'Tis the season of awaiting some of the supposed new models introduced at the SHOT show and other venues this year. There are a lot of very reasonably priced guns that came out in the past few years, with new models and variants trickling out this year.
For example, the supposedly street priced Kel-Tec PMR-30, the 30 round magazine holdin' .22 mag-a-num. Although the .22 magnum pales in comparison to the 5.7 round shot by the FN Five-seveN pistol, more than one reviewer of the Kel-Tec has referred to it as the poor man's 5-7. And to some extent, I have to agree.
Thirty rounds in a 16 oz pistol that fits in Glock 9mm holsters (According to Mr. Q at Gunblast, I think) that will cost, once supply begins hitting demand, about $300. And, it actually comes with an extra magazine! How about that in this day and age of companies selling what I consider to be high end guns with only one magazine included in the deal. You buy one of these guns and get a crappy plastic box you'll likely never use again and some kind of crap gun lock and frankly, I'd rather have a cardboard box, fired casing, the paperwork, maybe a cleaning tool and an extra magazine instead of the plastic box and gun lock.
In any event, I'm looking forward to the day of getting to feel the heft of the PMR-30 in my hand. The grip angle. Depending on where I run into it, perhaps sample the trigger pull, with or without a snap cap, depending on store preferences. You already know that with a .22 magnum the grip will be long, probably not unlike the old AMT or whatever they were autos in the 80's that shot .30 caliber rounds. But I suspect it won't be bad at all.
Likewise, all my friends have been wanting to see this Ruger version of the 1911. It's the big boy, and weighs in at full 1911 weight. I'm hoping they come out with a Commander sized version with an alloy frame and get that weight down to about 26 to 28 oz with empty magazine. I'm a big Ruger fan, and so even if this ends up being the only 1911 they make, I'll have to get one someday.
If Ruger could ever get some inventory out there to the stores, they could be well competing with the TONS of entry level and foreign made 1911 clones that are out there for sale at or just under the street price that the few Rugers I've seen reports on have been going for. Even near the full list price, me thinks it's a good deal based on who is making it, it's made in America and that it comes with many mods from the factory.
Those that have seen it and handled it say the Ruger version of the 1911 is a tight pistol and well made. In fact, several friends at several different gun shops report the 1911's coming in and that only one person out of about 10 that advance ordered did not buy the gun after it came in. The pistols are apparently coming in one or two at a time, and far apart in time.
I'm glad for Ruger and for Kel-Tec. They've got a little feeding frenzy going on with their product lines with these two guns. Both are American companies and they make many very cool products and I think they deserve our support. Lots of folks I know are ready to buy either or both if they hold up upon actual physical inspection to the great reviews and internet lore that has been circulating about them.
I've been looking at a lot of the .22 clones of different guns coming out, and it's a cool market in this area right now, with lots of reasonable and semi-reasonably priced weapon out there. A couple of observations. It would be cool to see a AR-15 clone that shoots .22 magnums. Also, why hasn't a company made a .22 replica of a light machine gun, with some kind of belt feed?
And since Colt has all but abandoned the making of double action revolvers, perhaps Umarex could start making some .22 double actions revolvers from the past Colt catalog. Perhaps start with the Diamondback and the Cobra in .22 LR AND .22 Magnum. Alloy frames. Steel barrels and cylinders. Nice triggers. Tight lock up.
Billy Ray has been waiting to see the Governor. Me too. I've wanted to handle one, in hopes it feels more sturdy than the countless Taurus Judge and Public Defenders I've messed with. The full size all steel 3" Judge feels the most sturdy, but the lockwork and the trigger, to me at least, are lacking. They just don't feel sturdy to go the long haul shooting shotgun shells.
So I'm hoping that the Smith is like the Smith of old or at least the better Smiths of new and sturdy in it's construction and heft. With a nice trigger.
The added ability to shoot .45 ACP with the Governor over the Taurus is another big win. I'm a big fan of .45 ACP and for a defensive weapon like the Governor, a followup of three .410 buckshot shells followed by three .45 ACP Cor-Bon's or Federal Low Recoil (depending on the shooter and environment) shells would be a great combo.
I've owned (note the past tense) S&W 25-5 revolvers and although both were excellent quality handguns in every way, the .45 Long Colt did nothing for me. I much prefer the .45 ACP, as does my wallet, incidentally.
There are other guns out there, of course, that have caught my interest. The crop of 1911-22 clones in .22 long rifle seems to be getting larger every year. In reading about the various guns on internet forums, it seems the Chiappa is not very well regarded, but the GSG version (same factory as the Sig .22 btw) has some finish issues and it sure seems like a lot of them are breaking internal parts, if the internet reviews are correct.
I did get to handle the Umarex Colt Rail Gun, and although it seems to get the best forum frenzy going about it, I wasn't that impressed. I want to wait and see the Gold Cup model their website touts, which I have not seen in stores. I've just seen the Rail Gun.
I was more impressed with the construction of the Umarex than the Chiappa, but liked the construction and "feel" of the GSG better than the Umarex. I wish these companies wouldn't feel the need to throw a rail on everything to make guns "cool and upgraded" for cheap, or at least wish the rail could easily be detached. One problem, gun makers, with rails is that I have a bunch of 1911 holsers for 1911's without rails and don't really want to have to buy yet another holster just because a rail is a cheap way to upgrade a gun for marketing purposes: it becomes "tactical".
I'll talk more later about the new crop of .22 LR 1911 clones as well as some of the .45 ACP clones of the 1911.
I'll close with this, about a gun I'd like to see that is not currently on the drawing boards. The Walther PPK/S in .22LR. Why doesn't Walther/Smith and Wesson make this a part of their lineup? It was made in German made PPK's for many years, and although American made PPK's are sold in .380 and .32, they're not made here in .22 LR.
Why not, Walther?