Category Archives: Pistols and Revolvers

Bubba the Pistolsmith

Can you put a HK p2000 slide on an HK45?

Uh, no.

Wait, what if the HK45 is an airsoft toy?

No. Double no.

Bubba's HK

Posted on Imgur and on Reddit:

p2000 9mm slide stuck on airsoft hk45 receiver, wont come off, what do i do>???

He asked for help, but didn’t wait for it. Instead, he forged on furiously. As you might expect, his solution to boneheadedness was MOAR BONEHEAD.

Bubba's HK after

UPDATE: I FIXED IT, well more like ripped the lower receiver apart. Everythings fine on the p2k except the o ring, got a little stab wound from the knife, but the hk45 gbb is destroyed, Lesson WELL LEARNED :DD

via NEED HELP – Imgur.

Then, another aspect of the Supreme Godhead of Bozosity that is the immortal Bubba attempted a similar kitbash, of two Glocks. At least they were both real Glocks and neither was a toy. But they were almost equally incompatible, and once again, the Frankengun got stuck.

G34 meets G26

The two donors are a Glock 26 (frame and slide) and Glock 34 (barrel). There’s a reason Glock sells you a whole replacement gun, not just a barrel and slide, when you want to make large changes in barrel length.

This particular Bubba got his Frankengun apart without having to destroy it. So there is that.

USAF Changes Weapons Policies; OSI Can Carry Personal Guns

The Air Force once drove small arms development for no other reason that the Chief of Staff, former SAC Commander and wartime 20th Air Force commander Gen. Curtis LeMay, was an avid shooter and gun enthusiast. But with LeMay (and his generation) long gone, the USAF devolved into, as the joke goes, “a reasonable alternative to military service.”

Now the Air Force is showing that it’s serious about force protection, with at least four new policies designed to improve commanders’ abiliy to arm their troops for self-defense. Most of them involve allowing Security Forces (the old Air Police) to be armed off-duty, but one they’ve done that is being warmly received by the Air Force’s criminal investigators is to allow them, like other Federal agents, to carry privately owned weapons, not just their USAF issue hand cannon.

USAF Keith Givens

The Top: OSI Commander Keith Givens, a Career Leader of Investigators.

Here’s the word from the top:

I am excited to announce yet another significant milestone for OSI’s weapons
program.  Late last week, the Secretary of the Air Force signed a memorandum
authorizing OSI Special Agents to carry privately-owned weapons (POWs) and
ammunition while performing official duties in the US, its territories, and
possessions.  However, before this authorization can take effect, OSI must
update its directives, instructions, policies, procedures, and training.  HQ
OSI/XR’s Policy Branch is currently finalizing Interim Change-7 to AFOSIMAN
71-113, Firearms, Use of Force, and Tactics, which will include guidance on
the carrying of POWs and is scheduled to be published in early December

One of the main driving forces behind this change was the desire to provide
each agent the option to employ a weapon that best suits their individual
body type and hand size for preference and concealability concerns.  Now OSI
Special Agents will have that flexibility, provided they meet the upcoming
guidance requiring them to:

– Select a 9mm POW from the extensive Headquarters-approved list
– Obtain written approval from their leadership
– Procure and maintain their POW and associated gear
– Ensure any personal ammunition used in the POW meets LE standards (JHP
with a 124-147 grain)
– Proficiency fire with their POW prior to arming for duty
– Qualify with the M-11 and remain current on arming specific training

After AFOSIMAN 71-113, IC-7, is published and all requirements are met, the
POW may be carried during any investigative or operational activity not
prevented by mission requirements – such as protective service operations,
overseas assignments, and deployments.  Additionally, personally-procured
and government-issued ammunition is authorized for the POW; however,
personal ammunition is not authorized for the issued M-11.

The approved POW list and related documents can be viewed on XR’s SharePoint
by going to Libraries-> Privately Owned Weapons.  Once AFOSIMAN 71-113,
IC-7, is published, the site will be updated with additional helpful
documents and templates.

From the lighter load arming requirements, to alternate holsters, and now
the POW – these big changes and ideas came directly from you!  This
authority is a testament to the trust our Air Force senior leaders and I
have in you.  Additionally, it serves to further elevate our status as a
federal investigative agency.  I look forward to the upcoming release of
AFOSIMAN 71-113 and the POW possibilities it offers!


