Guns & Patriots

The Best New Firearms of 2011

If you want to know what is hot in the gun industry you have to get to the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show held every January.  Manufacturers, retailers and even we members of the press all descend on Las Vegas to see what products will dominate the market in the coming year.

Earlier this month, the 2011 SHOT Show gave us a pretty clear view of what cool new guns to expect this year.   Here is a sample of just a few of the great new guns coming out.

Ruger LC9

The Ruger LC9 is an example of the new trend in concealed carry firearms: thin, single stack 9mm pistols.  The LC9 is a double-action only, hammer-fired pistol that is slightly larger than its very popular .380 ACP cousin, the LCP.

The sights on the LC9 are better than most pistols of this size, using a three-dot system.  Barrel length is a touch over 3”, width is less than one inch and the unloaded weight is about 17 ounces.

Recoil on the LC9 is only marginally snappier than the LCP, but offers the benefit of a “full-power” cartridge.  Expect to see a “street price” of less than $400.

Taurus Raging Judge 28 Gauge

Upping the ante in the “big boom” revolvers, Taurus is now chambering the Raging Judge in 28 gauge.  Where some people could argue the 410-chambered Judge was underpowered for self-defense, few people could argue that the 28 gauge Raging Judge isn’t up to the task.
This Raging Judge holds five shells, has a double-locking cylinder for added strength and uses a red fiber optic sight.

While rumors of an ATF ban on this gun swirled around the SHOT Show, Taurus said the gun will be ready for import into the USA later in the year.  A MSRP is not yet set but I guess around $800.

MGI Belt-Fed Hydra

How can you improve the most versatile AR-15 on the market?  Make it belt fed of course.
The MGI Hydra MARCK 15 rifles allow you to swap barrels and magazine wells in seconds, meaning you can change from 5.56 to 7.62×39 using AK mags and without swapping the entire upper.  Now the Hydra can be belt fed, too.

Whether you are taking on a battalion of prairie dogs, or just blasting away at the range, the Hydra is ready for all you can feed it.  MSRP is $3,999.99.

Diamondback DB9

Diamondback Firearms introduced a single-stack 9mm pistol to complement the .380 ACP they brought to market last year. 

The DB9 is a double-action only, striker fired pistol.  The pistol is very thin at only 0.8” wide, but still holds 6+1 rounds of 9×19.  The DB9 has a 3” barrel and weighs only 11 ounces (unloaded.)

The DB9 definitely can pass as a pocket pistol, but in a more powerful caliber than the .380 ACP normally found in similar sizes.  The DB9 should ship later this year and street price should be $400.

Charter Arms CARR

Ever want to shoot a rimless cartridge, like a 9mm or .40 S&W, in a revolver, but without the pain of using moon clips?  Then you want to take a look at the Charter Arms Rimless Revolver (CARR).

The CARR uses an ingenious system with floating plungers to allow you to use rimless cartridges just like rimmed.  The rounds just drop in and extract as easy as a regular .38 Special. 

The CARR could be the perfect back-up gun for many people, as it gives the owner the ability to maintain the same ammo as his or her primary auto-loading pistol, yet still offer the rugged reliability of a revolver.

The .40 S&W version should ship by midyear, with the 9mm version of the CARR shipping toward the end of the year.  MSRP will be around $450.

H&K MR556

One of the fabled rifles that most of us will never be in a position to buy is the HK416 rifle.  The good news is Heckler & Koch is now making a civilian version called the MR556A1.

The MR556A1 is a gas pistol rifle that is equipped with a two stage trigger, free-floating, quad rail and a 16.5” cold hammer forged barrel.  The barrel is not chrome-lined.  H&K states the 416 bolt can not physically be inserted into the MR556, so don’t get any crazy ideas.

The M556A1 should be available by mid-2011 and come in under $3,000.

Sig Sauer 556R

Sig Sauer is bringing the 7.62×39 cartridge to the popular Sig556 rifle.  The truly exceptional move on Sig Sauer’s part was to make the rifle compatible with the large number of reliable and affordable AK-47 mags that are in the marketplace already.

Responding to customer demands, the Sig556R is a combination of a superior rifle platform with a widely available intermediate power cartridge.  The 556R has a folding and adjustable stock, 16” barrel and an A2-type flash suppressor.

The 556R will ship later in 2011 and cost around $1,100.

That is my short list of the best new firearms of 2011.  Leave a comment on any new firearm or product for 2011 you would like to share with the readers.

Editor’s Note: GunsandPatriotsFeb – is the discount code for Take a moment to visit the site and use the code. GunsandPatriotsFeb - is good on purchases $200+ and will be active all month.

