Tag Archives: new gun

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.

Turkish Tactical

I’ve been looking at the new Tisas PX-9 Gen3 Tactical for a few months now and have found a lot to like about it. The third generation of the Tisas-made polymer-framed striker-fired pistol includes a 5.1-inch extended threaded barrel, accepts easy-to-find SIG P226 pattern double-stack mags, is offered in three finishes (black Tenifer, OD green, or FDE Cerakote), has a decent 4.5-pound flat-faced trigger, comes with steel suppressor-height Glock-pattern sights with a front fiber-optic, and has a factory micro red-dot slide cut in a Trijicon RMR/SRO pattern.

Proving reliable across the first 1,000 rounds of Barnaul import, CCI Blazer Brass, and Federal American Eagle 115-grain FMJ, I recently quieted down a bit and tested it with a suppressor.

A big one.

For reference, the overall length in this format was 16 inches and it balanced well between the full mag and the can. Keep in mind you could always shrink that down, for instance, the SilencerCo Omega 36M shown can be dropped to its short format, or you could use a lighter can such as an 8-ounce Osprey 9 2.0, but we are getting too much in the weeds here. You get the idea.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Beretta drops a new APX pistol (yaay)

Beretta has a lot of cool products that they just carry overseas or sell to LE/Mil channels including the AR-70/90 and the PM-12 SMG. So when they have a big push to release a new gun and an updated edition of their Tactical Toblerone APX pistol rolls out, it is a kinda whomp whomp kinda moment.

Meet the NEW! Beretta APX A1 FS.

On the upside, the company seems to be making a special effort to put red dots on everything in the catalog, with optics-ready models of the M9A4 Centurion, 92X Performance Defensive, and 92X RDO Compact all arriving with the feature. Beretta’s budget line, Stoeger, is seeing similar expansions. 

Getting Some Sun in the Sonoran Desert

So I spent most of last week hanging out in Phoenix with some friends, covering Sig’s Freedom Days event. Tons of fun, even if I had to set up the Guns.com booth with my buddy, Ben.

Of course, I am the Jerry Garcia-looking character in the above. 

Check out some of these highlights: 

Anywho, got to hang out and detail the action, so expect lots of neat stuff next week about what I saw, heard, and found out.

Now to nurse that sunburn…

Tisas PX-9 Gen 3. Say what?

Tennessee-based SDS Imports is bringing in an affordable 9mm double stack with a ton of features, the Tisas PX-9 Gen 3.

SDS specializes in importing quality pistols, shotguns, and accessories. In the past few years, they have partnered with Tisas (pronounced “Tis-ash”) in Turkey to supply well-made M1911-style handguns to the U.S. market that have built a following through a combination of good reviews and affordable pricing. Newer and more modern is the PX-9 series of polymer-framed striker-fired pistols, with the third generation guns being the most feature-rich.

This brings me to the Tisas PX-9 Gen 3 Tactical I currently have under evaluation.

Gotta say, I don’t hate it as it has a lot of good things going for it including an RMR direct-mount optics cut, an extended threaded barrel, Glock pattern sights, P226 pattern magazines, a decent trigger, modular grip ergos, a ton of accessories, and the ability to use XD-M holsters– all for about $500.

It looks like a mix of every modern combat pistol– and for good reason

More in my column at Guns.com.

Kimber Sending Makos to Ukraine

Alabama-based Kimber is donating 9mm pistols and .308 Winchester-caliber rifles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The company announced on Wednesday it is inspired by the courage of the Ukrainian people in their struggle against an ongoing military invasion from neighboring Russia and is ready to help.

“The people of Ukraine are enduring tremendous hardships and are in need of support from around the world,” said Leslie Edelman, Kimber owner and CEO.

In terms of support, Edelman says Kimber is sending 200 R7 Mako 9mm subcompact pistols (my current EDC for the past several months), 10 Advanced Tactical rifles in .308 Win., and 10 bolt-action rifles in .308 Win. Each rifle will include two magazines and a replacement firing pin assembly while the Makos will ship with 800 extra 13-round magazines.

