Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.
Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:
- Top Five Questions I Get as a Gun Owner
- The Top Five Glock Enhancements
- And Top Five Belly Bands
- Top Five Hollywood Gun Handling Awards
- Top Five Everyday Carry Gun Belts
If the firearms industry is known for anything, it is the handful of top-tier manufacturers that have been around for scores — if not hundreds — of years. We could name all the established brands in relatively short order and their countries of origin, their products’ places in law enforcement and world conflicts as well as their relative strengths and weaknesses. Some have been around longer than others, of course, and, to be clear, I’m not suggesting some sort of chronological snobbery where company longevity means product excellence. Any manufacturer, no matter how venerable, can produce a lemon. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
But what I’m interested in discussing today are a few guns that are relatively new to the market or perhaps at least new to you. These guns may have been out for only a few years, but they demonstrate what enterprising companies can do with all of the excellent computer-aided design and machining available to them today. With that, here are the top five newer guns I recommend you try.
1. SCCY CPX Series
With MSRPs of less than $350, the SCCY CPX Series (CPX 1, 2 and 3 — two 9mms and a .380, respectively) offers a great value option in the defensive handgun market. These guns are small, lightweight, reliable, accurate and simple to maintain. The two 9mm variants come in a variety of colors and offer two 10-round magazines. The .380 also comes with two 10-round magazines.
One of the 9mm variants offers a manual safety, and all of them are available with either a Black Nitride or Natural Stainless slide at no variance in price. And all weigh in at a mere 15 ounces. Despite the light weight they are eminently shootable and even fun, and you can find plenty of excellent holsters in which to carry these guns. These guns, and others like them, do a lot to further the ability of people from all walks of life to find a dependable, accurate handgun with which they can defend themselves.
***Shop for a SCCY CPX on GunsAmerica***
2. TriStar P100
Here’s a sincere imitation of the venerable CZ-75 and it is flattering, to say the least. The all-steel P100 from TriStar weighs 2.3 pounds and sports a 3.7-inch barrel, making it a typical compact with plenty of heft but easy shootability.
Available in 9mm or .40, you’ll carry 15 or 11 rounds, respectively, in one magazine. It comes with two magazines — Mec-Gar at that — and all that shooting I did with this gun demonstrated 100 percent reliability and consistency. Although a double-action/single-action, you carry the P100 with the hammer back and safety on, 1911-style. You can lower the hammer manually if you want, but why would you want to? The single-action stroke required to send a round down range is near perfect and the sweep required to get the safety off is a natural thumb down, also like a 1911.
The sights are nothing to write home about, but they’re easily replaced. And with an MSRP of $490, this gun (plus a new set of night sights) won’t set you back too far. With its black polymer checked-grip panels, the P100 feels great in hand, but more credit goes to the grip angle and built-in beavertail. Finished in Black Cerakote, the P100 sports a Picatinny rail and looks good, but otherwise it’s the best kind of boring for a defensive pistol.
***Shop for a Tristar P100 on GunsAmerica***
3. FMK 9C1 G2
The makers of the gun have squarely set their sights on one of the most popular compact 9mm pistols in the world — the Glock 19. Many of the specs are similar and, whatever you think of the Glock 19, you ought to give this FMK a run at a local range.
Everything you love about the best compact 9s out there are present in the 9C1 G2, yet the gun offers a few unique features, such as a rubberized backstrap and the ability to change from a “fast-action trigger” with a drop-free magazine to a standard DAO trigger with a mag-out safety.
The fast action trigger I’ve tried is short, crisp and offers a short reset that is admittedly not as pronounced as some other guns but recognizable nonetheless. Holsters, sights and other accessories are available for the FMK and the entire gun is made in the USA. MSRP is $410.
***Shop for an FMK 9C1 G2 on GunsAmerica***
4. IWI Jericho 941
Available from IWI, one of the preeminent manufacturers in the world, the Jericho 941 comes in 9mm and .45 ACP and is based on the CZ-75 short recoil system. I’ve actually fired a .40-caliber version of this gun and found it to be one of the most dependable and accurate combat pistols — just like the CZ-75.
A couple things to be aware of: You carry the Jericho 941 cocked and locked. So, unless you manually drop the hammer, every shot requires a sweep of the manual safety and then a very short, crisp trigger squeeze. Even in its mid-size, polymer-framed form, this gun is every bit a “duty gun.” And it is so utterly dependable that it borders on boring at the range. Aim, squeeze, fire, hit. It has a great feel in the hand, also similar to a CZ.
The gun is absolutely solid and robust in every action and movement. The IWI Jerich 941 has an MSRP of $559.
***Shop for an IWI Jericho 941 on GunsAmerica***
5. Savage Model 11 Scout
Leaving the handgun category for the rifle category, I am pleased to mention this Savage Model 11 Scout, a bolt-action .308 suitable for a variety of shooting activities. Loaded with features and lightweight but robust, this Scout provides the precision and accuracy of a bolt-action rifle with a bolt action that can be manipulated very quickly for fast follow-up shots.
Key features to keep in mind: the AccuStock rail system; user-adjustable AccuTrigger; a durable, flat dark-earth synthetic stock; an 18-inch barrel with muzzle brake; adjustable cheek piece; and 10-round detachable box magazine. The iron sights are excellent, but you can mount an optic on the included accessory rail to really benefit from the gun’s accuracy.
Firing a bolt-action .308 or other high-powered caliber means your shoulder takes the brunt of the recoil, but the padded buttstock does a great job as a mediator between you and the gun so it’s no problem to fire multiple 10-round magazines before your shoulder tires. The concept of the scout rifle has been around for decades; the Savage Model 11 Scout (MSRP $818) represents a current offering in this category of rifle — and one you shouldn’t miss.
***Shop for a Savage Model 11 Scout on GunsAmerica***
Discover how you can join more than 200,000 responsibly armed Americans who already rely on the USCCA to protect their families, futures and freedoms: USCCA.com/gunsamerica.