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The firearms industry is one of the most innovative in the world, as every year is just another chance for every manufacturer to showcase new ideas, new techniques and new models for today’s shooters.

Here are some of the best new revolvers and pistols in the mid- to full-sized class. This generally means barrels around 4 inches or longer with larger frames. They may work for concealed carry but are generally designed for duty in a belt holster.

American Tactical FXH-45

Polymer-framed pistols seem to be all the rage, so why not a polymer-framed 1911? New from American Tactical is the Firepower Xtreme Hybrid FXH-45. This full-sized, single-action pistol is chambered in .45 ACP and features a polymer frame with finger grooves and two aluminum inserts for strength, a Picatinny accessory rail, a match-grade barrel and a stainless steel, black nitride slide with a removable plate that allows for the installation of a mini red-dot sight. It will accept all standard, full-sized 1911 magazines. (americantactical.us; 800-290-0065)

Charter Arms Nitride Revolvers

Charter Arms is now offering revolvers with nitride finishes. Nitriding is a process that makes the revolver’s surface harder and corrosion resistant while reducing friction and wear. With a scratch-resistant surface and an extended life in the rifling and chamber, the nitride finish will keep your Charter handgun looking—and working—like new. (charterarms.com; 203-922-1652)

CZ 75 B Omega Convertible

A further evolution of the CZ 75 B Omega, the new Convertible version allows users to swap from decocker to safety operation in the same manner as the popular P-07/P-09 pistols. Using the same simplified, more robust variation of the CZ 75’s trigger system as the previous Omega, the trigger parts use an interlocking design that allows for easy disassembly and reassembly without the need for tools. Not only does this simplify maintenance, but the trigger parts themselves are made of different materials to enhance durability, operation life and reliability. (cz-usa.com; 800-955-4486) 

Dan Wesson Discretion

With suppressors becoming more and more mainstream, the Discretion’s match-grade stainless barrel is extended and threaded to make it a ready host. Its aggressively ported slide, serrated trigger and competition-inspired hammer give it a look all of its own, making it stand out in the sea of 1911s. High tritium sights allow for sighting over the top of most pistol suppressors, with a rear designed so that the slide can be racked on a belt if using the pistol one-handed. (cz-usa.com; 800-955-4486)

DoubleStar PHD

The new PHD pistol from DoubleStar offers a high-quality and feature-laden handgun comparable to many custom 1911s chambered in .45 ACP—but at a production costs and availability. This single-action pistol features XS Express tritium night sights, Magpul MOE grip panels, a National Match barrel and bushing, and a Wilson Combat high-ride beavertail grip safety. The rear cocking serrations have been cut wide for easier slide manipulations, and the top of the slide is serrated to prevent glare. (star15.com; 888-736-7725)

EAA Polymer Witness Elite 1911s

European American Armory (EAA) Corp. is now offering polymer-framed, single-stack 1911 pistols in its Witness Elite series. They’re similar to that of the classic 1911 with the same dimensions and technical characteristics while being incredibly lightweight. Made by Tanfoglio, these pistols maintain the tradition of the original 1911’s with their slim designs and powerful .45 ACP chamberings, plus they have lightened frames molded from the finest polymer. EAA is offering a Government model in .45 ACP, Commander models in 9mm or .45 ACP and Officer’s models in 9mm and .45 ACP. (eaacorp.com; 321-639-4842)

FNS Series

The FNS series of pistols from FN—now available in a compact size for concealed carry—offer the simplicity of striker-fired operation combined with the proven ergonomics of the FNX platform. Standard on all models are ambidextrous manual safety levers, slide stop levers and magazine release buttons for ease of operation with either hand and from any firing position. (fnamerica.com; 703-288-3500)

FNX Series

The FNX is a double-action/single-action, hammer-fired pistol optimized for the 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Its manual safety/decocking levers, slide stop lever and magazine release are all fully ambidextrous for ease of operation with either hand and from any firing position. Both the slide and barrel are stainless steel, and the checkered polymer frame has two interchangeable backstraps with lanyard eyelets. (fnamerica.com; 703-288-3500)

Heckler & Koch P30SK

Heckler & Koch has shrunken its popular HK P30 full-sized duty pistol into a concealed-carry compact, the HK P30SK. This 9mm, polymer-framed, hammer-fired, double-action/single-action (also as a available DAO) pistol retains all of the features that made the larger version such a success, including a fully adjustable grip with different-sized side panels and backstraps, a decocker mounted at the rear of the slide, an optional ambidextrous manual safety and standard ambidextrous slide and magazine releases. An abbreviated Picatinny rail allows for the use of tactical lights or lasers. (hk-usa.com; 706- 568-1906)

