Tag Archives: new handguns 2023

Springfield Armory Operator in 9mm

The Operator series has been a bedrock item in Springfield Armory’s lineup for more than 20 years and once upon a time, these 1911 “rail gun” .45s were about the most popular thing for SWAT-style units in the country to include the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams. Lots were also bought with Marine Corps unit funds for MEUSOC 1911 program before the adoption of the Colt M45 CQBP, which was basically just an Operator that said “Colt” on it.

Well, now Springfield has introduced the Operator in a 9+1 round 9mm variant, and it still looks sweet.

Will it be sweet enough that the 2011 crowd will want it at half the capacity while still having an MSRP of $1,184? That’s the question.

An Unlikely All-steel Micro 9

EAA, long known for its Regard, Witness, and Windicator models, two years ago began to import the Girsan MCP35 from Turkey. That later pistol seems to be modeled after the later post-1980 Browning Mark II/III models made by FN during the last few decades of the model’s run with that company. The latter includes an external extractor, a serrated ring hammer, a slim trigger, a windage drift-adjustable rear sight, ships with a Mec-Gar produced 15-shot aftermarket double-stack magazine and includes both an ambidextrous safety and a magazine-disconnect safety (more on this abomination later).

I really dug the standard-sized MCP35, seen here in a factory FDE option, finding it an excellent value and lots of fun on the range. (All photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

While EAA introduced updated OPS and Match series MCP35s, which upgraded the legacy standard with accessory rails, optics cuts, and a better trigger, what I openly wished for was a shortened version optimized for carry. Hi-Power fans will immediately recall the old FM Detective.

Made by FM in Argentina, which had been set up under license by FN back in the 1960s to make BHPs for the Argentine military and police, the Latin American armory developed a shortened model that retained the same size grip and magazine capacity. It was only brought into the States for a few years in the 1990s, when it was marketed as the Detective by importers.

I was a huge fan of the Detective and bought and carried the gun on the right for several years. It was rough and basic, but it worked. For those interested, according to the online inflation calculators, $239 in 1992 is worth $514.18 today, which is around what the MCP35 PI runs. Also, do not try to go to SOG and get the above deal, as that importer closed its doors years ago.

Taking a cue from the old FM Detective, EAA teased the new MCP35 PI late last year and started shipping it a couple of months ago.

The basic concept trims an inch off the barrel length and almost an inch and a half in overall length, as well as a few ounces in weight, from the standard MCP35, leaving a more compact pistol, roughly akin to the concept of a Commander 1911.

The big kicker is that, in that size, it is the same size as guns like the SIG P365 XMacro and Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro, while being hammer-fired and all-steel. 

The EAA Girsan MCP35 PI is a factory-shortened Hi-Power clone that still accepts standard magazines and most parts, save for slide and barrel components. 

My full review on the PI after the jump.

On FN’s new 510 10mm…

I was on hand in 2017 when FN debuted the new FN 509 pistol, the product of more than 1 million rounds of testing and an offshoot of the gunmaker’s submission to the Army’s Modular Handgun System competition.

Based on its much-liked FNS Compact platform, that 9mm 17+1 capacity handgun was significantly beefed up to meet rigorous military requirements. Note the 24+1 round extendo

Then a year later came the announcement of the FN 509 Tactical, which was both suppressor and optics-ready with suppressor-height iron sights that co-witness with several MRDs on the market and was augmented with an extended 24-round magazine, as seen above.

Now, FN 509 Tactical has essentially grown to a full centimeter, so to speak, and has hit the market in the form of the 10mm FN 510, with all the same features but in the more commanding caliber.

Besides being suppressor and optics-ready, when it comes to the mags themselves, the FN 510 Tactical ships to most states with a standard flush-fit 15+1 round magazine and an extended 22+1 round mag. Those living in restricted areas have to make do with 10+1 round compliant capacity mags until they can repeal local prohibitions.

I’ve been kicking one around for the past couple of months and have a report in my column at Guns.com.

