SHOT Show 2023: Best New Guns
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The 45th annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show spanned over four days at The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas last week and American Firearms was there, sneaking into all the parties then, bleary-eyed, slow-crawling 13.9 miles of aisles of exhibitors to bring you the best new guns. In a sort of alphabetical order, here is the rundown.
In This Article
Beretta A300 Patrol
The rumored “budget” Beretta tactical semi-auto shotgun turned out to be real, with the A300 Patrol model available in black, gray, and tiger stripe. Besides its 7+1 capacity extended mag tube, it has a 7-slot Picatinny rail, 3 M-LOK mounting points, and 3 QD sling mounting points.
It is also compatible with Beretta 1301 Tactical after-market rail and optic mount accessories. The price is $1,099, which is a few hundred less than the 1301T and about as “budget” as Beretta flies.
Beretta 80X Cheetah
Beretta long made a super cool little double-stack .380 pistol, the Model 84/85 Cheetah, a forgotten classic that was loved by those who knew of its existence.
Well, the hammer-fired metal framed Cheetah is growling once again in an “X” series pistol with a Vertec slim grip, an updated trigger, an accessory rail, and a 13+1 magazine capacity. Oh yeah, and it is optics-ready and available in several colors starting at $799.
Beretta 92 Xi
Re-releasing the classics, Beretta is now finally making a gun that should have been released decades ago– a single-action-only model of the full-sized 92.
The new 92XI features a new Xtreme-S single action-only flat-faced trigger with performance DLC-coated components and a lightweight skeletonized hammer, allowing for a crisp trigger pull with the option to go cocked and locked. Like the rest of the “X” series handguns, it runs a slim Vertec-style frame. And yes, it is optics-ready. The ask is only $949, which surprised us.
Black Cherry Deagle
One thing is for sure: folks love the Desert Eagle. Probably the most often seen firearm in films, games, and TV shows after the generic Glock, AK, AR, and 1911, the Deagle is a universal adapter when it comes to guns.
The newest model, a Desert Eagle XIX series pistol, is available in .50 AE, or classic .44 Magnum– both finished with a metallic Black Cherry Cerakote. Cost is not available.
Dan Wesson DWX
The long-promised mash-up between the CZ 75 and M1911 platforms, the Dan Wesson DWX isn’t vaporware anymore and is supposedly shipping.
Using a locked breech barrel system rather than the toggle link of the 1911 link system, it has a CZ-style takedown via the slide stop, internal rails with a low bore axis on the barrel, and accepts 19+1 round 9mm CZ P-10F/P-09 magazines. Much of the internals and flat K-style trigger are upscale 1911. The cost is $2,099.
FN 510 & FN 545 Tactical
Part of the fallout from the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System that came down to the wire in 2017 between Sig Sauer and Glock was that FN, who put lots of R&D cash into their submission, decided to recoup their losses and release the new pistol as the FN 509 series.
Since then, the 9mm 509 has become very popular and has been marketed in standard, Tactical, compact, mid-sized, competition, and sub-compact compensated models.
Well, FN just dropped big bore tactical variants in 10mm (FN 510) and .45ACP (FN 545) as well for guys who like bigger holes.
The FN 510 has an impressive 22+1 magazine capacity while the FN 545 comes in at 18+1 rounds, each offering a 4.7-inch extended threaded barrel, fully ambi controls, suppressor-height three-dot night sights, and the capacity to run optics.
Each will ship with shorter flush-fitting 15+1 capacity mags as well. MSRP on both is $1,139, and they are available in black and FDE.
As we told you weeks before SHOT, Glock looked ready to announce the special G47 model developed for the United States Customs and Border Protection a few years ago would be ready in a consumer format. Not to sour grapes the thing, but it is primarily just a Glock 45 with the recoil assembly of a Glock 19.
Still, if you are looking for a decent and no-frills mid-sized 5th Generation Glock 9mm with a 17+1 flush-fit magazine capacity and an optics cut system, the G47 is your obvious choice, and the company will probably sell a million of them this year.
There is a reason Glocks are known as the “Toyota of Guns.”
No, it is not a bullpup. Made in the U.S., the new IWI Carmel is a modular rifle system akin to the SCAR and Bren2 from the Israeli gun builder that includes ambi controls, a 2-position gas piston system, a folding six-position stock, and a non-reciprocating charging handle.
First introduced overseas in 2019, it is nice to see that it is being made here in Pennsylvania for the consumer market. MSRP is $1,799, which is pushing Sig Sauer MCX pricing.