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  • newzroom101

    I find it interesting that as concealed carry becomes more popular people are looking at single stack pistols. The problem, of course, is that you lose larger capacity magazines. I recently purchased a Smith and Wesson 637 to put in my pocket … it only has five rounds, but the single stacks are getting pretty small.

  • Rickohh

    I have always favored the single stack for concealed carry… Colt Officers .45, Colt Mustang .380……

  • 70diamonds

    All look impressive. The DB9 looks to be the perfect conceal carry weapon. It is impressive and handsome. One day maybe this old salt will purchase one. Thanks for the review and all you do. Keep your six straight, and your powder dry.

  • Jeff

    Great run down on some really nice new shooters, Thanks for the info

  • bobjon

    conceal carriers dont need large magazines ,we not out to apprehend bad guys like the PO lice ,we just want to end it and survive and get out of there

  • Bob

    I agree im not out to arrest anyone,I carry solely for protection of myself my family,and others in need.And I do mean in need so dont think if youre getting a traffic ticket,ill come buy and save you.

  • bobjon

    we so called civilians, that conceal carry, are not out to apprehend bad guys, and want to end a confrontation as soon as possible,and not engage in a prolonged gunfight like the POlice.therefore single stack should suffice for us.

  • rasdebol

    In the end the BEST concealed carry weapon is the one you will ACTUALLY carry ! While we would all love to have that .50 caliber Desert Eagle for self defense that is not a practical CC handgun. While .380 isn’t the world’s most potent round (better than nothing, right?) there appears to be a whole bunch of “mousegun” sized 9mm (Parabellum, 9X19) pistols hitting the market. Single stack = smaller but there are and will be more dual stack ones for those that don’t mind the bit of extra bulk. The Walther PPK now looks like a giant next to these “pocket guns”. It’s all good!
    Just my .02 cents.. Ras

  • roadapple66

    I like the new single-stacks. I have a Ruger LCP, but I usually carry a S&W j-frame. I used to have a Kahr MK40 (with night sights) and a Sig P239 (in .357 Sig, and night sights. I really liked both of these pistols, but unfortunately, I fell on hard times and had to sell them. I used to have a Glock 29, but it was sold to buy groceries. I now have a Glock G26, and I like it a lot. It’s a brick, but not hard to conceal. I think as technology improves, we will see more(smaller) offerings. The 5 shot revolvers are shure selling well, as they should be. For concealed carry, one must find the handgun that fits them well, is easy to shoot, with a powerful, effective cartridge, and above all… Reliable day in and day out. Get all the training you can, and practice, practice, practice. Stay safe… JR

  • gzigoris

    Some make it sound as if it’s morally wrong to carry optimum rounds.I am sorry but I don’t think it all ends after you shoot your 6,7 or 8 rounds. You are fooling yourself if you think you just shoot and walk away. Single stacks are okay but I want to be there when the whole thing is over. How many Magazines are you carrying to make yourself confident that you will survive. Don’t fool yourself into feeling safe if you are only carrying 12 rounds into a gunfight.

  • gzigoris

    Single stacks are nice. I have some I carry but I can’t limit myself to just a single stack when I have the means available to carry enough rounds to survive that gun fight you talk about. What do you do when your single stack is empty? Think the bad guy is just going to stop? You’re going to die if you aren’t prepared. Read Dave Grossman in this same issue and learn what it takes to be prepared. Now Col. Dave is one serious Dude and tells it like it is.

  • 19gundog43

    I carry my Kel Tec PF-9 everywhere in FL. 7+1 9mm. It will get the job done. And is almost as accurate as my full size Ruger Special Addition. Also the spare clip of 7 rounds is small enough to carry and not even notice it.

  • 19gundog43

    Just like women can’t have too many shoes. Gunners can’t have too many rounds. Rather have a few rounds left after the dust settles than find myself out of ammo and SOL.

  • exarmyofficer

    Belt fed; that’s one technical way to get around a 30 round clip ban.

  • exarmyofficer

    I look forward to what’s new concerning shotguns.

  • exarmyofficer

    If I can’t diffuse the situation with a drawn weapon, regardless of the number of rounds it holds, than I’m having a bad day.

  • JD Glock

    To each his/her own – but I consider the event will be fast, unexpected, and violent. So I want the most I can get – In CC I agonize between the G30 and G23 over 3 rds and .40 vs .45 and find myself with the G23 usually (13+1). But recently bought some boxes of .45 230g JHP +P and may go ahead and lose the 3 rds.
    I have a .72 caliber by the bed.

