Springfield Armory Introduces XD-E Pistol

By: Tamara Keel

Springfield Armory Introduces XD-E Pistol

Springfield Armory held an extremely secretive new product launch a few weeks ago at the Clark County range complex outside Las Vegas, NV, to showcase a gun that I can honestly say none of the attendees saw coming: The XD-E. It’s a subcompact single-stack, in the same size category as the Glock G43, Smith & Wesson Shield, or Springfield’s own XD-S, only with a difference.

Unlike those striker-fired guns, the XD-E is a traditional double-action/single-action hammer-fired pistol with ambidextrous thumb safeties that also function as decocking levers. Shipping with both flush-fit 8-round and extended 9-round magazines, the slim pistol gives the shooter a choice of carrying in cocked-and-locked single-action mode like a 1911-pattern pistol, or dropping the hammer before holstering and firing the first shot double-action. With the rise in popularity of AIWB carry, a slim single stack with a hammer that can be controlled with the thumb while holstering has a ready market niche.

At the launch, we had time to put rounds downrange, and no malfunctions were observed all weekend. The single-action trigger pull is good and breaks right at 5 pounds on the test gun we received, with a reasonable takeup. Double-action is heavy, at approximately 12 pounds, starting with a smooth, even takeup, but a pretty distinct “wall” right before the break.

MSRP is $519

Browning Expands Black Label 1911-380 Pistol Line

By: American Rifleman Staff

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Since the 2015 introduction of its Black Label 1911-380 line of pistols, Browning has continued to grow the line, this year adding five new models.


The Black Label 1911-380 Medallion Pro will be available in Full Size and Compact versions, and ships with two magazines. These new pistols will feature an aluminum-reinforced composite frame and slide with a blackened stainless steel finish with silver brush polished flats. The grips will be checkered rosewood and feature the famous gold Buckmark logo. The Full Size model barrel length is 4 1/4″ and the Compact barrel length is 3 5/8″. Both the Full Size and Compact versions are available with steel 3-dot sights or steel night sights. MSRP is $799.99 for the 3-dot sight model; $879.99 for night sights model.

Browning is also adding three Compact models to the 1911-380 line.


The Black Label 1911-380 Compact has the same features as the Full Size model but with a shorter, 3 5/8” barrel. This model has composite black grips and includes fixed combat sights. MSRP: $669.99

Look for new Compact models in the Black Label Pro and the Black Label Pro with Rail, too. Both models have 3 5/8″ barrels and are offered with either steel 3-dot sights or steel night sights.

FN America Introduces The FN 509

By: American Rifleman Staff


Want to see what came close—but what not selected as the U.S. Army’s new sidearm in its Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition? FN America’s entry was the FN 509 9 mm striker-fired pistol—and has now been refined and made available commercially to civilians and law enforcement. The pistol is the subject of an upcoming American Rifleman feature story.
“When the requirements for MHS were released, our team of engineers immediately went to work, taking the successful elements of the FNS Compact and further developing those to meet the needs of the U.S. Army’s solicitation for a new, full-size pistol,” said Mark Cherpes, president and CEO of FN America. “Between the submission of MHS and the commercial release of the FN 509, we have worked with law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and captured on-site feedback that we used to further optimize the pistol to far exceed the expectations of our valued customers.”
 

FN America Launches MHS Entry: The 509 9 mm Pistol

Built on the bones of the FNS Compact, FN made changes internally and externally to meet the rigorous performance standards of the MHS requirements and further developed the platform into the FN 509 with help from industry experts. Over the course of development, the platform has been put through the rigors of 1 million rounds of testing for reliability, ammunition compatibility and durability.

Aesthetic changes to the platform include more aggressive cocking serrations, enhanced grip textures, guarded controls and recessed target crown on the barrel. Critical internal components were completely redesigned to ensure maximum performance to meet FN’s demanding standards. The FN 509 is currently shipping to FN distributors in two commercial SKUs, available at retail in early May, and two law enforcement SKUs, available in early June. Other options like manual safety models will be made available at a future date.

The new pistol can be seen in person as early as April 28, 2017, at the FN Booth at the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta, Ga. To read more on the design and development of the FN 509 or to find a dealer near you, please visit fnamerica.com.

Specifications
Model: FN 509
Caliber: 9 mm
Safety: Non-manual; internal, passive safeties
Sights: Fixed 3-dot luminescent sights; fixed 3-dot night sights (LE only)
Operation: Striker; DAO
Trigger Pull: 5.5 – 7.5 lbs.
Capacity: 10 or 17 rounds
Weight: 26.9 oz
Barrel Length: 4in
Twist Rate: 1:10″ RH
Overall Length: 7.4in

Switzerland’s B&T Introduces USW-A1 to U.S. Market

By: American Rifleman Staff

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The Swiss-designed-and-built Universal Service Weapon (USW), introduced in Europe in 2016 and previewed at SHOT Show 2017 to an enthusiastic audience, is now available to both law enforcement professionals and commercial customers in the United States. This 9 mm USW-A1 represents an entirely new category of firearms systems designed to fill the gap between submachine gun and 9 mm police carbine.

