NEW TAC­TI­CAL/SELF-DE­FENSE GUNS 2018

OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST OF THE NEW-FOR-2018 TAC­TI­CAL FIREARMS

Gun World - - Contents - By Richard Schutz

While the AR plat­form con­tin­ues in pop­u­lar­ity, other plat­forms were in­tro­duced. In­no­va­tion and con­cealed carry con­tinue to drive the hand­gun mar­ket.

Last year was a tough year for most peo­ple in the firearms in­dus­try. There was no long-term po­lit­i­cal rea­son for firearms en­thu­si­asts to run to their lo­cal gun shop and buy up stocks of guns and am­mu­ni­tion. Add to that the fact that many manufacturers and deal­ers had stocked up on firearms and am­mu­ni­tion in an­tic­i­pa­tion of an­other ad­min­is­tra­tion that was un­friendly to the firearms in­dus­try.

None of that was ev­i­dent at the 2018 SHOT (Shoot­ing, Hunt­ing and Out­door Trade) Show at the Sands Expo Cen­ter in Las Ve­gas, Nevada. I saw noth­ing but en­thu­si­asm, prod­uct line ex­ten­sions and in­no­va­tion.

Roughly 60,000 in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als at­tended the 40th an­nual SHOT Show, which cov­ered 15 acres of floor space, to meet with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 1,660 ex­hibit­ing com­pa­nies rep­re­sent­ing most ma­jor shoot­ing, hunt­ing and out­door-re­lated prod­ucts.

For firearms en­thu­si­asts, the 2018 SHOT Show pro­vided us with more firearms and firearms-re­lated prod­ucts to view than we could pos­si­bly do jus­tice to in only four days. On the Mon­day be­fore the SHOT Show be­gan, In­dus­try Day at the Range took place at Boul­der Ri­fle and Pis­tol Club. This event al­lowed many in the me­dia to have “hands-on” time with some of those firearms.

There were sev­eral in­no­va­tive firearms, such as the ARCHON Firearms Type B 9mm pis­tol and Franklin Ar­mory’s Ref­or­ma­tion. This year was the year of the .224 Valkyrie cham­bered ri­fle, with at least six manufacturers giv­ing live­fire demon­stra­tions of their ri­fles (five MSRs and one bolt gun) us­ing Fed­eral am­mu­ni­tion.

Here are some “new-for-2018” firearms that we found most in­ter­est­ing. GW

Brownells Retro AR-10

In 2017, Brownells in­tro­duced a line of four “Retro” AR-15 ri­fles based on the famed Eu­gene Stoner de­sign that be­came the M-16 ser­vice ri­fle is­sued to the United States mil­i­tary dur­ing the Viet­nam War. Now, in 2018, Brownells is ex­pand­ing its of­fer­ings to in­clude two AR-10 ri­fles: the BRN-10A and the BRN-10B. The BRN-10A brings back the orig­i­nal Eu­gene Stoner lightweight .308 bat­tle ri­fle. It fea­tures a heavy bar­rel with ag­gres­sive flut­ing un­der the hand­guard, three-prong, Dutch-style flash hider, brown retro fur­ni­ture to mimic the orig­i­nal fiber­glass stock, 7075-T6 alu­minum bil­let re­ceivers, a trig­ger-style charg­ing han­dle un­der­neath the carry han­dle and a 20-inch bar­rel assem­bly.

The BRN-10B sub­sti­tutes a lightweight bar­rel assem­bly, closed­prong, Por­tuguese-style flash hider and black retro fur­ni­ture.

MSRP: $1,600

URL: Brownells.com

ARCHON Type B

ARCHON Firearms (pro­nounced AR-KON), for­merly known as Arse­nal Firearms USA, in­tro­duced the Type B (for­merly the Stryk B) com­pact, striker-fired poly­mer pis­tol in 9mm. The bar­rel moves straight back in­stead of tilt­ing dur­ing re­coil, giv­ing the Type B a very low bore axis—which helps re­duce muz­zle flip. While fir­ing the Type B dur­ing In­dus­try Day at the Range, I found the flat-face trig­ger to have a bet­ter-thanaver­age feel and a short re­set. The multi-an­gled blocks on the grip felt a bit for­eign but al­lowed for a good grip on the pis­tol. Four 15-round Mec-Gar mag­a­zines are pro­vided with the gun, and both front and rear sights are Glock com­pat­i­ble. A front rail is pro­vided, as are front and rear slide ser­ra­tions. The weight, in­clud­ing an empty mag­a­zine, is 29.6 ounces.

