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.

Ruger Precision Rifle Now in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem.

By: American Rifleman Staff

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Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. has introduced the Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem., usable with a wide range of readily available ammunition, and broadening the appeal of the already very popular rifle.
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The new Precision Rifle employs a hybrid “Target” chamber, which safely accommodates 5.56 NATO cartridges while providing excellent projectile control and accuracy for both .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO cartridges. The rifle ships with two Ruger AI-Style Precision Rifle magazines that accommodate 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem. factory ammunition loaded with the longer, higher ballistic coefficient projectiles popular among long-range shooters.

Like all Ruger Precision Rifles, this model’s highly accurate, free-floated barrel is cold hammer-forged from 4140 chrome-moly steel and features 5R rifling for minimum bullet upset. Minimum bore and groove dimensions (air-gauged for process control) and a centralized chamber deliver outstanding accuracy, longevity and ease of cleaning. This new model features a 1:7” twist rate that stabilizes long-for-caliber projectiles.

All models of the Ruger Precision Rifle are equipped with a left-folding stock with adjustable comb height and length of pull, an ergonomic pistol grip and a Precision Rifle handguard, all of which may be customized with AR-style components. The Ruger Precision Rifle also features a Ruger Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake, a 20 MOA scope base and the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, which provides a user-adjustable pull weight range between 2.25 and 5 pounds.

Review: Glock G41 and G42

By: B. Gil Horman

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Since its inception in the early 1980s, Gaston Glock’s pistol has become firmly established as one of the premier polymer-frame, striker-fired handguns available in the marketplace. The simple, rugged and reliable semi-automatic pistols have been adopted by military, law enforcement, competition and self-defense practitioners all around the world. Last year, Glock expanded its product line with two new models that rest at opposite ends of its product size spectrum. For fans of the full-size, long-slide “practical/tactical” configuration, which has been available in 9 mm Luger and .40 S&W, Glock has introduced the G41 chambered in the popular and potent .45 ACP cartridge. Designed for convenient concealed carry, the new single-stack .380 ACP-chambered G42 represents the smallest pistol that the company has produced to date.

The Practical/Tactical Gen4 G41 .45 ACP
The G41 is a .45 ACP Safe-Action semi-automatic pistol with a full-size (Standard) Gen4 frame and an extended black gas-nitrite-finished slide. With more metal onboard from the extended slide and barrel, it makes sense that long-slide-configured pistols would weigh more than standard models. Glock has addressed this in the past—with its lengthy G34 (9 mm Luger) and G35 (.40 S&W)—by removing material via a rectangular lightening cut in the top of the slide, between the front sight and the chamber, resulting in overall weights more in line with the standard-length models.

Instead of following this pattern of stretch-and-cut slide design for the new G41, the company used a different approach. Weight was reduced by using a narrower, thinner-walled slide with external dimensions much like those of the G34, albeit a fraction of an inch longer. The result is an upper assembly with enough room for a 5.31″ extended octagonal-rifled barrel, no cut-out in the top of the slide, and an overall weight that’s 2.84 ozs. lighter than the standard-size G21.

The G41 sight system employs a factory-standard polymer white-dot front sight and a polymer white-bracket rear sight containing two adjustment screws for windage. The slide features an extractor with a square protrusion that acts as both a visual and tactile loaded-chamber indicator. The recoil assembly is of the Gen4 variety, with a polymer guide rod, dual recoil springs and steel supports.

The rest of the pistol, including the trigger, frame and magazines, is lifted directly from the Gen4 version of the G21 service-size .45 ACP pistol. The smooth-faced trigger of the pistol tested required 5 lbs., 6 ozs., of force to cycle, according to a Lyman digital trigger gauge. As a Safe-Action pistol, the G41 contains the same three independent passive safeties found in other Glock models: a trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety.

The two-pin frame houses the takedown lever, along with the slide lock and magazine release, which are located on the left side. The enlarged magazine release button is reversible for left-handed users. A full-size molded-in Picatinny compatible accessory rail can be used to support a wide variety of light and laser modules. The pistol has textured finger grooves along the frontstrap of the grip with the Gen4 Rough Texture Frame blunted pyramids surface treatment on the backstrap and sides.

The G41 arrives in a hard case with a total of three magazines holding 13 or 10 rounds, depending on local regulations. Four interchangeable backstraps, two with beavertail grip extensions and two without, and an installation tool are also included. With no backstrap installed, the frame presents the smallest grip size, which is a 0.08″ reduction in the distance to the trigger compared to the Gen3 frame. Adding one of the small (2 mm) backstraps brings the frame back to the original Gen3 size, while the installation of a larger backstrap (4 mm) adds an extra 0.08″ for shooters with bigger hands.

