Tag Archives: new Smith Wesson

On Deck for 2022: Colt Combat Pythons and S&W Firestorms

Although they haven’t “officially” announced them, both Colt and Smith & Wesson seem to have new handguns inbound for this year that mines at the tried-and-true vein of gun culture nostalgia.

Smith’s new CSX (Chief’s Special X?), a single-action-only subcompact 9mm that is hammer-fired, has an alloy frame, and a 10+1 or 12+1 magazine capacity, could be a hit with folks that don’t want polymer striker-fired micro 9s and are more familiar with carry-friendly M1911s such as the Colt New Detective or Sig Sauer P938.

The S&W CSX

It also, in my opinion, looks a lot like the old Star Firestar M43, although with a larger magazine capacity.

The Star Firestar was made from 1992-97, and would probably still be in production if the Spanish gunmaker was around as these were well-received little guns

Then there is the Colt Python with a 3-inch barrel.

While Colt produced the original Python in several barrel lengths between 1955 and 1994, including 2.5-inch snubs and commanding 8-inch Python Hunter, Python Silhouette, and Python Stalker models, the big I-frame snake gun rarely came with a factory 3-inch barrel. This was reserved for a short run of “California Combat” guns and a batch of 500 “Combat Pythons” made in 1988 for Lew Horton complete with a special “K” prefix serial number.

This circa 1974 Colt Python with a factory 2.5-inch snub-nosed barrel is sweet, but folks just went ga-ga for the 3-inch version, and Colt could do well to put such a thing back in production

The rebooted Pythons, introduced in 2020, including both a 4.25- and 6-inch model, with nothing shorter. With all that being said, the new 3-incher could prove both a hit with collectors as well as providing a more “carry friendly” Python for a new generation of wheel gun aficionados.

Either way, SHOT Show doesn’t start for another two weeks, so get ready for much more new gun news…I got my bags packed.

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.

You get an optics cut! You get an optics cut! Everyone gets an optics cut!

Smith & Wesson continues with the industry-wide trend towards carry optics by adding new M&P9 M2.0 variants with factory MRD cuts.

The two new pistol variants– the full-sized and Compact M&P9 M2.0– ship complete with Smith’s C.O.R.E. system of seven mounting plates, allowing the user to mount a wide variety of popular micro red dot optics. Tall optics/suppressor-height three-dot sights co-witness through MRDs. A further upgrade is the company’s new M2.0 flat face trigger, a design that S&W says optimizes trigger finger positioning and delivers consistency for more accurate shot placement.

Which has to be a good thing, right?

More in my column at Guns.com.

Smith goes 10!

Smith & Wesson used to make really good semi-auto 10mm pistols, the 1000-series of third-gen autoloaders.

The S&W 1006, along with variants to include the 1026, 1046, 1066, 1076/FBI model (shown above), and 1086, were produced in the 1990s and left behind as the popularity of 10mm declined for a generation.

However, the company on Tuesday announced a return to the caliber with a new series of M&P M2.0 pistols chambered in 10mm Auto.

The centimeter M&Ps will be available in both 4-inch and 4.6-inch barreled formats with optics-ready slides and optional thumb safety variants. Further, the pistols boast a 15+1 capacity and use Smith’s brand new M2.0 flat-face trigger design, which the company says is designed to optimize trigger finger placement to allow for more consistent and accurate shooting. All models include an optics cut slide using Smith’s C.O.R.E. system and have optic/suppressor height white dot sights in addition to the optics plate.

They ship with two 15-round double-stack magazines and have an MSRP between $654 and $665 depending on the model, setting the new Smith up to challenge the 4.6-inch Glock 20 and 3.78-inch Glock 29 directly.

Glock should probably be worried.

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.

Big Blue Gets Back in the Scattergun Game

Smith & Wesson is back in the shotgun business after announcing on Tuesday the new M&P 12 bullpup pump-action tactical 12 gauge.

Intended for home defense, the M&P12 shotgun is compact and maneuverable with an overall length of 27.8 inches. Equipped with twin 7-shell tubular magazines with a push-button selector, giving the user a 14+1 capacity, the M&P12 is chambered for 3-inch shells but will also accept standard 2.75-inch shells as well as mini-shell loads.

The new shotgun features completely ambidextrous controls, an M&P grip, a Picatinny-style top rail, an oversized action release, and an AR-style safety selector.

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.