What’s Hot in Handguns?


Ever since my pals at Olympic Arms out in Washington State came up with a handgun built on the AR receiver, I’ve marveled at the number of other arms makers who followed suit.

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Now comes Rock River Arms’ (1042 Cleveland Road, Dept. GDTM, Colona, IL 61241/(309) 792-5780/www.rockriverarms.com) PDS pistol, and it is a real piece of work. The “PDS” designation refers to this pistol’s patent-pending Piston Driven System that utilizes a “purpose-designed” bolt carrier, an adjustable gas piston and an over-the-barrel spring and guide rod setup. This eliminates the traditional AR-platform recoil system, while preventing gas blow-by to the rear of the receiver.

Chambered for the 5.56mm NATO and .223 Rem.., this beefy handgun features a full-length rail on top for mounting electronic or optical sights and an ambidextrous charging handle. The chrome-lined barrel measures 8 inches and is cut with a 1:9-inch rifling twist. It has a PDS-MD muzzle device with a ½-28 thread, and the gun features a Hogue pistol grip. Overall length is 17.5 inches.

New from CZ-USA (P.O. Box 171073, Dept. GDTM, Kansas City, KS 66117/(800) 955-4486/www.cz-usa.com) is the SP-01 Shadow Custom, a two-tone semi-auto with fixed sights, chambered in 9mm. It’s got an integral accessory rail on the dust cover, and slim-line aluminum grips.

Also new is the CZ Czechmate, another self-loader that is definitely for precision IPSC target work. Chambered in 9mm, this pistol has a C-more 6 moa red dot sight, two spare barrels, a compensator, spare magazines with capacities up to 20 and 26 rounds, and much more. It has a black polycoat finish and comes in a hard case.

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