Tag Archives: new pistol

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. 

The 1911 is a Perma Staple of the Gun Community

With a narrow profile and an excellent reputation for “stopping power” (in certain calibers) coupled with a host of on-board safety features, John Browning’s big M1911 format single-action pistols can be exceptionally accurate, and, if given a few tweaks and made correctly, can last a lifetime so long as the small internals and barrel are swapped out when overworn. Plus, there is probably no other platform other than the Glock that is backed up by so wide a spread of aftermarket parts and skilled smiths who know how to wring every ounce of performance out of them. Little wonder that gun companies seem to always be introducing new takes on the same gun.

Speaking of which, Springfield Armory this week came out with a new version of Mr. Browning’s single-action single-stack.

Using a forged steel barrel, slide, and frame, Springfield’s new Emissary sports a two-tone finish, with a blued carbon steel slide and a stainless-steel frame with a squared trigger guard. Carrying a “Tri-Top” cut to the slide, the single-action pistol runs a bushing-less heavy stainless steel bull barrel with a one-piece full-length guide rod. For those who want texture in their grip, the Emissary is fully wrapped in a grenade pattern texture from its slimline G10 VZ grips to the matching machining on the mainspring housing and front strap.

The Emissary is billed as blending defensive and custom pistols to create a striking .45 ACP railgun that looks great while still being very capable.

More in my column at Guns.com.

$400 Forged Turkish Commander

SDS specializes in importing quality pistols, shotguns, and accessories and, in the past few years, they have partnered with Tisas 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. The Tanker, quietly debuted last October, is set to continue that trend.

While the “Tanker” moniker is typically applied to shortened T26 M1 Garands and similar chopped-down rifles in the same vein, the SDS version an upgraded M1911A1 Government with a full-sized frame and Commander-length– or 4.25-inch rather than the traditional 5-inch– barrel, and corresponding slide. It has lots of good features to include a forged slide and frame, Series 70 internals, a chrome-plated and lined barrel, as well as a mirror-polished feed ramp.

Plus, it runs $400 smackers, new.

I’ve been kicking the Tanker around for a couple weeks, and it is hard not to like it, especially for the price.

Check it out 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.

I’ve seen it: Possibly the neatest 3-pound pistol on the market

Florida-based Diamondback Firearms announced their new DBX 5.7x28mm pistol earlier this year and the neat little gun is now filtering out to the market.

Teased at SHOT Show when the gun was in pre-production, the large format pistol uses an adjustable dual gas piston action– no buffer tubes here– with a stainless steel 8-inch threaded barrel that ends in the company’s DBX series muzzle device. Using a receiver crafted from 7075 aluminum and an M-LOK-compatible 6061 aluminum handguard, the gun is light, coming in at a hair under 3-pounds on my scales right out of the box.

I’ve been messing with one for the past couple of weeks and my initial thoughts are up in my column at Guns.com.

Meet the DBX, the latest 5.7x28mm toy

Florida-based Diamondback Firearms has announced they will begin shipping their new DBX 5.7x28mm pistol in May.

Teased at SHOT Show earlier this year when the gun was in pre-production, the compact braced pistol uses a dual gas piston action with an 8-inch threaded barrel that ends in a muzzle device.

Overall length, with the rear Picatinny-mounted, side-folding brace extended is 25.4-inches. Folded length is 16.9-inches. Alternatively, the brace can be dismounted to provide a more compact pistol that is 16.1-inches flat.

I kinda dig it.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Got to bump into some groovy hardware last week

So I hung out at NRA Show for a few days last week. Got to see some cool new stuff and write about it.

Including Springfield Armory’s new XD-E hammer fired compact 9mm single stack


Which complemented FN’s new 509.

So now FN is making striker-fired guns while Springfield XD is making hammer fired. What the what?

Then there was Colt’s new 70 series Gold Cup Trophy and Competition models (yup, no firing pin block).

Those G10 scales, tho

And Savage’s Fox A Grade SXS double shotgun series, which are really sweet and feature bone and charcoal case color-finished receivers over black walnut furniture (though original Foxes are cheaper).

And nope, this one is not made in Turkey

But the coolest thing (that I am soon going to be T&E’ing, squeeeee) is Remington’s Tac-14 870 that I was able to get the first media peek at while touring Big Green’s Huntsville Factory prior to the show.

At 26.25 inches overall and with a Raptor Shockwave pistol grip, the 12-gauge’s 14-inch cylinder bore barrel is not a National Firearms Act regulated item as it is a “firearm” and not an SBS or AOW, thus no tax stamp is required under federal law, though state and local laws may apply.

I will for sure keep you posted on that one…

FN Announces their runner up to replace the M9 is up for grabs

FN America on Monday officially launched their new striker-fired 9mm handgun designed originally as the company’s entry into the Army’s Modular Handgun System competition.

Based on their FNS Compact platform, the 17+1 capacity handgun was beefed up to meet rigorous military requirements that saw more than 1 million rounds fired in reliability, ammunition compatibility, and durability testing. Changes to the legacy design, in addition to the improved internals, include enhanced grip textures and cocking serrations, guarded controls and a recessed target crown on the 4-inch barrel.

“When the requirements for MHS were released, our team of engineers immediately went to work, taking the successful elements of the FNS Compact and further developing those to meet the needs of the U.S. Army’s solicitation for a new, full-size pistol,” said Mark Cherpes, president, and CEO of FN America.

More in my column at Guns.com, and I will def be checking this bad boy out in Atlanta this week, so stay tuned to this same bat channel for updates.