These Are the 5 Best Guns on the Planet (Last Year)
2018 was a big year for firearms. Here are the best.
Key point: The best weapons from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show.
Held annually in Las Vegas, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show is known as the industry event where new firearms of all kinds are introduced to the public. From self-defense revolvers to precision rifles, SHOT is the place to see the latest innovations in the world of guns. Let’s take a look at five weapons introduced at SHOT 2018 that might be among the best this year.
The U.S. Army may not have wanted the Glock’s entry into the service’s Modular Handgun System (it may be reconsidering that decision), but ordinary civilians undoubtedly will, and Austrian company is offering their MHS candidate, the Glock 19X, to the general public. The Glock 19X is a chimera of a handgun, with the frame of the full-sized Glock 17 but the Glock 19’s shorter four-inch barrel. As a result, the handgun is just 7.4 inches long. The pistol weighs just over a pound and a half unloaded, and just under two pounds loaded. This, as other observers have noted mimics the route that Colt took to release the Colt Commander, a derivative of the classic M1911A1 design offered to the U.S. military.
In keeping with the Army’s changeover from .45 ACP to nine-millimeter in the in 1980s, the G19X is chambered in nine-millimeter Parabellum. Trigger pull for this double-action pistol is a crisp 5.8 pounds. The G19X is colored coyote brown and comes with the retention lanyard for military service. A Picatinny rail is built in just forward of the trigger to accommodate light attachments or laser aiming devices. Glock’s latest pistol also comes with three magazines, one seventeen-round magazine and two nineteen-round magazines.
Iver Johnson M1911 Carbine
The 1911 handgun’s reputation for recoil is a bit overstated, but there may be some shooters who would appreciate a recoil-absorbing stock built into the century-old pistol. Unfortunately, adding a stock to a pistol technically turns it into a rifle, at least as far as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is concerned.
Iver Johnson, long a maker of 1911 pistols, has a solution. Introduced at SHOT 2018, Iver John’s M1911 Carbine makes such a setup legal by adding a 16.125-inch barrel. The result is a weapon that looks like it would at home in the trenches of World War I, particularly with a drum magazine attached. The unusual-looking weapon has an overall length of thirty-six inches and weighs four pounds. The detachable stock and grips are both made of walnut. The carbine takes standard 1911 magazines, but a twenty-eight-round clear plastic drum is available from the company.
Colt Night Cobra
Keeping in its tradition of naming revolvers after snakes, American icon Colt has introduced a new self-defense handgun, the Night Cobra. A derivative of 2017’s Colt Cobra, the Night Cobra is a small frame revolver chambered in .38 Special and, unlike other compact revolvers, has a six-round cylinder instead of five.
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The Night Cobra is meant for concealed-carry work, and an effort was made to make to remove protrusions that would catch on clothing. One result is that the Night Cobra has a bobbed or shortened hammer. The hammer is too short to advance the cylinder manually in single-action mode, and the Night Cobra is double action only. Rubber VZ G10 grips ensure a good grip on what is undoubtedly a fairly high-recoil handgun. The sights are user upgradeable.
Ruger Pistol Caliber Carbine
Ruger has a long history of offering carbines, at one point offering a short rifle in .44 Magnum. The new Ruger Pistol Caliber Carbine (PC Carbine) outwardly resembles the venerable Ruger 10/22 rifle with a pistol magazine protruding from underneath. The carbine has a 16.125-inch fluted barrel and breaks down into two seperate pieces for ease of carrying. The barrel is threaded to boot, allowing easy installation of flash hiders, muzzle brakes, compensators, or even suppressors.
The PC Carbine comes in nine-millimeter Parabellum caliber and can take both Ruger and Glock pistol magazines—a smart move, considering Glock sells more semiautomatic pistols than Ruger does. The stock has an adjustable length of pull, for those with longer or shorter arms, and the upper receiver has a full length Picatinny rail for attaching optical sights.
Mossberg, an American company well known for affordable shotguns and rifles, introduced its new, magazine-fed shotgun at SHOT 2018 this year. The Mossberg 590M is similar to the company’s other 500-series pump-action shotguns, but is fed from an external, detachable box magazine. While other Mossberg 590s max out at a nine round tubular magazine, the 590M can accept five-, ten-, fifteen- and even twenty-round magazines.
Mossberg claims that the magazine-fed system also allows users to more quickly change ammunition types—for example, from buckshot to solid slugs—with a simple swapping of magazines. Although heavy, Mossberg says the magazines hang from the shotgun’s center of gravity, making the overall package easier to handle.
Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami. This article first appeared last year.
Image: Creative Commons.