KEITH M. GIVENS, Brigadier General, USAF Commander, Air Force Office of
Special Investigations MCB Quantico, VA
Office: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Cell: xxx-xxx-xxxx

POW Approved List as of 09 Nov 15.pdf

Funny, we knew a Keith Givens when he was a kid in Westborough, MA. Wonder if it’s the same guy. Probably not.

In any event, the POW list above is  couple months old. We’ve been told that there’s at least one addition, the Glock 19.

One of the most interesting teases in the whole thing is in Footnote #2 in the table. Looks like they’re still taking seriously the possibility of the P320 or the Glocks being the new service sidearm.

How Can You Kill ‘Em When They’re Already Dead?

We like oddities, we like customs. But we’ll be upfront: this is an acquired taste that we have not acquired:


This is… we are not making this up… a vampire-branded M1911. In the suitably already-interred 10mm caliber.


What better caliber for slaying the undead, than a caliber that’s two graves down from the .357 Auto Mag? (The intervening grave? Jeff Cooper, the great exponent of the 10mm).

So 10mm it is. Presumably with silver bullets.


Naturally, Count Drac here comes with his own coffin:


We don’t think even Owen Z. Pitt his ownself wants one of these. But if you are planning a Transylvanian hunt, or if you have to drive by Salem’s Lot to get to your friendly local FFL, you can contact Reeder Custom Guns and still see if they have one of these Kase Reeder Vampyre Slayers on hand.


Reeder is an extremely prolific maker of custom 1911s and revolvers. Hunt around on his website and you can find some single-action revolvers he’s built for Frank Beard of ZZ Top, the best traveling music ever for handling Texas distances.

(We’re partial to baroque for handling New England twisties, and soothing us if some personal calamity has compelled us to engage with Boston traffic. But when the roads are straight, the car is hot, and distances are measured in six-packs, it must be Texas, and the playlist must be ZZ Top’s Deguello).

The Czech “DUO” & Z Pistol, 1938-Present

Do you think little European 6.35 mm (.25 ACP) pocket pistols are boring? Hold on while we take you on a tour through the politics of 20th Century Mitteleuropa, with our host being this unassuming .25.


Czech Duo, stripped and in fairly rough shape.

Same gun, reverse. Proofed in 1941.

Same gun, reverse. Proofed in 1941.

The Duo was designed by a man with a name that resonates in Czech history – František Dušek. That is not because the 20th Century firearms entrepreneur is famous in the Czechlands, but because he shares a name with one of  the great composers of the race, the underrated Baroque-period master František Xaver Dušek, who lived in the 18th Century. Both men often see their names Germanized to Franz (Xavier) Dusek or Duschek. The Czech pronunciation is DOO-shek.

Dušek’s business started as a small gunsmith’s shop and grew into a factory in Opočno, in northeastern Bohemia near the Moravian border.

Most every place in the Czechlands has a name in Czech and a name in German, that usually differ mostly in spelling and in pronunciation details. The more notable cities have an English name, or the German name tends to be used in English. For example, Prague is the English name for the city the Czechs (and the Slovaks, during the federal period) call Praha, and the Germans and Austrians call Prag. Opočno (pronounced OH-poach-no) is one of three small towns with the name in the Czech Republic today, and comes across into German as Opotschno. (Most common English usage is the Czech name without the háček or diacritical mark over the “c,” thus, “Opocno.”)

This Duo shows the quality of finish of these firearms. It's a wartime gun, produced and proofed in 1944.

This Duo shows the quality of finish of these firearms. It’s a wartime gun, produced and proofed in 1944.

František Dušek was born in 1876 and apprenticed as a gunsmith with a firm named Hojny. Berger also says he traveled “abroad,” which suggests Germany, for manufacturing and design experience (his Czech home being at the time part of the Habsburg Empire). Long before World War I he had hung out his own shingle in Opočno.

Berger describes the growth of his firm warmly:

Old Dusek brochures gave a founding date of 1905, which is probably the year he left his apprenticeship to start on his own.

Dusek worked hard and long, as only the owner can do. He put back all profits into the business, expanding at every opportunity. Dusek was anti-military during World War I refused to make weapons or components for the Austro-Hungarian government. At that time Czechoslovakia had not yet become a country.

