Guest post by Chris Christian, courtesy of SHOT Daily.
Despite numerous advances in handgun design, John Browning’s 1911 remains one of the most popular handguns
around—and this year sees some interesting new models on that platform. At the same time, a moonclip-fed 9mm Ruger LCP will surely garner a lot of attention, as will a new concealed-carry ACP from Taurus.
For 2015, Browning will introduce the Black Label 1911-380 semi-auto pistol ($669.99), which combines two of John M. Browning’s original inventions—the 1911 pistol and the .380 ACP cartridge. The Black Label is scaled down to 85% of the size of a .45 ACP 1911 handgun. This new single-action 1911 is built upon a precision-crafted composite frame and is made in the U.S. Features include an extended ambidextrous safety, beavertail-grip safety, skeletonized hammer, and a machined steel slide that wears fixed combat-style sights. With a 4.25-inch barrel, it has an overall length of 7.5 inches and weighs 17.5 ounces empty. The finish is black matte, and the magazine holds eight rounds. The Black Label 1911-380 ships with an ABS case.
A new 1911, a special limited-edition CZ 75, and some interesting new guns from Dan Wesson make up CZ’s new handgun introductions this year. The first “Made in the USA” handgun to bear the CZ name is, appropriately, a 1911. The CZ 1911 A1 ($839) is a government-size model that is built without a trigger safety, as many 1911 aficionados prefer. It is constructed with a forged carbon-steel frame and slide, finished in black-matte oxide, and ships with two 7-round magazines. The 1911 A1 was the designation for the improved model adopted in 1924. CZ’s A1 largely stays true to those specifications, with a few deviations. It is equipped with a serrated slide stop, a magazine catch, and mainspring housing, and features checkered walnut grips. The lanyard loop has been omitted. The barrel is stainless steel with a 1:16 twist. Additional features include an aluminum trigger and a slightly higher rear sight than the original. The ramp front sight is dovetailed into the slide to allow shooters to more easily install other sight options if they choose. The trigger is factory-tuned to 5 pounds.
During its 40 years of service, the CZ 75 has become one of the most widely used handguns among police and military worldwide. As a result, it is one of the most copied designs. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, CZ will issue a special-edition 40th Anniversary CZ 75 9mm ($1,499). Only 1,000 guns will be produced. The anniversary model is based on the CZ 75B and features a highly polished blue-steel slide and frame. The slide and frame feature intricate hand engravings by CZ master engraver Rene Ondra in the Czech Republic. The operating controls (slide release, thumb safety, magazine release, extractor, grip screws and magazine base plate) are finished in rainbow titanium nitride. The grip panels are made with a smooth, high-grade California maple that has been dyed to complement the overall appearance of the 40th Anniversary model. The gun ships with two 16-round magazines and a leather-bound hard case.
Under CZ’s Dan Wesson banner, three new handguns join the product line this year, including an updated version of Wesson’s highly accurate double-action revolver. The original Dan Wesson double-action .357 Magnum revolver achieved an enviable reputation for rugged construction and accuracy, which was enhanced by the unique tension barrel system, the forward crane latch, and the rear ball detent lockup. Interchangeable barrels, barrel shrouds, and grips made it a versatile gun. This year the Dan Wesson Model 715 ($1,168) ships with a 6-inch barrel and heavy shroud in a custom Dan Wesson hard case that includes cutouts to hold additional interchangeable barrel/shroud assemblies (as well as the wrench to properly remove and install them). The new Model 715 accepts all Dan Wesson barrels and grips from the 15-2 and newer models.
The new DW Valkyrie .45 ACP ($2,012), a variation of the CCO, has a Commander-length slide on a compact Officer frame. It includes all the latest upgrades of the CCO platform, including Dan Wesson’s ECO frame and recessed slide stop hole paired with ball cuts on the slide’s dust cover and carry cuts up front. Along with slim G10 grips, it utilizes the same sights and controls as the Dan Wesson ECO with the barrel and bushing of the CCO.
The new Dan Wesson Silverback is currently the only two-toned 1911 in the Dan Wesson line. It features a stainless-steel slide with polished flats and is equipped with adjustable target-style tritium sights and the Razorback rib and ball cuts on the dust cover. The stainless-steel frame is finished in a Duty Black nitride finish and wears G10 full-thickness grips. It will be available in .45 ACP ($1,883) and 10mm ($2,064).
