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Handgun review fall 1991.


The 1991 SHOT Show saw the introduction of several new and interesting designs from America's gunmakers. New names such as Anaconda and All American, BDM and P89 graced the booths in Dallas. With the fall retail season underway, Shooting Industry takes a look at where the handgun market is headed leading up to the 1992 SHOT Show in New Orleans.

The first three quarters of 1991 have seen several of the Shot Show/NRA Show introductions arrive on the dealers shelves. Most notably, the entire Glock 20 series, myriad Smith & Wessons, the Colt Double Eagles and the Ruger P89/90 series. Browning, Colt, Mitchell Arms, Sile (Sphinx), Ruger, and others are still working on designs introduced at Dallas or San Antonio (NRA Show). The wide range of consumer magazines on the market have raised the collective awareness of the handgun aficionado to new levels this year. Handguns such as the .50 Caliber Desert Eagle and the Colt All American Model 2000 cause gunshop owners a certain amount of good-natured ribbing by customers who want to be the first on the block to own one. Even though both are likely to be available (in limited quantities) by the time you get this, their thirst for new products will probably not be sated.

The March edition of Shooting Industry, profiled the new handguns presented at the SHOT Show. Here is SI's update on the fall handgun market.

* AMT/IAI - The On Duty is now back on schedule with the initial deliveries scheduled for late August. As originally scheduled, it will be available in .40 S & W and 9mm. The decocker version is also in production and deliveries will begin in August.

* American Arms - While the PX/25 is doing well, the Sabre is not expected to reach the dealer shelves this year. One bright spot that was a bit unexpected has been the popularity of the SITES S.p.A.-manufactured Spectre pistol. Unusual in appearance, several of the shop owners I talked to found them to be good sellers.

* Beretta U.S.A. - The Beretta 92 in .40 Smith & Wesson will make its debut at the IACP (Int'l. Association of Chiefs of Police) Convention in October. With the Beretta's large capacity magazine well, established sales network and law enforcement moving toward the .40s, the 92-.40 will do well in today's market.

* Browning - Browning's perennial variations of the Hi-Power and the expanding line of Buck Marks are holding their own. The BDM (Browning Double Mode) has been sold to the Secret Service as the BRM (Revolver Mode only). The Secret Service seems to be nearing final acceptance, which will allow Browning to start on BDM production for the consumer market.

* Colt - The All American/Model 2000 will soon be a reality - at least in 9mm. Production is scheduled to begin directly after the annual August shut down. The .40 and .45 caliber versions will follow but have no firm delivery date as yet.

The Anaconda is finally available in the standard stainless steel version. This beefy .44 Magnum is what Colt fanciers have been looking for since 1960.

* Daewoo - Originally Davidson's was slated to become the importer but now a new import holding corporation, First Shot, is bringing the DP-51 9mm pistol into America. Due to changes in the already approved import certificate, DP-51s will start appearing at your local distributor this month.

* EAA - European American Armory, one of those who has picked up the pieces from the FIE/Excam failure, has the first Tanfoglio clone on the market in .45 ACP. This supplements the 9mm, .40 and .41 chamberings already in stock. They also have added a new double action .380 with a unique safety that locks the slide, trigger, and hammer when the magazine is removed. EAA also will have the Vindicator Line of target revolvers in two series, one from .22 to .357, the other a bigbore line from .357 to .45 Long Colt including .41 and .44 Magnum chamberings.

* Feather Industries - Their long-awaited Guardian Angel .22LR/Magnum two-shot derringer-style pistol will take a bit longer than planned. Look for it in New Orleans.

* Freedom Arms - Touted as the best of the single actions, this five-shot engineering masterpiece is in regular delivery and winning over new fans daily.

* Glock - Glock has been one of the most consistent in delivery of promised models. Currently, they are up to speed on delivery of the entire 20 series pistols (20, 21, 22, & 23) with the .45 caliber model 21 the most recent Glock to arrive on-shore. All are available and most Glock enthusiasts are wondering what's next from the Austrian polymer specialists. Stay tuned!

* H&R - Yes, Harrington and Richardson is back. This time as the H&R 1871 Company. Paired with New England Firearms, H&R has a break top, nine-shot .22 in their near future. Look for announcements prior to the SHOT Show.

