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The spring handgun review!

New Trends for 1993

When we are young every day is exciting. Then a tremendous metamorphosis occurs somewhere between youth and old age and we start to dreamingly look back to "the good old days." When it comes to handguns we do not need to look back -- we are now solidly centered right in the middle of the good old days.

Never in handgunning history have we had such an excellent line-up of handguns, both foreign and domestic, to satisfy our every want, need, and desire. This will be a quick alphabetical overview through a veritable Handgunner's Heaven noting some of the grand handguns now available.

Action Arms

Many experts agree that the CZ-75 is one of the best, if not the best 9mm semi-automatic available. Action Arms, not only imports the 9mm CZ-75, the CZ-75 Compact, and the CZ-83 .380, they are now out with the CZ-85, a 9x21 9mm. All of these semi-automatics are double-action autos with the very desirable feature of being able to be carried cocked-and-locked.

American Derringer

Need a fairly easy to conceal but powerful handgun? Look to American Derringer for double derringers in calibers from hither to yon including a .45 Colt/.410 version as well as .45 ACP, .44 Magnum, and .357 Magnum versions and just about any other handgun cartridge that can be named. Also included in the lineup is the High Standard .22 and .22 Magnum Derringers, and the four-shot COP in .357 and a MINICOP in .22 Magnum.


For super tack-driving handguns look to Anschutz's Exemplar (imported by PSI) in both .22 LR and .22 Hornet. Both are five-shot bolt-action pistols using the Anschutz Model 64 action with a left-handed bolt. Both guns are scope ready and the .22 LR carries excellent silhouette sights.


Auto-Ordnance offers a complete line of Government Model semi-autos in both full-sized and compact models in 9mm, .38 Super, .40 S&W, 10mm, and .45 ACP. Their Compact Model is the Pit Bull, and isn't that a grand politically incorrect name for a defensive handgun?


From Argentina comes the trim little Bersa (brought to the U.S. by Eagle Imports) line-up of double-action semi-autos in .380 and .22 LR. In the .380 mode, shooters have a choice of double stack (15 rounds!) or single stack (8 rounds) and the 10-shot .22 LR makes into a dandy semi-automatic Kit Gun.


Browning offers the first, (and still the finest?) wondernine, the Hi-Power, as well as the BDM which allows either DAO or a double-action first shot followed by single-action follow up shots by the flick of a switch. The BuckMark line of .22 pistols in Silhouette, Target, Varminter, and field style form has an excellent reputation for accuracy.


Caspian is well known for custom Government Model semi-autos in both single stack and double stack magazine mode. Calibers include .45 ACP, .38 Super, 9mm, .40 S&W, and 10mm.

Century International Arms

Both surplus and newly manufactured handguns can be found from Century International in the form of the CZ-52 .30 Mauser, the German made 9x18 (.364 caliber) Makarov, the FEG Hi-Power clone complete with ventilated rib, the B9R 15-shot aluminum framed .380, and surplus Ruby and Smith & Wesson six-guns from South America.


It took Marco Polo and Richard Nixon to focus our attention on China and now ChinaSports is importing the very well-made and well-fitted Norinco .45 ACP 1911 that has a price tag too ridiculously low-priced to be mentioned. Other Norinco handguns being offered by this importer are the Type 59 Makarov in 9x18 and .380, the 88SP 9mm, and the Tokarev 7.62 which is also available in .38 Super.


Cimmaron is responsible for totally upgrading the Uberti single action Colt clones and now offers excellent replicas of the original pre-War Single Action Army in .22LR, .357 Magnum, .38-40, .44-40, .44 Special, and .45 Colt all in case-colored and blue or charcoal blue finishes. New for 1993 is the PeaceKeeper, a Single Action Army with a Lightning style grip frame that completely changes the feel of the classic sixgun and makes a dandy concealable Single Action.

Colt's Manufacturing

The original Single Action manufacturer, Colt's, has resurrected the Colt Single Action Army classic Model P for the third time and now offers both .44-40 and .45 chamberings in all barrel lengths through the Custom Shop. The biggest news in years from Colt's is the double-action Anaconda, a big handsome brute of a sixgun which is now available in both .44 Magnum and .45 Colt versions that shoot as good as they look. Colt's also is the original manufacturer of the classic Government Model and continues to offer a full line-up of enhanced Government Models in .45, .38 Super, .40 S&W, and 10mm, and the no frills 1991-A1 is now also available in a Commander sized semi-automatic.

A favorite concealable semi-auto from Colt's is the Officer's Model .45, and the 9mm of choice now offered by Colt's is the All American 2000. The long-deceased Detective Special .38 and Diamond-Back .22 are again available but possibly only as long the newly discovered parts found in the basement under the Hartford plant last.

