American Tactical (ATI) has released a series of new polymer-framed 1911 pistols for 2015. Dubbed the FXH series, the handguns feature polymer frames with two steel inserts for additional reinforcement, finger grooves along the front strap, match-grade steel barrels and slides cut with dovetails that use Glock aftermarket sights. The FXH-45 is a full-sized, 5-inch-barreled, single-stack model, while the FXH-45C is a compact version that retains the full frame size but has a 4.25-inch barrel and slide. The smallest version is the FXH-45D, which features a 3.25-inch barrel and a smaller frame. (<a target=blank href=http://www.americantactical.us>http://www.americantactical.us</a>; 800-290-0065)
Beretta’s M9, the 9mm U.S. Service Pistol based on the Model 92 platform, marks 2015 as the 30th anniversary of its adoption by the American military. The newest evolution of this pistol is the M9A3, which offers a number of improvements to the present M9 design. A smaller Vertec-style grip frame with a straight backstrap and thinner grip panels will offer a better fit. For those with larger hands, there’s an optional wrap-around backstrap unit. The dustcover has a three-slot Picatinny rail, and the Flat Dark Earth Cerakote finish provides corrosion and wear resistance. The PVD-coated, sand-resistant magazine now has a 17-round capacity and the tritium-dot front and rear sights are mounted in dovetails. (<a target=blank href=http://www.beretta.com/en-us/m9a3/>http://www.berettausa.com</a>; 800-929-2901)
This polymer-framed, .380 ACP, striker-fired compact is the same size as Bersa’s 9mm and .40 S&W “CC” models. It has the same capacity as the 9mm version but offers lower felt recoil and doesn’t have a magazine disconnector. The short and crisp DAO trigger weighs in at only 4 pounds, providing easy control yet allowing a second-strike capability when necessary. For more information, visit bersa.com or call 732-493-0333.
A larger-caliber development of the innovative XR9-S, the XR45-S brings lower recoil, a longer barrel and a higher magazine capacity than any many other .45 ACP subcompacts. The fully supported barrel is fed by a mechanism that loads the chamber from the rear of the magazine. In essence, this configuration allows for a longer barrel length within a short slide. (<a target=blank href=http://store.bobergarms.com/products/xr45-s-standard>http://www.bobergarms.com</a>; 651-287-0617)
Charter Arms’ new Pitbull fires the rimless .45 ACP cartridge, providing a reliable backup that pairs well with your big-bore semi-auto. After firing, the shooter can easily eject the spent cartridges for immediate reloading. The Pitbull features a 2.2-inch barrel, Neoprene grips and a five-shot capacity. The stainless steel frame has a matte finish, and the revolver weighs only 22 ounces unloaded. (<a target=blank href=http://www.charterfirearms.com/#>http://www.charterarms.com</a>; 203-922-1652)
The new MC27 is a modern, short-recoil, semi-automatic pistol that’s available from Chiappa in both the traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) or double-action-only (DAO) configurations. The accuracy potential of this pistol comes from its slide rails, which are enclosed within the frame, along with an optimal grip angle. It has combat sights, attached via dovetail cuts, a manual safety, integral accessory rail in the dust cover and textured plastic grips. Each pistol is finished in matte black and comes with two magazines. (<a target=blank href=http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/2624>http://www.chiappafirearms.com</a>)
Colt has expanded its Rail Gun series with three new editions, one of which is a full-sized Government Model, the O1880RG, which features a hardcoat anodized aluminum receiver, making it lighter than its steel-receiver predecessors. It also has wide front and rear slide serrations. Features shared with the original Rail Gun models include an upswept beavertail grip safety with a palm swell, Novak sights and Colt’s extended, single-side safety lock. The O1880RG is chambered in .45 ACP and has a 5-inch National Match barrel. (<a target=blank href=http://www.colt.com/Catalog/Pistols/RailGun®.aspx>http://www.colt.com</a>; 800-962-2658)
The CZ 1911 A1 is a classic 5-inch-barreled Government model built with modern methods that features checkered walnut grips, a serrated slide stop, magazine catch and mainspring housing, as well as a stainless steel barrel. A taller set of high-profile sights are dovetailed front and rear, while tight slide-to-barrel and slide-to-frame tolerances make this model an improvement over vintage models. Chambered in .45 ACP, the 38.72-ounce pistol offers a 7+1 capacity and an all-business black oxide finish. (<a target=blank href=http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-1911-a1/>http://www.cz-usa.com</a>; 800-955-4486)
