Friday, May 27, 2016

Firearms Friday: New Products For The Wish List

This past weekend the NRA held their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky during which a number of manufacturers announced new products… or at least had the first iterations of current innovations on display. It is one of those times in the year, along with Shot Show, when I look through the reports and reviews from the event, as well as those announcements from the beginning of the year, and slowly build a list in my head of all the new items that I would like to buy. Unfortunately, this is pretty much where things end as I am not one to run to the store and spend thousands of dollars to have the latest and greatest that the industry has to offer.

That being said there are a number of new firearms that pique my interest and I am curious to see what the reviews will be like and it they gain in popularity over the next year. If you take into account all the new firearms hitting the shelves this would be an absurdly long post so, for the sake of brevity, I will focus on the handguns that caught my attention. This year, that list includes full size versions of the Canik TP-9, Sphinx SDP Standard (accepts Glock 17 magazines!), and the competition ready CZ 75 TS. Of course, there have also been some brand new pistols that I am eager to see in my local shop which include the relaunch of the Llama 1911, Heizer Defense PKO, Honor Defense 9 mm, SCCY Industries CPX-3 (the .380 version of the popular budget pistol), the Schmeisser SLP-9, and, of course, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in .45 ACP.

Magnum Research will also have a light weight Desert Eagle in .357 magnum available this year but I am choosing not to expound upon that mistake. Oddly enough, the ones that I am most curious about are the Llama, Sphinx, Heizer, Honor Guard, and Schmeisser. Given those four, here are some of my thoughts:

  • The Llama was always a budget friendly option in the past that offered descent quality and I want to see if that has been carried over into this current incarnation of the, some would say, venerable line.

  • Heizer is bringing to market a semi-automatic firearm that has evolved from the success of their derringer style handguns… this could be a huge success or completely miss the mark.

  • Schmeisser is a completely new company to me and I am always fascinated to see what the adoption of a new manufacture is early on and the level of quality that they are able to provide during their first few years on the market. At first glance, the pistol seems to be a hybrid between many of the striker fired handguns currently thriving in the market. The question is whether this is the right combination of features from those popular pistols. The Honor Defense 9mm would also fall into this with a slightly different look which combines the features and aesthetics from other manufacturers.

  • Sphinx continues to have a great reputation and they have definitely earned it with the quality firearms that they have produced. However, they remain well above average with regard to price point and I am curious to see what kind of deterrent that will continue to be in the marketplace. That being said, there is a luxury afforded to the owner about being able to use standard Glock magazines and one that can potentially save the shooter a good deal of money in the long run.
In the end, it should be another interesting year for the firearms industry (not including the presidential race) and one that could provide some notable developments as well as returns to prominence. And while most of us can’t afford the $4.5 million dollar price tag of the Cabot Guns meteor 1911s, there are plenty of affordable options new to the market as well as some interesting new incarnations that will provide us with some different and sometimes unique range experiences. Whether or not these new products will be a success is an entirely different question altogether. Of course, the most important thing to remember this year is that our right to enjoy this sport, our right to self-defense, our right to own these tools is more important than ever and this industry will not thrive without our support, activism, and willingness to defend our rights.