The annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, or SHOT Show, got underway today in Las Vegas. I’m not even going to try and cover what is being flung all over the interwebs concerning new guns being released at shot. Here are some that I found the most interesting.
Taurus: Taurus is trying, I think, to bill themselves as the most progressive and innovative firearm manufacturer in the world. Last year they introduced 10 new products, and this year they introduced 14! This year they’ve introduced a polymer framed revolver and have expanded they’re “Judge” line to include a polymer frame and, can you say “Raging Judge?” Take a spin through their 2010 New Product Catalog.
Smith & Wesson: S&W has new J-frames with 2.5″ full lug barrels, and a scandium framed 386 in .357 mag and 329 in .44 mag (the scandium reduces the weight on the 329 from 49.5 oz to 33 oz). Check out their 2010 New Product Catalog.
However, S&W is playing catch-up in two areas this year. (1) Everyone has been waiting for them to jump into the .380 pocket gun market (see the .380 auto section of this chart) and they’ve finally done it. Introducing the S&W Bodyguard 380. It is ugly enough to have been spawned by a Taurus Millennium Pro. The integral laser will price it above and beyond it’s competitors which, unless it gets rave reviews, might keep people away. Did I mention how ugly it is? The Outdoor Wire already has a review:
The S&W Bodyguard 380 is a compact double action only 6-shot .380 Auto. Measured at ¾” thick, the little gun is hammer fired, has a second-strike capability and an Insight laser aimer installed inside the dustcover.
The Bodyguard 380 was quite thin – very flat. The safety – it has a manual safety – is small, cannot be knocked “on” by accident. In fact, I never did get the safety on.
(2) The S&W Bodyguard 38 is Smith & Wesson’s first foray into the polymer framed revolver market. Ruger was first last year with the LCR. The Smith is more traditional looking than the LCR, and is also just a little bit larger. Here is The Outdoor Wire’s review:
This is not grand dad’s j-frame. This is a new gun, the biggest leap in S&W’s DA revolver history. Taking a look at it, it appears to be a revolver with a couple of protuberances. Simply, it’s a sub-two-inch .38 Special, rated for +P ammo. It’s a hammer-fired double action only revolver. It weighs around 14 ounces, is around 1.4″ thick, has a stainless steel barrel liner and a stainless steel cylinder – the latter is dark PVD coated.
The frame is a one-piece aluminum alloy upper with a steel-reinforced polymer lower frame.
The new gun has a one-piece rubber stock, a notch in the top-strap rear sight and a pinned black front blade.
Still not excited? Well there’s not a single part of the new gun currently in use in any S&W handgun. The cylinder latch thumb-piece is no longer where it was. It’s atop the frame accessible to either hand – an ambidextrous cylinder release.
An Insight Technologies laser is a part of the gun. With a top mounted switch, the laser has a constant beam, a pulse laser. The third press of the switch turns it off. With constant beam, the laser, powered by 2 Energizer 357 batteries, has a run time of 3 hours.
The Bodyguard 38 has a smooth trigger, correctly noted as “better than a typical J” by a tenured S&W representative. Using first the laser then the standard sights, I was able to keep representative 125 grain JHP ammo by Hornady as well as remanufactured ammo in tight groups — bullet holes touching at around 7 yards without any difficulty. I noticed that, while loud, the gun didn’t seem to particularly “kick hard.” Figuring the top-mounted latch to be a boondoggle – you have to compromise your grip to get at it, I reasoned – I found it easily reached and ideally located. It’s well thought out. This gun has lots of promise.
This looks like a sweet addition to the S&W line-up. But again, I feel that the laser sight will price this far and above the Ruger LCR (which has an optional laser grip) and the Taurus Protector Polymer (which, like most Taurus products, is hideously ugly).
More to come as SHOT continues tomorrow!