One more note that should be made is that the MSRPs we listed rarely reflect actual retail pricing, which almost always is lower, sometimes significantly. So please think of this series as simply a first step in your search for a new gun that will upgrade your readiness for home and personal defense, push your scores higher at the shooting range or help you to become a more successful hunter.
Springfield Armory 911
The 911 from Springfield Armory is a .380 ACP-version of the firm’s stellar 1911-series semi-automatic pistols. Easily concealable and portable, the miniaturized model measures 5.5 in. long by 4 in. high, and weighs a scant 12.6 ozs. empty. Designed for close-range defensive application in dire circumstances, the 911 is outfitted for instant response with a green tritium front sight inside a yellow luminescent circle, and a tactical rack rear sight with green tritium inside of white luminescent circles. This gun can also be had with an integrated green Viridian laser. Springfield’s Octo-Grip textured front strap and mainspring housing, along with G10 Thin-Line grips give the stable feel of shooting a larger firearm. Ammunition capacity is 6+1 flush, or 7+1 with an extended magazine. Shooter-friendly features include an ambidextrous thumb safety and loaded-chamber indicator. The MSRP of the mini Springfield is $599.
Ruger American Ranch
A classic returns in a newly affordable option in the form of the Ruger American Ranch Rifle. While resembling the original Ranch Rifle, the American Ranch bolt-action wears a rugged synthetic stock and utilizes a three-lug, short-lift bolt in a receiver secured by the firm’s proprietary Power Bedding block system. This set-up ensures the rifle’s 16.12 in. barrel is free-floated for shot-to-shot accuracy that Ruger says will hit minute of angle. The cold-hammer-forged barrel comes threaded, ready for use with a muzzle brake or suppressor. Another deluxe feature is Ruger’s Marksman Adjustable Trigger, which can be user-set for pull weights between 3 and 5 lbs. Four chamberings include: .223 Rem., 7.63x39 mm; .300 Blackout; and .450 Bushmaster. There are also options on capacity of the rifle’s detachable box magazine, ranging from three to 10 rounds, and it comes with a factory-installed aluminum scope rail. MSRPs come in at $529 or $599, depending on model.
Browning Buck Mark 22 Rifle
For a stylish rimfire the entire family can enjoy, Browning offers the distinctive Buck Mark 22 Rifle. The heart of the new gun is that it has the action, frame and grip of the long-popular Buck Mark semi-automatic pistol, but the addition of an 18.5 in. bull barrel and a laminated-wood shoulder stock transform it with a cool “techie” look bound to appeal to younger shooters. On a 2018 SHOT Show limited-edition, colorful touches come from bronze finishes worn by anodized aluminum parts. But it’s not just looks that will make this newcomer a family favorite. Along with the stout barrel, shootability is enhanced by the rifle’s integral optics rail and suppressor-ready muzzle threading, along with 10-round magazine capacity. Use it for backyard fun, hunting small game, or enter your first smallbore match. MSRP is $720 for standard model, though the limited-edition shown here might be more.
The SAR 9 duty-sized, striker-fired semi-auto from Turkey delivers elements found on top Euro brands at lower cost. At 27 ozs./7.5 in. long, it’s trim enough, and our brief range sessions indicate it should be sufficiently reliable for regular carry. Magazine capacity with 9 mm Luger is 17 rounds. SAR touts the pistol’s double-action trigger as a selling point, and indeed, the pull stroke is short and not too heavy, if a bit gritty, then ends with a clean break at 5.5 lbs. The SAR’s polymer grip frame comes with swap-out backstrap panels, finger grooves and a wide magazine well opening for easy reload action. The ergonomic grip complements the design’s low bore axis to make it a mild shooter. Add a set of low-riding, three-dot steel sights, and shot-to-shot target acquisition is a breeze. Offered with the buyer’s choice of blued or matte stainless slides, the SAR 9’s MSRP is $449.