The trend in handguns has gone to multiple options like the FNX45, which allows hammer up or hammer down carry, to every manufacturer out there producing a 1911 style 45. The FNX 45 has excellent recoil control and ergonomics, opening the door toward using this as a competition handgun.
I had a chance to shoot the Ruger SR1911 and I found this model was faithful to the original design, while consistent with the Ruger label of quality and reasonable pricing.
The most notable of firearm trends this year has been a marked improvement in already effective cartridges. The long standing manufacturers have been steadily improving design for accuracy and terminal performance. This has changed the nature of inquiries (yes, readers ask “what should I carry?” all the time) to smaller and smaller off duty options. I always steer them toward duty calibers like 9mm, .40 and .45. However, I am not a fan of waist packs, unless hiking is on the agenda. In that case, I recommend pocket pistols.
This year, Hornady and Winchester have made the .380 ACP more promising. Hornady’s .380 90-grain FTX cartridge (90080) and Winchester’s 380 Auto 95-grain PDX1 Defender (S380PDB) can do what was expected of 9mm cartridges several years ago.
This has spurred the uptick of quality guns that take .380 cartridges. The Colt 380 Mustang Pocketlite is back. This handgun has all of the quality of its famous brethren, but weighs in at 12.5 ounces. In an unintended coincidence, the gun whose quality and configuration rivals the Colt—the SIG P238—also takes similar magazines. I’m saying similar because the magazines share similar dimensions. Both guns will seat and operate with them. I’ll let readers make up their own minds.
Again, I try to steer officers to duty sized cartridges, but tiny guns go with running shorts. Since I carried a North American Arms revolver [somewhere on my person] as [another] backup, I have to recommend the new Hornady 22 WMR 45-grain FTX Critical Defense cartridge, which will beat the “no gun” option anytime.
Charter Arms CARR
Charter Arms has mastered the rimless revolver. The Charter Arms Rimless Revolver (CARR) is an excellent choice for officers who carry an auto for primary and use a revolver off duty. The CARR also allows some officers to comply with certain cartridge policies for off duty/backup carry. Charter Arms has a 9mm and .40 model out now. They plan to introduce a .45 version in the future.
The CARR is unique because its special spring detent system does not require rimless adapters commonly called moon clips. When I tried out the .40 model, I found it had a natural point, good ergonomics and smooth cartridge insertion and extraction. Engineering wise, this innovation is at the same level as the Ruger LCR (absolutely brilliant!) and the original introduction of the Dan Wesson 715V.
Law enforcement matches
There seems to be a renewed interest in law enforcement officers attending competitive matches, especially three-gun matches. If readers saw the LET October issue, there should be no question that I am all for it.
Many officers have been holding matches open to only active, retired, reserve or affiliated personnel. This is a great practice to reduce the likelihood of creating a training deficiency in order to win the competition. Closed matches also give vendors an opportunity to let officers see new products specific to law enforcement like suppressors, restraints and thermal sights.
Some product manufacturers have responded to the call. For example PACT has introduced the Club Timer III, an affordable timer that agencies can use for practice and competition.
The murder rate is up in many major cities. Nationally, the violent crime rate took an unexpected 18-percent jump—the first rise in 20 years. The political response to this is to tighten restrictions on guns to reduce gun crimes. The other strategy proposal is to heavily tax the sale of bullets. The legislators really aren’t reaching deep enough in their anti-crime efforts. Really, why don’t they just make crime illegal?