For those who are interested in quiet practice with their centerfire weapons (and can legally own them), Idaho-based Tactical Solutions is now offering their 2211 .22 LR conversion for the M1911 .45, which is designed to accept their Cascade sound suppressor, as well as an integrally-suppressed .22 LR upper for the AR-15. In this world of ever-increasing ammo costs and ever-fewer places to shoot without bothering others, rimfire conversions—and the ability to quiet them down—make more sense than ever before.
As one of the only major firearms manufacturers that didn’t make a clone of a Colt firearm, Taurus bit the bullet last year and began production of their PT1911 .45. While most of the M1911 market seems to be in a race for the top end price tag, Taurus’ Government-Model sized pistol offers an affordable package with the features that most shooters are looking for. It’s available in blue steel, stainless, or with a lightweight alloy frame, and with or without a light rail.
Also new this year is their 800-series of polymer-frame service pistols. Available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, they’re exposed-hammer variants of the 24/7 OSS pistol that Taurus designed to compete for the USSOCOM pistol contract. Equipped with ambidextrous controls and genuine Novak sights, they also come with a light rail and interchangeable backstrap inserts.
In the revolver field, Taurus is now offering its thumping Judge .410 bore/.45 Colt revolver in a 3” chambered variant. Laying down the law, indeed.
Best known for the iconic “Tommy Gun,” Thompson has introduced a pistol version of their semiautomatic 1927 .45 ACP rifle. Equipped with a 10.5” barrel and capable of accepting magazines that hold from 10 to 100 rounds, what the Tommy Gun lacks in modern styling (no Picatinny rails) it makes up for in old-school character. It’s not a restricted item, but because of the barrel length, no buttstock can be attached to the 1927 pistol. All NFA rules apply, and an SBR version is available for those can legally own Class III weapons.
New from the S&W-affiliated Walther is their PPS, a compact pistol in 9mm or .40 S&W designed to combine the uber-slim profile of their elegant PP/PPK series with the polymer frame and other styling cues of the more modern P99. At barely an inch in width, the striker-fired PPS is flat and easily concealable, and since it doesn’t bite like the PPK, it’s actually more pleasant to shoot in 9mm than the earlier pistol is in .380.
And last but not least, perhaps the most intriguing pistol I saw at SHOT was a prototype XR9 produced by Boberg Engineering. A compact, double-action 9mm semiauto, the Boberg XR9 combines a rotating barrel recoil system with an unusual feed mechanism that locates the rear of the barrel over the rear of the magazine so that when the slide is drawn back, it draws a round from underneath the barrel and positions it to be fed straight into the chamber. The end result is a compact pistol with a barrel an inch or so longer than that of a traditional autoloader, where the rear of the barrel is forward of the magazine well. Complicated, but intriguing. Could it be the future?