Best New Guns of 2023

Authors Gun Reviews Travis Pike

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

We are more than halfway through the year, and we’ve seen a surprising number of firearm releases this year. It’s been a good year for new guns, and we’ve seen a fair bit of surprises as well as some actual innovation. Let’s dig into the best new guns released this year! (So far.) 

Smith And Wesson M&P 5.7

The little 5.7x28mm round has made a big splash in the firearms community in the last few years with tons of new guns. There was enough support to get American titan Smith and Wesson to take the cartridge seriously and expand the M&P line into the S&W M&P 5.7. What made the M&P 5.7 different was the fact it used a gas operation design with S&W’s own TEMPO barrel system that cuts the already minimal recoil of the 5.7 round down, even more, to make it a super smooth and easy shooter. 

Best New Guns of 2023

The M&P 5.7 series takes advantage of the smaller rounds and uses a flush-fitting 22-round magazine. That’s a lot of lead, and it’s a very flat shooting cartridge. Compared to other handguns, its 100-yard performance is admirable. The little cartridge can penetrate deeply and is an adequate round for self-defense. 

Like all modern pistols, the S&W M&P 5.7 comes with both a Picatinny rail and is optic-ready. An optic really helps you take advantage of the extra range the 5.7x28mm offers. The S&W M&P 5.7 stands among the 5.7 options from Ruger, FN, and PSA with its gas-operated system. It delivers the lowest recoil of all 5.7 pistols. The little gun feels like a rimfire when fired, and it’s impressive soft shooting. 

Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol

The tactical shotgun market hasn’t exactly exploded, but it’s grown significantly. In the last few years, shotgunners have gotten pickier about their semi-auto designs. Mossberg and Savage have both released modern tactical shotguns. While the 1301 often reigns supreme in this conversation, it’s often considered expensive. Beretta acknowledged that and released their A300 Ultima shotgun in a tactical format. 

Best New Guns of 2023

This results in the Beretta Ultima patrol. This all-American-made shotgun is a semi-auto 12 gauge that comes with Beretta’s quality without the price point of the 1301. It retails for less than a grand. The Beretta Ultima Patrol features a nice short barrel and all the modern features you expect. 

It has ghost ring sights, it’s optics ready, and it comes with a few M-LOK slots for attaching accessories. The gun’s stock can be adjusted for length of pull to make it fit the end user a little better. The controls are all oversized and easy to access and utilize. The A300 Ultima Patrol gives you seven rounds of 12 gauge on tap, and it’s ready for home defense. 

Taurus 856 Defender TORO

Taurus and Rossi have both had a series of awesome new guns this year. This includes numerous revolvers. Of all their releases, the one that impresses me the most is the Taurus 856 Defender TORO. The 856 Defender is an extension of the classic Model 85. Unlike the 85, the 856 now holds six rounds of .38 Special. The Defender model also features a 3-inch barrel. There is nothing crazy new there, but the TORO designation means it’s optics-ready. 

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Best New Guns of 2023

The TORO model comes with a plate that allows you to mount optics with the Shield RMSc footprint. Getting the optic up and mounted to the gun didn’t take much effort, and it’s ready to rock and roll. Optics on defensive firearms are nothing new, and they’ve evolved and gotten smaller. It’s small enough to fit on a J-frame revolver easily. Unlike optics on automatics, optics on revolvers don’t move.

This makes them easier to see and easier to track between rounds. The little mini dot makes aiming easy and allows you to quickly get back on target and put lead exactly where you want it. A red dot on a small revolver is quite handy and eliminates issues with sight radius and minimal sights. It adds some bulk, but the trade-off is well worth it. 


The CZ DWX was announced years ago but has only recently been released. Does that count as a new gun? I think so. The DWX is an odd hybrid of a CZ 75 series pistol with an M1911. The slide is all 1911, but the frame is very CZ-like. This combines the best features of the M1911 with the best features of the CZ 75. With the M1911, we get a sweet trigger, a nice-sized slide with a common sight pattern. The CZ portion gives us double stack 9mm magazines and the ergonomics of the famed CZ 75 series. 

Best New Guns of 2023

READ MORE: Now Shipping: The Dan Wesson DWX

The DWX delivers a competition-type package in its size and design. It’s got a big long five-inch barrel, a big heavy dust cover that is covered with a very long Picatinny rail. Like most CZ 75 designs, you can get a nice high grip on the gun to maximize your control. It’s really a wonderfully designed gun that mixes two legends. 

The CZ DWX has an outstanding trigger that certainly lives up to the reputation of a match grade M1911. The trigger, the match-grade barrel, and a long sight radius deliver some really impressive accuracy from the gun. Sadly, it’s not optics-ready, but the DWX Compact does offer a more carryable version of this very large gun. 

