Eyeballing A Few Keepers
By Roy Huntington
Can you say 1,800 exhibitors and tens of thousands of new products? Can you say overwhelming? Can you say sore feet? Can you say “Stop saying can you say?”
What follows is the equivalent of a computer screen shot of four days of zany hysteria. I saw, well … zillions of new things, but my brain can only remember so much. So here’s some teasers, not really the “best of” but more of a “Squirrel!” situation of grabbing my attention as I raced by in the aisle. There’s more on-line too, so make sure you mosey over to take a peek. Trust me when I say, there’s plenty more cool things offered up by our industry buddies than what you see here. We just only have so much room to share!
Ruger’s Security-9 harkens back to their Security Six revolver series. Solid as a steel brick, the sixgun was nearly indestructible. The new one, a mid-sized semi-auto, is of blued steel bits, with a glass-filled nylon grip frame and hard coated aluminum chassis inside the frame. The action — called “Secure Action” — is derived from the hammer-fired LCP system. An internal hammer keeps things reliable and the slide easy to work. A 15-shot and 10-shot version is available with an MSRP of only $379. I’m thinking we’ll see these at $299 in the stores. Amazing!
Drago Gear’s “Defender Backpack” fills the “Everyday Carry” niche. There’s a huge number of places to stash stuff and the outside water bottle pocket is particularly handy. There’s two internal AR mag holders, a concealed pouch for a gun/holster, and the different colored pull strings make finding and remembering where stuff is easier. Very smart! This is top-quality and would also make a perfect carry-on for flying — minus the carry gear! In the $89 range or so.
Sometimes simple is indeed best and the DeSantis Pro Stealth is a simple way to tote your S&W Shield with Crimson Trace laser and a spare magazine IWB style. The mag/gun combo is easy to hide behind the belt and the ballistic nylon holster body and clip combine forces to keep things where they belong. A thumb break model is available. At around $38.99, it’s affordable but well made. Hey, it’s a DeSantis!
Iver Johnson’s 1911A1 Carbine isn’t exactly “new” but I haven’t seen the concept in 25 years! I know, I know … why? Who needs why when you can have “because” as the answer? The barrel is 16.25″ so it’s all nice and legal when you put the stock on the gun. I actually had one of these and it actually worked! Want to have some fun and amaze and astound your friends at the next weekend match? Here’s your chance! It’s in the $600 to $700 range, with the base 1911 included.
The S&W Shield has sold in the “millions” at this point and is a “perfect” size — hence the sales. It’s accurate, runs great and is in that “middle” ground of pricing and size so often ignored. A new version, the M2.0, comes with an integrated Crimson Trace green laser, along with improvements in the basic gun like a crisper trigger and aggressive grip texturing. In 9mm and .40, at about $549.00 MSRP.
The new SAR 9 is a polymer-framed, striker-fired auto, and it’s tough since it’s built to NATO specs. Some people don’t realize Turkey (where the SAR is made) has a fine gun-making history going back hundreds of years. It shows in this affordable but feature-rich gun. There’s three backstraps, patented DA/SA trigger, metal sights, two 17-rd. mags, cleaning equipment, lockable case, polymer holster and a very low slide-to-frame relationship to help with recoil control. It’s the sidearm of the Turkish military. Here it’s going to sell for about $449 at full MSRP.
From Lansky sharpeners comes the P.R.E.P. — Preparedness – Resource – Equipment – Pack. It’s basically a grab-it-and-go bag affordable enough for you to have one in each car. The rugged canvas case is filled with things like an emergency blanket, first aid gear, multi-tool, fishing gear, light, paracord, firestarter, water bottle, knife and more. It really could help to get you home or keep you alive. At $129.99 get two or three. You couldn’t assemble this gear yourself for that price.
In the “Isn’t it cute?” category, from Springfield comes the 911 pistol in .380 ACP, a compact aluminum-framed pistol like a little brother to the 1911. The 911 name, get it? Featuring an exposed hammer and SA trigger, the 911 handles 6+1 rounds with the flush-fitting magazine and 7+1 with the finger-extension version shown. The barrel is 1.75″, and at 12.6 ounces is feathery to carry. Excellent 3-dot tritium sights and pretty much standard 1911 functions rounds out the package. At $599 MSRP, it will be available with either a stainless or black nitrided slide. Perfect pocket carry? Just maybe.
