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The gun world can be mighty dull. There’s not much new under the sun out there. Yes, there are a few innovators. But for the most part the gun world is a seemingly never-ending swamp of copycats and me-tooism….

Say what you will about Kel Tec, they’ve been one of the most innovative makers out there. Quick, what was the most talked-about gun at SHOT this year? Yep, the KSG. (That’s not counting Taurus’s probable-vaporware Raging Judge).

Chiappa’s acquitted themselves well with their re-thinking of the revolver. The Rhino lowers the barrel to the bottom of the cylinder to reduce muzzle jump and felt recoil. Pretty cool.

But beyond those two prominent examples…what? Another pseudo-tactical black rifle? Woohoo! More mini-9’s? Snore.

But now you get your chance. You woke up this morning and your long lost Uncle Pennybags – who you never even knew was in the firearms business – kicked the bucket and left it all to you. You’re now CEO of your own gun shop. The reins are in your hands.  You’ve always wished someone would make a [FILL IN THE BLANK] but for some reason, no one ever brought one to market.

So…what’ll it be?


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  1. 1903 Pocket Auto in stainless, with dovetailed sights. Lots of companies clone and update the 1911, Browning’s other designs should get the same treatment.

  2. BattBattle rifles, full power ones. Handguns are somewhat boring and ineffective. More M1A type rifles that are forged but not $3000.

  3. There is still no purpose-built semi-auto handgun receiver that, like the AR-15 or 10/22, is built with the idea that you’ll have a monolithic receiver around which you can build whatever you want.

    Yes, you can maybe put a different barrel into some Glocks, and yes, you can get .22LR uppers for some pistols…but on how many of them can you totally swap out the grip? Or the complete trigger assembly?

    I’m talking about a handgun receiver that would allow us to do all the wacky customizations that the AR-15 receiver has allowed…a match target rifle in an obscure chambering for one, a tactical carbine for another, all with no gunsmithing.

    Think about a receiver you could customize into either a pocket pistol or a competition race gun, or a bullseye tack driver by just ordering the parts and putting them together. With a trigger system you can buy 10 different versions depending on what your needs are.

    • Not semi-auto, but the T/C Contender fits the bill.

      The mall-ninja, GI Joe wannabe, and tacti-kool folks haven’t really warmed up to it in the last 3 or 4 decades like the silhouette shooters, load developers, and hunters have

    • EAA Witness is as close as it gets. Long slides, short slides, match setups, hunter setups. Calibers are 9mm, 38 Super, 40 S&W, 10mm Auto and 45 Auto and are easy to switch on the same frame.

  4. A redesigned M1 Carbine, walnut stock, steel butt plate, parkerized all the way around-including top hand guard (barrel stays cooler than the original all wood top), Hi Viz sights, a tactical light under the barrel, 20 round stick magazines. .458 SOCOM would be the caliber. Bayonet by Zero Tolerance.

    • Aw, c’mon guys, you know it would be bad ass! Where’s Joe when you need him?

    • Do you have any idea how long a 20-round, .458 SOCOM magazine would be? Unless it’s a quad stack, it’s going to be ridiculous. Not to mention that you don’t see modern battle implements with walnut stocks for a reason. There are modern materials that are lighter, stronger, and more resistant to the elements. Steel buttplate with that sort of recoil? No thanks.

  5. The first three comments are all things I’ve always thought would be cool. Maybe if I win the Powerball I’ll commission a gun company to make them for me.

    • +1 on the M41A Pulse Rifle! Aliens is one of my all time favorites. From IMDb:

      “The pulse rifles that the Marines use are made from a Thompson M1A1 machine gun with a Remington 870 shotgun (shortened to just 15 inches and covered by the also-cut-down shroud and fore-grip from a Franchi SPAS 12 shotgun) underneath.”

  6. “Say what you will about Kel Tec, they’ve been one of the most innovative makers out there. Quick, what was the most talked-about gun at SHOT this year?”

    Just as an FYI that shotgun wasn’t a new idea per se. It is an evolution of the Neostead NS2000. They are not identical (patents don’t expire for several years), but Kellgren would be telling a fib if he said he has never played with a NS2000.

    Nothing is new in the firearms industry. It is hinged upon recycling of old ideas.

  7. I’d have them make functional, real world versions of fantasy weapons.

    Deckard’s pistol from Blade Runner in .357 / .410
    The M41A pulse rifle in .45 / 20ga
    Mal Renyolds gun from Firefly in .357
    Custom 1911A1s as used by the Shadow and the Phantom

    I know I must be missing some good ones…..

      • That wasn’t a pulse rifle. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was either a rail gun or a coil gun (two very similar concepts).