  • Richard

    I carry a .40S&W Springfield XD-40 Tactical with a 5 inch bbl in a cross draw horizontal shoulder holster. And the knock down power at longer distances is better than a .45acp. I like the Springfield because you don’t have a safety to fool with, you can draw and fire in a quarter second or less with practice.
    In the summer though, I have to wear my 9mm Brigadier in a high rise pancake holster covered by a sport shirt…a bummer.
    The PA-63 is a very light and cheap 9X18 makarov made in Poland. It can sting your hand though.
    But a .38 (9X17) or makarov (9X18) or 9mm parabellum (9X19) are all 9mm diameter cartridges…and seemingly much smaller, to me, than a .40S&W that I prefer.

  • nmgene

    I am checking my ballistics charts but I do not believe the 40 has more nock down power then a 45 acp at any range. I carry a TZ 75 in 41 action express almost as much power as a 45 acp and more then the 40. Yes ammo is hard to find but it holds 13 rounds. My star pd holds 6 with one in the chamber of 45 acp. First you must hit what you aim at When I carry the star I always carry extra loaded mags. I rarley miss and if I cant take care of the problem with 14 or 21 rounds I am in a war and will not be relying on my handguns.

  • sb577450

    RE: 28 Gauge Raging Judge Revolver – 28 gauge has a bore dia. of .550 inches. (Same as a BOYS anti tank rifle.)Therefore any firearm over .50 inches with a rifled bore would be a Destructive Device (DD) under the NFA and would have to be registered. (Shotguns are exempt because they have sporting purpose) Also I don’ know how Taurus can import it for one because generally NFA firearms are not importable unless they are for LE of GOV use. Interesting to see what shakes out.

  • TBirdTom

    I used to carry my S&W 4013 (.40) in winter and my J-frame in summer but 2 years ago I disciplined myself to carry the .40 year-round. Sadly they replaced it with the 4013 TSW which is a double-stack gun. My discontinued 4013 single stack holds 8 and I always carry an extra mag. It works well under a T-shirt and shorts with a belt and strong-side holster, open-top. No more elastic-waist shorts–that’s the discipline. The .40 equalled the .357 in Marshall & Sanow’s 1-shot stop stats at about 98% as I recall. I like Federal’s Personal Defense rounds but there may be something better now.

  • TBirdTom

    I’ve been carrying my S&W 4013 about 15 years but only in winter. They replaced it with the 4013 TSW which was a double stack. Mine holds 8 plus I always carry an extra mag. I summers I carried my J-frame (live in AZ) but 2 years ago I disciplined myself to carry the .40 year-round. It works well under a T-shirt in a strong-side open-top holster but you have to wear a belt–no more elastic waistband shorts–that’s the discipline. The .40 equalled the 1-shot stop stats for the .357 collected by Marshall & Sanow at about 98% so it’s a proven stopper on the streets. I use Federal’s Personal Defense loads though there may be something better now. The J-frame is easy to carry in a pocket or elastic waistband in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster but the .40 is more reassuring to have.

  • Rivera

    I will never part with my Security Six either. I use both 38s and 357s with the that ruger.

    Good column.

  • tyounce

    I disagree. There is NOTHING like having massive firepower on my person when I carry Concealed. I never screw around. I carry a Ruger P345 in .45 acp. My Holster has 1-back up magazine and I wear a double mag pouch on the weak side. So I have 1 in the chamber, safety OFF, 8 in the mag, and 3 back up mags of 8 each.
    All hollow points and I train in my yard all the time.
    I HAVE been the victim of an unprovoked attack by 2 ASSAILANTS at once and was not carrying. It was a brutal fight and it was they, not me, who were being chased down the highway. ( case ) for proof. 1/6/06
    These MOOKS were dead set on my destruction and now. I am prepared for the worst case scenario.
    I will NEVER be in a situation, where it is I, the moron who runs out of bullet’s and is draped in that nasty yellow crime scene sheet.
    I will, if nothing else, kill as I am being killed. I just will not DIE because I wasn’t carrying enough bullet’s!

  • JingoJohn


    WHY do WE need to FILL OUT A BACKGROUND CHECK (4473), A TWO (2) PAGE FORM WITH INTRUSIVE QUESTIONS DESIGNED TO NEGATE OTHER AMENDMENTS, of the US Constitution, CREATE “PERJURY” and FELONIES (by misinterpretation) and “CERTIFY” (which would CREATE an additional offense) to buy a product which we are CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED to be able to posses.

    THEN, if we want to carry it in public, in most jurisdictions, we have to get a license to exercise our SECOND AMENDMENT CIVIL RIGHTS?

    Consider the above when MOST states refuse to require mere PROOF of CITIZENSHIP to exercise VOTING rights!
    (Don’t give me the “Voting Rights act” crap! The 2A has a longer stronger history! OR, the ‘guns kill’ baloney!)

