VALUE GUIDE: RECENT 9MM HANDGUN RANKINGS
Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XDMT9459FDEHCE TB 9mm, $505
Our Pick as a personal-defense, home-
defense, and tactical pistol.
Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS 9mm, $710
The Gen5 guns are the best yet, with superior accuracy and features over earlier Glocks.
CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620
9mm Luger, $402
Best Buy. CZ has managed to pack a lot of value into the P0-9. 19-round magazine. …
CNN has reported that federal authorities are searching for thousands of conversion devices that render semi-automatic Glock pistols into fully automatic weapons that are considered to be machine guns.
Readers have had a lot of challenges finding good wheelgun reloading devices. We were happy to help. Also, Reader Gail wonders about the 6.5 PRC, but not so much that a change is in the cards.
Log on toGun-Tests.comto read complete reviews of these products in the designated months.Highly-ranked products from older reviews are often available used at substantial discounts.
There should be a saying: Once you shoot a 1911, you won't go back. That's how some of our testers feel about the 1911 platform, which in a properly executed handgun will have a nice trigger, comfortable grip angle, good sights, and plenty of power in 45 ACP. And 1911s that you might carry don't have to have a big footprint, so with that in mind, we looked at a Commander and two Officer-size 1911 pistols with a street cost of about $450. Inexpensive doesn't necessarily equate to value in a 1911, but with the two Officer models, one each from Taurus and Taylor's, and a Commander from American Tactical, Inc. (ATI), we found some value-packed compact 1911s. Not perfect by any means, but good performance for the cost. Of course there are compromises, but that is to be expected in a 1911 that costs about $450. In fact, if we could disassemble and reassemble these compact 1911s into one optimal compact 1911, we would take the trigger from the ATI, the sights from the Taylor's, and the receiver from the Taurus.
During the past year, revolvers have gotten a lot of attention. The introduction of the Taurus AirLite six-shot revolver, basically a six-shot J frame, was interesting. Ruger introduced a seven-shot 357 Magnum version of the GP100. The revolver, it seems, continues to interest the self-defense shooter who wants his or her carry handgun to agree with the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) maxim. We have done reports on revolvers and on self-loading pistol magazines, but we've never tested revolver speedloaders. It seemed long overdue. We got together a team of revolver shooters, collected a number of revolvers, and ordered a range of revolver speedloaders. While the basic design of all speedloaders is similar, we discovered that there are important differences in the speedloaders that will be important to the user. Whether the speedloader is used for competition or defense, we think the reader who carries a revolver would be well advised to carry a speedloader, master the technique to deploy it, and choose the device well.
The 1911 is a legendary handgun, and it has been offered in many variations since its introduction 108 years ago. During the time after World War I, there were attempts to make the 1911 into a more accurate handgun, primarily for use at Camp Perry. The first National Match handguns were modified by Army gunsmiths for the task. Colt made the pistol commercially available as the National Match during the 1930s. The first guns featured high-profile fixed sights and were considerably tightened over the fit of the Government Model. Colt offered the Gold Cup pistol as a target pistol set up for light loads. Today, we like to have a 1911 with a lighter trigger action than the GI gun and with superior sights, but do we really need an expensive handgun or a target gun for overall utility? For personal defense and most forms of competition, the handguns reviewed will do a good job. They are useful for personal defense, some forms of competition, and for hunting varmints, and even medium-size game, at moderate range. The trick is, how much do you have to pay for this performance?
Springfield Armory is so excited to have two new models that we introduced here for SHOT Show. The first one being the 9 millimeter version of the 380 that we introduced last year.
So that one I can show you here. Very similar to the one that comes in 380. It has G10 grips, G10 trigger, AmeriGlo's Pro Glo tritium front sight, so it really picks up quickly in just about any sort of light condition. Really quick sight picture acquisition there. Let's see what else. We have ambidextrous safety, we have this golf ball texturing - what we call Octo-Grip texturing on the front and the back straps so it really gives you a comfortable grip without tearing up your clothing if you're going to carry it concealed.
At SHOT 2019, Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard rustled up some interesting products that are beginning to appear this spring. Here's a quick look at new self-defense ammo from Browning and Winchester, a new shotgun from Armscor, new compact pistols in 9mm and 380 ACP from Springfield Armory, and a new drop-in trigger for your favorite AR-15 from American Tactical.