The EAA Witness Elite is a polymer-framed, single-stack 1911-style pistol. The design is similar to the classic Government model, with the same dimensions and technical characteristics, but it sports a dovetailed front sight and an accessory rail underneath the barrel. Tanfoglio and EAA maintain the traditions of John Browning’s original 1911 through the inclusion of a slim design and the powerful .45 ACP cartridge. This pistol is ideal for USPSA Single Stack and IDPA Custom Defensive Pistol divisions thanks to a lightened frame that’s molded with the finest polymer materials. (<a target=blank href=https://eaacorp.com/portfolio-item/witness-elite-1911-polymer-tanfoglio/>http://www.eaacorp.com</a>; 321-639-4842)
The American Classic II is a single-action, 1911-style pistol available in both .45 ACP and 9mm. Constructed of 4140 alloy steel, the pistol features a skeletonized trigger and hammer, an extended slide stop, a flared ejection port, a beavertail grip safety, an extended thumb safety and a throated, forged steel barrel. The sights include a dovetail front sight and a Novak-style rear sight. Diamond-cut, checkered hardwood grips and front and rear slide serrations provide positive purchase during use. The American Classic II is available in blued, hard chrome and duo-tone finishes and retails at a very attractive price point. (<a target=blank href=https://americanclassic.eagleimportsinc.com/americanclassic/american-classic-ii>http://www.americanclassic.eagleimportsinc.com</a>; 732-493-0333)
FN America’s striker-fired FNS series has established a reputation for reliability with both civilians and law enforcement. Now the company has launched its FNS Compact series in 9mm and .40. These pistols feature smaller dimensions than their larger brothers, but the same operation, three-dot sights (night versions are available), stainless steel slide (with front and rear cocking serrations) and polymer frame. Both FNS Compact pistols feature 3.6-inch barrels and an overall length of 6.7 inches. The FNS-9 Compact has a 12+1 or 17+1 capacity, while the .40 S&W variant comes with an 11+1 or 10+1 capacity. (<a target=blank href=http://www.fnhusa.com/l/products/handguns/fns-series/fns-9-compact/>http://www.fnhusa.com</a>; 703-288-3500)
More and more compact reflex sights are finding their way onto service handguns, with the advantage being you can look through the reticle and focus on the target. Glock is meeting this challenge by introducing several models in its new MOS (Modular Optic System) configuration. As an example, the newest G35 Gen4 in .40 has the features of the standard G35 plus the optional MOS configuration. This system allows for the mounting of optical sights through the use of a removable plate just forward of the rear sight, and the plates come in four sizes to conform to the most popular optics. The new G40 Gen4 In MOS Configuration packs the power of the 10mm with a 6.02-inch barrel to fully maximize its chambering’s potential. (<a target=blank href=http://us.glock.com/g40mos>http://us.glock.com</a>; 770-432-1202)
The Grand Power line of handguns is made in Slovakia and imported by Eagle Imports. An interesting model is the P40, which has a rotating/locking barrel that makes shooting .40 caliber loads feel more like a 9mm. It has a durable polymer frame that includes the ergonomically designed grips, ambidextrous controls and an integral accessory rail on the dustcover. The steel slide is all CNC-machined, the fixed-dot sights are steel and mounted in dovetails while the trigger mechanism is a traditional DA/SA with an exposed hammer spur. The pistol is finished in a non-reflective matte black, and each Grand Power pistol has a lifetime warranty for the original owner. (<a target=blank href=http://www.grandpower.eu/kategoria-16-clanok-24-detail-p40->http://www.grandpower.eu</a>; 732-493-0302)
Re-entering the field of striker-fired pistols this year is the HK VP9 in 9mm. This handgun’s most salient feature is its “light pull” trigger. Heckler & Koch has designed the trigger mechanism to have a short, light take-up with a positive single-action-type break, followed by a short reset. This provides less noticeable trigger creep prior to the break. The polymer frame features interchangeable backstraps and sidepanels to accommodate almost any hand size for optimal shooting. All controls, like the magazine catch and slide release, are ambidextrous and the frame has an integral accessory rail. The slide is serrated front and rear, and the rear area also has HK’s patented charging supports for better gripping leverage. (<a target=blank href=http://hk-usa.com/hk-models/vp9/>http://www.hk-usa.com</A>; 706-568-1906)
