October 12th, 2019

Pistol-Packing Pumpkin Carving with Taran Butler

Halloween pumpkinHalloween pumpkinAt the end of this month, on October 31st, we celebrate Halloween (which was originally called All Hallows’ Evening). That means the neighborhood kids will be ringing doorbells as soon as it gets dark. No doubt some of you proscrastinators will wait ’til the last minute to set out your Halloween decorations and Jack-O-Lanterns. Don’t worry, in the video below, our friend, 3-Gun ace Taran Butler, shows how to carve a pumpkin in just about 5.5 seconds, give or take a tenth. Taran performed this feat of speed-carving with his trusty Infinity handgun, chambered in 9mm Major.

What Are the Origins of Halloween?
Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints). According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.

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September 7th, 2019

Precision Handloading for Pistols — Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Each Wednesday the USAMU offers tips for handloaders on the USAMU Facebook page. This article from the “Handloading Hump-Day” archives should interest pistol competitors, an any shooter who enjoys getting the best possible accuracy from their fine pistols. In this article, the USAMU’s experts share key tips that can help optimize your pistol ammo. Follow this tips to produce more consistent ammo, that can shoot higher scores.

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.

The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.

Stay safe, and good shooting!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
August 13th, 2019

NRA Personal Protection EXPO Coming up in Texas

concealed carry permit CarryGuard NRA Utah Virginia permit class convention

Serious competitive shooters and hunters often travel across state lines to pursue their hobbies. And many of those same firearms owners have pistol carry permits. If you are looking to improve your skills and confidence as a CCW-holder, you may want to attend the upcoming NRA Personal Protection EXPO in Fort Worth, Texas. The event will be held September 6-8, 2019, at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

SEE EXPO Booth Floor Plan » | SEE EXPO Seminar Schedule »

At the EXPO, dozens of companies will display guns, holsters, ammo, and accessories. In addition, there will be many interesting self-defense and gun rights seminars. The NRA Personal Protection Expo is a three-day trade show for individuals interested in increasing their knowledge and skills of personal protection, concealed carry and home defense. This event showcases “the products, skills, knowledge and mindset necessary to be prepared to respond when a threat arises.”

EXPO Seminar Topics
EXPO visitors can attend more than 120 seminars and workshops. These will include self-defense techniques, home defense and preparedness, situational awareness, concealed carry techniques and lifestyle, medical and trauma training, and much more. Here are some of the Notable Seminars and Workshops at the Personal Protection EXPO:

Enhancing Your CCW Shooting Skills »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Home Defense — Safeguarding Physical Security »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

First-Care Provider — When Seconds Count »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Methods of Concealed Carry »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Basic Travel Security (Host E. Penny, Former Navy SEAL) »

concealed carry permit expo ccw shooting skills self defense pistol

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

Panteo Productions offers a three-part video series for gun permit holders. Part Two of this series covers key concealed carry permit considerations.

In the video, A Concealed Carry Permit, instructors Kyle Harth and Massad Ayoob carrying a handgun for self-defense, and the important issues associated with defensive gun use. This video reviews concealed carry, traveling from state to state, prohibited carry locations, the use of deadly force, protection of persons and property, and interaction with law enforcement. If you are considering obtaining a concealed carry permit or live in a state where you can carry open or concealed without a permit, this video is for you.

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August 2nd, 2019

Walther 30-Day Money Back Guarantee for PPQ and PPS Pistols

Walther USA pistol ppq pps m2 q5 polymer steel-framed

30-day Money Back Guarantee. We’ve seen that for some home appliances and cleaning products, but never for firearms. Walther may be the first pistol-maker to allow you to own a modern handgun for a full month and then send it back for a complete refund. That’s right, you can purchase any new Walther PPQ or PPS, and use it for 30 days. Then, Walther declares: “If you don’t love it, return it on us.” Yep, Walther will even pay for the return shipping. If the pistol does not fully meet expectations, return it to Walther for a full refund of the purchase price, including tax and shipping.

Walther’s Marketing V.P. Bret Vorhees explains: “Consumers are often hesitant to put down their hard-earned money on a firearm purchase, simply because if they don’t like it, they are stuck with the product. Walther is proud to be the first company to guarantee customer satisfaction our of our pistols… giving the consumer more options”.

