The new X-TAC Elite Carry Comp is available in 9mm and .45 ACP for the ultimate soft-shooting and accurate CCW experience. Wilson’s exclusive compensator design tames muzzle flip with high-performance carry ammo and reduces the perceived recoil to less than that of a full-sized gun. This one-piece billet machined compensator barrel has no threads or joints to loosen, and the short but efficient profile fits in any standard, full-sized 1911 holster. Another new model is the Sentinel XL in .45 ACP, 9mm and .38 Super. Even though the Sentinel XL is designed for concealment, the precisely fitted slide, frame and match-grade, 4-inch barrel will give you the downrange performance you expect from a custom-grade pistol crafted by Wilson Combat.
With suppressors becoming more and more mainstream, the Discretion’s match-grade, stainless steel barrel is extended and threaded to make it a ready host. Its aggressively ported slide, serrated trigger and competition-inspired hammer give it a look all of its own, making it stand out in the sea of 1911s. High tritium sights allow for sighting over the top of most pistol suppressors, with a rear designed so that the slide can be racked on a belt if using the pistol one-handed.
A further evolution of the CZ 75 B Omega, the new Convertible version allows users to swap from decocker to safety operation in the same manner as the popular P-07/P-09 pistols. Using the same simplified, more robust variation of the CZ 75’s trigger system as the previous Omega, the trigger parts use an interlocking design that allows for easy disassembly and reassembly without the need for tools. Not only does this simplify maintenance, but the trigger parts themselves are made of different materials to enhance durability, operation life and reliability.
The new 4-inch-barreled Walther Creed offers a reinforced polymer frame with signature ergonomics that shooters have undoubtedly come to expect from Walther. The Creed features a pre-cocked, double-action trigger system that provides shooters with a light, smooth trigger pull. The bobbed hammer ensures a snag-free draw from a concealment, and all of the metal components are treated with a corrosion- and abrasion-resistant Tenifer coating, providing a hardened, matte black surface. Other features include an ambidextrous magazine release, front and rear slide serrations and steel, low-profile, three-dot sights for quick targeting downrange.
Polymer-framed pistols seem to be all the rage, so why not a polymer-framed 1911? New from American Tactical is the Firepower Xtreme Hybrid in .45 ACP, or FXH-45. This full-sized, single-action pistol features a polymer frame with finger grooves and two aluminum inserts for strength, a Picatinny accessory rail, a match-grade barrel and a stainless steel, black nitride slide with a removable plate that makes it easy to install a miniature reflex sight. For greater versatility, the FXH-45 will also accept all standard, full-sized 1911 magazines.
Charter Arms is now offering revolvers with nitride finishes. Nitriding is a process that makes the revolver’s interior and exterior surfaces harder and corrosion resistant while reducing friction. With a scratch-resistant surface and an extended life in the rifling and chamber, the nitride finish will keep your Charter gun looking—and working—like new.
The FNX is a double-action/single-action, hammer-fired pistol optimized for the 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Its manual safety/decocking levers, slide stop lever and magazine release are all fully ambidextrous for ease of operation with either hand and from any firing position. Both the slide and barrel are made of stainless steel, and the checkered polymer frame comes with two interchangeable backstraps with lanyard eyelets.
Heckler & Koch has shrunken its popular full-sized HK P30 duty pistol into a concealed-carry compact, the HK P30SK. This 9mm, polymer-framed, hammer-fired, double-action/single-action (also as a available DAO) pistol retains all of the features that made the larger version such a success, including a fully adjustable grip with different-sized side panels and backstraps, a decocker mounted at the rear of the slide, an optional ambidextrous manual safety and standard ambidextrous slide and magazine releases. An abbreviated Picatinny rail allows for the use of tactical lights and/or lasers.
The new PHD pistol from DoubleStar offers a high-quality and feature-laden handgun comparable to many custom 1911s chambered in .45 ACP—but at a much lower cost. This single-action pistol features XS Express tritium night sights, Magpul MOE grip panels, a National Match barrel and bushing, and a Wilson Combat high-ride beavertail grip safety. The rear cocking serrations have been cut wide for easier slide manipulations, and the top of the slide is serrated to prevent glare.