Manufactured by Brugger and Thomet (B&T), the USW-A1 was designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s law enforcement professionals, who often face challenges that far exceed the capabilities of many of today’s most sophisticated pistols, and who during specific conflict situations do not have the time to reach for their standard issue carbine rifle. Now first responders, in most cases patrol officers, can intervene in any sudden event with more stable rapid fire, greater accuracy, and longer range than a standard 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.

Taking advantage of an integral spring-loaded folding stock and custom Aimpoint Nano red dot sight, the user can deploy an extremely accurate pistol carbine in as little as 1.5 seconds from its own custom Level 3 polymer holster. The USW-A1 is capable of 1.6″ groups at a range of approximately 27 yards, or 40 mm groups at 25 meters. Adding to its stability is a fixed bridge mount for the Aimpoint, keeping the sight stationary during cycling of the gun. With the stock folded, the USW-A1 can function as a standard holstered sidearm.

The USW-A1 is available with 17, 19, and 30-round double stack magazines, and can easily be configured with B&T’s own Impuls-11A Suppressor.

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STI International Adds Suppressor-Ready HOST Pistol

by SI Staff

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STI International introduced its new optics and suppressor-ready HOST Pistol, which is designed for shooters looking to add suppressors, slide-mounted red-dot sights and other accessories to their handgun.

The new HOST Pistol features fixed suppressor sights with tritium illumination, allowing shooters to co-witness the iron sights with a variety of slide-mounted optics on the market. The taller suppressor sights also allow shooters to aim over larger suppressors mounted on the barrel. The barrels on all models of the HOST Pistol include a classic cut that allows for suppressor use without the need for an extended adapter.

For optic use, the new pistol comes with a milled slide and a cover plate, along with adapters that allow the HOST to use Leupold Delta Point Pro, Vortex Viper and Trijicon RMR optics. The gun also features a toughened black diamond-like coating designed to allow the pistol to withstand extreme environments and holster wear. Another aspect of the gun is an incorporated Picatinny rail in the frame, allowing users to mount lights, lasers and other accessories.

The HOST Pistol comes in a number of different configurations. Users can choose between the company’s single-stack 1911 design or the double-stack 2011 design. Other options include a choice of 4-inch or 5-inch barrel lengths and caliber choices are 9 mm, .45 ACP and 10 mm. The 10 mm model is only available with a 5-inch barrel.

The suggested retail price on the HOST 1911 Pistol is $2,599, while the HOST 2011 Pistol retails at a suggested price of $3,199.

 

Review: Colt Delta Elite 10 mm Pistol

By: Dick Williams

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When I’m interested in powering up a handgun, downsizing the caliber is not my first thought. Yet, that’s the premise behind the 10 mm cartridge as envisioned by the FBI during its pursuit of the perfect pistol cartridge/caliber during the final decade of the last century. The bureau’s on-again/off-again romance with different solutions (along with Dornaus & Dixon’s failure of its Bren 10 pistol to reach production) essentially doomed the 10 mm until Colt stepped in and provided a home for the cartridge in the company’s iconic Model 1911.

The Colt Delta Elite is a Series 80 (rather than the older Series 70) design. This means—in addition to other manual-safety devices like the grip safety and slide stop, automatic safety devices like the disconnector, the hammer safety stop and the inertia firing pin—the Delta Elite also has a firing-pin lock. This prevents the firing pin from moving forward until the trigger is pressed. Some gunwriters, usually older guys, tend to go emotionally berserk over this feature. Don’t; the firing-pin lock requires a couple of extra steps and pieces in manufacturing, but it works fine.

(l.) A memory bump on the lower portion of the beavertail aids in rapid deactivation. (r.) Though narrow, the thumb safety offers ample purchase.

While the Delta Elite is available in either stainless or blue steel, the test gun furnished was stainless and ran flawlessly on the range with all ammo tested. I can’t address the gun’s performance under adverse conditions simply because the gun didn’t really get dirty during our outings together. Good news is that it worked fine right out of the box, with no break-in period needed.