After World War I, Czechoslovakia became an independent country, and by the mid 1920s Dusek’s products including rifles, shotguns, air rifles and gunsmithing supplies. Do sick struggled for independence by making everything possible at his factory, not depending on outside sources. In 1925, the workforce was 36 production workers and six administrative workers.1

Along with Dušek’s own work, he did an excellent business remarketing pocket pistols from Spain. These were marked with a variety of names including Ydeal, and were sold in the Czechoslovak Republic and throughout Eastern and Central Europe. The Spanish supply dried up in the 1930s, and so Dušek designed his own pistol and began producing it. In the interim, he acquired some pistols from the Mars concern and changed the markings to call them DUOs, his own trademark — the name standing for DUšek, Opočno. Duo-marked Mars pistols are rare and are different in some design features from factory Duos. (The Mars itself is descended from the PZK and the Slavia, and features a loaded chamber indicator that the Duo does not).

Number 120305 was produced in 1945, not long before the factory was overrun.

Number 120305 was produced in 1945, not long before the factory was overrun.

This is an interesting pistol because of its place and time, not really because of its design. If you look at it, you see an ordinary European .25 pocket pistol of the sort produced in great numbers and great variety between the Alpha of John Browning and FN popularizing the small auto pistol in 1900 or so, and the Omega of postwar Europe shambling down the path of gun prohibition after World War II. Indeed, it looks like a close copy of the Browning-designed FN Model 1906 pocket pistol.

The Duo is not a true copy. The parts don’t interchange. But designer and factory owner František Dušek was inspired by the Browning-designed FN 1906 .25 in his design of the DUO. This design may have been inspired indirectly by the Browning, through the Mars/Slavia or through the Spanish eyeball copies of the Browning that Dušek imported before the Spanish Civil War cut off his supply. So you could say, in a way, that the Duo was “born in the Spanish Civil War,” but that locution might have offended old Dušek. A pacifist, he not only refused to make arms for the Austro-Hungarian Royal and Imperial Army in World War I, and likewise refused to collaborate with the Nazis when they occupied Czechoslovakia. The pistol remained in production; the Nazis simply ousted Dušek and effectively nationalized his plant.

During the Duo’s long life it has been produced in seven different countries2 — several of them without the factory moving an inch — with at least ten different marking variations. The Czech-made Duos we have seen, several dozen (wish we’d been recording serials then!) are invariably of high quality; even when the quality deteriorated during the later years of the Nazi occupation they were better guns than the Spanish ones Dušek has been selling.

The guns were a success for Dušek. They shipped from Opočno throughout Europe and the world. By 1938, his factory was the largest private gun manufacturing plant in the entire Czechoslovak Republic, as the other big names (ZB, CZ-UB) were national arsenals. But the CSR itself was on borrowed time. Throughout 1938, Nazi aggression and international spinelessness led to the dismantling of the Czechoslovak Republic piecemeal. First, they lost the border area, what the German speakers called the Sudetenland in the Munich Agreement. Then, a few months later, the Third Reich occupied the rest of Bohemia and Moravia, and placed Slovakia under the control of quislings.

In the gun factories, only the rollmarks changed (and, perhaps, some of the customers). Many Czech guns were already being marked in German for export, so it was no big deal. The pistols continued to be proofed and proofmarked to Czech standard.

The German occupation Duos were made in several marking variations, including specialty versions for specific German retailers. (This last was a continuation of prewar practice). Other makers would make their own mark on the slide, frame or trigger guard.

This is a 1942 Duo from Nolle's collection.

This is a 1942 Duo from Nolle’s collection.

There were several common holsters used with these pistols, similar to the hardshell and softshell types known by P.38 and Luger collectors. The gun tended to be used by senior and rear-echelon military and police officers, both in the Czech military and the Wehrmacht, more as a symbol of command than as any kind of a defensive pistol. As armaments go, a .25 is the original “better than nothing” firearm, with less energy than a .22 LR round, and until long after the war, only roundnose lead and roundnose FMJ were the only loads available. What they lack in firepower, though, they make up for in simplicity and reliability.

CZ Duo with Hardshell

After the war, Dušek resumed production in Opočno, and postwar guns returned fully to prewar quality. He would be ousted a second time when the Communists took over Czechoslovakia and nationalized and rationalized the gun industry. All handgun manufacture was to be centralized, and after a short further run, the tooling at Opočno was packed up.

