There were many interesting firearms, both new and old, at the SHOT Show. One of the most hotly anticipated guns at was the new Remington R51. Unfortunately, no production R51s were available at Media Day at the Range so no shooting impressions were available to the broad media. While Remington bills the R51 as a ‘subcompact,’ that is pushing the limits of the term. Comparing specs of the R51, the S&W Shield, and the Glock 26 shows us the following:
- R51 - 6.625 length, 4.625 height, 1 width, 22.0 oz weight empty
- Glock 26 - 6.49 length, 4.17 height, 1.18 in. width, 21.71 oz weight empty
- S&W Shield - 6.1" length, 4.6" height, .95" width, 19.0 oz weight empty
So you’ll need a pretty big pocket to carry the R51. More likely, it’s a good size for an Every Day Carry belt gun. Users of the ‘trigger reset’ technique may be disappointed because it has no discernible reset point; shooters will have to make sure they let the trigger all the way out to avoid ‘trigger freeze.’ The sights are very good, probably the most snag free rear sight available but still providing an ample front shelf for one handed malfunction clearance. A Crimson Trace LaserGuard laser sight is also available.
Smith & Wesson re-introduced the Model 66 revolver. However, for unknown reasons, they made the barrel slightly too long, at 4.25 inches, to be legal for IDPA competition, its most likely market. The new 66 also still includes the locking feature that S&W aficionados love to hate.
Smith & Wesson also displayed the CORE (Competition Optics Ready Equipment) Series of M&P pistols. The CORE series is precut for red dot sights. The series also includes higher iron sights that allow aimed shooting should the red dot sight fail.
Citadel showed its 9mm M1 Carbine, which is said to become available around the end of the First Quarter 2014. It uses Beretta 92 magazines and will ship with two 10 round Klinton Klips. The carbine will be available with either a synthetic stock or, for slightly more money, a wood stock.
Beretta had both Inox (stainless) and blue versions of the 92 Compact on display. The re-introduced Compact now includes a Picatinny rail to mount accessories on. For fans of the Beretta 92 platform, the Compact is a distinctly easier to carry pistol.
Kel-Tec showed their new RDB Bullpup rifle. The new rifle is chambered in 5.56mm and features downward ejection. The representative indicated that it will probably not be in full production for most of this year. He indicated there will be a limited production run of wood stocked RDBs but most would be produced with synthetic furniture.
There were even more manufacturers of Modern Sporting Rifles, aka ARs, this year. America’s second favorite rifle, after the Marlin Model 60, continues on its march, despite the efforts of legislators afraid of “the shoulder thing that goes up” or “ghost guns.”
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