Smith & Wesson SDVE Line Now CA Compliant

SD-VE CA legal
Smith & Wesson’s value line of 9mm and .40 S&W pistols, the SD VE handguns, are now California compliant.  The guns have low capacity 10 round magazines and have been officially approved for sale within California by state authorities.

The SD VE pistols are striker-fired and have a black frame with a matte silver stainless slide.  Sights are standard three-dot.
The guns are based on the old Sigma line and are aggressively priced with a MSRP of $399.  Due to the inclusion of a California-required loaded chamber indicator, the guns are $20 more than non-CA guns.

Although the Sigma line has a bad reputation with many, I found that my SD40 has been utterly reliable and very accurate.  The trigger is a little gritty, but better than the Sigma pistols I previously shot.

Arsenal SLR-104FR

Arsenal has announced a new SLR rifle chambered in 5.45x39mm that will sell for $1099 …
Arsenal Inc. is proud to announce that for the first time ever the SLR-104FR is now available in the United States. This Bulgarian made, one-of-a-kind 5.45×39.5mm caliber rifle with a left-side folding stock is on our shelves and ready to ship.

Until now a factory made Bulgarian rifle in this configuration has never been offered in the US, and has been one of the biggest dreams of the collectors’ to obtain one. With this newest addition to the US market, Arsenal will be able to offer those who were holding their breath a sigh of relief. This Bulgarian factory made rifle is manufactured with quality parts and follows all of Arsenal’s strict technical and quality guidelines on premium craftsmanship. No other comes close to meeting Arsenal’s level of standards. Finally you can proudly own a Bulgarian 5.45×39.5mm side-folder now at a retail price of:
The 5.45×39.5mm caliber SLR-104FR rifles feature a mil-spec stamped receiver, hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrel, and left-side folding polymer stock. The stock set is manufactured to the true original design and utilizes mil-spec reinforced polymer. The buttstock uses the standard 4.5mm pin that is interchangeable with other standard side-folding stocks with 4.5mm diameter pin holes. The side-mounted scope rail allows usage of many attachments that are designed for this type of rail, including Arsenal’s latest SM-13 scope mount. On SLR-104FR, Arsenal uses its own US made fire control group with two-stage hammer and trigger that completely eliminates trigger slap and increases accuracy. The SLR-104FR has the standard 24×1.5mm right-hand threads with a removable muzzle brake. The stainless steel heat shield keeps your hand cool from the heat of the barrel. This rifle also features both a bayonet and accessory lugs on the front sight block and gas block. The SLR-104FR will be available in black stock set, desert sand stock set, and with left-side folding metal stock. Included in the rifle are one 30-round Bulgarian Arsenal Circle 10 magazine, sling, oil bottle, cleaning kit, and cleaning rod.

Taurus New “View” Revolver

The View is a new .38 Special revolver from Taurus based on the Taurus Model 85. Its named as such because of a translucent side plate.
The View, named because of its distinctive, translucent side plate on the right side of the revolver that bares the interior mechanisms, carries with ease.  This .38 Special is based on the Taurus Model 85, but the distinct difference with this small-frame revolver is the new contoured grip and grip frame that won’t print when worn inside fitted clothing, like most traditional carry guns.  Another advantage of this new grip shape is that it sits back in the palm, reducing muzzle lift. The View also incorporates a subtle, unique curvature cant to the grip’s shape while keeping the thickness of the revolver minimal while increasing the comfort of carrying the firearm.

The titanium cylinder and snub nose barrel keep the revolver ultra light in weight (approx. 9 ounces unloaded) while increasing its strength.  The stainless steel ejector rod is shortened for easy carry. The Taurus View boasts a 10-pound trigger, making it ideal for personal defensive purposes.  The non-adjustable sight is aligned for point-of-aim/point-of-impact shooting at close quarter distances.  Choose to carry, choose the View, Carry On.
MSRP is $599. I admire Taurus for the will to try anything!

