SHOT Show 2024 was a great success, with an estimated 55,400+ industry professionals and 2,600+ companies participating in the festivities. Yours truly was there, putting in the work so we could provide you with a look at the latest and greatest in the revolver world. I’m sure I missed some things, because it’s hard to adequately cover the 13.9 miles of aisles solo, but I think I saw most of the highlights, and I’m excited to share them with you here.
First, a few general observations about the show, itself. I think this was a year to normalize the SHOT Show experience again, and I was pleased to see everyone was back to “business as usual.”
After the cancellation of the 2021 show for the ChinaVirus, the 2022 show was a virtual ghost town, with many of the industry’s largest players MIA, and the (unmasked!) floor devoid of the normal crowds and energy. The 2023 show was a deliberate effort to stage a comeback, and prove the SHOT Show was still relevant and important to the industry. It was fueled by a 110% “All-In” effort from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and a reserve of pent-up energy from participants who had missed one or two years, and was a huge success. However, the question remained about what the show would look like, going forward, when things got back to “normal.”
We received that answer over the past week. The 2024 show felt like many of the pre-2020 shows to me, which was a good thing. The industry wasn’t in a defensive huddle, preparing for an overwhelming assault on our liberties from our political enemies. The participants weren’t looking over their shoulders, they were looking forward. They were optimistic, focused on business, and not preoccupied with things beyond their control. There was a sense this would be a good year, but (strangely, I thought) there was not an apparent concern that we’d see the full-tilt craziness of the WuFlu-era gun panic, where everyone in the industry felt like they were sprinting in a marathon.
I personally think 2024 promises to be more chaotic and dangerous than most people anticipate, but it was nice to see the industry’s blood pressure had gone down for a while.
SHOT SHOW MAGIC
There’s so much neat stuff going on during the SHOT Show, that it’s hard to avoid stumbling into something wonderful, by sheer dumb luck and random timing. I think of it as the “Magic” of SHOT Show, and was happy to experience a few of these moments this past week.
One of these occurred when I visited Safariland, and my old friend Tommy “Machine Gun” Campbell, pulled me aside to introduce me to Safariland founder Neale Perkins. I had a wonderful visit with Mr. Perkins, who was kind enough to talk to me about key moments in the development of the company. At one point I asked him if he ever thought, when he was just getting into the business with maker John Bianchi, in John’s garage workshop, that he’d become as successful as he did, and build such a large company?
Mr. Perkins went on to explain that his dad had encouraged him to quit “playing in the leather business,” because “there was no future in it.” He even went so far as to show Neale the financials for the largest holster manufacturer of the time—Bucheimer Clark—to demonstrate there was little money to be made in the industry, and he could make better use of his talents and energy elsewhere.
“I stayed with it though, because I liked what I was doing. I enjoyed it very much,” he told me.
His customers liked what his company was doing too, and the rest is history. There’s an important life lesson in that story, and I was happy to hear it straight from the source.
Mr. Perkins also told me the story of the Bullitt holster, and how its placement in the popular film was a shot in the arm for the fledgling company. There was a planned scene in the film in which the lead character (played by Hollywood star, Steve McQueen) would draw a weapon while seated behind the wheel of his car, and fire it out the driver’s window. A movie rep asked if Perkins’ company could build a holster that would allow him to do that?
Indeed, they could. Safariland built one of their upside-down shoulder holsters for Steve McQueen’s 2.5” Colt Diamondback, that was used with great dramatic effect throughout the movie. Demand for the type soared after the movie’s box office success, and Safariland’s Model 19 became one of the company’s best sellers. “That holster really helped to put us on the map,” said Mr. Perkins.
We’ve seen some influential guns in movies throughout the years (James Bond’s Walther PPK, Dirty Harry’s S&W Model 29, John McClane’s Beretta 92 . . .), but the holsters don’t usually steal the show like the Safariland “Bullitt holster” did, and I think that’s pretty neat.
2024 SHOW TRENDS
Real quick (because I know you want to get to the revolver stuff!), I think the biggest trend of the 2024 SHOT Show was the resurgence of the levergun. Everyone seemed to have a new levergun to show off, including some surprise players that nobody would have anticipated, like Smith & Wesson, with their .44 Magnum Model 1854—a nice looking gun, that I’m sure will sell very well.