Here is how the gun industry’s first 30-day, money-back guarantee for pistols works. After purchasing a new PPQ or PPS handgun from a licensed FFL dealer, the buyer can take the gun home and shoot as much as he/she wants for up to 30 days. Whether you buy the new pistol from a local gun shop or an online retailer, the pistol qualifies for the guarantee. If the pistol does not fully meet expectations during the initial 30-day period, the purchaser can return it to Walther for a full refund of the purchase costs, including tax and shipping. This applies only to the first purchaser of a NEW PPQ and/or PPS pistol.

The return process is simple, follow these easy steps:

1. Visit WaltherOwnersClub.com and click “Return a Firearm”.
2. Fill out the form with your contact information.
3. Upload a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase.
4. Submit the form and print authorized return shipping label.
5. Pack unloaded firearm in original case, and deliver to Fedex location.

Walther says purchasers who follow these procedures should receive their refunds within two weeks. This offer applies to all Walther PPS and PPQ models, including the newer PPS M2 series, and the outstanding PPQ Q5 match pistols (see below):

Walther USA pistol ppq pps m2 q5 polymer steel-framed

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June 16th, 2019

Precision Reloading for Handguns — Smart Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. If you load for pistols, take the time to read this article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.

The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.

Stay safe, and good shooting!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 4th, 2019

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Here is a rimfire silhouette match conducted by the Sporting Shooters’ Assn. of Australia.
Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 13 Comments »
May 31st, 2019

Five Great Items for Handgun Shooters

Jessie Harrison Pistol ammo aiming

While this site focuses primarily on accurate rifles, we know that most of our readers also own pistols (and many shoot them competitively). After rimfire pistols, probably the most popular handguns in America are 9mm semi-auto pistols. Here are five products we use with our favorite 9mm semi-autos — H&K P7M8 and SIG Sauer P226. You’ll find a great carry case, high-quality electronic muffs, a pistol “range station”, affordable 9mm ammo, and two cool training targets.

1. HQ Issue Handgun Carry Case

HQ Handgun carry case

Do you often take multiple handguns to the range? Here’s a large (16″ x 13″ x 8″) handgun hard case that will easily haul your arsenal. The HQ Issue Case can hold up to eight (8) handguns, or six with room for magazines. Since the foam is customizable, you can also use this case to carry cameras, rangefinders, binoculars, Kestrels, or other valuable hardware. While we wouldn’t drop this in the water, the case does have an O-Ring seal for water resistance, and a manual valve for pressure modulation. NOTE: This nice case is just $34.99 for Sportman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Members.

2. Impact Pro Electronic Muffs 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath. That gives you serious hearing protection during live fire, with the ability to hear voices and converse.

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currentely offered for $58.84 on Amazon.com.

3. Range Station for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit

The Range Station combines an ammo compartment with a roll-out mat. Great idea. Some gun ranges only have concrete benches, or shooting stations with horizontal surfaces covered with dirt, powder residues, and other debris. You don’t want to put your $2000 blued Colt Python on that mess. The 12″x24″ Padded Gun Mat stays put on the counter-top and holds guns and gear. The case snaps to either the right or left side of the mat. Interior trays are sized for standard ammo boxes and magazines. Separate compartments hold smaller range gear such as rulers, pens, target markers, and more. When finished, the mat can be rolled and stored neatly and compactly in the case, which fits most range bags.

4. Sellier & Bellot 9x19mm (9mm Luger) Ammunition

Sellier Bellot Ammo ammunition 9mm luger 9x19mm

We have shot thousands of rounds of Sellier & Bellot 9x19mm Ammo through our 9mm Luger handguns. This ammo has proven very reliable, but also very cost effective. Right now Sportsman’s Guide Members can get 1000 rounds for just $167.19 — just 17 cents per round. We also favor Federal American Eagle 9x19mm ammo, which likewise offers excellent “bang for the buck”.

5. High Contrast Pistol Training Targets

pistol training target

Here are two of our favorite pistol targets. The Splatterburst 12″ x 12″ sight-in target works great for handguns in indoor ranges. Bullet holes appear as bright neon yellow halos. And the contrasting grid lines let you quickly estimate your group size. Each target has five diamonds, and the top of each diamond provides a precise aim point for your front sight. The 12″ Bullseye Pistol Diagnostic Target diagnoses common problems based on shot impact zones. While this target is designed for righties, left-handed shooters can use the target too. Just observe the opposite tips.

