2020 SHOT Show Revolver Roundup

Your RevolverGuy team went back to Las Vegas for the 2020 SHOT Show last week, to scout out the latest in revolver goodness for you!

Attendance seemed to be down a bit compared to 2019, but the crowd still numbered in the high 50,000’s and the aisles were still jammed up on the first couple days of the show.  There was a positive energy on the show floor, as if everyone collectively felt this would be a good year for the industry and the American gun owner. I remember years when everyone was running scared at SHOT Show, so this was heartwarming to see, and a good sign.

We were at the pre-show Media Day on Monday as well, to shoot all the new introductions. Based on the crowd’s behavior, it became apparent very quickly that THE GUN of the 2020 show was Colt’s new Python. How about that? A revolver took top billing! And all the bottom feeders said revolvers were dead . . .

While we were busy turning ammunition into noise on Monday, 22,000+ patriots gathered at the Virginia state capitol to lobby for First and Second Amendment freedoms. They braved threats from radical political rivals and the government itself to demonstrate the will of The People, and send a clear message to those who would deprive us of our liberty.  They were an inspiration to all of us in Las Vegas, and although we were separated by the miles, each of us at the 2020 SHOT Show was with them in spirit, and proud of what they had accomplished. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for showing us how it’s done!

SHOT Show is so monstrous that you can’t possibly see it all, and we certainly missed some good stuff in our search, but we found a lot to get excited about in the aisles.  Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the highlights to tide you over until we can do a more thorough evaluation.

Chiappa

Chiappa’s distinctive Rhino is now available with an all-stainless steel frame and a 3″ barrel. At 2.8 pounds, this chunky sixgun will make easy work of shooting even the hottest .357 Magnum ammo. Available in DA/SA or SA-only configurations.
The Match Master version of the Rhino is chambered in .38 Special and is designed for PPC competition. It features a full length rib with Aristocrat sights, and rear sight stations that can be preset by the user to allow rapid, repeatable adjustments for various ranges. That’s a custom Hogue grip on there, too.

cimmarron

The Cimarron Bad Boy incorporates a long, 1860 Army grip, a Pre-War frame, and flat top target sights to aim the 6″ or 8″ octagonal barrel. Available in .44 Magnum (bottom, in nickel) and, new for 2020, 10mm Auto (top, in blue)!
Cimarron offers an optional picatinny rail for the Bad Boy that fits in the rear sight dovetail. Where else can you get a 10mm Auto, Single Action revolver, with an 8″ octagonal barrel and a reflex sight? Old west meets high tech!
Cimarron pays tribute to the war between the states with their “The Blue & The Gray” series. Each of the 5 guns in the series has a sterling silver flag in the grip, representing either the USA or CSA forces that used the type. At top is the 1860 Civilian with USA flag, and at bottom is the Leech & Rigdon with CSA flag.
Close up of the Leech & Rigdon revolver with CSA flag inlay in the grip.
These beautifully-engraved sixguns showcase the talent of their makers, with Cattlebrand and Theodore Roosevelt motifs. Don’t drool on the glass, please.

colt

The biggest news of the 2020 SHOT Show was the return of the Colt Python. This is a true Python, with an upgraded Python action, not just an oversized New Cobra action.

The gun shoots great and looks great in both formats (4.25″ and 6″)! You’ll see us do a detailed review of this beauty down the road, but for now we’ll just say we were impressed with what Colt’s has accomplished here!

The 6″ version of the Python was stunning, and shot “like a house a-fire!”
This image captures one of the rare moments when the 6″ display gun wasn’t being handled by a drooling attendee.
The Python display in the Colt’s booth was certainly clever and eye-catching!
The 6″ Python is joined by a 4.25″ little brother–the oddball length is required to meet import restrictions for the Canadian market.
The answer to the question, “should I get the 4.25″ or the 6″ gun?” is BOTH.
The King Cobra Carry was a mid-2019 introduction, so this was the first SHOT Show where it was on display. This 2″ barreled, bobbed hammer gun was an attractive package.
The King Cobra Target has been reviewed here at RevolverGuy already, but as a mid-2019 introduction, this was the first time it graced the display at SHOT. Can we think of this as the “modern-day Diamondback?”
Not new, just classic. The Single Action Army can be ordered in 4.75″, 5.5″ or 7.5″ configurations. The photo doesn’t do the case color finish justice.
This one caught us off guard. The Cobra Special hearkens back to the days of the Detective Special, and looks great with its period grips, brass bead front sight, and black PVD finish. Yeah, we wish it was in Royal Blue too, but it’s stainless steel, you know. We’re just glad to see Colt’s paying tribute to the classics again!

