February 18, 2016
Over the last few years, new black guns have been big business at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show in Vegas, but the 2016 class of SHOT firearms is one of the most diverse and varied lineups of new guns in recent memory. There are still plenty of ARs on display, and concealed carry pistols are still popular, but the products on display this year were eclectic and innovative. There's a sleek 9mm semiauto carbine, a pocket wheelgun from a company most closely associated with semiautos, a working man's inertia gun and one of the most user-friendly rimfire pistols ever designed.
So, what are some new guns from SHOT? A lot. Winnowing the list of new guns down to just a handful of favorites was a difficult task, but here are some of our picks for the best new guns to come out of Vegas this year.
Stevens S1200 Shotgun
The S1200 is an inertia-operated 12 gauge semiauto shotgun with a lightweight aluminum receiver and a carbon steel barrel that accepts Beretta Mobilchoke choke tubes. The S1200 uses a rotating bolt design that is simple to operate, easy to maintain and lightweight. Stevens didn't just offer one version of the S1200, either; it's available with a black synthetic or walnut stock or with a full-dip camo pattern in either Mossy Oak Bottomland or Shadow Grass Blades. As an added bonus the S1200 comes with five different choke tubes, everything from cylinder to full constriction, so no matter whether you're shooting skeet or hunting snow geese, you'll have the right choke on hand when you need it. The S1200 has a 5+1 capacity and weighs just 6.6 pounds. Best of all, Savage's new guns offer all of this at an extremely competitive price point. (MSRP: $573-$685)
One of the most talked-about new guns at the '16 SHOT Show was Kimber new revolver, the K6s. The first feature that differentiates the Kimber from other defensive wheelguns on the market is the K6s' cylinder, which is more squared-off around its circumference than competing models. This helps conceal the K6s and gives the cylinder a maximum diameter of 1.39 inches. The all-stainless construction makes the gun robust enough to house six .357 Magnum cartridges, yet the K6s weighs just 23 ounces. The rear sight is dovetailed and set low in the frame for maximum concealability and ease of draw and the Kimber gets a traditional post front sight. The grip is ergonomic and comfortable, and the K6s' trigger is smooth and easy to control, among the finest you'll find in any double action revolver. With a rounded profile, short (2 inch) barrel and narrow cylinder, the K6s won't print even under light clothing. (MSRP: $899)
When SIG Sauer offered up the MPX subgun in 9mm there was a great deal of interest, but since it was an SBR, that limited who had access to those rifles. Now SIG has launched new guns, including the MPX-C which has a 16-inch hammer-forged barrel and a full-length aluminum KeyMod handguard for mounting accessories. The MPX-C is completely ambidextrous, with a dual-sided selector switch, mag release, charging handle and bolt handle and it uses a fully-closed bolt and locking rotating bolt system for security and safety. Its short-stroke gas piston with auto-regulating gas valve will function with a variety of 9mm loads (including +Ps). Additionally, if you opt to SBR your carbine, there is a conversion kit that allows you to do so easily. Other features of these new guns include a three-position collapsing stock with integrated QD sling clips and a full-length picatinny rail. (MSRP: $2,055)
Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
A few years ago, Browning's new guns included a reintroduction of the A5, a thoroughly updated version of John Browning's iconic semiauto design. For 2016, the company is bringing back one of the most storied versions of that gun, the svelte Sweet Sixteen. These new guns have a scaled aluminum alloy receiver, a high-gloss Turkish walnut stock and blued metalwork and weigh just 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The legendary humpback profile remains, but the Sweet Sixteen utilizes the ultra-reliable short recoil-operated Kinematic Drive system. The new A5 utilizes Browning's flush-fit Invector-DS choke tubes (Improved Cylinder, Modified and Full tubes ship with the gun). Light and well-balanced, these new guns are a fitting tribute to the original guns, classic scatterguns that are ideal for a day at the range or the field. ($1,699.99)
Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory
The SW22 Victory is one of Smith & Wesson's most talked about new guns for 2016. It's a single-action, enclosed hammer-fired blowback .22, a modern take on the traditional rimfire target pistol. The Victory's heat-treated bolt, slide, frame and barrel are all made from durable 400 series stainless steel and the gun comes with a match-grade 5.5 inch six-groove barrel with a 1:15 twist. Other features include a fiber optic front and rear sights and an alloy trigger with an adjustable trigger stop. But the feature that sets the SW22 Victory apart from other target .22s is the ease with which you can maintain this gun. Takedown simply requires removing a single screw. Remove one more screw and you can swap out the barrel. There's also a Picatinny-style rail included which is easy to install and makes mounting optics fast and easy. Smith & Wesson has already been working with barrel, holster and accessory manufacturers to ensure that there is a ready supply of aftermarket accessories in place for the Victory, too. (MSRP: $409)