Coonan Arms

Coonan offers the Model B .357 semi-automatic that is only slightly larger than a Government Model. New for this year is a compact model with shorter barrel and grip frame.


Davis continues to offer defensive pistols for the family on a tight budget as both the P-32 six-shot .32 ACP and P-380 five-shot .380 retail under $100.

European American Armory

EAA imports a full line of both semi-automatics and revolvers, including the Tanfoglio-made EAA Witness available in long list of variations in 9mm, .40 S&W, .41 AE, .45 ACP, and in both full-size and compact Models in blue, chrome, and combination finishes.

From Germany comes the double-action Windicator in .22, .22 Magnum, .32 Magnum, and .38 Special and the big-bore, single-action Bounty Hunter in .357 Magnum, .44-40, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt.


For single action fanciers and cowboy action shooters, EMF offers the Hartford Model, a blued/case-colored Single Action that looks at least 99.5 percent authentic when compared with the original pre-War Colt Single Action. Hartfords are available in .357 Magnum, .38-40, .44 Special, .44-40, and .45 Colt in the standard barrel lengths of 4 3/4", 5 1/2", and 7 1/2" plus a good looking new round-butted Pinkerton Model in .45 Colt with a 4-inch barrel.

Freedom Arms

Freedom Arms continues to offer their original single-action in the original caliber, .454 Casull, as well as .44 Magnum, .353 Casull, and .252 Casull. Silhouette Models are available with special sights. Barrel lengths run from 4 3/4-inches to 10-inches, with other lengths available on special order. Most guns are offered in two finishes, the deluxe Premier Grade stainless and a less highly polished Field Grade stainless. For the .454 Casull guns extra cylinders are available not only in .45 Colt, but .45 ACP and .45 WinMag as well.

H&R 1871

Like many thousands of young girls and guys, I learned to shoot with an H&R top-break .22 and the favorite .22 of many a farm and ranch is now back as H&R 1871 is now offering the nine-shot 999 Sportsman once again.


And now for something completely different, from Intratec comes TEC-DC9 and TEC-DC9M semi-autos with 32 and 20 round 9mm magazines respectively. Too expensive to shot 9mms? Look to Intratec for a 30-shot TEC-22T in .22 Long Rifle.


Another company to look to for relatively inexpensive home-defense or back-up pistols is Jennings with both their J-22 and J-25 six shot, 13 ounce handguns in .22 LR and .25 ACP respectively. Both are under $90 retail.


From Hungary, KBI comes forth with the FEG PJK-9HP, a Hi-Power look alike, as well as the double-action models GKK-92C 9mm and PMK-380 seven-shot .380 pistol.


Another player in the low-priced semi-automatic defensive pistol market is Lorcin with three models, all seven-shooters in ACP cartridges .25, .32, and .380. All are priced under $100 in black or chrome.


Utah's LAR is the home of the Grizzly semi-automatic, an oversized "Government Model" that is a favorite with many hunters. Calibers include .357 Magnum, .45 WinMag, 10mm, and .357/45 WinMag. New this year is the .50 Action Express. Grizzlys have a well-deserved reputation for accuracy.

Magnum Research

Magnum Research was the first to really tame the magnum sixgun cartridges and make them work in a semi-automatic. The big Desert Eagle is now available in .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and the latest, the .50 Action Express. Available in 6-, 10-, and 14-inch barrel lengths. Forget what you see in all those Terminator-type movies, these are superbly accurate hunting handguns.

Also from MR now comes the Mountain Eagle, a .22 LR survival pistol with polymer frame and 21 ounce weight.

North American Arms

North American Arms gives us the little 9-ounce .22 mini-gun with the deadly name of Black Widow. Also available are 4- to 6-ounce, five-shot Mini-Guns in .22 LR or .22 Magnum that can be found on dealer's shelves and in scores of peace officer's pockets.


Para-Ordnance started the double-column craze for 1911-type pistols and offers .45s in alloy, steel or stainless frames and in full-sized 14-shot or shorter barreled and gripped 11-shot versions. All have Commander style hammers, white-dot fixed sights, and cocked and locked operation.


Of unconventional looks and engineering is the Ram-Line Exactor .22 LR Target Pistol with 15-shot magazine and a weight of only 23 ounces due to its polymer grip frame and alloy receiver.


Remington began the single-shot handgun hunting pistol interest in the 1960s with the superbly accurate XP-100 in the then-new .221 Fireball. It took a long time for the good folks at Remington to realize what a great handgun they had, but bolt-action XPs are now available in either single-shot or repeater form in .223, .22-250, .250 Savage, 6BR, 7BR, 7-08, .308, .35 Remington, and .350 Remington Magnum.


Rossi (imported by Interarms) offers reasonably priced revolvers from Brazil in .22 LR and .22 Magnum (Model 515), .38 Special (Model 851), .357 Magnum (Model 971) and a very compact, adjustable sighted .44 Special (Model 720).

Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Ruger has gone to extremes this year with old-fashioned, traditional-styled, single-action sixguns with the return of the trim little BearCat with both .22LR and .22 Magnum cylinders, and the first fixed sighted centerfire single action from Ruger the Vaquero, a gun definitely aimed at the cowboy action shooters. Available now in blue/case colored finished .45 Colt with 4 5/8", 5 1/2", and 7 1/2" barrel lengths, and to be followed by a stainless version and in calibers .44 Magnum, .44-40, and .357 Magnum.

The Ruger line-up continues to offer Blackhawks (.357, .41, and .44 Magnums, .30 Carbine, and .45 Colt); Bisleys in all of the above except .30 Carbine; .44 Magnum Super Blackhawks in both blue and stainless; Single-Sixes in .22 and .32 H&R Magnum; .44 Magnum Redhawks and Super Redhawks; .357 GP-100s; and in the SP series a complete line-up of compact guns in .22, .32, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum.

Ruger also covers the semi-automatic field with P-series pistols in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, and now a 9mm/.30 Luger Convertible. Last but certainly not least is the original Ruger, the Mark II series of .22 pistols including a polymer grip-framed Model that just happens to fit the hand like the friendly feel of the Government Model.

SIG Sauer

State-of-the-art double action semi-automatics from SIG Sauer are available in calibers 9mm, .38 Super, .45 ACP as the P220, an eight-shot 9mm Model P225, a 15-shot 9mm Model P226, a .40 S&W 12-shooter Model P229, and even a trim .32 ACP or .380 Model P230. Sigs are available in both blue and K-Kote finishes and also with night sights and in DAO versions.

Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson trimmed their line-up quite a bit last year but still continues to offer revolvers in four frame sizes: J-frame (.22, .22 Magnum, and .38 Special, including the concealed hammer Centennial); K-frame (.22, .32, and .357 Magnum); L-frame (.357 Magnum), and N-frame (.357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP). The .40 S&W seems to be to the 1990s what the 9mm was to the 1980s and Smith started it all with their 4006. Some of the most comfortable to fire large-framed semi-automatics in existence for really big bore calibers are the Smith & Wesson .45 ACP Model 4506 and the 10mm Model 1006.

The Mountain Gun is back! The four-inch stainless steel .44 Magnum with a slim .44 Special style barrel is easier to pack than the 4-inch standard Model 29/629 and the trade-off is that it kicks harder.

A favorite semi-automatic in the S&W line-up is the Model 3913 a stainless and alloy 9mm made not as a full-capacity wondernine but as the smallest possible 9mm that admirably and easily takes the place of a two-inch snub gun.


The Llama line of Spanish semi-automatics (imported by Stoeger) includes the Small Frame miniature clone of the Government Model in .22 LR, .32, and .380 ACP, a Compact Frame 9mm, and a full-sized 1911 style in .38 Super and .45 ACP. Llama's double action 9mm wondernine is the 15-shot Model 82 double-action semi-automatic.


Taurus continues to offer high quality in return for low dollars in their Brazilian made revolvers and semi-automatics. A nine-shot .22 Model 94 is available in blue and stainless, a five-shot .44 Special in blue and stainless, a new heavy barreled .44 Magnum, a compact 9mm that looks to be the smallest 9mm ever offered, plus stainless and blue sixguns in .357 Magnum (Model 669). Give Taurus special points for usable factory grips and hammerless .38 Special five-shot revolvers in both blue and stainless. Also available from Taurus are some very slick semi-autos in the PT-99 9mm and PT-101 .40 S&W.

Texas Longhorn Arms

Texas Longhorn Arms is now located in a new plant and continues to offer the Improve Number Five, a "right-handed" single action with the ejector rod housing and loading gate on the left side. Most Number Fives are chambered for .44 Magnum with other calibers available on special request.


One company that has always listened to both handgun hunters and silhouetters is Thompson/Center. The superbly accurate Contender is offered in calibers from .22 LR through .30-30 Winchester to .45-70 and 14 other calibers in between. A new stainless model is available in .22LR, .22 Hornet, .223 Remington, 7-30 Waters, .30-30 Winchester, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45-70. Hunters appreciate the Hunter Model Contender with T/C scope and T/C Muzzle Tamer in calibers .223, 7-30, .30-30, .35 Remington, .357 Winchester, .44 Magnum, and .45-70. The latest accessories from T/C include a non-slip rubber grip and forearm and a quick-release scope mount that allows installation of a base on each barrel with special rings one scope that can easily be moved from barrel to barrel.
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Title Annotation:new small arms products for 1993
Author:Taffin, John
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:Selling the right gun for the job.
Next Article:Academy of excellence awards.

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