An incomplete list of new leverguns would include the Rossi R95 .45-70 Trapper, the Stag Arms / Aero Precision prototypes in .45-70, the Marlin Classic Series Model 1894 (be still, my heart!), the Marlin Dark Series Model 1895, the Marlin 336 SBL, the Marlin 336 Trapper, the Bond Arms LVRB, the Winchester Ranger, the Chiappa Wildlands Model 1892 Takedown, the Uberti 1873 Hunter, and the Henry Lever Action Supreme. I know we’re all RevolverGuys here, but there’s just something special about leverguns that punches the same buttons, as far as I’m concerned.
On the other end of the scale, the proliferation of electronic optics and guns equipped for them was another established trend that remained strong in 2024. We’ll talk about the new Taurus red dot revolver in a bit, but I can’t leave without mentioning the amazing splash that optics giant Holosun made with new products like their solar-charging, SCS Carry red dot, their DPS-TH Thermal Optic (a fusion of red dot and thermal sight technology), their DPS-NV Night Vision Optic (a fusion of red dot and night vision sight technology), their IRIS compact IR pointer/illuminator, and their 6X magnifier optic, the HM6X. The stuff of our science fiction dreams is here, and will soon be on our guns. Amazing.
OK, let’s get to the revolver stuff!
LIPSEY’S / SMITH & WESSON
Are you sitting down?
Good, because I’m going to break the alphabetical order and start with the biggest news of the SHOT Show, because I don’t want to be accused of burying the lead.
The BIG news from Big Blue this year is their Ultimate Carry J-frame collaboration with Lipsey’s, which I’ve been quietly and patiently waiting for, ever since Lipsey’s Senior Vice President and Product Development Manager, Jason Cloessner, asked me what J-frame improvements I’d like to see. I gave him an earful, almost a year ago, and it’s been a difficult (and exciting) wait for the final result!
Jason and Lipsey’s have convinced Smith & Wesson to build a J-frame the way we want it. There will be four flavors of the “Ultimate Carry J-Frame”—a silver (642UC) and black (442UC) finished .38 Special +P, and a silver (632UC) and black (432UC) finished .32 H&R Magnum (.32 fans, rejoice!).
All frames are made of aluminum, and (Praise the Lord!) do NOT have a lock installed! Expect a curb weight of 16 ounces.
Each of the guns features high-visibility sights. The front is an XS Standard Dot, with a green-colored ring and tritium insert, which is pinned to the ramp on the two-piece, shrouded extractor rod, barrel. The rear is a Novak-style, U-notch (0.160” wide, to allow rapid acquisition of the front), with a serrated rear face that’s mounted in a dovetail. The .38 Special +P sights are properly regulated at 15 yards for the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot Short Barrel load, and 148 grain wadcutters. The .32 H&R Magnum sights are likewise regulated at 15 yards, for Federal Personal Defense 85 grain JHP and 100 grain bullets in the 800 fps range, like the Buffalo Bore .32 S&W Long 100 grain wadcutter. You’re not going to have to break out your files, or adjust your point of aim on these beauties!
Custom G10 boot-style grips were sourced from VZ Grips for the project, with the silver guns wearing an attractive black and gray laminate pattern, and the black guns wearing an attractive black and red (“cherry”) laminate pattern. The grips are of “high horn” design, with extended horns that reach up to the recoil shoulder and add some width to the back strap that will better distribute the recoil in the web of your hand. The back strap is enclosed as well, which should help to make the gun fit average-to-large hands much better, without cramping the trigger reach. An appropriate speedloader relief will help you recharge the gun more efficiently, even with HKS #36 and #32J loaders.
The chambers are chamfered, and the leading edges of the cylinder are beveled. The action has received some attention to smooth it out, and custom hammer and rebound slide springs were developed to lessen the pull weight. A significant improvement is the use of Titanium hammer, trigger, and cylinder stop pins, which are more robust than the aluminum pins normally used in the Airweights—a weakness we’ve previously discussed in these pages.
I was expecting to shoot the Ultimate Carry J-Frame at a private media event before SHOT Show, but the guns were delayed at a FedEx hub by weather conditions that interrupted the flying schedule, so I’ll have to wait until a special media event next month. We’ll have expanded, special coverage of these beauties, and the story of their development, for you to enjoy soon.
