At the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Gun Tests staffers ran across many dozens of new products that we’re working to include in future tests. Following are some of the handguns, handgun ammunition, and handgun accessories we were interested in. Next month we’ll look at new long guns and new options for them.
— Todd Woodard
Advanced Technologies, Inc.
Given the growth of the AR-15 pistol market, aftermarket supplier ATI sees an opportunity to help users of the popular Ruger Charger get more enjoyment out of its use. The AR-22 Pistol Stock System features a polymer receiver chassis and a T2 pistol grip as well as a six-sided aluminum free-floating forend that sports an FS8 nose cone. The T2-style pistol grip lowers a shooter’s hand to align the finger with the trigger, and the sure-grip texture helps reduce recoil. In addition, the stock also features a 16-inch aluminum Picatinny rail that runs the length of the receiver and forend for trouble-free optic and accessory mounting. SRP: $120.
The biggest ammunition surprise might be the news that Browning is now offering, via licensing, a full line of ammunition manufactured by Olin-Winchester.
The BXP Personal Defense X-Point defensive handgun loads are loaded in black nickel-plated cases, with bullets utilizing the X-Point technology. There is also a line of Target Performance BPT loads for defensive handguns. The usual chamberings are represented in both lines, with one load each in 380 ACP, 9mm Luger, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto. Browning is also offering rimfire loads in 22 LR. They have a distinct black-oxide coating on the bullet and will be offered in 100- and 400-round packages.
CCI will offer four new centerfire handgun shotshell loads. The new CCI Big 4 loads extend the range and capabilities of these shotshells, thanks to a payload of No. 4 lead shot. The 10-round packs will be available for the 9mm Luger, 38 Spl./357 Magnum, 44 Spl./44 Magnum, and the 45 Colt. CCI’s new California-legal bullet is called CCI Copper-22. The projectile is constructed from a unique mix of copper particles and polymer compressed into a 21-grain hollowpoint.
Cimarron has three new pistols in the Eliminator series. Cimarron’s new Eliminator Octagon features a 4.75-inch octagonal barrel, checkered Army-style grips, and a pre-war frame. It has a case-hardened/blued-frame/cylinder assembly and is available in 357 Magnum/.38 Special and 45 Long Colt. SRP: $779.
Cimarron’s new Eliminator Competition features a 4.75-inch round barrel, checkered single-action grips, and a pre-war frame. Like the Eliminator Octagon, it has a 25-percent-shorter hammer stroke and a Cowboy Comp U.S. action job. The Eliminator Competition is available in a color case-hardened/blued-frame/cylinder assembly or stainless steel. It’s also available with a standard or low, wide hammer. Available in 357 Magnum/38 Special and 45 Long Colt. SRP: $714.
Cimarron’s new Eliminator Thunderstorm is available with a 3.5- or 4.75-inch barrel and checkered grips. Its specially designed Thunderstorm hammer is low and wide for comfortable no-slip cocking. The Eliminator Thunderstorm is available in standard blue or polished stainless steel in 45 Long Colt. SRP: $747, blue; $973, stainless.
Cimarron is also offering four laser-engraved revolvers from Pietta, Italy. They are available in two finishes: nickel and old silver frame (OSF). OSF is a two-tone finish, where the barrel, cylinder, and grip assembly are blued and the frame is left in white for a polished steel finish. SRPs start at $650.
Known for its unique 1911 handgun chambered in 357 Magnum, the company is introducing a new class of 1911s chambered in 45 ACP. This new 45 ACP Pistol utilizes all of the proven technologies from Coonan’s 1911 357 Magnum Auto. These “Coonan Difference” features include a linkless barrel, pivoting trigger, and an external extractor. It has a Novak rear sight and a blade front sight. Night sights or an adjustable rear sight are optional. The Coonan 45 ACP package includes a 7-round single-stack magazine, a carrying case, and a lock. SRP: $1,375.
The Carry 9 Program (SRP: $249, red; $319, green) packages a Blade-Tech Klipt Ambi IWB concealed-carry holster with a Crimson Trace laser sight for either a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or Glock G43 pistol. Using Shock Stop (SRP: $319, red; $399, green) technology for red and green laser grips on S&W J-Frame Round-Butt revolvers helps reduce felt recoil. New Master Series 1911 laser grips include aggressive textured aluminum and faux ivory models.