That wasn’t the end of the Duo, though… it stayed in production, with, normal business for the Duo, new rollmarks. The factory was now a Národní Podník, “national enterprise.” Soon all handgun  production shifted to the Uhersky Brod factory, and the gun was now a “Z” with the old Zbrojovka Brno trademark, the letter Z in a circle that is, on close examination, a rifled barrel, taking the place of DUO on the grips.


This is a "Z" pistol made in the CZ-UB plant in 1949.

This is a “Z” pistol made in the CZ-UB plant in 1949.

Most of the Duos and Zs that were imported into the United States came in as wartime bringbacks (wartime and prewar Duos) or were imported during a brief period when Czechoslovak firearms were imported (1948-52 or so). Post-1968, they are not importable because of the Sporting Test the United States adopted from a 1938 Nazi gun law, with further restrictions by the American admirer of Nazi policing who wrote the bill, Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut.

Despite the many marking variations of the Duo, which might also be called a Z, Singer, JAGA, or Ideal, or bear the marks of a German sporting-goods store, the only substantial change before 1970 was brief availability of a longer barrel in 1938-39 or so. This longer (190mm) barrel changed the class of licensure of the firearm in the Czechoslovak Republic, and became moot when German laws supplanted Czechoslovak after the Munich Accord. (These long-barreled Duos are extremely rare in the USA; Berger describes them, but we’ve never seen one, and we suspect he never had, either; he’s working of a catalog description). Even the transfer of manufacture and trademark from Opočno as a Duo to Uhersky Brod as a “Z”, did not materially change the pistols.

Berger published photographs of Dušek’s home and the somewhat run-down original plant in Opočno, long since converted to other uses, taken in 1981.3

In 1970, the Z was redesigned to slightly modernize its shape and it was renamed Pistole Vz 70, not to be confused with the CZ Pistole VZ 70, a .32 caliber police pistol.

For all versions, disassembly for field-stripping is identical to the common M1906/1908 Browning/Colt hammerless .25.

Duos and Zs are well-made, usually well-finished guns (if not to FN standards; toolmarks are not completely polished off the frame sides, for instance). Even the occupation guns are usually safe to fire, although an example with shortened firing pin that will not engage a primer has been observed, perhaps evidence of wartime sabotage by a Czech or foreign forced laborer. The firing pin is somewhat vulnerable to failure and, unlike most center-fire guns, this pistol should not be dry-fired. (Nor should the unrelated Little Tom and CZ 36/45/92 pocket pistols).


  1. Berger, p. 77.
  2. The countries were: the Czechoslovak Republic (1918-38); the rump Czecho-Slovak 2nd Republic (minus the Sudetenland, Carpathian Ruthenia, and parts of Silesia and Slovakia), 1938-39; the Reichsprotektorat Böhmen u. Mähren, 1939-45; the 3rd Czechoslovak Republic (1945-48); the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1948-90); the 4th Czechoslovak Republic (1990-93) and the post-Velvet-Divorce Czech Republic (1993-).
  3. Berger, p. 82.


Multiple typographic errors, one historical error in footnote 2, and a missing sentence have been corrected. See the comments for details.


Berger, R.J. Know Your Czechoslovakian Pistols. Chino Valley, AZ: Blacksmith Corporation, 1989.

Buffaloe, Ed. “Two Czech 6.35mm Pistols”., n.d. Retrieved from:

”Kirby the OG.” OG’s Curio and Relic Page: Czechoslovakian Firearms. Formerly at: now defunct. Retrieved from:

“Nolle”. Nolle’s Guns: Czech Pistols. Retrieved from: (Flemish language).

Pistols & Optimizing vs. Satisficing

Probably more ink gets spilled, and more pixels get launched onto LED screens, on the subject of is-this-pistol-better-than-that-one, than on any other subject in the gun world. There are many approaches to the question of which-handgun-is-best, and it’s a mug’s question, because at some point you have to decide: best for what? What’s best for a hideout pistol is not what’s best for a cop’s service pistol, and in turn a military service pistol might demand a whole different approach.

We’re going to suggest a radically different approach:

It doesn’t matter.

For most people, the question to answer is not which pistol, but pistol.

For most personal defensive uses, any pistol that meets certain threshold requirements is good enough. And no pistol is the approach that is not good enough.