EMF

After the death of Early Modern Firearms Company’s President, it looked like the doors might close on the long-running EMF operation. However, an investment by manufacturer F.LLI Pietta secured the future of a new operation with EMF’s former Chief Operating Officer at the helm.

This was a wonderful development, because we need EMF’s creative presence in this industry!  We wish the new Pietta/EMF partnership well and look forward to seeing more of their guns in the hands of RevolverGuys.

Early Modern Firearms’ Cavalry version of the LeMat revolver is like no other percussion gun out there. That’s a 9-shot, .44 cylinder with a smooth-bore, 20 gauge shotgun barrel in the center. To shoot the shotgun, you have to flip the hammer nose to an alternate position on the hammer. This gun is an outstanding tribute to the unique 1856 design from Jean Alexander LeMat in New Orleans. Neat!
EMF’s LeMat Deluxe is beautifully engraved and features gold accents and a full-color CSA battle flag on the cylinder. This gun is a real head-turning beauty, and highlights the craftsmanship of its Italian maker!
The Gunfighter has a two-piece, black checkered rubber grip and a 4.75″ barrel. It’s available in .357 Magnum or .45 Colt. The color case finish on these EMF revolvers is really attractive–the photos don’t do a good job of showing the beautiful swirl of hues, which look even better when contrasted with the brass frame.
The EMF “R” Model features an antiqued finish and aged-ivory lookalike stocks. It’s a tribute to True Grit’s Rooster Cogburn. I can hear the Duke right now, bellowing, “FILL YOUR HANDS, YOU SON OF A . . . “
The General Patton recreates the 1873 Colt that a young George Patton first carried in the 1916 Punitive Expedition, chasing Pancho Villa, and later carried across Europe in World War II. It’s beautifully engraved in the same pattern that adorned Old Blood and Guts’ sixgun.

federal

Vista introduced upwards of 170 new products at the 2020 SHOT Show, across their three ammunition brands:  CCI, Federal, and Speer.

One load that will be of particular interest to RevolverGuys is the new, .38 Special +P Federal Punch–a 120 grain JHP that’s advertised to clock 1,075 fps, and provide consistent penetration and expansion in bare and heavy clothing gelatin. (Photo courtesy of Vista Outdoors Media)
The Federal Syntech line expands in 2020 with a 148 grain, .38 Special wadcutter load. The flush-seated, total synthetic jacket (TSJ) bullet will reduce fouling and boost velocities.

galco

Galco’s new Fastrax Pac waistpack is an innovative spin on the old fanny pack design. The neoprene front face, ballistic nylon body, and “comfort cloth” backer keep moisture out of the pouch. The elastic waist strap fits snug and carries the pack close to the body, but allows for comfortable movement during activity. A zippered pocket on the front includes a pass-through port, to allow you to route your earbud cables through the front of the pouch.
Here’s the good part: As the primary hand tugs the zipper to open the top of the pouch, the support hand pulls an activation cord on the opposite side, which pivots the holster from the horizontal carry position, to the vertical draw position. You won’t have to dig into the pouch and get an awkward grip on your horizontally-carried handgun with the Fastrax Pac.
The holster in the Fastrax Pac can be fitted for a wide range of handguns, by moving the position of the tension screws. The pouch is perfectly-sized for a small frame revolver like an LCR, K6s, New Cobra, or J-Frame.
Galco’s new Stukon-U pocket holster has a rubberized “Gripper Shell” exterior to keep the pouch in your pocket when you draw. There’s a size for all the popular small revolvers.

hogue

Hogue introduced a large number of new revolver fits for 2020, in both their rubber and hardwood grips.  We were especially pleased to see some Kimber K6S and new Colt Cobra/King Cobra fits added.

