SHOT Show 2017: Handguns: Innovation at Its Finest

9mm FNS compact pistol right profile tan

Across-the-board demand, especially for anything 1911, is spurring some innovative designs.

By Richard Mann

Just as in 2015, handguns remained the top-selling firearms in America last year. We are continuing to see suppressor-ready variants, and these are not limited to centerfire handguns. The demand for new and varied 1911s remains strong, and one manufacturer has upped the ante with a high-grade line of custom revolvers. Although most of the innovation is occurring with polymer-framed handguns, the real news for 2017 is the niche specialization of various models.


Browning Black Label pistol right profile
The Black Label 1911-380 Medallion Pro comes in full-size and compact versions, with stainless-steel slides and black frames.

The Black Label 1911-380 Medallion Pro model, in full-size and compact versions, features a matte-black frame and a blackened stainless-steel slide with silver brush-polished flats. The grips are made of intricately checkered rosewood with a gold Buckmark. Barrel length on the full-size model is 4¼ inches; on the compact model, it’s 3 5⁄8 inches. SRP: $799.99; $879 with night sights. Black Label 1911-22LR Medallion full-size and compact versions will also be offered with similar features for $669.

The New Black Label 1911-22LR Gray full-size and compact models are available with or without a rail. The slides on both are machined aluminum, and the barrel has a gray anodized finish. The frames are composite, with a machined 7075 aluminum subframe and slide rails. Sights are fiber-optic. SRP: $699; $719 with the rail. A Black Label 1911-22LR Medallion full size and compact will also be offered with similar features for $669.

CZ 805 Bren S1 pistol
The 805 Bren S1 Pistol is an interesting SBR candidate.

To keep up with the demand for suppressor-ready firearms, the new Buck Mark Field Target Suppressor Ready 22LR model will feature a heavy, round, 5 ½-inch suppressor-ready barrel in matte blued finish. It also will offer an integral scope base with a Pro-Target rear sight and front blade sight. Grips are Cocobolo-laminated target. SRP: $599.

The new Buck Mark Lite Flute UFX model will feature a 5½-inch steel barrel with an alloy sleeve and fluting in a matte blued finish. Pro-Target rear sights and a Truglo/Marble Arms fiber-optic front sight are standard. Grips are Ultragrip FX ambidextrous. SRP: $559


For 2017, Cimarron is offering five new single-action revolvers. The George S. Patton Engraved Model P has a 5.5-inch barrel and is chambered for .45 Colt. It is nickel-plated and laser-engraved, and has poly-ivory grips with Patton’s GSP insignia and a lanyard ring. SRP: $747.50. The Texas Ranger Engraved Model P has a 4.75-inch barrel and is chambered for .45 Colt. It has a nickel-plated finish and is also laser-engraved. The poly-ivory grips have the Texas Ranger insignia on both sides. SRP: $772

CZ-USA P-09 suppressor ready pistol left
The new version of the P-09 is suppressor-ready, with a threaded barrel

Cimarron’s Bad Boy is a single-action revolver chambered for the .44 Magnum. It comes with a 6- or 8-inch octagonal barrel, a flat-top pre-war frame, adjustable sights, blue finish, and two-piece walnut grips. Suggested retail: $570

The new Pistolero is a sleek, classically designed single-action for Old West firearms collectors or re-enactors and is chambered for the .45 Colt. It has a 4.75-inch barrel, with a blue finish and case-hardened frame. It is also available in nickel. SRP: $484, blue; $552, nickel.

The El Malo is a single-action Colt replica designed to be used by hunters, historic reenactors, or Old West collectors. It’s chambered for the .45 Colt and is available with a 4.75-, 5.5-, or 7.5-inch octagonal barrel. It has the standard blue and case-hardened finish. SRP: $544


Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol
The unique Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol.

