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Handguns

Dan Wesson Guardian 1911 Pistol

danwesson_guardian_03aCZ revamped the Dan Wesson 1911 line, and were showing off the new pistols at the 2010 SHOT Show.  The Dan Wesson Guardian was one example.

The Guardian is a commander-sized 1911 pistol chambered in 9mm.  The forged alloy frame has a black “duty” finish, which is the same finish as what is on the Valor handguns mad by CZ.  The rear of the grip is bob-tailed making it easier to conceal.

The sights are fixed tritium three-dot.  The rear sight is ramped so it is less likely to snag on any clothing when it is drawn from behind a jacket or under a shirt.  I prefer to have a hard edge instead of a ramp so I can use it to perform one-handed malfunction drills and reloads more easily.

The Guardian felt good in the hand, and it balanced well.  It is a touch heavier than similar sized, polymer framed pistols from competitors, but that extra weight should make the 9mm recoil darn-near non-existent.  Weight is listed as 1.8 pounds (about 28.8 ounces).

Categories
Handguns

Taurus SLIM 708 in .380 ACP

taurus_708_02aThe Taurus SLIM 708 pistol in .380 ACP was one of two new SLIM pistols announced at the 2010 SHOT Show.  The Taurus SLIM 740 in .40 S&W was the other.  The Taurus 708 is modeled on the very popular 9mm SLIM introduced by Taurus in 2009.

The 708 is a compact pistol that holds seven .380 ACP rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber.  It can be had with a blued or stainless steel finish.  Barrel length is 3.2″ and weighs only 19 ounces unloaded.

The Taurus SLIM 708 has a fixed front sight, with an adjustable rear.  The sights are very low profile, but they are usable.

As with the other pistols in the SLIM line, the frame is polymer and the pistol has Taurus’s DA/SA action with the “Strike Two” capability.  The SLIM has a manual safety – sweep down to fire.  The safety is on the left side of the frame.

Categories
Handguns

Les Baer Boss .45 1911

les_baer_boss_01aInspired by the 1970 Boss 429 Mustang, Les Baer introduced the Boss .45 1911 pistol at the 2010 SHOT Show.  The new Boss 1911 is a good looking pistol, with some solid features from one of the best known 1911 builders in the USA.

The Boss is based on Baer’s Premier II pistol, with added features “…to really make it the Boss of custom .45s.”  The Boss is guaranteed to shoot three inch groups at 50 yards.  MSRP is $2109.

For those of you that do not know, Ford made the Boss 429 Mustang in 1969 and 1970 only.  The massive 429 cubic inch engine had to be squeezed into the Mustang’s engine compartment by Kar Kraft, an outside assembly facility contracted by Ford.  The Boss 429 was one of the most powerful production, drag-ready cars made at the height of the muscle car era.

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news

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38

The Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38 is a new “hammerless” revolver like those found in the Centennial line.  Unlike those guns, the new Bodyguard 38 has a polymer frame and integral laser.  It is one of two new compact handguns called Bodyguard introduced by S&W at the 2010 SHOT Show.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38

First, the basics, it is a five-shot, 38 Special revolver that is rated for +P ammunition.  The hammer is fully concealed, and the gun is double action only.  The gun is black with a grip.  At first glance, it looks a lot like a model 442.  But, this revolver is actually very different.

The Bodyguard 38 is a polymer-framed revolver, the first-ever by Smith & Wesson.  This means that Smith had to go back to the drawing board to design this firearm.  The lower frame (roughly from the rear of the cylinder back), is polymer, while the upper frame (surrounding the cylinder and housing the barrel) is aluminum.  As you might expect, the revolver is very light, weighing only 14.3 ounces.

A significant change on the Bodyguard 38 is the relocation of the cylinder release.  Instead of being mounted on the side of the frame, the release has been moved to the top of the frame, where an exposed hammer would normally be.  Since the cylinder release is along the midline of the revolver, it is now ambidextrous.

Speaking of the cylinder, one of the problems sometimes cited by owners of Smith & Wesson J-frames is the extractor rod is too short to reliably eject fired brass.  This is an annoyance at the range, but a possible deadly problem in a self-defense shooting.  While not full length, the rod on the Bodyguard 38 is noticeably longer to provide a more sure ejection of spent cartridges.

S&W Bodyguard 38

Smith and Wesson lists the barrel length as 1.9″.  Traditionally, S&W has listed the barrel length of their “snubbies” at either 1 7/8″ (1.875″) or 2″.  I assumed that Smith was rounding up the 1.875″, but the company rep insisted the barrel length was exactly 1.9″.

Sights are fixed and black.  The rear notch seems wider than the notch on the 442/642, but that is my impression only.  I didn’t measure them, and the Smith rep was not sure.

Significantly, the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38 ships with an integrated laser from Insight Technology.  The red laser mounts high and back on the right side of the frame.  The laser is adjustable for drift and elevation.  Two laser modes are offered: steady and pulse.  To activate the laser, the shooter may turn the unit on by pressing a button on the unit.

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news

Taurus Raging Judge Ultra-Lite

Taurus Raging Judge Ultra-Lite

In another evolution of the Judge line, Taurus introduced the Raging Judge Ultra-Lite revolver at the 2010 SHOT Show.  The Raging Judge Ultra-Lite is a seven-shot revolver that can shoot 2.5” and 3” .410 shotshell in addition to .45 Colt.

The sights are fixed, with a fiber optic front and notch rear.  The barrel is three inches, with the gun’s weight just a touch more than 41 ounces.  Though it was not shown on the show floor, the Taurus catalog also lists a six inch barrel, which weighs a little over 47 ounces.