The Lazer Point MTL-OS is a tiny laser sight for Glock pistols that magnetically attaches over the rear sight. It can be removed or installed in seconds with no tools.
CrossBreed Carry Holsters
For 2016, CrossBreed Holsters is introducing the latest in its line of handcrafted holsters, the Freedom Carry. The line was created in response to consumer demand for more versatile carrying tools. What sets this new holster apart from its predecessors is that it can be worn in several positions without sacrificing comfort. The holster also allows the user to carry larger firearms in the appendix position. The Freedom Carry is available for more than 300 different firearms, including those with lights, lasers, and micro red-dot sights (depending on model). CrossBreed Holsters offers a two-week, try-it-free guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty on selected items.
In the last few years, there has been a huge spike in requests for suppressor-ready firearms, and for 2016, CZ has more than doubled its threaded-pistol lineup. Clad in urban-gray, CZ’s limited-edition Urban Gray Suppressor Ready Series of pistols come with a set of high suppressor sights equipped with tritium lamps front and rear. Extended-capacity magazines boost the capacity on all but the SP-01 by two rounds. Some models, like the P-01 Omega and the 75 Omega, are completely new. Variants include a P-09 with a 12+1 capacity, a P-07 with 17+1 capacity, a 75 SP-01 and a 75 B that hold 18 cartridges, and a 75 P-01 with a capacity of 16+1. SRP: $537 to $723.
Turning the Tactical Sport up a notch, the CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange borrows a number of design features from the Czechmate and incorporates a few of its own. With the slimmer trigger guard, revised grip geometry, and finer checkering from the Czechmate frame, it adds a thumb stop and fully adjustable target sights. With the same long slide and full-length dust cover as the standard TS, it also shares the single-action-only trigger, giving it an incredibly light pull and short reset. SRP: $1,784.
CZ’s FDE Scorpion hosts all the same features that have made the Scorpion Pistol such a hit. New for 2016 is a barrel that is threaded 18×1 to accept the factory flash hider, but also threaded 1⁄2×28 underneath the flash hider to allow for the easy addition of a suppressor or aftermarket muzzle device. The folding stock goes on quickly and easily, and is sold in a 922(r) compliance kit so you have all the required parts to stay on the up-and-up. CZ also sells an arm-brace adapter kit that allows the fitting of aftermarket arm braces or cheek weld devices. An 11-inch Picatinny rail rides on top, and aluminum adjustable sights are fitted from the factory. Chambered only in 9mm Luger.
CZ’s Bren 805 S1 Pistol has an 11-inch barrel and 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 always equip it with CZ’s adapter kit, which allows easy installation of aftermarket arm braces or other devices meant to help stabilize large-format pistols. Chambered in 223/5.56 and using the STANAG magazine from the AR15/M16, it easily accepts optics and lights on its top and bottom Picatinny rails.
CZ has added a new Kadet Kit to the line. Designed to swap onto current P-07s and older P-07 Duty pistols, the P-07 Kadet Kit enables shooters to train using cheaper 22 LR ammo. With a 10-round magazine and fully reciprocating-slide function, shooting the P-07 Kadet Kit will be identical to shooting the host pistol in factory form. The CZ P-07 Kadet Kit ships with two 10-round magazines. SRP: $237.
Dan Wesson has seen a steady increase in requests for a non-bobbed Valor Commander, and for 2016, it has delivered. What sets the Valor apart from the rest of Dan Wesson’s 1911 lineup is the sheer amount of time spent hand-polishing, hand-fitting, and finishing. Not only do they get the best quality parts, they get the most individual attention of any model Dan Wesson builds. It is arguably the company’s best-size 45 ACP or 9mm Luger 1911 for concealed carry. SRP: $1,688 to $2,012.
Dan Wesson has not forgotten wheel gunners. The Dan Wesson 715 Pistol Pack is as it was before—designed and built to be the most accurate, rugged, and versatile revolver on the market. This year sees the revival of the Pistol Pack, famous for its swappable barrels. The Pistol Pack is shipped with 4-, 6-, and 8-inch barrel/shroud assemblies, in the modern heavy vent shroud profile. A custom Dan Wesson hard case, with compartments for the additional barrel assemblies and a factory-supplied barrel wrench kit, is included. SRP: $1,688.