The cop who doesn’t get a dedicated off-duty gun, but lugs his G17 around, printing like a doofus, is not necessarily acting irrationally. He’s got a gun, right? In Mayberry, everybody knows he’s a cop, anyway, and so he doesn’t gain anything but expense and complication by carrying a G26 or G43.

On the other hand, the guy who must have the very best per use is illustrated in this fascinating article by Duncan at Loose Rounds on the short-lived Glock Gen3 RTF2 pistols. He takes some time getting to the features that make the RTF2 frames, the most important of which is the grip texture which is different from any Glock before or after, and concludes:

In my opinion the RTF2 frame is the pinnacle of the Glock line for a duty, home defense and training firearm. It is also the best feeling and handling Glock made frame.

“Pinnacle” — that word is a marker for an optimizing approach. Optimizing comes natural to most people — it describes an approach to making a decision or selection which requires you to:

  1. Define the characteristics of the “best” choice; and,
  2. Select the best choice according to that definition.

And Duncan runs right into one of the problems of an optimizing approach: what makes something the best choice for one task may not make it the best for another. He finds that the Glock RTF2 is a bit of a “horses for courses” specialist, and one of its less optimal courses is the one that most people select a handgun for, for concealed carry and self defense:

Now, if you are looking for a daily conceal carry handgun, The RTF2 framed Glocks are not ideal. If you are trying to conceal an RTF2 Glock, having it right next to your skin is not going to feel great. You will have to wear a layer of protective clothing. Also, the RTF2 frames are extremely rough on all clothing, gloves and even your seatbelt. For a training course, duty carry or home defense firearm, the RTF2 is the best of the Glock offerings, for a very positive grip.

This shouldn’t surprise anybody. A gun that’s optimum for this may not be optimum for that. It requires a compromise, but then, so does every gun. So whether you are a huge army trying to select a service pistol, a PD trying to equip your patrol officers, or a single individual looking for a gun you can carry to make a positive contribution to the safety of yourself and your loved ones, you can’t just pick one characteristic and give it ultimate weight. An optimizing approach either devolves into a matter of guesswork, or results in building a complex weighted matrix (such as a Pugh Matrix, explained here at the American Society for Quality), where every weighting value is a new point of possible error injected into your calculations.

A lot of time, optimizing is used not as a decision basis, but as a means to rationalize an a priori decision. As human decisionmakers, we are all great rationalizers.

satisficing approach sets a minimum threshold, and then accepts the first acceptable alternative that presents itself, or the best of a few that present at once. It’s meant to get you most of the way up the curve without expending a lot of time, money, brain cycles or combination of the above to try to get close as possible to the ideal. It recognizes that the ideal is an asymptotic value: you can only approach closer to it at ever-rising expense, but never actually achieve it.

The guy or girl who holsters a .45, or a Beretta, or a Glock, or an M&P, or a Chief’s Special five-shot revolver, for that matter, and closes the book on pistol selection can get on to the more serious business of pistol training and practice. The principle resource that satisficing can buy you is time, which is the one resource you can’t buy or produce more of, and the one resource that is ever in short supply.

Are you armed with the perfect gun? Probably not. Are you armed? Then you may be armed with something close enough to the perfect gun… to satisfice.

SIG MPX Changes Horses Midstream

When the SIG MPX was introduced, we thought it was likely to replace all the worn-out MP5s collecting dust in police armories everywhere, as well as become a popular 9MM SBR. Now SIG has done a major change in the platform, with some major (barrel-change compatibility) and minor (groove in the upper rail) modifications. As a result, SIG MPX owners are confused, and SIG has delivered a video attempting to cut through the fog their own stuttering product launch has created.

If you want to convert from the base 9mm to .40 S&W or .357 SIG, then you need a G2 upper.

Because this isn’t what SIG originally promised, they will sell owners of G1 9mms the G2 upper package in .40 or .357 for the price of a barrel conversion kit. You need to call them with your serial number.

If you have a G1, the barrel conversion kit is still all you need to change the length of your barrel.

If you have a G2, the barrel conversion kit is all you need to change length and/or caliber. 

If you have a G1, to change caliber you need to add an entire G2 upper. You can use your original lower and bolt.  Here’s a graphic that may be a little clearer:

SIG MPX Options

For a company that’s invested heavily in modular firearms, this was an unnecessary own goal, but they seem to be doing what they can to limit the impact.