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May 11th, 2019

Be a Better Pistolero — Handgun Shooting Fundamentals

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control.

Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for ALL SIX PISTOL LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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May 3rd, 2019

Carry Gun Bargains — Five Pistols under $250.00

Carry pistol $250 bargain ccw handgun review discount sales

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks ask: “What’s a good compact pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend half that and still get a reliable carry pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are five compact and sub-compact handguns, all available now for under $250.00. In fact, our final choice, the Keltec P32, is currently just $149.00. That’s a serious bargain … it’s a buyers’ market right now.

1. Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99 at CDNN sports

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

2. Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield — $249.00 at GunPrime.com

We like Smith & Wesson compact pistols. Many users find the grip more comfortable than a Glock, and we like Smith & Wesson customer support. Right now Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield on sale for just $249.00. This striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol features a 3.125″ barrel, thumb safety, and ships with two magazines. You’ll find a full review of this pistol, from a lady’s perspective, on Guns.com.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99.

That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

4. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2C. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

5. KelTec P32 .32 ACP – $149.00 at GunPrime

Keltec .32 acp P32 P-32 pocket CCW concealed pistol handgun $149

Here’s a very small gun, in a small caliber. This is a choice for those seeking “ultimate concealability”. The P32 can be carried in a pants pocket, or small purse. The .32 ACP cartridge doesn’t have the stopping power of a 9mm of course, but this can be a good back-up gun (with ankle carry), or it can serve when a larger 9mm just isn’t practical. Currently Gunprime.com has the Keltec P32 for just $149.00. That’s just about the cheapest price you’ll find for a new American-made carry gun. The P32 has low-profile sites and a 7-round magazine.

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March 10th, 2019

IWA 2019 — Guns and Optics Galore in Germany

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Today is Super Sunday in Nuremberg. This is the third day of the annual IWA Outdoor Classics trade show, the biggest gun/hunting/outdoor trade show outside the USA. Over 1600 companies are displaying their products. The IWA event, held each spring in Nuremberg, Germany, opened Friday in the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. The show runs four days, March 8-11, 2019. Here is our IWA Day 3 report, with more images from the show. Photo Credit for IWA images: NuernbergMesse / Frank Boxler and Thomas Geiger, All Rights Reserved.


CLICK HERE for Over 500 More IWA Show Photos »

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Here a visitor checks out an impressive Minerva-series Tactical Rifle from Victrix Armaments, an Italian rifle-maker affiliated with Beretta. Along with modular tactical rigs, Victrix also makes quality F-Class rifles, prone guns, and hunting rifles. SEE VICTRIX RIFLES HERE.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Yes, there were many AR-platform rifles on display at the IWA Outdoor Classics show.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

A recent test of the Swarovski dS (see video below) proved this state-of-the-art “smart optic” delivers on its promise — no more dialing knobs. Swarovski’s $4500+ 5-25×52 dS features a built-in laser rangefinder and internal microprocessor.

Working with a smartphone App, the Swaro’s sophisticated ballistics computer calculates your trajectory at any distance and then displays an aim point on your reticle. It even adjusts the aim point for the wind (with data entered wirelessly via mobile device).

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Here is a line-up of new Aimpoint rifle scopes. Aimpoint is much more than Red Dots these days…

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Pride of Pedersoli. This display showcased handsome Pedersoli side-hammer (Sharps) and falling-block rifles from Italy. Note also the collection of Vernier-type Tang Sights.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

Bling is the thing. This eye-catching Magnum Research Desert Eagle was at the IWA New Product Center.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

There were also many vintage pistols on display. This is an original Borchardt Model 1893 semi-auto handgun, father of the famous 9mm Luger pistol.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

The IWA Outdoor Classics started decades ago as a hunting exhibition, and it still retains that focus. Here is an impressive display of horns and hunting-related items.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

IWA Archery Range at Nürnberg Exhibition Centre

IWA Outdoor Classics visitors could test their archery skills with both conventional bows and with crossbows at the Show’s Archery Center. This offered an interesting “hands-on” experience for many show-goers.