Everything old is new again, DW 1911 edition

If you have followed this blog for more than a week or so, you’d know that I have a soft spot for 1911s. Well, at Indy last week, it was obvious that Dan Wesson is keeping a foot in both the vintage and contemporary 1911 market.

The newest version of the DW Specialist debuted at the 152nd NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis over the weekend, adding an optics-ready slide to the .45 ACP rail gun. The factory cut has three optic plate options while a front fixed Novak-style fiber optic night sight and a tactical rear sight are also mounted.

Dan Wesson 1911 Specialist Optics-Ready includes a tactical hammer and a long solid trigger in addition to an ambi safety.

Note the Picatinny accessory rail, G10 VZ Operator II grips, and 25 LPI front strap checkering. The forged stainless steel frame and slide has a matte black duty finish.

Then there is the Heirloom.

The company’s Heirloom 1911 series are typically only offered in limited runs each year, usually just in .45 ACP. Now, for the first time, Dan Wesson is rolling with a .38 Super chambering for this top-shelf Government Issue-sized pistol. Made with premium parts while remaining eminently shootable, the pistol uses hand-fit 70 Series frames and slides paired with a match-grade barrel.

One of the big selling points is that these are rock-solid guns and that DW refuses to use any MIM small parts in the construction of an Heirloom. The idea is that it is built to withstand the test of time and is made to be handed down from one generation to the next– still as accurate and dependable as it was on day one.

Note the Black DLC high-polished finish, scrollwork, brass front sight, and Ivory-colored G10 grips.

The Heirloom ships with a solid medium-length trigger, undercut trigger guards, hand-polished flats, a beveled magazine well, and an overall carry bevel treatment.

I wouldn’t toss either one out of my safe. 

Henry Has Entered the Wheel Gun Game

Wisconsin-based Henry Repeating Arms continues to grow from its traditional lever-gun line and on Thursday introduced a pair of new 357 Magnum six-shooters.

The company’s first two entries in what is dubbed the Henry Big Boy Revolver line are both medium-framed double-action/single-action guns with swing-out cylinders. Each features a 4-inch barrel and is chambered in .357/.38, with the difference coming in the grip– one ships with square Gunfighter-style grips while the second has rounded compact Birdshead-style grips.

Featuring polished blued steel finishes and deluxe American walnut grips, these new wheel guns are meant more for target shooters and collectors. Note the exposed ejector rod and barrel profile that are very much akin in styling to a circa 1950s Colt Official Police.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Peanut butter Hellcat travels

I wouldn’t classify myself as a Springfield Armory fanboy, but after spending a lot of time and brass with the Hellcat Pro, I may become one.

Springfield introduced the Hellcat 11+1 round 9mm series in September 2019, becoming one of the first real competitors to SIG’s P365, a 10+1 round micro compact 9mm of about the same size that hit the reset button on the carry market the year prior.

Then, in 2022, Springfield updated the design with the Hellcat Pro series, which brings a 15+1 capacity and an optics-ready slide to the platform.

I’ve been kicking around one with a peanut butter (officially Desert FDE) hued finish since around Thanksgiving and have well over 2K rounds through it.

The full details after the jump.

Glocks Fuddy Five Lurches into the 2020s

Glock first announced the .45 ACP-caliber G21 alongside the 10mm G20 and .40 S&W caliber G22 back in 1990, in a host of caliber changes that offered more than the company’s 9mm initial offerings– the G17 and G19. At introduction these were 2nd Generation guns, a series only gently updated from the company’s original debut in the mid-1980s.

I’ve been fooling with the G21 off and on for almost 30 years. My first was a Gen 2 AAZ-serialized G21 that I picked up in 1994, just as the federal AWB and magazine cap kicked in that chopped the standard mag capacity from 13 rounds to just 10. I kept that tough-as-nails .45 through Hurricane Katrina, during which and immediately after it was never far away, and only passed it on to its current owner in 2006, downgrading to a 9mm as my everyday carry.

My first G21, a Gen 2 model, is seen here in a low-res circa-2005 image. It worked when I picked it up 11 years before, ran everything I fed it in the interlude, and it is likely still working wherever it is today. Note back then they didn’t even have thumb grooves or an accessory rail.

