Handgun makers have been busy trying to catch up on last year’s orders, but they’ve also had time to come up with a bunch of new and improved auto pistols. There’s even a true left-hand 1911! Here are snapshots of the hottest new introductions.
GALLERY: New Pistols 2012
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<h2>American Tactical Imports FX Thunderbolt 1911</h2>The .45 ACP, 5-inch-barreled FX Thunderbolt 1911 imported by <a href="http://www.americantactical.us"target="_blank">ATI</a> is made in the Philippines, but it has all the bells and whistles American shooters want. Features include adjustable three-dot sights, ambidextrous safety, checkered grips, beveled magazine well, and tactical accessory rail. Price: $830.
- <h2>American Tactical Imports FX Thunderbolt 1911</h2>The .45 ACP, 5-inch-barreled FX Thunderbolt 1911 imported by <a href="http://www.americantactical.us"target="_blank">ATI</a> is made in the Philippines, but it has all the bells and whistles American shooters want. Features include adjustable three-dot sights, ambidextrous safety, checkered grips, beveled magazine well, and tactical accessory rail. Price: $830.
- <h2>Auto Ordnance WWII Parkerized 1911</h2>New from <a href="http://www.auto-ordnance.com"target="_blank">A-O</a> is the Massachusetts-Compliant WWII Parkerized 1911. This full-sized .45 ACP weighs 39 oz., measures 8.5 in. long, and comes with brown plastic grips and one seven-round magazine. The rear sight is drift adjustable. Price: $627.
- <h2>Beretta BU9 Nano</h2><a href="http://www.berettausa.com"target="_blank">Beretta’s</a> newest auto pistol is the utraslim American-made BU9 Nano 9mm. This pocket powerhouse weighs 17 oz. and is just 0.9 in. thick. Overall length is 5.6 in., and overall height is 4 in. Magazine capacity is 6 rounds. Price: $475.
- <h2>Ed Brown Signature Edition 1911</h2>Building on the success of last year’s Classic Custom Centennial 1911, this year <a href="http://www.edbrown.com"target="_blank">Ed Brown</a> offers the Signature Edition 1911. This high-end pistol is beautifully engraved and comes with a custom serrated flat top-rib, adjustable rear sight, 25 LPI checkering on the frontstrap and mainspring housing, two-piece recoil spring guide rod, and exotic checkered cocobolo wood grips. Price: $7,195.
- <h2>Cabot Guns South Paw</h2>The <a href="http://www.cabotgun.com"target="_blank">South Paw</a> is the only true left-hand version of the classic 1911. This limited-production .45 ACP features a match-grade barrel with polished feedramp, an aluminum trigger, an extended slide stop, 20 LPI checkering on the frontstrap, Rozic blind front sight, Harrison-design fixed rear sight, left-hand thumb safety, box elder grips, and eight-round magazine. Price: $5,250.
- <h2>Chippa M9-22 Tactical</h2><a href="http://www.chiappafirearms.com"target="_blank">Chiappa’s</a> new M9-22 .22 LR auto pistol is a faithful copy of the venerable Beretta M-9 service pistol, but it’s chambered for the economical rimfire round. The M9-22 weighs 37 oz.; is 8.5 in. long; and comes with a 5-inch barrel, wood or plastic grips, and two 10-round magazines. The M9-22 Tactical (shown here) has a threaded barrel that accepts Chiappa’s replica suppressor; it also accepts most functioning suppressors. Price: $369 (standard model) or $419 (Tactical model).
- <h2>Colt Mustang Pocketlite</h2><a href="http://www.coltsmfg.com"target="_blank">Colt’s</a> new-for-2012 .380 ACP Mustang Pocketlite has a 2.75-inch barrel and weighs 12.5 oz. Overall length is 5.5 in., magazine capacity is six rounds, and grips are black plastic. The aluminum frame wears an electroless nickel finish, and the slide is brushed stainless steel. Price: $599.
- <h2>CZ USA P-07-Duty</h2>Beginning in April 2012, <a href="http://www.cz-usa.com"target="_blank">CZ’s</a> popular polymer-frame P-07 Duty will be available with an OD green frame and black polycoat slide. This 9mm auto pistol features CZ’s Omega trigger system, fixed sights, and a 3.8-inch barrel. It weighs 27 oz. and measures 7.2 in. long and 1.4 in. thick. Magazine capacity is 16 rounds. Price: $489.
- <h2>FNH FNS</h2>The new double-action <a href="http://www.fnhusa.com"target="_blank">FNS</a> combines simplicity of operation and proven ergonomics. Features include ambidextrous manual safety levers, slide stops, and magazine releases; stainless-steel barrels and slides, and checkered polymer frames with accessory rails and interchangeable backstraps. Calibers are 9mm or .40 S&W. Slide finishes are matte black or matte silver. Sights are fixed, three-dot systems. Magazine capacities are 17 or 14 rounds. Price: $699.