DESERT TECH MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle)

DESERT TECH (Formally Desert Tactical Arms) will be unveiling their new MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle), a multi-caliber bullpup rifle that ejects forward. From the brief press release …
DESERT TECH MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle)
The MDR is a perfectly balanced compact auto loading bullpup rifle that gives LE, Military and Government agencies an unrivaled ability to adapt and maneuver. The MDR converts without tools between 5 calibers.   Using innovative technology such as the patent pending forward ejection mechanism and 100% ambidextrous controls the MDR can be used by any operator in any position;

*    Portability – The MDR has unrivaled portability because it is lightweight, com- pact, ergonomic, and balanced with an overall length of 26″ (or 20″ with 10.5″ barrel) and a weight of 7.12 – 7.5 lbs
*     Adaptable – The MDR is adaptable in both size and caliber. It can quickly convert between five calibers, and its patent pending sighting system retains barrel zeros without the need to compensate for any impact shift.
*     Ambidextrous – The MDR is fully ambidextrous with no modifications necessary. Our patent pending forward ejection mechanism and intuitive controls set a new bullpup standard for speed and precision.

Laserguard LG-443: First Glock 42 Accessory Announced

Crimson Trace have announced a new laser sight for the upcoming Glock 42 .380 sub-compact …
Crimson Trace announces a first-in-the-industry laser sighting system—the Laserguard® (LG-443)— that securely fits onto one of the industry’s newest handguns: the small Glock 42, a .380 caliber pistol designed for pocket carry and self-defense concealment. The new Glock 42 is designed to fit the hands of most women and shooters with smaller hands—and the new Laserguard LG-443 will add little to the firearm’s overall size or weight to continue with the smaller dimensions that the pistol offers consumers.

The Laserguard LG-443 will contain a powerful 650 nm red diode and be powered by a 1/3N battery. This new Laserguard will be activated utilizing Crimson Trace’s patented Instinctive Activation® and will fit  securely to the firearm’s existing trigger guard without requiring any gunsmithing, pin removal or use of firearm retention screws. The full feature unit will also be user-adjustable for windage and elevation. This laser sight will have a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $229.
The new Laserguard LG-443 comes directly on the heels of Glock’s release of the new pistol’s details and will continue Crimson Trace’s wide range of products designed to help make Glock pistols a better defensive firearm.  From the rail-mounted Rail Master® lights and lasers to the trigger guard mounted Lightguards®, plus the Lasergrips ® and Laserguards®, provide many options to accessorize numerous Glock models. For example, Crimson Trace’s Lasergrips are currently offered in 8 base models that will fit dozens of Glock pistols.  Overall, Crimson Trace offers 17 laser sights and light models that fit onto more than 20 different Glock pistols.

Walther/Colt Government 1911A1 .22LR

The 1911 needs no introduction.  As the standard service pistol for the U.S. Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985, the 1911 served our country for a literal lifetime.  This storied heritage of performance, in combination with the 1911′s ubiquity, translated to a steady and enthusiastic adoption in the civilian market.  Without question, the M1911 .45ACP enjoys one of the most fervent fan bases in the civilian shooting world for a number of reasons.  The ease of obtaining aftermarket parts, the typically crisp single-action trigger, and the patriotic symbolism of this old standard have made this one of the most popular guns on the market today.

