm semi-auto.

Designed for concealed carry, the R51 uses a fixed barrel based upon the original Pedersen action design that incorporates a separate breech block within the slide to allow for the use of high-pressure rounds such as the 9mm. This design places the recoil spring around the barrel instead of the more common spring-under-the-barrel designs. That, in turn, produces a lower bore axis to reduce muzzle flip. The ejection port is lowered and flared for improved ejection of empty cases.

Remington R51 pistol
Remington R51

Built on a compact single-stack frame from high-strength aluminum alloy, it features a 3.4-inch 416 stainless barrel. The trigger mechanism is what Remington refers to as a “light, long, and crisp CCW trigger” that provides a lighter pull weight from a longer, consistent, double-action-only style pull. A grip safety is incorporated, eliminating the need for secondary safety levers on the frame.

The frame features interchangeable grip panels to allow the installation of larger grips for those with big hands. The trigger guard is undercut to allow a higher hand hold, and the front strap is checkered at 25 lpi. Ambidextrous magazine-release levers make it southpaw-friendly, and all edges have been smoothed and rounded for comfortable concealed carry. Sights are fixed and dovetailed into the slide to allow drift adjustment for windage. The finish is black matte, and the empty weight is 20 ounces. Magazine capacity is seven rounds, and the gun ships with two flush-fit magazines. SRP: $420.

Rank your top choices and share them with us in the comment section.

Editor’s Note: Our staff articles are supplemented with reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms industry show.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (7)

  1. I love the 1911. It is a very dependable firearm. I carried one for years in service. In fact i sleep with one on my night stand. What i dont understand is how many times a company can change one or two features and then say they have a brand new firearm. It doesnt matter how many time you change the paint or rims on your ford mustang, it is still the same car. How about they try doing completely new ideas. We didnt go from single shot muskets to machine gun by beating the same work horse for 104 years. Its a great gun but really enough is enough.

  2. Brandon G.: The pistol is a single action. Not a double action only. The article cites a “double-action-only style pull” when discussing the trigger, but rest assured it is a single action pistol. You can research it on wikipedia if you like. I want one.

  3. I like the concept of the new Remington R51. But based on Remington’s use of low quality materials of construction in the internal components of their Remington 870 Express shotguns, it will be nice to see some detailed reviews on the quality and durability of this firearm.

  4. Love the looks of the new Remington pistol, but in DAO? Seems that since Sig Saur did the p250 in DAO, everyone must have a affordable DAO for ccw. I personally have been waiting for Colt to make a 1908 hammerless style pistol, modernised and in a larger caliber, sort of like a Kimber solo. So I guess a single action striker fired, single stack 9mm/or.40, with a steel frame, wood grips, and a deep colt blue finish. I know it would be bigger then a 1908 , but if Kimber can do, colt could easily. Come on someone give me a pistol with style, instead of another black plastic frame pistol in DAO.

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