Tag Archives: new guns

The two Coolest things at SHOT Show

You know, if you told me 10 years ago that the two coolest items across the 13.9 miles of aisles and 2,500 companies exhibiting at the 45th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas would both be at the Palmetto State Armory booth, I would not have believed you.

However, it happened.

The company has brought back two icons: H&R M16A1s and a centerfire U.S.-made Sturmgewehr 44.

The H&R brand comes as a reboot of the old circa 1871 firearms company that PSA picked up for pocket change in Remington’s 2020 bankruptcy sale. Turning the refreshed brand over to NoDakSpud founder Mike Wettleland, they will be making classic M16A1 as well as Colt 723 and 635 models. The former were made by H&R as a Colt subcontractor in 1968-71.

The H&R M16A1 retro rifle is hand-crafted from proprietary forging dies with 1960s vintage government markings. As the guns made for the Army back in the Fortunate Son era were in the 2-million range, the new H&R will mimic that although will be distinctive in the fact that they have West Columbia, South Carolina rollmarks rather than the Worchester, Massachusetts marks of the original. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

This brings us to Hill & Mac Gunworks of Alpharetta, Georgia, a small gunmaker that had been working on an updated semi-auto Sturmgewehr clone made with modern techniques complete with a threaded barrel, a long stroke piston operating tilting bolt action, an HK style trigger pack, wooden furniture, and the possibility of being chambered in 5.56 NATO, 7.62x39mm, .300 AAC Blackout, or the original 7.92 Kurz– the latter is still in production by Privi Partisan in Europe.

Well, while HMG did sell some generationally similar CETME-L builds a few years back and marketed some reactive steel targets, their Sturmgewehr never made it to serial production and by 2020 the project largely fell off the radar after the company went radio silent.

Until now.

Popping up at Palmetto State Armory’s booth at SHOT Show last week was Mac Steil, the “M” of HMG, with news that PSA had stepped in to bring the project across the finish line. Advancing to the production stage, HMG customers that had preordered it from them back in the day will still get their HMG-marked gun while new guns for PSA will be under that company’s new “Battlefield” series.

The StG will still be offered in all four HMG calibers, use a STANAG mag pattern, and still runs an HK trigger pack. Caliber can be swapped by the user via a mag, barrel, and bolt change. There will also be things such as BFAs for reenactors, folding stock models, and more planned for the future.

Just Ruger giving the folks what they want

Bill Ruger, for all his faults, wasn’t stupid. He started his company from his garage in the late 1940s by making a simple and affordable .22LR pistol. Fast forward almost 75 years later, and the publicly-traded giant that has a $130 million cash reserve even after buying Marlin is still playing the classics.

In 2019, their simple and affordable .22LR single-action revolver, dubbed the Wrangler, was launched and, at a $269 entry point, has been extremely successful. Now for 2023, they have expanded it to include a “Sheriff” version which is chopped down from a 4.62-inch barrel to a 3.75-inch format, and have gone even longer with 6.5- and 7.5-inchers.

Overall length is 13 inches on the Ruger Wrangler with the 7.5-inch barrel, seen at the top, compared to 8.62 inches on 3.75-inch barreled “Birdshead” Wranglers, 10.25 inches on standard-sized models with 4.62-inch barrels, and 12 inches on 6.5-inch models. (Photo: Ruger)

The new long-format guns mimic the old Ruger Single-Six Buntlines, which have been in and out of production with 9.5-inch barrels, and the New Model Single-Six, which has a 6.5-inch barrel – but costs much more than any Wrangler.

The Ruger New Model Single-Six, with a 6.5-inch barreled offering, is a much nicer .22 but costs about twice as much as a Wrangler, when you can find them.

The price is still $269, asking, which translates to $199 at the gun counter.

Bill Ruger would recognize the game.

Eagerly Anticipated, Indeed

A few years ago, I did a “Select Fire” factory tour over at FN’s South Carolina plant, which was cool, but I stumbled across something in their showroom that was even cooler– the just-released FN SCAR SC.

I mean, will you just look at it? How is this thing not in like 150 different movies? (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Designed for mobility and flexibility while still using the SCAR format, the downsized SC (subcompact) model runs just a 7.5-inch barrel for an overall length of 21-to-25 inches depending on how far you extend the collapsible stock. Select fire with a 550-650 rounds per minute cyclic rate in 5.56 NATO, it still uses a short-stroke gas piston system with a rotating locking bolt and was created with special operation types in mind, specifically adapted for security missions.

Sadly, it isn’t commercially viable due outside of military channels due to that whole NFA and Hughes Act thing, both of which should be repealed (just saying).

The FN SCAR SC is just pure awesome, and always gets lots of attention at the company’s booth during industry shows. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Anyway, we asked FN back in 2019 why they didn’t just deliver a semi-auto-only stock-less variant of the SCAR SC to the hungry masses as a large format pistol and kept asking that question every time we ran into them. The answer? A sort of a smile and a shrug, saying, in effect, “we can neither confirm nor deny such a thing may be on the drawing board.”

Well, it turns out that it was.

Meet the new FN SCAR 15P, a semi-auto-only stock-less variant of the SCAR SC:

And in the release for the gun, FN included this, which I am not saying is a personal ha-ha to me, but feels like a personal ha-ha to me, emphasis mine:

“This long-anticipated release carries the DNA of SCAR throughout from its short-stroke gas piston operating system, NRCH capabilities, cold hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrel, and so much more. We’re happy to deliver the FN SCAR 15P to our consumers who have eagerly anticipated this release.”

