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news

Wilson Combat WCP320 Carry Review

The Wilson Combat WCP320 Carry is one of the best 9mm pistols I’ve reviewed.

From its announcement as the new standard sidearm for the United States military, the popularity of the SIG SAUER P320 pistol seemingly exploded.

Categories
news

Springfield Armory XD 9mm Subcompact Pistol Review

While single-stack 9mm pistols seem to be all the rage in modern concealed carry, subcompact pistols that hold a bit more ammunition shouldn’t be dismissed by anyone interested in personal protection.

In this Springfield Armory XD Subcompact pistol review, I take a look at the smallest gun in the company’s Defend Your Legacy Series of handguns. While thicker than the XD-S Mod.2 pistol, it is still small enough for most people to easily conceal but offers significantly more ammunition.

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Handguns

FN 503: The Slim New 9mm Pistol

FN 503 Review

Concealable pistols continue to drive much of the firearms market, and the new FN 503 is an example of that trend.

FN America just announced the new 9mm handgun that will be direct competition for other single-stack, subcompact pistols like the Glock 43, Smith & Wesson Shield, Walther PPS M2 and the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2.

But, how does it compare? Will it build enough of a following to be a viable product long-term?

Let’s take a look at the pistol and what it may offer you.

FN 503 Features

Put simply, the FN503 is a striker-fired subcompact 9mm pistol that was designed for concealed carry.

FN states it took design cues from the FN 509 pistol, which was its entry in the US military’s handgun replacement program. But this gun is clearly built for concealment.

The company claims that the feel of the striker-fired system is “arguably the best in its class” with a crisp trigger break at an average of 5 pounds.

As with other striker-fired handguns, the FN 503 trigger has a safety built into the face of the trigger. Unlike many similar pistols, FN uses an all-metal trigger.

FN503 9mm Handgun

The gun is relatively small. It has a 3.1″ barrel with a maximum width of 1.1″. However, FN built the gun with large controls to make it easy to run – even under stress.

On top, the company uses metal 3-dot sights. They are dovetailed into the slide with a cut that matches that of the FN 509 pistol. That means the sights are large enough to be useable and can be replaced with fiber optics or night sights if you prefer.

FN developed a new grip texture that it likens to skateboard tape. That should provide adequate traction for controlling the pistol when shooting – even when your palms are sweaty.

Specifications

caliber9mm
magazine capacity6 rounds (flush fitting), 8 rounds (extended)
barrel length3.1"
weight21 oz unloaded
sights3-dot
finishmatte black
MSRP$549

How Does it Compare?

With a variety of other pistols on the market in this niche, is there a compelling reason to purchase it instead of the competition?

Until I’ve had this gun on the range for a full testing and review, I can’t say for sure. However, here is how the gun’s numbers stack up against the competition:

FN 503

Glock 43

Kahr CM9

S&W Shield

SA XD-S M.2

Walther PPS M2

caliber

9mm

9mm

9mm

9mm

9mm

9mm

capacity (flush fitting magazine)

6+1

6+1

6+1

7+1

7+1

6+1

barrel length

3.1"

3.4"

3.0"

3.1"

3.3"

3.2"

weight (unloaded)

21.0 oz

18.0 oz

15.9 oz

19.0 oz

21.5 oz

19.4 oz

width (thickest portion)

1.1"

1.1"

not given

1.0"

1.0"

1.0"

MSRP

$549

$589

$460

$374

$586

$449

Note: All measurements rounded to the nearest tenth.

You should not buy a defensive firearm solely on specifications. However, specs can help you narrow down your choices. All of the guns in the table above – save the new FN 503 – are currently in my possession. The Walther is my favorite with the Shield and G43 being close runner ups. It will be interesting to see how the new FN pistol will compare once I have one in hand.

Final Thoughts

FN 503 9mm Pistol

While the gun might be a little late to the party, it has the styling and features to put it on par with its contemporaries.

Assuming the gun is reliable, I think it will carve out a place for itself with many gun owners. How large of a market share it can pull remains to be seen.

Market share is important as it will be a key factor for obtaining third party support such as FN 503 holsters.

Categories
Handguns

Ruger PC Charger Pistol

Ruger PC Charger Pistol Review

One of the runaway hits for Ruger has been its 9mm rifle. Building on that success is the new Ruger PC Charger Pistol chambered in 9mm.

Based on the company’s PC Carbine, the new PC Charger Pistol has a wealth of features that will make it a great candidate as an SBR or the addition of an arm brace.

Here’s a quick look at the new pistol.

Quick Note

I’m a fan of the original Ruger PC Carbine. It proved to be an excellent shooter and had the feeling of being a quality build.

While the PC Charger Pistol is likely to be more of a niche gun, I fully expect it to be an excellent shooter.

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.