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Handguns: 2011

From backup guns to full-size duty pistols, manufacturers are delivering innovative police handguns.

January 13, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 Pistol

Smith & Wesson's Bodyguard 380 is an extremely small semi-auto pistol designed as a personal self-defense gun for civilians or as a last-ditch weapon for officers. Built on a polymer frame, the Bodyguard 380 weighs a mere 11.85 ounces empty and has a 2.75-inch-long barrel. Aiming such a pistol can be difficult, which is why the Bodyguard 380 is available with an integrated laser sight.

Springfield Armory XD(M) Duty Pistol

Springfield's XD has been one of the most popular polymer-framed pistols on the markets for years. But it has never really caught on with police agencies, at least not to the extent that Springfield would like it to. The latest model, the XD(M) takes the basic XD striker-fired duty pistol and refines it with professional quality touches such as an interchangeable backstraps and a match grade barrel. Nick Jacobellis praised the XD(M) for its ergonomics in a March 2009 Arsenal: "One of the first things I noticed about the XD(M) is the grip angle. By designing the XD(M) with a slight angle to the front portion of the grip and a choice of three backstraps of different sizes, the Springfield Armory engineers force the operator's hand to lean forward a bit when the pistol is gripped." Jacobellis also lauded the XD(M) for being more comfortable to shoot with less kick than the standard XD. For 2011, the XD(M) is being released in .45 ACP.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR40 Duty Pistol

Ruger announced in October that it was taking the next step in its SR line of striker-fired duty pistols. The SR40 is the .40 S&W counterpart to the popular SR9 9mm duty pistol. Like the SR9, the SR40 is built on a glass-filled nylon frame. A narrow frame and a short trigger reach plus a reversible backstrap give the SR40 excellent ergonomics. The SR40's slide is .060 inches wider than the slide of the SR9. This added mass reduces slide velocity during cycling, cutting recoil, and improving the SR40's service life. The SR40 weighs 27.25 ounces empty and ships with two 15-round magazines. Duty pistol features include a 4.1-inch barrel length, fully adjustable three-dot sights, and an accessory rail. Safety features include a loaded chamber indicator, a striker blocker, a trigger safety, a magazine disconnect, and a frame-mounted ambidextrous manual safety.

FN Debuts Less-Lethal Pistol

FNH USA has announced that it will debut a new less-lethal weapon at this year's SHOT Show. The FN 303P is the handgun version of the company's popular FN 303 less-lethal projectile launcher.

With a range of 25 meters, the FN 303P is designed for use by law enforcement, corrections, and military personnel for crowd control and non-compliant subject control. The pistol fires the same .68 caliber fin-stabilized rounds used by the full size FN 303.

The FN 303P is magazine fed like a duty pistol. Each mag contains a CO2 cartridge and six rounds of fin-stabilized projectiles. To prevent gas leakage, the CO2 cartridge is held in the magazine in reserve until the magazine is inserted into the pistol and the seal on the CO2 is punctured.

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