- <h2>Glock G32 Gen4</h2><a href="http://www.glock.com"target="_blank">Glock</a> has added new models to its Gen4 line, including the G32 .357 SIG pistol. Barrel length is 4 in., weight is 24 oz., and magazine capacity is 13 rounds. All Gen4 pistols feature slimmer grip frames and Glock’s multiple backstrap system, rough textured frame, dual recoil spring assembly, and enlarged magazine release. Price: $649 to $696, depending on sights.
- <h2>HK45 Compact Tactical</h2>The new HK45 Compact Tactical is chambered for .45 ACP and comes with a threaded barrel, a 10-round magazine, and replaceable grips. It features <a href="http://www.hk-usa.com"target="_blank">HK’s</a> special “O-ring” barrel for better slide-to-barrel lockup and molded-in accessory frame rail. Barrel length is 4.5 in., overall length is 7.9 in, and weight is 29 oz. Price: $1,392 to $1,461, depending on control lever mode.
- <h2>Kahr CM40</h2>The new CM40 takes <a href="http://www.kahr.com"target="_blank">Kahr’s</a> value-priced line of DAO pistols a step farther by being chambered in .40 S&W. Barrel length is 3 in., overall length is 5.47 in., width is 0.94 in., and weight is 17.7 oz. Other features include textured polymer grips and drift-adjustable, white-bar combat rear sight and pinned-in polymer front sight. Finish is matte. Price: $517.
- <h2>Kimber Micro CDP</h2><a href="http://www.kimberamerica.com"target="_blank">Kimber’s</a> brand-new .380 ACP pistol, which will be shipped to dealers in September or October 2012, is called the Micro CDP, and two versions will be offered. Both pistols will be built in Kimber’s Custom Shop and will come with stainless-steel slides and barrels, ambidextrous thumb safeties, checkered frontstraps, checkered mainspring housings, and night sights. Barrel length will be 2.75 in., and weight will be 13.4 oz. Price: $1,135 (standard) and $1,440 (with CT lasergrips).
- <h2>Les Baer Custom Ultiamte Tactical Carry</h2>One of the latest pistols to come from <a href="http://www.lesbaer.com"target="_blank">LBC</a> is the Ultimate Tactical Carry. This full-size, 5-inch-barreled, .45 ACP pistol comes with steel frame and slide, LBC deluxe combat rear sights with tritium inserts, aluminum match trigger, extended combat safety, beavertail grip safety with pad, polished feedramp and throated barrel, slim-line grips, and three eight-round magazines. Price: $1,930. Watch for a full review in an upcoming issue of Shooting Times.
- <h2>Masterpiece Arms MPA57SST Defender</h2>The new MPA57SST Defender from <a href="http://www.masterpiecearms.com"target="_blank">MasterPiece Arms</a> is a 5.7x28mm-chambered semiauto pistol based on the MAC submachine pistol design. The MPA57SST pistol has a 5-in. fixed barrel, adjustable sights, scope-mount rail, and muzzle brake. Magazine capacity is 20 rounds. Price: $599.
- <h2>Nighthawk Costa Compact</h2><a href="http://www.nighthawkcustom.com"taregt="_blank">Nighthawk and Costa LLC</a> have joined forces to produce two hot, new Costa Signature Series 1911s. The .45 ACP Costa Compact is built on an Officer’s-size frame and features a 4.25-inch barrel that is crowned and beveled flush with the bushing; a unique multifaceted slide top; one-piece, checkered, mainspring housing/mag well; match trigger; black 10-8 Performance grips; red fiber-optic front sight; Heinie Slant Pro rear sight; extended tactical magazine release; and Nighthawk-Marvel EVERLAST recoil system. Finish is black melonite. Price: $3,495.
- <h2>Para 1911 Wild Bunch Stainless</h2>One of <a href="http://www.para-usa.com"target="_blank">Para’s</a> new-for-2012 pistols is the 1911 Wild Bunch Stainless. This 5-incher is intended for use in the Single Action Shooting Society’s hot “Wild Bunch Action Shooting” game and has three-dot sights, eight-round magazine capacity, match-grade barrel, and Para’s HD extractor. It weighs 39 oz. Price: $949.
- <h2>Remington R1 Stainless</h2>Last year saw the return of Big Green to the world of 1911s with the production of the <a href="http://www.remington.com"target="_blank">R1</a>. This year there’s the new R1 Stainless. This new 5-inch-barreled .45 ACP has walnut grips, seven-round magazine capacity, fixed three-dot sights, flat mainspring housing, solid aluminum trigger, and match-grade barrel and bushing. Obviously, it’s matte stainless finish. Price: $789.
