January 03, 2011
As Technical Editor Dick Metcalf wrote last month, 2010 has to go down in history as the year of the polymer revolver. Ruger started the whole trend last year with the introduction of the LCR, but Smith & Wesson and Taurus both joined the fray this year with several new models. But if that's not your cup of tea, well, don't worry. There are a lot of new handguns for 2010, many of which are more traditional in design. Here's a quick look at some of the new handguns that I find to be of particular interest.
Les Baer has a new 1911 that he's calling the Boss .45 in honor of the classic 429 Boss Mustang. The pistol is based on the LBC Premier II, and special features include rear cocking serrations on the slide, adjustable rear sight, fiber-optic front sight, checkered flat mainspring housing, extended combat safety, chromed frame, and blued slide. It comes with two eight-round magazines and is guaranteed to shoot 3-inch groups at 50 yards. MSRP: $2,109. And you can also get a 1/25th scale replica of the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 that was modeled after Les's own 429 Boss for $95 to go along with your Boss .45.
2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Model 92FS, and Beretta has announced two new variations of the combat-proven M9/M92. The 92A1 and 96A1 pistols combine elements of the 92FS and the 90-Two. Both models come with three high-capacity magazines (17 rounds of 9mm for the 92A1 and 12 rounds of .40 S&W for the 96A1). Both models have integral MIL-STD-1913 rails for tactical lights and laser aiming devices, and both models utilize captive recoil spring assemblies. MSRP: $690.
New for 2010, the Ed Brown Special Forces 1911 is available with O.D. green frame and Gen III matte black slide. This 5-inch-barreled pistol features Brown's Chainlink treatment on the frontstrap and mainspring housing, and it comes with fixed night sights.
It's available with or without an ambidextrous safety. MSRP: $2,295 (w/o ambi safety), $2,370 (with ambi safety).
New in handguns from Browning this year are three special 75th anniversary models of the Hi-Power centerfire pistol: black finish with molded composite grips and fixed sights, blued with walnut grips and fixed sights, and blued with walnut grips and adjustable sights. The slides bear special engraving commemorating the 75 years of the Hi-Power, and all three versions come with 4.625-inch barrels and an extra magazine. MSRP: $999-$1,099, depending on configuration.
CZ-USA is now offering the P-07 Duty in .40 S&W. The P-07 comes with a 3.8-inch barrel, the new Omega trigger system, fixed sights, a polymer frame with integral light rail, and two 12-round magazines. MSRP: $599.
New from FNH USA are two models called the FNX 9 and FNX 40. The FNX pistols feature ergonomic polymer frames that have a low bore axis, deep checkered grip panels, integral accessories rails, and four interchangeable backstrap inserts; profiled stainless-steel slides with cocking serrations at the front and the rear; fixed sights; 4-inch, hammer-forged, stainless barrels; and fully ambidextrous operating controls. Each FNX comes with both a decocker and a manual safety. MSRP: $699.
New for 2010 from Kel-Tec is the .22 Magnum PMR-30 semiautomatic pistol. The hybrid blowback/locked-breech autoloader comes with a 4.3-inch barrel and fiber-optic sights. The magazine is a double-stack design with a capacity of 30 rounds. Overall length is 7.9 inches, and unloaded weight is 13.6 ounces. Other features include 4140 steel slide and barrel; aluminum frame with Picatinny accessory rail; Zytel grip, slide cover, trigger, magazine release, and safety levers; single-action trigger with overtravel stop; and manual ambidextrous thumb safety. MSRP: $415.
As usual, Kimber has several new 1911s for the new year, including the Centennial Edition 1911. The Centennial Edition pistol is limited to 250 units and is finished by Turnbull Restoration. The pistol features a 5-inch barrel, adjustable sights, solid ivory grips, solid aluminum trigger, and presentation case. MSRP: $4,352.
Last year Para USA introduced the GI Expert 1911-style pistol, and for this year there is a new stainless-steel version. The Stainless GI Expert comes with a 5-inch barrel, fixed three-dot sights, two eight-round magazines, and checkered polymer grip panels. MSRP: $699.
New for 2010 from Ruger is a stainless-steel .327 Federal Magnum single-action Blackhawk with 5.5-inch barrel. It has an eight-round cylinder, fully adjustable rear sight, and rosewood grips. MSRP: $681. I've been shooting a review sample that Shooting Times received and find it to be a great woods gun. You can read my full report in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
SIG is now offering the new P250 SUM pistol package. The P250 SUM package includes a full-size Nitron-finished 9mm P250 plus all the components necessary to convert it to the P250 Subcompact. MSRP: $945.
Smith & Wesson
Last month Dick Metcalf wrote about the trend in polymer-framed revolvers, and he offered some details of the new S&W Bodyguard 38. We will be offering a full review of the new model in an upcoming issue, so I won't go into it here. My favorite new-for-2010 S&W is the .22 Magnum retro-revolver Model 48 in the Classics Series. It comes with either a 4- or 6-inch barrel, classic blued steel, adjustable rear sight, pinned Patridge front sight, and wood stocks. MSRP: $1,043 (4-inch barrel), $1,082 (6-inch barrel).
Springfield's new-for-2010 XDM is the 3.8 in 9mm and .40 caliber. It features a 3.8
-inch barrel, profiled slide, accessory rail, interchangeable backstraps, high-capacity magazines (19 rounds in 9mm and 16 rounds in .40), and three-dot sights. MSRP: $697 (black), $763 (Bi-Tone).
Stoeger's Cougar is now available in .45 ACP with integral accessory rail. The Cougar design features a rotating barrel that locks with the slide; a cold hammer-forged, 3.7-inch barrel; matte black finish; black synthetic grips; fixed sights; and eight-round magazine. MSRP: $499.
As we showed you last month, Taurus has several new Judge revolvers this year, including the polymer-framed versions. One of Taurus's new-for-2010 auto pistols that got my attention is the 24/7 G2, which combines features from the 800 series, the 24/7 series, and the 24/7 OSS. The G2 comes in 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP, and it features the Taurus advanced DA/SA trigger system, low-profile adjustable sights, ambidextrous magazine release, ambidextrous thumbrests, ambidextrous slide stop, ambidextrous decocker, three interchangeable backstraps, loaded chamber indicator, Taurus Security System, and Picatinny rail. There are standard, compact, and long slide versions. MSRP: $498-$545, depending on configuration.
New for 2010 Uberti has the Model 1873 Callahan Cattleman revolvers. Chambered for .44 Magnum, hence the reference to Dirty Harry Callahan of Hollywood fame, these new revolvers are available with 4.75-, 6-, or 7.5-inch barrels; walnut grips; either fixed or adjustable sights; and blued finishes. MSRP: $569 (fixed sights), $639 (adjustable sights).