Despite freezing temperatures and an icy wind that had to be felt to be believed, the crowd was bigger than ever at the Media Day pre-SHOT Show event on the range outside Las Vegas. That’s not surprising, as this first opportunity to actually shoot the new products that will be displayed at the show creates a lot of buzz. True to my mission, I stuck with handguns only, and only those appropriate for concealed carry. Here are three that caught my eye.
At the Walther booth, I had my hands on the 9mm PPQ M2. This is an updated version of the popular PPQ, with the interchangeable backstrap. The primary change is that they’ve turned the magazine release into a traditional button in the traditional spot on the grip. It’s ambidextrous – or at least, it can be reversed for either left hand or right hand operation. You might remember that previous iterations of the PPQ, like Walther’s other offerings, put the mag release as a fold-down lever on the trigger guard. Putting the release as a push button in the usual spot makes it much easier to switch from one firearm to another without losing your training advantage.
The thing I liked best about the PPQ was the trigger. It was crisp, with a short reset and just enough weight for positive feedback while shooting. The gun also seemed to recoil less than I would have expected from the light frame, but I’d really like to take it through its paces with various ammunition types before I go on record for that one.
Glock has an updated .45 caliber carry gun. It’s the 30S – and the ‘S’ stands for ‘slim… sorta.’ It’s a Glock 30 body with the slimmer Glock 36 slide on top, making it a little thinner for concealed carry without sacrificing capacity. People have been building these as frankenguns since forever, so it’s nice to see that there’s an official version now from the factory.
Kahr offers a new CW380, a .380 ACP counterpart to the popular CW9 in Kahr’s budget line (or, put another way, a budget-minded counterpart to Kahr’s popular .380 pocket pistol). Like all Kahrs, this one offers a long but relatively light and smooth trigger pull. Unlike most guns in that caliber and class, the CW9 feels solid and quality in the hand. It shot accurately, too.