With more folks than ever choosing to hunt with a handgun and the continuing resurgence of the 10mm cartridge, Dan Wesson decided it was time to bring the heat. Dan Wesson’s first long-slide 1911, the Bruin, was born to hunt. The long slide means a long sight radius, and the 6-inch barrel allows full-power 10mm loads as much time as possible to use their powder charge. Fully adjustable tritium sights ensure that when shooting hours arrive, you’ll be able to see the sights. Additionally, there’s a tritium/fiber-optic combo front sight to make sure the front glows day or night. SRP: $2,064, 45 ACP; $2,194, 10mm.
With suppressors becoming more and more mainstream, another interesting pistol from Dan Wesson is the Discretion. With its match-grade stainless barrel, which is extended and threaded, it is suppressor-ready out of the box. Its aggressively ported slide, serrated trigger, and competition-inspired hammer give it a radical look. High tritium sights allow for sighting over the top of most pistol suppressors. Available in 9mm Luger and 45 ACP. SRP: $2,142.
The Pointman series from Dan Wesson has been offered in limited quantities in the past, and demand has always outpaced production. Featuring a serrated rib on top of the forged slide, it has an adjustable target sight in the rear, a fiber-optic sight in the front, and front and rear cocking serrations. The frame is forged stainless with an undercut trigger guard and 25-LPI front strap checkering. The flats are polished to a soft, brushed finish, and the rounds are sandblasted for a nice contrast. Double diamond cocobolo grips finish off the Pointman, which is available only in 38 Super. SRP: $1,597.
Sharing the features that make the Dan Wesson Valkyrie one of its most popular concealed-carry 1911s, the Valkyrie Commander simply adds an aluminum Commander-size frame, making it ideal for those who need a bit more purchase than an Officer-size frame allows. The Valkyrie Commander is available in 9mm Luger and 45 ACP with a black duty/anodized finish. SRP: $2,012.
For defensive handguns, a new 9mm Luger load has been added to the Micro HST line. This load utilizes a 150-grain HST bullet optimized for terminal performance and low recoil from micro-sized handguns. SRP: $31.95 for a 20-round box.
Federal’s American Eagle Syntech loads in 9mm Luger, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto eliminate metal-on-metal contact between the bullet and bore, using all-new polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet. Combined with specialized clean-burning powders and exclusive Catalyst primers, it should keep guns cleaner longer. SRP: $19.99, 9mm; $33.95, 45 Auto. Both are available in 50-round boxes.
Hartman is a new player in red-dot optics and is debuting the MH1 Red Dot Reflex Sight (SRP: $650), which has the largest (compared to other similar devices) field of view through the sight. It is waterproof up to 20 feet and night-vision-compatible. It also features ambidextrous activation buttons and a sleep mode.
Hornady’s Critical Duty line of personal protection/law enforcement ammunition gets a new addition with a 175-grain FlexLock 10mm Auto load. And, though not a true ammunition product, Hornady’s Ballistic Band rubber bracelet (fits wrist or stock) is a simple and handy way for shooters to record and reference their ballistics information. It should be a great companion for any long-range hunter.
Kahr has two new handguns for 2016. Part of the Value Series Plus line, the 380 ACP CW380TU has a black-polymer frame and stainless slide with a Cerakote tungsten finish (dark graphite gray) on the slide stop lever and trigger. SRP: $419.
Also part of the Value Series Plus product line, the 380 ACP CT3833TU features a 3-inch conventional rifled barrel, a trigger-cocking DAO action, and a passive striker block. New for 2016 is the Cerakote tungsten finish (dark graphite gray) on the slide, slide-stop lever, and trigger on a black polymer frame with stainless slide. SRP: $419.
The Spartan Laser series (SRP: $99, red; $149, green) features a mounting system designed specifically for handgun accessory rails, with ambidextrous activation and automatic shutoff after 10 minutes.
Lehigh Defense continues to offer alternatives to traditional ammunition. The new 380 ACP Xtreme Defense (XD) load will penetrate more than 14 inches in 10-percent ordnance gelatin while retaining 100 percent of its weight. This barrier-blind projectile is an intense tissue-damaging, deep-penetrating alternative to traditional shallow-penetrating, expanding 380 ACP self defense loads.
