Each January, the Who’s Who of the firearms industry gathers to display the newest and best for the media at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoors Trade (more popularly known as the SHOT) Show, this year in Las Vegas. As always, the event was closed to the public, but with every major firearms-related publication on hand, and posting, tweeting, and sharing non-stop, we in the gun-buying public were able to follow along like never before.
Among the hundreds of new products announced at the show, several managed to pique my interest. I’m always looking for the next great thing to come along, and had no trouble picking five that I wanted to share with you. Actually, that’s not entirely correct … I had quite a bit of trouble narrowing the list down to five. And since there are as many (if not more) bad ideas as good, I also decided to mention a couple that, quite frankly, had me scratching my head. So let’s take a look at what many of us will be lusting after in the coming months!
Beretta PX4 Compact Carry; 9mm, .40 S&W; MSRP—@ $650: Beretta is one of those manufacturers about which I have mixed feelings. I love their small caliber pocket pistols, especially the 3032 Tomcat. However, their full-size offerings, particularly the M9 / Mdl. 92 series pistols, have always left me cold.
That does not include the company’s PX4 Storm series of pistols, however. My brother-in-law owns a full-size PX4 in .45 ACP, and my experience with it has been very positive. The grip is one of the most comfortable I’ve tried in some time, it’s reliable, and it performs just as you would expect from a company with Beretta’s reputation. It is blocky, and aesthetically unappealing, at least to my eyes. But the Compact Carry version seems to remedy some of that, and at any rate, form does follow function. After all, I am a huge fan of Glock pistols, hardly works of art.
Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory; .22 LR; MSRP—$409: Replacing the Mdl. 22A in the company’s catalog, the Victory is a dedicated target pistol, but without the hefty price tag some target .22s carry. It has most of the features that competition shooters would look for in a stock, out of the box pistol costing less than five bills. Removable, interchangeable match-grade barrels, adjustable, fiber-optic rear sight, fiber-optic front sight, adjustable trigger stop, 10+1 capacity … there’s a lot in this package for serious shooters to enjoy. However, Smith & Wesson is wise enough to know that not all shooting is serious work; sometimes, you just want to punch holes in paper zombies or make tin cans dance around an empty field. Nothing beats a .22 for that, and S&W has kept the Victory priced within reach for such enjoyable pursuits.
Kimber K6s; .357 Magnum; MSRP—$899: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the SHOT Show this year was Kimber’s unveiling of it’s new small-frame, six-shot, .357 Magnum revolver, the K6s. Kimber’s first foray into the world of personal defense revolvers is nothing revolutionary, though it does have some interesting features. Most notable among these is it’s six-round capacity. S&W’s nearest competitor, the Mdl. 640, is a five-shot J-frame .357 Magnum. The Smith retails for a suggested price of $729, the Kimber will have a price tag significantly higher, at $899. Is having one more round on-board worth an extra $170? That’s up to you. As for me … while I love the idea of the K6s, that price point will probably keep my hands off one.
Ruger / TALO Distributing 10/22-M1 Carbine Tribute; .22 LR; MSRP—@ $415: I love vintage military arms, and one that has been on my want list for a long time is the U.S. Carbine Cal. .30 M1. While this rifle is not an actual M1, it does have that classic look, in a much more affordable package, both to own and to shoot. And I want one!
Streamlight Protac HL-4 Flashlight; MSRP—$175: I know, it’s not a gun. But trust me, as a working security officer, few things are more important than a good source of light when you’re checking doors alone at night in a bad neighborhood. The pistol on my hip is important, and comforting, but I use my flashlight a dozen times per shift, and you soon learn to appreciate a high-quality light. Rated at 2,200 lumens, with a beam that’ll reach out to 346 meters, this is a serious piece of hardware, and it definitely belongs on this list.
And now, for the less-than-exciting …
Taurus has a reputation for producing decent firearms for decent prices … nothing exceptional, nothing spectacular, just good quality. They do occasionally display flashes of brilliant innovation—the Judge revolver, the integral laser/light combo on the Curve—but that often gets buried under gimmick-laden designs, such as the aforementioned Curve. Their latest gimmick comes on the TCP line of compact pistols, and resembles nothing so much as the ears on a certain cartoon rodent who shall remain nameless. Taurus calls them ‘wings’, and they’re designed to fit into recesses cut into the rear of the slide. They’re intended to fold out, to act as an aid to racking the slide. They look flimsy and ridiculous, and for a pistol that’s intended to live most of it’s life in a pocket, an invitation to snags. They also seem, like most of Taurus’ gimmicks, a solution in search of a problem.
Also, Caracal is back for another try at the US pistol market, bringing out an “Enhanced F” model pistol that supposedly corrects the problems that plagued the first generation Caracals, and led to the recall of every Caracal pistol to leave the factory in the United Arab Emirates. Personally, I wish them luck … but I won’t be betting my life on their product.
More Articles by this Author:
Our Shops (Perfect for Valentine's Day):
Comments will be approved before showing up.