KelTec has been in the bullpup shotgun game for a minute and their assorted 12 gauge models have a little something for every occasion. Well, they now have an almost cute little bullpup 410-bore shotgun that is only 5.4 pounds in weight and 1.7 inches wide even though it runs twin side-by-side mag tubes. Just 26.1 inches long overall, we ran one on the range and it is virtually recoilless when stacked against other shotguns.
The cost is only $495, and it is expected to start shipping later this year, meaning it will be available in mid-2025 knowing KelTec.
Rock Island RIA 5.0
An American-made pistol with an innovative recoil system figured out by Fred Craig, the new RIA 5.0 from Rock Island is not a 1911 and gets some cool points for style. Using a squared-off 4.91-inch barrel, we found the 9mm to have a gentle recoil when put to the test at the SHOT Show range day (although we neglected to get a snap of it.)
Between the Dawson Precision fiber-optic front sight and an LPA adjustable rear, it is a laser.
Rock Island is selling them in a small batch for just under $1K and, judging from the response, will likely start making them in bigger runs to meet demand.
Brazilian gunmaker Rossi dates back to the 19th Century but Taurus was able to acquire them a few years ago and shut down their revolver production as they were a direct competitor. Well, the company has now brought them back in three lengths with 3-, 4-, and 6-inch barrel .357/.38 six-shooter formats. They had the 3 and 6 available to show off at SHOT this year, both in stainless (black models will soon be available) and the fit and finish were decent.
Oddly, they cost a few shekels more than Taurus’s standard 600/800 series revolvers, something that used to be the other way around. The cost is $460 to $620, depending on length.
Just before Christmas last year, Savage announced a dozen new M1911 pistol models with options in black, stainless, and two-toned format, and in either 9mm or .45ACP caliber, with a choice between having a dustcover accessory rail or not.
All use forged stainless steel frames and slides, adjustable Novak sights, and VZ G10 grip panels. Likewise, they are all full-sized, single-action Government-style pistols with 5-inch barrels. Kind of a weird flex from Savage, especially when the $1,350 to $1,500 price range is firmly in Kimber/Sig Sauer territory, and you can get nice Turkish-made Tisas and PI-made Rock Island 1911s these days for half that.
Heck, Springfield Armory’s American-made Garrison series is arguably as nice as the Savage guns and comes in under $950. Still, we came across the Savage 1911s at the show and they looked legit.
Sig P365 Macro TACOPS
No, this is not a misprint of the Sig P365 X-Macro which was only introduced a few months back, but a different pistol. Unlike the X-Macro, which comes standard with a P365XL-length compensated/ported slide and the short barrel of the standard-length P365 barrel, the P365 Macro TACOPS just runs an XL slide and barrel. Added features not seen on other P365s are an integrated mag well and an extended slide stop lever.
Plus, since it has the same X-Macro series frame, you run flush-fitting 17+1 round magazines. No price is available in typical Sig Sauer fashion.
Sig P320 AXG Legion Comp
Yes, Sig Sauer likes to run a million variants, and the newest P320 blends lots of things. As the name betrays, the Sig P320 AXG Legion Comp includes the Alloy XSeries Grip metal grip module, all the top-shelf features of the Legion series such as the skeletonized flat-faced trigger and fully adjustable XRAY3 day/night sights, and the integrated slide expansion chamber compensator as seen on guns like the P365 X-Macro.
Not cataloged just yet so it is not on Sig’s website, it will be available sometime in March for a price point of around $1,400.
SIG MCX Spear in 6.5CM
The MCX Spear must be about the most Gucci rifle on the market these days, perhaps even eclipsing the FN SCAR line.
The new choice of the U.S. Army to replace the M4 carbine in its Next Generation Squad Weapon program, Sig Sauer has only released a few variants on the consumer market including a short run of commemorative two-stamp SBRs complete with matching suppressors and rifles chambered in .277 Fury, Sig’s in-house version of the 6.8mm.
Well, the company now has a variant of the Spear headed to market in 6.5 Creedmoor, which is dimensionally very close. The cost is expected to be north of $4K.
S&W M&P 5.7
Some of the coolest news from SHOT was that Smith & Wesson is now a 5.7 pistol maker, joining the ranks of FN, Ruger, and PSA. Priced at $799, it is much less than FN and about on the same level as Ruger, the new S&W M&P 5.7 is very slim, using a patented new rotating bolt gas operation system.
