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Most Popular New Guns of 2010

Well, the 2011 SHOT Show is closer than the 2010 Show, so I thought I would take a look at some of the most popular new guns of 2010.  Popularity was determined based on Google keyword searches and forum posts that I read.  So, yeah, this list is pretty arbitrary, but hey, it’s my list.  Your feedback is encouraged!

Gen 4 Glock (any) – Like them or hate them, the Glock line of pistols is one of the most popular series of handguns currently in the US.  One of the few complaints about the Glock has been the size of the grip.  Answering public demand, Glock introduced the Gen 4 series of pistols that feature an adjustable grip size, new grip texture, a magazine release button update, and a double recoil spring assembly.

Initially offered in the models 17 and 22, the Gen 4 Glock 19 is now available, and the Gen 4 Glock 23 should begin shipping in the next 30-45 days.

Taurus 740 Slim – Based on the success of the 709 Slim, Taurus introduced the .40 caliber version in 2010.  The 740 Slim is a compact, single-stack pistol chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge.  Larger than the current crop of .380 pistols in the market, the 740 is still a very compact package that offers 6 + 1 rounds of a respected self-defense cartridge.  Also unlike many diminutive pistols, the 740 Slim has good sights that, while smaller than a full-size gun, are easy to pick up and are adjustable.  Read this for a full Taurus 740 review.

Ruger SR9c – The SR9c pistol is the compact version of the full-sized SR9.  Ruger has re-made itself in recent years, offering many more concealed carry and tactical products like the LCP, LCR, and SR556.  The 9mm SR9c is a continuation of their self-defense concept.  I have not been able to shoot an SR9c yet, but from all indications, Ruger has a real hit with this pistol.

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard – Smith & Wesson has always been known for their great revolvers.  Armed citizens and cops alike have favored the J-frame revolvers for pocket and ankle carry, with models like the 442 and 642 being some of the most popular guns in the S&W catalog.

This year S&W introduced a polymer-metal hybrid revolver with an integrated laser called the S&W Bodyguard chambered in .38 Special.  The revolver looks similar to the J-frame ‘hammerless’ revolvers that sell so well for S&W, but apparently are a complete redesign, sharing no parts with their all-metal predecessors.  One of the obvious changes is the ambidextrous cylinder release that was moved from the side of the revolver to the top where you would normally find a hammer on a revolver.

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New Taurus Guns at the 2009 SHOT Show

Taurus 709 SLIM Review

There was a lot of talk before the SHOT Show about some of the new guns Taurus would be introducing.  Well, here is what I found:

Taurus Slim

Taurus previously announced the “Slim,” or 709-series, pistol.  However, they are now offering it with a titanium slide.  Let me tell you this thing is light!  The Slim pistol is a single stack 9mm handgun that weighs only 19 ounces (unloaded).  With the titanium slide, you can shave a few more ounces off of that number.  The blued and stainless models feel good in my hand, but the titanium model is a real winner.  Taurus lists the steel slide versions at $439, and says the titanium version will go for about $100 more.

All three models – blued, stainless, and titanium,  have a 3.2″ barrel and come with a 7-round, flush magazine and a 9-round extended magazine.  The pistols have the Taurus SA/DA trigger system, meaning once you chamber a round, the trigger pull is a “short, crisp” SA pull.  Should the gun fail to fire, the next trigger pull (second shot capability) is a longer double-action shot.  Assuming the gun fires each time, the trigger pulls will all be single action.

Sights are a low profile, but very usable, three-dot system.

Taurus announced the 709 series of single stack 9mm pistols last year, but never shipped them.  During the past year, the Taurus SLIM has undergone several changes. There are several cosmetic changes, such as the grips:

Taurus 709 prototype grips

and recess around the takedown:

Taurus 709 prototype

The most significant design change has been the addition of a trigger safety.  The original 709 did not have a trigger safety, but the shipping models of the Taurus SLIM will have one.

taurus_709_slim_10

I had the chance to handle the blued and titanium models at SHOT.  The SA trigger pull was light and felt pretty good for a polymer gun.  The DA pull was much longer but relatively smooth.

These guns fit in my medium-sized hand pretty well, but someone with large hands may not like the size as much.  These guns should conceal easily in an IWB or belt scabbard.  While not as concealable as a Taurus TCP or Ruger LCP, they do offer the added benefit of a more serious caliber, better sights, more grip surface, and up to 10 rounds on tap before a reload.

I hope Taurus gets these to the dealers soon.  The single stack 9mm is a good choice for concealed carry and if they work well on the range, Taurus may sell a bunch of these.

Update: Taurus expanded the SLIM line to include the 740 in .40 S&W and the 708 in .380 ACP. We reviewed the 709 here and the 740 here. Unfortunately, neither gun was without problems.

PT-22/PT-25

Taurus PT-22

Also known as the 22PLY and 25PLY, these tip-up barreled guns now sport a polymer frame and lighter weight.  Unfortunately, the only samples they had on the floor (one of each) were in a back room for a private meeting with some big buck distributor when I was there.  These will start at about $220 and go up depending on what options you get.  The rep couldn’t tell me what options you may get.