Then came the Gen 3 Sport/Service models in 1997, which brought with them recessed thumb rests, finger grooves molded into the frame, and, eventually, an accessory rail.

The Gen 4 G21 arrived in 2011 with the company’s improved RTF-4 texture, interchangeable frame back straps, a reversible enlarged magazine catch, a dual recoil spring assembly, and a new – some would say improved – trigger

And since then, the G21 has been frozen in time, locked in 2011. In the meantime, the company introduced their 5th Generation guns – but only in 9mm (G17, G19, G19X, G26, G34 and G45), .40 S&W (G22, G23 and G27) and .22 LR (G44).

Now, Glock finally reached back and brought the old “large frame” 10mm and .45 full-sized pistols into the present.

Importantly, it is the first time the G21 is optics-ready, in addition to other Gen 5 enhancements that are long overdue.

More in my column at Guns.com

500 Rounds with the Newest FN 5.7

FN recently debuted the third generation of its 5.7x28mm caliber pistol, bringing the curious pistol from the 1990s kicking and screaming into a more modern period.

I’ve been testing for the past few months and have a 500-round review.

What the new MRD MK3 brings to the game is the ability to mount just about any micro red dot optic (hence “MRD”), something that was particularly hard to retrofit on previous models, as well as a lot of updates to the pistol’s ergonomics. All this in a hammer-fired delayed blowback action semi-auto with a semi-fixed barrel chambered for the spicy little 5.7 round.

A big bonus on the MRD MK3 is that it carries new stippling and textures on the frame as well as enhanced serrations on the slide, trigger guard, and safety selector that update the pistol’s ergonomics. Past classic and MK2 models have a much slicker surface texture. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

How does it shoot? More in my column at Guns.com.

So what’s the deal with the Glock 47? (A: Interoperability)

Glock came to SHOT Show in Las Vegas last month with the new commercial variant of the G47, and I snagged one for a better look.

A pistol that debuted a few years ago but wasn’t available to the public, the G47 came as part of an $85 million/10-year contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2019. With more than 45,000 sworn law enforcement agents and officers, CBP’s mission includes security through the U.S. Border Patrol as well as customs and counter-smuggling operations at over 330 ports of entry. It is the largest federal LE agency inside the Department of Homeland Security.

The contract included not only the previously unknown G47, which by all accounts was created especially for the contract but also compact Glock 19 Gen 5 models and subcompact Glock 26 Gen 5s, all in 9mm. Keep that in mind moving forward.

The G47 isn’t a “game changer” but it does have a few little things that are interesting about it.

Such as this:

The G47, right, is seen above compared to the crossover G19X, which is the same height and roughly the same frame but with a G19-length slide and barrel. (Photo: Chris Eger)

And, showing off that modularity, I give you the “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” that is the G19X and G47 MOS with swapped uppers. Both guns shoot and cycle fine. You could do the same between the G47 and the G17 Gen 4/5, G45, and G19 Gen 4/5. (Photo: Chris Eger)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Everything you want in a P365, without the loudener

SIG has an optimized variant of the 17+1 round 9mm P365 XMacro headed to the market– minus the integrated compensator that a lot of folks detest– but with a few extra goodies.

The new P365 Macro TACOPS will have the slightly taller grip module of the XMacro that comes standard with a frame-mounted M1913 accessory rail for lights and lasers. The upper half is that of a standard P365 XL. What is totally new on the micro 9 is an integrated magwell for faster reloads, an extended slide catch lever, and, as it is a TACOPS package, four flush-fit 17-round magazines.

I ran into the P365 Macro TACOPS at SIG’s media event in Nevada last week on the eve of SHOT Show and got a sneak peek at the new pistol.

The P365 Macro TACOPS can be looked at as a P365 XMacro in which someone swapped out a regular XL top half and added a magwell and extended slide lever. The pistol shown wears a SIG RomeoZero Elite 1×24 micro red dot– which fits the Shield RMSc/Holosun K footprint of the series– with its optional metal shield installed.

More in my column at Guns.com.

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