As a side note to all my brethren in the Occupied Territories, you can rest easy–S&W is committed to placing these on California’s roster of approved handguns, so you won’t get cut out of the deal. It may take a little extra time to wade through the bureaucracy, so don’t fret if they aren’t on the list yet, when the guns first start to ship. We’ll eventually get access to them, and you won’t be disappointed. They’ll be worth the wait!
No lock! Great sights! A great trigger! Enhanced reliability! Can I get a Hallelujah, brothers and sisters?
The big news from rimfire giant CCI this year is the introduction of the .22 Uppercut, a .22 Long Rifle round that’s designed for defensive duty. This is CCI’s first .22 LR round designed for defense, and it looks like a winner.
Designed in conjunction with engineers from Speer, the Uppercut features a 32 grain JHP with special nose skiving that promotes full and reliable expansion from short barrels. The thick copper jacket on the Uppercut (the thickest on any CCI .22 LR bullet, at six thousandths—similar to the Speer .22 WMR Gold Dot bullet) peels back to form six petals that increase projectile’s frontal area, but prevents these petals from fragmenting or shedding, which allows the bullet to preserve its retained weight.
This retained weight helps the expanded bullet to achieve sufficient penetration. CCI claims the Uppercut will penetrate 8 to 10 inches in ballistics gelatin (bare, and covered with FBI-protocol light clothing) when fired from short barrels in the 2.5” to 4.0” range that generate approximately 950 fps velocity. That’s less penetration than you’ll get from a load like Federal’s .22 LR Punch, which is designed for deep penetration, but the Uppercut trades a little penetration to provide more expansion.
CCI is also offering a new line of lead-free shotshells in 9mm, .38 Spl/.357 Mag, .40 S&W, .44 Spl/.44 Mag, .45 Auto, and .45 Colt. The HEVI-Bismuth Pest Control shotshells are filled with HEVI-Bismuth shot and loaded with the Catalyst lead-free primer. There’s also a 10mm Auto Centerfire Handgun shotshell loaded with lead No. 9 shot. These shotshells may bring peace of mind if you’re in snake country.
Cimarron announced it has retired their Evil Roy series of single actions this year, in honor of the SASS shooter’s retirement from competitive shooting. To fill the gap, Cimarron will offer the Arizona Ranger Competition SA, which is billed as their best “competition ready” model.
The Arizona Ranger features a wide, square-notch rear sight and a wide, constant-width front sight. The gun is fitted with slim, checkered grips and special “Arizona Ranger” engraving on the barrel.
The gun has a gunsmith-tuned action, which utilizes Cimarron’s competition hammer and lighter trigger and bolt springs, for a light, crisp, no-creep trigger pull. That’s not just advertising hype, either—when I pulled the trigger on this one, I was really impressed. It’s got a great action!
The Arizona Ranger has received some internal parts upgrades designed to enhance reliability, according to Cimarron. It will be chambered in .357 Magnum and .45 Colt, and barrel lengths of 4.75” and 5.5” will be offered. MSRP $842.01.
This blued beauty will be offered with either a 4.25” barrel (42 ounces) or 6” barrel (46 ounces), with walnut target stocks that bear a gold Colt medallion. The top rib has a matte surface to reduce glare, and the barrel wears a recessed target crown.
RevolverGuy already has a sample for test and evaluation, and we’ll be reporting on it in these pages soon. Standby for more on this luxurious looking snake! MSRP $1,599.
The Transit is an open top, IWB holster made from suede and reinforced at the top with a Kydex-reinforced, saddle leather band to keep the holster’s mouth open when the gun is drawn. The holster is secured to the belt with a steel clip that can be swapped to the other side of the holster, which makes this design ambidextrous.
I Just received a test sample and look forward to wringing it out. At a first glance, I think the Transit will prove to be a comfortable and useful rig. We’ll report on it here in these pages, so stay tuned.
Diamondback REALLY surprised me with their newest offering, the SDR (Self Defense Revolver)!
The SDR is a compact, double action snub revolver with cosmetics that betray Kimber (frame and barrel) and LCR (cylinder) influences. The beautifully-polished gun is made from stainless steel, weighs about 21 ounces, and features a six shot, .357 Magnum cylinder. The six chambers are chamfered, which aid in reloading the gun.
