Tag Archives: new ruger

18 Months with a Mini Bull along for the ride

I’ve been living with the Taurus GX4 micro compact 9mm for a year and a half on a daily basis and put well over a thousand rounds through it. It has surprised me, for sure.

Taurus introduced the GX4 to the world in May 2021, and I was able to get an early test model from the company slightly before. A good sequel to the company’s budget line of increasingly well-made and dependable G2 and G3 series pistols, the GX4 was more of the same, only smaller and with a better trigger.

When compared to more recently introduced double-stack micro 9s with similar magazine capacity, the GX4 was smaller than a lot of the big names, seen stacked side-by-side with the Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro, SIG Sauer P365 XMacro, and Kimber R7 Mako.

Designed for personal carry, the GX4 proved such an easy carry – just 24.8 ounces when fully loaded with 14 rounds of 124-grain Gold Dot– that it has become my go-to of late. Of note, that is the same magazine capacity as on the vaunted Browning Hi-Power, my first carry gun back in the late 1980s.

I’ve been carrying the GX4 in a DeSantis Gunhide Inside Heat, a bare-bones minimum IWB holster built from black saddle leather, and it just disappears. The pistol is, realistically, just slightly taller than a pocket gun but comes ready with 13+1 rounds.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Guide Gun is Back…

The Guide Gun, a hard-hitting carbine with an 18.5-inch barrel chambered in .45-70 Government, was one of the “old” Marlin’s staples, produced from 1998 until 2020 when the brand shuttered with the bankruptcy of Remington Outdoors.

The Marlin 1895G/SG from the maker’s 2018 catalog.

Now, with Marlin since acquired by Ruger and moved under the house of the Red Phoenix, the Guide is back in the field. Still based on the M1895 lever gun with a .45-70 chambering, the new “big loop” model goes a little longer than past carbines, stretching the alloy steel barrel to 19.1 inches for an overall length of 37.25 inches.

What is new is that the cold hammer-forged barrel is threaded– 11/16″-24TPI– and a companion 6+1 mag tube (versus 4+1 in the old 1895G) which explains the bump in length. The gun, Ruger’s first introduction of an alloy steel Marlin rifle with a blued finish, weighs 7.4 pounds.

Plus, it is about $200-250 less than Muger’s other M1895s…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Ruger Enters 5.7mm Carbine Race

Ruger this week expanded its 5.7mm offerings by introducing a lightweight carbine to complement the already popular 57 series pistols.

The new Ruger LC Carbine in 5.7x28mm is compact, with a threaded 16.25-inch nitride-treated steel barrel and a side-folding adjustable stock keeping it short. Weight, at 5.9 pounds out of the box, is kept low via an aluminum alloy hard-coat Anodized receiver and synthetic furniture. Logically, it uses the same 20+1 capacity steel magazines and ergonomic controls as the Ruger 57 pistol.

The company says that using typical 40-grain 5.7 loads, “this high-performing carbine’s felt recoil is comparable to a .22 LR.”

The reversible folding stock, with adjustable length of pull, is compatible with both AR-pattern and Picatinny rail-mounted aftermarket accessory stocks. Speaking of Picatinny, note the full-length top rail and adjustable flip-up sights.

More in my column at Guns.com

Taurus goes TORO with the GX4

Taurus’ micro-compact 9mm just got a little better as the company on Friday announced a new optics-ready TORO model addition to the line.

The increasingly American-based company debuted its new micro pistol in May with an 11+1/13+1 capacity and a sub-$400 asking price. This made the gun– which I found dependable in testing— a budget competitor against similarly-sized contemporaries such as the Sig P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat, with about the only rock that could be thrown against it is the fact that it did not come with a slide cut to support popular micro-red dot carry optics.

Well, that has now changed as the new Taurus GX4 TORO series has a factory cut and mounting pattern that supports Hex Wasp GE5077, Holosun HS507K/HS407K, Riton 3 Tactix MPRD2, Trijicon RMR, Shield RMSc, Sig RomeoZero, and Sightmark Mini Shot A-Spec M3 sights.

At an asking price of $468.

Thus…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Ruger May Have Just Changed Pocket Carry Forever

For better or worse, I have practiced pocket carry off and on for almost 30 years. Sure, while in uniform I had a duty holster and a BUG on my ankle because my pockets were tough to get into due to my duty belt, and today I most often carry IWB concealed at about the 3 o’clock position, but I have always thought that pocket carry has its place at times and have defended the practice.

Speaking of this, one of my all-time faves for pocket carry was the S&W Centennial series (Model 642, specifically) but the Ruger LCP got my attention when it came out in 2008. I mean come on, a 9.4-ounce 6+1 .380 that disappeared in your pocket, who wouldn’t like it?

I liked the original LCP so much for pocket carry that I bought one of the early ones in 2009, had it Cerekoted FDE before it was a factory option, and installed Mag-guts spring kits to gain a 7+1 capacity in a flush-fitting mag.

Then came the LCP II a few years ago that changed the profile to make it easier to handle, and added an ounce to the frame and slide, but didn’t change the footprint.

However, the introduction of the current crop of “Micro 9” pistols, double-stack subcompacts– like the Sig P365 or Springfield Hellcat– that carried over 10 rounds in a flush-fitting mag, has swept the carry market.

To that, Ruger has replied with a Micro 380, the new LCP MAX, which is the same rough size as the LCP II, but carries 10+1 rounds in a flush fit or 12+1 rounds in an extended mag, and still fits in a pocket holster.

Nice.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

Ruger goes pistol with their PC Carbine

Based on the company’s popular PC Carbine, Ruger’s new feature-rich PC Charger pistol just hit the market. It was likely supposed to debut at the NRA Show next month but as the annual event, along with everything else in the country, is canceled, Ruger released it digitally.

Using a 6.5-inch threaded barrel and a glass-filled polymer chassis system that allows for the use of standard AR pistol grips, the takedown PC Charger is 16.5-inches long overall. Hitting the scales at 5.2-pounds, it comes with an integrated rear Picatinny rail for pistol braces.

The Charger uses a hard-coat anodized aluminum handguard with Magpul M-LOK-slots at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and comes with a factory-installed handstop.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Seems like everyone has a new .22LR pistol for 2020

Only a few weeks into 2020 and the domestic U.S. firearms market has seen a flood of new .22LR pistols from some of the biggest names in the business.

Last month saw the 42nd annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas where more than 2,600 exhibitors gathered from around the globe to display their freshest wares. When it came to rimfire handguns, there were lots of new faces in the aisles.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

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