MSRP: $850

URL: Ar­chonFirearms.com

Franklin Ar­mory Ref­or­ma­tion

The Franklin Ar­mory Ref­or­ma­tion re­ceived more pre-SHOT Show hype than any other item. It was billed as a non-NFA firearm with an 11.5-inch bar­rel and a con­ven­tional Mag­pul SL stock. Even when we fired the Ref­or­ma­tion at In­dus­try Day at the Range, we were not told what the “se­cret sauce” was.

On the first day of the SHOT Show, Franklin Ar­mory an­nounced that the Ref­or­ma­tion was not a ri­fle or a shot­gun—as de­fined by the ATF—be­cause of its NRS (“not a ri­fle or shot­gun”) tech­nol­ogy. It has straight-cut lands and grooves, so there is no “ri­fling” to make it a ri­fle; yet, it re­tains a stan­dard cham­ber. The ben­e­fit is an SBR-like (short bar­rel ri­fle) firearm, ex­cept no NFA stamp is re­quired be­cause it’s not a ri­fle. So, yes, this can be shoul­dered.

Ini­tially, the Ref­or­ma­tion will be avail­able cham­bered in .300 Black­out. A 5.56 NATO ver­sion will be avail­able shortly there­after. Off-the-shelf am­mu­ni­tion has been shown to pro­vide 4 MOA re­sults in the straight lands-and-grooves bar­rel. Franklin Ar­mory is de­vel­op­ing fin- and flare-sta­bi­lized pro­jec­tiles that will pro­vide 1 MOA accuracy.

MSRP: $1,035–$2,095 URL: FranklinAr­mory.com

IWI Ta­vor 7

Af­ter sev­eral years of de­vel­op­ment, Is­rael Weapon In­dus­tries has taken the 5.56x45 NATO Ta­vor X95 plat­form and trans­formed it into one cham­bered in the 7.62x51 car­tridge. At ¾ inch longer and 1 pound heav­ier, the Ta­vor 7 is only marginally big­ger than its lit­tle brother, the X95, and has the same bar­rel length, at 16.5 inches. While the ba­sic de­sign is the same as the X95, nu­mer­ous im­prove­ments have been in­cor­po­rated into the fi­nal prod­uct: The safety now has a 45-de­gree throw, rather than 90 de­grees; sev­eral sling at­tach­ment points have been added; the ejec­tion side can be changed quickly in the field with­out any spe­cial tools; and the bolt can be locked to the rear by pulling the charg­ing han­dle to the rear and ro­tat­ing it up into a notch, as on an MP-5. M-Lok at­tach­ment points are pro­vided on the hand­guard, and a four-po­si­tion gas sys­tem is pro­vided. Stan­dard SR-25 mag­a­zines are used.

MSRP: $2,299 URL: IWI.us

Sav­age Model 110

For 2018, Sav­age has not only re­freshed the en­tire line, it has also dropped the dual num­ber­ing sys­tem in fa­vor of the three-digit ver­sion. It hasn’t dropped the short ac­tion; there are now just short-ac­tion and long-ac­tion ver­sions of the 110 model based on the car­tridge for which the ri­fle is cham­bered. Ad­di­tion­ally, cer­tain other mod­els, such as the 11/111, 16/116, 12 FCV and 11 Scout mod­els, have been in­cor­po­rated into the model 110 fam­ily. An Ac­cuFit stock has been added to all but the Tro­phy model 110 ver­sions.

The Sav­age 110 is now avail­able in 10 mod­els. Right- and left-hand ver­sions are avail­able in some mod­els, and each model has sev­eral cham­ber­ings avail­able. The AccuTrigger, Ac­cu­S­tock and but­ton ri­fle bar­rels are re­tained. The Ac­cuFit stock al­lows the length of pull to be ad­justed in ¼-inch in­cre­ments, and the comb height can be ad­justed in in­cre­ments. The model 110 fam­ily now in­cludes the Hunter, Storm, Preda­tor, Tac­ti­cal, Long Range Hunter, Long Range Hunter .338 La­pua, Varmint, Scout, Bear Hunter and Wolver­ine.