The PS1 “Pocket Shotgun” is a single-shot pistol perfect for concealed carry. It’s chambered for .45 Colt/.410 gauge rounds and weighs only 21 ounces. Customers can get the pistol in either black or silver. With a width of 0.7 inches and an overall length of 4.63 inches, the PS1 should fit any pocket with ease. The frame and barrel is stainless steel, and the design is flat to reduce any chances of printing. There are also no operating controls, save the trigger and ambidextrous, low-profile latch for reloading. A storage compartment in the grip houses two additional .45 Colt rounds. (<a target=blank href=http://www.heizerdefense.com/ps1.html>http://www.heizerdefense.com</a>)
Returning to the offerings of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) is the Jericho line of pistols. Based on the inside slide rail design, the Jericho 941 PL has a polymer frame, a steel slide and the standard full-sized barrel length is 4.4 inches. It’s available 9mm and .40 and can be had in single action or in a traditional double-action configuration. All models include an ergonomic finger groove grip, an integral accessory rail, dovetailed combat sights and a loaded-chamber indicator. Standard, short and compact models, plus a steel frame version are also available. Extremely rugged, the Jericho is standard issue of the Israeli police. (<a target=blank href=http://www.israel-weapon.com/?catid=%7B8C32EDEC-E0EA-41D0-8A73-69A1E711F583%7D>http://www.israel-weapon.com</a>)
A miniature single-action .380 following in the footsteps of Colt Mustang, Kimber’s new Micro Raptor brings an exceptional fit and finish. Weighing less than 14 ounces and with a barrel length of just 2.75 inches, Kimber Micro .380 ACP pistols are easy to carry and conceal. The easily concealed Micro Raptor features mild recoil, a handsome stainless finish and the intuitive operation of a 1911. (<a target=blank href=http://www.kimberamerica.com/micro/micro-raptor-stainless>http://www.kimberamerica.com</a>; 888-243-4522)
Created in cooperation with LaserLyte, this ported .22 WMR mini-revolver from North American Arms (NAA) is designed for fast aiming and quick follow-up shots. Porting reduces muzzle flip, while a pressure switch instantly activates the miniature red laser powered by a button battery. NAA previously incorporated lasers into larger mini-revolver models by replacing the cylinder pin assemblies with a part integrating a red laser within. (<a target=blank href=http://northamericanarms.com>http://www.northamericanarms.com</a>; 800-821-5783)
While the Republic Forge General model 1911 is intended for concealed-carry use, it still offers operators the handling characteristics of a full-sized 1911 in a compact package. The General is offered in .45 ACP exclusively and features a match-grade, 3.5-inch barrel, 25-lines-per-inch checkering on the frontstrap, rear slide serrations, custom Cerakote finish options and VZ or various ivory grip options. This single-stack Officer’s model has a proprietary Republic Forge recoil system and features the company’s Tri-Cavity trigger. (<a target=blank href=http://republicforge.com/welcome>http://www.republicforge.com</a>; 806-648-1911)
Rock River Arms is one of several manufacturers building polymer-framed, single-stack 1911-style handguns. The company’s 1911 Poly is a standard Government size .45 ACP that features a polymer frame and mainspring housing with a steel frame insert, a steel slide, an aluminum trigger, a Commander-style hammer, a beavertail grip safety as well as RRA’s dovetailed front and rear sights and overmolded grips. The pistol ships with two seven-round magazines, a polymer holster, a mag loader and a fitted case. (<a target=blank href=http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=702&CFID=486182149&CFTOKEN=74422928>http://www.rockriverarms.com</a>; 866-980-7625)
Ruger’s new LC9s is just as slim, compact and lightweight as the original LC9. It also has a tank-tough polymer frame that is comfortable yet provides plenty of traction when it comes time to actually use the pistol. This striker-fired semi-auto also comes with a crisp 5.5-pound trigger for enhanced speed and precision at close range. The new LC9s Pro has no external manual safety or magazine disconnect. But, it does come with an integrated trigger safety that should help prevent accidental discharges. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/products/lc9s/specSheets/3248.html>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
