Gun Digest

New Guns And Gear March-April 2020

New classics and first-rate defensive options, it seems you can't have enough of either. We dig into each with 14 pieces of guns and gear that are certain to serve as safe queens or lifesavers.

New Guns And Gear

Uberti USA Courteney Stalking Rifle

Uberti pays tribute to Frederick Courteney Selous, a giant among hunters, with a stunning throwback rifle he would’ve been proud to shoulder. The 7.1-pound, 24-inch Courteney Stalking Rifle is built around the tough-as-nails 1895 falling-block action and comes chambered in .303 British. Sure, .303 isn’t exactly falling off the shelves nowadays, but it goes well with the sweeping and clean English lines of the Uberti rifle. This includes an African hardwood-tipped forend that gives the single-shot a unique look and stays true to the rifle’s inspiration. At the same tick, Uberti includes modern amenities that contemporary hunters find a must, such as a machined base that accepts Weaver-style scope rings. MSRP: $1,729 //

Marlin 1894 Dark Series

Lever-action rifles are enduring, but that’s no reason there can’t be a new twist on their timeless design. Marlin did exactly this last year with the introduction of its ominously attractive 336 and 1895 Dark Series. Joining the existing .30-30 Winchester, .45-70 Government and .444 Marlin chamberings, the gunmaker has introduced a pair of heavy-hitter pistol cartridge options for 2020: the 1894 Dark Series in both .357 Magnum/.38 Special and .44 Magnum/.44 Special. These pistol cartridge thumpers are all-weather marvels, with a black webbing-painted stock, Parkerized finish, top rail, paracord sling and lever wrap. The repeater also boasts 16.25-inch barrels, threaded to accept a muzzle device and outfitted with a thread protector. It’s a fitting upgrade for the more-than-100-year-old design. MSRP: $949 and up //

Cimarron 10mm Bad Boy

Old West meets new West in Cimarron’s latest rendition of its popular Bad Boy Single Action Army (SAA) revolver. Now pitching the ascendant 10mm, the six-shooter has a modern twist, not to mention that it gains new usefulness. The snappy pistol cartridge has grown in popularity in recent years and should prove dead-on coming out of this accurate handgun style. A pre-war framed SAA with an 1860 Army-style, one-piece walnut grip, it boasts an 8-inch octagonal barrel, giving it some throwback grace. Made of carbon-alloy steel and outfitted with target sights, the Bad Boy is more than up to enduring the rigors of the powerful 10mm cartridge while keeping it on target. MSRP: $726 //

Federal Premium Firestick

Hunting with a muzzleloader is simultaneously wildly satisfying and frustrating. Even if you do everything perfectly, you can still be left hearing nothing but a click when you pull the trigger. Federal Premium has come out with a new system that all but guarantees your muzzleloader goes bang! every time you need it to, along with providing a host of other desirable assets: the Firestick, an encapsulated, pre-measured charge of Hodgdon Triple 8 granular powder in which the 209 primer is directly inserted. It makes the muzzleloading process simpler, cleaner and more accurate. However, it’s currently only compatible with a Traditions Nitrofire muzzleloader. MSRP: $26.99 per Firestick //

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Thompson Auto Ordnance Iwo Jima Series

The Battle of Iwo Jima was one of America’s toughest slogs in the Pacific. Thompson Auto Ordnance remembers the sacrifice of the servicemen who fought in this epic battle (Marines, in particular) with a trio of decked-out period firearms. Comprising an M1911A1, M1 Carbine and semi-automatic Thompson Submachine-gun, the Iwo Jima Series guns feature incredible stock engraving. Adorned with battle motifs and Admiral Chester Nimitz’s famous quote, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue,” these pieces are stirring. The metal is finished in OD green and distressed copper Cerakote, giving the guns the vintage look of actual war memorabilia. These firearms make priceless additions to a collection. MSRP: $1,247 (M1911A1), $1,391 (M1 Carbine), $1,886 (Thompson) //

Traditions Nitrofire Muzzleloader

Traditions has long been a leader in innovating the age-old muzzleloader—but no more so than with its Nitrofire Series. Working in conjunction with Federal and Hodgdon, this rifle is specifically designed to utilize the Federal Premium Firestick, making it among the most user-friendly muzzleloaders around; and, it’s accurate. The breech-charging break-action offers the same tight tolerances as cartridge rifles, which pays a dividend downrange. This is thanks to its ultra-light, fluted chromoly barrel that’s designed for speed-loading, so follow-up shots aren’t out of the question. Furthermore, Traditions’ Elite XT trigger system is as crisp as an autumn morning and ensures you perform when you need to. If you’re into muzzleloading, this is the real deal. MSRP: Starting at $549 //

Benelli Lupo Rifle

The Lupo, Benelli’s first crack at a bolt-action rifle, is among the most ergonomically flexible (thus, comfortable) rifles on the market. Its length-of-pull adjustment is perhaps the most eye-catching, modifying just above the grip. This makes room for Benelli’s Progressive Comfort System, which does a number on felt recoil. This 7-pound rifle comes with an adjustable comb that can be raised and lowered to provide the perfect eye-to-scope alignment. It features a hybrid chassis system, in which the rifle’s cryo-treated, free-floating barrel is attached to a hardened steel barrel extension and beds into a steel block in the alloy receiver. This creates a rigid and accurate platform—one Benelli ensures is on target with a solid adjustable trigger. It’s available in .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum and .270 Winchester. MSRP: $1,699 //

