SHOT Show Preview
by Gun Week staff
Handgun market will sizzle with 1911 centennial offerings
It is the 100th anniversary of the Model 1911 pistol, and the landscape will be covered with commemoratives and numerous “working gun” variations in addition to the many 1911 variants that have been on the market for years. But new 1911s are not the only new handguns; there are also many other semi-auto and revolver models of all sizes and calibers on the horizon for 2011.
Everything gets officially unveiled at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas this month, and we begin with a look at Browning’s (One Browning Place, Dept. GWK, Morgan, UT 84050; phone: 801-876-2711; online: browning.com) anniversary entry, the Model 1911-22, a scaled-down version of the famous pistol. Chambered in .22 Long Rifle, the Model 1911-22 has a frame and slide machined from aluminum alloy with a matte blue finish. Sized at 85% of the original design, it has a 4.25-inch barrel and 5.5-inch sight radius. The pistol weighs 15.5 ounces empty and is 7.125 inches overall. All guns shipped this year will include a special “first year of production” collector’s certificate and a free “limited edition” commemorative zippered pistol case. The handgun has a stainless steel barrel block with a target crown, fixed sights and a detachable 10-round magazine. Grips are made from a brown composite.
Colt’s Manufacturing (PO Box 1868, Dept. GWK, Hartford, CT 06114; phone: 860-236-6311; online: coltsmfg.com) has announced its own centennial versions of the Model 1911 Colt Government Model, including a one-of-a-kind pistol to be sold at auction during the National Rifle Association annual meetings in Pittsburgh, PA, in April. One anniversary Model 1911 is limited to 750 units. It has a polished royal blue finish, engraving on the slide and 22K gold accents, cocobolo grip panels with gold-plated medallion and unique serial numbering. It comes in a fitted display case. The other anniversary model has no engraving and is based on the Model 1918 configuration.
Colt is also introducing a limited run of Single Action Army revolvers in three barrel lengths in observance of Colt’s 175th anniversary in business. These sixguns are available with barrel lengths of 4.75, 5.5 and 7.5 inches. They feature engraving on the barrel, frame and cylinder, gold accents and Colt black plastic grips. They are all chambered in .45 Colt.
Another entry comes from Ed Brown (PO Box 492, Dept. GWK, Perry, MO 63462; phone: 573-565-3261; online: edbrown.com) and it’s a keeper. The Classic Custom Centennial Edition, offered this year only, is available in two versions, the Classic Custom Centennial and the Executive Elite. The Classic Custom has special laser engraving on the left side of the slide, a jeweled barrel hood, Tru-Ivory grips, custom rib on top of the slide, and hand engraving on the slide flats and frame. Brown’s Executive Elite model has these features: plain black sights, solid trigger and special serial number.
Smith & Wesson (2100 Roosevelt Ave., Dept. GWK, Springfield, MA 01104; phone: 413-781-8300; online: smithandwesson.com) has a slew of 1911 versions in its “E” Series. The SW1911 CT is a full-size .45 ACP with a 5-inch barrel and slide, satin stainless steel frame and slide, white dot sights, Crimson Trace Lasergrip, titanium firing pin, recessed muzzle, and detailed slide rib. A “standard” SW1911 also has a 5-inch barrel, stainless slide and frame, wood laminate grips, white dot sights, precision fit trigger, titanium firing pin and checkering on the front strap.
The new E-Series “round butt” SW1911Sc is a Commander-sized .45 ACP with a Scandium frame with black anodized finish, stainless steel slide with black Melonite finish or bright stainless finish for a two-tone appearance, wood laminate grips, oversize extractor, high rise beavertail grip safety, 4.25-inch barrel, tritium sights, and precision trigger.
Another newcomer is S&W’s stainless steel tactical model, the SW1911TA with an accessory rail on the dust cover. It has tritium night sights, wood laminate grips, precision trigger, combat ejection port, titanium firing pin, oversize extractor, detailed slide rib and more.
Smith & Wesson has announced new threaded barrel kit guns in 9mm and .45 ACP in the M&P series. The Model M&P9 carries 17 rounds, has a stainless steel slide finished in black Melonite, a polymer frame and is fitted with a 4.25-inch barrel but comes with an additional threaded barrel of the same length. The M&P45 has a 10-round magazine, 4.5-inch standard barrel and an additional threaded barrel that is .578-inch longer.
S&W also is fielding several revolvers, including the Model 629 Magnum Hunter in .44 Magnum. It has a 7.5-inch barrel with red ramp front sight, adjustable rear, and a rail on top to accommodate a red- or green-dot sight. The stainless steel K-frame Model 647 has a 12-inch fluted barrel and is chambered for the .17 HMR rimfire cartridge. It has a rail on top of the barrel for accessory sights, black ramp front sight and adjustable rear, and wood grips.