To tell if your SIG is G1 or G2, you can call them with the serial number… or you can look at the top of the receiver. If there’s a normal Picatinny M1913-compatible rail there, it’s a G1. If the rail is grooved for a low-mounted sight to work, it’s a G2. (It’ll still hold M1913-compatible sights and accessories just fine).

There are G1 and G2 magazines… but SIG says they are “optimized” and not required for the appropriate generation upper.

Also, aftermarket AR-15 triggers do work in the MPX, but may wear out sooner because the MPX  cycles harder than an AR-15 — at least, harder than a DI one. A trigger pack that works well in a piston AR will probably work well here. Using an aftermarket trigger does NOT void your SIG warranty. You’ll have to ask your trigger maker what it does to their warranty.

The SIG rep closes the video with some excuses for the spotty availability of two items: magazines, which everybody wants, and stocks. Lots of people planned to SBR a pistol, which can be done by adding a stock (SIG has no factory SBRs at the moment). The supply of SIG’s two sliding stocks — one fits the MPX and MCX, and one is MPX-only — is so thready that guys are getting the Form 1s back in less time than it takes to get the jeezly stock from SIG.

Note to SIG customer service, if there is such a thing: if you’re getting beat on turn-around by the government’s most glacial and least accountable bureaucracy, you really ought to light a fire under your supply chain. Government doesn’t have to worry about competition, you do.

What Good is One Pistol Against Terrorists?

We often hear questions like these: “What could one man do against an organized small arms attack like the ones in Paris or Bombay? What good is a pistol against an assailant armed with the superior firepower of a modern rifle?”

These are reasonable questions, and are often put reasonably. (Others use similar questions, with a different tone, to sneer at armed self-defense as ineffective).

To which we say: yes, one armed person can stop an organized small arms attack — given a little luck. Most active shooter incidents end, in fact, when an armed person or person confronts the shooter(s), either shooting him or inducing suicide. That person is often, but not always, a cop.

Teacher Syed Husein went toe-to-toe with terrorists -- and died. But he saved lives.

Teacher Syed Husein went toe-to-toe with terrorists — and died. But he saved lives.

And even if they kill you, your last great act of defiance can give others the chance to escape and live. Think about that as you meet the late chemistry instructor Syed Hamid Husain, of Bacha Khan University in a suburb of Peshawar.

A chemistry lecturer known as ‘The Protector’ died saving his students by firing back at Taliban militants during a deadly attack on their university that left 30 dead and dozens injured today.

Gunmen stormed the Bacha Khan University in Pakistan in an assault that echoed a horrifying Taliban massacre on a nearby army-run school and previous attacks against girls’ education….

As militants stalked the campus, executing targets one by one, assistant chemistry professor Syed Hamid Husain, 32, ordered his pupils to stay inside as he confronted the attackers.

The father-of-two opened fire, giving them time to flee before he was cut down by gunfire as male and female students ran for their lives.

via Taliban gunmen storm Pakistan’s Bacha Khan University and open fire on students | Daily Mail Online.

Would you sell your life as hard as Husain did? In his last act of nobility, he allowed many to escape certain death, at the cost of his own life.

He seems to have been a fun-loving guy, who enjoyed joking around with his students.

Mohammad Shazeb, a 24-year-old computer science student, said Husain was fond of gardening and used to joke with the students that they should learn gardening for when they are unemployed.

‘He had a 9mm pistol and used to tell us stories about his hunting trips,’ Shazeb said.

Husain also never missed a game of cricket with the students, he said, adding: ‘When someone would go to bowl to him, he would joke: ‘Remember kiddo, I have a pistol”.

Husain certainly knew that the odds were against him when he and his 9mm took on an entire team with many weapons. But he moved to the sound of the gunfire, taking that risk, buying priceless time for his defenseless students.

He died… but they lived.

By the heathen gods that made ye, ye’re a better man than I am, Syed Husain.

So, there’s a little reality check on  self defense by handgun against multiple long-gun-equipped assailants. You’re going to have a bad day… but the lives you save could be your own loved ones.

When you think about whether pistol-armed self-defense can work against a terrorist attack, remember that the alternative isn’t some imaginary perfectly-effective weapon. The alternative is no self-defense at all — sheep to the slaughter.