It also has a threaded barrel and 22+1 magazine capacity as well as an optics-ready slide. Smith has been slipping lately but this is a solid offering, especially with 5.7 becoming more popular and affordable.
A big hulking X-framed wheel gun announced late last year, Smith & Wesson had the new Model 350 seven-shot revolver on hand for SHOT Show, its first public offering. Chambered in .350 Winchester Legend, described as the fastest production straight-walled hunting cartridge in the world, the rounds it fires pack a wallop to be sure. Maybe that is why the Model 350 runs a 7.5-inch ported barrel and weighs in at five pounds.
You are going to want to shoot this bad boy from a shooting stick or shooting house bench while wearing gloves. MSRP is $1,599
Taurus Judge Executive Grade
Taurus at last year’s NRA Show debuted a top-shelf “Executive Grade” Model 856 .38 Special revolver with a custom hand-polished satin finish, an upgraded trigger that wasn’t gross, and walnut grips. Packed in a Pelican Vault case, it wasn’t a bad deal for $650ish.
They have now given the Judge .410 bore/.45 Colt revolver the same treatment but for $950. Sadly, their marketing people must have been asleep at the wheel as they did not follow the same path as used by the other Judges’ naming convention (Judge, Public Defender, etc.) and named the new model the Justice.
Taurus .460 Raging Hunter
Taurus stretched its Raging Hunter .460 S&W hand cannon from an 8.37-inch shrouded barrel model to a full 10-inches with an integrated compensator, barrel-mounted downward-facing accessory rail for use in mounting it to sticks or a bipod, and a long top rail for optics.
Using a dual-locking cylinder, we fired it on the range with stout Hornady hunting loads and found the 4.5-pound revolver manageable.
Taurus 856 and 605 T.O.R.O.
Such a simple idea, but it took years for someone to do it: make an optics-ready centerfire carry revolver. Taurus beat Ruger and S&W to the punch on this one and debuted the small-framed (5-shot .357 Magnum) Model 605 T.O.R.O. and the 6-shot .38 Special Model 856 T.O.R.O. with the acronym standing for the Taurus Optic Ready Option. Both revolvers are milled at the factory to accept red dots designed for the Holosun K/Shield RMSc footprint.
The cost is $450 to $470. Expect everyone else to follow with this on their revolvers in the coming months.
Taurus TX22 Compact
With a dependable .22LR rimfire semi-auto pistol long seen as a humbug– even Glock failed to meet the bar of “perfection” with their Model 44 a couple of years ago– Taurus somehow figured out the secret formula and got their TX22 series pistols to work. While they have gone longer with a TX22 Comp, it only made sense for them to go smaller with a TX22 Compact.
Complete with a 13-round flush-fit magazine, you can expect people to start carrying this pocket-sized plinker for self-defense despite the caliber. MSRP for the Taurus TX22 Compact is $399.
PSA's H&R Throwback M16s
Last SHOT Show saw a tease at Palmetto’s booth about the H&R retro AR series and this year has some good news on the project.
Run by the guy who founded NoDakSpud, the new H&R has its website and is shipping guns already, with a Colt 723 carbine variant in limited production and a more Vietnam-styled M16A1 supposed to join it in March. Prices start at $1,200.
PSA's Hill & Mac Sturmgewehr
For a decade, people have been trying to bring a valid centerfire replica of the German StG 44 Sturmgewehr to market here in America. PTR tried and failed back around 2012 with a gun made in Germany by an outfit that soon went out of business.
Then came Hill & Mac Gunworks, better known as HMG, which worked on the project in Georgia for like eight years before they went belly up in 2020 and got embroiled in a court case that is now settled.Now, like a thunderbolt from the Call of Duty gods, it turns out that Palmetto has acquired the HMG Sturmgewehr project including “Mac” from the design team, and is coming out with the rifle later this year.It will be offered in four calibers– the original 8mm Kurz as well as 5.56, .300BLK, and 7.62×39– with the poor people who gave HMG money years ago for pre-orders getting their guns first. Expect prices to be somewhere north of $2K if not $3K.
Walther P99AS Final Edition
Walther is giving the hard goodbye to the P99 AS after 26 years of hard service in a “Final Edition” worthy of the name. The iconic pistol used by both Brosnan’s and Craig’s Bond, it runs the classic OD Green frame with “Final Edition” engraving on the slide, shipping in a custom weather-proof case with a commemorative coin. A shaken and stirred martini is not included.Sadly, the gun has about the best production striker-fired trigger on the market, and it is a shame to see them go off into the night. Walther says they will start shipping around April at a suggested cost of $899.