The new Hogue Bantam for the Kimber revolvers will fit both the DAO and DA/SA K6s revolvers–even though their frames are slightly different–by virtue of its stirrup attachment.
The new Cobra and new King Cobra can now be fitted with a rubber finger groove grip from Hogue.
Hogue has new hardwood fits for the new Cobra and new King Cobra as well. These were gorgeous and felt great in the hand.
This checkered Red Lava G10 grip for the Ruger LCR felt like a winner. A smooth texture version is available too.
G10 laminate for the Ruger GP100 and Super Redhawk
Laser Enhanced, Purple, OverMolded Rubber Grip for the S&W J-Frame. Yeah, they’ve got black, OD, and FDE, too. The other colors are pink or aqua.
Here’s the Laser Enhanced OverMolded for the LCR in pink.
The Taurus Judge hardwood stocks won’t keep you from shooting donut patterns, but they look and feel great.
There’s even a Big Butt grip for the 3 of you that own a Korth!
Hogue quietly displayed a prototype, extended cylinder release for the Ruger Redhawk. The lever reduces the reach to the button on the large frame gun. Production units will be assembled from different materials. The Hogue guys are revolver shooters, and always looking to optimize the platform.

kimber

Kimber was absent at Media Day, but still had a few new models to display on the show floor.

RevolverGuy was very happy to confirm that the K6s DAO guns are now shipping with a new firing pin design, made of steel.  This should put an end to the reports of premature firing pin breaks in this otherwise-excellent gun. Expect a more detailed report later, in these pages.

New for 2020 is a 4″ version of the K6s DA/SA with target sights–a fiber optic front, and an adjustable rear.
The 4″ Combat version of the K6s DA/SA sports 3-Dot pattern sights.

ksd grips usa

Once in a while, you stumble across an unknown gem at SHOT Show.  In the bottom corner of a mostly-ignored display case, I saw a simple business card for KSD Grips.  There was no product displayed, just a business card.

A web search brought me to their U.S. division (the company is headquartered in Turkey, from what I can tell), where I found some exquisite grips for sale at very reasonable prices.

KSD Grips USA specializes in checkered and patterned hardwoods.  Many of the grips feature custom images and silver and bronze inlays.  I’m a traditionalist, so I found the more conservative designs more attractive, but if you like a bolder look, you’ll appreciate some of their fancy artwork.

The grips look to be well-designed and beautifully executed. They have a fit list that is very extensive, for both revolvers and autos. the grips you see here range from about $95 to $130, which is very reasonable for the quality I’m seeing here.

We’ll be trying to get some of these grips for review in the coming months. Stay tuned for more.

(all images below from www.ksdgripsusa.com)

Ruger GP100
Ruger Blackhawk
New Colt Cobra / King Cobra
Smith & Wesson K and L Frame, Round Butt
Colt Python
Smith & Wesson K and L Frame, Square Butt

lipsey’s

As one of their largest distributors, the fine folks at Lipsey’s have a special relationship with Ruger which allows them to offer exclusive models that you won’t find in the catalog. There’s some really exciting variants of your favorite Rugers in the Lipsey’s collection, with more being added all the time.  Expect to see some of these show up in the pages of RevolverGuy later this year.

This Lipsey’s Exclusive adds a 3″, half-lug barrel to the satin blued SP101. The gun features rubber grips with a hardwood insert, an adjustable rear sight, and a gold bead front sight. Old school cool!
The Lipsey’s Exclusive Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter, in .45 Colt features black laminate grips, integral scope mounts on the rib, and a 7.5″ barrel. You’ll double your testosterone level just by picking it up.

Lyman-pachmayr

Pachmayr Deluxe Laminate Revolver Grip, in smooth finish Rosewood, for the Smith & Wesson K and L frame. A checkered finish is available, as well as a Charcoal Silvertone color.
The Pachmayr G10 Tactical Revolver Grips are tough and attractive. The checkered finish provides a lot of traction. Available for the LCR, SP101, Taurus 85, and S&W J-Frame, in two colors–Gray/Black (shown), and Red/Black.
Red/Black G10 Tactical Revolver Grip for the Ruger LCR.
Your RevolverGuy team has been asking Lyman for this one for a couple years now, and they finally found the time to do it. New for 2020 is an aluminum competition speedloader for the 10-shot, .22 LR S&W Model 617