Taurus TCP

738 TCP

The TCP, or Taurus Compact Pistol, is the latest .380 ACP pocket gun to hit the market.  Kel Tec had this market cornered until Ruger launched the LCP last year.  Now everyone is looking to get in on it.

The TCP is a very small, very thin, very light polymer pocket gun. The sights are almost non-existent, but I guess this was meant as a last ditch “get off me” kind of gun. The TCP does have a slide lock.

I’ve got photos and more information on the Taurus TCP here.

24/7

The Taurus rep said all of the 24/7 pistols were re-designed so the curve on the backstrap was slightly altered and now each of the pistols could hold one additional round as compared to the originals.  That seemed a little strange, so I asked him to repeat himself, and he confirmed the information.  As to why they changed the curve/grip he merely said “ergonomics.”

1911

Taurus did indeed introduce a double stack 1911.  For my hand, it is way too thick.  The magazine well is huge, and the gun balances nicely.  Fit and finish seemed top-notch on the floor sample (it better, right?).

Taurus also introduced a 1911 chambered for the .38 Super.

(Ed. note: As of October 2014, Taurus is only offering 1911 pistols in .45 ACP and 9mm. Also, the company is only offering guns in single stack models. There are no double stack 1911 pistols available from Taurus in the United States at this time.)

The Public Defender

By now, everyone has seen the Judge: Taurus’ .45 Colt/.410 shotshell combo revolver.  Well, Taurus just announced the Public Defender.  This revolver is also chambered in .45/.410 (2 1/2″), but on the smaller 85-series frame.

Taurus Public Defender

The frame was lengthened to accommodate the longer cylinder, but it is a lot smaller than the full-sized Judge.  Yes, it still holds five cartridges.

The hammer spur was trimmed and rounded to make it less likely to snag on clothing, but it is still large enough to cock for a single action shot (precision with a .410 shot shell?)  A fiber optic front sight and the ribbed Taurus grips are standard.

The Public Defender in stainless will set you back around $500, while a titanium model will go for about $600.  More information on the Public Defender is here.

The Tactical Judge

Taurus has introduced a tactical version of the Judge, complete with a ported barrel and Picatinny rail.

Taurus Judge Tactical

Playing off the success of earlier Judge revolvers, Taurus introduced the tactical Judge at the 2009 SHOT Show.  The Taurus 4510TKR-SSR and -BR offer a 3″ ported barrel Judge with a Picatinny rail for lasers and lights.

The new Judge chambers five .45 Colt cartridges or .410 (2.5″) shotshells. Standard on both the blued and stainless models are the red fiber optic front sight, fixed rear notch, and the Taurus Ribber grips.

Taurus reps said “around $500” for the retail price on this new Judge.

Taurus Judge tactical

The Taurus Judge SSR Ported has a yoke detent and the famous Ribber Grip that is supposed to absorb more recoil than other kinds of polymer stocks.  The ported barrel is supposed to reduce felt recoil when shooting this gun.

4.6x30mm Revolver

While the SHOT Show was interesting at the Taurus booth, I did not see the oddball 4.6x30mm revolver that Michael Bane talked about in his podcast.  The Taurus rep I spoke with looked at me as if I was a complete idiot when I inquired about such a beast.  Well, I guess it is one gun that did not make the trip from Brazil.  Maybe we will see it introduced later in the year.  Only time will tell.  I have a difficult time thinking it will be a huge seller, but I could be very wrong about that.

Final Thoughts

On all of the guns, the rep was a little loose with shipping dates and pricing.  So, stay tuned.  When they start shipping, and when we have firm prices, I will let you know.

Pre-Show Information

Before the show started, I posted the following information:

taurus slim

Michael Bane teased to a wide selection of new firearms to be introduced by Taurus at the 2009 SHOT Show in his January 7 podcast.  Calling them the “strangest eclectic collection,” Bane described:

  • a new Judge revolver based on the small, model 85 frame;
  • a high-capacity 1911 in three calibers: .38 Super (18 rounds), .40 S&W (16 rounds), and .45 ACP (12 rounds);
  • a polymer-framed pistol similar to the Glock but with the features “everyone has been asking for” (such as not needing to pull the trigger to disassemble the gun);
  • a compact, polymer-framed pistol in .380 ACP, similar to the LCP, but with a titanium slide and a mere 8.5 ounce weight;
  • a “super slim”, single-stack 9mm pistol;
  • a redesigned PT22 and PT25 that retain the tip-up barrel, but now with a polymer frame; and…drum roll please….
  • a revolver chambered in 4.6x30mm.

Wow.

I give Taurus a lot of credit for their willingness to step outside of the box and offer different things.  I really like them for that.   The Judge has been a huge hit, and it was never a gun I would have expected to survive its first year.  Maybe the 4.6×30 will be the same…

Regardless, I look forward to the SHOT show and getting my hands on some of these.  I’ll have lots of photos and more information for you, so stay tuned!