The new P320 Subcompact features a 3.6-inch barrel, a 6.7-inch overall length and a weight of only 25 ounces. Like on all P320 models, users can swap out the pistol’s barrel, frame, trigger and slide assembly to customize the gun. Each pistol’s slide rides on all-metal rails in a solid stainless steel frame for greater stability. The pistol’s serialized trigger unit lets you change everything from size to caliber to grip at will. Sig Sauer’s P320 line has come to define modularity in the modern handgun marketplace through its Full Size, Carry, Compact and the new Subcompact models. The P320 series also now includes chamberings in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and the soon-to-arrive .45 ACP. (<a target=blank href=http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p320-subcompact.aspx>http://www.sigsauer.com</a>; 866-345-6744)
A multi-role pistol that could function in many environments, the M&P40 Performance Center Ported is, as the name implies, a ported pistol chambered in .40. (M&P9 pistols are also available.) The ports help tame recoil and reduce muzzle flip for rapid-fire controllability and quick sight acquisition between shots. The dot-type rear sight and front sight blade both ride high on the slide so that they can co-witness with an optical reflex sight. This pistol is means competition-optics ready and will fit several such sights. Other features include an adjustable trigger stop, three interchangeable enhanced palmswell grip sizes, plus an enhanced trigger with a Performance Center sear. This is a striker-fired pistol with no manual safety, but it does have internal safety systems to prevent an accidental discharge. The stainless steel slide has a durable satin black, corrosion-resistant finish and the frame is polymer. The dust cover features an integral accessory rail. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)
Springfield Armory’s Loaded series feature a culmination of the best, most useful and most popular 1911 features, such as extended ambidextrous thumb safeties, ergonomic beavertail grip safeties, lightweight delta hammers and extended trigger. The new Marine Corps Operator adds a new pattern on the frame for an improved grasp without tearing up your hands or clothing. A standard accessory rail allows users to mount a light or laser. The 43-ounce design also features a 5-inch barrel, night sights, an ambidextrous safety, G10 grips and Delta-style hammer. The .45 ACP pistol ships with two seven-round magazines. (<a target=blank href=http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/1911-loaded-45-acp/>http://www.springfield-armory.com</a>; 800-680-6866)
The innovative Taurus Curve has a sleek, curved design optimized specifically for inside-the-waistband carry on a shooter’s right side. The pistol has no iron sights and can be fired either by pointing or by aiming with the integrated red laser. The same index-finger switch also controls a weapon light. Curved to fit the outline of the body for right-handed users, this pistol’s DAO trigger is smooth and fairly light. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=901&category=Pistol>http://www.taurususa.com</a>; 800-327-3776)
This 1911 features a combat hammer, a skeletonized trigger, an ambidextrous safety and an extended beavertail to add to the shooter’s safety and comfort. Wide front and rear slide serrations make it easy to rack the slide, and the pistol’s Dark Earth Cerakote finish, complete with custom G10 grips, adds to its tactical appeal. The frame features a short Picatinny rail for mounting a light, laser or other accessories. The front sight features a green fiber-optic insert, and the pistol comes with two magazines. (<a target=blank href=http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/taylor-s-custom-dark-earth-full-size-tactical-45-acp-5.html>http://www.taylorsfirearms.com</a>; 540-722-2017)
There have never been so many firepower options available to concealed carriers as there are today. Whether you’re looking for a pocket pistol, a reliable snub-nose revolver or a hard-hitting 1911, there’s a new gun on the market for you to consider. With calibers ranging from soft-recoiling .380 ACP rounds up through .45 ACP, these guns allow every shooter to find a self-defense tool that matches their protection needs, experience level and body type. Check out what’s new to make sure your self-defense gear stays on the cutting edge.
For More Information
European American Armory
Grand Power Ltd.
Heckler & Koch
Israel Weapon Industries
North American Arms
Rock River Arms
Smith & Wesson
Taylor’s & Co, Inc.
Secured by clips or straps over the wearer’s belt, an inside the waistband holster is...
by Dennis Adler / Apr 3, 2015