The Model 460 XVR has a 14-inch barrel, comes with a bipod, and is chambered for the .460 S&W Magnum. It holds five rounds, has a black ramp front sight and adjustable rear, synthetic finger groove grip and is built on the X-frame.
Anybody remember that movie “The Wild Bunch?” This year, Para USA (10620 Southern Loop Blvd., Dept. GWK, Pineville, NC 28134; phone: 704-930-7600; online: para-usa.com) has a treat for the Single Action Shooters Society (SASS), the new Wild Bunch Model 1911 SASS pistol. It has a 7-round magazine, classic sights with three dots, which may be blacked out for traditional division competition, a traditional hammer, solid trigger and grip safety.
In addition, Para’s 2011 lineup includes a limited release of boxed sets of two semi-automatic pistols, the classic Model 1911 with a 7-round magazine and the Model 14-45 with its integral light rail and match-grade barrel. Also new is the Limited Series single stack 1911 with a fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight. It has a 6-inch slide with checkering on the front strap of the grip frame.
Springfield (420 West Main St., Dept. GWK, Geneseo, IL 61254; phone: 800-680-6866; online: springfieldarmory.com) has announced the Range Officer Model 1911 pistol, with a forged steel frame, 5-inch stainless steel match-grade barrel, lightweight Delta hammer, beavertail grip safety, stainless bushing, and the ejection port is lowered and flared. It comes with two 7-round magazines. The rear sight is adjustable, and the pistol wears checkered double-diamond grips with the Springfield emblem etched in the middle.
Yet another entry on the 1911 platform is the DW Guardian from Dan Wesson (5169 Route 12 South, Dept. GWK, Norwich, NY 13815: phone: 607-336-1174; online: danwessonfirearms.com). Built on a Commander-size frame with a bobtail hammer, alloy frame and the Duty finish offered on the Valor model, the Guardian is chambered for .45 ACP. In 10mm, Dan Wesson’s Titan has a black finish, tritium sights, integral rail and 18-round magazines. A .40-caliber entry is the Mayhem model with a black finish, 6-inch barrel and slide, adjustable fiber optic sights and 18-round magazine. Also, Dan Wesson has resurrected the Model 715 with optional barrel assemblies and interchangeable grips. It comes with a 6-inch heavy vent rib barrel and a finger-grooved Hogue grip.
The Bulldog is back, and it still wears the Charter Arms brand (281 Canal St., Dept. GWK, Shelton, CT 06484; phone: 203-922-1652; online: charterfirearms.com). This tough little limited-edition five-round revolver has wooden grips and a 3-inch barrel. It is chambered for .44 Special and this year’s run is limited to 1,000 copies.
Charter has also announced a new variation of its .38-Special revolver for women, the Chic Lady. This one has a highly-polished stainless steel barrel and cylinder, while the 7075 aluminum frame is finished in Pink Alligator.
Two hot numbers that aren’t Model 1911 pistols come from Ruger and Sig Sauer.
Ruger’s (1 Lacey Place, Dept. GWK, Southport, CT 06890; phone: 203-256-3860; online: ruger.com) entry is the striker-fired SR40, chambered for the .40 S&W. It features a glass-filled nylon frame with a reversible backstrap that changes from flat to arched, and a stainless steel slide with adjustable sights. It has fully ambidextrous controls, a 4.1-inch barrel, and a molded accessory rail on the front of the frame.
New from Sig Sauer (18 Industrial Dr., Dept. GWK, Exeter, NH 03833; phone: 603-772-2302; online: www.sigsauer.com) is the P290 semi-auto, chambered in 9mm. This sub-compact pistol measures only 5.5 inches in length and is 3.9 inches high, with an overall width of 0.9-inch except on the slide-release area, where the gun is 1.1 inches wide. The barrel measures 2.9 inches, and it comes with dovetailed SigLite tritium night sights on a 4.3-inch sight radius. It has a polymer frame and stainless slide with either a stainless finish or a black Nitron finish.
In the unusual pistol category, there are several entries.
Cimarron Arms (105 Winding Oak Rd., Dept. GWK, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; phone: 830-997-9090; online: cimarron-firearms.com), famous for its single-action sixguns, offers a semi-auto pistol built on an AR-frame. The “mfour-22” is a semi-auto chambered for .22 Long Rifle with a 6-inch barrel. A replica of the M-4 Carbine pistol, it features a functioning dust cover, machined quad rail hand guard, adjustable sight, forward bolt assist and bolt release. It comes with either a 10- or 28-round magazine.
