ArmaLite’s Tactical Custom AR24s in full-and compact-size offer a variety…

ArmaLite’s Tactical Custom AR24s in full-and compact-size offer a variety of proven design elements that combine to make this line of 9mms work as well on the inside as they look on the outside. ArmaLite’s Tactical Custom compact and full-size AR24 pistols combine precision manufacturing with combat-ready reliability and high-capacity firepower.

When ArmaLite announced the addition to the company’s line-up of a Turkish-made double-action 9mm pistol back in 2007, it drew a fair amount of interest—and not just because it was a new direction for the “rifle” company. The owner’s manual that comes with them tells you right up front that the AR24 is different, and refreshingly so. In our modern world of cheaper and lighter as a general trend toward new pistol design and marketing, the AR24 “…is a dramatic departure…” in that it’s something of a throwback to an older (and more expensive) school of thought. The AR24, in all variations offered by ArmaLite, is a steel gun—no aluminum anywhere, no plastic, no castings, no MIMs, and the only non-steel components on the pistols are the checkered black rubber grip panels. You get a fair amount of pistol for your money with these guns.

The AR24 is an amalgam of design elements old and not-so-old, borrowing from the much older French Model 1935 service pistol, the much more expensive SIG P210, and the much more common CZ-75 in widespread use around the globe. A double-action locked breech 9mm design having an external configuration very similar to the CZ-75, the AR24’s slide and frame rails are reversed from the familiar Browning pattern with the slide rails riding inside the frame rails instead of outside them. This interface between slide and frame was initiated by French/Swiss designer Charles Petter in the M1935 pistol and carried over into the P210. It’s long been considered a more accurate system by many—one that works at least fractionally better in keeping the rails from wearing quite as quickly, and one that also keeps gunk from getting inside by leaving no open longitudinal space between slide and frame. The platform across all AR24 models uses a double-stack magazine and a single-sided frame-mounted thumb safety with an internal automatic passive firing pin block that only allows the pin to move when the trigger’s pulled.

With no decocker on the AR24, the safety is a safety only, and in conjunction with the three-position hammer the pistol technically provides several carry options; including hammer fully down with safety on, hammer on half-cock notch with safety on, or 1911-style cocked and locked with hammer fully back and safety on. There are others, such as hammer in either fully down or on half-cock position without the safety engaged, allowing simple and instant use by merely pulling the trigger in a revolver-like manner, but those are a matter of individual (and informed) choice. The firing pin is a spring-loaded inertial type, which means it doesn’t rest against a primer when the hammer’s fully down, and the firing pin block should prevent the pin from moving forward if the pistol is dropped and lands on its hammer. But hammer down carry behind a loaded chamber on a centerfire pistol is generally not recommended, and ArmaLite also recommends against carry with the hammer on half-cock and the safety off. The safety can be applied with the hammer in any of its three positions.

Inside, the AR24 barrel’s rifling is cut, as opposed to button or hammer forged, and the barrel shows a deep muzzle crown. The pistols are finished with a military-grade non-glare matte black manganese phosphate under heat-cured epoxy for corrosion resistance, and they’re fitted with three-dot sights for high visibility and quick pickup. Grips on all models are wide hand-filling checkered rubber with marked palmswells, there’s a well-configured upswept beavertail to eliminate bite from the rowell-type hammer, and trigger faces are unserrated.

Gun Details
armalitee28099s-ar24-tactical-9mms-b Both of the ArmaLite pistols use the older Petter-style slide/frame relationship, where the slide’s rails ride inside the frame rails.

ArmaLite’s added two new variations to the AR24 family. The company has offered both full-sized and compact versions as regular catalog listings for some time, but the newest AR24s are termed “Tactical Customs” in both frame sizes and add special features to deserve the names. While the main characteristics listed above remain the same, the differences lie in the sights and grip frames. Both large and compact AR24s use the same frame size, aside from the obviously shorter grip section that reduces the standard 15-round full-sized magazine to a 13-round capacity in the compact model. All other frame dimensions are the same, which means the same internal parts’ sizes and geometrical relationships. The slides and barrels are obviously shorter on the AR24K (compact), and it uses a dual-recoil spring where the full-sized gun uses a single spring. Both standard AR24 models feature fixed sights with luminous painted dots and serrations on the front and back of the grip frames.

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