You are probably already unknowingly familiar with Melbourne, Florida-based Sol Invictus Arms through their AR components but get ready to meet the all-new TAC-9 pistol.
Sol Invictus has long produced rugged, and reliable components such as barrels and lower parts kits that are OE for several brand-name AR manufacturers – for example, they ship a whopping 30,000 LPKs a month. However, when it comes to making their own all-up guns, they have had a more pockmarked past, having attempted to bring the AA-12 shotgun back to the market in 2018 before federal regulators gave the project a thumbs down. Now, SI is back with the TAC-9 pistol.
I got to mess with one this month at the Shooting Sports Showcase and found it very interesting.
It is not rocket science. Longer barrels give you more complete propellant combustion which translates to more velocity imparted to the projectile. The more velo, the more energy is carried by the projectile on the impact and the higher ballistic performance. In short, whittle the barrel down and you sacrifice some performance. By way of thinking, the optimal performance for NATO 5.56mm ball, such as M855, is wrung through a 20-inch barrel.
For reference, the Winchester 55-grain 5.56 NATO FMJ rounds I chose for the bulk of our reliability testing have a listed 3,270 fps muzzle velocity generating 1,305 ft./lbs. muzzle energy. We found that, out of the 7-inch DB15, an average across five rounds hit closer to 2,240 fps, which, using the standard bullet energy formula, translates to something like 619 ft./lbs., or a loss of about a third of its velo and half of its energy.
So for the past few weeks, I have been fooling around with a T&E DB15 pistol. Featuring a 7-inch barrel, it is a fairly compact blaster and I have to admit that the KAK Flash Can and Gearhead Works Tailhook is growing on me.
While right out of the box, the 23-inch long 5.56 NATO handgun weighs just 4.53-pounds, I have added a Sig Sauer Romeo 5 red dot, a 600-lumen Streamlight and a Magpul D60 drum to it, bringing its loaded all-up weight with spare batteries (in the MOE grip) and boolits of 8.7-pounds.
Nice. For reference, the total cost as shown with all accessories is still under $1K.
Super-short AR-15 guns that legally fall under the ATF’s definition of a pistol have been around for decades. However, in recent years these guns have been given a phenomenal jump in popularity due to the Bureau’s approval of a number of non-buttstock braces that can be fitted to these handguns to give the user the ability to fire the gun from a more supported position. We take a look at some of the better designs on the market.
According to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (the NFA), arms that the government thought to be too dangerous for over the counter sales, such as machine guns, suppressors, and short barreled rifles and shotguns, were regulated with an obscene $200 tax and special requirements to obtain one of these registered devices. When you take into account that $200 in 1934 is some $3500 in today’s dollars, you can see why this was thought so unachievable.
In regulating short-barreled rifles, the NFA states that any rifle less than 26-inches overall had to be registered and so regulated. However, as long as a pistol did not have a buttstock, and was made from the beginning as a handgun, it could be shorter than this requirement. That’s where these braces come in at..
How many times have you personally weighed in on the subject of what is better in a handgun, more powerful, etc., the 9mm, .40S&W, or .45ACP? Well SIG would have to weigh in on that with their P556 and bring something very different to the table with one of the coolest pistols on the planet.