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Smith’s game changer

Debuted last October, the S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, a 15-round capacity medium-sized entry to Smith and Wesson’s line, was from the beginning thought to be a direct contender to niche populated by the well-liked Glock 19. The G19 has long been the people’s champ when it comes to a double-stack 9mm handgun that is serious enough to provide solace if needed while compact enough to carry without pulling your pants down every other step.

Over a five-month period, I put 2,000 rounds through the new Smith, give or take a handful, and carried it for approximately 400 hours, and compared it directly to the G19.

In short, Smith got a lot of things right.

Jump to my column at Guns.com to see what I found.

S&W wants you to go easy with the new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol

Interesting:

From Smith:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., (February 5, 2018) – Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced the addition of the new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol to the company’s market-leading M&P Shield pistol series.  Built for personal protection and every-day carry, the M&P380 Shield EZ is chambered in .380 AUTO and is designed to be easy to use, featuring an easy-to-rack slide, easy-to-load magazine, and easy-to-clean design.

Jan Mladek, General Manager of M&P and S&W Brands, said, “When we set out to design the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, our goal was to deliver an all-around, easy to use personal protection pistol – from loading and carrying, to shooting and cleaning.  Throughout the development process, we focused on key areas that customers told us were important- the ease of racking the slide and loading the magazine.  With that in mind, we reduced the amount of force required to rack the slide, and developed a magazine that is both easy and efficient to load.  We have incorporated both of these new features into the M&P380 Shield EZ pistol, allowing consumers of all statures and strengths the opportunity to own, comfortably practice with, and effectively utilize this exciting new pistol.  The new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol provides an easy-to-use personal protection option for both first-time shooters and experienced handgunners alike.”

Built for personal and home protection, the new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol is the latest addition to the M&P M2.0™ family and features an 8+1 round capacity and a 3.675” barrel.  The M&P380 Shield EZ pistol ships with two 8 round magazines that include a load assist button for quick, easy loading, as well as a picatinny-style equipment rail to accommodate accessories. The pistol also features an optimal M&P pistol 18-degree grip angle for a natural point of aim, white-dot front and adjustable white-dot rear sights, and a light, crisp trigger with an MSRP of $399.

The M&P380 Shield EZ pistol has begun shipping, and will be widely available at firearms dealers across the nation by the end of February 2018.

M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features include:

Easy-to-Use Design

  • Easy-to-rack slide for trouble-free manipulation
  • Tapered rear slide serrations, providing an easy-to-grasp surface
  • Easy-to-load magazine design with load assist button for quick, easy loading

Superior Performance

  • One-piece, single action trigger for crisp trigger pull with tactile and audible trigger reset
  • Windage- adjustable, white dot rear sight
  • 0 enhanced grip texture optimized to size and .380 AUTO recoil

Superior Controls

  • Tactile loaded chamber indicator to both see and feel if a round is in the chamber
  • Reversible magazine release that’s easily adjusted for left or right hand operation
  • Available with ambidextrous manual thumb safety

Sig wants you to carry 365 with their micro compact new 9mm

So SIG has a 3.1-inch barreled striker-fired 9mm with night sights right out of the box that weighs 17-ounces but brings a 10+1 capacity to the table, the P365.

For reference, the single-stack 6+1 Glock 43 is slightly heavier is an inch or so longer– and doesn’t have night sights. Interesting.

For those who always wanted a Glock 19…with just a little…more

Sure, 15 pieces of flair are the minimum but don’t you want to go 17, or 18, or even 19 or 20 when it comes to 9mm without giving up your slide length?

That’s where the new Glock 19X (eXtended capacity?) comes in.

It’s been hush-hush for awhile, but the basic concept is that it is a Gen 5 G19 upper with a modified Gen 5 G17 frame and some tweaked internals, which gives you a “1917” (1719?) concept of a Glock 19 with a full-sized grip and bump in mag capacity. It is also in a factory Coyote finish, comes with night sights, and lots of other neat-o add-ons like extended mags.

[Of course, I would prefer a G19 Frame with G26 grip and a G17 slide, which would give more sight radius while allowing better concealability while maintaining the ability to add a laser/light, and you could always use extended mags if you want more capacity, but hey, at least they have something to work on for 2019!]