Unfortunately, as many of our readers know, ammo prices have skyrocketed over recent history, with a sharp spike in the past couple of years in particular.  Many of us may recall when brass cased .45ACP ammunition was $10-$15 for a box of fifty rounds.  Now, if you can find it, brass .45ACP is closer to fifty cents a round.  This means that those of us who own 1911s are in for at least fifty bucks every time we want to get some practice with our .45s.
While there’s nothing quite like practicing with the round that your 1911 was made for, a salvo of full size 1911s chambered in .22 have hit the market, offering the next best thing – a near identical manual of arms and trigger, even similar weight and dimensions, but designed to shoot the less expensive .22LR round, making practice cheaper and certainly less tiresome.  Ignoring the fact that, lately, even .22LR has been difficult to find, it’s cheaper than .45ACP either way, and a .22LR 1911 would quickly pay for itself after only a few range visits.
Walther has been manufacturing a great example of this full-size .22 1911 under license from Colt, and we were sent the .22 1911A1 for review.  As with the Walther PPK/S .22LR, this .22 is made in Germany by Walther, and as you will see from the review, this pistol feels and performs as you would expect a German-made handgun to perform.
Walther claims that this is the It is the “only genuine Colt tactical rimfire replica available in the world” and that it was designed and manufactured according to the original Colt plans and at a 1:1 scale, which makes this gun very appealing to own if you already have a stable of 1911s.
The Colt/Walther Government 1911A1 is chambered in .22LR with a magazine capacity of 12 rounds.  It weighs 2.25 pounds empty, and it has an aluminum slide and a zinc alloy frame.  OAL is 8.6 inches with a 5-inch barrel.  It is blowback operated with a single-action trigger that Walther pegs at 5.5 pounds, although it felt a bit heavier when shooting a new gun.  The rear sight is drift-adjustable, as is the removable front sight.  Like the standard 1911, the Walther/Colt has manual thumb and grip safeties.
As stated, the Walther/Colt .22LR is on a 1:1 scale with the standard 1911, and accepts many regular 1911 accessories.
One bonus offered by this .22 replica is the M8x.75mm threaded barrel.  While this barrel has a flush muzzle (the barrel does not extend past the slide), the muzzle end of this gun has a thread protector that can be twisted off to expose muzzle threads.  This allows the user to attach a muzzle device such as a thread adapter, allowing you to attach a silencer if you elect.  This feature is in common with the Walther P22 and Walther PPK/S .22LR.  Since I imagine this can’t be a cheap addition, the fact that Walther has opted to include this while maintaining a reasonable asking price is a surprising yet very welcome modification.  Fellow shooters/silencer owners know how costly it can be to get a threaded barrel for a pistol, so this is a windfall to those of us with rimfire suppressors, and I applaud Walther for applying this trait across the board with its reciprocating-slide .22s.
Street price at time of writing seems to hover around $400.