The most notable characteristic of the G41 at the shooting range is how light and well balanced it is for a long-slide .45 ACP. With a fully loaded 13-round magazine, it feels like the gun ends at the trigger guard. In other words, it points and handles like a short-barreled pistol instead of an extended one. The trigger cycled smoothly, and the pistol ran flawlessly with test ammunition ranging from steel-cased imports to defense-grade +P hollow points.

There is one advertising point for the G41 that did not play out in the course of testing. A press release from Glock states, “The longer barrel and slide on the G41 Gen4 helps to reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil … .” That might be true if the elongation of the G41’s upper assembly resulted in a proportional weight increase, but, as discussed, that is not the case.

With an empty magazine, the G41 tipped the scale at just 26.8 ozs. That means it actually weighs almost 3 ozs. less than a standard Gen4 G21. Since the G41 uses the same recoil assembly, and the bullets fired are gaining a little more velocity due to the 0.71″ longer barrel, the lighter slide will transmit more felt recoil, not less, to the operator’s hands. In actuality, the G41’s level of felt recoil was generally on par with the G21 but in some cases it exhibited more recoil and muzzle rise. The increase was negligible, but the G41 should not be thought of as a reduced-recoil .45.

When it came to accuracy testing, the G41 proved to be a top-notch performer for an out-of-the-box pistol. The 5.31″ barrel and extended sight radius kept the five-shot group averages below the 3″ mark at 25 yds.

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The Pocket-Size G42 .380 ACP
Shrinking an existing full-size handgun design into a pocket pistol platform is no mean feat of engineering. Many manufacturers don’t even try; rather, they often beg, borrow, or whip up a whole new design from scratch. It’s interesting to see how the features of the G42 were compressed, modified and, in some cases, left just the same as other Glock models.

Proofmarks on the slide, barrel and frame indicate that the G42 is made at Glock’s Smyrna, Ga., facility. Although it is not marketed as a Gen4 product, it takes many of its cues from the latest generation pistols. Using the same materials and processes employed in the construction of the full-size models, this little pistol is fitted with Glock’s proprietary Safe-Action trigger and internal safety systems. The G42 is 5.94″ long, 4.13″ high, and weighs 13.8 ozs. unloaded, making it the smallest Glock pistol to date. It is listed as being 0.94″ wide but it’s only this thick near the slide lock. The rest of the frame is no more than 0.89″ wide, and the slide is just 0.83″ wide. The 3.25″ barrel contains hexagonal rifling, which means it should not be fired with non-jacketed bullets.

The pistol exhibits a mix of unique and familiar features. The matte-black slide is topped with factory standard polymer white-dot front and white-bracket rear fixed sights. The slide lock, magazine release and takedown lever are in their expected locations and are actually the same size and shape as those found on the Gen4 pistols. However, the frame has only one pin instead of two.

The grip frame has a Gen1-style straight frontstrap, with the backstrap featuring the usual palm swell. All four sides of the grip are treated with a light version of the Rough Texture Frame grip treatment. The grip has a small, but distinctive, downward-curving beavertail to protect the shooter’s hand from the slide. The backstrap extends down below the mouth of the magazine well, nearly flush with the flat base of the drop-free, fully-metal-lined, six-round single-stack magazines. This extension makes the grip a little longer, a bit more rounded, and it protects the shooter’s palm from being abraded by the movement of the magazine base during recoil.

One notable change to the interior is an enlarged firing pin safety plunger with an irregular shape and a beveled surface. The recoil assembly is of the Gen4 variety with dual recoil springs, a polymer guide rod and steel supports in key locations.

One of the best choices the company made with the G42 was to retain the familiar trigger guard and trigger dimensions of its larger pistols. Although the trigger guard is narrower, its length, shape, finger rest and the size of its opening remain the same. The trigger itself is the same size and shape as the smooth-faced triggers used on the Gen4 pistols, with the same 0.49″ travel distance. As a result, the trigger feels perfectly familiar to those who already use Glock pistols.

Specifications for the pistol indicate that it’s supposed to leave the factory with a 5-lb., 8-oz. trigger. An early version of it required 7 lbs., 3 ozs. of trigger pull to cycle, which is heavy for a Glock. Another G42 manufactured later in the year had a better trigger, with a pull weight of 6 lbs., 8 ozs., which was still heavier than listed. The trigger was good, but not quite as good as it could be.

At the shooting range, the G42 proved to be a comfortable, soft-shooting pocket pistol. Diminutive .380s tend to produce moderate to intense levels of felt recoil, with some loads becoming uncomfortable to shoot after just a few rounds. The felt recoil produced by the G42 was mild with standard-pressure full-metal-jacket and defense-type ammunition. Only when it was loaded with the hottest ammunition in the test set did it start to produce a moderate level of recoil.