SHOT Show 2016

First impression, from 2,000 miles away: in terms of new products introductions, it was lighter than recent years. It is perhaps the case that manufacturers and importers are not waiting for SHOT, but introducing new products at the NRA show or even in the middle of the year, if that’s when they’re ready. We’re not there, but the press conferences on the schedule look like we didn’t miss much.

That said, there were a lot of intros at the range day and in booths, not in the press conference setting; and there’s a few new firearms and more action in optics and accessories.

General Trends

Things that extend the AR platform remain popular, and a bunch of new ones are out there, including many new calibers including mass-produced .300 Win Mag ARs (as opposed to the handcrafted custom jobs we’ve seen already). Our favorites for the moment are the Monster Hunter International limited editions from JP Rifles.

Concealed Carry firearms are red hot. But as we’ve found out in the search for Blogfather’s pocket pistol, it’s a market that is, perhaps not saturated, but well-fed by an array of producers. The much-liked (until they were all recalled) striker-fired Caracal pistols from the UAE (but designed by the same guy that designed the Steyr) came back at the show.

Suppressors are also accelerating in the market. SilencerCo previously demo’d versions of the company’s integrally suppressed 9mm, the Maxim, but the new version uses SilencerCo’s own frame — and G17 magazines — instead of an M&P host. A definite .22 host is the new S&W Victory Model, which Shooting Sports Retailer reports is designed to be a modular system — with an aftermarket ecosystem — from the very beginning.

Price sensitivity is a real thing, and every stratum of the market is reacting. Colt has a new AR version at a $699 list price point; if it’s a quality gun, that puts them nose-to-nose with less venerable names. But TrackingPoint also has the .300 HogOut, a special .300 Blackout precision guided firearm that’s optimized for putting the whack on feral pigs — at a lower price than previous Tracking Point ARs.

When Are SHOT New-Gun Introductions Available?

This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and is also influenced by the popularity and manufacturability of the new firearm. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the firm, the sooner after SHOT they’re shipping. Large firms? It can be a year, or more than one year; they may use the show to tease a firearm that’s months out, or even complete vaporware. For example, our friendly local FFL just got a couple examples of the Glock G40 MOS Hunter (a long-slide 10mm with optic), one of the new SHOT Glocks — from SHOT 2015. SilencerCo said their Maxim9 will ship … although there are no guarantees! — before the end of 2016.

Where to Learn More

We’ve found a number of sites to be particularly useful. But first among them are these official sites from NSSF. We think that you will be able to get to them all without an NSSF membership.

And these blogs or web magazines are covering the show: The Firearm Blog (timely, detailed reports); Guns, Holsters and Gear (good!);; and Shooting Sports Retailer. (Edited to Add: We forgot Soldier Systems Daily! They’re more gear than guns, but they cover guns and accessories and are very prolific. Sorry ’bout that, Chief).

Right now, there is more information on those links than any of us can use today. But, like the judge said to the octogenarian he’d just given a thirty-year sentence: “It’s okay, Bugsy. Just do as much as you can.”


Kimber Announcement Today – a Revolver?.

2016_REeVOLVE_HeroImageReceived, in the comments to Sunday’s post, from regular commenter redc1c4:

On Monday, January 18, 2016, Kimber will be releasing a new platform that will change the way that you think about concealed carry.
This “revolutionary” new handgun will be on display in the Kimber bay at the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range on January 18, 2016, and in the Kimber SHOT Show booth (#11762).

For all of our loyal fans and consumers that will not be attending 2016 SHOT Show, we will be running a live feed of this product launch and other SHOT Show on-goings within our SHOT Show media page and throughout all social media platforms. Also, detailed new product information will be available on on the afternoon of January 18, 2016.

That, of course, raises the question: where’s the Kimber SHOT Show media page? What, do you think we’d make you find it on your own? It’s right here:

At press time, last night, it 404’d, but it should go live when the show opens today.

The Kimber product is suspected to be a revolver judging from three things:

  1. The teaser image of a six-shot cylinder posted on all their social media in advance. This is what intelligence officers call “an indicator.”
  2. The cute phrase “revolutionary” new handgun with the “revolutionary” in scare quotes in the language above, which Kimber also has been dropping in all their social media lately;
  3. The trademark REeVOLVE, which Kimber has likewise associated with this new product, for instance with this URL and in that image, whether as product name or tagline isn’t instantly clear.

