Tag Archives: CZ

Do You Need A Rail Gun?

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Maybe yes and maybe no, but if you do need a rail gun you will need it badly!


By Bob Campbell


rail gun light
Tactical illumination is a great advantage best utilized with the rail gun. When you have a rail gun with mounted light in the home-you can light them up! A rail gun and light can give a homeowner a great deal of confidence, and also avoid an unforgivable mistake… See your target, know your target!

Among the decisions to be made when purchasing a personal defense handgun is caliber, action type, and size and weight. Also now among the options to be considered is the light rail. A “rail gun” is common parlance for a handgun with an accessory rail. The rail is there to mount a flashlight bracket or a laser sight. Some handguns leave the buyer no choice. All modern Glock pistols, save for the very smallest such as the Glock 42 and Glock 43, have light rails. The Colt 1911 may be had with or without a rail, and the popular CZ75 is another available in both versions.

An important part of owning a handgun is pride of ownership. You have to be happy with the handgun.

Some feel that a light rail isn’t fitting on a traditional design such as the 1911. Others feel that the added weight and the possibility of snagging on the holster are real problems. There are also difficulties in finding a proper holster for a rail gun. As an example, the Springfield Armory Range Officer Operator and the Rock Island 2011 Tactical have different light rail designs and demand different holsters.

1911 rail gun
Some don’t think a rail is a good “fit” with a traditional handgun design, but the rail on this 1911 Springfied Armory Range Officer Operator adds great utility in a defensive application, and it’s not obtrusive or awkward in this instance.

But then there are those who like the light rail and some have been in a position where white light has been beneficial to their survival or in situations where they wish they’d had the light. Many handguns feature the technical over the tactical, but the light rail is a tactical improvement. The catch is the pistol is a reactive weapon, when the pistol is drawn in response to an attack. Few, if any, concealed carry permit holsters will carry a handgun with the light attached. They may carry a light in their pocket, but very few will practice quickly attaching the light to the handgun. If you can anticipate a fight, then you had best avoid it or at least get to cover. It is better to have the rail and not need it than to need it and not have it of course. You just have to ask yourself, “Are you are willing to embrace the rail and obtain a suitable light or laser and learn to use it properly?”

rail guns with lights
Rail guns top to bottom: CZ P-01 with Lasermax laser, Springfield Range Officer Operator with Viridian light, and Glock 35 with Insights light.

Practical Concerns
The 1911 pistol balances well. Nothing feels better in my hand. Some 1911 rail guns are neutral.  The new Rock Island 2011 with its monolithic rail is very well balanced. It isn’t quite muzzle-heavy but it certainly dampens recoil due to extra weight out front. The Colt Rail Gun may be an improvement in balance over the Colt Government Model. The CZ 75 is among my favorite handguns. But after a hard test and firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition I find the CZ P-01 a great compact 9mm that is very well balanced. I can fire the pistol more accurately than the full-size CZ. The P-01 features a light rail on its long dust cover. I like this a lot. Keep an open mind when considering a rail gun.

Home defense
The best place for a rail gun is home defense. No handgun is too large to keep at home ready! As an example, one of my personal favorite handguns for “just shooting” is the Glock Model 35 .40 caliber. This long-barrel pistol balances well and it is plenty accurate. The accuracy load, the Hornady 155 grain XTP, breaks over 1180 fps from the Glock 35. The pistol has factory night sights, and with an Insights M3 combat light I don’t think there is anything better as a home defense handgun. This brings us to another consideration.

CZ P-01
The CZ P-01 is a good fit with the Lasermax laser. This stays behind the muzzle even on a pistol this short.

When choosing a combat light make the choice one that is appropriate for the application. A neat compact light such as the Viridian types seem ideal for the Glock 23 class of handguns. No need in having a light protruding past the muzzle. With the Glock 35 this isn’t a consideration but with my compact CZ pistols the smaller lights are best. And it isn’t always lights: it might be the Lasermax Spartan laser for some applications. This is a handy, affordable, and well-designed laser that gives the user a sharp point of reference when the sights cannot be seen. If you do not have a rail gun you would have to purchase expensive laser grips, which are are not available for every handgun.

The rail gun should also be proofed with its attachment in place. On occasion handguns have had their cycle reliability affected with the light attached. I think that this is less likely with steel frame guns. Handguns with frames that give or flex a little in recoil are most susceptible to this problem. This is simply another consideration when you deploy the rail gun, and the answer is simple: test it!

