Friday, April 10, 2015

Firearms Friday: Second Looks

Anyone who frequents gun shops or shows comes across some interesting firearms during those periods of browsing. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy browsing through the used case and why it is the first place I look when I walk into the store (Tanner’s Sports Center has a phenomenal used selection). During my many trips over the years I have come across a variety of firearms that have piqued my interest that many simply pass by for one reason or another.

It is with this in mind that I decided to go over some of the firearms that caught my attention. Sometimes the reason why people look the other way is because of appearances or because they don’t recognize the name on the side of the slide. Each of the following firearms had me taking a second (sometimes third and fourth) look for one reason or another.

Beretta 9000s
Commonly known as “that gun” from the movie Minority Report, this firearm looks like a 92FS that had an unfortunate encounter with Wayne Szalinski or Willy Wonka. It is an interesting little firearm which was originally conceived by Beretta as a concealed carry option although the bulk of the firearm leaves little to be desired when compared to modern firearms designed for the same market. While no longer produced (in favor of the subcompact PX4 Storm), it is an interesting firearm and one that shows the modern evolution of the old world manufacturer.

Tressitu TZ99
Even those with little exposure to firearms are familiar with the Sig Sauer P226. Even if they don’t know it by name they have seen it countless times on the big and small screens (NCIS comes to mind). However, the clones that can be found are rather interesting as well. While the most common and familiar is the Zastava CZ999, there are other companies and countries that have offered their interpretation over the years including the South African made Tressitu TZ99. While price and built quality are common points of comparison, the TZ99 is a solid piece of craftsmanship if you can find one. The only real difference being in the mechanical functionality is the fact that the decocker also serves as the slide stop. These firearms are seldom seen as there was limited quantities produced and imported (by Mitchell Arms) before the South African company declared bankruptcy. However, if you are interested in seeing it in action you can always watch episode four of the first season of Top Shot.

Heizer Defense PAR1
Unlike the aforementioned two above, the Heizer Defense PAR1 is a new firearm that pretty much defines the concept of “because we can”. Despite no real practical use, the single shot pocket firearm is a rather interesting sight to behold. And that is pretty much as far as I would go as I have no desire to fire a rifle round from a barrel barely extending beyond the tip of the bullet. I imagine the sound from this noisy cricket wouldn’t be very pleasant either even with ear protection. If you really want one by all means go ahead but I think there are better options for under the $499 MSRP.

Chiappa Rhino
Revolvers are simple. Easy to maintain and easy to use (even though some of us can’t shoot them well). Chiappa decided to change us “grandpa’s pistol” and while the design is slightly (despite the looks) more complicated, it is a great improvement on a proven design allowing for a much lower bore axis (allowing for greater accuracy and faster follow up shots). While the prices are still way too high (MSRP of $800+) for firearm from Total Recall, it is something a little different for those who enjoy a good revolver. However, I am not one of those people (at least not at the moment).

1911 Alternatives
I added this section to the post because depending on with whom you speak, these can be seen as unique firearms. While the traditional size 1911’s have been chambered in other calibers, the recent popularity of the Sig Sauer P238 and P938 have sparked greater interest in the pocket 1911 market beyond that which was seen when the Colt Mustang was introduced two decades prior. These are great options for those who prefer the 1911 platform either as a small primary or a backup. Despite the small size I can attest to the high degree of accuracy hitting the red consistently at 25 yards at a medium rate of fire. None of the aforementioned models are cheap but are well worth the investment if you looking for a high quality, 1911 style, pocket option.

As you can see, it is a mix of some new and some that can only be found in the used case. Each has their merits and each has a few things holding them back. However, if you see any of them in the case I recommend taking a look. Maybe you will be surprised. Maybe you might have to spend a little more time in the store filling out some paperwork. Of course, you may look at all of them and wonder what the heck I was thinking when I wrote this. You won’t know until you take a look.