Just because SHOT didn't happen doesn't mean new guns didn't roll out.
SHOT Show 2021, unfortunately, didn’t happen. It fell victim to COVID-19 and was canceled at near the last minute. That cancellation didn’t slow down the industry very much, though. January and now February has seen the industry popping out press releases and new guns left and right. I’ve gathered five of the best handguns we would have seen at SHOT Show 2021 for your enjoyment today.
Tactical pistols have changed immensely in the last decade. The standard now is an optics-ready pistol, a light slide, and often a polymer frame and, of course, a tactical rail. The FN 509 LS Edge is the latest 509 to grace us. The LS Edge model has a crisp, flat-facing trigger, optics-ready compatibility, and a lightened slide for reduced recoil.
The LS Edge promises to be a sweet blaster with its 5-inch target crowned barrel and lightweight trigger. Add on an optic, and boom, you will be well on your way to success in defense, duty, and competition. The LS Edge might’ve been the king of SHOT Show 2021, at least as far as pistols go.
The SIG P365 is without a doubt the capacity king of concealed carry 9mms since its introduction at SHOT 2018, so it was a little surprising that SIG is releasing the gun as a .380 ACP. This was a sneaky SHOT Show 2021 reveal. The size and capacity promise to be the same, with minor changes. The magazines will be shimmed to accommodate the shorter rounds, and the grip modules will be the same.
The benefit of .380 ACP will be a lighter recoil overall. This gun will certainly be a great option for those with reduced hand strength and those who find 9mm a little too snappy. It’s an interesting idea, and it’s good to see SIG expanding the P365 line.
Around the end of the year and the beginning of a new year, the leaks typically start. SHOT Show 2021 leaks were worse than a sinking boat, and one such leak was the reveal of the new Glock 43X and Glock 48 MOS series. The MOS series from Glock is their optics-ready line of pistols. The small frame size of the 43X and 48 does limit the optics to the smaller Shield RSMC sized optics.
The new Glock 43X and 48 series pistols will also accommodate a short section of Picatinny rail. With newer and smaller lights hitting the deck, it makes sense. This allows the new 43X and 48 series to be mission-ready for anything at any time.
The Walther PDP was announced in mid-February, but it’s better late than never. I’m sure it would’ve been a showpiece at SHOT Show 2021, but Walther kept us waiting just a bit longer. The PDP is based on the famed and beloved PPQ series of pistols. Walther made a ton of changes to the frame to make it a duty-ready platform.
The PDP comes in 4, 4.5, and 5 inch barreled variants. This optic’s ready pistol goes beyond the simple milling of the slide. Walther redesigned the frame and slide to build the pistol from the ground up as a red dot design. The frame keeps the beloved PPQ ergonomics but is using a new texture to increase grip. The PDP promises to be duty-ready and is priced surprisingly affordable.
Another design leaked prior to the premiere of SHOT Show 2021 was the SIG P320 AXG Scorpion. In fact, they sent these bad boys out quite early. The AXG is the first gun from SIG’s Custom Works shop. This Carry model features a compact slide with a full-length grip. The big difference is the metal grip module.
An all-metal SIG P320 is an interesting idea that translates into an easy-handling pistol. The slide is cut for the Trijicon RMR and SIG Romeo Pro. The AXG Scorpion is a fascinating design and is good-looking to boot. I can’t wait to see what else comes out of the SIG Custom Works Shop.
SHOT Show 2021 was a bust. Hopefully, by this time next year, we’ll be telling a different story altogether. Even though we couldn’t see and handle these fine firearms in person, we at least have an idea of what is coming soon or soonish. Hopefully, but the time some of these sweet pistols hit the market, we’ll be able to get ammo for them!
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.
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