For myself I continue to deploy standard handguns for the most part, usually a Commander .45 or a CZ 75 variant. But I am not blind to genuine progress. I keep a rail gun with light attached and ready to go in the home. Just in case.


Bob Campbell is an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).


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4 of the Coolest Pistols at SHOT Show 2017

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Niche Market

Across-the-board demand, especially for anything 1911, is spurring
some innovative designs.

By Richard Mann:
Just as in 2015, handguns remained the top-selling firearms in America last year. We are continuing to see suppressor-ready
variants, and these are not limited to center fire handguns. The demand for new and varied 1911s remains strong,
and one manufacturer has upped the ante with a high-grade line of custom revolvers. Although most of the innovation is
occurring with polymer-framed handguns, the real news for 2017 is the niche specialization of various models.

Browning

New Browning Pistol

➤ The Black Label 1911-380 Medallion Pro model, in full-size
and compact versions, features a matte-black frame and a blackened
stainless-steel slide with silver brush-polished flats. The grips are
made of intricately checkered rosewood with a gold Buckmark.
Barrel length on the full-size model is 4¼ inches; on the compact
model, it’s 3 5⁄8 inches. SRP: $799.99; $879.99 with night
sights. Black Label 1911-22LR Medallion full-size and compact
versions will also be offered with similar features for $669.99.
The New Black Label 1911-22LR Gray full-size and compact
models are available with or without a rail. The slides on both are
machined aluminum, and the barrel has a gray anodized finish. The
frames are composite, with a machined 7075 aluminum sub-frame
and slide rails. Sights are fiber-optic. SRP: $699.99; $719.99
with the rail. A Black Label 1911-22LR Medallion full size and
compact will also be offered with similar features for $669.99.
To keep up with the demand for suppressor-ready firearms, the
new Buck Mark Field Target Suppressor Ready 22LR model
will feature a heavy, round, 5 ½-inch suppressor-ready barrel
in matte blued finish. It also will offer an integral scope base with a
Pro-Target rear sight and front blade sight. Grips are Cocobololaminated target. SRP: $599.99. The new Buck Mark Lite Flute UFX model will feature a 5½-inch steel barrel with an alloy sleeve and fluting in a matte blued finish. Pro-Target rear sights and a Truglo/Marble Arms fiber-optic front sight are standard. Grips are Ultragrip FX ambidextrous. SRP: $559.99. Booth #15537.  (browning.com)

Ruger

New Ruger LCP

➤ Ruger’s LCP II features a short, crisp, single-action trigger with an inner trigger safety, improved sights, a larger grip surface, an easy-to-rack slide, and an improved slide-stop mechanism
with last-round hold-open. The LCP II comes with a pocket holster and holds 6+1 rounds of .380 ammunition. SRP: $349.
The striker-fired American Compact features a trigger with a short take-up and positive reset. It has a modular grip system, can be field stripped easily, and has an ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release. SRP: $579. The new Mark IV is a revised version of the ever-popular Mark III. The Mark IV is available in Target and Hunter versions, and its most notable feature is how easy it is to take apart. It has a simple, one-button take-down for quick and
easy field stripping. A recessed button in the back of the frame allows the upper receiver to tilt up and off the grip frame without the use of tools. Booth #11940. (ruger.com)

Remington

➤ The R1 10mm Hunter Long Slide is a handgun built with the
hunter in mind. From the accurate, 6-inch, match-grade barrel
to the match-quality, fully adjustable sights, picatinny rail, and VZ
Operator II G10 grips, this pistol will get the job done at distance.
SRP: $1,310. The Remington 1911 R1 Limited is a handcrafted version of the most trusted pistol platform in history, with all the features today’s top competitors demand. Accuracy and speed are key in competition, and with the Limited’s match grade trigger and barrel, wide serrations, and ambidextrous thumb safety levers, it is race-ready right out of the box. Available in 9mm or .40 S&W, the Limited has fully adjustable match sights, G10 grips, and a PVD finishCompact Remington Pistol. SRP: $1,250. As the name implies, the Remington R1 Tactical is a fighting pistol. It comes with a Trijicon rear sight, a beveled oversize ejection port, a PVD finish, a Trijicon front sight, an ambidextrous safety, checkered mainspring housing, a
stainless match barrel, a picatinny rail, VZ G10 grips, and two
8-round magazines. SRP: $1,250. Re-engineered and reintroduced,
the Remington R51 has the same appeal for personal protection
and concealed carry as it did two years ago. Its low-bore axis
helps tame +P 9mm recoil, and its snag-free profile makes it ideal for
covert carry. The single-action design allows for one of the best
triggers in its class, and at $448, it will not break the bank. A version
of the R51 with a Crimson Trace Laser Guard is available for $648.
The big pistol news from Big Green is the new RP high-capacity,
strikRemington Pistol 1er-fired polymer pistol. Available in 9mm or .45 Auto, with
a respective capacity of 18+1 or 15+1, this is a seriously sized duty
pistol with a very slim grip profile. At 26.4 ounces total weight, the
balanced slide helps control muzzle rise and makes the 9mm version possibly the smoothest-shooting duty-size pistol on the market. The RP is also affordable. SRP: $489. Booth #14229. (remington.com)