I’ve been shooting it for the past couple weeks and have to say that I find it kinda groovy in a Colt Commander kind of way. Be sure to check out the first look piece over at Guns.com on it, and stay tuned for an in-depth review after I get a couple thou parabellums through it.

Of Japanese Barlow knives

Here we see a little pocket blade I like to carry from time to time, making a cameo on an outing for some California roll at the local sushi bar.

The higonokami ,also referred to as the Japanese carpenter’s knife, was born in 1896 in Meiji-era Japan when a man named Tasaburo Shigematsu brought back a knife from the Kyushu province and asked a knife maker named Teji Murakami from Hirata in the Miki region to manufacture it.

A blacksmith is said to have added a simple lever (the chikiri) to a minimally-designed pocket knife to aid in opening and closing the blade and to set it apart from other knives. “Higo no Kami” in Japanese means, “Lord of Higo,” in honor of the Lord of the Kyushu area of Japan, where the knife originated.

The legit ones are trademarked and come in the slim gold and blue box seen here. The paracord was added aftermarket.

Higonokami proved to be successful and a tradesman’s guild was formed to oversee the manufacture of the knife– akin to the Barlow in popularity in the U.S.– marked with the name of the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Once a staple of every youth and tradesman in the Empire, their popularity has waned.

Trademarked higonokamis such as this one, were last made by Motosuke Nagao, established in Miki, descending from four generations of blacksmiths. Today the last of the guild in business is Nagao Seisakusho who sell these knives through Iwachu primarily for export these days.

The knives share a common characteristic:

– A handle made out of a folded sheath of brass stamped with kanjis detailing the name of the maker and the steel of the blade: a sanmai with an aogami edge (blue paper steel), very much like a “reverse tanto” in profile.
– The presence of a chikiri (the lever) on the blade, to open the knife.
– The lack of a locking system.
– The fact that the blade, Warikomi steel, entirely disappears in the handle when the knife is closed.

The characters on this example say “Registered Trademark : Sword Master ‘Miyamoto Musashi”‘

It is very much like the classic German Solingen Mercator “cat” K55K knife, known for the image of the running feline on its folded sheet metal handle. Like the Higonokamis, these have has been around for over a century and are currently made by Otter-Messer.

Just a gimmick or what?

Behold, the Full Conceal M3.

Just 3.6-inches high when folded, the M3 uses a 21-round Magpul PMAG GL9 magazine to fill in for part of the grip when extended. The modified frame utilizes a folding trigger safety that prevents the trigger bar from moving and engaging the sear, a feature that Full Conceal bills as leaving the gun safe to carry with a round chambered, even in the folded position.

They were vaporware for the past year but are now shipping for a four-figure price point.

Of course, folding guns aren’t anything new.

There was always the Japanese Type 1 Paratrooper rifle, which sucked, and the Hotchkiss Universal which was a better idea, and the Burgess folding shotgun, which is downright weird.

The Hotchkiss SMG

The Burgess

The Japanese Paratrooper

And today there is even the XAR Invicta folding rifle

But none of these are a handgun, such as the Full Conceal.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?

Marines go Glock

The Glock 19M won a 2016 award from the FBI to provide agents with a decent duty handgun in 9mm with a number of features that were different from the Gen4 G19, such as lack of fingergrooves on the grip, a flared magwell, and other misc internal changes. The 19M, with a few tweaks, became the Glock Gen5 G19 which hit the market a couple months back.

Now, it seems like the Marines have piggybacked on the FBI contract and have acquired 400 19Ms (dubbed, and no this is serious– the M007) to equip members of HMX-1– the famous “Marine One” unit responsible for the transportation of the President and other dignitaries– as well as military and civilian investigators of the Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division. This shouldn’t be too surprising as standard Glock 19s have been used by MARSOC units off and on for a couple years and they have had NSN numbers for a decade.

Some 19Ms are also reportedly headed to Afghanistan with 2MarDiv members who have a need to be armed in dangerous situations at all times– likely to help balance the odds in green-on-blue encounters.

More in my column at Guns.com.

 

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