The 805 Bren S1 Pistol with its 11-inch barrel has proven a popular SBR candidate for customers wanting to convert it into an NFA firearm. Those who don’t wish to register with the ATF can equip it with CZ’s adapter kit, which allows easy installation of aftermarket arm braces. Chambered in .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, and now .300 Blackout, the pistol uses the STANAG magazine from the AR15/M16. Picatinny rails top and bottom mean it easily accepts optics and lights, and an effective two-port muzzle brake helps keep the pistol solidly on target and reduces recoil and muzzle flip. SRP: $1,799 to $1,899

Falling somewhere between the Scorpion Pistols and Carbine, the EVO 3 S1 Pistol is perfectly set up for those who desire a two-stamp gun. The extended forearm will hide most suppressors and offers M-LOK attachment points. With a 7.7-inch barrel and a 5-inch flash can, the barrel is extended to just past the forend. A factory folding stock is an aftermarket option for this unique 9mm. SRP: $949

The latest addition to the CZ line of handguns is the P-10 C. This pistol is decidedly CZ, from the way it feels to the way it shoots. With the CZ grip angle, the P-10 avoids that brick-in-the-hand feeling that has plagued many in the striker-fired genre, allowing it to point naturally. Interchangeable backstraps allow it to fit a wide variety of hands. Designed to minimize creep and stacking, the P-10’s trigger breaks at a clean 4 to 4.5 pounds and rebounds with a short, positive reset. It has a fiber-reinforced polymer frame, a nitride finish, a generous trigger guard, and metal three-dot sights. Capacity is either 15+1 or 17+1, depending on the mag used. The CZ P10-C is available in 9mm Luger or .40 S&W, and a suppressor-ready variant is available in 9mm. SRP: $499 -$541

CZ-USA Sp-01 Phantom pistol
The SP-01 Phantom has been brought back due to popular demand.

Loaded with features, but without all the flash of the Urban Grey series, the 9mm standard black P-09 Suppressor-Ready now comes with high night sights and extended magazine bases, in addition to the obligatory extended, threaded barrel. SRP: $629

A new addition to the P-09 is the Kadet Kit. It is a scaled-up version of the P-07 kit to fit on the longer P-09 frame. Topped with the new Shadow 2 serrated target sight and a rear height-adjustable-only sight, the P-09 Kadet Kit ships with two magazines. SRP: $249

Due to demand, CZ has brought back the SP-01 Phantom. This is essentially a polymer-framed SP-01 Tactical, with interchangeable backstraps and mag compatibility with the standard 75 platform. The SP-01 Phantom has long been a favorite in the CZ community and has the distinction of being the current sidearm of the Czech Army.

9mm FNS compact pistol right profile tan
The 9mm FNS compact would be ideal for snag-free concealed-carry. It also can share magazines with the full-size FNS.

Starting from scratch, CZ engineers took the best features of the original Shadow and improved upon them. The higher beavertail and an undercut trigger guard bring the shooter’s hand closer to the axis of the bore. Increased weight at the dust cover/rail helps keep the muzzle down during recoil. The Shadow 2’s swappable mag release has an adjustable, extended button with three settings to allow shooters to set it in the most comfortable position. The new trigger components provide a smooth DA and crisp and clean SA pull while drastically reducing trigger reset. Available only in 9mm. SRP: $1,299 to $1,399

Dan Wesson

The A2 stands as a testament to the most-copied pistol design in history. Drawing its lineage from the 1911 A1, the A2 and A2 Commander in .45 Auto are Dan Wesson’s vision of what the third generation of the military 1911 could have looked like. A lowered and flared ejection port, modern combat sights, a tactical beavertail, and an extended thumb safety, as well as a hint of undercutting to the trigger guard, make this one combat-ready pistol. The A2 will be produced in limited numbers. SRP: $1,363

Customers have been asking for a blued-steel version of the Dan Wesson Valor. The new gun has the same features and attention to detail as its other stainless pistols, but it comes in a more traditional material and finish. Wearing a set of red-and-black double-diamond G10 grips with polished flats and bead-blasted rounds, the Valor Blue, in either 9mm or .45, is a classic beauty. SRP: $1,766

Dan Wesson Valor Blue 1911 pistol right profile
The Valor Blue is a blued-steel version of Wesson’s popular Valor. It’s a Commander-sized 1911 and comes in either 9mm or .45. It wears a set of red-and-black double-diamond G10 grips with polished flats and bead-blasted rounds. It also features a lowered and flared ejection port, a tactical beavertail, and an extended thumb safety.

