By Aimee Grant, American Handgunner
Looking for something new? A different spin on an old tradition? A race gun that’ll have you up and running? What happens when two elite gun makers come together? Watch out for pocket pistols, big boomers and high tech as they all join forces to amaze and astound us all. These really are great times for new handguns — and for American Handgunners!
What happens when NightHawk custom and Korth join forces? The Mongoose is born. The Mongoose “Sixgun” — as John Taffin says — comes with a 4″ barrel, (3″, 5.25″ or 6″ barrels are optional) and is chambered as a 6-round .357 Magnum. The dynamic duo notes this is the revolver “… that harkens back to the days when a revolver was a hand-built piece of functioning art.” The frame and all parts are fully machined from the finest billet material available. The Mongoose is ergonomically designed with an easy-to-access cylinder release, skeletonized, high-speed hammer and polished trigger. The Mongoose is a revolver revolution and is pretty enough to be art. But you’ll want to take this art to the range.
The STI DVC Limited 3-Gun was designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s 3-gun enthusiast. Power and Speed. “Diligent, Vis, Celeritous.” The black “Diamond Like Carbon” (DLC) grip is made to last through the demands of competition while providing a comfortable grip. DTI made the slide cuts with performance in mind. These cuts reduce forward recoil, increase cyclic rate and lessen muzzle jump. The DVC has an adjustable rear sight, fiber optic front and comes with an accessory rail. The 2.5 pound trigger pull and the extended magwell keeps your mag changes smooth and quick — because it’s a 3-Gun!
Heizer Defense added the PKO-45 to their innovative line of powerful pocket pistols. The slim PKO-45 is only 0.8″ wide and weighs approximately 25 ounces and is made of 100 percent US aerospace-grade stainless steel. The “fixed-barrel-under-the-guide-rod” configuration claims to lessen felt-recoil but we’ll let you know once we get our test gun in hand. The snag-free design includes an internal hammer/single action and a front strap safety with an additional thumb “ambi-safety.” It has a 5+1 capacity with a flush magazine, and 7+1 capacity with the extended magazine. More later.
The Ruger family has added to their American lineup with the American Compact Pistol. All the things you’ve come to love about the American Pistol but in a smaller, maybe even easier-to-carry version. It comes in two versions, a Manual Safety model and Pro (no manual safety) model. The barrel is 3.5″ and the gun weighs in at 28.75 ounces. The American Compact comes equipped with Novak LoMount Carry three dot sights. It will accommodate the magazines from your full-sized American too. The slide stop and mag release are both ambidextrous, so Ruger has you covered on either hand for a reload.
Kahr has introduced the CW9 in black carbon fiber. This handsome 3D texture enhances the grip and the look of the CW9 black carbon fiber. This pistol features a 3.6″ barrel with conventional rifling and 1:10 right-hand twist, polymer frame and a matte stainless steel slide and adjustable white 3-dot sights. The gun measures just 5.9″ in length, 4.5″ in height and weighs just 15.8 ounces. It still holds 7+1 in 9mm. The polymer and steel blend maximizes the Kahr capabilities and from personal experience, it’s a pleasure to shoot.
Colt displays its quality and tradition with the Colt Delta Elite, chambered again in the classic 10mm. The battle tested Colt Delta has been a longtime favorite and this new one rocks with Novak Sights, enhanced hammer and tactical safety. These features put it in line as a duty weapon or even wild boar hunting, while the lowered ejection port, National Match barrel and full-length guide rod make it a great competition 1911 when you need to “reach out there.”
It’s no mystery why the S&W Shield has become the every day carry gun for so many people. The S&W Performance Center has now made the Shield even better. This new model has a ported slide and barrel to lessen muzzle flip and is paired with generous fiber optics sights. This combo has your back on target faster. They’ve further improved the trigger with a sear for faster trigger reset and a striker/plunger for a smoother trigger pull, making every press an awesome experience. I was amazed at the difference. The aggressive texturing improves the grip, but doesn’t make your hand regret a day at the range. S&W did just enough to the already great Shield. I’m going to have to buy this one to complete the set, pairing it with my original early one.
We’re doing a “two-fer” with Colt. The new Defender in 9mm is riding the wave of 9mm 1911’s and is spot-on with features. Short and light (24 ounces), the aluminum frame/steel slide combo is the best of both worlds. The Novak sights, standard thumb safety, beavertail grip safety and Cerakote matte black finish makes it a serious daily carry gun, while the 9mm doesn’t beat you up and allows fast, controlled follow-up shots. We’ve found these short 3″ barreled 1911’s run well when chambered in 9mm.
Editor Roy of American Handgunner been carrying one of Ruger’s newest, the LCP II, for some time now. I checked in with him to see how it goes. With an improved trigger, improved sights, improved grip (that’s a lot of “improved”) and a last-round hold open feature, this .380 ACP is light (10 ounces or so) and holds 6+1, or so he says. It comes with a good pocket holster and, according to Roy, “I’ve put a bit over 400 rounds through it so far and it’s run 100 percent, absolutely reliable, which is tough to get with one of these tiny pocket guns. It’s also very accurate and so easy to carry it’s my ‘in my pocket all the time’ gun now when at home.” So there you go, “His Imenseness” lends his opinion on it. And he’s picky, I can tell you. Check out Taffin Tests in this issue for more on the LCP II, the American Compact and their hot new .22 auto with a big change.