U.S.-based Magnum Research is introducing a new version of the iconic Desert Eagle, with the addition of its new Cerakote tungsten finish to the 44 Magnum and 50 AE Desert Eagle products. The new Cerakote Tungsten Desert Eagle is offered in either the 50 AE or 44 Magnum. SRP: $1,696.
The VISM Reflex Sight with Green Laser (SRP: $119.99) is a compact sight system that combines a red reflex sight and a green laser. Both the dot sight and laser are controlled by a push-button control panel and powered by a single CR123A battery. The sight provides a one-third co-witness with BUIS.
The custom 1911 giant Nighthawk has several new finely crafted pistols for 2016. The Silent Hawk is a Recon-style commander with a Tri-Cut slide, custom cocking serrations to match an Osprey silencer, a threaded barrel, tritium tall suppressor sights, and mid-length grip-screw bushings. It has a total blackout finish and custom NH/Silencer Co. brand logo. SRP: $4,295, 45 ACP; $4,495, 9mm Luger.
The Summit Hawk is a Recon-style commander with a Tri-Cut slide, custom cocking serrations to match an Osprey silencer, a threaded barrel, tritium tall suppressor sights, and mid-length grip-screw bushings. It has an NP3 finish and a custom NH/Silencer Co. brand logo. SRP: $4,995, 45 ACP; $5,195, 9mm Luger.
The Heinie Kestrel is all black with stainless controls. This model includes a thinned scalloped frame and mainspring housing that is great for concealed carry and people with smaller hands. The build also includes custom features such as rear slide serrations, top slide serrations, a crowned barrel, a beveled and recessed slide stop, and thin Aluma Grips with the Nighthawk Logo. It is available in 9mm Luger or 45 ACP. SRP: $3,495.
Republic Forge manufactures world-class Model 1911 pistols, and it has announced the addition of blued and color-cased finishes to its all-American 1911 lineup. Unprecedented in the custom 1911 market, firearms enthusiasts can navigate to Republic Forge’s website and build their very own Republic Forge pistol. Now customers have a case-hardened finish as an option.
For those who like to shoot a lot and spend a little, Remington has two new Range Bucket offerings. One big plastic bucket—The Range Bucket—is filled with 350 rounds of 9mm Luger (SRP: $98).
For defensive handguns, Remington has two important ammo contributions. It will finally be offering the excellent Golden Saber Black Belt loads for civilian sale. This will include a 124-grain +P and a 147-grain 9mm Luger load, 164- and 185-grain 40 S&W loads, a 185-grain 45 Auto +P, and a 125-grain 357 Magnum load.
Remington has also added a full-size handgun category to the Ultimate Defense line of handgun ammunition. Last year it launched the compact handgun category with loads purpose-built for little pistols.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., has entered the ammunition business by partnering with PolyCase. This new ammo, called the Ruger ARX, is designed and produced by PolyCase under license from Ruger. These loads use PolyCase’s revolutionary ARX bullet technology. By design, the non-expanding Ruger ARX exploits the bullet’s velocity to redirect energy laterally via flutes in the bullet ogive. The bullet’s design allows it to feed like a round-nose, yet still transfer energy to targets effectively over a wide range of velocities.
The ARX bullet penetrates many different barriers without deformation, and it penetrates through clothing without clogging and degrading terminal performance . The four loads are a 56-grain 380 ACP, a 74-grain 9mm Luger, a 107-grain 40 S&W, and a 118-grain 45 Auto.
SIG Sauer has returned the venerable P225 pistol to its catalog. The P225A retains the exceptional look and feel of the original P225, but it features an enhanced trigger and the precision manufacturing and quality from the state-of-the-art SIG Sauer facility. The P225A is a single-stack 9mm pistol with the time-tested double-action/single-action trigger system. A fully machined stainless-steel slide comes in the durable Nitron finish. A hard-coat-anodized frame sports two-piece grips with the SIG mark medallion.
Last year, SIG introduced a full line of ammo products. For 2016, SIG has added to that line with several new loads. First up is a 38 Super +P Elite 125-grain V-Crown jacketed hollowpoint load at 1,230 fps. A 125-grain FMJ load at the same velocity is also available for the 38 Super. SIG has also added four new revolver loads for the 38 Special and 357 Magnum. The 38 Special loads are available with either a 125-grain FMJ or V-Crown bullet at a muzzle velocity of 900 fps. The 357 Magnum loads deliver 1,450 fps with either the FMJ or JHP bullet.
Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Corp. is now offering its M&P Shield pistol in both 9mm and 40 S&W, with a factory-ported barrel and slide. These new Shield ported pistols, available exclusively from the Performance Center, provide a host of premium features desired by the most astute shooters. Engineered on a high-strength polymer frame measuring .95 inch in width, the Performance Center M&P Shield is standard with a 3.1-inch factory-ported barrel. The new barrel, along with the pistol’s three precision-cut ports across the top of the stainless-steel slide, aid in reducing muzzle flip and improve the ability to remain on target after firing. The new M&P Shield pistols have been further updated with fiber-optic sights and an enhanced trigger. SRP: $490.
Smith & Wesson has also added greater versatility to its premiere line of M&P pistols by offering two new versions of the M&P with an additional threaded barrel included in the box. The new 9mm variants—which include the Performance Center M&P Ported and the Performance Center M&P C.O.R.E. (Competition Optics Ready Equipment)—allow owners to easily attach a sound suppressor without the use of additional tools. The additional threaded barrel included with both pistols brings an added retail value of $175 and feature a thread pattern of 1⁄2-28.
A custom-designed, machine-engraved SW1911 pistol is also joining the line this year. The new SW1911 features a scrollwork design created by Smith & Wesson’s Master Engraver and made possible by a highly precise diamond-tipped tool. The engraving embellishes the all-steel canvas and elevates the venerable 1911 platform to a new level of sophistication and beauty. Chambered in 45 ACP, the pistol showcases decorative machine engraving on the left and right side of the stainless-steel slide and frame. This intricate linework extends across the pistol’s 5-inch barrel, and when combined with its glass bead finish and rosewood colored grips, transforms this modern-day workhorse into a living piece of art.
Traditions Performance Firearms
For 2016, Traditions has introduced four new models into its popular blackpowder revolver lineup. All four feature laser engraving. While beautiful to look at and display, these engraved revolvers are also 100 percent functional. Models include two 1851 Navy revolvers. One is in blue with walnut grips, while the other is in nickel with simulated ivory grips. There is a blued 1858 Army with walnut grips and a blued 1860 Army configured similarly.
Traditions has also added two new models to the popular Frontier series of 1873 Single Action Revolvers. Like all Traditions single-action revolvers, these, too, come equipped with a transfer bar to give a high level of safety. One of the new introductions is an 1873 Single Action Sheriff’s model, with a 3.5-inch barrel and color-case-hardened frame. The other is an 1873 Single Action with an oversize grip frame and a 5.5-inch barrel. Both have color-case-hardened frames and are chambered for 357 Magnum.
Small enough to fit on suitably-equipped handguns, the Miniature Rifle Optic, or MRO (SRP: $579 without mount, $629 with mount), red-dot sight features a large objective lens and shortened optical length to eliminate the tube effect common with so many tube red-dot sights. Comes equipped with a 2 MOA dot aiming point.
The compact ultralight TRU TEC 20mm (SRP: $221) tactical red-dot sight offers a 2 MOA reticle and unlimited eye relief. The larger TRU TEC 30mm red-dot (SRP: $368) offers a larger tube.
The new PPS M2 from Walther is a compact handgun with a slim profile, push-button magazine release, and smooth trigger pull housed in a frame that fits just about anyone. The new PPS M2 comes chambered in 9mm and 40 S&W. The new version of the PPS has a 3.2-inch barrel in both chamberings, has a 6.1-pound trigger pull, and stands 4.4 inches tall in 9mm and 5.3 inches tall in 40 S&W. It’s 1 inch thick.
It comes with three magazine options: Flat for concealment, mid-sized for comfort, and large for extra-capacity. In effect, the shooter could keep the gun in a nightstand at home with the high-cap magazine, transfer to mid-sized in the car, then use the flat mag for carry. It has front and rear slide serrations, a rear sight that’s screw-adjustable for windage, and tactile and visible cocking indicators, along with a loaded-chamber viewport. The Walther PPS M2 9mm Luger LE Edition pistol comes equipped with phosphoric sights and three magazines.
Compiled by Gun Tests staff. Some of the descriptions above are from SHOT Daily, a trade magazine published at the show for the dealers and distributors who attend. Used with permission.