Spectrum from Taurus is actually being delivered now according to Taurus. At only 10 oz. this .380 also has some amazing color combos available, which might be it’s most compelling feature to buyers. The DAO trigger (striker-fired design) allows the striker to be un-cocked when in carry mode. The mag release is reversible, slide is steel, the grip is “soft-touch overmold” and the sights are integrated and low profile. MSRP is about $289 in standard colors and $305 in what they call “House” colors. Special edition colors will be available now and again.
“Competition Ready” means just that, and if it comes from the S&W Performance Center, you get what you pay for. This revolver duo (the 686 and 686 Plus) come loaded with enhancements like a speed release thumb piece, interchangeable sights, tuned action, vent-rib barrel and unfluted cylinder. I shot these guns at a S&W factory event and found them to be fast and smooth. The 686 is a 6-shot, 4″-barreled gun, while the 686 Plus features a 7-round cylinder, 5″ barrel and is cut to use moon clips. Both have chromed custom teardrop hammers. MSRP is $966 for either and you couldn’t build something like these guys for anything close to that!
Web Blast Extra
Even more from this show-of-shows!
More goodies abound … too many to fit into the latest issue!
Lyman’s Brass Smith C-Frame Press is the perfect starting point for beginners or as a precision companion press for experienced reloaders. The compact design of the C-Frame Press requires minimal bench space, but it is not some flimsy lightweight! The rugged press frame is made of cast iron, while other components are all steel. The press features compound linkage for optimum leverage, a 1″ diameter ram, and a 3 7/8″ press opening which can handle all pistol calibers and rifle cartridges with a loaded length of up to 3.7″. The press has a central handle position for easy ambidextrous use and a ball handle for comfortable operation. The C-Frame Press accepts all 7/8×14 thread dies and standard shell holders. The press will provide accuracy and precision for beginners or experts, and is the perfect auxiliary press for whose wishing to perform a specific operation separate from their main press. It’s about $99 MSRP.
The Majestic Arms Master Grade Trigger Kit is the ultimate upgrade kit for your Ruger Mark IV™ pistol. The Master Kit includes: Hammer and Sear — precut and honed to produce a match grade trigger pull approx. 2.25 lb.
Spacer — use the spacer to omit the magazine disconnector or omit the spacer and retain the mag. disconnector — the choice is yours.
Disconnector Bar — heat treated stainless steel, guaranteed not to warp or bind. Oversized Sear Tab (needs final fitting). Provides short trigger stroke (approx. 1/16″) and quick reset.
Reduced weight match grade Sear Spring.
Dedicated Speed Trigger — (Mark IV or Mark IV 22/45) — longer, with a smooth face for the best trigger feel. Over-travel adjustment screw for a clean let-off.
Complete installation videos are available on their website or facebook page. They make very cool products and it’s easy for you to upgrade your own guns this way!
The Ranger II is a small, 5-shot capacity, mini-revolver chambered in .22 Magnum from North American Arms. A 1 5/8″ break-top barrel ejects the shells as it breaks open, and is equipped with bead sights. An additional defining feature is the rosewood NAA classic grip, however any of the North American Arms grips or accessories will fit as well. This firearm will also have unique serial numbers. The Ranger II comes with the option of an additional conversion cylinder, able to shoot .22 Long Rifle. The Ranger II is quick to reload and perfect for deep, concealed carry.
This long lasting, high performance synthetic lubricant and cleaner from Otis goes where you need it to and stays put, providing protection for your firearm. Friction doesn’t stand a chance against slides, slide rails, bolt/bolt carrier, actions and other metal on metal contact points protected by Mission Critical. With no burn off, this formula has your guns running cleaner than ever.
1 fl. oz. spray bottle of cleaner, 1 fl. oz. spray bottle of lubricant and microfiber gun cloth
High Performance Lubricant:
• High performance synthetic firearm lubricant that will not freeze, burn or carbonize.
• Withstands extreme conditions.
• Recommended for slides, slide rails, bolt/bolt carrier, actions and other metal on metal contact points.
• Safe on all gun metals and finishes.
High Performance Cleaner:
• Prepares surfaces for MC-10 Lubricant.
• Removes MC-10 Lubricant.
This cleaner is formulated specifically to remove Mission Critical High Performance Lubricant.
Remington’s 1911 R1 Tactical Double Stack Threaded is a full-featured “fighting” pistol. It features 15+1 capacity in .45 ACP in double stack models (8+1 in single stack mode), match grade triggers, front and rear cocking serrations, 5.5″ ramped barrels (5″ for non-threaded ones), stainless steel frame, slide and barrel, Ionbond PVD coating and machined G10 VZ Operator grips. About $1,250 MSRP.