So first off, the rumors were true: Glock failed to release a 9mm variant of the 42. I like Glock a lot, but an optic-ready pistol isn’t something I’ll be writing home about, so SHOT coverage from Media Day 2015 is going to be uncharacteristically Glockless until we make it to the booth later this week.
There were a TON of great products this year, but here are some things that got our attention (in no particular order):
1. Walther CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol)
I was pretty excited to test this one out in person after reading about it last month. The idea of a recoil-mitigation system in a compact carry weapon is something that I think more companies should have worked on before now. I can’t always carry a full-sized pistol, so a smaller gun that has less recoil than some larger weapons is high on my list. HP will definitely be reviewing the CCP this year. Spoiler: it was ringing steel and staying on target as quickly as I could pull the trigger again.
Beyond that, the recoil mitigation works by redirecting gas from the bore to a chamber underneath. That translates to a lower recoil spring weight, so this gun is a VERY solid option for women who might want to carry a semi-automatic but have trouble manipulating the slide. The slide pulls back really easily, which is another big plus for the CCP in my book.
2. New Look for the HK45 (and HK45C)
So this one is essentially just a cosmetic change, but it’s a cosmetic change I like. The HK45 is now being offered in Tan and OD Green, which is a nice change from black once in a while. I’m including it here because I love the VP9 but you’ve read enough about that one and I think HK deserves to be on the list for rocking out in 2014. I also like the general feel of the HK series guns, and I’m a huge .45 fan. Although that typically manifests itself via my very obvious love affair with the 1911 platform, the ergonomics on this gun are really solid and I think it’s a great contender for the nightstand. Here’s to hoping one ends up there soon…
3. Oakley Tombstone Shooting Eyewear
Last year Oakley made this list with their Prizm lense, which was the first real purpose-designed shooting lense they had released to date. This year, Oakley showed again that you can improve on an already-fantastic product by releasing their Tombstone series, which they once again designed in collaboration with the Army Marksmanship Unit and several professional 3-Gun shooters (including Daniel Horner). Utilizing a device that tracks eye movement, Oakley set out to take an objective look at field of view, which inspired some pretty important changes to the existing lineup and lense profile. The two profiles that will be available are the Reap and Spoil. And they’re both awesome.
The Tombstone arrays will be made available in the same Prizm lense configurations as existing Prizm kits (TR22, TR45, and Clear lenses), but with zero obstructions to the field of vision and the most innovative lense swap mechanism I’ve ever seen. More on that very soon. Release on Oakley SI is scheduled for 4/1, but you’ll see lots more from HP on these before then.
4. Century Arms/Canik TP9-SA
Finally got a chance to see the TP9-SA, and I like it. For less than $400 retail, this gun actually seems to present a lot of value to shooters who want a solid 9mm with a single action trigger that won’t break the bank. Admittedly, the sights leave a little to be desired, but the gun has a solid feel and comes with two Mec-Gar magazines from the factory, which are generally top-notch.
It also rang steel out way past 50 yards, which was pretty impressive for the price point. Canik is manufactured in Turkey, but this one will be tough to beat for the ~$350 price tag it will probably be sporting when it hits your local gun shop’s shelves, regardless of where it’s manufactured. All in all, I’m looking forward to putting more rounds through one of these later this year.
5. Springfield Armory MC Operator with “Octo” Front Strap Texturing
Everyone who knows me knew that there would be something 1911-related on this list, so here it is: Springfield has debuted a new frontstrap texture on their MC Operator for 2015 dubbed the “Octo Grip.” It sounds gimmicky, but it works. And to be honest, it seems to provide much better traction than Ed Brown’s Chainlink because the grooves run horizontally, which keeps the gun from sliding up and down as easily.
That’s about all I have to say about that, but keep your eye out for it: MSRP is supposed to be roughly the same as the current MC Operator (~$1100).
6. Ruger LCR 9mm
The LCR has enjoyed a lot of success because of its small size and ridiculously light weight. Now, it enjoys compatibility with the near-ubiquitous 9mm ammo that’s more or less guaranteed to already be in your safe. These have been out for longer than most of the things on this list, but it’s a great idea and 9mm pocket revolvers need to make a comeback. The sample I shot was plenty accurate past ten yards and seemed to kick even less than the 38 Special version, despite the higher chamber pressures and velocity of the 9mm cartridge. It loads with moon clips and holds five rounds.
7. I’m saving lucky number seven for after I hit the show floor in the morning. I’m 1000% positive that I missed something really important on this list, so this way I can go back and add it without people being all like “but there weren’t seven yesterday.” There’s a ton of great ammo this year, so expect to see some of that in our show updates throughout the week.
Time to go eat some food in Vegas. Handgun Planet out. HP