We’ve made it through the first day of the annual Shooting, Hunting, & Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show with the singular goal of scoping out the more interesting firearms being introduced this year. As usual, there were more on hand than we had shoe leather to burn, so we focused our efforts on the key players in the industry—those whose products fall within most enthusiasts’ budgets and who have the kind of distribution and availability that can put these products in your hands quickly. Although we came across many exciting and intriguing rifles and handguns that caused us to ogle (and occasionally to drool), here are the mainstream homeruns in our book…

Taurus TX22

A couple of things we have come to expect from the folks at Taurus in the last several years is innovation and forward thinking. The company celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and it has spiked the punch, so to speak, with the all-new TX22  .22 LR pistol. Think of this as a factory rimfire hot rod.

Taurus approached the TX22 with a clean slate, merging the company’s in-house engineering talent with top-level competitive shooters to create a “how would you build it” semi-auto. The short story is that ergonomics guided the TX22’s design to result in a handgun with optimal grip and trigger reach, minimal recoil to ensure fast follow up, a short and relatively light (for a factory model) 5-lb. trigger pull, and a 16+1 round capacity.

Based on a polymer receiver, the TX22 mates to a 7075 aluminum slide with front and rear serrations and a proprietary textured grip that is not only “sticky” but also accommodates shooters with a broad range of hand sizes. As you can see, the striker-fire TX22 has the look and feel of a full-size polymer handgun yet is ideally formed and balanced to work with smaller-stature shooters (read: youth and women). Don’t think of this, however, as a starter pistol. Although it is ideally suited for new shooters, the TX22 is a serious contender for anyone looking for a factory-tuned pistol for out-of-the-box competition or to blister paper and steel on the home range. Additional welcome features include fully adjustable rear sights, suppressor-ready muzzle threading, reversible mag release, and an integrated accessory rail.

Savage AccuFit 110 High Country

Savage continues to expand its popular 110 bolt action rifle lineup with the new AccuFit 110 High Country. Built on the company’s stellar production AccuFit stock, the High Country has just about everything we look for in a rifle that isn’t afraid to rumble in the backcountry. Featuring a TruTimber camo scheme, this AccuFit Strata stock offers length-of-pull and cheek riser height adjustability and overmolding along the grip panels and foregrip. The High Country’s barreled action is dressed in a complimentary coyote brown PVD coating that’s around 2-4 microns thick, so it won’t interfere with the tight tolerances we expect from Savage. We also like the fluted barrel and threaded muzzle to accommodate a brake.

Accuracy is one of the high points in Savage bolt—quality barrels and precision actions coupled with the user-adjustable AccuTrigger (another shining point in the Savage world). As expected, the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept the optic mounting system of your choice. Available calibers for the High Country include:

7mm REM MAG, 30-06 SPFLD, 300 WIN MAG, 7mm-08 REM, 6.5 PRC, 300 WSM, 6.5 CREEDMOOR, 270 WIN, .280 ACKLEY, .308 WIN, and .243 WIN.

Remington V3 Tac-13

For close-quarters defense, professionals give the nod to the shotgun. The challenge of using a shotgun for home defense or as a “truck gun,” however, is its NFA-required barrel length. Remington is not the first to workaround that issue by replacing a traditional stock with a pistol grip. The challenge to that, though, has been dealing with the recoil in the preferred 12-gauge.

Remington‘s answer to that is the V3 Tac-13.

The V3 Tac-13 is a personal defense 12-gauge shotgun that has a couple of key recoil mitigators. First is the Shockwave Raptor pistol grip. This is a “bird’s head” style grip made of a glass-filled polymer that provides a good purchase while easing some of the recoil thump compared to conventional vertical grips. Also included is the Versaport gas system, which is self-regulating and further drops the felt recoil. Muzzle management comes courtesy of an adjustable strap integrated into the fore grip. With the semi-auto function, simply hold on and pull the trigger.

Overall length of the V3 Tac-13 is a manageable 26.5 inches. Combined with its lightweight aluminum receiver and 13-inch light contour barrel, the V3 Tac-13 is an optimal solution for anyone desiring a highly maneuverable, easily managed bedside defender.

GLOCK G43X and G48 Slimline

GLOCK adds to their Slimline series of concealed carry-inspired pistols with the 9mm G43X and G48 Slimline models. Boasting the same sleek features as the mainstream Slimlines, such as a trimmer slide and frame, single-stack magazine, reduced trigger distance, RTF grip texturing, and reduced-height sites, the G43X and G48 both boast silver-finished slides with nPVD coating.

Contrasting the two models is the slide length. The G43X is the smaller of the two, with a 6.06-inch slide and overall length of 6.50 inches while the G48 slide and overall length measure 6.85 and 7.28 inches, respectively. Barrel lengths are 3.41 inches for the G43X and 4.17 inches for the G48. Both pistols are chambered in 9×19.

Overall, the G43X and G48 models deliver a smaller print while carrying but not at the cost of a solid grip. The overall width is a sleek 1.10 inches, yet the fuller grip gives control more akin to the larger GLOCK models, thereby delivering the larger mag capacity. So, if you are a GLOCK fan who wants to carry concealed but not at the expense of ammo capacity, the G43X or G48 may be just what you’ve been waiting for.

Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon Rifle

We like hunting the backcountry and like ultralight rifles built for the task. This year, Nosler gets into the ultralight rifle action with their new M48 Mountain Carbon Rifle.

The M48 uses carbon to trim the heft. The barrel is a 24-inch Light Sendero contour bolstered with carbon fiber wrap. Also wrapped in carbon fiber is the Aramid reinforced Mountain Hunter stock in Granite Green. For additional strength, rigidity, and enhanced accuracy, Nosler glass-beds the barreled action (based on the Nosler Model 48) on top of aluminum pillar bedding. In keeping with the hard-use theme, Tungsten Grey Cerakote is applied to all steel surfaces. Finally, a precision Timney trigger with a two-position safety rounds out the accuracy enhancers. Overall weight comes in at a pleasing six pounds.

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