Talking to people around the SHOT Show floor, the consensus seemed to be that this was definitely an up year for new products. Last year was pretty lackluster, but firearms manufacturers have been hard at work innovating and coming up with a variety of new, attractive guns over the past year.
When I asked the TTAG crew covering SHOT to come up with their selections for the best guns they’d seen on the floor and at the range this year, the intent was to list the top three. But there’s simply no way to keep the list that narrow. Actually, paring it down to five is cutting out some very worthy competitors.
But cut we must and here is our list of the five best new guns we saw at SHOT this year (in alphabetical order).
Dan Wesson DWX Compact 9mm
Like its bigger brother, the DWX, the Dan Wesson DWX Compact blends the best of two very popular worlds — 1911 and CX-75 — into one very attractive concealed carry-able 9×19 package.
With its 4-inch barrel and 5.2 inch overall height, the Dan Wesson DWX Compact lets you carry 15+1 rounds in a very attractive and ergonomic package. it isn’t inexpensive, but many people will find the hybrid carry gun the ideal blend of two legendary platforms.
Diamondback DBX57 5.7x28mm Pistol
We were already pleased by the surprise intro of the excellent Ruger-57 (see Jeremy’s review here), a great addition to the rather limited selection of 5.7x28mm offerings out there. So when we discovered, out of the blue, the Diamondback DBX57 (the official name is apparently the DBX57BGFB) at Range Day, we were thrilled.
The extremely slim (only 1.25″ overall width) DBX57 pistol has a side charging handle (reciprocating, can be switched from left to right) and a dual gas piston system that makes it a very soft-shooting gun. The gun takes FN FiveseveN magazines and has a rear Pic rail so you can add the brace of your choice…though that SB Tactical FS1913 side-folder above seems ideal.
The DBC 57 has AR-ish features and Diamondback will start shipping them on…wait for it…5/7 and the MSRP will be $1299.
Lancer Laugo Alien 9mm Pistol
There aren’t a lot of truly innovative designs out there any more, but the Laugo Alien 9mm pistol that’s being imported by Lancer is unquestionably one of them.
Jeremy pronounced it the best handgun he’s ever shot and praised its precise machining, fit and finish.
The barrel sits down in the frame in dust cover, rather than up in the gun’s “slide,” which isn’t a conventional slide on the Alien. Instead, there’s a fixed top rail where the sights sit. The deeply serrated reciprocating “slide” portion of the pistol is below the top rail.
That makes for an extremely low bore axis, a sight picture that stays steady and a very fast-shooting gun. It’s also one that costs — hold onto your hat — $5000. So it’s more of a when-I-win-the-lottery gun for most people than even a wish list item.
Mossberg 940 JM Pro Shotgun
Yes, it’s just a semi-automatic shotgun, but Mossberg really hit it out of the park with the 940 JM Pro. They’re offering two models; theres a competiton-type smoothbore with bling-y gold accents and a tungsten gray anodized receiver (below). If that’s too flashy for you, there’s also a more restrained version with your usual black receiver and a more traditional MultiCam finish (above).
The 940 JM Pro has a recoil-absorbing adjustable stock, nickel-boron coated internals, a re-designed gas system and a nicely beveled loading port for fast reloads. It’s also got an enlarged bolt handle and a big round bolt release, again for speed when you need it. It shoots like a dream and both models MSRP at $1015.
SIG SAUER CROSS Rifle
We might have chosen the SIG P210 Carry for this group, but that’s not yet a production gun…more’s the pity. That said, SIG had another worthy new gat at their private range day this year.
SIG is getting into hunting in a big way. They already have a full compliment of optics (rifle scopes, spotting scopes, binoculars) as well as rangefinders and, of course, ammo. The only thing missing was the hunting rifle
The first step in that direction is with their new CROSS bolt-action rifle. The 6.5 pound CROSS is something of a target/hunting rifle chambered in three short action calibers .308, 6.5 Creedmoor and SIG’s new .277 FURY. The lightweight rifle would be just as much at home shooting long-range precision targets as it would elk in the backcountry.
The US-made CROSS has a one-piece receiver and an almost infinitely configurable folding stock that lets you adjust length of pull and cheek pad height (both tool-lessly), a well as recoil pad height and cant. When the stock is folded, it captures and locks the bolt and cuts the length to either 25 or 27 inches depending on caliber. It also has a very good two-stage adjustable trigger and takes AICS mags. MSRP is $1,699 to $1,779 (about $1600 street).