New guns from the NASGW Expo

The 40th Annual National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers Expo was held last week in Grapevine, Texas.  A number of new guns were publicly announced at the show, and a few were privately shown.


The NASGW Expo is considered by some to be a prelude to the SHOT Show, which is held in January.  The SHOT Show is a much larger event, and we will see many more guns publicly announced there.  However, a number of new guns were at the Expo.  Here are a few of the more interesting ones.

ArmaLite AR-31 Rifle

If you are looking for a precision, bolt-action rifle chambered in .308 Win, you might want to take a gander at the new AR-31 rifle from ArmaLite.  Although similar to the company’s AR-30A1 rifle, the AR-31 differs in several ways.


Unlike the -30A1, the -31 is built for short-action cartridges.  The initial production will be for the .308 Win, though rifles chambered for other cartridges could be introduced later.

Second, the AR-31 will accept standard AR-10B magazines.  This means that existing magazines from five to 25 rounds can be used with this rifle.  Not all aftermarket .308 magazines will work with the ArmaLite AR-10B, so make sure you know what you are working with if you think the AR-31 might be for you.

No MSRP or ship date has been announced yet.

Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun

The 1301 Competition has been a big hit for Beretta, and the brand new Tactical shotgun will likely be just as big a success.  The semi-automatic shotgun is chambered in 12 gauge, and uses a gas operated system that is supposed to be up to 36% faster than competing shotguns.

Ghost ring sights are standard on this shotgun, but the 1301 Tactical also has a short Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver for the addition of an optic.   The tube magazine holds five shells.



Several of the gun’s operating controls are oversized:  the charging handle, the bolt release and the cross bolt safety button.  Under the stress of competition or combat, people can lose fine motor skills.  Having large controls allows the shooter to more reliably use the shotgun even when dexterity is reduced.

No MSRP or ship date has been announced yet.

Citadel M1 9mm Carbine

The M1 carbine has been a very popular, lightweight rifle ever since it was fielded by US troops in World War II.  The rifles are handy and fire an intermediate powered cartridge:  something more than a handgun, but less than a rifle.

Citadel began manufacturing a .22 LR clone of the original M1 Carbine, and will now offer a 9mm version of the gun.  The rifles will come with either a wood or black synthetic stock and will weigh about 5.5 pounds.

These M1 Carbines are blowback operated and will take Beretta model 92 pistol magazines.  The guns will ship with two mags: either two 10-round or two 17-round depending on your location.


The barrel length will be 18” long.  Wood stock variants of these rifles will bear a very strong resemblance to the original guns, though some parts, such as the bayonet lug, are cosmetic reproductions only.

A suggested retail price was not announced.  The .22 LR versions of the rifle list for $319 to $426.  I would expect the 9mm versions to sell for about $100 more than that.

Edge Arms Reliant

Looking for a concealed carry pistol that is small enough to carry pretty much anywhere, yet has four barrels?  Consider the new Reliant quad-barrel pistol from Edge Arms.


The Reliant uses four, 2.89” barrels arranged in a square pattern in combination with a break top design to create what may be one of the more unusual handguns in modern history.  The gun is still in the prototype stages, and I would hope to see it ship in 2014.

Chambered for .22 Magnum (aka .22 WMR), the Reliant should have controllable recoil even though the gun is not very heavy (16 ounces) and lacks any mechanical systems that absorb any recoil.  Currently, there are plans to also offer the gun in .17 HMR.

A very nice feature that will be offered is a grip-activated, integral green laser for aiming.  Let’s face it: sights on small guns are usually awful.  Having a built in laser will increase the ability of the shooter to put rounds on target.  By having a green laser, instead of a red one, the shooter will be able to use it in a much broader range of lighting conditions.

No price has been announced yet for the Reliant.

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