General Observations:
Similar to the Walther PPK/S .22LR we recently reviewed, this is a handsome pistol with excellent fit and finish.  The finish is a flat black that seems durable enough, and looks good if you like the retro/parkerized GI 1911 look.  As mentioned earlier, Walther claims that they relied upon Colt drawings and plans to make this gun, and it shows.  Without picking it up, this .22 looks like the real deal from a foot away, and it is the same size as the standard 1911.  Similar to the PPK/S .22LR, but unlike other modern reciprocating-slide .22s, this pistol handles and feels like an actual handgun and not just a cheap, plastic-y range toy.
And how does it fare on the range?
Again, similar to the PPK/S .22LR, function was 100% with bulk pack .22LR and CCI Stinger.  Over two range sessions and five hundred rounds with no cleaning or lubrication whatsoever, there were no malfunctions, which is the exception, rather than the rule, with reciprocating-slide .22LRs like this.  I should also mention that approximately two hundred rounds were also fired with a suppressor, which typically will increase the accumulation of fouling in the gun.  Note that the standard 1911 sights this comes equipped with will likely be tall enough to be usable with a .22 suppressor if you do mount one.  And as I was fresh off of the PPK/S review, I made sure to keep my support thumbs away from the slide – since these reciprocating-slide .22s create only enough energy to cycle the slide, any additional friction such as a thumb riding the slide may cause the 1911 .22 to fail to lock into battery.
Walther claims this is a 5.5lb trigger.  While I did not measure the trigger weight, this sounds about right, although the pull on my test gun may have been a touch heavier – break-in would probably bring it into 5.5lbs if it isn’t already.  That said, the trigger has a short travel period and a nice, crisp break – just like grandad’s 1911 – which translates into good accuracy.  While all shooting was informal and no bench or rested groups were taken, this is as accurate as any other stock .22 pistol you have shot, if not more so.  Three inch freehand groups at ten yards were easy to make.
Disassembly is similar in some respects to a standard 1911.  First, one removes the magazine and disengages the safety.  Second, the recoil spring plug at the muzzle must be depressed and the bushing rotated.  Once these pieces are removed, the recoil spring slides out easily.
After that point, disassembly is similar to the other Walther .22s – The slide is pulled back to lock, and the slide release can be pushed out of the frame.  Once you’ve done this, the slide can be pulled back and off the rails of the frame, then pushed forward to clear the slide from the barrel.
Negative Observations:
Again, like the Walther PPK/S .22LR, my chief complaint is the inclusion of only one magazine, with replacements costing $35.  This is not an inordinate sum, but it adds 10% to the cost of the gun if you want two magazines.  Also, it is a bit of an inconvenience that the barrel is fixed and pinned in place, therefore not replaceable by the average shooter.
Other than that, there is almost nothing to improve upon with this “little” 1911.  While some shooters may complain about the use of zinc alloy in the frames, Walther has stated that this is a sophisticated zinc alloy that they selected for its durability, and therefore, they do not anticipate any issues with the frames as a result.  I do not see this as an issue with this otherwise-robust .22LR.
After reviewing this gun and the Walther PPK/S .22LR, it looks like Walther’s German-made rimfire pistols are coming in hot.  Both of them performed flawlessly with no cleaning or lubrication out of the box and over hundreds of rounds, and both are accurate guns.  Both replicate very successfully their namesakes – this 1911 feels like, well, a 1911.  Not only does this gun perform well, but it looks good, and it emulates well the look and feel of a 1911.
In addition to the aforementioned reliability, Walther hit this one out of the park in employing several nuanced features that should not be overlooked and that set this .22 apart from its competition: First, it is a 1:1 scale, true size replica of the 1911.  I would think regular 1911 shooters would relish the opportunity to use a full-size replica of their chief sidearm or favorite tournament gun, but chambered for the much-less-expensive .22 caliber.  Second, and tangentially related, this 1911 is licensed by Colt and designed using Colt shop plans and drawings.  That also means that many, many 1911 accessories will be compatible with this plinker.  Third, anyone who shoots with a suppressor will realize what a blessing it is to receive a pistol with factory threads.  If you own or plan to own a silencer, factor in the couple hundred it would cost to outfit a pistol with a threaded barrel, and you will see why Walther’s decision to thread these barrels was a good one.
In conclusion, Walther’s collaboration with Colt bears fruit in this 1911 replica – a reliable and handsome full-size replica of the traditional 1911 that pays the homage this venerable design is due.

DoubleTap Training Grip

Training Grip
The DoubleTap Tactical Pocket Pistol is designed to be a “last-ditch” gun to be used in grave situations to save one’s life.  It is not a fun gun to shoot, and putting a lot of rounds through it can be painful.  I’ve put dozens of 9mm and .45 ACP rounds through one gun. While doable, it was not an experience that I wish to relive.
DoubleTap announced the Training Grip, which is a rubber grip designed to take some of the sting out of practicing with the pistol.  The grip slips onto the gun and absorbs some of the recoil.

The company does not recommend carrying the gun with the grip on it.  The grip can catch on a pants pocket during the draw, which could have disastrous consequences in a self-defense situation.
MSRP is $25, and the grips will be sold on the DoubleTap site in “early 2014.”

The TKB-059: A TRIPLE Barrel Assault Rifle

TKB-059 triple barrel assult rifle
I have blogged about double barrel assault rifles before but this is the first triple barrel I have ever seen. Google translate is struggling with the Russian text of this article, but I gather it was a prototype with the designation TKB-059.


New S&W M&P SIRT Training Pistol

At the SHOT Show, NextLevel Training will introduce a new SIRT training pistol based on the Smith & Wesson M&P handguns.  The SIRT 107 pistol is similar to the original Glock-type training pistol the company introduced several years ago.