HK’s striker-fired VP9 took the ﬁrearms industry by storm last year, and now the company has released the VP40 chambered for the .40 S&W. This pistol features many of the same design enhancements of its VP9 brethren with a 4.09-inch barrel, a 26.56-ounce weight, and an overall length of 7.34 inches. The VP40 comes with either 13- or 10-round magazines. Other features include a modular polymer grip and helpful charging supports at the rear of the slide.
The new subcompact 9mm semi-auto from Honor Defense, the Honor Guard, features an ergonomic polymer frame and a striker-fired action. With a 7+1 capacity, this innovative pistol also features fully ambidextrous controls, including the magazine and slide releases, as well as interchangeable backstraps, slide serrations and a serialized modular steel chassis that can be swapped in between different-sized frames. An optional manual safety is available as well as a special extended FIST frame with a standoff device.
The new Kahr TP9 Gen2 pistol represents a real upgrade to the standard TP9 in 9mm. The new eight-round 9mm pistol retains the smooth and reliable striker-fired mechanism as well as the polymer frame and ultra-thin, single-stack grip of this premium full-sized pistol. The Gen2 version, however, adds a Picatinny rail on the dust cover for mounting accessories as well as a newly designed trigger with a front safety lever and improved functioning.
European American Armory (EAA) Corp. is now offering polymer-framed, single-stack 1911 pistols in its Witness Elite series. They have the same dimensions and technical characteristics of the 1911 while being incredibly lightweight. Made by Tanfoglio, these pistols maintain the tradition of the 1911 with lightened frames molded from the finest polymer. EAA is offering a Government model in .45 ACP, Commander models in 9mm or .45 ACP and Officer’s models in 9mm and .45 ACP.
A genuinely unexpected surprise from Kimber is the new Kimber K6s revolver, which offers something new for wheelgun aficionados. This double-action-only, six-shot revolver is designed for concealed carry with an internal hammer and a short 2-inch barrel. Chambered in .357 Magnum, it is the lightest stainless steel revolver on the market today and features a match-grade trigger and an ergonomic grip.
The FNS series of pistols from FN—now available in a compact size for concealed carry—offers the simplicity of striker-fired operation combined with the proven ergonomics of the FNX platform. Standard on all models are ambidextrous manual safety levers, slide stop levers and magazine release buttons for ease of operation with either hand and from any firing position.
During WWII, Ithaca was one of the manufacturers of the 1911 pistol for the U.S. military, delivering nearly 400,000 guns. Today the company manufactures some of the highest-grade 1911 pistols available anywhere. The gun shown here is Ithaca’s 1911-N in .45 ACP. New this year is the company’s Gunsmith 1911 Short Block Kit, which allows the user to build and customize their own 1911. Included in the kit are a hand-fit slide and frame; a match-grade, hand-fit barrel; and Novak sights. All you need to complete your custom 1911 is the fire control and recoil system, grips and finish.
Eagle Imports is the U.S. distributor for some of the best firearms from around the world, including Llama. Taking advantage of the popularity of the 1911 and concealed carry, Llama’s new pistol is the Micro Max. Chambered in the popular .380 ACP, this is a 1911 scaled down for improved concealability. The pistol features an external extractor, a flared and lowered ejection port, a combat trigger and hammer, an ambidextrous thumb safety, and front and rear slide serrations.
Ruger has redesigned its renowned LCP in .380 ACP. The LCP II features a short, crisp, single-action trigger pull with a blade-style safety toggle that must be fully depressed for the pistol to fire. This way shooters can get a lighter trigger pull without a manual safety. The slide features new contouring for easy racking, and the grip frame has new texturing to provide a comfortable, secure grip. The frame is also larger to help spread recoil forces. Ruger’s also included taller fixed sights.
Nighthawk has joined forces with German gun-maker Korth. Sure to be one of the best sellers is the sixshot .357 Magnum/.38 Special Mongoose. With an ergonomically designed, easy-to-access cylinder release and a skeletonized, high-speed hammer, the Mongoose will amaze you with the precision you can deliver on target. Wanna go big or go home? Check out the 6-inch-barreled Super Sport. It comes with Picatinny rails and a four-way adjustable front sight that is unlike anything you have ever seen before.
The new Ruger American Pistol is a full-sized, polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol available in 9mm or .45 ACP with either a 17- or 10-round capacity. The entire rear of the grip frame is replaceable, allowing the user to adjust the grip size and trigger reach. The new striker mechanism also offers a very short reset and take-up while the low-mass slide, recoil-reducing barrel cam and low bore axis reduce muzzle flip and perceived recoil. The slide features three-dot Novak sights.