The gun has an external hammer, and a fenced, Kimber-style, push-button cylinder release that was friendly on my thumb knuckle when I shot the gun (no “J-frame thumb” with this one!). The 2” stainless barrel has a 1:18.75” twist with a shroud for the extractor rod (made with a smooth, radiused tip, that won’t cut you), and racy-looking flats which bear the SDR logo on one side, and the chambering on the other. The muzzle has been given a 45 degree crown to protect the rifling, enhance accuracy, and give the muzzle an attractive look.
The SDR has a unique, spring-loaded, crane retention button in the frame that will make disassembly and maintenance simpler—with just one press, the crane can be removed from the gun. At first, I was concerned this proud button could be inadvertently activated and cause a stoppage, but I suspect the front (extractor rod tip) and rear (center pin) lockup of the cylinder, as well as the cylinder stop, will probably keep everything in place should that happen.
The gun is equipped with boot-style, two-finger grips made of rubber that were comfortable in the hand (Diamondback made the excellent decision to use a J-Frame grip profile, for the widest aftermarket support). Low profile, fiber-optic sights (a pinned orange front, and a dovetailed green rear) topped the frame and gave an excellent sight picture, reminiscent of the Kimber’s.
The SDR’s trigger is spec’d at 9.0 – 11.5 pounds and the sample I shot felt like it landed right in the middle of that range. It feels very much like the Kimber’s trigger—it’s smooth and light, doesn’t stack, and has a natural spot for you to stage the trigger, if you like to do that.
Considering the fact that Diamondback’s only previous revolver product was the Sidekick–a fun-looking, but very rough economy rimfire with a utilitarian finish–I was really stunned by the looks and performance of the SDR. I had a long conversation with the Engineering Director about this gun, and we’ve agreed to continue the conversation and address a few technical issues that I raised, but I think this revolver is going to be a strong contender when it reaches the production stage. Diamondback has really upped their game, and I look forward to working more with this gun. MSRP $777.
Federal has a modest selection of new products for RevolverGuys this year, starting with a .38 Special, 130 grain FMJ Federal Champion load that’s aimed at target shooters. The Federal Champion brass is not compatible with moon clips, so if you want to use those for some reason, you’ll still need to go with the equivalent American Eagle load.
Handgun hunters might appreciate Federal’s new Hammerdown .360 Buckhammer 220 grain softpoint load, which is actually optimized for levergun performance, but will fit the chambers of handguns like Magnum Research’s BFR (see the entry, below) and produce good performance downrange.
My Federal contacts tell me the HST loads in .327 Federal Magnum and .357 Magnum have had a couple production runs ship already, and there will be more to come in 2024, so keep an eye out for these excellent defensive rounds.
I’m also told they’ll be making more .327 ammo this year than ever before, as a symbiotic result of the success of their .30 Super Carry round. Since the .30 Super Carry and .327 Federal Magnum share a common bullet diameter (0.312”), Federal can use the same equipment to produce both calibers with only minor setup changes. This minimizes costly machine downtime, and makes it both easier and more efficient to build .327 Federal Magnum, when the machine isn’t cranking out .30 Super Carry. In the past, it took more time to reconfigure the equipment to produce .327, so the cartridge didn’t get as many production runs, but that will change for the better in 2024.
It’s not a handgun round, but I think you’ll forgive me when I pass along the great news that Federal will also be loading a 20 Gauge Personal Defense shotgun load with the excellent FLITECONTROL wad. The 2.75” shell will be loaded with 10 pellets of No. 2 Buck, and should be an excellent choice for those of us who still believe in the Gospel of the Gauge.
Gun leather giant Galco Holsters has some nice surprises for RevolverGuys this year, starting with a new fit for the ever-popular Combat Master. This strong side, open top, FBI cant scabbard will now be offered for the (2019) Colt King Cobra with 3” barrel, which is welcome news indeed, as production holster options for this excellent carry revolver have been slim. Galco also offers the Combat Master for the (2017) Colt Cobra, and we appreciate their aftermarket support for these new Colts.
Galco also released a pair of new ammo carriers for 2024. The first is a “2.0” version of their 2x2x2 ammo carrier, which differs from the original in having belt slots cut into the back panel, for those who want to thread a narrow belt through it, and a new reinforcing strap that helps to prevent the pouch from flopping forward and inverting when the snap is released. This latter feature should make it more efficient to use.
