Categories
Handguns

Palmetto State Armory PS9 Dagger: $300 Glock Killer [UPDATED]

At the 2020 SHOT Show, Palmetto State Armory announced a new 9mm pistol called the PS9 Dagger.

With its combination of features and price, the new gun stands to make quite a splash in the industry.

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Handguns

Diamondback DBX – Dual Piston Pistol

Diamondback DBX Review on Range

Diamondback Firearms announced the new DBX pistol at SHOT Show 2020. The new gun is chambered for the 5.7×28 cartridge and has a variety of interesting features that might grab your attention.

So, let’s not dally about and jump right in.

General Information

The new Diamondback DBX is in the general style of an AR pistol, but it should be readily apparent that it is not as simple as that.

Diamondback Firearms manufactured this semi-automatic pistol as a locked-breech design with a dual-piston gas system. I’m looking forward to getting some time with this gun to see how the system is designed.

Diamondback DBX at SHOT Show in 5.7x28

Unlike some of the alternatives, this is a bottom feeder with the magazines inserting in the AR-standard position. The gun runs on FN Five-seveN 20-round magazines. However, the company has also announced that a second gun that will feed from the Ruger-57 pattern magazines will also be released. One magazine is included.

The 8″ barrel is threaded. It comes fitted with the company’s new DBX muzzle device.

Up front, the forend has M-LOK attachment points on the left, right and bottom for a wide range of accessories. Included with the gun is a Magpul handstop kit. For a gun this short, I like that the company includes this as a standard accessory.

Review Diamondback DBX Pistol at the Range

Diamondback includes a side folding arm brace with the pistol. It attaches to the Picatinny rail on the butt end of the gun.

Specifications

Here is a breakdown of the Diamondback DBX specifications:

 

Diamondback DBX

caliber

5.7x28

capacity

20+1

barrel length

8"

overall length

16.1" without brace

height

7.3" without sights

weight

3 lbs with empty magazine, without brace

frame

7075 aluminum

finish

hardcoat anodized matte black

MSRP

TBD

What Gives?

The new Diamondback DBX is one of several new guns recently announced for the 5.7×28 cartridge. Additionally, there have been some new ammo additions like the Speer Gold Dot self-defense load.

Why the sudden surge of interest in this cartridge?

I don’t have any inside information, but I believe all three guns were developed independently. This suggests that the sales and design teams at three different companies reached the same conclusion on the market data they had. That conclusion: there is enough market demand for guns chambered for the cartridge to make the projects financially viable.

So, what happens when three companies move to satisfy the same demand?

Diamondback DBX LEft Side

In this case, I believe it will work out well for all of the companies.

Starting with the Ruger-57, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the cartridge. When CMMG announced its own rifles and pistols (along with AR conversion kits) in 5.7×28, even more people took notice. With a third company jumping into the pool, it will make a lot of people ask “What am I missing?”

Will those people turn into buyers? I think a lot of them will. With the support of premium ammunition for self-defense, target shooting and small game hunting, the cartridge suddenly has a life I did not expect to see.

I look forward to a Diamondback DBX review, but what do you think? It is hard to carry concealed – after all, you can’t slip it into a Ruger-57 holster, but for a home defense weapon, it might be a great choice. Are you interested in this cartridge and/or pistol?

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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.