CZ-USA

The 805 Bren S1 Pistol is an interesting SBR candidate; the new version of the P-09 is suppressor-ready, with a threaded barrel; the unique Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol; the SP-01 Phantom has been brought back due to popular demand.BREN S1
➤ The 805 Bren S1 Pistol with its 11-inch barrel has proven a popular SBR candidate for customers wanting to convert it into an NFA firearm. Those who don’t wish to register with the ATF can equip it with CZ’s adapter kit, which allows easy installation of aftermarket arm braces. Chambered in .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, and now 300 Blackout, the pistol uses the STANAG magazine from the AR15/M16. Picatinny rails top and bottom mean it easily accepts optics and lights, and an effective two-port muzzle brake helps keep the pistol solidly on target and reduces recoil and muzzle flip. SRP: $1,799 to $1,899.

ScorpionFalling somewhere between the
Scorpion Pistols and Carbine, the EVO 3 S1 Pistol is perfectly set up
for those who desire a two-stamp gun. The extended forearm will
hide most suppressors and offers M-LOK attachment points. With
a 7.7-inch barrel and a 5-inch flash can, the barrel is extended to just
past the forend. A factory folding stock is an aftermarket option for
this unique 9mm. SRP: $949. The latest addition to the CZ line of handguns is the P-10 C. This pistol is decidedly CZ, from
the way it feels to the way it shoots. With the CZ grip angle, the P-10
avoids that brick-in-the-hand feeling that has plagued many in the
striker-fired genre, allowing it to point naturally. Interchangeable
backstraps allow it to fit a wide variety of hands. Designed to minimize creep and stacking, the P-10’s trigger breaks at a clean 4 to 4.5 pounds and rebounds with a short, positive reset. It has a fiber-reinforced polymer frame, a nitride finish, a generous trigger guard,
and metal three-dot sights. Capacity is either 15+1 or 17+1, depending on the mag used. The CZ P10-C is available in 9mm
Luger or .40 S&W, and a suppressor-ready variant is available in
9mm. SRP: $499 to $541. Loaded with features, but without
all the flash of the Urban Grey series, the 9mm standard black
P-09 Suppressor-Ready now comes with high night sights and
extended magazine bases, in addition to the obligatory extended,
threaded barrel. SRP: $629.

CZ P-09A new addition to the P-09 is the Kadet
Kit. It is a scaled-up version of the P-07 kit to fit on the longer P-09
frame. Topped with the new Shadow 2 serrated target sight and
a rear height-adjustable-only sight, the P-09 Kadet Kit ships with two magazines. SRP: $249.

CZ SP-01Due to demand, CZ has brought back the SP-01 Phantom. This is essentially a polymerframed SP-01 Tactical, with interchangeable backstraps and mag compatibility with the standard 75 platform. The SP-01 Phantom has long been a favorite in the CZ community and has the distinction of being the current sidearm of the Czech Army. Starting from scratch, CZ engineers
took the best features of the original Shadow and improved upon them. The higher beavertail and an undercut trigger guard
bring the shooter’s hand closer to the axis of the bore. Increased
weight at the dust cover/rail helps keep the muzzle down during
recoil. The Shadow 2’s swappable mag release has an adjustable,
extended button with three settings to allow shooters to set it in
the most comfortable position. The new trigger components provide
a smooth DA and crisp and clean SA pull while drastically reducing trigger reset. Available only in 9mm. SRP: $1,299 to $1,399. Booth #11955. (cz-usa.com)