IWA Outdoor Classics trade show convention SHOT rifle shotgun tactical news photo gallery

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March 1st, 2019

What’s HOT from SHOT — Handgun Video Showcase

SHOT Show 2019 pistol Handgun ccw subcompact 1911 handgun

When covering SHOT Show 2019 our reporters focused primarily on rifles, optics, and reloading equipment, because this website is dedicated to rifle accuracy. However we know many of our readers are interested in pistols and revolvers, and we bet the majority of our Forum members own handguns. This Editor used to compete in IDPA and other pistol disciplines and I still love my semi-autos and wheelguns.

For you pistoleros, here are five videos covering some of the best new handgun options for 2019. The first video in the list covers multiple handguns — four recommended 1911-type pistols. Enjoy.

Top Four 1911 Pistols from SHOT Show 2019

Pistols Round-Up — Top New Handguns 2019

TOP Five Sub-Compact Handguns Under $500

New COLT Revolvers and 1911s

SIG Sauer P320X Compact


HANDGUN SKILLS — Pistol Training Target

nra pistol basic shooting training course

This 12″ Bullseye Pistol Diagnostic Target helps improve handgun marksmanship. The target diagnoses common problems based on shot impact zones. While this target is designed for righties, left-handed shooters can use the target too. Just observe the opposite tips.

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February 23rd, 2019

Six Great Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Marksmanship training book
Jessie Harrison — one of the greatest female pistol shooters on the planet. In the video below, Jessie offers good tips on safe handgun mag changes.

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are six recommended titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Practical Pistol by Ben Stoeger. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s Shooting book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

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February 10th, 2019

The “Batman” Pistol — Wicked XP-100 in 6-6.5×47 Lapua

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher
Click Photo to View Larger Image

Here is Ernie Bishop’s pride and joy, a specialty pistol nicknamed “Batman” because the black carbon-fiber stock looks like the Batmobile. This is one sophisticated handgun. Complete with scope, the Batman pistol weighs under 7.5 pounds, thanks to the ultra-light stock. The carbon stock is 6 inches wide at the fore-end, yet weighs just one pound. Ernie tells us: “This gun shoots amazing and is easy to shoot especially with my SEB MAX Rest.” Ernie adds, “The gun will soon also have a field-usable rear-grip stock so I can shoot it prone from a bipod as well.”

The Batman pistol is chambered for the 6mm “Long Dasher”, a 6mm 40°-shouldered variant of the 6.5×47 Lapua. Ernie loads Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets pushed by Hodgdon H-4350 powder.

Gun Specifications
6.5x47 Lapua Dasher 40 degree improvedThe gun, crafted by Eric Wallance of Nawaka Firearms, features an XP-100 action, Jewell trigger, and 15″-long, Brux 1:8″-twist barrel with aluminum muzzle brake. Interestingly, this gun does not have a traditional recoil lug. Instead, gunsmith Wallace milled out a lug from the bottom of the XP-100 action to save weight. On top of the action, the rig carries a Sightron Inc S-III 6-24X56mm scope in Kelbly rings on a custom +20 MOA rail.

Long Dasher Wildcat
Shown at right is a “Long Dasher” 40° wildcat created by Forum member Sunbuilder. This is very similar to Ernie Bishop’s chambering, though there may be small variations related to reamer design (such as freebore). Sunbuilder’s 6-6.5×47 Improved (aka “Long Dasher”) reamer was made by Dave Kiff of Pacific, Tool & Gauge. This wildcat cartridge adds about 2.0 grains capacity to the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm. The case certainly is impressive with that 40° shoulder. We’re just waiting for the tactical guys to starting run this improved cartridge with its original 6.5mm bore.

Here are three FIVE-shot groups at 500 yards, shot by Ernie’s Batman pistol. The first is marked with pink dots, the second with green dots, and the third is being measured with calipers:

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns 2 Comments »
November 5th, 2018

HolsterPallooza — 30 Holsters Reviewed by Shooting Illustrated

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun

Here at AccurateShooter.com, we’re more about rifles than pistols. But we know that the majority of our regular readers own handguns, and many also have concealed carry (CCW) permits. Our editors also enjoy shooting pistols, both rimfire and centerfire. Accordingly, we try to provide helpful insights for the pistoleros out there. We found a great article on the Shooting Illustrated website that showcases a huge variety of holsters — 30 in fact. Each holster is illustrated, with pros and cons explained. These are all EDC holsters, meaning those designed for “Every Day Carry”.