The New FN 15 Guardian

The FN 15 Guardian is FN’s attempt to break into the civilian AR market. Admittedly, they’ve been releasing numerous models of the AR-15, including several military clone-type versions of the M4 and M16A4. However, the Guardian offers a more affordable, sub-1,000 dollar rifle with a ton of modern features for the modern user. The FN 15 Guardian has a slick M-LOK rail, a modern sling-ready stock, an ambi charging handle, and a pistol grip. 

Best New Guns of 2023

The FN 15 Guardian has an interesting upper that lacks a forward assist, giving it a clean, somewhat slick side upper appeal. FN wisely used a mid-length gas system over a carbine design. This keeps things smoother, delivers less recoil, and will even help the rifle’s overall durability. The 15-inch M-LOK rail gives you plenty of room for accessories. 

FN makes good rifles, and if they are producing an affordable new gun, it will be good. This includes HPT/MPI tested BCG, a sealed torqued and staked gas block, and an HPT/MPI barrel. It’s the little things that help with quality control that really makes this rifle shine. The fact it only weighs 6.6 pounds is another impressive feat. 

IWI Carmel

The IWI Carmel was a nice surprise to see at SHOT 2023. IWI’s new gun isn’t a delicious sticky candy, so stop asking. It’s not even spelled the same! What it is is a very modern semi-auto, 5.56 caliber rifle. This is a short-stroke gas piston system, which is the hotness at the moment. The IWI Carmel comes with awesome ergonomics, including fully ambidextrous controls. 

Best New Guns of 2023

A short-stroke gas piston system makes it easy to have a folding stock, and the Carmel certainly has one. The stock itself can also collapse and features an adjustable cheekrest. The upper receiver is monolithic, which offers you plenty of room for a number of different optic configurations. The front handguard also features M-LOK slots for accessories. 

Up front, we have an easily adjustable gas piston system that allows it to be used very effectively when suppressed. The barrel is cold hammer forged, chrome-lined, and free-floated. The Carmel is super modern and quite adept. The downside is the eight-pound weight. Eat your Wheaties and lift some weights if that’s too much for you. 

Henry Homesteader

As far as new guns go, I don’t think anyone had a 9mm PCC from Henry on their bingo card. They have a few shotguns, but this year, they did a 180 and produced a semi-auto 9mm carbine known as the Homesteader. The Homesteader came out of nowhere, and the little gun has been quite the hit. Not only is the Homesteader a practical carbine, but it is also a good-looking carbine. 

Best New Guns of 2023

While features like M-LOK rails are great, the Homesteader sticks to the classic wood-style appearance of the traditional Henry rifles. It’s a darn fine-looking gun. Henry wisely went with a modular magwell that allows you to use Henry’s own magazines, as well as Glock, S&W, and SIG magazines. The user can swap the mag wells easily, and additional mag wells are fairly affordable and cheap. 

READ MORE: Henry Arms Jumps into the Pistol Caliber Carbine Arena with the Homesteader 9mm

The Henry Homesteader uses a direct blowback action, but it also uses a clever recoil-reducing mechanism that takes the sting out of the gun’s recoil. The gun is only a rail away from mounting an optic, and the threaded barrel makes suppressor use quite easy. The Homesteader was a nice surprise and a very fun gun to shoot. 

What’s Next For 2024

That’s the big question. What is coming next? New guns are always coming out, but that doesn’t mean they are always good. This year has been surprisingly nice for the industry, and 2024 will be even better! 

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  • gunfreak September 6, 2023, 10:18 pm

    The Henry Homesteader is a terrible weapon. YouTube reviews, it didn’t perform well.

  • Heavyguns31 September 6, 2023, 7:16 am

    The Beretta shotgun is pretty nice. I had the opportunity to try one out. If I didn’t already have a Gen-12 and a Benelli 1014 I would have bought it. For half the price of the Benelli and less than half of the Genesis 12 you get a lot of gun.
    I wonder if Smith will make the folder rifle version they have in 9mm in the 5.7 to mate up with the 5.7 pistol? Would make a nice combo. I have the Ruger 5.7 pistol/rifle combo but I’d probably still buy the Smiths.

  • Michael Custer September 4, 2023, 7:34 pm

    When will Henry come out with a 45acp Homesteader?

  • Charlie September 4, 2023, 5:24 pm

    @Mike in the truck
    The country Sissyland has a town named Pussyville….

  • Mike in a Truck September 4, 2023, 1:38 pm

    The Honesteader recoil mechanism takes the “sting” out of 9mm Parabellum? Where do these people come from?

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