The Tro­phy Model 110 ri­fles do not have a comb height ad­just­ment and come in Hog Hunter, Brush Hunter, Lightweight Storm and En­gage Hunter XP ver­sions.

MSRP: $750–$1,300 URL: Sav­ageArms.com

Ruger PC Car­bine

The 9mm PC Car­bine from Ruger takes the tra­di­tional pis­tol-cal­iber car­bine to a new level by pro­vid­ing mag­a­zine in­ter­change­abil­ity across both model and man­u­fac­turer lines in a take­down plat­form. The PC Car­bine al­lows the use of both Ruger (SR9, Amer­i­can and Se­cu­rity-9 mag­a­zines) and Glock mag­a­zines with a change­able mag­a­zine well sys­tem. The take­down de­sign is taken from the tried and true 10/22 take­down ri­fle. Ad­di­tional flex­i­bil­ity is pro­vided through a re­versible mag­a­zine re­lease and a re­versible charg­ing han­dle. (See the April 2018 is­sue of Gun World for a full re­view of the PC Car­bine.)

MSRP: $649 URL: Ruger.com

Spring­FIELD Ar­mory 911

All new for 2018, the Spring­field Ar­mory 911 is a 1911-style, sin­gle-ac­tion .380 ACP mi­cro-pis­tol for ev­ery­day carry. The flush-fit mag­a­zine holds six rounds, and the Mag X-Ten­sion mag­a­zine holds seven rounds. The 911 is 5.5 inches long, 3.9 inches high, 0.9 inch wide and weighs 12.6 ounces. It fea­tures a 7075 T6 an­odized hard-coat alu­minum frame with G10 grip pan­els, a 416 black ni­tride slide with loaded cham­ber in­di­ca­tor and rear cock­ing ser­ra­tions. It also has an ex­tended, am­bidex­trous thumb safety; full-length guide rod assem­bly with flat wire spring; 2.7-inch 416R stain­less steel bar­rel with black ni­tride fin­ish; G10 piv­ot­ing trig­ger; and drift-ad­justable Pro-Glo tri­tium night sights. It will also be avail­able with a stain­less slide and Virid­ian green grip laser.

MSRP: $599

URL: Spring­field-Ar­mory.com

Moss­berg 590M

Moss­berg has taken the 590 shot­gun to a new level with the ad­di­tion of the de­tach­able mag­a­zine-fed model 590M. The 590M takes the time-proven tubu­lar mag­a­zine pump shot­gun and in­cor­po­rates the flex­i­bil­ity of de­tach­able mag­a­zines with 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-round ca­pac­i­ties. This gives the shooter the ad­van­tages of greater ini­tial ca­pac­ity and faster reloads for com­pe­ti­tion, home de­fense or in tac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tions.

The 590M is avail­able in 2¾-inch 12-gauge only, with an 18.5-inch bar­rel. The stan­dard mod­els use a sin­gle-bead sight, while the TriRail model uses a ghost ring rear sight with a ramp front sight. The Tri-Rail model also has a heat shield. Both mod­els weigh 7.75 pounds with an empty 10-round mag­a­zine.

MSRP: $721 (Stan­dard); $801 (Tri-Rail) URL: Moss­berg.com

SIG Sauer P365

A much-an­tic­i­pated pis­tol at the 2018

SHOT Show was the SIG Sauer P365

9mm mi­cro-com­pact, striker-fired poly­mer pis­tol. This high-ca­pac­ity, mi­cro-com­pact pis­tol fea­tures a cen­ter-feed, mod­i­fied dou­ble-stack, 10-round-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zine, which gives it a ca­pac­ity of four rounds more than a Glock 43 and three rounds more than a S&W Shield M2.0. It comes stan­dard with SIGLITE night sights. All of this comes in a pack­age that is 4.3 inches high, 5.8 inches long, 1 inch wide and weighs 17.8 ounces with an empty mag­a­zine. It ships with one 10-round flush-fit and one 10-round ex­tended base­plate mag­a­zines. An ex­tended, 12-round-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zine is also avail­able. A slim-line rail ac­com­mo­dates SIG light and laser ac­ces­sories. At SIG Sauer’s Range Day, we found the P365 very com­fort­able to shoot and con­trol. (Watch for a full re­view of the P365 in a fu­ture is­sue of Gun World.)