Red nIchols holsters

Holstory author, and gunleather designer, Red Nichols was slated to bring the Berns-Martin brand to the SHOT Show for the first time ever this year, but the visit was overcome by events. Both Nichols and contributor John Witty were “present” at SHOT in the form of this electronic billboard, however. Even though you missed Red at the show, you can still find his excellent gunleather–including the Berns-Martin brand and Red’s exquisite “True Custom” creations–at www.rednicholsholsters.com

Check out Red Nichols Holsters for more.

ruger

Ruger’s Wranglers–reviewed in these pages previously, by Justin–were out in force at Media Day and gobbled up a whole bunch of rimfire ammo. The author couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he rang steel out at 50 yards with the Burnt Bronze version, using a smidge of Elmer Keith’s holdover technique.
The Ruger Custom Shop Super GP100 Competition Revolver debuts in an 8-shot version for 2020.
The moon clips on the Super GP100 were a little harder to load and unload than those used in the 9mm LCR, because the fingers were rigid, but they ejected cleanly from the stainless steel cylinder.
Ruger consciously chose to build the cylinder from stainless steel because past experience indicates that Titanium would be troublesome in this role.

smith & Wesson

Like Kimber, Smith & Wesson was absent from Media Day this year. Outside of the Model 648 revolver that Justin previously reviewed, there were no 2020 additions on the revolver side.

It’s not exactly new, but I hadn’t looked at it before. The S&W Model 929 Jerry Miculek Signature is an 8-round, 9mm, N-Frame revolver with a Performance Center tuned action, removable compensator, and 6.5″ barrel. The cylinder is cut for moon clips.

taurus

Taurus extended the Raging Hunter line with some new barrel lengths (6.75″ and 5.125″) for 2020, but the real news for revolver fans was the introduction of the all-new 942 revolver, and the welcome extension of the 856 family.

The all-new Taurus 942 is a small-frame revolver with a 2″ or 3″ barrel and a drift-adjustable rear sight. The gun is offered in matte stainless or matte black, and in either .22 LR or .22 Magnum. Cylinder capacity is 8 rounds in either version. Shown here is the 2″ matte stainless .22 LR model.
Taurus extended the Model 856 line in 2020 by adding a 3″ barrel version with night sights. Hogue grips (shown) are standard on most models. Finish is either matte black or matte stainless. The 3″ barrel hits a sweet spot for a carry gun, and we were excited to see Taurus expand their catalog to include this option for the 856, which Justin previously reviewed and gave favorable marks.
There are two special packages available for the 3″ Model 856 with unique finishes and grips. The first is a Two-Tone model with matte silver frame and barrel, and a matte black cylinder, hammer and trigger, which wears G10 “Twister” grips from VZ Grips. The other is this “Tungsten” finish gun with “banana”-style grips from Altamont. The two special finish guns feature the same front night sight found on the other versions.

uberti

The Dalton is an engraved Cattleman New Model that recreates outlaw Bob Dalton’s gun, which was recovered from his body after the failed, 1892 Coffeyville, Kansas bank robbery. It’s one of several new guns in the Outlaws and Lawmen series that recreate the guns of historical figures from the American West.
The Dalton has a beautifully blued cylinder, case-hardened frame and pearl-style grips. The engraving replicates the design found on Bob Dalton’s Colt, and is executed by Italian engraver Atelier Giovanelli–one of Italy’s most prestigious engravers.
This pair of Short Stroke CMS Pro revolvers are designed for the cowboy mounted shooting game. They feature wide, low, deeply checkered hammers with 20% less travel for fast action.
The Kenda Lenseigne signature model of the Short Stroke CMS Pro includes EasyView sights, a custom-grade mainspring, and a modified birdshead grip bearing the winning competitor’s brand.
The New Model version of the Short Stroke CMS Pro substitutes a traditional grip frame for the birdshead design on the Kenda Lenseigne signature model. You can see the attractive blued cylinder and case-hardened frame. There’s a 12-shot, .22 LR Trainer in the lineup, too.

More to come!

We’ll be getting our hands on some of these products later in the year and will put them through their paces in our usual fashion. Stay tuned to RevolverGuy for more!

 

 

 

Author: Mike

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Mike Wood is a certified revolver nut, an NRA Law Enforcement Division-certified Firearms Instructor, and a columnist at PoliceOne.com. He is also the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. Please visit the official website for this book at www.newhallshooting.com for more information.

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