The second new ammo carrier is the Cobra speedloader pouch, which also differs from the original design by having a pair of narrow belt slots cut into the back panel. This pouch will probably work best with HKS and 5-Star style loaders, since the sidewalls of the pouch are high, and prevent you from pinching the loader body to withdraw it (an observation that I shared with my Galco contact, which might result in yet another improvement to the design—fingers crossed).
The Belt E-Z Loader Carrier, which neatly carries a strip-style loader in its vertical pouch, was actually introduced a few years ago, but I missed it previously, somehow, so I’ll fix that now. The Belt E-Z Loader has a snapped retention strap to secure the loader, and is shipped with one of Galco’s E-Z Loader strips. It looks like a great way to carry an inline strip loader, and we’ll be testing one soon.
Lastly, Galco has created the Hawkeye IWB holster for the Taurus 856 T.O.R.O. revolver. The Hawkeye is an open top holster with a pocket that covers and protects the optic. The Hawkeye has a metal-reinforced mouth, to prevent it from collapsing when the gun is drawn, and a pair of snapped belt loops that make it easy to remove the holster without taking off your belt. The standard belt loops are 1.75”, but they can easily be replaced with optional 1.5” or 1.25” loops, if desired.
Kevin has already done an excellent review of the K6xs, so I won’t spend much ink on it here, but I will say that I was extremely impressed with the gun when I finally got to shoot it at Media Day. The action was smooth and light, the sights were dead on for the 130 grain FMJ that I shot, the grips were comfortable, and it was just a pleasure to shoot. Well done, Kimber!
Our friends at LOK Grips have been busy working on some unique grips for underserved revolver platforms. They just released a Two-Finger Carry grip for the Kimber K6s DA/SA, a Two-Finger Carry grip for the Kimber DAO, and a Three-Finger Carry grip for the Taurus small frame revolvers.
We’re still leaning on them for a two-finger grip for the Taurus small frames and the Ruger LCR, and hope to have some news for you about those later in the year. Stay tuned for more details.
The 10”-barreled, stainless steel, single action sixgun is fitted with an unfluted cylinder, black adjustable sights, and a black rubber monogrip.
The massive gun weighs 4.9 pounds, and you’ll be glad for every ounce when you touch off the chamber under the hammer. This was a serious chunk of steel, and it got lots of attention in the Kahr Arms / Magnum Research booth at the show. I think it will be mighty popular with the long range hunters. MSRP $1,528.
I’m calling an audible, here. I know Marlin doesn’t make revolvers, but I don’t think you’ll mind, because leverguns and revolvers go together like PB&J, and it would be downright un-American for a RevolverGuy to lack even the slightest bit of interest in them. You’re not a communist, right? Good. Let’s talk leverguns, then.
The Classic-series rifles were announced last year, but it took a little while for them to start coming out of the factory in Mayodan, NC (the .44 Mag/.44 Spl launched in June 2023, and the .357 Mag/.38 Spl launched in November 2023). Things are in full swing now though, and Marlin is busy trying to meet the overwhelming demand for these wonderful guns.
I got to shoot the .30-30 Win Model 336 at the 2023 SHOT Show, and this year I finally got to shoot the Model 1894 in .357 Magnum. The gun has rugged, handsome looks with its blue steel finish and checkered walnut furniture. The gun features a semi-buckhorn rear sight, and a brass bead up front that’s hooded, to eliminate glare and enhance the sight picture. I’m not a superior rifleman, but the combination of a good trigger and this sight arrangement allowed me to hit everything I was aiming at. The Classic Model 1894 is also available in .44 Mag/.44 Spl, and these guns are everything I’d hoped for. If you want to pair a rifle in the same chambering as your revolver, I wouldn’t look any further.
Marlin also had the Dark Series Model 1895 rifle in .45-70 Govt available to shoot, with its black polymer M-LOK stock, black aluminum M-LOK handguard, fiber optic/Tritium sights, Picatinny rail, and threaded barrel with radial muzzle brake. The gun handled well and the brake did a very good job of taming the .45-70 Remington Core Lokts, even if the gun was louder than heck with it installed (don’t worry–those of you in friendly states can add a suppressor, and there’s also a plain thread protector that comes with the rifle if you don’t want to use the brake). The racy, modern looks might initially cause a traditionalist to hold their breath, but the features are entirely practical and useful. Marlin expects to ship a Dark Series Model 336 and a Dark Series Model 1894 later in the year, to round out the collection.