MSRP: $600 URL: SIGSauer.com

Daniel De­fense DDM4V7 P

Daniel De­fense has added the DDM4V7 P pis­tol to its ex­ten­sive lineup of AR-15 and AR-10 ri­fles for 2018. The DDM4V7 P comes cham­bered in ei­ther 5.56x45 NATO or .300 Black­out, along with an SB Tac­ti­cal Pis­tol arm brace or a Law Tac­ti­cal fold­ing buf­fer tube arm brace. Be­cause it is clas­si­fied as a pis­tol and not an SBR, even with the 10.3-inch-long bar­rel, no ATF pa­per­work or tax stamp is re­quired. In 5.56x45 NATO with Law Tac­ti­cal fold­ing arm brace con­fig­u­ra­tion, the DDM4V7 P uses an MFR 9.0 rail sys­tem, is 30¼ inches long, weighs 6.17 pounds and has a 10.3-inch-long bar­rel with an im­proved flash sup­pres­sor. The re­ceiver is CNC ma­chined from 7075-T6 alu­minum and is Type III hard­coat an­odized. The bar­rel is cold ham­mer forged from chrome-moly vana­dium steel with 1:7 twist ri­fling and a gov­ern­ment pro­file. The pis­tol is avail­able in black and MIL-SPEC+ Cer­akote.

MSRP: $1,942

URL: DanielDe­fense.com

Wind­ham Weaponry .450 Thumper Pis­tol

Wind­ham Weaponry has taken its .450 Bush­mas­ter “Thumper” ri­fle and made a pis­tol ver­sion for 2018. The .450 Thumper Pis­tol is a semi­au­to­matic AR-15-style pis­tol with a di­rect im­pinge­ment gas sys­tem. The over­all length is 26.25 inches, and it weighs 5.8 pounds with­out a mag­a­zine. The forged re­ceiver is made of 7075-T6 alu­minum with a hard­coat black an­odized fin­ish. The 9-inch, medi­umpro­file bar­rel is made from 4150 chrome-moly vana­dium 11595E steel with an M4 feed ramp. It has a mel­onite QPQ fin­ish and a .450 com­pen­sator. A full-length 1913 MIL-STD rail runs the length of the up­per re­ceiver and con­tin­ues on the 7-inch Wind­ham Weaponry free-float hand­guard. The hand­guard has M-Lok at­tach­ment points at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock po­si­tions. The poly­mer flip-up front and rear sights are made by Kriss. The Thumper Pis­tol uses a Hogue pis­tol grip, and the arm brace is by SB Tac­ti­cal.

MSRP: $1,254

URL: Wind­hamWeaponry.com

Glock G19X

The 9mm G19X is Glock’s cross­over model, which uses a G19 slide on a G17 frame. This is sim­i­lar to the model de­vel­oped for the U.S. mil­i­tary, mi­nus the ex­ter­nal safety. It’s Glock’s first-ever fac­tory-colored slide (in coy­ote) us­ing a PVD coat­ing to pre­vent cor­ro­sion. The G19X fea­tures the Glock Marks­man bar­rel, bi­lat­eral slide stop levers, Glock night sights, a lan­yard loop and no fin­ger grooves in the grip. Two 17+2-round­ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines are fur­nished with the pis­tol. The G19X is 7.44 inches long, 5.47 inches high (with mag­a­zine) and 1.30 inches wide. It weighs 24.83 ounces with an empty mag­a­zine (31.39 ounces loaded). As an added touch, it comes in a Coy­ote-colored case.

MSRP: $749 URL: Glock.us

Walther PPQ SC

The new Walther PPQ SC 9mm sub­com­pact, striker-fired poly­mer pis­tol has the best fac­tory trig­ger I have felt on a striker-fired pis­tol. The er­gonomics of this sub­com­pact are also ex­cel­lent. The PPQ SC fea­tures a Tenifer coat­ing on the slide, bar­rel and in­ter­nal parts; low­pro­file, three-dot poly­mer sights with a 5.6-inch sight ra­dius; bi­lat­eral slide stop levers; 1913 MIL-STD front ac­ces­sory rail; bi­lat­eral mag­a­zine re­lease; and three in­ter­nal safeties. Two 10-round mag­a­zines are pro­vided. Over­all di­men­sions are 5.4 inches long, 4.4 inches high, 1.3 inches wide and a weight of 21.2 ounces with an empty mag­a­zine. MSRP: $649

URL: WaltherArms.com

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