Categories
Handguns

Ruger-57: New 5.7×28 Pistol

Ruger-57 Pistol

I like it when companies do unexpected things. Sometimes these outside-the-box ideas change the industry while other times they simply become a curiosity. Either way, it keeps things interesting.

The Ruger-57 is one of those unexpected pistols.

In the days leading up to the SHOT Show, Ruger is rolling out its new products for 2020. Yesterday, the company announced the Lite Rack LCP II. Today, the latest is a handgun chambered for the 5.7×28 cartridge.

Let’s take a look at what this new gun offers.

Quick Note

This gun has been selling out as soon as they hit the shelves of the local dealers. Here are a few online sources you can check for the gun. Purchases through those sites are affiliate links and help pay my bills.

Gun Design

The new Ruger-57 is a full-size pistol with a polymer frame. It has a barrel just short of 5″ and a modest weight of 24.5 ounces.

Ruger-57 Side View

It is a semi-automatic, blowback design. Ruger designed the hammer-fired gun with a 1911-style thumb safety. The safety is ambidextrous for ease of use regardless of which hand grips the pistol.

A front fiber optic sight with a fully adjustable blacked-out rear sight is standard. The gun is red dot ready. Ruger sells multiple mounting plates for the addition of an optic like the Burris FastFire and Vortex Venom.

Standard magazines hold 20 rounds. However, the company also offers limited capacity 10-round magazines for shooters who live in less-free states.

The 5.7×28 Cartridge

There is a good chance that some of my readers are not familiar with the 5.7×28 cartridge.

5.7x28 Ammunition for Ruger-57

That’s understandable as the cartridge has never secured a large part of the firearms market. Nevertheless, it is a caliber that offers a blend of low recoil, high velocity and the reliability of a centerfire round.

In general terms, it is a cartridge with a bottleneck case and a bullet with a diameter of 0.224″ (5.7mm.) Bullet weights range from about 20 grains to about 50 grains. The cartridge could be thought of like a thinner, shorter .221 Fireball though I have no information that suggests the Fireball directly influenced the 5.7×28 design.

Lightweight projectiles tend to make for less recoil and increased velocities. In my own testing, for example, I found the SS197 load with a 40 grain Hornady V-Max bullet averaged 1,683 fps from a 4.8″ barrel.

FN Herstal developed the round in response to a NATO request for a small arms cartridge that could be fired from a pistol and personal defense weapon (PDW) and could penetrate body armor. Although the cartridge and companion firearms were never adopted in any significant quantity by military units, the cartridge and guns have found use in law enforcement and sporting contexts.

Other than the new Ruger-57, there are few companies manufacturing firearms chambered for this cartridge. FN builds the Five-seveN pistol and PS90 rifle chambered for the 5.7×28. There are also several smaller companies that make or previously made specialty guns for the round including the AR-57 and Masterpiece Arms MPA 57.

Speer Gold Dot 57x28 Ammo

While ammunition selection is fairly limited, Speer introduced a new Gold Dot defensive round for the 5.7×28 at the same time Ruger released this new pistol.

The Speer load uses a 40-grain bullet and will be sold in boxes of 50 rounds. The MSRP is about $1/round but street prices are expected to be about $35-39 for a box of 50.

Holster Options

For self-defense, predator control or just plinking on a camping trip, there is a good chance you will need a holster for your new Ruger-57. Fortunately, Ruger had the good sense to work with a number of companies to ensure there would be carry rigs available at launch.

Check out my Ruger-57 Holsters Guide and see what is available.

Specifications

 

Ruger-57

caliber

5.7x28

capacity

20+1

barrel length

4.94"

overall length

8.65"

height

5.6"

weight

24.5 oz

grip frame

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$799

Final Thoughts

I have a positive first impression of the new Ruger-57.

Ruger-57 Review

As I always say, the proof will be in the shooting. Even so, I am intrigued by this gun and have high expectations for its performance and the amount of fun it can provide.

The guns are not cheap by Ruger standards, but it is an all-new design and there are costs associated with that. Compared to the FN Five-seveN, the pistol is significantly less expensive – by more than $600. That will definitely bring more shooters to the 5.7×28 niche. I hope that means we will see more ammo made for it as well.

Categories
Handguns

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II in .22

Ruger LCP II in 22 LR

In the run up to the 2020 SHOT Show, Ruger announced a new pistol chambered for the .22 LR called the Lite Rack LCP II.

In what appears to be a riff off of the incredibly popular Smith & Wesson M&P 380EZ line of pistols, Ruger highlights the ease of slide manipulation and soft recoil of the Lite Rack.

The new Lite Rack has a number of interesting features that sets it apart from the existing LCP line. Let’s jump into them right now.

Quick Note

This gun has been selling out as soon as they hit the shelves of the local dealers. Here are a few online sources you can check for the gun. Purchases through those sites are affiliate links and help pay my bills.