  8. I’d make reproductions of the Lee-Enfield, but chambered in modern calibers like .223 or 7.62×39.

    • If we’re making reproductions in modern calibers put me down for a Mauser C96 in .40

  9. A centerfire straight pull bolt action that retails for less than $1,000. Yes I know about the K-31, I am talking about a commercial rifle, not a military one. I have a Biathlon Basic in 22 lr. that I really like and would like to have a similar rifle in .308.

  10. I’d probably make a .45 ACP 1911 that can consistently hit a man sized target at 600 yards.

  11. For starters, you gripe about a lack of innovation and then cite TWO examples of mainstream innovation within the past year. “Except for this hamburger and those pizzas, there’s nothing to eat!” Remember, it took nearly 1,000 years of virtually no change in guns before the quantum leaps of the self-contained cartridge and true repeating firearms were realized.

    I also think you discount the innovative, if not necessarily breathtaking, introductions of the KRISS, Bushmaster ACR (both get points for trying), Ruger LCR (polymer framed revolver) and Taurus Judge (.410/.45 revolver) within the half-decade as well. Not to mention the further refining of the sorta’ new concept of the polymer pistol through the incremental innovations of S&W (M&P series) and Springfield (XD) among others. Sometimes evolution takes the form of several of the same birds with slightly different beaks before an ENTIRELY new bird emerges.

    However, your larger point is well taken. The way of progress is to take the really good and demand better. Besides, your challenge is too irresistible NOT to play along:

    A highly reliable, magazine-fed, American made semi-auto shotgun would be cool.

    A stable (9, .40 & .45) of good looking pistol caliber carbines and matching hand guns with magazine commonality. Sorta like if the Kel Tec sub2000 wasn’t butt ugly and came with a little buddy.

    Maybe try applying the Rhino concept to a semi-auto somehow?

    • I was about to say that I think the Kel Tec Sub2000 is a great innovation and has a lot of potential. I think I would make a sturdier, more reliable ( I know some people swear by theirs but I still get a stovepipe about every 40 or 50 rounds), version with a larger selection of chamberings. Imagine the sub2k in .45, or 10mm, or hell .50 AE.

    • Zealot said”A stable (9, .40 & .45) of good looking pistol caliber carbines and matching hand guns with magazine commonality.”

      Like the 357 Carbine was to the 1970’s police sidearms?
      Looks eye appealing as a fine hunting rifle but uses .38 or .357 and gets more kick from the same load from the extra barrel length.

      I like that thought, a eye appealing lever action that uses 9mm

      Eh,,, my 2 cents.

  12. How about a revoler in common rifle rounds? An X frame in .223, .243, .25-06, .270… .204 Ruger 🙂

  13. I’d make a series of pump-action rifles that used detachable box magazines from existing rifle designs (5.56 and 6.8 SPC would use STANAG mags, 5.45×39 and 7.62×39 would use AK mags, .308 and .243 would use AR-10 mags). Since pump-actions are not regulated under any state’s “Assault Weapons Ban” laws, it could come with a good folding stock pistol grip set-up from the factory and still be legal in all 50 states (there would also be a fixed pistol grip stock model and a Monte Carlo only stock model, the stocks would interchange freely without any muddling).

    The receiver would have rails for optics, and the forearm pump would have hide-away rails for acessories.

    The barrel would be chrome-lined and some models would be threaded for muzzle devices. The sights would be removable and also retain zero when placed back on the rifle. Barrel lengths would be 16″, 20″ or 22″ with 18″ and 24″ barrels for special order. Stainless steel barrels in any listed length would also begth would be on special order as well.

    The breech block would be chrome and the firing pin would be stainless, the fire control group would also be stainless (trigger would be blackened). The trigger would be adjustable as well. The safety and magazine release would be ambi. Ejection would be right side only for general production with lefty models being a speial order (but would try to keep the price around the same).

    I think a rifle like this could be able to pull duty as a either a hunting weapon and for home defense.

    • You beat me to an excellent idea. But it probably shouldn’t be built on an an AK or AR lower, since anything based on them is legally vulnerable in NY, CA, NJ, etc.

      I was also thinking of a pump-action carbine just big enough for 9mm, .40 and .45 using a common receiver. The user could purchase additional barrels, bolts and magazine wells for the other calibers, which would accept a variety of standard magazines such as 1911, Glock, Beretta, Hi-Power, or Springfield.

      With a slide action of less than 1.5 inches, it would be very quick on target and impossible to short-stroke. It would also be legal *even in California.*

  14. Ithaca Model 37 Stakeout pump shotgun (pistol grip only) in 10 ga. and still no disconnector, so the trigger can be held down and it fires as you pump.

