Sneak peak into 2013
The SHOT Show is where all eyes turn to see what new guns and gear will be rolling out during the year. But, the smaller National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers Expo is a chance for manufacturers to show their wares to distributors several months before SHOT. Often, a company will pick this show to debut a new product.
Wrapping up last Friday, this week’s show brought a number of new products out of the shadows and into the limelight. While it is impossible to describe all of the new guns and gear in this column, I want to hit some of the highlights.
Diamondback DB15 – Florida-based Diamondback Firearms was showing their new line of AR-15 rifles. While the market seems to be flooded with AR manufacturers, I felt that the DB15 offers a lot of features for the money.
The rifles have free floated barrels, are chambered in both 5.56 NATO and 300 AAC Blackout and can be had in a California-compliant model. Color options are black, flat dark earth and two patterns of digital camo: woodland and desert. The rifles are all Cerakote finished, and the camo patterned rifles are dipped.
Unlike many of the competing non-black rifles, the Diamondback DB15’s receiver will match the color of the furniture. Many companies affix flat dark earth or OD green handguards and stocks onto plain black receivers. Diamondback, however, produces the guns with a consistent color from buttstock to handguard.
The rifles are relatively lightweight, coming in at less than 6.7 pounds. The guns I handled were extremely well balanced.
Fit and finish on these guns looked excellent, with little play between upper and lower receivers. The proof of any gun’s usefulness is on the range, but I was duly impressed by the Diamondback rifles.
Different models come with different options, such as a standard M4-type stock or a Magpul CTR, so MSRP varies. One of the guns I handled had a semi-custom Diamondback handguard, quad rail and was in flat dark earth. It carried an MSRP of about $970.
Walther PPX – For much of the non-shooting public, Walther is synonymous with James Bond. Even with the release of a new James Bond movie this month, the new gun from Walther couldn’t have less to do with British spies.
The PPX is a full-size pistol on a medium-to-large polymer frame. Stylistically similar to the recently introduced PPQ, the PPX is not striker fired. Rather, it is hammer fired with something Walther reps called a “constant action” system. It looks like a double-action gun, but the sales folks insisted it was not.
The new pistol is chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W, with the magazines carrying 16 and 14 rounds respectively. The PPX uses a conventional push button magazine release, rather than the lever used on some of the company’s more popular modern guns.
The PPX will be available in all black or in a duo-tone with a stainless slide. Both models can be had with an extended, threaded barrels for the addition of a suppressor. MSRP is $499 for the black, $549 for the two tone.
Hornady Triple Defense – Without any doubt in my mind, the Taurus Judge has been the biggest niche gun success in recent years. The revolver fires both .410 shotshells and .45 Colt cartridges. The gun is popular enough to have spawned specialty ammunition.
At the NASGW, Hornady announced a new .410 round in the Critical Defense line called the Triple Defense. The Triple Defense load is a combination round that puts a FTX slug on top of two .35 caliber balls. So, at typical self-defense distances, the shooter can put a slug and a couple of larger-than-00-buck pellets into the attacker.
I don’t know if this is the ultimate close-quarters round, but to quote Sheriff Buford T. Justice, “That’s an attention getter.”
Crimson Trace Defensive Series – Lasers have become a must-have aiming device on many people’s handguns during the past decade. Much of that acceptance is because of Crimson Trace’s hard work in education and producing high-quality products.
Crimson Trace is now going after the price sensitive customer with the new Defensive Series line. According to company representatives, the lasers are built to the same high-quality standards, but with fewer options to bring the price down.
Unlike many of the other Crimson Trace products, these lasers do not feature instinctive activation. To turn these lasers on, the shooter must press an external button.
Initially, there are two types of laser unit being made: a trigger guard mounted unit and a grip replacement unit. Units will begin shipping in December for models that fit most Glock pistols, Springfield XD(m), Ruger LCP, Taurus model 85 revolvers and the ubiquitous Smith & Wesson J-frame, round butt revolvers.
MSRP will be $129 for the auto-pistol models and $149 for the revolver units.