When police departments approached Dan Wesson to build a more reliable, durable 1911 to replace what they’d been carrying, the company developed a model just for them. The frame sports a Picatinny rail, 25-LPI checkering, an undercut trigger guard, and a recessed slide stop. This pistol is equipped with an ambidextrous thumb safety, an extended magazine release, and a detachable two-piece mag well. It’s finished off with a set of G10 grips and either a matte stainless or black Duty finish. Available in either 9mm or .45 Auto. SRP: $1701 – $2,012

A fully stainless take on the Commander-length slide with an Officer-sized frame, the Pointman Carry is easily concealed and also incredibly comfortable to shoot. With features closely mirroring the full-size Pointman Nine, its reduced grip length makes it disappear under even thin cover garments, and its 9mm chambering makes recoil nearly non-existent. SRP: $1,597

Equipped with a Trijicon RMR and with an extended, threaded barrel, the Fury is a double-stack beast begging to be unleashed on paper and steel. Chambered in 9mm or 10mm, capacities are 18+1 and 14+1, respectively. It also has a crisp, super-short-reset Elite Series trigger job. SRP: $4,899

Korth Super Sport revolver
Available in .38 Special/.357 Magnum, the Korth Super Sport can be ordered with a pre-fitted 9mm Luger cylinder.

Nighthawk Custom

Nighthawk has teamed with a German revolver manufacturer to offer a line of wheel guns that deliver the impeccable quality and precision that customers have come to expect from Nighthawk. Since the 1950s, Korth has been the premier revolver manufacturer in Europe. These marvelously machined wheel guns are built just north of Frankfurt. Their triggers are so smooth and stack-free, they’ll make your knees weak. Initially, Nighthawk will be offering three of these revolvers, which have been configured to Nighthawk specifications. The Sky Hawk is a compact 6-shot revolver chambered for 9mm Luger, but neither half- or full-moon clips are required. Every part is machined from billet steel or aluminum, and it’s available with a 2- or 3-inch barrel. A gold bead front sight, Hogue grips, hard-coated frame, a TSA-approved travel case, a cleaning rod, a grip-removal tool, lubricating oil, a lanyard, and a proprietary speed loader are standard. SRP: $1,699

The Mongoose is a 6-shot duty-size fighting revolver, available with either a 3-, 4-, 5 ¼-, or 6-inch barrel. Like the Sky Hawk, all parts are fully machined, and the handgun is available with either a black or silver finish. With its ergonomically designed and easy-to-access cylinder release, and its skeletonized, high-speed hammer, this .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolver will amaze you with the precision you can deliver on target. A pre-fitted additional cylinder for the 9mm Luger can be ordered. SRP: $3,499.

Had old-time police PPC shooters seen a .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolver like this, they’d have thought they’d died and gone to doughnut heaven. But the Super Sport is not just a pistol for old cops; this thing is ready to compete head-to-head with any handgun made. It comes with Picatinny rails and a four-way adjustable front sight that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. A pre-fitted additional cylinder for the 9mm Luger can be ordered. SRP: $4,799

Remington R51 with Crimson Trace Laserguard
The reintroduced R51 is available with a Crimson Trace Laserguard. Its low-bore axis helps tame +P 9mm recoil, and its snag-free profile makes it ideal for covert carry and personal protection.


The R1 10mm Hunter Long Slide is a handgun built with the hunter in mind. From the accurate, 6-inch, match-grade barrel to the match-quality, fully adjustable sights, Picatinny rail, and VZ Operator II G10 grips, this pistol will get the job done at distance. SRP: $1,310

The Remington 1911 R1 Limited is a handcrafted version of the most trusted pistol platform in history, with all the features today’s top competitors demand. Accuracy and speed are key in competition, and with the Limited’s match-grade trigger and barrel, wide serrations, and ambidextrous thumb safety levers, it is race-ready right out of the box. Available in 9mm or .40 S&W, the Limited has fully adjustable match sights, G10 grips, and a PVD finish. SRP: $1,250

As the name implies, the Remington R1 Tactical is a fighting pistol. It comes with a Trijicon rear sight, a beveled oversize ejection port, a PVD finish, a Trijicon front sight, an ambidextrous safety, checkered mainspring housing, a stainless match barrel, a Picatinny rail, VZ G10 grips, and two 8-round magazines. SRP: $1,250

Remington RP pistol in 9mm
The RP is a very affordable, high-capacity, polymer-framed striker-fired pistol. It is available in either 9mm or .45 Auto.

