The firearms industry offers a lot of variety and there’s always something new. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to invest your money, and what sort of products and gadgets are actually worth it. We are excited to share our five favorite trends in the firearms industry. Hopefully there is something you will love as much as we do!
Red Dots on Pistols
In the open competition category, red dots have been found on pistols for several decades. However, in the last few years, we have seen an increase in carry pistols with red dot mounts included directly from the factory.
We are also seeing every major red dot manufacturer create multiple options for this category in their product line. The general public has taken to slide-ride red dots, and for good reason. Only having one focal plane (the target and dot) instead of 3 (rear sight, front sight, and target) means that the eye and brain can focus less on a good sight picture and more on target acquisition and engagement. Who doesn’t want to work less and shoot faster and more accurately? If you haven’t tried one of these, we recommend you give it a shot.
Double Stack 1911 Offerings
The 1911 has been a favorite pistol for many shooters due, in part, to its crisp, straight travel trigger. In the 1980s a few companies started producing double-stack 1911s, with higher price points, primarily targeted at collectors and competitive shooters. But with the proliferation of compact striker-fired pistols, increased capacity, and affordable price points, it has been difficult to opt for a large single-stack option.
We are seeing more and more companies offer affordable double-stack 1911 options in full-size and compact sizes. STI (rebranded as Staccato) has been producing outstanding pistols fit for competition and concealed carry as long as you're comfortable spending $2000-$4000. Rock Island Armory also released the Tac Series featuring a lineup of high-capacity double stack offerings sub $1000. Last fall Springfield released the Prodigy double stack 1911 in both full size and compact with street prices around $1500.
Other companies are adding double-stack 1911s to their offerings including Stealth Arms with their new Platypus. We are seeing companies like Brouwer produce 1911-style grip angles for current market offerings like the Sig P320, and grip adjustments built into the Shadow Systems line of striker-fired pistols. Many of these new offerings also feature slide-mounted optic options. It’s safe to say the 1911 platform is catching up with the demands of the modern firearm owner, and we can’t wait to see what will come next!
Pistols Engineered for Women
While many of the best handguns for men are also excellent for women, some women might prefer a pistol engineered specifically for the size and strength of their hands. In the past, the best solution to that preference was a revolver. Revolvers are great for this reason, but lower capacity, slow reloads, and a general lack of options left some users feeling overlooked. In recent years, however, we have seen several semi-automatic pistols offered specifically for this segment of buyers. Smith & Wesson released their Shield EZ series and this year Sig Saur unveiled their Rose. These options provide a more user-friendly operation in a modern pistol offering.
Dryfire Training Tools
Ammo scarcity and sky-high prices caused many shooters to supplement their training with at-home dryfire training. For more information on this practice read here. While dryfire is a cost-effective way to train, it can be tedious and the feedback is largely based on the shooter deciding if a trigger press resulted in a good shot or not.
Enter dryfire training tools. A slew of products has hit the market in recent years to increase the enjoyment, accuracy, and quality of at-home trigger time, with a wide range of capabilities and price points:
Range Finding Binoculars
When out on a hunt, or even shooting a PRS or NRL Hunter competition, there are certain tools needed to complete the task at hand. Binoculars are used for a quick survey of the terrain and to identify targets before building a position with a rifle. Once targets have been identified, the next step is to stow the binoculars and retrieve the rangefinder to determine the distance to target for engagement. Managing these devices with different purposes can be cumbersome and time-consuming when seconds matter.
That is why we are glad to see many companies like Vortex and Hawke introducing range-finding binos. Having one device that can provide a quick magnified scan of the terrain and range identified targets in one operation is a game changer. These units will even calculate slope on the fly for actual distance as well as engagement distance based on vertical difference. A single tool that can identify a target and create a firing solution is a must-have for any serious long-range hunter or precision rifle competitor.
These gadget finds are sure to keep you up with the trends in the firearms industry. The adaptable features and efficient processes make these product trends that we love.