Heckler & Koch VP40

HK’s striker-fired VP9 took the firearms industry by storm last year, and now the company has released the VP40 chambered for the hard-hitting .40 S&W. This pistol features many of the same design enhancements of its VP9 brethren with a 4.09-inch barrel, a 26.56-ounce weight, and an overall length of 7.34 inches. The VP40 comes with either 13- or 10-round magazines. Other features include a modular polymer grip and helping charging supports at the rear of the slide. (hk-usa.com; 706- 568-1906)

Honor Defense Honor Guard

The new subcompact 9mm semi-auto from Honor Defense, the Honor Guard, features an ergonomic polymer frame and a striker-fired action. With a 7+1 capacity, this innovative pistol also features fully ambidextrous controls, including the magazine and slide releases, as well as interchangeable backstraps, slide serrations and a serialized modular steel chassis that can be swapped in between different-sized frames. An optional manual safety is available as well as a special extended FIST frame with a standoff device. (honordefense.com; 678-943-8035)

Ithaca Gunsmith 1911 Short Block Kit

During WWII, Ithaca was one of the manufacturers of the 1911 pistol for the U.S. military, delivering nearly 400,000 guns. Today the company manufactures some of the highest-grade 1911 pistols available anywhere. New this year is the company’s Gunsmith 1911 Short Block Kit, which allows the user to build and customize their own 1911. Included in the kit are a hand-fit slide and frame; a match-grade, hand-fit barrel; and Novak sights. All you need to complete your custom 1911 is the fire control and recoil system, grips and finish. (ithacagun.com; 877-648-4222)

Kahr TP9 Gen2

The new Kahr TP9 Gen2 pistol represents a real upgrade to the standard TP9. The new eight-round 9mm pistol retains the smooth and reliable striker-fired mechanism as well as the polymer frame and ultra-thin, single-stack grip of this premium full-sized pistol. The Gen2 version, however, adds a Picatinny rail on the dust cover for accessory use as well as a newly designed trigger with a front safety lever and improved function. (kahr.com; 508-795-3919)

Kimber K6s

A genuinely unexpected surprise from Kimber is the new Kimber K6s revolver, which offers something new for wheelgun aficionados. This double-action-only, six-shot revolver is designed for concealed carry with an internal hammer and a short 2-inch barrel. Chambered in .357 Magnum, it is the lightest stainless steel revolver on the market today and features an incredibly smooth match-grade trigger and an ergonomically designed grip. (kimberamerica.com; 888-243-4522)

Llama Micro Max

Eagle Imports is the U.S. distributor for some of the best brands of firearms from around the world, including Llama. Taking advantage of the popularity of the 1911 and concealed carry, Llama has a new pistol, the Micro Max. This 1911-style, single-action pistol is chambered in the popular .380 ACP caliber in a scaled-down version for improved concealability. The pistol features an external extractor, a flared and lowered ejection port, a combat trigger and hammer, an ambidextrous thumb safety, and front and rear slide serrations. (eagleimportsinc.com; 732-493-0333)

New Order Firearms NO9

The NO9 pistol from New Order Firearms is much more than just another full-sized, high-capacity, polymer-framed, striker-fired, 9mm, semi-automatic pistol. It features a full-service Picatinny accessory rail with multiple slots, three-dot sights, a single-action trigger with a safety lever, an extended slide release and a simple takedown procedure Most impressive for this all-American-made pistol, however, is that it is available in a completely left-handed variant. Even the standard right-handed version has a reversible magazine release, and it uses standard Beretta 92 magazines. (neworderfirearms.com; 844-648-3695)

Nighthawk Browning Hi-Power

Nighthawk decided back in early 2015 not to try to reinvent the perfect double-stack, but to enhance the Browning Hi-Power. This classic design offers perfect balance, size and firepower with an impressive 13-round magazine capacity. Now Nighthawk has taken one of the most revered pistols of all time and made it better. With this customized pistol, the top of the slide and grip straps are hand-textured. More features include a custom extended beavertail and mag well, a Heinie Slant Pro rear sight, a Nighthawk 14-karat gold front bead sight, a crowned barrel, and much more. (nighthawkcustom.com; 877-268-4867)

Ruger American Pistol

The new Ruger American Pistol is a full-sized, polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol available in 9mm or .45 ACP with either a 17- or 10-round capacity. The entire rear of the grip frame is replaceable, allowing the user to adjust the grip size and trigger reach. The new striker mechanism also offers a very short reset and take-up while the low-mass slide, recoil-reducing barrel cam and low bore axis reduce muzzle flip and perceived recoil significantly. The black nitrided slide features Novak LoMount three-dot sights, and the frame has a full-sized Picatinny accessory rail. The slide stop and magazine release are also fully ambidextrous. (ruger.com)

SCCY CPX-3

SCCY already makes high-quality and economical 9mm pistols, but the new CPX-3 is the company’s first pistol chambered in the popular .380 ACP cartridge. It is also the first to use the company’s proprietary Quad-Lock system, which locks the barrel to the slide when in battery, increasing accuracy and reliability. This compact pistol is still slightly larger than other pocket pistols but offers a 10+1 capacity, a polymer frame with ergonomic finger grooves, double-action-only hammer-fired operation, three-dot sights and large slide serrations. (sccy.com; 866-729-7599)