Lite Rack

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II in 22 LR

Ruger appears to have recognized a need for easier to manipulate slides. For years, many people with poor upper body strength have struggled with slide operation. On small guns with heavy recoil springs, this has been a significant issue.

While many people can master slide manipulation with a good technique some people are simply unable to do so.

For these folks, the new Lite Rack LCP II may be a good option.

Ruger designed this pistol to function with a light recoil spring. This means there is less resistance to the slide being pulled back. But, working in concert with the lighter spring is the new Cocking Ears.

Cocking Ears

Most handgun slides have serrations to assist the shooter with gripping the metal when working the action. To further improve the shooter’s grip on the slide, Ruger uses pronounced Cocking Ears.

Ruger Lite Rack Cocking Ears

Located at the extreme rear of the slide, the Cocking Ears jut out from both sides of the gun to provide a ledge for the hand to press against. This should, in theory, improve the shooter’s ability to push/pull the slide.

Heckler & Koch included similar ears on its popular VP9 duty pistol. When I reviewed the HK VP9, I found the ears improved my hand’s grip on the slide while maintaining a sleek profile.

Unlike the HK device, Ruger’s Cocking Ears appear to be a machined part of the slide.

New Floorplate

Ruger updated the LCP II floorplate on this model. Compared to the simple pinky extensions available on the .380 ACP variants, the new plate is a little beefier.

The additional bulk is likely needed to fit a full 10 rounds of .22 LR into the magazine.

Whatever the reason, the floorplate does add extra real estate on the pistol’s grip. Many people will appreciate the extra length.

Rimfire Not Centerfire

Light Recoil from the Ruger LCP II Lite RackLight Recoil from the Ruger LCP II Lite Rack

While .380 ACP ammunition is not abusive, it can still provide harsh recoil to a newer shooter in a small, light handgun. A .22 LR is a much lighter recoiling load.

For the new shooter and those with upper body strength issues, the Lite Rack LCP II may be a fantastic option.

New Thumb Safety

 

Right Side View of Ruger Lite Rack LCP II

Like many .22 LR pistols, the Lite Rack LCP II has a thumb safety. It is quite pronounced and should be easy to operate by anyone regardless of hand strength.

Pushing forward on the safety deactivates it and allows you to fire the gun. The safety is on the left side of the gun only.

The pistol also uses the trigger safety to help prevent accidental discharges.

Specifications

 

Lite Rack LCP II

caliber

.22 LR

capacity

10+1

barrel length

2.75"

overall length

5.2"

height

4.0"

weight

11.2 oz

grip frame

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$349

Final Thoughts

I like the new LCP II in .22 LR. It incorporates a number of features that will make it appealing to a range of shooters. As a guy with increasingly severe arthritis, I am happy to see another company offering a gun that can work for people with reduced hand strength.

The new Lite Rack LCP II has the same suggested retail price as the standard .380 ACP model: $349.

Categories
Handguns

Chiappa CBR-9 Black Rhino Pistol: New Personal Defense Handgun

Chiappa CBR-9 Pistol

On the heels of its PDW announcement earlier in the year, Chiappa Firearms has another new gun based on the same design. Called the CBR-9 Black Rhino pistol, the new handgun will officially roll out at the 2020 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

The new pistol uses a steel “upper” receiver that holds all of the mechanical components save the ejector and magazine. Those parts are housed in the polymer lower receiver that also forms the pistol grip.

Chiappa uses a blowback system in the Black Rhino. According to the company, the system is “improved and efficient” with a bolt that is about 50% of the weight of competing products.

Chambered in 9mm, the gun uses proprietary 18-round magazines. The company stated the magazine design is a patented design that prevents the deformation of the feed lips for improved reliability. In other words, don’t expect to slip a 33-round Glock magazine into place.

Good news, however. The company suggests larger magazine capacities may be available at a later date. This would seem to be an obvious play on its part.

One of the most interesting aspects of this new pistol is the collapsible arm brace. Similar to the shoulder stock on the PDW, the arm brace can make this gun extremely compact for transport and provide the additional bracing for someone to shoot the gun more accurately with one hand.

Low profile fiber optic sights are standard, while a top Picatinny rail allows for the addition of a red dot or some other optic. There are also side rails for lights and additional gear.

A few years back, Chiappa introduced the AK-9. That was an AK-style pistol that fed from Beretta 92 magazines. The CBR-9 pistol looks far more refined.

The original personal defense weapon that the Chiappa CBR-9 pistol is based on was unveiled at the 2019 IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Nuremberg, Germany. To my eye, the CBR-9 Black Rhino pistol bears a passing resemblance to the HK MP7 PDW. I’m not suggesting the one is a copy or clone of the other – just that they have a resemblance. Here’s hoping the Chiappa is more affordable than the HK.

