The Newest LE Firearms and Related Products
By Steve Tracy
The 36th Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show was hosted once again in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo Center. The shooting industry displayed their wares to a record-setting 67,000+ attendees. We waded through the crowds and perused the 12.5 miles of aisles to locate the newest law enforcement products. Here are the highlights:
The Adcor A-556 Elite 5.56mm rifle has a patented gas-piston operating system with key features that set it apart from other AR-15/M4-type rifles. Their ambidextrous forward charging handle is non-reciprocating and quickly swaps from the left to right side in the forward handguard area. It allows manual operation of the bolt without taking your strong hand off the grip. The spring-loaded operating lever returns to a flat profile for unobtrusiveness, but the rifle retains the common rear charging handle.
The new ARX100 from Beretta is a 5.56mm modern sporting rifle of modular design. Quick-change barrels offer mission-specific options and additional calibers. Ejection of spent cases is instantly swapped from right to left side and all critical controls are ambidextrous for left- or right-hand officers. The constant contact-piston operating system is very reliable and the technopolymer receiver requires virtually no lubricant. The ARX100 has no pins but can be disassembled without tools.
Colt’s Mustang .380 pistol is now available as an XSE model with a polymer frame, dovetailed sights, and an ambidextrous manual safety. It feels good in the hands and points naturally.
The M2012 bolt-action .308 sniper rifle starts with a Colt chassis and a Cooper Firearms receiver. A Surefire muzzle brake, fluted lightweight 1:10 twist barrel, match trigger, Magpul grip and adjustable buttstock, and Accuracy International magazines combine to make a very accurate package. The aluminum stock version is the SA308 and the MT308T is the tan Manners composite stock.
Clock’s new Model 42 is a single-stack, compact .380 pistol that follows all the standards of their full-size pistols. The new .380 provides a grip that accommodates all three fingers of a big hand and real-world sights. It was found to be capable of consistent hits on target with minimal recoil.
The Model 41 is a .45 long slide built on the G21 frame with a G34 slide. The slide is lightened slightly with a machining cut inside the rear instead of a big rectangle on the front top of the slide.
The Inteliscope is a blended composite polymer mount that attaches an iPhone or similar device to a weapon’s Picatinny or Weaver rail. It includes an app for Apple or Android smartphones that brings critical ballistics and environmental insight to the shooter in real time. The PRO version is a metal housing with a rubberized coating.
The new Kahr CT40 and CT45 pistols will have a suggested retail price $250 lower than their standard counterparts. To save the consumer money, Kahr performs less machining and contouring on the slide, the front sight is pinned instead of dovetailed, the slide is scroll instead of laser engraved, the slide stop and extractor are MIM instead of machined, the barrel is rifled instead of having a polygonal bore, the pistol ships with just one magazine, and comes in a cardboard box instead of an ABS plastic case.
Newcomer Republic Forge offers duty-ready full-size and Commander-size .45 1911 pistols packed with custom features. Their pistols are made in Texas and can be custom ordered.
While Remington has been known for their rifles and shotguns, they came out with their R1 1911 pistol a few years ago to great fanfare. This time they pretty much shocked the firearms world with their new R51 9mm single-stack sub-compact pistol. The aluminum frame houses a grip safety, single action trigger, and no sharp edges. The rear sight is designed to snag-free when withdrawn from a pocket. With a general appearance likened to the Remington Model 51 from 1918, the new R51 utilizes the Pedersen action of the original pistol that was chambered in .32 and .380 ACP. This new handgun handles 9mm +P ammo and boasts low muzzle flip and recoil. A Crimson Trace laser, threaded barrel, and holsters from various makers mean the R51 is ready for backup or off-duty use right away.
Remington also introduced its Ultimate Defense handgun ammunition in common off-duty calibers. With fast-burning powder and expanding bullets, the new loads make better use out of short-barrel, off-duty style handguns.
Chamber flags identify an unloaded firearm for safety during training, demonstrations, and on the firing line. Most are simple plastic flags that seem to fall out and on the floor whenever an attempt is made to remove them. The Saf-T-Round was located on the basement floor of the SHOT Show and is the only ejectable firearm safety flag device.
The orange polymer device features a brass rear and it can actually be loaded in a pistol magazine. It will then feed into a firearm’s chamber while the flag sticks up and out of the ejection port. The 5.56mm flag’s polymer tip is the correct size for punching out an AR-15’s takedown pins. It is also equipped with a steel pin that flips up like a folding knife and serves as a bolt takedown tool. Law enforcement price on handgun flags are $6.50 each and the 5.56mm tool flag is $7.00.