Sig Sauer P225-A1

Sig has returned the venerable P225 pistol to its catalog and is now shipping the classic handgun to dealers and distributors. The P225-A1 retains the exceptional look and feel of the original P225, but features an enhanced trigger and the precision manufacturing and quality from the state-of-the-art Sig Sauer facility. The P225-A1 is a single-stack 9mm pistol with a DA/SA trigger system. The fully machined stainless steel slide is finished in the durable Nitron finish. A hardcoat anodized frame sports two-piece grips with the Sig mark medallion. (sigsauer.com; 603-610-3000)

Sig Sauer P250-22

Sig Sauer changed the way the world looked at handguns with the introduction of the modular P250 series. Now, with the introduction of the P250-22, that same versatility is available in a rimfire option. Built on the same platform as the centerfire P250 variants, the .22 LR P250-22 offers an affordable option for plinkers, instructors and newer shooters. The P250-22 features the same serialized fire control group as on centerfire models. This unit is the actual “firearm” and can be installed in a variety of grip modules. This versatility allows the P250-22 to be fit to any hand, and with the addition of an X-Change kit, can be converted to fire centerfire cartridges. (sigsauer.com; 603-610-3000)

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Ported

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield pistol has been extremely popular for concealed carry, but now shooters can get a customized version from the S&W Performance Center. Available in both 9mm and .40 S&W, the new Shield features a ported barrel and slide, fiber-optic sights for improved low-light visibility and a tuned trigger for a smoother pull. The porting significantly reduces muzzle flip and perceived recoil. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory

One of the most storied names in American firearms now has a new .22-caliber target pistol, the SW22 Victory. This internal-hammer-fired, blowback-operated, single-action, semi-automatic pistol is chambered in .22 LR with a 10-round magazine. The pistol comes standard with a stainless steel bolt, slide, frame and 5.5-inch, match-grade barrel, but the versatile design and easy one-screw takedown process makes the pistol modular and allows for simple barrel changes. The adjustable fiber-optic sights and adjustable trigger stop make this a very accurate pistol, and the removable grip panels and Picatinny accessory rail offer dozens of customization options. A threaded barrel version is also available for suppressor use. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

Springfield Armory EMP 4” Lightweight Champion

It seems like the popularity of the 1911 pistol has never been greater, and the new EMP 4” Lightweight Champion from Springfield Armory offers something special. The pistol has been optimized for the 9mm and .40 S&W cartridges with a specially designed short action that makes the grip frame smaller. This is not just a rechambered 1911—it’s truly a new pistol. The 4” version offers a slightly longer barrel and grip for improved comfort and higher muzzle velocities as well as a longer sight radius than the previous EMP model. Other features include fiber-optic sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety, a match-grade barrel, cocobolo grips, a two-tone finish and a 10-round capacity in 9mm. (springfield-armory.com; 800-680-6866)

Taylor’s Short Stroke Revolvers

Taylor’s & Company Firearms is now offering Short Stroke revolvers for competition shooting or the avid arms collector. These Cattleman revolvers can be built with the low-set Smoke Wagon hammer or the lower and wider profile Runnin’ Iron hammer. They also feature blued finishes with casehardened frames, and a richly detailed, checkered grip for comfort and improved aim. For shooters who prefer a larger grip, the bigger, Army-style Gunfighter grip is also an available option. All of the previous features are available on both the standard and Taylor Tuned versions of the Short Stroke Cattleman. (taylorsfirearms.com; 540-722-2017)

UA Arms Magna T5

A full-sized 1911 is an excellent defensive pistol, but it is no lightweight for everyday carry. However, the new Magna T5 from UA Arms is a real game-changer in this area. This company uses explosive metal bonding techniques to combine a magnesium alloy frame and slide with stainless steel rails to produce a full-sized 1911 pistol that is less than half the weight of a comparable steel pistol while sacrificing nothing in terms of effectiveness, reliability and durability. The pistol also includes competition sights, a match trigger and a Picatinny rail. (uaarms.com; 615-970-9555)

Walther PPQ 45

The PPQ (Police Pistol Quick Defense Trigger) M2 series of handguns represents the pinnacle of Walther centerfire innovation, engineering and technology. This line is the company’s flagship and is utilized by German police as well as numerous law enforcement agencies and militaries throughout the world. The unique features of the Q-series are highlighted by the Carl Walther signature Quick Defense trigger with a pull between 5.6 and 6 pounds; small, medium and large interchangeable backstraps; adjustable sights; a polygonal-rifled barrel; and fully ambidextrous controls. And now the company is offering its first .45 ACP pistol with all of these same features, the PPQ 45. (waltherarms.com; 479-242-8500)

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