Re-engineered and reintroduced, the Remington R51 has the same appeal for personal protection and concealed carry as it did two years ago. Its low-bore axis helps tame +P 9mm recoil, and its snag-free profile makes it ideal for covert carry. The single-action design allows for one of the best triggers in its class, and at $448, it will not break the bank. A version of the R51 with a Crimson Trace Laser Guard is available for $648.

The big pistol news from Big Green is the new RP high-capacity, striker-fired polymer pistol. Available in 9mm or .45 Auto, with a respective capacity of 18+1 or 15+1, this is a seriously-sized duty pistol with a very slim grip profile. At 26.4 ounces total weight, the balanced slide helps control muzzle rise and makes the 9mm version possibly the smoothest-shooting duty-size pistol on the market. The RP is also affordable. SRP: $489


Ruger’s LCP II features a short, crisp, single-action trigger with an inner trigger safety, improved sights, a larger grip surface, an easy-to-rack slide, and an improved slide-stop mechanism with last-round hold-open. The LCP II comes with a pocket holster and holds 6+1 rounds of .380 ammunition. SRP: $349

Ruger’s LCP II
Ruger’s LCP II

The striker-fired American Compact features a trigger with a short take-up and positive reset. It has a modular grip system, can be fieldstripped easily, and has an ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release. SRP: $579

The new Mark IV is a revised version of the ever-popular Mark III. The Mark IV is available in Target and Hunter versions, and its most notable feature is how easy it is to take apart. It has a simple, one-button takedown for quick and easy fieldstripping. A recessed button in the back of the frame allows the upper receiver to tilt up and off the grip frame without the use of tools.


The 1858 New Army Buffalo Bill Commem­orative .44-caliber limited-edition Black Powder has an 8-inch barrel, blue finish, and simulated ivory grips. It is a replica of the 1858 Remington carried by Buffalo Bill. It also has ornate hand-chased floral engraving on all external components, and a gold inlay on either side of the barrel carries the Western hero’s name and significant dates. SRP: $1,049

Schmeisser SLP-9 9mm pistol black left profile
The Schmeisser SLP-9 9mm is a striker-fired pistol imported from Germany. Its special DARE System (Double Action Rapid Engagement) resets the firing pin after a 3mm release of the trigger.


The FNS Compact offers the same features as the standard FNS models, but it has a 3.6-inch barrel and is designed to be snag-free for better concealment and a faster draw. The front sight also has a larger dot for faster target acquisition. The FNS Compact has a 12- or 17-round capacity, depending on the magazine used, weighs 23.4 ounces, and is 6.7 inches long. SRP: $599

Iver Johnson

The Pocket Ace is a new derringer from Iver Johnson. It is chambered for .22LR and is a four-barrel single-action pistol. Made in the U.S., it is built from stainless steel and has a rotating firing pin, an integrated ambidextrous safety, and a 2-inch barrel. Overall length is 4 inches, and it has an unloaded weight of 7 ounces.


The Curve now comes with a brighter Viridian red laser and light, boasts a longer battery life, and has a strobe mode. It also has an instant-on mode integrated into the trigger shield. The Curve offers shooters a complete light/laser/pistol system out of the box. It weighs 13 ounces and is only 5.2 inches long. SRP: $419

Taurus Curve pistol black
The Curve is now available with a brighter Viridian red laser. It also has an instant-on mode.
ruger The LCP II has been upgraded. It now has a larger grip surface, an easy-to-rack slide, and better sights.

Texas Armament & Technology

The Schmeisser SLP-9 9mm is a striker-fired pistol imported from Germany. Its special DARE System (Double Action Rapid Engagement) resets the firing pin after a 3mm release of the trigger. This allows fast precision taps after the first round has been fired in DA. The SLP-9 also allows for multiple trigger pulls in the event of a misfire, and the bore axis is extremely low to help with recoil reduction and fast follow-up shots. The 17-round magazines, with capacity-check indicators, are made of anti-corrosive steel with a special anti-friction coating and a high-impact polymer floor-plate. The ambidextrous magazine-release catch can be pushed from either side, allowing use for both left- and right-handed shooters. This is a well-thought-out 9mm pistol, with lots of features that should endear it to duty or personal protection service.

