Category Archives: ccw

Everything you want in a P365, without the loudener

SIG has an optimized variant of the 17+1 round 9mm P365 XMacro headed to the market– minus the integrated compensator that a lot of folks detest– but with a few extra goodies.

The new P365 Macro TACOPS will have the slightly taller grip module of the XMacro that comes standard with a frame-mounted M1913 accessory rail for lights and lasers. The upper half is that of a standard P365 XL. What is totally new on the micro 9 is an integrated magwell for faster reloads, an extended slide catch lever, and, as it is a TACOPS package, four flush-fit 17-round magazines.

I ran into the P365 Macro TACOPS at SIG’s media event in Nevada last week on the eve of SHOT Show and got a sneak peek at the new pistol.

The P365 Macro TACOPS can be looked at as a P365 XMacro in which someone swapped out a regular XL top half and added a magwell and extended slide lever. The pistol shown wears a SIG RomeoZero Elite 1×24 micro red dot– which fits the Shield RMSc/Holosun K footprint of the series– with its optional metal shield installed.

More in my column at Guns.com.

A Pound of Prevention

On Monday, Taurus made the announcement they had a new, smaller version of the well-liked TX22 rimfire semi-auto pistol ready for the market.

The 16-ounce palm-sized TX22 Compact follows in the footsteps of the standard and competition models of the pistol with a flush-fitting 13+1 round magazine (10 rounds in restricted states) as well as an optic-ready cut that is compatible with the slimline Holosun K footprint. The sights are the same standard Glock pattern as used on the Taurus G3 and GX4 series.

At roughly the size of a Ruger LCP and with a 13+1 capacity of 22LR and zero recoil, the TX22 Compact could make a good “boat” or camp plinker and, paired with a good load such as Federal’s Punch rimfire, some will undoubtedly use it for personal protection.

I got a sneak peek of the TX22 Compact late last year while visiting Taurus’s new facility in Bainbridge, Georgia, and was impressed with it.

A well-tested prototype gun is seen here. Taurus did a ton of R&D here in the States on the gun and, in my hands, was a reliable plinker and flat shooter. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Looking forward to getting one of these in for testing, for sure.

18 Months with a Mini Bull along for the ride

I’ve been living with the Taurus GX4 micro compact 9mm for a year and a half on a daily basis and put well over a thousand rounds through it. It has surprised me, for sure.

Taurus introduced the GX4 to the world in May 2021, and I was able to get an early test model from the company slightly before. A good sequel to the company’s budget line of increasingly well-made and dependable G2 and G3 series pistols, the GX4 was more of the same, only smaller and with a better trigger.

When compared to more recently introduced double-stack micro 9s with similar magazine capacity, the GX4 was smaller than a lot of the big names, seen stacked side-by-side with the Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro, SIG Sauer P365 XMacro, and Kimber R7 Mako.

Designed for personal carry, the GX4 proved such an easy carry – just 24.8 ounces when fully loaded with 14 rounds of 124-grain Gold Dot– that it has become my go-to of late. Of note, that is the same magazine capacity as on the vaunted Browning Hi-Power, my first carry gun back in the late 1980s.

I’ve been carrying the GX4 in a DeSantis Gunhide Inside Heat, a bare-bones minimum IWB holster built from black saddle leather, and it just disappears. The pistol is, realistically, just slightly taller than a pocket gun but comes ready with 13+1 rounds.

More in my column at Guns.com.

To Carry a Trauma Kit, or Not?

While I have carried a medical kit on me for most of the past decade or so– ever since the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, in which tourniquets had to be improvised from dozens of different sources to save lives– there is a theory, from a legal standpoint, that this could lead to greater liability in a self-defense scenario. While, to each their own, this is some food for thought from a pair of lawyers specializing in the question of if you should pair a trauma kit with your carry gun.

There are many accounts of individuals saving the lives of others because of their fast actions with a trauma kit on hand. So why don’t we recommend self-defenders carry a trauma kit? Armed Attorneys Emily Taylor and Richard Hayes break down the hidden perils of carrying a trauma kit if you also carry a gun for self-defense.

Verdict on the New (and Improved) FN High Power

FN one-upped the now resurgent Browning Hi-Power race by distancing itself from the clone wars to deliver an improved and modern take on the pistol, the High Power (note the difference in spelling).

I’ve been looking at this new generation of the pistol over the past few months and, with 500 rounds and lots of careful evaluation and testing, have a lot to talk about.

Stoked with 17+1 rounds of Federal Hydra Shok Deep 135-grain JHPs in condition one, the High Power hit the scales at 43.5 ounces. While a hefty carry, for those who are fine with a full-sized pistol, you could do much worse than the High Power.

More in my column at Guns.com.

If you Could Carry a Top-shelf Target Pistol, Would you?