Throughout the entire test, the G42 did not experience any of the traditional ammunition failures that can occur with semi-automatic pistols, such as failures to feed or extract or stove-piped cases. The only two events that could be noted as malfunctions where when the pistol’s slide locked open when firing a high-velocity load. In both cases, the chamber was clear and the next round in the magazine chambered when the slide was retracted and allowed to fall forward. This is the first time I’ve had a semi-automatic pistol go into slide lock during a test fire. But since the G42 did not lock open with any other load, it seems that the increased pressure produced by this particular load was the source of the problem.

One of the reasons the double-stack Glock sub-compacts are popular is because they are capable of producing down-range accuracy on par with the Glock Compact and Standard size pistols. The G42 did not demonstrate the same level of accuracy as the double-stack models, which was not wholly unexpected. Instead, the accuracy was in line with other pistols of the same size and caliber, such as the Ruger LC380 and the Taurus PT638 PRO SA. With targets set at 7 yds., the G42 produced group averages ranging around 1.5″ to 2″ in size. This is a solid level of defensive accuracy for an easy-to-carry, close-range defensive tool, which is how the G42 is intended to be used.

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Final Thoughts
Some gun owners make the mistake of thinking that all Glock pistols are alike because they share the same color scheme and profile. In truth, the new G41 .45 ACP and the G42 .380 ACP represent Glock’s willingness to take risks and move its product line in new directions. As a hybrid pistol, blending the extended-slide design, the standard G21 frame, and Glock’s Gen4 package of features, the G41 successfully reflects the best that Glock has to offer. It’s a welcome addition for competition, on-duty use and home defense.

As for the G42, Glock was successful in shrinking its platform to satisfy a broad swath of the concealed-carry market. The Glocksters among us will feel right at home with the G42’s layout. It operates like a Glock, the trigger is the same as the double-stack pistols and it’s just as reliable as the larger models. For shooters who have not owned a Glock, the G42 is soft-shooting, easy to operate, and demonstrates a level of defensive accuracy as good (or better) as other pistols in its class. It’s an ideal concealed-carry option for new and seasoned shooters, alike.

Steyr AUG/A3 M1

By: American Rifleman Staff
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When first introduced in 1977, the Steyr AUG looked radically futuristic, and despite the intervening decades of firearm development, it still ranks highly among the guns most likely to appear in a science-fiction movie. At the time of its creation, the AUG’s bullpup design—a configuration placing the firearm’s action and magazine behind the trigger group in order to reduce overall length without sacrificing barrel length—was equally ahead of its time. And while the bullpup hasn’t exactly gone on to set the gun world on fire, several manufacturers have found reasonable success tinkering with and improving upon the formula—including Steyr itself.

Despite already being one of the most successful bullpups of all time, Steyr Mannlicher continues to make design improvements and upgrades to its AUG (or Armee Universal Gewher), including its newest iteration—the A3 M1—which offers shooters more sighting options than any of its predecessors.

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Making use of a modular optics attachment platform, the A3 M1 is available in Short-Rail, High-Rail and integrated-optic versions with either a 1.5X or 3X scope built into the carry handle. In addition, all three optics-mounting modules can be easily interchanged with one another.

The Short-Rail includes 11 numbered Picatinny rail slots for the mounting of optics. It ends at the back of the receiver and sits 0.435″ above the stock comb. The High-Rail extends an additional 2.57″ from the end of the receiver and offers 16 numbered slots at a height of 0.82″ above the comb.

Steyr’s integrated optic module, in addition to an integral Meopta riflescope, features a 15-slot rail along the top of the housing to accommodate a close-quarter reflex sight, and a four-slot section on the right side for the use of a light or laser. The scope’s axis rests 1.945″ above the stock comb, allowing for a solid cheekweld.

The A3 M1 is available in two stock varieties—the traditional version, which uses Steyr’s proprietary “waffle-style” polymer magazines, and the NATO version, which accepts the widely available STANAG magazines. The traditional configuration is available in black, tan and green, while the NATO version comes only in black.

Much of the rest of the A3 M1 remains unchanged from its previous incarnation, the AUG A3 SA. The guns are short-stroke, gas-piston operated with a two-position gas regulator—one for normal use and one allowing more gas flow for use when the rifle is dirty. The receivers are made from investment cast, Eloxal-coated aluminum, and the barrels are phosphated, chrome-lined steel. The AUG’s distinctive folding fore-grip is also still here, able to be used either perpendicular or parallel to the bore. The A3 M1 likewise retains the quick-change barrel capability of the A3 SA, allowing the barrel to be removed with the push of a button.

A non-reciprocating charging handle is located on the left side of the receiver, and doubles as a forward assist. The bolt can be locked back by retracting the charging handle and rotating it clockwise against a notch in the receiver. In order to then close the action, lightly slapping the handle out of the notch will cause the recoil spring to drive it forward. A five-slot Picatinny rail is situated on the right side of the receiver, opposite the charging handle.