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. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.

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. Wow Jim jumping to conclusions much….The statement is clearly telling you if you want to register it as an NFA SBR you can put a buttstock on it (only after you got your stamp); or if you do not have the desire to register it with the BATFE, as an SBR put a brace on it and it is NOT an SBR. Then you do not have to register it with the BATFE. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  2. I got far enough into this article to read where the author said ‘for those that don’t want to register with the ATF…. and stopped reading. IS Cheaper Than Dirt now advocating breaking the law?!!! This article should either be amended or pulled from the blog site.

    1. Jim,
      Perhaps if you continued to read the sentence, instead of reading half of it and running to comment as you stated, you would have realized the sentence goes on to say, “…can equip it with CZ’s adapter kit, which allows easy installation of aftermarket arm braces.” and realized how silly your assertion that Cheaper Than Dirt! was advocating breaking the law sounds. However, even before that sentence it says, “…a popular SBR candidate for customers wanting to convert it into an NFA firearm.” Please go back and reread the article in its entirety. I do not want to moderate reader comments, but I cannot allow irresponsible and out of context accusations such as this to be posted either. ~Dave Dolbee

    2. No, he’s right; the article should be amended. The sentences you’re referring to are ambiguous. It COULD be easily be interpreted as CTD suggesting shouldering the arm brace.
      No, really…read it again.

    3. No he’s not, anyone who knows anything about NFA laws knows that pistols dont need registration with the BATFE including those fitted with arm braces. Its once you fit a stock is when you need to register. The article is pretty cut and clear when you have the appropriate knowledge. This is why we have a lot of misinformation going around. People read a headline or anecdote out of context and create their own opinion immediately.

    4. I don’t know where “Jim” lives, but as a resident of the People’s Republic of California, I can truthfully say that there is absolutely nothing in the way the article is written to suggest the Cheaper Than Dirt is even implying a tacit approval of breaking the law, let alone outright advocating such a boneheaded thing.

      Here’s why. Notwithstanding the obvious (to me, anyway) unconstitutionality of the ill-advised (by which I mean utterly stupid) anti-firearms hysteria evident in California laws, those of us who are practical, law abiding citizens have no wish to get cross-threaded with the law. The laws are wrong, and they create a far more dangerous societal condition that will lead to more deaths than would be likely to occur if we had a well-armed citizenry properly trained in the safe, responsible use of firearms. But the laws are what they are. As long as we live here, we have to know what they are, and comply with them.

      But that’s not the point here; rather, it’s only the context. The point is that, given that we don’t want to break the law, we are probably more sensitive than most to finding ways to comply with it while still exercising our constitutional rights. So when I see an article that states “…for those who don’t want to register…”, I simply see INFORMATION about how to stay legal, yet still satisfy my firearms ownership and use objectives.

      Case in point: California’s recently expanded definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon” requires that all such firearms (whose sale is already registered with the state) be separately registered explicitly as “assault weapons”. Even the idiotic California-mandated “bullet button” isn’t enough to exempt a rifle that uses center fire ammo. Any detachable magazine center fire firearm—even one equipped with a bullet button—is now considered an “assault weapon” if it has any of the Forbidden Features (pistol grip, collapsible/folding/adjustable stock, or flash suppressor).

      One solution is to remove all the Forbidden Features. A simpler solution (at least as of this writing) is to render the magazine non-detachable. There’s more than one way to accomplish that without permanently modifying the firearm, and I won’t list them here. But the bottom line is that using such methods still makes the gun eminently usable, but de-classifies it as an “assault weapon”.

      Consequently, for those who don’t want to register with the state as “assault weapon” owners (I’m one of them), we get to keep our firearms without getting ourselves on a list that is a necessary precursor to forced confiscation…and it’s all perfectly legal.

      There is nothing wrong with finding legal ways to avoid registration. Perhaps the fact that “Jim” rushed to an incorrect negative interpretation says more about his way of thinking than he might have liked to reveal had he read the article more carefully.

    5. Addendum: I should have specified that the “assault weapon” classification applies to semi-automatic firearms. Bolt action doesn’t count.

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