One of the interesting things I came across in my travels around SHOT Show last month was that some classic Central European arms makers are still in the business of making classic European arms.
Over at Mauser’s booth, besides offerings in their classic M98 line for $10K+ safari rifles (!) there was the new M18, a $699 bolt-action billed as the “People’s rifle” (Volkswaffe) or “People’s repeater” (Volksrepetierer) by the German rifle maker. It’s a pretty sweet design, complete with a detachable mag, hidden cleaning kit in the butt (hey, it’s a Mauser) and a wide offering of calibers.
More about that over in my column at Guns.com
As for Steyr, which of course continues to market modern polymer framed pistols, precision rifles to include the giant HS-50 and their iconic AUG line of bullpups, they are bringing back the Zephyr. Now I had a chance to get my hands on a Zephyr .22 that belonged to my great-uncle as a kid and absolutely loved it. The reboot includes a traditional Bavarian cheek piece and fish scale checkering on a walnut stock, and an action so smooth it will make you cry.
More on that after the jump.
In the above video shot by my homie Ben Philippi, Sig’s Rich Morovitz talked to us at SHOT Show about the U.S. Army’s new M17 sidearm and points out some of the differences between the military’s variant and winner of the landmark Modular Handgun System contract and the standard Sig Sauer P320. Besides the manual safety– an Army requirement– Morovitz also goes into detail on the removable top plate for a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro sight, which is a big move for a MIL-STD handgun meant for the common Soldier in the field.
More info if you are curious here.
Made it back alive (though the flight back from Vegas was full of walking wounded) so you neither have to avenge me nor get the opportunity to split up my gear.
Here are some of the more interesting developments, though I will circle back around later in the week with a couple of tales of interesting people I met on the way.
So I got to check out the Reformation by Franklin Armory, and like I called it, it uses a non-rifled barrel (straight lands and grooves) with rifle ammo (.300BLK/5.56mm) to give you a non-NFA short barreled rifle (because, duh, it’s not legally a rifle!). I made contact on the range with it at close distances and it shot well but is billed with an accuracy of just 4 MOA at 100 yards, which is better than the old Brown Bess– or your typical SKS for that matter– but sill is generating a lot of hate as something as a Stormtrooper rifle. More on that in my column at Guns.com here.
Then there was the new Tavor TS12 shotgun, which looks like low-effort Starship Troopers cosplay but brings 15 shells of 12 to the party in a bullpup design that is just 29-inches overall (and 10 high!). Recoil impulse was…different. Meh, bullpups. More here.
The surprise of the party was Mossberg’s HUGE double stack 12 gauge mags for a dedicated series of 590 shotguns. Sure they are expensive ($100) and giant (like a loaf of french bread for the 20-rounder big) but they are still smaller than comparable single stacks from Remington and Black Aces while being similar in price to Saiga mags. More on that here.
Found this on the range and, despite it’s odd recoil impulse and sometimes confusing weapon manipulation, is very interesting in a 1960s High Standard HS10 kinda way. I give you the IWI Tavor TS12, a bullpup semi-auto shotgun with a 15-shot capacity.
The Israeli shotgun uses a trio of 5-shot (using 2.75-inch shells) tubular magazines that automatically loads the next round in the 3-inch chamber when the mag is rotated into place. When using 3-inch shells, the capacity drops by one shell in each mag. The 18.5-inch barrel is threaded for Benelli or Beretta chokes and one is included. Weight empty is advertised as being 8 pounds. The shotgun includes a one-piece Picatinny top rail and M-Lok slots on the forward handguard. The ambi design allows the user to swap out for left or right controls and ejection.
And there is also this thing, which shoots very well, but they still aren’t letting on how it is done. I am still on record that it uses a form of rifling that isn’t considered such by BATFE. We shall see.
Also, no Warship Wednesday tomorrow. Sorry gang. Will rejoin WW already in progress next week. The past two weeks have been swamped. If I don’t make it back alive, you know the drill: avenge my death.
At SHOT Show last month I saw a bunch or really sweet 1911s and shot a few (the rebooted Colt Combat Commander is squared away), but I have to admit, the nicest of the pack were (IMHO) the 1911’s of Berryville, Arkansas-based Nighthawk Custom.
These guys are the Jedi knights of the next-level longslide experience and I have long admired their work.
Their new Tri-Cut Carry was formulated by one of their gunsmiths as part of a successful application for the American Pistolsmiths Guild and features a flattened trigger and a very futuristic styling to go along with Heinie Ledge Straight Eight Tritium rear and Nighthawk tritium front sights. The distinctive tri-cut continues throughout the gun, making the grip more narrow which Nighthawk’s owner Mark Stone told me has been well received by those with smaller hands.
Another new entry for Nighthawk is The Turnbull VIP, or Very Impressive Pistol. The collaboration between Stone and Doug Turnbull of Turnbull finishes produced a limited run of heirloom firearms whose case hardened frame and cross cut mastodon ivory grips vary from gun to gun, making each one unique. Crowned barrels, custom triggers and a complete dehorning make the guns not only beautiful but functional as well.
Whelp, back from the annual gathering of the gun tribes in Las Vegas. Saw some interesting things. Did some interesting things. I think the biggest stories, besides the new SIG M17, is was the Hudson H9 and the SilencerCo Maxim 9.
Prefaced by a quiet build up over the past few weeks via social media, the H9 melds a full-sized 9mm semi-auto to a striker-fired pistol with a crisp 1911 trigger that has a .115-inch travel. But the innovative handgun with its cyberpunk panache didn’t just hatch fully formed from an egg last month.
Then there is the Maxim. The pistol, a 9mm that accepts double-stack Glock 17 magazines, can be arranged in either a short or a long configuration– both of which are suppressed. The difference in length between the two options is about an inch, with the full-size configuration measuring 10.75-inches overall and the abbreviated one taping out at 9.54-inches, which is about an inch longer than a standard 1911. Weight varies between 37-39 ounces.
More in the video below and in this piece in my column over at Guns.com.
Kimber debuted their new K6S stainless steel .357 snubby at the 2016 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas this week.
In a departure from the new trend to add a polymer to revolvers, Kimber’s entrance into the field is a six-shot, .38/.357 features an all-stainless frame, cylinder, and barrel with a smooth satin finish. As a tip of the hat to obvious concealed carry use, the K6S is built on a small frame with a two-inch barrel and 1.39-inch wide cylinder– that they bill as the smallest of its kind on the market…