While shipping such pistols to a modern European combat zone seems curious at first, handguns are in common use as sidearms for officers, specialists, pilots, and heavy weapons operators.

Of note, the Mako is roughly comparable in size to the PM Makarov, long a standard pistol in Eastern European service, while offering a higher magazine capacity and a more effective cartridge.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

FN Keeps Raking in that Sweet, Sweet, Machine Gun Money

FN had several advanced models on display at last month’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

Including an MK48, or Maximi, which blends the M249 SAW/Minimi program with a 7.62 NATO caliber.

Developed in conjunction with SOCOM, it only weighs 18 pounds. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

FN also had one of its new Evolys platforms on display, which offers either a 12-pound belt-fed machine gun in 5.56 NATO or a 14-pound model in 7.62 NATO.

I’ll take 10 for starters, please. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

It seems to be good money if you can get it. Speaking of which, the U.S. Army Contracting Command just awarded FN another $50 million contract for M240 Lima models.

Of note, the company set up its U.S. franchise in 1981 specifically to make M240s for Uncle Sam, and the line is still going strong 40 years later.

Swimming with the Mako

With a 13+1 capacity and the option of an optics-ready slide, the very concealable Kimber R7 Mako is competitive in the micro-compact field.

Introduced in August, the R7 Mako is a striker-fired 9mm with a polymer frame. When it comes to specs, it runs just 6.2 inches long overall, 4.3 inches high, and one inch wide. Weight, in its most basic form, is 19.5 ounces. This puts the new double-stack ultra-compact Kimber in the same category as guns like the Sig Sauer P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat series.

The weight of the R7 Mako O.I., with the CTS-1500 red dot nstalled, the extended magazine inserted, and 14 rounds of Browning 147-grain X-Point loaded, is 28.6 ounces on our scale. My first CCW gun back in the early 1990s was a much heavier and larger Browning Hi-Power with the same capacity and the only hollow points it could feed reliably were 115-grain Hydra-Shoks. Times change.

Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve run 500~ rounds through one and carried it for about 200 hours. I have a list of likes and dislikes about it after the jump over to my column at Guns.com. 

Kimber’s Shark in the Micro 9 Pool

Since the Sig Sauer P365 came out in 2017, which gave the booming concealed carry market a 10+1 capacity 9mm that wasn’t much bigger than a 6+1 .380 blowback, seemingly everyone else is trying to catch up. You’ve seen the Taurus GX4, Ruger MAX, S&W Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat all hit the shelves, which were basically the same thing only with different branding.

Now there is the Kimber R7 Mako, which allows a 13+1 capacity, has an optics cut and TruGlo Tritium night sights standard, and excellent– for a striker-fired gun– trigger and ergos.

Plus, rather than a brutal utilitarian look familiar to the rest of the competition, the smooth lines and laser-cut texturing of the Mako just seems, well, kinda pretty.

My thoughts after spending the past few weeks with the R7 Mako after the jump over to Guns.com. 

Kimber’s First Polymer Handgun

Kimber, at least for the past 25 years, has been seen as a steel-framed M1911 maker, and for good reason– until just a few years ago that was all they made. Then, in 2016, they jumped into wheel guns as well as their very compact Micro 9 series of aluminum-framed pocket autos.

Now, they have delivered their first polymer-framed, striker-fired gun, the R7 Mako.

I know, I know, yawn, right? These have been around since the early 1980s when Glock blazed that trail.

But the R7 is just 6.2-inches long overall, 4.3-inches high, and 1-inch wide. By comparison, this is a near match for the recently introduced Taurus GX4, Ruger MAX, Sig P365, S&W Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat.

Unlike some of these micro-compact contemporaries, however, the Mako is optics-ready and has fully ambidextrous controls with a full wrap-around stippled texturing along with TruGlo Tritium Pro u-notch sights. Plus, its top half is stainless rather than some low-key carbon steel, with a matte FNC finish.

Looking forward to shooting this one…

More in my column at Guns.com. 

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