Kimber did this announcement just right — teased just before SHOT after being close-held until then. They even made a “new product announcement” that left everybody thinking their new Micro 9, a 9mm version of their Micro .380, would be their big SHOT Show announcement.

All the big press conferences at SHOT (or any other trade show) are frontloaded into the first day or two. So expect a barrage of new product announcements from those that are there.

Update 0800R — nothing on the page yet, we’re thinking that it won’t be live until 0900 or 1000 Las Vegas Time (the P time zone for those of you who got stuck in Iraq as the Secretary of State says). So we’re looking at 1100 or noontime Eastern before we see boo from Kimber.

Some places you might see early press releases (depending on the embargo) from SHOT are The Firearm Blog and Some manufacturers might have had a midnight embargo, but most will key their new-release press release embargo times to the start of their press conference today. Sellers do this for maximum coordinated media impact.

Update 1100R — Kimber has posted a video on their SHOT Show Video Page, but it’s a generic company promo. And all the guns in it are 1911s or long guns (mostly 1911s), except for this one photo of a revolver displayed on a Kimber employee’s workplace photo assortment. Teaser? Probably not. More likely someone’s private firearm. Looks a little like one of the old interchangeable barrel Dan Wessons.


Why would a revolver of this nature have the hammer spur removed? We can see doing it on a belly gun, but… On this massive hogleg?

The Kimber SHOT Show video page has nothing else at present, nor does the Kimber SHOT Show live blog. The live blog page, though, has a company twitter feed, which promises the video page will be showing live from the booth RSN (Silicon Valley slang: Real Soon Now, meaning, “when they get to it.”)

Update 1130: Here it is, the Kimber K6S.


Looks like a Manurhin design, made and labeled in Kimber’s New York factory. Not the cylinder is not fluted, but simply chamfered between chambers. Key specs: .357 Magnum, stainless, list price ~$900.


That website has put up a number of SHOT Show press releases.

What Are the Most Cloned Firearms?

The champion clone host of all time has to be the AK

The champion clone host of all time has to be the AK

What firearms have been the most cloned, in numbers and in diversity of nations and styles, in all history?

The AK. The M1911. The AR series?

What about the good old M1898 Mauser, daddy of Springfields and Arisakas alike?

Here’s one that probably deserves a place on the list, even if it can’t compete with the wide dispersion of the above-named category-creating firearms: the CZ-75. (Shown: CZ-75B Retro).

New CZ 75 B Retro 3

In the course of some book research we ran across this laundry list of licensed and unlicensed copies of the Koucky brothers’ design on Wikipedia (yeah, we know):

The clones, copies and variants by other manufacturers include:

Chile FAMAE FN-750
China Norinco NZ-75
Czech Republic CZ-Strakonice CZ-TT
Italy Renato Gamba G90
Italy Tanfoglio TZ-75, T-90 and T-95
Israel IMI Jericho 941 and Magnum Research Baby Eagle
Israel BUL Cherokee
North Korea Baek Du San “백두산권총”
Philippines Armscor MAP1 and MAPP1
Sudan Military Industry Corporation Marra and Lado
Switzerland Sphinx Systems Sphinx 2000, Sphinx 3000 and Sphinx SDP
Switzerland ITM AT-84 AT-88
Turkey Sarsılmaz Kılınç 2000 & Armalite AR-24
Turkey Tristar C-100 & Canik 55 Piranha
United Kingdom JSL (Hereford) Ltd Spitfire (No longer in business since 1996)
United States Dornaus & Dixon Bren Ten
United States EAA Witness Elite Gold
United States Springfield P9
United States Vltor Bren Ten

Some of these are rare, some are common (Springfield P9, EAA, IMI Jericho), and some are vaporware (Vltor Bren Ten). One shipped mostly without magazines, can you guess which?

And in addition to all the clones, the Wikipedia article lists 35 variants produced by the original manufacturer, Česká Zbrojovka, Uherský Brod. CZ has produced well over a million of these pistols. To put that in perspective, FN has produced a similar number of Browning High-Powers over a 40-years-longer period; but Colt and other US contractors produced some 2.7 million M1911 series pistols, mostly in two wartime rushes from 1917-19 and 1940-45.

We bet you didn’t know the sturdy CZ was that popular worldwide.