SHOT Show always brings an interesting and crazy mix of new products, and this year is no exception. In the world of handguns, you’ll see re-launches of classics, as well as useful adaptations and line extensions, plus some brand-new players. There is something for just about everyone, whether your interest lies in hunting, competitive shooting, personal defense, plinking, or collecting. The show was too big for me to find every new handgun (and there are a ton of them), but here are some of the best new offerings that caught my attention.
The 10mm auto has seen a resurgence in the past several years, and now Springfield Armory is adding it to their XDM lineup. Comfortable to shoot and reliable, the XDM is a great handgun at a mid-range price point. In my experience, the XDMs function very reliably and are a pleasure to shoot. Springfield advertises that they ran this 10mm through a 10,000-round torture test without a single malfunction. This should be a great option for someone who wants to get into the 10mm game for backcountry defense. MSRP: $650
This year, Glock is targeting the concealed-carry market with one of their new offerings. The new G48 comes in 9mm, and is essentially the size of the ultra-popular G19, but in a slim size. This should be great for both comfort and concealability, as well as folks who don’t care for the thicker double-stack models. It features beveled edges, front slide serrations, and a silver nPVD coated slide. It has a magazine capacity of 10 rounds. This should be a great option to bridge the gap between the standard sized and compact models. MSRP: $580
Walther is getting into the competitive handgun game this year with the Q5 Match. This slick pistol packs a lot of features. It has a 5” 9mm barrel and skeletonized slide that is topped with adjustable match sights (you can mount a red dot on it, too). The short-traveling trigger is crisp and features a 0.1” reset to allow for cleaner, faster shooting. For shooters that favor the Walther style grip, this is going to be an easy and natural-pointing pistol. MSRP: $850
Ruger is expanding its LCRx line this year and offering it in a 3” model chambered in .357 magnum. These revolvers may not win any beauty contests, but what they may lack in elegance, they make up for in utility. Despite the polymer exterior and plastic feel, the frame and cylinder are stainless steel. The polymer fire-control housing makes this one much lighter than its all-steel counterparts at a fraction of the price of ultra-lightweight metals. This will be a great option for ease-of-carry while packing a lot of punch.
Mossberg is expanding into the concealed-carry market this year with its new 9mm pistol. It’s designed from the ground up for concealed carry, with beveled frame edges, aggressive forward and rear slide serrations, and contoured sights that won’t hang up on clothing. It also features a flat trigger, which can aid in breaking clean, accurate shots. The takedown features of the pistol are designed with safety in mind (you don’t need to pull the trigger in order to field strip the gun). It has a flush 6-round magazine and extended 7-round magazine and should be a solid all-around concealed carry pistol at an affordable price. MSRP: $399
The TX22 is a cool offering from Taurus this year. It’s a full-size handgun designed to look and feel like a competitive rig. Full-size rimfire handguns can be hit or miss, and often feel like toys, but this one feels very much like a larger-caliber gun. It has sleek, high-speed lines and is very comfortable in the hand. It’s a true striker-fired handgun that could be a great rig for tuning up your 3-gun game, or just plinking cans in the back 40. It has a 16 round capacity and includes a suppressor adapter, and adjustable rear sight. MSRP: $349
Fans of the proven FN 509 will be happy this year to see this more carry-friendly model. It brings the combat functionality of the full size 509 in a more compact package. Barrel length is 4” with an overall length of 7.4”. It has deep cocking serrations on the slide, bombproof sights, and a double-action trigger pull. It has an external extractor and loaded chamber indicator as well. The grip is semi-customizable with interchangeable backstraps and an aggressive texture to prevent slippage and allow for fast and accurate follow-up shots. All in all, a great carry adaptation to a handgun with a loyal following. MSRP: $649
This is essentially a fully customizable Glock-based handgun. The demand for these is comes from Glock shooters who prefer to make their own modifications to the grip, as well as custom slide cuts. If this interests you, you can now get a made-to-order pistol built exactly how you want it. I’ve been a fan of the Glock 10mm platform for bear defense, but the grips are big, even for me. The biggest advantage I see for this platform is that the grip is both customizable and slimmer. The full-size 10mm frame feels almost exactly like a slimmed down G17 grip. For the custom pistol fan, this is a really cool offering. Starting at $875.
Following the re-introduction of the Cobra last year, Colt is bringing back the King Cobra in .357 Magnum. You won’t find any new frills in this revolver, but it’s a solid, duty-fit revolver with a 3-inch barrel, that’s ready to live up to the name. It’s handsome stainless steel construction doesn’t cut corners and would be just as suited for life in a holster as in a collector’s case. MSRP: $899
The Bodyguard 38 from Smith & Wesson is a compact revolver with some punch. It’s chambered in 38 special +P. It has an aluminum frame, stainless steel cylinder and barrel, and one-piece polymer grip. It has a pinned front sight that maintains a low profile for concealed carry. The SHOT model I saw had a surprisingly smooth double-action trigger (one of my bugaboos about double action revolvers is that they tend to have rough triggers). It comes in at a good price point for the name, and should be a great little concealed carry option. MSRP: $385