As we’re three weeks into 2022, the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) is wrapping up in Las Vegas. The industry event, which attracts manufacturers, retailers, and even government buyers from around the world, is where one goes to see the latest and greatest in firearms. After the show was held virtually last year, it is back in (nearly) full swing.
This year has already seen several notable announcements, among those the newest arrivals in the handgun market. Here are five guns that truly stood out this year at SHOT Show.
Ruger Wrangler Birdshead
Ruger has always offered some affordable firearms, but the new Wrangler models for 2022 won’t seem “cheap” by any means. The new additions to the line of single-action revolvers feature 3.75-inch cold hammer-forged barrels along with the Ruger “Birdshead-pattern” grip frame, providing a compact and affordable firearm that is chambered in .22 LR. Available in three attractive Cerakote colors including black, silver and burnt bronze, these are the newest Wranglers that complement Ruger’s rich history of producing rugged and reliable firearms. At just $279 how could you go wrong?
Kimber R7 Mako
Those seeking a true micro-compact need look no further than the Kimber R7 Mako, which actually hit the market late last year. It is a polymer-framed, high-capacity, striker-fired pistol that is just an inch wide. The R7 Mako’s external controls, including the slide stop and magazine release button, are ambidextrous, which allows the micro-compact to be operated by left or right-handed shooters with no modifications. Additionally, the controls have a no-snag design to make the gun easier to draw, but also to help prevent an accidental release of the magazine. It is available now in an optics ready model for $599, or $799 with optics installed.
Smith & Wesson CSX
Another notable offering in the micro-compact category is the Smith & Wesson CSX, which measures just 6.1 inches and weighs a mere 19.5 ounces. Chambered for 9mm Luger, the concealed carry pistol is available with a 10-round flush-fit magazine or extended 12-round magazine. The CSX also features a bilateral slide-stop lever along with a manual safety. The fully ambidextrous steel slide also offers serrations at the front and rear for easy manipulation, while an integrated “EZ tab” makes for easy slide-racking. For left-handed shooters, the magazine release is also changeable. Despite its micro-sized frame, the CSX offers a textured front strap, ambidextrous manual thumb safety and two magazine release buttons included for left and right hand shooters. It is available now for $609.
Colt Python 3-inch .357 Magnum
It was a few years ago that Colt brought the classic Python back to the market, and now after a long hiatus, the 3-inch model is back in production. It features a semi-bright stainless steel finished barrel and frame that is contrasted with rugged walnut grips that feature deep checkering and an inlaid golden Colt logo that is reminiscent of the originals. The new model also offers a ribbed top strap and full-length underlug, which is unchanged from the original, but with a smoother trigger pull. The Colt 3-inch .357 Magnum is now available for $1499
Sig Sauer P320 AXG Equinox
Sig Sauer’s P320 line has become the biggest rival to the ubiquitous Glock, especially after it was adopted by the U.S. military as the M17. However, not everyone is sold on polymer striker-fired pistols these days, and seeing that it was missing out on a segment of the market Sig Sauer has answered with the new P320 AXG Equinox, a limited edition version with a stainless-steel frame. It features the same P320 ergonomics and versatility. It features a carry-length 3.9-inch barrel, two-tone polished slide, and nickel-plated controls. It is available now for $1,329.99.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.