SEE Full HolsterPallooza Story with 30 Holster Reviews »

Shooting Illustrated calls this article “HolsterPallooza” and it really does provide a ton of helpful information. Most other holster reviews on the web may feature a half-dozen holsters at the most. In this Holsterpallooza article you can see 30 holsters, with a wide variety of materials, designs, and applications. There are small molded IWB holsters for CCW, conventional on the belt holsters, leather shoulder holster rigs, and even ankle holsters. This is a great place to start if you are in the market for a holster.

Holster CCW review EDC Every day carry pistol handgun
Here’s sample of the many holster options reviewed, an innovative hybrid IWB holster constructed with leather over Kydex. That gives you the “best of both worlds” — the secure fit/retention of a molded Kydex shell, with an attractive leather exterior.

Shooting Illustrated explains: “As the interface between your gun and your body, the holster is a vital component of your carry rig. In many cases, the circumstances of your daily life will determine the method of carry you choose. This, in turn, will determine what type of holster you need, which may end up determining the handgun you carry. Therefore, choosing the method and type of holster may be as, or even more important than, choosing a firearm.”

Hickok 45 Reviews CCW Holsters:

If you want to see even MORE holsters for “Every Day Carry” (EDC), check out this video from Hickok 45. This popular YouTube host looks at 15 different IWB holsters from a number of manufacturers. Hickok 45 examines many hybrid holsters that combine Kydex or plastic with leather for increased comfort. He has his favorites… and they might not be what you’d expect. NOTE: As this video has been watched over 810,000 times, you may also want to read the viewer comments. There are many helpful suggestions from CCW holders who carry daily.

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July 22nd, 2018

Hang Your Handguns to Conserve Safe Space

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

If you’re looking for a space-saving handgun storage system, consider the Easy Use Gun Hangers from USA GunClub. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelves in your gunsafe, freeing up storage space above the shelves. To use the handgun hangers, simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $8.99. This product is now Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among handgun storage accessories.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireUSA GunClub also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $7.99. This may be a good solution for you. This Editor personally prefers the standard Handgun Hanger, so I can use the upper surface of the shelf to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

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June 23rd, 2018

Crowd-Pleasers: Best-Selling Pistols of 2018

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can now check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun)* and see the top sellers for that category.

Here are the five (5) top-selling NEW semi-auto handguns for May 2018:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

And here are the five (5) top-selling USED semi-auto handguns for June 2017:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

*Chose semi-auto pistols, revolvers, semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

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May 11th, 2018

Six Tips for Novice Handgun Shooters

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

At AccurateShooter.com, our primary focus is precision target shooting with rifles. But it’s definitely fun to shoot pistols too, and we bet most of our regular readers own handguns. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and have more fun with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, the light is better outdoors. Indoor ranges can be dark with lots of shadows, making it harder to see your target. Second, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Third, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment, particularly if you can get out on a weekday morning. Indoor ranges, at least in urban areas, tend to be crowded. Many also have poor ventilation. If you can make it to an outdoor range, you’ll be happy. Many outdoor ranges also have some steel pistol targets, which offer a fun alternative to paper. When shooting steel however, we recommend polymer encased or lead bullets to avoid ricochets.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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April 19th, 2018

Three Under $300 — Trio of 9mm Carry Pistols All under $300.00

CCW 9mm 9x19mm Pistols Brownells Bargain Smith Wesson Walther Creed Ruger

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks (some of whom already own a full-sized pistol) ask: “What’s a good compact 9mm pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend about half that and still get a very good 9x19mm pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are three 9mm handgun options, all available now for well under $300.00. In fact, our third choice, the Ruger EC9, is currently just $209.99 at Brownells (with promo code). That’s just a few bucks over two hundred! It’s a buyers’ market right now…

1. Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE M8Y

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge.

SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL. Under $250.00 for a nice S&W Nine is a great deal.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99. That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
February 18th, 2018

Handy UV Bore Light — Big Fiber Optic for Pistol Barrels

UV Bore light Birchwood Casey Fiber Optic
Put the short “J” end of the UV Bore Light in the chamber area. Always make sure your firearm is unloaded. Doubles as a chamber flag for most calibers.

Let there be light… Here’s a handy new device for pistol shooters. Birchwood Casey has come up with a large-diameter “J”-shaped fiber optic tube designed to illuminate pistol barrels without the need for batteries. The Birchwood Casey® UV Bore Light allows gun owners to quickly check the bore of their firearm for obstructions, dirt and fouling.