Marlin also had the.30-30 Win. Model 336 SBL and Model 336 Trapper on display at the Media Day. I shot the Model 336 SBL and absolutely loved it, but somehow missed seeing the shorter Trapper. These guns feature the brushed stainless finish and gray laminate stock seen on the earlier SBL-series Model 1895. The Trapper features premium Skinner Sights, front and rear, on its 16″ barrel, and the SBL features a fiber optic sight up front, a ghost ring in the rear, and an extended Picatinny rail for optic mounting, on its full length, 19″ barrel. An extended hammer spur for optic clearance, and swing swivel studs are included accessories. You’ll be ready for the hunting fields with these beauties, and they’ll get lots of attention in camp, too.
NORTH AMERICAN ARMS
We didn’t see any new introductions from North American Arms last year, but the forthcoming Sentinel seems like it might be worth the wait.
The Sentinel combines features of the popular Pug and Sidewinder revolvers, with the Pug’s underlugged barrel profile and high-visibility sights being mated to the swing-out cylinder of the Sidewinder.
The Sentinel will be offered in .22 Magnum, with some models adding a .22 LR conversion cylinder. The 1.5” barreled gun will be topped with either white dot or tritium sights, depending on the model, and will be equipped with black rubber grips.
This is the North American Arms revolver I’ve been waiting for, and I’m excited to see it’s on the way. NAA estimates the Sentinel will be ready to ship in the summer, and we’ll try to get a sample for testing later in the year.
Big Green certainly hasn’t neglected revolver shooters this year! There’s a host of great revolver cartridges on the way from Lonoke, Arkansas, including a family of Core Lokt handgun cartridges in .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum (all rise!), .44 Magnum, and 10mm Auto. The Core Lokt projectiles are designed around a lead core with a grooved waist that gets filled by the copper jacket, creating a mechanical lock between the two that prevents core-jacket separation. The heavy-for-caliber Core Lokt bullets (.357/180, .41/210, .44/240, 10mm/200) have a short semi-jacket that leaves a soft lead cavity mouth behind (on revolver bullets only—the 10mm is jacketed up to the mouth, so it doesn’t get damaged on your auto’s feed ramp) to start the bullet’s expansion. Remington claims 2X expansion and high weight retention for these Core Lokt bullets, which are optimized for handgun velocities.
Owners of the new Magnum Research BFR in 360 Buckhammer will be able to feed it with the new Core Lokt Copper JHP, which features an all-copper, 160 grain bullet for those areas that require lead-free ammunition.
On the other end of the scale, Remington is offering some new .22 LR loads that will take care of any task in the field. Each of these loads benefits from recent upgrades to Remington’s rimfire ammunition manufacturing process, which are designed to improve ammo quality and reliability. The “Improved Rimfire Technology” includes: A reformulated priming mix, whose new formulation is more energetic and consistent, which leads to more consistent pressure and velocity, as well as better accuracy; Thicker, more robust brass walls and rims to handle pressure better and improve loading consistency; An improved rim cavity design, that better holds the priming mix, and; A change to loading techniques, in which the case is fully manufactured before it goes to the loading stage, instead of completing the case forming process during bullet seating. All of these changes promise to make Remington’s new rimfire ammunition even more dependable and consistent.
The first of the Improved Rimfire loads is the .22 Golden Hunter, which features a 40 grain, precision hollowpoint bullet that’s optimized for quick expansion and optimum penetration, regardless of barrel length. The bullet opens up early, but still goes deep enough to take out small game and varmints up to coyote size.
The next Improved Rimfire is the Ranch Hand, with either a 38 grain hollowpoint or 40 grain round nose bullet that’s designed for “flawless feed, function and fire.” Remington says the new Ranch Hand is the most dependable .22 LR round they’ve ever made, and is a great choice for small game and varmint hunting.
It was great news to hear my Remington contacts were closely coordinating with Lipsey’s and Smith & Wesson to ensure the new 432 and 632 Ultimate Carry revolvers would have an ample supply of .32 H&R Magnum ammunition this year. To feed those guns, and the army of small revolvers chambered in .327 Federal Magnum that aren’t much fun to shoot with full house loads (thinking about the Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101, Taurus 327, and others), Remington will produce a High Terminal Performance (HTP) .32 H&R Mag load with an 85 grain JHP, and a Performance Wheelgun .32 H&R Mag load with a 95 grain lead semiwadcutter.