The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol ($849) is a 9mm civilian-legal semi-auto version of CZ’s famous Scorpion sub-machine gun. With a black composite finish, it features a blowback action with a 7.75-inch barrel. The newly designed low-profile sights consist of a fixed-post front sight and an adjustable rear sight with four different apertures that can quickly shift the point of impact from close to distant targets. The sights ride on a Picatinny rail that allow for the easy mounting of optics. Additional features include ambidextrous controls and a non-reciprocating charging handle that can be swapped to either side. The trigger reach is adjustable. One accessory item is the arm-brace adapter that can quickly add an MSR-style buffer tube to the rear of the action for added stability. Two 20-round magazines are included.
The new CZ 805 Bren PS1 Pistol ($1,982) is a civilian-legal semi-auto version of the CZ 805 Bren. It has an 11-inch barrel that features a two-port muzzle brake. Chambered for .223/5.56mm, the action is housed in a one-piece aluminum upper receiver with a Picatinny rail and uses STANG magazines (two 30-round magazines are included). It uses the same sight system as the Scorpion, along with the accessory arm-brace adapter. The rear of the action features a multipurpose mounting point that is fit from the factory with a single-point sling attachment.
Iver Johnson Arms, Inc.
A very compact four-shot derringer and a long-slide 1911 highlight Iver Johnson’s new handgun offerings for 2015. The Frontier Four is about as compact as a handgun can get. The single-action derringer is chambered for .22LR and features a 2-inch barrel. The overall length is only 4 inches, and it weighs a scant 5.6 ounces. Constructed from stainless steel, it has a four-shot capacity and utilizes a unique rotating firing pin to handle the four chambers with one shot per trigger pull.
Whether for sport or home defense, the 1911 .45 ACP remains one of the most popular handguns on the market. For 2015, Iver Johnson goes a step beyond with the introduction of the Eagle XL ($870). This blue-steel 1911 utilizes a 6-inch barrel long-slide configuration. Among its features are an adjustable rear sight with a dovetailed front sight, a skeletonized hammer and trigger, a beavertail grip safety, front and rear angled slide serrations, a lowered and flared ejection port, an extended slide stop, and an extended single-side thumb safety. Empty weight is 42 ounces, and its length is 9.75 inches.
Four new models and line upgrades join the Kahr semi-auto concealed-carry handgun line this year, along with a new Auto Ordnance 1911 .45 ACP. The CT9093 9mm ($369) features a full-size polymer frame with a matte stainless-steel slide and drift-adjustable bar-dot sights. The 3.95-inch barrel gives it an overall length of 6.5 inches. Height is 5.08 inches and empty weight with magazine is 20.6 ounces. The pistol ships with one 8-round magazine.
The new CT380 .380 ACP ($399) features a 3-inch barrel. Overall length is 5.52 inches, height is 5.3 inches, and it weighs 11.44 ounces empty. The pistol has a black polymer frame with textured grips and 4140 steel inserts molded in front and back for added rigidity. The action is a locked-breech modified Browning recoil lug that locks open on an empty magazine. The safe-cam DAO operating system is the same as that found on other Kahr pistols. Sights are the Kahr drift-adjustable white bar-dot pattern with a pinned-in-front polymer blade.
The Kahr CW9 in purple ($435) is a version of this popular 9mm pistol with a purple polymer frame. It features a 3.5-inch barrel. Overall length is 5.9 inches, and the compact frame gives it a height of only 4.5 inches. Drift-adjustable bar-dot white sights and a 7+1 capacity complete the package.
The CW380 in purple ($404) gets the same purple polymer frame treatment as the CW9 (and also shares the drift-adjustable white bar-dot combat sights). It features a 6+1 capacity in .380 ACP. Overall length is 4.96 inches, height is 3.9 inches, and the empty weight is 10.2 ounces.
Lastly, from the Auto Ordnance side of Kahr comes the 1911BKO ($571). This is a GI-spec 5-inch barrel .45 ACP 1911. It features a 7-round magazine, a drift-adjustable rear sight with a blade front, and an empty weight of 39 ounces. Finished in black matte, the grip panels are brown checkered.