* Heckler & Koch - H&K introduced the HK P7-M10 at the last SHOT Show. The 10+1-shot .40 S&W squeeze-cocker, originally slated for the U.S. Park Police, will go into production in March of 1992.

* Magnum Research - The first shipment of the long-awaited .50 Desert Eagle arrived last month. Regular quantities should be on-shore regularly from now on. Since ammo is not up to speed yet, Magnum Research is adding 20 rounds of Israeli ammo to each order to get shooters started. The Speer Lawman .50 AE ammo should be reaching your shelves this month. By the way, the bullet is a "true" 50 caliber miking in at .500.

The "Baby Eagle" is on the way. Magnum's newest pistol is a Tanfoglio clone chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. With the Bernardelli pistols no longer in the stable, the Baby Eagle should fill the void and give Tanfoglio fans another choice.

* Mitchell Arms - The Parabellum is now in production. Don Mitchell's stainless steel version of the original Luger design has solved all the pre-production woes it first encountered and is on the market.

* SIGARMS - New Hampshire is getting closer to having a domestically produced SIG. The P229 (.40 S&W) has its major components produced at the Exeter plant, then assembled with parts from the European operation.

* Ram-Line - The new Exactor Target is reaching the shooting public now. Ram-Line is experiencing tremendous success with their new designs. The different grip designs are also drawing new customers.

* Smith & Wesson - The Centennial family has been very successful along with the Third Generation line. How the recall of the 1076 (FBI 10mm) will effect Smith & Wesson is yet to be determined. Smith has also launched a voluntary recall of all the frame-mounted decocker pistols to correct what apparently were problems discovered during the FBI recall. With the recent management changes at Smith, it is readily apparent that the owners, Tomkins PLC, have taken charge and are putting their house back in order.

* Sturm, Ruger & Co. - In addition to the models introduced at the SHOT Show, Ruger introduced five more at the NRA Show. All the SHOT Show models are in production and on the dealer's shelves. The NRA intros include three new P89 series autos: the P89DAO, a 9mm double action only in stainless steel; the P90DC, a .45 ACP stainless decocker; the P91DC, a .40 S&W stainless decocker; the stainless Government Competition Model .22; and the Super Blackhawk Hunter. The P90DC is in production with deliveries underway. Production on the remaining models is set to begin in September or early October.

* Springfield Armory - Compact and Commander 1911-style .45s abound, with a new "off the shelf" Defender factory comp model in either .38 Super or .45 available. Springfield's prolific P9 series is proving itself very popular with the competition set.

SA has dropped the Linkless System pistols and the Omega series guns announced at the SHOT Show. Although there are some Omegas left, they will no longer be catalogued.

* Taurus - The 85 series revolvers have been strong sellers this year. With the expanded selection, the buyer has more reasons than ever to shop Taurus. The PT-100/101 series semiautos in .40 S&W are expected to go into production in October or November. Now is the time to start those Christmas promotions!

Table : Selected Manufacturers
Manufacturer Circle #
AMAC 401
Action Arms 403
American Arms 404
American Derringer 405
Anschutz 406
Beretta U.S.A. 407
Browning 408
Calico 409
Caspian Arms 410
Colt's Mfg. Company 411
Daewoo 412
EAA 413
EMF Company 414
Eagle Imports 415
Feather Industries 416
Federal Ordnance 417
Freedom Arms 418
Glock 419
H&R 420
Heckler & Koch 421
Interarms 422
Intratec 423
Jennings 424
K.B.I. 425
L.A.R. Mfg. 426
Lorcin Engineering 427
Magnum Research 428
Mitchell Arms 429
M.O.A. Corporation 430
New Detonics 431
Norinco China Sports 432
Olympic Arms 433
Para-Ordnance 434
QFI 435
Ram-Line 436
Raven Arms 437
Remington Arms 438
Sile Distributors 440
Smith & Wesson 441
Stoeger Industries 442
Sturm, Ruger & Company 443
Springfield Armory 444
Sundance 445
Taurus 446
T.D. Arms 447
Thompson/Center Arms 448
Wesson Arms 449
Wildey, Inc. 450
Wyoming Arms 451
COPYRIGHT 1991 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:latest models of handguns previewed
Author:Hillman, Bruce
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:Accuracy Gun Shop.
Next Article:IWA 1991.

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