The magazine release, located just behind the magazine well, is positioned for ambidextrous use. At 8 lbs., 15 ozs. with an empty magazine and the integral scope installed, the A3 M1 is not a light rifle, but the gun is balanced in such a way that it feels far lighter than that when shouldered.

The A3 M1 can be reconfigured for ejection from the left side by replacing the standard bolt with a left-hand unit and swapping the ejection port cover to the opposite side. While these changes make the bullpup usable by a southpaw, the position of the charging handle may still be awkward for some left-handed shooters.

The trigger is often the Achilles heel of many bullpup designs, owing to the long trigger bar required to link the fore-mounted trigger to the action behind it, but the gun we received for evaluation featured an exceptional trigger pull for a stock factory bullpup. Initial take up was scarcely perceptible, with the trigger breaking cleanly at 10 lbs., 4 ozs.—a little heavy perhaps, but not too bad.

American shooters have been clamoring for an integrated-optic version of the AUG available here for a long time, which is why we elected to conduct accuracy testing using the 3X integral scope.

Accuracy at 100 yds. was decent for a gun of this type using 3X magnification; however, we believe the rifle capable of even smaller groups with the use of a more powerful optic.

Initially we encountered a few feeding issues, but were quickly able to diagnose them as being magazine-related. Switching to another magazine eliminated the problems. All firing was conducted using the gas regulator’s “normal” setting.

The Steyr AUG’s appearance is polarizing, with some shooters finding its lines appealing, and others finding them appalling. But aesthetics aside, the A3 M1 is a solid—if unorthodox—performer, and a good option for those seeking a 5.56×45 mm NATO-chambered semi-automatic rifle but wanting an alternative to the hoi polloi of the otherwise AR-laden general-purpose rifle market.

Ruger Expands Mark IV and Ruger American Compact Pistol Lines

By: American Rifleman Staff

Ruger Expands Mark IV and Ruger American Compact Pistol Lines

Ruger has announced additions to its Mark IV and Ruger American lines of pistols. The additions to the Mark IV family bring the total number of Mark IV models up to nine, with more additions planned for later this year. Ruger expects to duplicate a dozen of the most popular Mark III pistols in the Mark IV line.

Like all pistols in the Mark IV family, the 22/45 Tactical and Competition models feature a simple, one-button takedown for quick and easy field-stripping, ambidextrous manual safety and a redesigned bolt stop for more ergonomic operation. The magazines drop free on release for faster reloads and a redesigned magazine disconnect safety prevents discharge when the magazine has been removed.

Internal improvements include changes to the hammer, sear, bolt and firing pin for smoother, more reliable feeding. The Mark IV is compatible with a variety of Mark III aftermarket accessories including sights, scope bases and holsters.

The Mark IV Competition features a cold hammer-forged, 6.88″ slab-sided bull barrel and hardwood laminate thumb rest competition grips. The grip frame is CNC machined from one solid piece of stainless steel. Fully adjustable target sights are mounted on the barreled receiver for permanent sight-to-barrel alignment. The all stainless steel model weighs in at 45.8 ozs. for maximum stability in bullseye competition.

The Mark IV 22/45 Tactical features the lightweight polymer grip frame with rubberized replaceable grip panels that simulate the classic feel and grip angle of the 1911. The barreled receiver features a 4.40″ barrel with a 1/2″-28 thread pattern, perfect for the addition of the Ruger Silent-SR sound suppressor or other muzzle accessory. The pistol has fully adjustable sights and factory-installed Picatinny rails on both the top and bottom of the upper receiver to allow mounting of sights, lights, lasers and other tactical accessories.

Introduced in a duty size in 2015, the Ruger American Pistol Compact in .45 Auto is now offered with an ambidextrous manual safety.

The Ruger American Pistol features a pre-tensioned striker system, which allows for a short takeup trigger with positive reset, and a modular wrap-around grip system that adjusts palm swell and trigger reach to fit a wide range of hand sizes.

This compact model with ambidextrous manual safety, chambered in .45 Auto, is 7.25″ long and 4.65″ high with a 3.75″ barrel and weighs in at 29 ozs. with an empty magazine. It ships with medium and large replaceable grip modules and two nickel-Teflon plated steel magazines (one 10-round extended magazine and one 7-round compact magazine). The Ruger American Pistol Compact shares all of the features of the duty size gun in a smaller, lighter, more concealable package.

Every Ruger American Pistol is built in the USA on a rigid, one-piece, precision-machined, black nitrided, stainless steel chassis with integral frame rails and fire control housing. Additional features include genuine Novak LoMount Carry three-dot sights, a stainless steel slide with non-reflective, black nitride finish, a one-piece, high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame and a mil-standard 1913 accessory rail.