Handguns are designed to give the user a certain amount of useful power in a portable configuration. For home defense, the limits on "portable" are less restrictive than those for concealed carry under covering garments. Weight is a big issue for carry, but length competes with mass as the dimension that causes the biggest pain in the back. But for performance, length is helpful when it allows for a longer barrel that will make for greater velocity and energy, and up top, a longer slight radius on the slide generally improves accuracy. Also, a longer front end tends to dampen sight movement during recoil, important when chambering a more powerful cartridge such as the 357 SIG. As such, a certain class of handguns — long barrel/long slide models — answer a lot of needs for home-defense shooters, and for the right people, could even be carried. In this report, we looked hard at four 9mm Luger pistols that are among the longest offerings in their respective stables, they were:
- the CZ-USA CZ P0-9 91620 at 8.1 inches in overall length;
- the FNH FNS-9L Longslide 66725 at 8.25 inches OAL;
- the Glock G34 Gen5 MOS PA3430103MOS at 8.74 inches OAL;
- and the Springfield XD(M) 4.5 XD(M)T9459FDEHCE Threaded Barrel, whose 5.3-inch-long barrel contributes to its 8.3-inch OAL.
The CZ P0-9 is a longer version of the CZ P0-7, yet in this group, the barrel is the shortest of the test at 4.54 inches, or 0.79 inch longer than the CZ P0-7's. This pistol also features an elongated grip that holds 19 rounds in the magazine versus 15 for the P0-7. An important difference between this pistol and the smaller P0-7 is that the P0-9 is supplied with interchangeable backstraps. To put it in scale, the well-known CZ 75 B is also 8.1 inches long, but the 75 B is 0.4 inches shorter than the P0-9 and holds three fewer rounds in its magazines. Interestingly, the pistol retails for an average $100 less than the smaller P0-7. This product from Cesk zbrojovka Uhersk Brod is a polymer-framed pistol, but unlike the others tested, the P0-9 is hammer fired. We expected the CZ pistol to handle differently from the striker-fired guns, and it did.
FN America pitches the FNS-9 Longslide as a competition gun (as does Glock for its G34), saying the Longslide has been "tested in every type of major shooting event, from high-speed IPSC/USPSA and grueling 3-gun matches to precision bull's-eye and actions events like the NRA Bianchi Cup." Okay, none of that scares us if we're looking for a dependable, easy-to-shoot self-defense handgun.
The Glock G34 Gen5 is likewise designated as a competition pistol, but it's not Glock's largest 9mm by quite a bit. The G17L Long Slide gets that honor with a 6.02-inch-long barrel and an OAL of 9.53 inches.
Oddly, Springfield's XD(M) 4.5 TB (now discontinued in the two-tone color scheme) is longer than what the company designates as a competition handgun, the 5.25-inch-barrel XD(M)95259BHCE Competition Series 9mm. Despite its nomenclature, the threaded-barrel XD(M) version we test here has a 5.3-inch-long barrel to accommodate the threads and is 0.05 inch longer overall than the 5.25 Model, according to company specs.
Here's what we found out about these longer-than-average handguns.
In celebration of the company's 100th anniversary, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., has released a 9mm concealed-carry handgun: the Mossberg MC1sc (subcompact). Surprisingly, the company's first firearm design, called the Brownie, was a 22-caliber four-shot pocket pistol. The MC1sc is available in five initial 9mm offerings: the standard MC1sc and an optional cross-bolt safety version; two standard offerings with sighting systems (TruGlo Tritium Pro Night Sights or a Viridian E-Series Red Laser), and a Centennial Limited Edition with a production run limited to 1,000 commemorative models. After 100 years in business, Mossberg has grown to be the sixth-largest U.S. firearms manufacturer with more than 100 design and utility patents to its credit. The MC1sc reflects three years of development. Important features in a subcompact handgun are size, weight, caliber and carryability. The MC1sc has an overall length of 6.45 inches, weight of 19 ounces (with empty magazine), and a barrel length of 3.4 inches in the popular 9mm chambering. It comes with two single-stack magazines (one 6-round flush and one 7-round extended), has a glass-reinforced polymer frame, and suggested retail price of $421 for the two standard models.