The Firearms Industry Needs More Innovation pt.4

Didn’t realize that I was going to make a fourth part to this series, but some stuff has come up recently that feels related. So, here we are.

First off, an update to an earlier part. In Part II I praised Smith & Wesson for their introduction and legitimization of the bullpump shotgun, in the form of the M&P12. It came out just weeks later that every M&P12 made on or prior to Oct. 15th 2021 was under a recall for catastrophic failures of the barrels. []

This is the kind of stuff that stifles innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. Cracking barrels is not a flaw of the design type, but of someone not checking their math and quality control at the factory. But guess what? This issue will ruin this gun’s sales for years, if it ever recovers. And it will also likely ruin the image of the bullpump type of shotgun for a while, and for no fault of it’s own. As you can tell, I’m very disappointed in Big Blue over this one.

Now for the next reason I’m writing this post: The Smith & Wesson CSX. Pics of this gun were leaked (possibly intentionally) very recently and now the YouTube reviews are coming out. As of writing S&W has not formally announced the CSX, but it looks like this gun was planned to be announced soon anyway since SHOT 2022 is a few weeks away. [Update: It was formally announced on Jan 10, 2022] As mentioned, the YT reviews are starting to roll out. The one I embedded below is pretty informative and not too long. This guy actually has spent time shooting one and kept his video length under 20 minutes. The quick & dirty is that the CSX is a P365/Shield+/Hellcat style gun. A micro-compact but with a double-stack magwell, and it comes with a 10 and 12 round mag in the box. What sets this gun apart is that instead of being striker fired, it is SAO hammer fired. As I am currently evaluating market options for hammered fired carry gun, this greatly interests me. Other stuff about the gun is that it has an aluminum frame instead of industry-standard polymer, it has no front rail, and has no current provision for optics. I fully expect the factory to offer those options soon.

There a few ways to think about this gun. Its a sub-compact 2011. Its an SAO P365. Its a Shield EZ9 without grip safety. This gun combines features of a number of existing, popular guns that haven’t been combined before. I am cautiously optimistic about this one. I am still a little bitter after the M&P12 fiasco detailed above.

Finally, the last thing that I want to talk about, and what really prompted me to write this post, is a yet to be announced handgun caliber, .30 Super Carry! [I got a lot of info from this page, so you should check it out there for more info] This is the first handgun caliber that I’m aware of that was created solely for the CCW use case. Every handgun caliber that I’m aware of going all the way back to 9mm Luger was created for military or police use, but not the .30 SC.

This is going down in case size and loading what to my knowledge has never been a commercially successful caliber projectile. A smaller diameter casing means more rounds in the same sized magazine, as in a 10-round 9mm mag that holds 12, or a 12-round 9mm mag that holds 14 or 15. A smaller projectile means less recoil, too. You could walk around with a dozen rounds in a micro compact gun that shoots as soft as a full-sized 9mm, but without the drop in performance that going down in cartridge used to require. Speer and Federal claim that their loadings have ballistic gel penetration in the 14″-15″ range. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Look at the mag capacity demonstration

Here’s why I find this so interesting: This gun already has support for major gun and ammo makers. And by major ammo manufacturers, I mean Speer, Federal, and Remington.

Yes, those are Gold Dots.
Cheaper practice ammo is a necessity, and it’s already here
Check the caliber on the barrel.

As for major gun manufacturers, I am talking about Nighthawk and Smith & Wesson. [note: I had no idea I was going to talk about S&W so dang much today]

Nighthawk has also supposedly announced their intention to chamber guns in .30 Super Carry. I’m going to take this page where you can order one as proof enough to believe it.

In conclusion, it looks like there are new and interesting things happening in the gun industry. I do find it odd that I seem to hear about stuff Smith & Wesson is doing more than other people, and considering their shotgun issue, that’s not entirely a good thing. I’m sure other companies are doing interesting things. I do want to commend Shield Arms on their improving Glock’s 43x/48 and now even the 43 through superior magazine design. They are taking what would otherwise be obsolescent ‘new’ guns from the least creative gun maker on the planet and bringing them into the 21st century. I wish them the best of luck moving forward, though I doubt they’ll need it.

Innovation can come from anywhere, and often from a direction we least expect. I am eagerly looking forward to SHOT Show in the next few weeks, as I’m sure we all are.

Stay safe, and keep your eyes open. We’ll see you next Friday.


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