Bushmaster (999 Roosevelt Trail, P.O. Box 1479, Dept. GWK, Windham, ME 04062; phone: 207-892-3594; online: www.bushmaster.com) offers a semi-auto on the AR-platform called the Pit Viper. This lightweight Carbon series pistol is fitted with a chrome-lined barrel and a forged receiver.
Built on the AK action, the new Centurion 39 AK from Century International (430 South Congress Ave., Suite 1, Dept. GWK, Delray Beach, FL 33445; phone: 800-527-1252; online: centuryarms.com) is a hefty model chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Made in the United States, this pistol has a bird cage muzzle brake, shark fin front sight, proprietary quad rail and ergonomic pistol grip. It comes with two 30-round magazines.
CZ-USA (P.O. Box 171073, Dept. NWS, Kansas City, KS 66117; phone: 800-955-4486; online: cz-usa.com) has announced the 9mm Czechmate, along with the SP-01 Shadow Custom. The Czechmate is built on a modified CZ75 TS frame for competition, and it comes with a spare barrel, a front sight adapter, and a C-More red dot sight. It has three 20-round magazines and one 26-round magazine, two slide stops and four slide stop pins. The CZ75 SP-01 Shadow Custom is a 9mm pistol with a two-tone finish, competition fixed rear sight and aluminum competition grips.
New from EAA (PO Box 560746, Dept. NWS, Rockledge, FL 32956; phone: 321-639-4842; online: eaacorp.com) is the Sarsilmaz (SAR Arms) K2 pistol, a semi-auto chambered in four different calibers: 10mm and .40 S&W with a 17-round magazine, .45 ACP with a 14-round magazine and 9mm with an 18-round magazine. This pistol may be carried cocked and locked. It has a steel frame and slide, adjustable sights, integral accessory rail, extended beavertail and an elongated trigger guard with serrations.
Chiappa’s (8611-A North Dixie Drive, Dept. GWK, Dayton, OH 45415; phone: 937-454-0470) new M-Four Tactical Handgun is chambered in .22 Long Rifle and it has a 28-round magazine, 6-inch barrel and overall length of 14.625 inches.
There is also a new brushed electroless nickel finish on the Rhino revolver, the unusual-looking .357 Magnum with a 4-inch barrel.
Fans of single-shot handguns will warm up to the new chamberings offered by Freedom Arms (314 Highway 239, Dept. GWK, Freedom, WY 83120; phone: 307-883-2468: online: freedomarms.com) for its Model 2008. This year, the handgun is offered in .260 Remington and .454 Casull, both with 15-inch clean barrels. The barrel is tapped for scope bases, and metallic sights are available for silhouette shooters. Made from stainless steel, the Model 2008 has a hammer block safety, positive extractor, impregnated hardwood grip and stock, and may be fitted with silhouette sights. Additional barrel options may be factory fitted.
The newest entry from Legacy Sports (206 South Union Street, Dept. GWK, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-548-4837; online: legacysports.com) is the Pietta Millennium revolver for the Cowboy Action crowd. Chambered for either the .45 Colt or .357 Magnum, with hardwood grips and a 5.5-inch barrel, it has a matte black finish with a matte brass backstrap and trigger guard.
North American Arms (2150 South 950 East, Dept. GWK, Provo, UT 84606; phone: 801-374-9990; online: NorthAmericanArms.com) is introducing a top-break Ranger model, along with a cap-and-ball version of the Earl model. The Ranger has a five-round cylinder, fixed sights, and resembles a miniature S&W Schofield model. Chambered in .22 Magnum, the revolver breaks open and a cam-activated star ejector withdraws spent cartridges from the cylinder. It is made from stainless steel and has a 1 5/8-inch barrel. The percussion Earl model has a 4-inch octagonal barrel, five-shot cylinder, wood grip panels and fixed sights.
For the concealment market, MasterPiece Arms (105-A Kingsbridge Drive, Dept. GWK, Carrollton, GA 30117; phone: 770-832-9430; online: masterpiecearms.com) offers the Protector line of semi-auto pistols chambered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP. Made in the United States, the frames are machined from solid 4140 steel, while the slides are machined from either 4140 or stainless steel. They measure only 0.820-inch wide, 4.37 inches long and 3.2 inches high. Both models also have 2.25-inch barrels. They are available in either black or stainless finish.
New models for Cowboy Action shooters, including mounted shooters, are being introduced by Uberti (17603 Indian Head Hwy., Dept. GWK, Accokeek, MD 20607; phone: 301-283-2981; online: benelliusa.com) this year. The 1873 Cattleman El Patron Cowboy Mounted Shooter single-action revolver is available in either blue or stainless steel. Blued models have a color case-hardened frame. The El Patron is fitted with either a 4-inch barrel or 3.5-inch barrel, with stainless versions only offered with the shorter barrel. They are chambered in either .45 Colt or .357 Magnum.
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