This small electronic device fits a weapon’s Picatinny rail and a Glock-specific version slides in the hollow of the Austrian pistol’s hollow rear grip. It counts every shot fired and the accumulated data can be downloaded to a PC or Android device via a micro USB cable. Times between split shots can be replayed for training/competition while round counts can be recorded for weapon maintenance.
Sig’s P320 polymer frame and striker-fired modular pistol made its long-awaited debut at the SHOT Show. Sig basically took the transforming modularity of their P250 hammer fired pistol and turned it into a striker fired handgun. The first shot’s trigger pull is the same as all subsequent shots fired. The trigger pull is shorter than it looks and on par with the other striker fired weapons. The grip angle and Sig’s rearward-located slide release provided excellent ergonomics. The P320 transforms in under a minute from a full-size duty gun, to a compact off-duty gun. Calibers are interchangeable as well, as are grip frames in small, medium and large sizes. The steel chassis is serial numbered to allow the most options of any pistol on the market.
The new SIG556xi rifle boasts gas piston modularity as well. Barrel length, caliber, stock, handguard, and even magazine type (AR to AK) swap for any police need from patrol to entry work. The side folding stock makes the overall length with any barrel shorter for compact storage in police vehicles. The three-position gas-piston operating system with rotating bolt works under suppressed, normal or extreme conditions. Completely ambidextrous controls and locking, flip-up sights make the SIG556xi an outstanding option for law enforcement use.
The Sig P227 Tactical .45 comes with a threaded barrel for a suppressor, high front and rear sights to see over the suppressor, and an extended 14-round magazine beyond the standard pistol’s 10-round capacity.
Smith & Wesson
The new Bodyguard M&P from S&W lowers its price by not including the built-in laser of the standard Bodyguard .380 pistol. The new M&P version carries over the fish-scale slide serration from the M&P lineup and each .380 will ship with two magazines.
S&W also introduced their M&P15 AR-style rifle chambered for the .300 Blackout/.300 Whisper cartridge.
A new XDS 4.0 9mm single-stack pistol is available with a 4-inch barrel and slide, compared to the previously offered XDS with its 3.3-inch barrel.
Sturm, Ruger and Company
An exposed hammer version of the LCR .38 Special +P revolver was touted by Ruger as the LCRx. It provides the option of thumb cocking the exposed hammer for a more precise, single action shot if needed by this polymer-frame, five-shot snubnose wheel gun.
The Tracking Point rifle is an integrated system of rifle and scope. The impressive scope calculates range, drop, magnus effect, spin drift, coriolis, direction, cant, inclination, wind (with manual input), pressure, temperature, relative humidity, adaptive life cycle ballistics, muzzle velocity, barrel length and twist, lock time, ballistic coefficient, and drag coefficient. All by itself.
Looking through the scope, a dot is centered on the target. Then the red ambidextrous tag button on the forward portion of the trigger guard is pressed to lock on to the target. If the target moves, the shooter sees a blue “x” as the target is tracked. After the shooter presses the trigger, the “x” turns red when the target is perfectly in the crosshair and then the “Tag Track Xact” eliminates shooter error by firing the round.
It took a bit of getting used to because the tag button identifies the target to the scope’s computer. Shooter-induced movement of the weapon does not allow the shot to be fired until the rifle is on target. Although the trigger had been pulled, the rifle does not fire until the target can be hit. The .338 Lapua round hit on my first shot at 960 yards. Impressive. In addition, everything seen through the scope can be monitored on a computer, tablet or smartphone at a command center in real time. While the test Tracking Point rifle was a bolt action, there is also an AR version debuting in 2014 as well.
Kahr Arms owns Auto Ordnance and produces a Thompson 1911TC .45 pistol with all the custom features, including sights, that are usually found on much higher priced pistols. The slide is machined from solid billet stainless steel and the frame is machined on high-precision computerized machinery from a 420 stainless-steel casting.
Longtime gunmaker Weatherby is known for its accurate, high-power bolt-action hunting rifles. New for 2014 is the PA-459TR eight-shot Threat Response Shotgun. This pump-action 12 gauge offers a fixed ergonomic stock with rubber textured grip area and an extended forend for ease of function. The receiver is CNC-machined aircraft grade alloy for reduced weight. The adjustable ghost-ring rear sight and winged, high-mount, fiber-optic front sight work well together. The 18.5-inch chrome lined barrel has screw-in choke tubes.
New, 1911 specific .45 ammunition with nickel-plated, full-metal-jacket 230-grain training rounds and matching 230-grain jacketed hollowpoint rounds were introduced by Winchester. The two loads provide matching power to simulate the same recoil, while the JHP rounds are designed for maximum stopping power. PM
Steve Tracy is a 26-year police veteran with 24 years of experience as a firearms instructor. He is also an instructor for tactical rifles, use of force, less-than-lethal force and scenario-based training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.