The annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show brings dealers, wholesalers and manufacturers together to do business. For many gun enthusiasts, however, the SHOT Show is a sneak preview of what new guns will be rolling out later in the year.
The 2012 SHOT Show was an interesting mix of strategies. Some companies offered nothing new, instead choosing to focus on their existing lines. Introducing new calibers in existing platforms was a popular choice for many manufacturers. Some companies launched brand new guns, hoping to cash in on the public’s willingness to spend money on the “latest, greatest.”
Here are a few of the new guns from the SHOT Show:
Diamondback RTS Shotgun
Diamondback started as an airboat company and now makes diminutive .380 and 9mm pistols at their Florida facility. Currently, Diamondback is preparing to launch into the 12-gauge boomstick market.
For those paying attention, Diamondback had a prototype of the RTS shotgun taking up a low profile position in their booth at the SHOT Show. Ask nicely, and the Diamondback staff was happy to show it off.
The new shotgun is built on the Mossberg 590 receiver, which is licensed by Diamondback and built in-house to their own specifications. The fluted barrel will be produced by Mossberg.
The Picatinny-rail forend is made by Diamondback, and they currently are outsourcing the stock and pistol grip. The trigger is adjustable: two to seven pounds.
A price has not been set. Diamondback expects the shotguns will be available mid-year.
Heckler & Koch MR762A1
At the 2011 SHOT Show, H&K made a splash with their high-end MR556A1 rifle. This year they attempted to duplicate that buzz with the MR762A1.
The new H&K rifle is a 7.62×51 NATO (aka .308 Win) semi-auto gun using a proprietary piston driven system as opposed to direct gas impingement. The guns are assembled in the USA, using cold hammer forged barrels from Germany.
According to H&K, the G28 designated marksman rifle they developed for the German military inspired the MR762A1.
The forend is a free-floating quad-rail system that does not need any tools for removal and reassembly. The rails are compatible with all standard AR-15/M-4 accessories such as lights and lasers.
Shooting the MR762A1 at the SHOT Show showed the gun to be very accurate, well fitted and just darn fun to shoot. MSRP is $3,995.
Long known for their affordable .380 ACP pistols, Bersa is launching a very credible concealed carry pistol for the US in a more potent caliber: 9mm.
The Bersa BP9CC is a single-stack, polymer-frame pistol that is very well suited for armed citizens needing a gun for daily carry. The pistol is thin and compact, but still had enough size so that my hands were able to get a very solid grip on the gun.
The pistol is less than a single inch thick, so inside-the-waistband carry should be much more comfortable when compared to much thicker double-stack guns.
The exterior of the pistol is devoid of any controls save an ambidextrous magazine release and a very flat slide stop. There isn’t a lot that could get hung up when drawing this pistol.
The trigger was smooth with little take up. It felt a little weird, just because it seemed to be more mechanical, like pressing a button, than the more “organic” feel of a double-action revolver trigger pull. It is hard to describe, but even though it is different, I really liked it.
The BP9CC has an accessory rail on the frame for adding a while light or laser should you so desire.
The new Bersa is shipping now in limited quantities. With an MSRP of only $429, this pistol could be a really good bargain for shooters.
The SIG SAUER P224 pistol is the first sub-compact pistol in the Classic SIG series. These pistols use the traditional alloy frame, stainless steel slide and SIGLITE Night Sights. Barrel length is 3.5” with an overall height of only 4.5 inches.
The P224 handguns will be available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 SIG calibers. The 9mm will use 11 round magazines, while the others will use 10 rounders. Unloaded, the pistols weigh a little more than 25 ounces.
Essentially, the P224 is a smaller P229, and prototypes for the pistol were literally chopped P229 pistols. Search YouTube and you can find a video of the engineers taking a band saw to a P229 slide during the development of the P224. It is painful to watch.
All P224 pistols will initially ship with the DAK (Double Action, Kellerman) trigger, which I have found to be a lightweight, smooth double-action-only (DAO) trigger. Trigger pulls run between 5.5 – 6.5 pounds from the factory. Eventually, the double-action/single-action triggers will be available also.
MSRP starts at $1125 and runs to $1218 depending on which style and options you want.
Another SHOT Show has come and gone. Will the above guns make the grade? Three of them are already on the market, with the Diamondback RTS Shotgun expected to hit the stores a little later this year.
Each of these firearms has the potential of being good sellers. Time will tell if these, and other new guns, are popular with the public.