- <h2>Rock Island 22TCM 1911</h2>Chambered for the proprietary .22 TCM (Tuason Craig Micromag) centerfire cartridge, <a href="http://www.rockislandarmory.com"target="_blank">RIA’s</a> new 22 TCM 1911 is built around a high-capacity frame and forged 4140 slide. It comes with a 5-inch barrel, Novak-style rear sight, and high-sweep beavertail grip safety. Magazine capacity is 18 rounds. The .22 TCM round is based on the 9mm Luger and necked down to .223. It reportedly drives a 40-grain bullet at 2,100 fps with approximately one-quarter the recoil of the .45 ACP. Price: Not available at press time.
- <h2>Rock River Arms 1911 Poly</h2><a href="http://www.rockriverarms.com"target="_blank">Rock River</a> is back in the 1911 business, and the company’s new-for-2012 model is a polymer-frame number. The RRA 1911 Poly has a polymer frame with steel insert, polymer mainspring housing, polymer-shoed trigger, steel slide, 5-inch stainless-steel barrel, rubber overmolded grips, beavertail grip safety, Commander-style hammer, fixed sights, and one seven-round magazine. The pistol weighs 38 oz. Price: $800.
- <h2>Ruger SR22</h2>One of <a href="http://www.ruger.com"target="_blank">Ruger’s</a> new-for-2012 autoloaders is the SR22. This .22 LR semiautomatic utilizes a 3.5-inch barrel, black anodized aluminum slide, polymer frame with two interchangeable grips, ambidextrous magazine release, frame accessory rail, and adjustable three-dot sights. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds. Weight is 17.5 oz. Price: $399.
- <h2>SIG P224 Extreme</h2><a href="http://www.sigsauer.com"target="_blank">SIG’s</a> P224 Extreme is one of four versions of the new P224. The P224 is a subcompact autoloader based on SIG’s classic P229. The P224 is being offered in 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W with 3.5-inch barrel. It has a lightweight alloy frame and comes with SIGLITE night sights. The P224 Extreme has black and gray Hogue Piranha grips and comes with black hard anodized frame and Nitron slide finishes. Price: $1,146.
- <h2>Springfield XD S</h2>Just when you thought <a href="http://www.springfield-armory.com"target="_blank">Springfield</a> had about every conceivable version of the XD pistol already covered, the company comes up with another. The new-for-2012 gun is a single-stack version called the XDS. The slimmed-down XDS is chambered for .45 ACP and has a fiber-optic front sight, two interchangeable backstraps, Springfield’s USA trigger system, a loaded chamber indicator, and a 1911-style grip safety. Barrel length is 3.3 in., overall length is 6.3 in., height is 4.4 in., slide width is 0.94 in., and overall width is 1 in. Weight is 29 oz. Magazine capacity is five rounds. Price: $599 (black) or $669 (bi-tone).
- <h2>Walther P22 with Intergrated Laser</h2><a href="http://www.waltheramerica.com"target="_blank">Walther’s</a> new model for 2012 is the P22 with integrated laser, and it comes with a laser built right into the frame. The double-action .22 LR P22 features a polymer frame, a 3.42-inch barrel, a tactical textured grip with two interchangeable backstraps, and adjustable sights. The class 3 laser is activated by a two-setting, push-button switch. Price: $479.
- <h2>Dan Wesson Specialist</h2><a href="http://www.cz-usa.com"target="_blank">Dan Wesson’s</a.> new 5-inch-barreled .45 ACP Specialist 1911 was designed to meet the needs of specialized police units and as such has an integral accessory rail, Clark-style serrated top-rib, two-dot tritium night sights, undercut trigger guard, recessed slide stop, ambidextrous thumb safety, extended magazine release, detachable two-piece mag well, G10 VZ Operator II grips, and two eight-round magazines. It comes in matte black or matte stainless finishes. Price: $1,558 (stainless) or $1,870 (black).
- <h2>S&W Model 586</h2>While the main portion of this article dealt only with new autoloaders, I just have to tell you about two new handguns that aren’t of that genre. One is my all-time favorite <a href="http:// www.smith-wesson.com"target="_blank">S&W</a> double-action revolver—the full-lugged .357 Magnum Model 586. Discontinued in 1999, S&W has brought this classic back for 2012. It’s available with 4- or 6-inch barrel with polished blue steel finish and wood stocks. Sights are adjustable white-outline rear and red ramp front. Price: $809.
- <h2>Heizer Double Tap</h2>The other attention-grabbing double action is <a href="http://www.heizerfirearms.com"target="_blank">Heizer’s</a> hammerless DoubleTap break-action, double-barreled, tactical pocket pistol. Featuring either a titanium or an aluminum frame, the DoubleTap comes in either .45 ACP or 9mm. Its double-action firing mechanism uses ball bearings for a smooth trigger pull. Barrel length is 3 in., weight is 14 oz. (titanium) or 12 oz. (aluminum), length is 5.5 in., and width is 0.66 in. It comes with or without barrel porting, and the integral grips house two extra cartridges. Price: $499 to $799, depending on configuration.