These should be just the ticket for .32 snubs, offering good terminal performance with manageable recoil. Once again, I think Remington is making use of the surplus machine time on their .30 Super Carry line, and keeping it running with minimal interruption by churning out .32 H&R Magnum ammo at the end of .30 Super Carry production runs. It’s efficient, and RevolverGuys will love them for it.
The RM64 is a carbon steel revolver with a satin black finish and 6-round, .357 Magnum cylinder. Its 4” barrel wears a serrated ramp up front, and an adjustable rear sight at the back. I was impressed by the quality of these guns and think they’re an excellent value.
While there were plenty of exciting new products to view from the brand (including the Generation II Ruger American Rifle, the LC Carbine in .45 ACP, and the side-folding Mini-14 Tactical— “I love it when a plan comes together” ), Ruger had a light year for new revolver introductions, with the .22 Hornet Super Redhawk being the sole example of the breed.
The 66 ounce Super Redhawk measures 15 inches overall, sports a 9.5 inch barrel, and has an 8 round capacity. The massive gun’s weight, and its rubber Hogue monogrip, do an excellent job of taming the recoil, but the hot, .22 Hornet cartridge still rewards each trigger press with an impressive blast! It was lots of fun to shoot this revolver and there was a consistent line of shooters waiting to take their turn, all day long, at Ruger’s booth during Media Day at the Range. MSRP $1,499.
It’s worth noting that Ruger is celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year, and will mark the special milestone with four specially-marked guns, including my favorite, the 75th Anniversary Mark IV Target.
This special Mark IV will feature a 6.88” tapered target barrel, a blued finish, checkered wood laminate grips, an adjustable rear sight, and tasteful 75th Anniversary logos on the receiver and bolt knob. I think it’s the most handsome Mark-series gun Ruger has ever made, and I just wish it was CA-compliant, so I could add one to my collection. MSRP $599.
Taurus is coming on strong in the revolver market, powered by the energy of their enthusiastic Marketing Manager, Caleb Giddings.
On the heels of Taurus’ 2023 introduction of the optic-ready, T.O.R.O.-series 605 and 856 revolvers, Taurus is introducing a T.O.R.O. version of their 327 Defender, with a 3” barrel and matte black finish. The 6-round, .327 Federal Magnum revolver features a night sight with an orange outline up front, and an optic rail with a Holosun K footprint. MSRP $553.99.
In response to requests for an upgraded .357 Magnum, the Taurus 605 will be the next revolver to receive the Executive Grade treatment. The Taurus 605 Executive Grade will feature a satin stainless finish, wood target grips, and a brass rod front sight that was borrowed from the Taurus Judge Executive Grade (and which will become standard on the 856 Executive Grade as well, in 2024). Interestingly, the 605 Executive Grade will keep its hammer spur, instead of getting it bobbed, as on the 856 Executive Grade that preceded it. MSRP $757.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from the bull this year was the introduction of the Taurus Deputy, a single action revolver that generally follows the Colt 1873 SAA pattern. The Taurus Deputy will be chambered in .357 Magnum and .45 Colt, and offered with 4.75” or 5.5” barrels. The gun features a polished black finish, fixed sights, and black synthetic grips. MSRP $606.99.
TAYLOR’S & CO.
Taylor’s & Company already treated us to the 9mm TC9 and 1875 Outlaw revolvers (stay tuned for a great review from Steve Tracy on the 1875 Outlaw next month!) over the past year, so this was a light year from them at the show.
Their sole revolver introduction was a Cerakote 1873 with 5.5” barrel, chambered in .357 Magnum. The barrel and frame were burnt bronze colored, and the cylinder and grips were black, giving the gun a striking resemblance to Ruger’s Wrangler-series guns of the same color. You’d swear you’re looking at the Wrangler’s big brother when you look at this gun. MSRP $823.88.
The great folks at XS Sights have some new products coming in 2024 that RevolverGuys will be sure to enjoy.
Around February, you can expect a Standard Dot front sight for the Colt King Cobra, and a rugged, high visibility, fixed rear sight for the Smith & Wesson K-L-N revolvers.
The XS Sights products are always excellent, and we are eager to see these on the market!
THAT’S ALL FOLKS
I think that pretty much covers it. We’ll be taking a closer look at some of these products as the year unravels, so stay tuned for more on these topics and others. As always, thanks for reading!