In a surprise announcement today, Safariland released the first images of their new, “Blaster Strip,” catching the revolver universe off guard.
While the Speed Strip is only offered in .38/.357 and .44/.45 sizes, the Blaster Strip pushes the envelope a little further, accepting the 40mm cartridges that are quickly gaining popularity amongst the concealed carry cognoscenti.
Safariland’s Tom (“Tommy Gun”) Campbell says that the B.S. got its start as a smackdown, of sorts. ”We got a little tired of the .45 guys bumping their gums about Major Class,” said Tommy Gun, “and we decided to do something about it.” Campbell went on to explain that:
After decades of hearing the .45 crowd loudly declare they carried .45s, ‘because nobody makes a .46,’ we decided it was time to give them an attitude check. You want a big bullet, huh, tough guy? Well, we got a big bullet for you. A .50 caliber? Please! My grandmother shoots a .50, and she’s got arthritis.
Campbell admits the bold idea initially met resistance inside the halls of the conservative Safariland Group, but he quickly won management over with a novel approach. Reflecting on the last decade’s surprising renaissance of the powerful 10mm cartridge, Campbell explained to Safariland’s CEO that, “Ten may be fine, but ours goes to Eleven!” Sensing that the CEO was intrigued by the game of one-upsmanship, but not particularly impressed with his pitch, Campbell quickly recalculated and shot for the moon. “No, wait. Screw that. Ours will go to 40!” A smile and a handshake sealed the deal, and Campbell’s new project was off to the races.
Development of the B.S. was fast, since a wide variety of 40mm ammunition was already being produced by the Safariland Group firm, Defense Technology. The real obstacle was the guns.
While Safariland is being tight-lipped about the other vendors in the project, RevolverGuy has learned that several manufacturers are working on guns to accommodate the B.S. and its unique ammunition.
A Smith & Wesson variant is in the test phase, but confidential sources tell RevolverGuy that there’s been a problem with the internal lock seizing up on the guns. Kimber’s test article is similarly stalled, amidst rumors of firing pin breakage.
Taurus is supposedly hard at work on a smoothbore version that’s known to insiders as “The Justice,” and Chiappa is nearing completion on a unique design that fires from the bottom chamber, to help tame the 40’s recoil.(1) Chiappa marketing representatives tell RevolverGuy they will select the name of the new gun based on an internal poll, and at the moment the leading contender is “Big a__ Elephant.” They’re not sure if the boss will go for that, but the guys on the floor like it.
Over at AR15.com, the Commanding Officer of the Sixth Basement Dwellers Regiment has been singing the praises of the 40mm as a defensive round, and has been posting pictures of his EDC rig, which includes a multicam-Cerakoted, break-open launcher with an Aimpoint ACRO on top. He carries the fearsome looking weapon in a modified Blackhawk SERPA, and backs up the one in the tube with a bandolier of rounds worn Pancho Villa-style, underneath an UnderArmour shirt that’s one size larger than usual. He says he’s excited to get his hands on a Safariland Blaster Strip, “because it will be just the thing for a quick trip to the store—just drop it in the pocket of my cargo pants, and go.”
Legendary gunmaker Remington Arms has apparently opted out of the 40 race, preferring instead to focus on the upcoming launch of their R51 V3.0 pistol.
Caught off guard by the B.S. and the 40mm gun race that it prompted, Austrian gunmaker Glock filed a lawsuit against “Sig and everybody else” in the Georgia Northern District Court in Atlanta, Georgia.
Meanwhile, Ruger announced that they would simply bore out the Super Redhawk to accept the larger round, and would have the gun in production within the week. “We’ve already put 30,000 rounds through a prototype without a problem,” explained Ruger spokesman Paul Pluff.
1. Rumor has it that the 40mm prototype actually demonstrates “negative recoil,” and test shooters have taken to wearing athletic cups after an unfortunate incident took out a colleague early on. “Poor Bill will never walk straight again,” RevolverGuy has been told;
2. Yeah, we know the real product comes from Tuff Products! It’s funnier this way, so there!