By Brian Jensen
SHOT Show is always an exciting time for us gun enthusiasts, as we wait with baited breath for new models. This year is no different, but Colt did one better, they re-introduced a longtime favorite, while continuing to build on their winning line of 1911-style pistols.
Colt Mustang Pocketlite:
New for this year, Colt is bringing back the Colt Mustang Pocketlite. This little .380 government model was discontinued in the late 1990’s, due to the cost of making these small guns with older machinery, as well as hard times happening all around for firearms manufacturers nationwide. While discontinuing the Mustang created a lucrative market for these as used guns, it also showed that a market existed for such small, lightweight pistols.
Today, where the expanding concealed carry movement has swept from state to state, there is a huge and growing market for small handguns for the person who wants a lightweight pistol to carry around. Colt saw the market was expanding with ever increasing numbers of small weapons, and reacted to the obvious consumer demands for another mini pistol.
At the same time, the advent of new equipment such as CNC machinery that has revolutionized manufacturing plated an important part in why Colt brought back the Mustang. This change to making firearms was a huge breakthrough for companies such as Colt who often depended on expensive and time consuming hand fitting. Put the two factors together, and you have a pistol, such as the New Mustang Pocketlite, that was ripe for the market to pick it up. The frosting on the cake, was that it was an established, and well-respected design.
The Mustang Pocketlite uses an aluminum frame machined from plate, not cast, which keeps the weight down, weighing in at 12 ¾ ounces empty. The slide and barrel are machined from bar stock steel. Per Mark Fraher, a Senior Project Engineer for Colt who was at the SHOT booth, the new, modern machines at Colt’s factory allow for a more accurate, and reliable pistol by keeping to known standards/tolerances. Also, Colt kept true to the older designs, allowing for the new gun parts to work in the old guns, and vice versa.
If you have never tried the little Mustang, you should, they just feel great in the hand. If you are a 1911 fan, and are looking for a mini .380 for concealed carry, this gun is worth a good long look. Recoil on the older guns I have tried has been mild, and I assume nothing more than that from these newer versions. Per Mr. Fraher, the factory is working hard to meet th demand for this pistol, which should be available very soon, if not having already hit the shelves.
Special Combat Government:
Another new pistol from Colt expands upon their Special Combat Government line in .45 ACP. This latest blued version, (model O1990CM), is an all steel gun produced for those wanting a combat 1911 with some custom work. This gun comes with an integral magwell, upswept beavertail, G-10 stocks, Bomar adjustable sights, and is hand fitted for reliability and function.
This gun was produced, per Colt, for everyone from Law Enforcement, the armed civilian, to the competition shooter. The gun I saw had deep bluing, crisp grips that fit your hand, but weren’t too rough, and an beavertail grip safety that made the gun sit perfectly in your hand. These are higher end guns, but well worth the money.
Colt New Agent Crimson Trace:
Another in the line of excellent pistols is the Crimson Trace equipped Colt New Agent. This another gun that was produced for the expanding civilian concealed carry market. The one I saw was in 9mm, but it also comes in .45 ACP. This is another iteration of the Colt New Agent, with the trough site along the top of the slide, which is not for accuracy, but quick responsive shooting. Colt partnered with Crimson Trace to give the gun a laser dot sight to better aim in a quick reaction scenario. These are just a few tweaks to an already established pistol.
The Colt Rail Gun:
While at the Colt booth, I had a chance to look at the blackened Colt Rail Gun. The Rail Gun came out a couple of years ago in stainless, and was an attempt to catch on to the growing market of railed 1911’s. It was followed by a two-tone version, and now the blackened version. Many people wanted a blackened gun over stainless. This gun is not carbon steel, but stainless steel that is Cerakoted in black. The gun comes with an upswept beavertail grip safety, Novak Low-Mount sights, and a M1913 picatinny rail. Rumor has it that the US Marines are evaluating this pistol as we speak.
That’s the highlights of the Colt Booth for the 2012 SHOT Show. More to come.