Perhaps not to be outdone, Smith & Wesson (2100 Roosevelt Ave., Dept. GDTM, Springfield, MA 01104/(413) 781-8300/www.smithandwesson.com) has introduced the M&P15-22P, a .22-caliber semi-auto that looks like an AR-type pistol. Weighing 51 ounces, this is actually kind of a clever approach, considering that the firearms industry — perhaps encouraged by the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s coinage of the term “Modern Sporting Rifle” to domesticate the AR design for old-timers and anti-gunners alike — is turning out AR-type rifles by the bushel. This handgun actually does reflect the current popular trend among younger shooters.
The M&P15-22 has a 6-inch carbon steel barrel, 25-round detachable magazine, adjustable front and rear sights, matte black finish and blow-back action. There’s a top rail and shorter rails on the handguard surfaces. I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot one of these handguns, but this model just looks like it will be a hoot for plinking, hunting and even target work.
Speaking of S&W, their SD9 and SD40 semi-auto pistols have plenty of traction with consumers. The SD models have stainless steel 4-inch barrels, a black Melonite finish, the SDT (Self-Defense Trigger) for smooth, consistent trigger squeeze from the first to the last shot. They also boast a slim grip and a rail molded into the frame. The front sight has a tritium tube and the rear sight has two white dots. The SD9 is available with either a 16- or 10-round magazine while the SD40 offers 14- or 10-round magazine capacities, depending upon local laws.
Also from S&W are the Bodyguard 380 pistol and Bodyguard 38 revolver. Both models feature Insight Technology laser technology. The 380 pistol is chambered in .380 ACP and has a manual thumb safety and a 6-round magazine capacity. It is finished with Melonite.
The Bodyguard 38 is chambered in .38 Special and can handle +P ammunition. It has an aluminum alloy upper frame and steel-reinforced polymer lower frame. The cylinder holds 5 rounds.
Back on the 1911 landscape, Dan Wesson (5169 Route 12 South, Dept. GDTM, Norwich, NY 13815/(607) 336-1174/www.danwessonfirearms.com) has announced a new .45-caliber version of the Guardian semi-auto , a Commander-sized gun with a “Bobtail” butt. It has a 4.25-inch barrel, fixed sights, alloy frame and more.
The new year will also see a return of the legendary Dan Wesson Model 715 revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, and the arrival of the Dan Wesson Elite series of pistols. The DW 715 has a 6-round capacity, is available with interchangeable barrel lengths ranging from 2.5 to 10 inches, smooth double action and many other features.
In the Elite series comes the Titan, Mayhem and Havoc semi-auto pistols. The Titan is all steel and based on the 1911 platform, chambered in 10mm Auto. This Commander-size pistol has a 4.25-inch barrel, snake scale serrations, 25 lpi checkering and G-10 grip panels.
The Mayhem model is chambered for .40 S&W, is also all-steel, and is set up for competition with adjustable rear sight, 6-inch slide, Beavertail grip safety and accessory rail.
The Havoc is chambered in both 9mm and .38 Super, with a 4.25-inch barrel, adjustable sight, all-steel construction and many other features.