Posts Tagged ‘pistols’

SHOT 2012 Followup: the Sphinx Pistol

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The Sphinx, a Swiss SDP pistol is the weapon that stood out most for me at Media Day on the Range (well, other than the Bulldog gatling gun, but you can’t easily carry that concealed or on duty). It has to be hard to come up with a new pistol design that doesn’t mimic what has been done before or try to just combine the various strong points from other pistols and put ’em all together. Not only do most people already have their favorite (often displaying loyalty to the point of zealotry) but barring the advent of an incredibly unique new idea or some new material it’s hard to do something truly original.  I really liked the Sphinx, and can say in honesty that it might be one I’d purchase and carry (depending on departmental restrictions and holster availability). That’s the first time in a long time I’ve been able to say that.

Soldier Systems: The Sphinx 9mm Pistol

Joey at War Sport warned us we’d like the Sphinx (they’re owned by Kriss, which he distributes) and he was absolutely right. Sphinx Arms is initially marketing the weapon to military and LE personnel, but are definitely interested in selling to the civilian market. Right now it’s all black, Double-Action/Single-Action with an ambi decock lever and mag catch. One of the really interesting things about it (besides the streamlined way they built the frame, so there’s almost nothing to catch or drag on) is the upper frame, which is built of hard-anodized aluminum (I like the way the Swiss shooters said aluminum) with Teflon inserts. It has a nice integrated recoil buffer, full length guide rods that are machined in (not inserts) and a standard Pic rail with 4 notches.

Though I didn’t notice it at first, the grip is actually interchangeable, with three components. It’s built to withstand extremes of temperature and you can switch the grips out for different shooters (small, medium and large) which might be a plus to agencies where matching the grip of smaller framed officers is a concern (like some female and smaller male LEOs) to some of the hulking neanderthal types (also including some female and many male LEOs).

Soldier Systems Daily: Another view of the Sphinx

The last thing of note are the Defiance sights, which are apparently exclusive to the Sphinx (due to the noise and everything going on I wasn’t able to determine if they were going to eventually offer Defiance sights for sale to retrofit other pistols). Defiance sights are fiber/Tritium day/night green sight with a 2-dot rear sight.

I may wind up getting a Sphinx, if the price is right; if so I’ll give you a more thorough review.

On the range:


SHOT 2012 Followup: Cabot Guns 1911 South Paw

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

As you are no doubt already aware, a substantial number of companies debuted new weapons this year at SHOT Show. Literally dozens, from the big names like Smith & Wesson, ArmaLite and Benelli to smaller domestic companies to those not as widely known or at least widely distributed here in the US (Caracal, Akkar). One of the pistols I took a look at was a 1911 frame built from the ground up by Cabot Guns of Pennsylvania for left-handed shooters. It’s the only true left-hand pistol on the market right now that I’m aware of. No doubt one of you Soldier Systems readers will have more to offer on the matter.

In fairness, I’m guessing I didn’t get as much out of it as some people might have, because I’m not a mutant. I’m right handed. This thing was smooth though, and had a very nice trigger break. The wood used on the grip was their own, which I thought was interesting (meaning it was wood from their own trees from their own property, behind the shop where they’re built). You don’t see that very often. They also take four months to build each gun, which is also not exactly standard. It’s made of 4140 billet steel, designed to exceed National Match accuracy out of the box, with their own walnut as mentioned earlier and also olive wood or box elder. The front sight they use is called the Rozic blind sight, which comes off the front of the breach face. Sights are tritium, white- or gold-dot.

“Twelve percent of shooters are left handed” said Cabot Guns President Robert Bianchin in an interview. “The industry has ignored the left-handed gun cohort and, while we do not make mass-produced guns, we will do our part to provide a true left-handed shooting experience for a select number of gun enthusiasts.”

If you want one, better get after it. If I understood them correctly they’re only building a few this year. I thought the Cabot representative at Media Day on the Range said a few dozen, the website says one hundred.

For more information, check out Cabot Guns on line. The South Paw is detailed on their website here.


SHOT 2012 Followup: Raven Concealment Minimal Vanguard II

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

You may remember last Wednesday we reported on the new minimalist holster from Raven Concealment. Here’s a video going into a little more detail, and some more pictures showing the holster with a different weapon. We talked at length with the boys at Raven Concealment, who advised that Yes, they are working on something for Glocks that use a weapon light, but it will take some time because they’re going to have to build it from the ground up.

SSD: The Vanguard 2 with a long-slide .40 Glock.

The Vanguard II uses the trigger guard to latch onto; that’s obviously not going to work with a pistol light mounted. Next up will be Vanguard II’s for the Smith & Wesson M&P. There are some other things in the works, but we’re going to let them percolate a little more before reporting on them.

This is not a holster they say should be used on duty, before some of you get all up in arms about it. It is a nice way to carry off duty though, and I’ve worn mine now a couple days to see what might cause a loss of retention. So far so good. I even went over a regular chain link fence, though admittedly not at a dead run and unfortunately not in pursuit of a felony suspect. I’m passing it off to some officers to do a little DT next week and will advise how that goes; again, keeping in mind this is for wear off duty and/or concealed.

Forgive the camera work and focus on the product, if you’d be so kind. More on their website and on their Facebook page.

SSD: The other side of the Vanguard 2.