Rock Island Armory VRPA40

Intimidating and effective, the smooth-bore is more than adequate for protecting the homestead. Tailored specifically for this job, Rock Island Armory’s VRPA40 arms you with the ideal home-defense pump-action that’s not only configured for CQC, it’s also the utmost for guarding you and yours. To this end, the 20-inch-barreled 12-gauge is magazine fed. In addition to making for light-fast reloads, it also endows the VRPA40 with excellent capacity: 5+1. Furthermore, there’s no shortage of magazines to choose from, because this pump-action is compatible with any other RIA VR Series shotgun. Other notables on the VRPA40 include a heat shield, rail scope mount, fiber-optic front, adjustable rear sights and an overall weight of 6.9 pounds unloaded. MSRP: $279.99 //

Bond Arms Grizzly

It’s good practice to have a backup gun of some sort for concealed carry. The same goes for home defense. In either case, Bond Arms’ Grizzly fits the bill perfectly. An age-old design, this 3-inch-barreled derringer is easy to conceal or stow away somewhere within reach. However, Bond Arms ups the game by chambering the single-action, double-barreled pistol in .45 Colt/.410. The pistol cartridge and shotgun shell are both solid, up-close-and-personal options for defense. Bond also gives you some interesting extras, including a push-button cross bolt safety, removable trigger guard and rebounding hammer. The Grizzly ships with a dashing leather holster, so it will always be at the ready. MSRP: $377 //

Hogue Sig EX-T01 Legion Tomahawk

If a felonious meathead gets a gander at the Hogue Sig Legion Tomahawk, he’ll most likely have second thoughts about crossing your threshold. Wicked-looking as it is well-made, this 14-inch edged weapon is an all-around tool to have at the ready. In addition to a flat-grind, hand-honed blade, the tomahawk can also be outfitted with a spike and pry bar, making it a jack of all trades for any situation. This tomahawk is made from cryogenically heat-treated S7 tool steel, so it’s as tough as they come and keeps an edge. It’s outfitted with a G10 scale frame that’s partnered with a magnetic polymer sheath. MSRP: $309.95 //

Wilson Combat American Combat Pistol (ACP)

For some, the thought of a Wilson Combat 1911 for home defense (or otherwise) is a pipe dream. Finely made as they are, they can be cost-prohibitive. More than understanding this situation, Wilson Combat has introduced the American Combat Pistol (ACP), which offers all the craftsmanship and performance the company is known for, but at a more affordable price point. Wilson accomplishes this by streamlining the manufacturing process and offering a narrow selection of models—full-sized (5-inch barrel), Commander (4.25-inch barrel) and Compact (4-inch barrel). Available in .45 ACP or 9mm, the ACP line features Eagle Claw grip texture, hand-fitted carbon-steel frame and slide, Armor Tuff finish and flush-cut stainless steel barrel. MSRP: $2,495 (.45 ACP), $2,595 (9mm) //

Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammo

Optimized for use in compact and subcompact handguns, Speer’s legendary Gold Dot line of defensive ammunition has never performed better. The Carry Gun line is offered in 135-grain 9mm, 165-grain .40 S&W and 200-grain .45 ACP. Each is improved to perform, even with the lower velocities common in shooter-barreled pistols. The innovation here? The ammo is topped with Gold Dot’s high-performance G2 bullet, which is specially made to achieve better FBI-protocol test scores. These bullets use cutting-edge elastomer polymer fill in the nose cavity, ensuring extremely uniform and consistent expansion and penetration, even through several barrier types. MSRP: $28.99–$33.99 (per box) //

Springfield Armory Saint Edge Evac

When it comes to up-close and/or tight-quarters combat, there are few more potent options than an AR-style pistol. Due to their fire and hitting power, the abbreviated versions of America’s favorite rifle have what it takes to guard your home. Springfield Armory raises this to another level with the introduction of its Saint Edge Evac pistol. Perfect for a bug-out bag or a home-defense gun, this takedown pistol is among the tidiest packages to hit the market. Around 7.5 inches long, it fits into nearly any pack or nightstand drawer. Nevertheless, outfitted with a Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 1 side-folding brace, the 5.56 pistol proves easy to shoot—and it’s accurate, to boot. MSRP: $1,949 //

SOG Aegis AT Blue Knife

No matter the situation, it’s imperative to always have a knife at hand. SOG’s new Aegis AT Blue clip-point knife features an ambidextrous assisted opening; its 3.7-inch blade is ready at a moment’s notice, putting some top-quality steel at your beck and call. It’s made from cryogenically treated D2 stainless steel and comes complete with a black titanium-nitride finish, so this clip-point blade keeps a seriously sharp edge. It weighs only 5.15 ounces and offers a reversible pocket clip that adjusts to any style, as well as to the dominant hand. MSRP: $94 //

The article originally appeared in the March and April 2019 issues of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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