Concealed Carry & Home Defense

New Handguns

Guns and Gear Contributor
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By Aimee Grant, American Handgunner

When it comes to concealed carry, it really comes down to style and weight because the size is starting to be very close between small calibers (.22, .380, etc.) and “real” calibers like 9mm and .40, for instance. You’ll easily find something you love — and something you love to carry if you nose around. Well, we tossed a sleeper in here too though!


Rock River Arms is bringing some new cool to their lineup of 1911’s, and they didn’t just bring one. Rock River Arms has nine of these 1911’s to choose from. RRA offers a full range of 1911 pistols; from the lightweight Poly version to the full match grade version. Rock River Arms has models guaranteeing groups of 2-1/2″ at 50 yards and that’s a cool guarantee. So for all you hardcore 1911 carry-types, Rock River Arms is shaving some weight by going polymer, without shaving precision.


The precision of the Sig Sauer 1911 is now available in an ultra compact! Sig’s Ultra Compact has a slim design of under 1-1/2″ wide and only 28 oz. Sig’s new smooth skeletonized trigger rocks a 5-lb. pull. They coupled it with low-profile night sights for the complete set up. All the performance of a full-sized model in a tight, race-ready package. Which makes this a great gun for everyday carry, by the way.


Polymer is afoot these days and EAA’s take on a polymer 1911 just landed here. Initial shooting shows it works, but that’s not surprising since it’s made by Tanfoglio. At about 28 ounces according to my postal scale, this is a feathery 5″ .45. We’ll report more on it later in a feature.


Heizer Defense introduced the new slim PAK1 this year. The Heizer “pocket AK” is chambered for 7.62 x 39 (yes, that 7.62) and weighs just 23 oz. The Heizer Defense team added the PAK1 to their lineup which already includes .410/.45 Colt and .223 models. The PAK1 has a 12­–14 lb. DA trigger pull and is equipped with their patented Progressive Porting designed to tame the recoil of the AK round. The Hedy Jane line has a lighter trigger pull at 10-14 lbs., and comes with the same stainless steel frame in black or stainless color. The barrels come in a variety of neon colors and are interchangeable, providing caliber and color flexibility. If you can carry a smart phone, you can carry a Heizer. And, um … I’ll take the .410 in purple, thank you very much.


GLOCK came late to the single stack 9mm game. The Glock 43 looks just like a — GLOCK. They put the same proven technology into this slim single stack 9mm as all their other models. The 43 is a single stack 9mm but is sleek and of course GLOCK-functional. The Glock 42, on the other hand, is a little larger compared to some of the other .380 pistols on the market. It did run great but I ran only great ammo. When you get to smaller calibers you have to be really careful about ammo, don’t ya think? Don’t forget.


Remington’s cute (Yeah, I said cute, what of it?) RM380 Micro Pistol is just that. Tiny and lightweight, it’s got no pokey edges or points, making it great for pocket carry. It’s all metal (aluminum frame), DAO (lightweight!), has an ambi-mag release and even a low profile slide stop. The tiny sights work fine, and our initial test guns ran perfectly with good ammo and a firm wrist. About 12 oz. and holds seven rounds total. You can get a Micro Crimson Trace laser equipped model too. Hey, get one for each pocket?


Everyone loves a wheelgun and since Colt decided to kill their small- frame “Dectective Special” type revolvers, Armscor has filled the hole with their M200, based roughly on the classic Colt design. The half-shroud heavy 4″ barrel and soft polymer stocks augment the Parkerized finish. From shot loads to high performance .38 Specials, our test gun ran just fine. At around $270 MSRP this is good grist for the tackle box, camp or nightstand. While not as purty as a classic Colt, the M200 gets the job done in a business-like manner, nonetheless. Photo: Sarah Dabbs


Can you say “.50 AE”, “Low-Profile” and “Concealable” in the same breadth? Nope. Not one bit. But the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Cheetah model will make you yearn to be 7′ tall so you could tote this beast. Without shame at all, this monster rocks it’s own style of “Take it or leave it” finish. At almost 4-1/2″ lbs., the Desert Eagle isn’t for the faint of heart and is available in .44 Magnum and .50 AE while supplies last. The finish has been tested and has proven to be durable to solvents and wears well. Not your cup of tea? We dare you. Ha!

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