Anyway, more on FN’s new large-format pistol is in my column at Guns.com.

FDE Times Two

So on my plate in the next few weeks are these beauties by way of Fabrique Nationale’s hipper new American subsidiary, FN USA. I met both of these hoglegs in prototype/first run format at SHOT Show/NRAAM earlier this year and finally got hooked up with production versions of them for T&E purposes. 

The guns are the FN Five-seveN Mk3 MRD, the company’s third generation take on the 20+1 capacity 5.7x28mm pistol, and the new 17+1 9mm FN High Power, which looks a lot like Mr. Browning’s/M. Saive’s Hi-Power of old (notice the difference in spelling) but only looks that way.

Expect more on both very soon.

The Coil Accelerator over the mantle…

While browsing the exhibitors at the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston last month on the lookout for new guns, I saw a glimpse into a potential future of projectile arms with the Coil Accelerator.

The 7-pound CA-09 isn’t a firearm according to current ATF regs, and after a one-hour charge can run single shots, five-round bursts, or full-auto out to a maximum range of about 40 feet, all without that annoying and NFA red tape.

Marketed out of the North Shore Sports Club in Illinois of all places, the CA-09 is in low-rate production. In a nutshell, the makers claim it is the first-ever commercially viable electric-powered Coil Accelerator. The basic overview is that it uses onboard electromagnetic coils– kind of like a rail gun but without a sliding armature– to quietly pull nickel-plated iron disks at an adjustable rate of fire.

It is fed from 50-round magazines and can fire about 700 times on a single charge.

When the tech matures in a couple of years to drop that price and raise that velocity, things could get super interesting, especially when you toss in concepts like 3-D printing and file sharing.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Is an Inexpensive MP5 clone on the Horizon?

I love MP5s! And there is no shortage of them. For instance, check out this awesome PTR 9CT I saw in Houston last week.

With the old-school “jungle” handguards and three-lug barrel, this thing almost screams, “You son of a…”

The thing is, even that no-frills PTR is $1800.

Well, I stopped by ATI’s booth and talked to Jaime, then he showed me this:

The above 9mm pistol is made by German Sports Guns GmbH, who has long made .22LR lookalikes of the MP5 and a 9mm replica of the “Schmeisser” MP40 so it is nice to see them pull the trigger on this format, and good on ATI for snagging it for import.

I’ll let you know more as I get it.

The 411 on the new FN High Power (not the Browning Hi-Power)

I dropped by FN’s booth at SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week to get the scoop on the new FN High Power pistol line.

Not just a restart of the old FN/Browning Hi-Power, the new 9mm guns have a 21st-century flair to them, with a 17+1 magazine capacity, ambi controls, texturing on the frame, better ergonomics, and FN 509-pattern dovetail sights. They will be available in three variants including the standard black model, one in FDE– sure to be a hit with modern FN owners who collect that genre– and a true stainless steel model. 

Each will ship with two sets of grips.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Guns that should have been at the NRA Show this week

The annual NRA meeting normally sees a ton of new guns unveiled to the public, as there is a crowd of upwards of 80,000 on hand. As SHOT Show is an industry trade event and the IWA Show is in Germany, the NRAAM gives the “man on the street” in the U.S. a chance to come and feel, sniff, and handle all the new steel (and polymer) from around the globe.

Of course, the event was canceled this year due to the Mexican beer flu, or else it would be going on this week. However, the gun makers still soft released the new models they were holding back from SHOT to make a splash at NRAAM.

I have a run-down of what’s new in my column at Guns.com

Wait till you see what they look like on the inside

Robbie with Wheaton Arms sat down with the Sootch00 YouTube gun channel and contrasted the new Glock Gen 5 against legacy Gen 4 and 3 models both inside and out.

There are actually a lot of differences.

Still, as when they introduced the Gen 4 and it went through a year of teething problems and stealth fixes, I’ll wait a year for the bugs to get worked out of the Gen 5.

Call me old-fashioned, but I am still a Gen 3 guy when it comes to my combat tupperware.

Glock Gen 5 G17 and G19 drop on the market this week

It looks boringly like every other Glock out there, but when you look closely, there are actually a number of subtle differences. Most notably, the polygonal rifling is out and traditional ballard-style rifling is in. Also, the fingergrooves, standard since the Gen 3, are a thing of the past. I do like the flared magwell, though, but for the record I will likely stick to the Gen3 G19 that I have been using for years. If it isn’t broke…

From Glock:

On August 30, GLOCK, Inc. will be announcing the launch of our new G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 pistols.

The G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 pistols were inspired by the GLOCK M pistols used by the FBI and include many features the GLOCK community has been asking for. There are over 20 design changes which differentiate our Gen5 pistols from their Gen4 predecessors, including a flared mag-well, a new nDLC finish, the GLOCK Marksman Barrel, ambidextrous slide stop levers, and a grip which has no finger grooves.

These pistols will be available at your favorite GLOCK dealer beginning August 30.

A shot of the Glock M (that the FBI is issuing with a finger grip sleeve!) :

Marketing slick for Glock dealers (from my local Glock dealer).

They expect to retail these in-shop for $539

Chris Bartocci talks more about the Gen5 barrels below.

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