NextLevel Training has made a few changes to the gun from the original design.  The new SIRT 107 has:
  • a new, heavier-duty trigger housing;
  • a simplified trigger adjustment system;
  • moved the laser switch from the slide to the frame; and
  • replaced the two-position laser switch with a four position switch that allows the shooter to choose more training modes.

Badger M22 Marlin .22LR Stock

As a Marlin 795 fan I’m always on the hunt for new accessories for it. I recently stumbled on this bullpup kit called the Badger M22 stock for the Marlin 795, Model 60 and Model 70 Papoose. Available in black, green camo and pink camo, the M22 is made of ABS plastic in the USA. The stock features a Picatinny rail on the side for accessories such as lasers or lights as well as a storage compartment in the buttstock. You can also store a spare 795 mag in the handle grip. They retail for $99.99 for the black stock, and $115 for the pink and green camo stocks. They also sell a scope mount for $20 that moves the scope position forward of the receiver. Check them out at Below is an installation instructional video that shows the features of the M22 stock.

MPA300 Guardian .300 Win. Mag. AR-15

mpa300 rifle-5
The MPA300 Guardian is my pick for best rifle at Media Day (the range day that proceeds SHOT Show). The elegant looking is approximately the same size and weight of the Army’s .308 Win. M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System but being chambered in .300 Win. Magnum it has up to twice the range and packs a much greater punch.


mpa300 rifle-1
mpa300 rifle-2
Sitting down to shoot the MPA300, and having shot many hunting and tactical bolt action rifles in my time, I braced myself for the recoil. I was very pleasantly surprised. The recoil is light. The Stoner gas system soaks up much of the recoil not canceled out by the muzzle brake.
mpa300 rifle-3
The MPA300 utilizes as many standard AR-15 or AR-10 parts as possible. The receiver is about an 1″ (maybe slightly more) longer than an AR-10 rifle to accommodate the larger magazine well but otherwise looks and feels the same. The stock is a Magpul PRS (7.62) and the handguard is a Precision Reflex 208 AR Delta. The barrel is 20″ long that MPA machine from a Kreiger barrel.  The chambers are cut by hand for the best possible bore alignment. It has a rifle-length gas system.
The MSRP is $5,399.

New Steyr AUG A3 Variant

Steyr is celebrating their 150th anniversary, having first established 1864 in Austria. They have also recently moved into a new facility. Thirdly, they are offering a new AUG A3 receiver design, currently titled the “M1″.
Steyr AUG A3 SF
This version is already sold internationally, in select-fire, as the Steyr AUG A3 SF (top photo).

Working with VLTOR, Steyr Arms is offering a fixed-mount optic receiver. Although it looks like a single machined part, the optic mounts with a fixed pin, which can be seen inserted in the front of the mount. The new version will be offered in tan and “mud” as well as the standard black and olive drab stocks. There is no current MSRP.
It was no effort to hit a gong on the steel plate at 110 yards. However, stupidly, I did not ask whom is manufacturing the optic for them. I plan to gather this info tomorrow. The handguard rail and grip are both aftermarket and it is expected to be offered with the traditional folding grip.
Using the AR15/STANAG magazines below, for comparison, is the NATO version of the AUG A3 with the integral elongated rail.

New Suppressor Ready Kimber Pistols

New for 2014, Kimber is now making sound suppressor ready versions of the Custom TLE II and Custom TLE/RL II pistols.  The new guns are available in both 9mm and .45 ACP, and they share many of the same features as the original, non-suppressor ready versions.


Both new guns come with a 5.75″ threaded barrel.  A threaded endcap is provided to protect the threads when a suppressor is not attached.
MSRP on the TLE II is $1,153.00.  The suggested retail on the TLE/RL II is  $1,251.00.