A new 1911 .45 ACP and a new finish for the Desert Eagle highlight Magnum Research’s 2015 lineup. The DE1911GSS ($904) is a full-size 1911 single-action semi-auto chambered for .45 ACP. It features a 5.05-inch barrel, a trigger pull factory set between 3 and 4 pounds, a stainless-steel matte-finished frame with black appointments, checkered wood grips, and a high-profile rear sight that is drift-adjustable for windage with a serrated and pinned front-sight blade.
The MarkXIX Desert Eagle has been around for a while and is a proven platform in either .50AE or .44 Magnum. For 2015, it will come in a new Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish ($1,696).
The double-action-only inertia-firing LC9 has proven to be a popular and reliable handgun. This year, Ruger announces a new version of the LC9 9mm.
The new LC9 9mm features a newly designed trigger mechanism that provides a striker-fired action with a shorter, lighter trigger pull than the original LC9. It uses the same holsters, magazines (including extended magazines), lasers, and accessories as the original. It features a blued through-hardened alloy steel slide, one-piece glass-filled nylon frame with aggressive checkering, grip extension magazine floorplate, 7-round magazine and adjustable three-dot sights. The 17.2-ounce pistol has a 3.12-inch barrel. Overall length is 6 inches, height is 4.5 inches. Additional features include an integrated trigger safety, magazine disconnect and visible inspection port to show a loaded chamber. It ships with one inert magazine for safe disassembly, one 7-round magazine, soft case and cable-locking device.
Introduced in 2009, the Ruger LCR polymer-framed DA revolver has expanded from its original .38 Special+P offering to include .357 Magnum, .22 WMR, and .22 LR. For 2015, Ruger now introduces the 9mm LCR ($599) to the line. Chambered for five rounds of 9mm and fed by moonclips (three moonclips ship with the gun; additional clips are available), its pinned replaceable ramp front sight allows elevation adjustment. The 9mm LCR sports the same polymer-frame DA-firing-action stainless-steel cylinder and 1.875-inch barrel, fixed U-notch rear sight, and Hogue grips as the .38 Special version.
Smith & Wesson
The new M&P22 Compact Pistol ($389) is chambered for .22LR and is 15 percent smaller than the full-size 9mm/.40-caliber M&Ps. It features a 10-round magazine capacity (it ships with two 10-round magazines), ambidextrous manual safety, and reversible magazine release. The trigger is factory set at 5.8 pounds. A Picatinny dust-cover rail accommodates accessory lights or lasers. The 3.65-inch barrel is threaded to accommodate suppressors and is shipped with a threaded protective muzzle cap. The barrel material is carbon steel with an aluminum-alloy slide and a polymer frame. Sights are a white-dot front and a two white-dot rear that is adjustable for windage and elevation. Overall length is 6.65 inches. Empty weight is 15.03 ounces.
From the Smith & Wesson Performance Shop, this year will see a new series of ported M&P pistols designed for competition use. The series includes 9mm and .40 S&W pistols in barrel lengths of 4.25 and 5 inches. All include ported barrels and slides to reduce recoil and rise. Additional features include a user-adjustable trigger stop, three palm-swell grips with a textured backstrap to allow users to custom-fit the pistol to their hand, a Performance Center sear that produces a 4.5-pound trigger pull with a fast reset, and removable mounting brackets that allow shooters to install a variety of popular competition red-dot sights. S&W has added higher iron sights to the slide to allow its use in concordance with mounted optics. Magazine capacity is 17 (9mm) and 15 (.40 S&W), and the guns accept standard M&P magazines.
The new, Curve is a concealed-carry .380 ACP designed to be contoured to the body and therefore comfortable and “print-free” in any position on its carrier. About the size of a smartphone, this little USA-manufactured double-action-only semi-auto pistol packs 6+1 rounds in a highly concealable 5.18-inch package. Features include a matte-blue carbon-steel slide and stainless-steel barrel, loaded-chamber indicator and integrated LaserLyte LED light-laser system. In addition, the gun comes with the Taurus Security System for long-term locking storage. MSRP: $392.
|The innovative Taurus Curve .380 ACP has been specially designed for concealed carry. No bigger than a smartphone, it follows the contour of the body so it will be “print-free.”|
What do you think about these new handguns? Tell us in the comment section.
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. Click here to see full issues.