Tag Archives: new gun

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. 

Army Publically Reaffirms Their Love of the M240

The adage for the past couple of decades among Joes (skip this if you are sensitive as it may be NSFW) is that the 5056 NATO-caliber M249 SAW is like a high-maintenance first wife: you have to pamper and court her and maybe, just maybe, she will work out. The 7.62 NATO-chambered M240 on the other hand, is just a dirty whore: no matter what you do to her, she’ll keep on working through the night, rain or shine.

Thus endith the addage.

There may be some smoke to that, as, in my experience, I have never seen any but a factory fresh and over-lubed SAW run a full 200-round belt without a stoppage under field conditions whereas I have also seen some downright grungy and funky M240s chew through belt after belt. This may be why the Marines have largely dumped the SAW for the M27 IAR and the Army is looking to move on to the NGSW-AR to put the M249 in the rearview.

As further reinforcement to the M240 not going anywhere any time soon, Picatinny Arsenal just issued a five-year $92 million contract for more deliveries of that beautiful FN-made GPMG.

I got to see how the magic happens on FN’s 240 lines back in 2019, and these things are built like a tank.

If only They had a SCAR Machine Gun, oh Wait

Offering users either a 12-pound belt-fed machine gun in 5.56 NATO or a 14-pound model in 7.62 NATO, FN’s new Evolys platform has reached the market.

While it may be easy for some to shrug off the Evolys series as just a lightened Minimi/M249 or FN Mag/M240 – an evolutionary outgrowth of guns like the compact MK 46 and MK 48 if you will – the latest short-stroke gas piston machine gun series out of Herstal utilizes a number of new thoughts to make it more of a 21st-century gun.

Like what?

Like the ability to “dummy-proof” the loading process by designing the feed cover and pawl system to automatically reposition cartridges when the cover is closed on a belt that is not correctly placed in the feed tray. Like fielding a carbine-length (36-inches overall) 7.62 GPMG that can be carried slug in the same manner as a rifle and fired from all standard positions at 750rpm, with a controllable recoil due to an integrated hydraulic buffer.

Plus, they look super sci-fi, which is always a bonus.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Best sub-$500 .22LR Pistol on the Market?

Taurus introduced the TX22 two years ago and it kinda suprised a lot of folks.

A full-sized striker-fired gun with a polymer frame, the gun used the Taurus Pittman Trigger System (PTS). It shipped with an adjustable rear sight, had an ergonomic grip and Mil-Std 1913 accessory rail, used 16-round mags, and retailed for cheap. Like sub-$350 cheap with three mags and a threaded barrel. What’s not to like?

Now, taking feedback both from the public and the company’s own cadre of professional shooters, the TX 22 Competition brings a lot of great upgrades to the platform. What stays the same is the basic layout and construction: a polymer-framed striker-fired handgun with a high-grade aluminum slide and alloy steel barrel. The gun uses the same surface controls, and thus is the same width – 1.25 inches at the widest point.

What is new is a longer, competition-grade 5.25-inch bull barrel with an improved slide, as well as an optics mounting system that accommodates the most popular pistol MRDs. The price difference is about $135 more, or $485.

I’ve been kicking one around for a month.

More in my column ay Guns.com.

That’s TAC-9, not TEC-9

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. 

Boom

I got to mess with one this month at the Shooting Sports Showcase and found it very interesting.

More in my column at Guns.com.

An Interesting 31-shot 4-Pound PDW

For the past few months, I have been kicking around a Diamondback DBX 57 pistol. Unlike most firearms chambered in 5.7x28mm, which are simple blowback weapons, the DBX is a large format pistol that uses a dual gas piston action that can be dialed up or down with the aid of a screwdriver in the field without stripping the gun down.

It accepts standard AR-15 triggers and grips while having the same style safety lever format. Unlike the AR, there is no buffer tube, and the locked-breech rotating bolt’s action is side-charging, oriented out of the box with a left-hand knob– but don’t worry, it can be swapped to the right if that’s how you swing. The barrel is threaded with a 1/2x28TPI pitch, opening it up to a wide array of muzzle devices and cans.

As far as mags go, it takes standard FN FiveseveN style double stacks, which are made in both factory and aftermarket variants in 10, 20, and 30-round formats.

And, I found out, that it shoots pretty well.

The total weight of the DBX with the Romeo5, TF1913 side-folding brace, and 21 rounds of V-Max came to 4.4-pounds, which is still balanced enough to fire one-handed with ease. You can move to 30-rounder FN mags and only add a couple extra ounces.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Lot of Bang for the Buck

Two years ago, Taurus delivered the TX 22 pistol to the market, and, by and large, everyone that held their nose long enough to shoot it absolutely loved it. The gun proved super reliable, well thought out, and feature-rich– especially for the money. Pistols like it and last year’s G3C have really changed people’s minds on Taurus.

Well, the company now has a more aristocratic installment of the same model, just announced today, the TX 22 Competition.

The TX 22 Comp has a distinctive skeletonized slide similar to a Beretta 92/Taurus PT92 with a cutout between the ejection port to just behind the front sight. The pistol runs a 5-inch match-grade bull barrel that is threaded for suppressors and muzzle devices such as compensators. The trigger has been updated for better performance. Best yet, the slide has an optics cut and is ready right out of the box to accommodate a range of popular red dots, all for under $500.

More in my column at Guns.com.

End-Capped Rimfire AR

Missouri-based CMMG this month announced what is billed as the company’s shortest and most compact Banshee model ever, the .22LR End Cap.

Chambered in the popular rimfire staple, the new blow-back action Banshee deletes the buffer tube and receiver extension common on AR-type pistols and replaces it instead with a capped lower receiver. This produces a smaller format gun than most .22LR AR15 builds on the market– as short as 14.7 inches in the 4.5-inch barrel model. CMMG says the .22LR End Cap is compatible with all of the company’s .22LR AR Conversion Kits, as well as any AR15 that uses a dedicated CMMG .22LR bolt carrier group and barrel.

And they don’t look that bad…

More in my column at Guns.com. Yes, I have asked for a T&E model, so watch this space!

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