SAR Arms ST9

SAR ST10 pistol
The SAR Arms ST9 is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol that is made in Turkey.  While at Media Day, I had a chance to shoot one for the first time.  The pistol I shot was chambered in 9mm, but I was told by a company rep that the company also makes the gun in .45 ACP.
The gun felt a little large in my hands, perhaps a little larger than a Glock 17 grip, but not as large as a Glock 21.  Recoil was quite mild – a combination of a large frame gun with the relatively tame 9mm.

Trigger pull was smooth, with a clean break and a very positive reset.  The reset distance was short and there was a distinctive feel when it reset.
Due to the time restrictions on the range, I was only allowed to shoot one magazine.   I did not experience any malfunctions with the gun.  I watched two other people shoot the same gun, and none of them had any failures either.
SAR ST10 shooting
The sights were visible and hitting steel at 15 yards was not a problem.
My initial impression of the ST9 is positive.  I’d like to shoot the gun a lot more before I endorse it for self-defense or other uses.

Glock 41 – First Impressions

The new Glock 41 was on the range at Media Day.  The gun is a long-slide version of a Glock 21 pistol, and outfitted with a slide that is roughly the same width as the slide on a model 35.
Without a doubt, the gun feels much larger in the hand than the standard Glock pistols.  If the 20 or 21 fits your hand well, you will like this pistol.  If you find those guns too large, you will probably find this gun too large also.

The recoil was easy, without a lot of flip, and bringing the gun on target for a quick second shot was not a problem.  I experienced no malfunctions, and neither did any of the other shooters I observed.
The introduction of the 41 may not be a revolutionary step for the company, but I think Glock has a winner on their hands with this gun.

Quick glance: New Glock 42 .380 Auto

Glock’s new G42 is on full display here at SHOT 2014. It’s a .380 Auto conceal carry gun with 6+1 capacity.


Holding it in my hand, it feels a bit different than other Glocks, notably that it’s significantly slimmer than the baby Glock 26. The 5.5lb trigger and sights are still signature Glock, and I’ve heard from a colleague that it shoots really nice with low perceived recoil making it easy to control.
Above pic: For comparison- G27 (on left) in .40 next to the G42 in .380 Auto.
If you’ve been waiting for a .380Auto conceal carry Glock, check out the new G42 at your local gun shop.

Kel-Tec’s RDB and M43 Bullpup Rifles

Kel Tec is revealing two new bullpups at Shot Show this year with their RDB and M43.
Scaling down from their successful RFB .308 rifle, the RDB and M43 are both .223 bullpup rifles using downward brass ejection system rather than the forward system of the RFB.
Kel Tec RDB Bullpup Rifle
The RDB is the modern variant, while the M43 is described as a “cold-war inspired design.” The internals on both rifles are the same, but while the RDB features polymer and picatinny, the M43 is all wood and steel. New rifles in old styles are something I’d like to see more of.


Kel Tec M43 Bullpup with Surefire
Both rifles feature a 17.4″ barrel and use a short stroke piston system. The bolt travel is quite a bit longer than conventional rifles in order to eject brass out the downward chute behind the magazine well.
The magazine release on these is a metal slider in a similar position to the Tavor’s magazine release, right behind the knuckle of the shooting hand’s thumb.
The bolt release is an ambidextrous setup, but the charging handle can be manually locked back as well.
The RDB’s optics rail mounts directly to the barrel, while the M43 has a heat shield over its piston. Rather than optics, the M43 has integral folding sights, with the large front sight base being threaded onto the end of the barrel.
Both rifle barrels have a substantial length of 1/2×28 threading. On the RDB a spacer is followed by a standard A2 flash-hider, but on the M43 the front sight base threads onto the barrel with space leftover to attach a flash-hider.
Kel-Tec M43 Bullpup RIfle
The charging handle we saw was reciprocating, although numerous Kel-Tec representatives said they are working on a non-reciprocating version. We did see a folding charging handle on one of the M43s that made for a much lower profile on the rifle.
Kel-Tec’s new rifles are certainly unique bullpups, and the wood and steel concept behind the M43 is something I think deserves some praise. We’ll have to see when these guns actually appear on the market whether they find acceptance in the growing bullpup community.