Ruger American Pistol
Ruger's American Rifle has been a major hit with shooters, and now the company is rolling the same great features that made that gun so popular (flawless function, U.S. manufacturing, superb accuracy and an affordable price) into the new Ruger American Pistol series. The new guns feature a low bore axis for better control and more comfortable shooting, a low-mass steel slide, and a short-takeup bladed trigger with a positive reset. The modular wrap-around grip system allows the shooter to adjust the gun to fit, and the Novak three-dot sights have a low-profile design. These new guns are available in either 9mm (with a 10- or 17-round magazine) or .45 ACP (10-round magazine) and both new guns are rated to handle +P ammunition. Takedown and maintenance are fast and easy, and no trigger pull is required for disassembly. ($579)
Springfield M1A Socom 16 CQB
Much of the press surrounding semiautomatic defense rifles involves ARs, but for 2016, Springfield is launching a highly specialized tactical version of their M1A rifle, the SOCOM 16 CQB. The M1A has abundant stopping power, but even new guns in this line have traditionally been long and heavy. Springfield reduced the M1A's overall length by a full 10 inches and mounted an adjustable buttstock on an AR-style receiver extension tube, giving the shooter hundreds of different stock options. An AK-style pistol grip helps anchor the rifle and, as with the stock, this configuration offers a wide range of optional add-ons. The Springfield M1A SOCOM 16 CQB uses the M-Lok system with two three-slot side rails and a seven-slot bottom and top rail for mounting accessories. The top rail allows you to mount a medium eye relief optic. This rifle will accept 5-, 10-, and 20-round magazines for other M1A rifles, too. (MSRP: $2,099)
Benelli ETHOS 28 Gauge
Benelli is extending its Ethos line with new guns for 2016 to include a sleek, ultra-lightweight 28 gauge version. The ETHOS 28 gauge features the same inertia-operated action found in the 12- and 20-gauge models, a black anodized or engraved nickel receiver, anti-bind magazine cap, and the Progressive Comfort recoil reducing system which uses internal baffles to cut down on kick (which, with the 28-gauge, means virtually no push or muzzle rise). The most innovative thing about this 5.3 pound Italian scattergun is that it is chambered for 3-inch 28-gauge shells. Benelli partnered with Fiocchi to develop this new 3-inch 28-gauge load with an extra quarter ounce of shot and 20 percent more pellets on target at 35 yards. This is ideal for 28-gauge fans who want to hunt larger birds like pheasants or waterfowl without putting up with the recoil generated by larger new guns. (MSRP: $2,199)
Colt Competition Pistol
For 2016, one of Colt's new guns is a competition-ready 1911 with custom blue G-10 grips, an upswept beavertail safety, undercut trigger guard, a National Match barrel and Novak adjustable sights. Available in either 9mm or .45, the Competition uses the same Dual Recoil Spring system that Colt debuted in the M45A1 CQBP. This system consists of an inner and outer recoil spring and is designed to reduce wear on the firearm, muzzle rise and recoil which, in turn, allow you to get back on target more quickly for better scores. Colt says that recoil spring life is tripled from 5,000 shots to 15,000 with this new system. Other features include a carbon steel slide with a blued finish, a three-hole aluminum trigger set between 4.5 and 6 pounds and a spare magazine. The Colt Competition is also a real bargain with a suggested retail price of less than 900 bucks. (MSRP: $899)
Keeping with the theme of affordable new guns for competition, TriStar is now offering a feature-loaded competition trap gun for a fraction of the price of competing models. High school and college trap and skeet programs continue to draw more young shooters to the shooting sports, but until now, purchasing a serious competition gun meant laying out serious cash. The TT-15 comes in single barrel versions (both a top-single and un-single) as well as a traditional over/under version. Standard features include a Turkish walnut stock with adjustable comb, a three-point adjustable rib, auto ejectors and a hand-engraved receiver. The single barrel versions come with three Benelli/Beretta-style extended choke tubes and over/under version comes with five. All chokes are color-coded for easy identification. The over/under version sports 32-inch barrels, and the single-barrel models have 34-inch pipes. These feature-loaded competition shotguns start at under a grand, which is thousands less than other guns with similar lists of features. (MSRP: $999 single barrel, $1,099 over/under)
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