UV Bore light Birchwood Casey Fiber OpticThe UV Bore light is an innovative design that uses ambient light instead of batteries. Simply put the short “J” end of the bore light in the chamber area of your unloaded gun and it will provide enough illumination to check the bore.

The UV Bore Light also doubles as a safe-chamber flag for most guns. To use the UV Bore Light as a chamber flag, place the LONG end of the Bore Light in the CHAMBER end of the barrel — see photo.

The Birchwood Casey UV Bore Light is inexpensive. It’s sold by the pair in a two-pack priced at $5.40 MSRP.

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January 24th, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 — New and/or Notable Handguns

SHOT Show Pistols Revolvers Handguns

There are literally thousands of handguns on display at SHOT Show, most of which you can hold, cycle, and test the trigger pull. Among the hordes of handguns, we found some very eye-catching examples, such as the very serious-looking Walther PPQ M2 Q4 TAC above. It comes standard with Red Dot sights and threaded muzzle for suppressor. Also shown (in negative) is a Smith & Wesson Performance Center S&W500 Revolver with a 10.5″ barrel. Below are some other interesting handguns we saw at SHOT Show 2017.

Lone Wolf Modified Glock 17 Signature Series

Glock 17 Lone Wolf Distributors TiN Gold Slide Bling

Why in Heaven’s name would anyone pay $1400.00 for a Glock? Well Lone Wolf Distributors thinks someone will fork over that princely sum for a Glock fully pimped out with a Titanim Nitride (TiN) gold-tone slide, Red dot sights, plus suppressor-friendly tall sights. Oh, it’s also fitted out with a TiN Gold PVD adjustable trigger. But underneath all that bling it’s still a Glock. What do you think? Glorious or Gaudy? It is certainly eye-catching. As they say, the “Bling’s the Thing”.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Tuned, Unfluted 686

Smith and Wesson Performance Center 686 Unfluted Cylinder Release

For 2018, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center is rolling out a pair of specially upgraded 7-shot model 686 revolver. Offered in two barrel lengths, these special wheelguns feature the Performance Center® Speed Release Thumbpiece, which speeds cylinder release for fast reloads. These special comp guns boasts a PC-tuned action, vented/ribbed barrel, chromed trigger, and chromed, teardrop hammer (nice). The distinctive, unfluted cylinder is relieved for moon clips which can also speed up loading.

Smith Wesson 586 PC revolver

Walther PPQ M2 Q4 TAC 9mm

Our top photo shows the new PPQ M2 Q4 TAC, which is “race ready” right out of the box. Based the popular Walther PPQ, this TAC model adds a mount and threaded muzzle, plus some other features. “The Q5 Match has been very popular and we have had a lot of interest in a 4″ more tactical version. We are excited to combine a suppressor-ready and optics-ready pistol into a best-of-both worlds platform,” said Luke Thorkildsen, Walther VP of marketing. The 9mm Q4 TAC comes with two recoil springs. One for normal shooting and one for use with suppressors. The optics-ready slide features an LPA sight system with a fiber optic in the front and competition iron sight at the rear. The rear optics mounting system fits many popular red dots including Doctor, Leupold, and Trijicon. Trigger pull weight is a moderate 5.6 lbs. but the reset is ultra-short — just 0.1″. Priced at $799 MSRP, the Q4 TAC is backed by Walther’s lifetime warranty.

SIG Sauer P365 9mm Carry Pistol

Sig Sauer 9mm P365 Carry Pistol

SIG Sauer has just released an impressive new compact pistol, the SIG P365. This boasts excellent build quality and reliability in a slim package. It offers 10+1 round capacity in a gun that’s just 5.8″ overall and 1.1″ wide. Guns America got an early production model and their reviewer was impressed: “I have to applaud SIG. I was amazed by how much I liked shooting the P365. With its capacity advantage, small size, and good controls, it’s possible that the P365 will be the next go-to everyday carry handgun solution.” The gun comes with Tritium night sights and a good trigger. Each P365 also comes with an extra 12-round extended mag. With a $599.00 MSRP, expect street price around $500.00.