Categories
Handguns

SCCY DVG1 – New Striker-Fired 9mm Pistol

SCCY DVG1

Florida-based SCCY appears ready to launch a new striker-fired pistol called the DVG1. (Scroll down for updates including the crazy price on the red dot version.)

Print advertising for the new SCCY DVG1 handgun appeared in magazines this week though the company does not have any mention of it on its website. Nevertheless, the ad does include a significant amount of information about the new pistols.

The start with, the guns appear to be thinner versions of the existing 9mm CPX-1 and -2 handguns. The lengths and heights are identical – 6.01″ and 5.06″ respectively – but the width has been narrowed from 1.40″ to a svelt 1.0″.

A thinner body has not impacted its capacity. Magazines hold 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition each. This puts up to 11 rounds in the shooter’s hand before a reload is needed. Unloaded, the guns weigh 15.5 ounces.

SCCY DVG1 9mm

The really big change for the company is that this gun is a striker-fired pistol. Prior guns from SCCY have been hammer-fired.

Moving to a striker system, SCCY was able to drop the factory trigger pull to about 5.5 pounds. This is substantially less than the company’s other offerings that have a long, moderately heavy pull.

No suggested price is listed for the SCCY DVG1, but I suspect that will be forthcoming shortly.

Specifications

 

SCCY DVG1

caliber

9mm

capacity

10+1

action

striker-fired

barrel length

3.1"

overall length

6.01"

height

5.06"

weight

15.5 oz

grip

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$289, $389 for red dot version

I would not be surprised to see a number of follow-on handguns such as a DVG2 that incorporates a manual thumb safety. Likewise, a .380 ACP version of the gun may also be in the works. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ve previously handled, shot and reviewed a number of SCCY pistols including a prototype of the CPX-3. With a single exception, all of the guns shot well and were completely reliable. The sole exception was a CPX-2 pistol that was fixed and returned to me within a week.

SCCY DVG1 review

I look forward to seeing the DVG-1 at the upcoming SHOT Show and getting it on the range for some shooting.

Update

SCCY officially announced the DVG-1 today, and the company added a twist: a second model with a Crimson Trace red dot. This model is designated the DVG-1RD and will come with the CT optic factory mounted.

SCCY DVG-1RD

The optic used is the Crimson Trace CTS-1500. While the CTS-1500 is not listed on the Crimson Trace website, it is the same pistol red dot that is used on the existing SCCY red dot pistols. The closest product on the CT website is the CTS-1400 that uses a 3.25 MOA dot and has an MSRP of $299.

Crimson Trace backs the CTS-1500 optic with a 3-year warranty. It uses a 3.5 MOA dot. The DVG-1RD will only cost $100 more than the standard model. For a factory-mounted, brand name red dot that seems to be a very good deal.

A couple of additional pieces of information about the new guns.

Unlike prior SCCY pistols, the DVG-1 and DVG-1RD will have flat triggers. This style of trigger is enjoyed by many people, but it is a personal preference thing. I don’t know of any data that supports one style of trigger being better than another for accuracy or speed.

Additionally, the company clarified that it will use the Quadlock barrel in this gun. The Quadlock was first used on the company’s .380 ACP pistols.

Categories
Handguns

Smith & Wesson M&P 9EZ Shield

Smith & Wesson M&P 9EZ

Building on the success of the M&P 380EZ, Smith & Wesson is introduced the new M&P9 EZ today.

The new gun blends the easy-racking slide of the original pistol with the more powerful 9mm cartridge. This means that people with reduced hand strength are no longer handicapped by the comparatively low powered .380 ACP.

Features of the new M&P 9EZ include:

  • a slide that is easy to manipulate
  • a slide with tapered rear slide serrations
  • magazines with a loading tab for easier insertion of rounds
  • reversible magazine release
  • a one-piece trigger design

In the above video, Julie Golob gives you an introduction to the pistol.

Standard ModelCrimson Trace Model
caliber9mm9mm
capacity8+18+1
actioninternal hammer firedinternal hammer fired
barrel length3.675"3.675"
overall length6.8"6.8"
weightapproximately 23.2 ozapproximately 23.8 oz
sights3 white dot3 white dot and Crimson Trace Red Laserguard
grippolymerpolymer
finishmatte blackmatte black
MSRP$479$479

Guns will be available with and without a thumb safety. All of the pistols will have a grip safety.

Easy to Load Smith Wesson MP 9EZ

Smith & Wesson is also offering a version of the gun with a Crimson Trace Laserguard that uses a red aiming laser. Lasers can be very useful for people when a traditional sight picture is unavailable. For example, if you are knocked to the ground or are using cover that precludes the alignment of gun and eye.

At this time, Smith & Wesson lists all versions of the M&P 9EZ at the same price: $479. It would seem that there is no additional charge for getting the pistol with the Crimson Trace Laserguard.

I found Palmetto State Armory is currently offering the 9mm EZ pistols for $399 here.