Things I liked: The controls are well designed. The prominent “speed bump” on the grip safety ensured proper disengagement with my normal shooting grip, while the large beavertail grip safety provided ample protection from slide cuts. A slender, strong-side thumb safety allowed easy manipulation, yet facilitated a proper firing grip (shooting hand thumb on top of rather than under the safety lever). Rubber grip panels with “checkering” resisted damage from scrapes and bumps but provided adequate grip control. Subdued serrations on the mainspring housing permitted a firm firing grip without snagging clothing during the draw stroke or while carrying concealed. Sharp-edged cuts on each side of the slide assisted manual operation of the pistol. An old-style barrel bushing and traditional recoil-spring guide simplified takedown, without requiring any additional tools. Both front and rear sights are dovetail-mounted in the slide, enhancing survivability in a rough environment. The three-white-dot sight system seems to be the norm for defensive pistols these days and does offer an improved sight picture in dim light or against threats wearing dark clothing.

Things that might be changed: There are no bumper pads on factory magazines, and while a flat bottom is fine on the magazine carried in the gun, speed reloads are greatly aided by an extended bumper pad. In fairness, the Delta Elite’s magazines did have rounded bottoms that protruded slightly below the magazine well, and that helped ensure proper seating with one definitive slap.

(l.) Holes in the trigger provide aesthetic appeal and beneficial weight reduction. (ctr.) The drift-adjustable rear sight is wedge-shaped to prevent snagging on cover garments. (r.) A single white dot adorns the Delta Elite’s dovetailed front blade and promotes a quick and intuitive sight picture.

Every edge on the Delta Elite’s slide was quite sharp and, with the exception of the aforementioned slide cuts, they could stand some rounding. While the dehorning process would add some manufacturing costs to the gun (and perhaps detract from the appearance of the precisely machined slides) I’m in favor of a slightly friendlier exterior.

Things I’d consider changing: Flying in the face of today’s tactical wisdom, I’d think about putting adjustable sights on the pistol. Yes, it was conceived as a fighting pistol, but it handles a wide range of bullet weights with velocities normally reserved for magnum-caliber handguns. With its noticeably flatter trajectories, one can make precision shots at ranges well beyond what’s considered acceptable for conventional carry pistols, but only if you have properly sighted the gun in for your selected load. No, I haven’t made any hostage-rescue shots, but I have been hog hunting with 1911s chambered in 10 mm, and it was nice knowing exactly where the bullet would impact at ranges beyond 50 yards.

It’s no secret that I’m a long-term fan of the 1911, and now I’ve become a fan of the 10 mm 1911. If you start with a pistol that fits you and you can run smoothly, then how can you not like the added performance enhancements offered by the 10 mm? If you can handle the recoil/power of the .45 ACP or .40 S&W you shouldn’t have any problem managing the 10 mm Colt Delta Elite.

Century Arms Introduces New AK Pistols

By: SI Staff

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Century Arms announced the addition of two new AK-47 pistol models to the company’s lineup: the C39V2 and the RAS47. Both models contain many of the same features found in the rifle variants, while the overall length has been trimmed down.

“This great addition to our AK line is the result of considerable development that has gone into our government-focused product line,” said Jason Karvois, Century Arms’ director of sales. “As we were developing our full-auto and short-barreled models for various contracts, the pistol variants were a logical offshoot for the commercial market. Plus, these things are just plain fun to shoot.”

Both guns feature a receiver side rail, which are compatible with the company’s AK Micro Dot Side Mount. The guns also feature 4150 nitride-treated barrel, RAK-1 enhanced trigger group and multiple quick-detach attachment points for sling mounting. The guns also sport Magpul MOE AK furniture, including a grip and a handguard.

The difference between the two guns is found in the design and construction of the receiver. The C39V2 AK pistol features a milled receiver made from 4140 ordnance-grade steel. The RAS47 AK pistol features a stamped-steel receiver.

The two AK pistols are completely made in the USA. The C39V2 retails at a suggested price of $909.99, while the RAS47 model retails at a suggested price of $749.99.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm

M&P by Smith and Wesson
At its core, the Shield is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol. The pistol falls into the broad category of compact handguns.

What separates this firearm from the rest of the pack of M&P pistols isn’t its overall length or weight. It’s the Shield’s girth, or rather the noticeable lack thereof. At a dead-skinny .95 in wide, this pistol is more that .2 in thinner than the M&P Compact.

Specs and marketing hype notwithstanding, the real test of a self-defense gun’s usefulness is on the range and on the street. If the gun isn’t reliable and accurate, what’s the point in a self-defense role? The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield delivers.

The reality of protection is that you never know when you’ll need it. Smith & Wesson took the power and features of their full sized M&P pistols and put them into a slim, lightweight pistol the size of your hand. The M&P Shield is an easy to conceal pistol that offers professional grade features with simple operation and reliable performance day or night. One million Shield owners can’t be wrong.