    BTW, Did you know that a SPEEDING TICKET in MOST states could make you FORFEIT your G*D GIVEN, Constitutionally protected, Second Amendment RIGHTS? See form 4473, question 11-C.
    (“…for which a judge COULD have imprisoned you for more than one year…)

    WANT TO QUIBBLE about “imprisoned” and “jailed” SEE ‘by misinterpretation’ above!!!!!!

  • tpuckett

    just how many magazines would you advise me to carry…to survive?

  • bobjon

    well depends on where you live and how big the perceived threat is in that area ,,it is low around here ,and I usually only carry one ,or an extra loading for a revolver ,,in a speed loader, but if going to a larger threat area or traveling, might take an extra clip or 2,or extra gun ,just in case get trapped somehow .. one never knows .I usually figure if have a confrontation it will be all over in a couple shots or seconds and ill either be dead or a winner . is very seldom one would be trapped ,for a prolonged shootout .but its each individual’s choice .. good luck.
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Disqus
    Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 10:32 AM
    Subject: [heo] Re: The Best New Firearms of 2011

    tpuckett wrote, in response to bobjon:

    just how many magazines would you advise me to carry…to survive?

    Link to comment:

  • bobjon

    often I only have my small NAA 22 magnum revolver (6 oz.) in my front pants pocket ,, besides any carry gun ,so if forget the carry gun or don’t happen to put it on ,I at least have something that will make quite a noise anyhow . and first couple rounds are shotshells for in case I see a rattler around the place.
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Disqus
    Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 10:32 AM
    Subject: [heo] Re: The Best New Firearms of 2011

    tpuckett wrote, in response to bobjon:

    just how many magazines would you advise me to carry…to survive?

    Link to comment:

  • michael

    yes, it”s hits that count, pratice, pratice, pratice…..

  • toadster

    I used to carry a Kimber Ultra 45 ACP and now swear by the new Beretta Storm PX4 9mm. I use Hornady 124 gr TAP FPD rounds in a 13+1 double stack. I also carry a Taurus Judge on occasion and believe you me anything that blasts a grapefruit size hole @ 12 ft is no underpowered pistola!

  • Warmil

    I couldn’t find anything at that link about the case/scenario you state. I, too, had a similar incident many years ago while on a construction site. By the grace of God and a piece of two by four I prevailed with only a broken jaw and some serious contusions. Now, alot older and wiser, I carry a Colt Fitz Special 38 inside the waistband loaded with JHP, Two Snake Shots(handloads), followed by more JHPs. I don’t carry a reload but can coolly put all the JHPs in a index card at 8 ft standing, sitting or laying. The Snake Shots are there because I know that adrenalin makes me nervous. This setup is on me at all times except while showering or when prohibited from legally carrying, even at church. No one knows it’s there and I prefer it that way. I’ll walk away from any confrontation if I can, but will defend myself if I must.
    Great article and discussion.

  • Warmil

    And practice, practice, practice, some more, in every imaginable position. I have a friend that is ex-Delta, who runs through the paces with me several times a month.

  • GunLady

    Women and the number of shoes or anything else they own has nothing to do with a column regarding new guns for 2011. Women, too, own guns and the amount of ammo they carry is their own business, depending on the quantity of guns they routinely carry. I do carry an extra magazine for my CCR gun, but don’t expect to ever have to use it.

  • 19gundog43

    Good Grief Gunlady, have you never heard the terms metaphor or allegory!
    Look-them-UP! People who cannot understand these things and still walk
    around armed are freaking scary.

  • Dylan George

    thats funny that you had to carry that little ass gun around with you

  • A

    Statistics show the average total number of shots fired are 3 between you and the bad guy. If you need more than 6 to 8 rounds you shouldn’t be where you are in the first place.

  • A

    Hell, go for 8 magazines then why don’t you! Pack a few grenades too!

  • A

    Wow! Someone is off their medication! Please put the gun down and see a shrink.

  • johninalaska

    everything you need for a common grounds in all areas might be a 38 super i have a EAA 38 super first production big and bad enough compact is still single or double stacked so even the extended clips are not longer by more than an inch and its a heck of a round all around, easily rivals colts old school 38 super and the eaas and colts have been standard police issue in central mexico instead of the 9mm in the U.S. plus just a suggestion try one instead of just reading the specs shooting one wont hurt and may more than likely give you a new round to love. if you havent already tried one… i recomend the first run or last run eaa 38 super though..—- John in alaska

  • Nay Jephthah

    i want a pistol

  • Hammer

    The bad guys who murder, steal and rape, go prepared to accomplish their deeds. Even the police officers, with their training and weaponry, sometimes go down. Weapons at home in the gun cabinet are of no value when the situation arises. Too often, more time and money are spend on weapons for hunting and sporting, than those that are on our side. Do what you want, after all, it’s only your life! Springfield 1911, Gold Dot JHP 3 clips. and lots of empty casings lying around.