What's Hot From SHOT

New Self-Defense Products

KelTec's newest bullpup: the KSG410. (Image: KelTec Weapons)

With an estimated 2,400 exhibits at the 2023 SHOT Show, we obviously can’t cover them all in this short column. Let’s touch on the new products that have particular promise for personal defense sales — starting with the most popular products, handguns.

Beretta brings back their Cheetah, a holster- rather than pocket-sized .380 as the Model 80X. Old school double-action, all-metal construction and double-stack magazine, but with an optic cut and light attachment rail. Mild recoil, easy slide operation with the hammer cocked and carry optics option for both older eyes and modern tastes. There’s also a heavy, undoubtedly sweet-shooting single-action Model 92 9mm.

Beretta 80X Cheetah Pistol

Dan Wesson DWX pistols, long teased, are here. At the risk of oversimplification, think 1911 top on a CZ frame with 19-round 9mm magazine. It’s reported to shoot extremely flat (sights stay on target in rapid fire) with excellent trigger pull and competition-ready out of the box.

GLOCK debuts their Gen5 series in large frame models, the G20 10mm and G21 .45 ACP. All I’ve seen have been MOS configured. Look for the compact variants, such as the GLOCK 30 .45 auto, around the time of the NRA Show in May. Perhaps of broader interest, though, is GLOCK’s new OEM Performance trigger for Gen5 standard frame models: the GLOCK Performance Trigger. Resembling the Timney aftermarket trigger, it brings pull weight down to about 3.5 lbs. crisp, and should be installed by a certified GLOCK armorer. MSRP is about $100. (Be reminded, though, since about 1988 GLOCK has cautioned against going below a 5.5-lb. pull on a pistol intended for self-defense use.)

GLOCK Performance Trigger display at the GLOCK booth.

Smith & Wesson now offers the M&P in 5.7mm. The M&P5.7 is full-size, cut for optics and ships with 22-round capacity magazines. Checkmark in the “fun” category.

Rossi revolvers have returned. For many years, the Brazilian-made Rossi brand was a popular choice in budget-priced self-defense revolvers. For 2023, the brand is back, featuring a mid-size six-shot .357 Magnum with rounded butt, and economy price tag (adjusted for inflation).

Taurus’ upgraded Executive series of revolvers has expanded to include the popular Judge in .410/.45 Colt.

For the “carriage trade,” Cabot Arms introduces a superbly crafted 1911 pistol made entirely of Damascus steel, right down to the grip panels. Should you have a customer who thinks a $3,500 custom pistol is altogether too pedestrian, this one carries a suggested retail of just under $35,000. The trick will be finding the right customer.

Executive Grade Taurus Judge

Defensive Long Guns

Henry has a wood-stocked 9mm autoloading carbine called The Homesteader which looks more like a 1907 Winchester than an “evil black rifle.” It takes its own magazines but has adapters to accept GLOCK, S&W M&P, and SIG P320 magazines. A top-tang safety makes it functionally ambidextrous, too.

The results from a partnership two years in the making, Magpul and ZEV have introduced the FDP-9 and FDC-9 “folding guns” in 9mm, in pistol (FDP) and carbine form (FDC).

Kel-Tec’s popular bullpup shotgun is now available in light-kicking .410 bore. The KSG410’s twin five-shell magazines hold 11 rounds, plus one in the chamber.

Are you in a jurisdiction where autoloading rifles are restricted, or do you have customers who fear that’s going to happen? Two lever action rifles vaguely resembling the AR15 were the SHOT Show: the Herring Model 2024 5.56 from FightLite, and the Tombstone 9mm from POF-USA.

POF-USA Tombstone 9mm

Ammo & Accessories

Ammo choices have just become wider. Winchester has noticed the extreme interest in powerful outdoorsman’s handguns of late, and introduces their Big Bore line. It includes a bruin-ruining jacketed soft point 240 grain .44 Magnum at nearly 1500 foot-seconds velocity and 1175 foot-pounds of energy, a 157 grain (not a misprint) .357 Magnum hollow point loaded to 1460 fps, and a 10mm Auto 200 grain soft point at 1175 fps.

Lehigh’s fluted bullets got a popularity boost when the company was purchased recently by Wilson Combat. A lot of savvy gun experts have gone to this stuff.

Black Hills Ammunition expanded its HoneyBadger line to include 10mm, designed for defense against four-legged threats. (To see American Handgunner Editor Tom McHale’s first impressions, check out this video.)

Holsters are critical for concealed carry and only a fool would routinely carry a gun without one. On the economy-priced end, many of you already carry the Tagua brand of leather holsters. Tagua has just come out with a hybrid line that’s leather on the outside, Kydex on the inside formed to solidly “click in” to the trigger guard of the handgun for more security. They call it their “LOCK Line.”

Safariland has a new holster you’ll want to look at if you sell police duty gear. According to the company, “Our new SafariVault has been designed for uncompromising strength. SafariVault also incorporates the adaptability our customers require for the use of an ever-expanding array of lights and optics.”

Moving up into medium priced holsters, DeSantis introduces synthetic gear ideal for increasingly popular “appendix carry,” modular with and without spare mag pouch. Called The Persuader, it includes the popular “claw” feature which tucks the holstered gun more snugly in to the wearer’s body.

Body armor is legal for law-abiding private citizens to own, and even to wear in public, in most jurisdictions. Problem is, many of the big-name armor makers insist their products only be sold to military, police and professional security. One firm that encourages innocent people to own this critical passive protection is a relatively new company, Premier Body Armor. Their line encompasses a wide variety of plate carriers and vests suitable for home defense use or concealed wear in public. They enthusiastically work with local gun shops on wholesale pricing.

There were, of course, any number of AR-15 variants, 1911s and clones of the GLOCK at SHOT Show 2023. But the ones mentioned are the products that look as if they might offer the strongest customer interest right out of the gate.