A SIG representative said SIG’s goal was to create a compact gun that shoots well — like a larger pistol: “We wanted to come up with a pistol that served the purpose — that gave people the capacity they have always wanted in this size gun, but something they could shoot. We’re busting paradigms, this is a game-changer.”

Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Mag and Model 692 Multi-Caliber

Taurus Raging Hunter 8.375

The new Raging Hunter from Taurus is an impressive beast. This six-shot .44 magnum has some interesting features. That red strip on the grip is extra padding to deal with the heavy recoil. Up front the dark gray slab is actually an aluminum barrel sleeve with Picatinny rail on top. This saves weight and provides a distinctive two-tone look. The actual 8.375″ barrel, which is ported, sits inside the sleeve.

Taurus Raging Hunter 8.375

Taurus also has another interesting long-barreled revolver. Shipping with TWO cylinders, the new Taurus Model 692 shoots .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and 9x19mm cartridges through the same barrel. That’s possible because 9x19mm bullet diameter is 0.355″. The nominal bullet diameter for .357 Magnum is 0.357″ or 9.1 mm, so you can see the diameters are very close. The 692 wheelgun ships with TWO cylinders — one for .38/.357, and a second for 9mm with moon clips. We like the ability to shoot inexpensive 9mm Luger ammo. Now you can take your favorite 9mm semi-auto pistol AND a wheelgun to the range and feed them both with the same box of ammo. Cool.

Kimber Full-Size and Compact 1911s

Kimber Aegis Elit Custom 1911 9mm .45 ACP

Kimber Aegis Elit Custom 1911 9mm .45 ACPKimber is releasing a host of new pistols for 2018. There are 23 new semi-auto pistols plus three new wheelguns. Most of the new Kimbers are 1911 varient. Our favorite new full-size Kimber is the Aegis Elite Custom OI, offered in both .45 ACP and 9x19mm. Shown above, the Aegis Elite has all the bells and whistles: custom G10 grips, bobbed backstrap, and stylized slide cuts front and rear. The $1395.00 MSRP includes a 6-MOA Vortex Venom 6 MOA Red Dot sight plus back-up iron sights.

Kimber also has an impressive compact-size 1911-style pistol in 9mm Luger. The Micro 9 Covert (at right) features gray camo LaserGrips plus a distincive Carry Melt treatment (softening the hard corners), plus a bobbed backstrap. Nice option for someone wanting a 1911-style pistol for concealed carry.

Ruger LCP II with Viridian Laser

LCP II .380 ACP Laser

Small, thin, and light — that’s what you want an everyday, pocket carry gun to be. The new Ruger LCP II with Viridian Red Laser is just 5.17″ long and 3.71″ tall, with a 3/4″-wide slide. That’s thin. Weight is 11.8 ounces. The compact size and low mass is the main reason to carry this .380 ACP rather than a more powerful 9mm pistol. This new version also features an integral, factory-installed Viridian E-Series red (635-650 nm) laser. Mounted on the trigger guard, the laser features ambidextrous push-button activation. Like other LCP II models, this pocket pistol features textured grip frame, easy-to-rack slide, bladed trigger safety, and low-profile snag-free sights. This latest LCP II with Viridian E-Series red laser has a $439.00 MSRP, including a handy pocket holster.

Beretta — The APX Family Grows in 2018

Beretta APX Pistol SHOT Show Red Dot plate

Beretta will greatly expand its line of polymer-framed APX pistols in 2018. And Beretta has models with a Red Dot optic mounting plate on the slide top. Interface adaptors will be supplied for Burris Fast Fire, C-More, DeltaPoint PRO, and RMR Red Dot sights. MSRP for the Red Dot-capable Full Size APX is $725. Expect street price around $685. The new tan model APX should be popular. Seen above, this features a Cerakote FDE (Flat Dark Earth) slide.

Parting Shot: S&W Double Trouble — Two Super-Sized Revolvers

At the Smith & Wesson booth last year, one visitor showed off two mega-sized S&W Performance Center hunting revolvers. These jumbo S&W500™ wheelguns, chambered for the mighty 500 S&W Magnum cartridge, feature massive 10.5″ barrels plus muzzle brakes. Overall length is 18″. Size counts right?

S&W 500 hunting revolver pistol shot show

MORE PISTOLS » Want to see more new handguns? GunsHolsterandGear.com showcases two dozen new pistols in its 2018 SHOT Show Preview.

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