  15. glock or whatever in 7.62×25

    new P7 possibly polymer framed

    new colt pocket hammerless / fn m1903 possibly polymer framed

    10×25 semi auto pocket pistol

  16. I would invest in a shotgun design that didn’t ignore the things people tend to fear in a shotgun – the recoil and the sound. A 12 or 10 gauge that had the kick of a .410 say. Something with a pistol grip shock inhibitor and shoulder shock/liquid shock piston to take away the felt recoil. Some thought and development into the actual shells and barrel for noise reduction would be a definite. How? I don’t know. But it is what I would do and I know it would sell.

  17. A multi cal pistol Carbine with a swappable mag type and a bullpup design.

    Oh, and a pump shotgun that loaded and ejected from the top basically flipping the whole design for efficiency.

  18. A bumper mounted cell phone signal scrambling gun to shoot every tool with a phone stuck to their ear while driving 10 under the speed limit in the fast lane.

    Or an Acme Disintergrating Ray Pistol. Either one.

    • Patrick,,, how about just a cell phone scrambler that works in retail locations?
      I would be happy with that.

      • Noooooo! How will I call my wife from the store and ask her which Keurig flavor she wants? Or what the title of the book was that we talked about last week. Or what size pants do I wear?

        It’s OK if you want to kill the phones of drivers. My wife and I make bets when we see someone driving badly in front of us. Is he/she/it drunk? Or on the phone?

  19. I’d love to see a M4 companion semi-automatic 5.56 pistol.
    I like what FN did with the 5.7 and hope to see this concept adapted to more mainstream calibers.

  20. A practice fire able snap cap for .22 lr that isn’t a wall anchor or brittle plastic that fails in a half dozen chamberings. maybe machined solid aluminum with a silicone rim?

    Sounds stupid but for snap shoot practice, quick aim practice, and handling and misfire practice.

    Cz 83 in 9mm luger (9X19) they already do both makarov (9X18) and browning short(9X17).

    Concealable (S+W bodyguard sized) high power 9mm,, in a 10 or 12 mm long cartridge (yeah I know its .380 at that point) Or can the newer high power propellants can be hyper compressed .

    Find a way to do just that, make a mag that not only double stacks side to side but when the front 7 are done the back 7 shift forward to engage to the chamber. (Of course that only works with the super short high power rounds I just made up) effectively doubling the carry capacity (sorry NY CALI ETC people) no need for a second mag to have 14 +1 or 12+1)

    I had once seen info on a foreign market shotgun that supposedly packs 12 ga 3 inch mag power in a 1.8 inch shell. so it could possibly be done. But darn it another type of ammo.

    • I want snap caps which flash a laser out of the barrel when fired. And they need to last for at least 200 firings. I also want them to feed so I can fill a magazine with them.

  21. I’d like to see Beretta make a national match M9 good for CMP without having to modify one that is stock. That or an ‘inexpensive’ 1911 ready for CMP competition. Both without have to send off to a smith

    I’d also like to see Ruger enlarge a Mark III to a 9mm. Recoil design would have to be changed but I know it could be done 🙂

  22. An AR15 style rifle in bullpup configuration with a decent trigger.
    Lever or pump action guns in rimless pistol calibers.
    A solid/reliable helical magazine.
    A good bullpup with hyperburst.

  23. Ooh, I like the pump 45/70 idea.

    A bolt gun in 7.62X39 that takes AK mags and that’s importable to the US.

    A pump .357 rifle ala the IMI Timberwolf that’s importable to the US.

    A .500 Smith Magnum lever rifle that costs less than a decent used motorcycle.

    A .45 ACP semi-auto carbine that uses magazines of more than 10 rounds and that costs significantly less than a KRISS-V.

    • I’m a sucker for .45-70, I love my (older) Marlin. I’m still keeping the .45-70 BFR revolver in the little list in the back of my mind.

  24. One more.

    How simple would it be for Ruger to redo their .44 mag semi-auto carbine to take a 10-round detachable mag?

    Yeee-haw, indeed.

  25. A detachable-magazine-fed, .45 caliber air rifle, that will fire standard 230 gr. pistol bullets in the 1000 fps range, with a quick-detachable air tank, total length about as long as an M-4. Sort of like an updated version of the Girandoni that Meriwether Lewis took on his little backcountry hike with Mr. William Clark.

  26. I would take the design of the Girandoni Air Rifle and create a modern version using higher pressure and new and improved metallurgy. Make several versions of different calibers starting with the standard .308 and going up to the original 46 cal. All of which would be supersonic. Hand-pump option avaliable.

  27. A 2/3 scale SKS in 5.56, loaded with standard 10 rd. stripper clips. Inevitably somebody would create a version that used AR mags or suchlike…..

  28. A hyper burst system, scaled down enough to be practical in a sub machine gun. Imagine putting a 2 or 3 round burst into a perp before recoil really affecting your point of aim. SWAT teams would probably gobble it up if their budgets allowed it.

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