We’ve had no let-up searching the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show exhibit hall floor for the most compelling members of the Class of 2018. It’s a somewhat overwhelming mission (not that we’re complaining), which makes it all that much tougher singling out a short list for today’s top picks. Here’s what we got—check ’em out, and see if you agree.
The Security-9 is a scaled-up version of Ruger’s popular LCP II .380 ACP, giving consumers size and firepower options in the polymer-frame, double-stack category. Still a manageable 23.7 ozs., and 7.25 in. long, the Security-9 offers another solution for everyday carry and home defense while packing 15 rounds of 9 mm Luger in its steel magazine. At that size and ammunition capacity, Ruger’s new personal protector will meet the needs of many armed citizens.
Like it’s smaller twin, the new pistol is an efficient, hammer-fired double-action with a passive trigger safety. Depressing the trigger completes the hammer’s cocking cycle and fires the gun in one smooth, consistent press. Quick-acquisition white-marked sights pair a front blade with a rear notch, both drift-adjustable. For durability’s sake, the working components are part of a hard-anodized aluminum chassis embedded within the polymer grip frame, and it boasts full-length slide rails. The MSRP is $379. You can read more about this gun here and see it in action here.
Hi-Point 1095TS 10mm Carbine
Hi-Point has been a long-time fixture in the pistol caliber carbine (PCC) market with popular versions in 9 mm Luger and .45 ACP. Now the company is answering the call for an even harder-hitter with their 1095TS in 10 mm Auto. With 200-gr. bullets, the new carbine’s 17.5-inch barrel generates a stout 1,300 feet per second (f.p.s.) in muzzle velocity. Offered with a skeletonized molded stock in basic black or the new Realtree Edge pattern, this potent tool is equally suited to home defense and hunting deer-sized game at close ranges. The 1095TS comes with ghost-ring rear/post front sights, but is also outfitted with a Picatinny rail for easy optic installation. Weighing 7 lbs., the carbine settles well on target, and while the single-stage trigger pull is rather long, it breaks at a manageable 6 lbs. Hi-Point is famous for the value built into its made-in-the-U.S.A. firearms, and this latest offering follows suit, with MSRPs at $389 (black stock) or $405 (Realtree).
S&W M&P M2.0 Threaded Barrel
The “next-gen” M&P M2.0 platform from Smith & Wesson adds a custom touch for 2018 with threaded-barrel models. The M&P9 and M&P45 M2.0 pistols can be had in a ready-for-suppressor version that also includes suppressor-height white-dot sights and a thread protector. Like all of the new M&Ps, this one can be optimized for user ergonomics with four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts and it features the line’s clean-breaking trigger that has both tactile and audible resets. What has really made the line a winner at the range and in everyday use is pistol’s low bore axis and 18-degree grip angle, which combine for an intuitive feel and natural hedge against muzzle rise. And with a suppressor installed, there’s next to nothing to disturb shooter concentration. The MSRP is not available.
SIG Sauer MCX Virtus
Inspired by the demands of special operators, the MCX Virtus SBR (short-barreled rifle) from SIG Sauer is a modular marvel that’s as adaptable as it is rugged. From a folding/collapsible stock that can instantly reconfigure in five different dimensional modes to user-changeable, cold-hammer-forged barrels in three different lengths and chamberings for 5.56 x45 mm NATO and .300 Blackout, the MCX Virtus brings what SIG calls “the utmost in mission-specific flexibility.” Standard equipment includes a 30-round polymer magazine, M-LOK handguards available in four lengths and virtually unstoppable gas-piston operation. Proprietary components include SIG’s trademark Matchlite Duo Trigger and proven internal recoil-management system. MSRPs range from $2,233 to $2,341.