SIG’s design concept behind the P210 Carry was to “blend the historic lineage of its iconic Swiss predecessor with the ideal characteristics and necessities the modern consumer expects in a carry pistol.” In a brief explainer, the original M1911-sized P210 first hit the scenes around 1948 and was adopted by the Swiss Army (and others), soon becoming a landmark pistol prized for its accuracy, reliability, and simple elegance. Out of production in Europe by 2006, SIG started making Americanized P210 Target and P210 Standard models in 2017, complete with steel frames, some updates to the internals such as in barrel lug profile, and a full-length 5-inch barrel.

The SIG P210 Target

Where the P210 Carry switches gears is that it is smaller– using a 4.1-inch barrel and likewise trimmed slide– while keeping the same height. It sheds weight due to an alloy frame, coming in at 29 ounces (unloaded) compared to the 36.9 ounces of the P210 Target model. It also runs SIG night sights, has front and rear cocking serrations on the slide, and slim Houge G10 grips to augment the ergonomics added by the checkered front strap.

While only introduced this year, the P210 stands atop 80 years of firearms history when it comes to mechanically locked, hammer-fired, short-recoil-operated pistols, with a salute to Swiss firearms designer Charles Gabriel Petter.

And, after 1K rounds, I have some thoughts about how the P210 Carry handles and if you should use it for EDC or not in my column over at Guns.com.

Smith expands the EZ to become the ‘Equalizer’

On a visit to Smith & Wesson late last month, I got a sneak peek at a new pistol that became public knowledge this week– the Equalizer. While the name of the gun may sound a bit intimidating, it’s designed to be anything but. The newest member of an ever-growing concealed carry lineup, it sports a 15+1 capacity, but it comes with a 13 and 10-round magazine option as well, both of which are also included with purchase.

S&W Equalizer, photos by me

S&W combined the Shield Plus grip width and magazine footprint with the popular EZ technology up top. They switched up the grip texture a bit but still kept the same width as the Shield Plus, thus allowing it to use the same mags. On the grip, it keeps the same grip safety as the EZ series, though you can also purchase options with an additional thumb safety if you’re into manual safeties.

Anywhoo, we shall see how the market takes to the newest entry in the big capacity/small frame “micro 9” race.

Staccato, only smaller…

Staccato, formerly STI, has been making steady in-roads with police tactical teams in recent years– having been adopted or approved by more than 250 law enforcement agencies including the elite U.S. Marshall Service’s Special Operations Group. At the same time, the company has been marketing its compact “C” series guns which have turned into a hit with consumers.

Speaking of which, the new Staccato CS is single-action like the M1911 but is in a double-stack format like the company’s 2011 line. Moreover, it runs a 3.5-inch bull barrel, making it even akin to a Colt Officer’s model– but carries with it a flush-fitting 16+1 round capacity in 9mm.

“Weighing under 23 ounces with a 3.5-inch bull barrel, this ‘little sibling’ is smaller than other members of the Staccato pistol family and made for concealed carry,” contends Staccato. (Photos: Staccato)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Peanut Butter Tactical

Taurus has been diversifying its line of affordable and rugged 9mm G3 series pistols for the past few years and the new G3 Tactical comes across its name honestly.

Introduced at the NRA Annual Meetings in Houston earlier this summer, the G3 Tactical is based on the standard full-sized and optics-ready G3 TORO but includes an extended threaded barrel, 17+1 capacity magazines, a Patriot Brown Cerakote slide, and FDE frame. What that translates to is a pistol that can do a lot right out of the bag, while keeping (well) inside the $500 range.

The G3 linage is unmistakable but when you start looking harder you see all the neat little bonuses such as front and rear slide serrations, suppressor-height co-witness sights, an extended factory-threaded 1/2x28TPI DLC-coated barrel, and top optics plate. The three-slot MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail, memory pads on the frame and 17+1 mags capacity are a nice touch as well.

Of course, to me the scheme looks more like peanut butter, but, hey, it works.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Hellcats: The Colors, the Colors

Springfield has been kicking out new color options for its popular Hellcat series of micro-9 pistols and a Desert Flat Dark Earth variant is the newest offering.

The new Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro in Desert FDE still offers a 15+1 capacity in what the company says is “a smaller footprint than any other gun in its class.”

It is also an Optical Sight Pistol, or OSP, configuration milled with the Shield RMSc/Springfield Micro footprint with a set of co-witnessing U-Dot tritium sights. For those keeping count at home, the Hellcat Pro runs 6.6 inches in overall length and 1 inch in width, which puts it in the same box as the nominally 10+1 capacity Glock 43X.

Previously, Springfield only offered an FDE variant of the Hellcat in its original 3-inch barrel format.

Also, the company has announced new Robin’s Egg and Burnt Bronze two-tone models as well:

Gonna give you a wild guess of what I would go with, as I have a (spoiler alert) something of a problem when it comes to 50 shades of FDE.

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