The new CPX-3 is SCCY’s first pistol chambered in .380 ACP. It is also the first to use the company’s proprietary Quad-Lock system, which locks the barrel to the slide when in battery, increasing accuracy and reliability. Slightly larger than other pocket pistols, the CPX-3 offers a 10+1 capacity, a polymer frame with ergonomic finger grooves, double-action-only operation, three-dot sights and large slide serrations.
This internal-hammer-fired, blowback-operated, single-action, semi-automatic pistol is chambered in .22 LR with a 10-round magazine. The pistol comes standard with a stainless steel bolt, slide, frame and 5.5-inch, match-grade barrel, but the versatile design and easy one-screw takedown process makes the pistol modular and allows for simple barrel changes. The pistol comes with adjustable fiber-optic sights and an adjustable trigger stop, and a threaded-barrel version is also available.
The NO9 pistol is much more than just another full-sized, high-capacity, polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm. It features a full Picatinny accessory rail with multiple slots, three-dot sights, a single-action trigger with a safety lever, an extended slide release and a simple takedown procedure. Most impressive for this all-American-made pistol, however, is that it is available in a completely left-handed variant. Even the standard right-handed version has a reversible magazine release, and it uses standard Beretta 92 magazines.
It seems like the popularity of the 1911 pistol has never been greater, and the new EMP 4” Lightweight Champion from Springfield Armory offers something special. The pistol has been optimized for the 9mm and .40 S&W with a specially designed short action that makes the grip frame smaller. The 4” version offers a longer barrel and grip for improved comfort and higher muzzle velocities as well as a longer sight radius. Other features include fiber-optic sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety, a match-grade barrel and cocobolo grips.
The PPQ M2 series of handguns represents the pinnacle of Walther centerfire innovation. This line is utilized by German police as well as numerous LE agencies throughout the world. The unique features of the Q-series are highlighted by the 5- to 6-pound Quick Defense trigger; interchangeable backstraps; adjustable sights; polygonal-rifled barrel; and fully ambidextrous controls. And now the company is offering its first .45 ACP pistol with all of these same features, the PPQ 45.
Sig Sauer changed the way the world looked at handguns with the introduction of the modular P250 series. Now, with the introduction of the P250-22, that same versatility is available in a rimfire option. Built on the same platform as the centerfire P250 variants, the .22 LR P250-22 offers an affordable option for plinkers and newer shooters. The P250-22 features the same serialized fire control group as on the centerfire models. This unit is the actual “firearm” and can be installed in a variety of grip modules for maximum versatility.
Taylor’s & Company Firearms is now offering Short-Stroke revolvers for competition shooting or the avid arms collector. These Cattleman revolvers can be built with the low-set Smoke Wagon hammer or the lower and wider-profile Runnin’ Iron hammer. They also feature blued finishes with casehardened frames and checkered grips for comfort. For shooters who prefer a larger grip, the bigger Army-style Gunfighter grip is also available. All of these features are available on all current versions of the Short-Stroke Cattleman.
A full-sized 1911 is an excellent defensive pistol, but it is no lightweight for everyday carry. However, the new Magna T5 from UA Arms is a real game-changer in this area. This company uses explosive metal bonding techniques to combine a magnesium alloy frame and slide with stainless steel rails to produce a full-sized 1911 pistol that is less than half the weight of a comparable steel pistol. The pistol also includes a match trigger and a Picatinny rail.
The firearms industry is one of the most innovative in the world, as every year is just another chance for every manufacturer to showcase new ideas, new techniques and new models for today’s shooters. Here are some of the best new mid- to full-sized handguns. This generally means barrels around 4 inches or longer with commensurately larger frames. We’ve also included some concealed carry pistols, but most of these models are generally designed for duty in a belt holster.
For more information about the mid- to full-sized handguns featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
Heckler & Koch
Ithaca Gun Company
Smith & Wesson
New Order Firearms
Taylor’s & Company
This article was originally published in ‘Combat Handguns’ March 2017. For information on how to subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com
Hexmag is dipping its toe into pistol magazine waters for the first time with a...
by Personal Defense World / Feb 7, 2017