TriStar Arms added a number of new personal defense and target shooting handguns for 2013. I am not terribly familiar with the TriStar line of firearms, but according to the company, they only recently got into the handgun market when they introduced their first pistols in 2012.
The new TriStar pistols are chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W and come in a variety of finishes and sizes. Two of the pistols, the TP semi-auto handguns, are polymer framed guns. The other pistols are traditional metal framed handguns.
MSRP on the TriStar handguns run from $429 to $469. Street prices may dip below $400 on some models. It will be interesting to see how these guns perform on the range and in sales when compared to other pistols in this price range. There are certainly a number of players in this price range, and big names like Ruger and Smith & Wesson certainly have an edge on brand name recognition.
Each of these pistols ships with two magazines, a cleaning kit, a gun lock and hard case. The guns come with a one year warranty.
The TriStar C100 is one of two models available in both 9mm and .40 S&W calibers. This model appears to be a mid size gun with a 3.9″ barrel. It has a traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger.
The slide is steel and the frame is an aluminum alloy. Weight is listed as 1.63 pounds for the .40 and 1.53 pounds for the 9mm. Magazine capacity is 11 for the .40 and 15 for the 9mm.
The P120 is a larger gun than the C100, but it is only available in 9mm. The barrel is 4.7″ long and the total weight (unloaded) is 1.87 pounds. According to TriStar the P120 was developed for military use, but also is a good gun for the shooting sports. Magazine capacity is 17 rounds.
The TriStar L120 is also a 9mm-only pistol with a 4.7″ barrel and 17 round magazine. However, this pistol comes in a little lighter at 1.75 pounds.
The S120 is a heavier version of the L120. Instead of the steel-alloy frame of the L120, the S120 uses a stainless steel frame. That increases the total weight of the gun to 2.26 pounds. Barrel length and magazine capacity remain the same.
Not to be confused with a Terminator model, the TriStar T100 is a compact pistol with a 3.7″ barrel. This gun is only available in 9mm. Magazine capacity is 15 rounds. Total (unloaded) weight is 1.64 pounds.
The TriStar T120 is a full size handgun that the company describes as being “great for home defense and target shooting.” It has a 4.7″ barrel. The gun is only available in 9mm and takes a 17-round magazine. Weight is 1.88 pounds. Like the guns described above, it uses the DA/SA trigger.
TP-9 and TP-40
In the “one of these things is not like the other” category is the TP series of TriStar pistols. These handguns are polymer framed and strangely different from each other. The 9mm version is listed as having a 3.5″ barrel, a 1.39 pound weight and a 10-round magazine. Meanwhile, the .40 S&W version is supposed to have a 4.1″ barrel, 1.65 pound weight and a 13 round magazine.
I don’t know if the company is planning on two different models: a standard and a compact, but those are the specs they have published, and the differentiator appears to be the caliber. I would think the company would make a 9mm and .40 S&W version of both sizes, and eventually they might.
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