Features
Extremely thin and lightweight – can be comfortably carried all day
Polymer frame with embedded stainless steel rigid chassis system
Striker-fired for short consistent trigger pull, every time
M&P’s patented take-down lever and sear deactivation systems allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger
Includes 2 magazines; 1 with extended capacity and one flus

Specifications
Caliber: 9mm
Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds
Weight: 19 ounces
Barrel Length: 3.1 in
Overall Length: 6.1 in
Width: 0.95 in
Sights: three-dot, drift adjustable
Action: striker fired

Get yours at Calibers today!
Take advantage of the Smith & Wesson rebate offer!

Tested: Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield

By: American Rifleman Staff

XD9801R1Ten years ago, Smith & Wesson introduced a line of defensive semi-automatic pistols that carried the firm’s long-used “Military & Police” model identification. Not like the familiar Model 10 revolver that armed Americans since the last decade of the 19th century, the new M&Ps were 21st century striker-fired, polymer-frame autoloaders with a full range of today’s essential features. The first models were full-size service pistols with double-column magazines. And the first examples were chambered in .40 S&W, although 9 mm Lugers and .45 ACPs followed quickly. Undeniably a successful product line, the M&P has been made in countless variations—from compacts to long slides and, for a while, even in .357 SIG. But of all the variations that have come from the Springfield, Mass., plant, one that stands out is the recently released M&P45 Shield.

The Shield line is a reflection of the current interest in medium-to-small, single-stack, semi-automatic pistols set up for concealed carry or police backup roles. High-capacity magazines are not essential, but serious terminal performance is. The first gun in the Shield line was a 9 mm (July 2012, p. 42), followed closely by a .40 S&W. It took a while longer for S&W engineers to adapt the Shield concept to the .45 ACP cartridge, but that gun is now a reality.

With a steel slide riding a polymer frame, the M&P45 Shield is recoil-operated, locking by way of the barrel’s hood engaging the ejection port and unlocking by way of its underlug camming downward after firing as it comes into contact with a steel block in the frame. A captive, dual recoil spring assembly returns the slide to battery.

The M&P45 Shield’s steel, drift-adjustable, three-dot sights consist of a square-notch rear and a post front.

The gun’s substantial .45 ACP chambering and scant 22-oz. weight combine to create a pistol that might be a bit difficult to manage were it not for its superior ergonomic design, which makes the pistol eminently shootable. Most shooters, including those with smaller hands, generally take to the Shield grip shape very well. In fact, it is probably the most appealing of the little pistol’s virtues. The frame is angled for natural pointability and has a deep pocket for the web of the shooting hand.

Looking at the gun in profile, note that the curve of the trigger is well below the curve of the pocket on the backstrap. This simply means that the pistol is nicely shaped for the “back and up” sweep movement of the trigger, which has an action that is consistent from shot to shot. The trigger pull is around 5 lbs., and seems to vary just a bit, though it may level out with time. There is a minimal amount of take-up before trigger pressure actually begins. Trigger reset is reasonably short.

With regard to safety features, the M&P45 Shield has an articulated trigger safety and an internal drop safety. Our sample gun also featured a manual thumb safety mounted on the left side of the frame for use by right-handed shooters, although Smith & Wesson does make a variant without the manual safety.

Two magazines come with the .45 ACP-chambered Shield, one with a seven-round capacity and one that holds six.

Each pistol comes with one six-round magazine and one seven-rounder—the difference being only in the height of the baseplates. As is the custom with service pistols, most shooters will load the pistol by retracting the slide, inserting a fully loaded magazine and depressing the slide release to chamber the top round. They then remove the magazine to top it off with a single round and replace it in the pistol. For this reason, pistols are commonly described as having a capacity of “six-plus-one”—the magazine carries only six rounds, but after topping off, the gun has a total of seven cartridges onboard. Yet curiously, both M&P45 Shield magazines (the six-rounder and the seven-rounder) feature witness holes marked “3, 4, 5, 6 and +1.” Not only is the “+1” denotation nonsensical, it is incredibly frustrating when one unsuccessfully attempts to load the “additional” round into the six-round magazine.

Finished in a businesslike black color, the Shield is an impressive little package. The square-notch rear and post front sights feature a three-dot pattern and are drift-adjustable. At the time of the M&P45 Shield’s introduction, the maker pointed out the improved (over earlier Shields) texturing on the gun’s gripping surfaces. S&W has gone to panels of a slightly more aggressive version of what was once termed a “crackle” finish. It works like a charm, serving to anchor the pistol firmly in the hand. This is a very light little pistol that recoils sharply when firing the larger .45 ACP cartridge.

The Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield is a good choice as a daily carry gun. At 22.7 ozs., it isn’t particularly heavy, and would be a good choice as a police backup gun, as well; it is flat and could nicely fit into a pocket or seam in body armor. The Shield chambered in .45 ACP is quick into action, simple to manage and about as powerful as carry guns get.