Wow, what a day! We started at one end and kept moving, jumping in line to lay hands-on some fine weaponry and throw rounds downrange when the opportunity presented itself. This year, although I shot many different weapons, I concentrated on concealed or off-duty carry weapons. This for a couple of reasons; all of our audience (or at least most) carry concealed, open and/or off duty, and because handguns are always my comfort zone.
I’m a geek when it comes to the new products and this was my year as a couple of well known brands had either recently launched or were getting ready to launch new toys. First up was Springfield and this Hellcat Micro Compact I’d been hearing so much about. While standing in line salivating at my opportunity to fire that beauty, I was awestruck by a new and yet to be released SAINT Edge EVAC. It looked like a rifle, but they were referring to it as a pistol. Hmm……as I kept moving up in line, I began to see it a little better and when I moved up enough in line that it was next to me, of course I took advantage of the opportunity to see what it was all about. Without knowing the weapon at all, was able to break it down fully in about 30 seconds with a little guidance from the factory rep….WOW!! Set to be released this Spring, it features a patent-pending barrel takedown system that is absolutely ingenious as well as a folding brace. Once fully broken down, it fits into a crazy small, portable zippered bag. I know I said I was concentrating on handguns but I couldn’t resist this one! It feels great in the hand, had excellent accuracy and an easy trigger.
Now; on to the Hellcat, being touted as the highest capacity 9mm Micro-Compact in the world. Indeed, with a 11+1 capacity with their patented mag and a 13+1 capacity of the included-in-the-package extended mag, they have certainly staked a righteous claim. Coming in at 4” high, 6” long and 1” wide, I was expecting a little bit lighter weight but again, who doesn’t like feeling the weight and taking comfort in a quality weapon that shoots almost as good as it feels? As it turns out, it weighs in at an admirable 18.3 oz (I think maybe when you see the size of it, your mind automatically tricks you into thinking the weight is proportionate?). The frame is made out of black polymer with an adaptive grip texture that take just a minute to get used to and the slide is billet machined with a Melonite finish. It has a hammer forged barrel, top slide serrations, includes a standard accessory rail for lights and lasers, a flat trigger body, reversible mag release and a loaded chamber indicator as another nice touch. I put a couple of magazines through it and here is my takeaway; the trigger allowed for a very consistent pull with minimal travel and the weight of the gun was comforting. I also love the ability for a micro compact to carry more rounds. That alone is worth some serious purchase consideration. The only issue I had was with muzzle flip, it seemed to travel a bit more than I expected. All in all, a solid little shooter that has an MSRP of $569 and I would expect to see it at retail in the area of $350. Don’t get me wrong; this is a great option for concealed carry but somehow, with all the buildup, I expected more.
The next one that I thought was worth writing about was, believe it or not, the Walther CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol) M2. The CCP and the Q4 were being touted equally, but I needed something worth getting worked up about and I found it with the CCP. I’ll start with the details and specs….the CCP is a 9mm and comes standard in a black finish but also has a stainless finish. The Walther CCP has a 3.54” barrel, an overall length of just under 6.5”, the height is just a smidge over 5”, width of about 1-1/4” and the has an 8+1 round capacity. Weighing in at 20oz, the weight is proportionate and feels just right. The CCP is the first polymer pistol with softcoil gas technology, which they assured me will not only help to reduce recoil, it will make racking the slide a breeze for absolutely anyone. They also claimed that it is the most comfortable handgun in their concealed carry line. Having a fixed barrel and offering tool-less takedown, it allows for very easy cleanup as well as maintenance. Also on the list of touted features: external safety, front and rear slide serrations and a reversible magazine release. Now for real-world testing: I already had grown a great comfort from holding it during the introduction and my hand felt an immediate and easy purchase on the grip. With the addition of the finger extender on the magazine, I felt right at home with it. I was surprised by just how comfortable it felt! Throwing rounds downrange was effortless; I felt like the gun was shooting itself, a feeling I have not encountered often enough. For me, the softcoil gas technology was the star of the show. It seemed like the muzzle never moved, allowing for time back on target to be extremely minimal. I honestly can’t say enough good about this gun. The lone caveat I have is that the travel was a bit longer than I had hoped for, but the reset was quick and with everything else going right, I felt like I had to find something wrong. The Walther CCP M2 is available for sale starting now, and you should expect to see it at retail for under $400-well worth every penny!
Thanks for reading; stay tuned as we will have more from SHOT Show 2020 as we explore the 12.5 miles of aisles looking for the new and exciting entries at this year’s show.