Handguns are flying off gun shop shelves like hotcakes. If you're planning to buy your first handgun or add to your collection, here are some new options that might trip your trigger.
Let's start small with the new Ruger LCR .22 Mag. This is a poly-framed revolver that's lightweight, but packs a much more decisive punch than a .22 LR. It's a great choice for those who might be overly sensitive to recoil. This gun weighs16 ounces and sells for less than $500.
Ruger LCR .22 Mag.
What about a bigger Ruger? There are two of them and both come in that big flavor: .45 ACP. The first is a .45 ACP version of Ruger's popular SR poly-framed pistol. The SR45 weighs 30 ounces and has a 10+1 capacity. It will sell for around $480.
The other Ruger .45 will delight 1911 fans. It's a Commander-sized version of their SR1911. Finished in low-glare stainless steel with Novak sights and 4 1/4-inch barrel, this pistol replicates one of the most famous of all defensive handguns—the Colt Commander. Put one in your holster for less than $800.
Ruger SR1911 Commander.
Speaking of 1911s, we can't forget Remington's newest, the R1 Carry. It's loaded with features to appeal to those who want to carry concealed. Features like a de-horned frame, de-horned slide, beavertail grip safety with checkered memory bump, checkered front strap and mainspring housing, ambidextrous safety and Novak sights with a tritium front sight. MSRP: $1,299. Good things are never cheap.
Remington R1 Carry.
If you're a fan of plastic pistols, check out the new Steyr L9-A1. This is the longest version of Steyr’s pistol series. It has serrations on the slide, a loaded chamber indicator, a left or right transferable magazine release and a 17-round magazine—9mm of course. This will be available in the first quarter of 2013 for around $550.
Another more compact plastic-framed pistol is the Kahr CW380. It weighs 10 ounces, is less than 5 inches long and less than three-quarters of an inch wide. It has a stainless slide, textured grips and a 6+1 capacity. You can put one in your pocket for less than $400.
Colt has a real gem of a handgun for those who want to be armed just as good as the U.S. Marines. The Colt Marine Pistol is a custom-quality 1911 in .45 ACP with an accessory rail. The stainless-steel slide and frame are coated with desert tan Cerakote. It comes in a custom Pelican case with two magazines and an Otis cleaning kit. You'll need to dig deep into your wallet for this one.
Colt Marine Pistol.
Smith & Wesson
Two new S&W pistols caught my eye. The first was the M&P 40 VTAC (Viking Tactics). This is a battle-ready-looking M&P with a 4 1/4-inch barrel that's finished in flat dark earth. It looks like it just crawled out of the sandbox, and it's affordable with an estimated street price of less than $700.
Smith & Wesson M&P 40 VTAC.
The other Smith that I think is cool is the S&W 1911SC E-Series Round Butt, Scandium Frame in .45 ACP. I think S&W could have done better with the name. Maybe they could have called it the BACG—Bad Ass Carry Gun—because that's what it is. Recessed muzzle, rounded butt and night sights—this gun is ready to stop a fight.
S&W 1911SC E-Series Round Butt, Scandium Frame.
What's the handgun I'm waiting on? It's the Kimber Micro CDP in .380 ACP. It was announced at the 2012 SHOT Show but has yet to make it to dealer shelves. I handled it again this year and was told it will be available soon. It's essentially Kimber's version of a Colt Mustang, which is one of, if not the greatest .380 pocket pistols of all time.
Kimber Micro CDP.
Three Fun Guns
New handguns for 2013 aren't all about concealed carry or personal protection. Sometimes we gotta have fun. Here are three handguns you can do that with.
S&W Model 686 Competitor: This is a serious revolver in .357 Mag./.38 Special designed for competition. Remember the gun in the movie Blade Runner? That's what I thought of when I saw it. At almost $1,400, you'll have to pay to play with this one.
Smith & Wesson Model 686 Competitor.
The new S&W Model 41 is also geared for competition. It’s a Performance Center-tuned, full-size Model 41 with a 5 1/2-inch barrel. It's a .22 LR pistol designed for shooting nothing but X-ring scores. And it's not cheap—suggested retail is $1,579.
Smith & Wesson Model 41.
Want a more affordable pistol for plinking, training or hunting? Check out Ruger's .22/45 Lite. It's a poly-framed, 10-shot, semiauto with a grip that feels like a 1911 and adjustable sights. It also weighs only 23 ounces and comes with a threaded barrel. MSRP: $499.
Ruger .22/45 Lite.
If you like handguns and you're looking for a new one, there's plenty to choose from. I'll be picking one that I can install a Crimson Trace laser on because that's how I roll. Wise handgunners will roll right along with me.