May 22, 2020
By J. Scott Rupp
Gun makers are getting ever more creative in their attempts to draw attention to the handguns lining dealer’s shelves. And who can blame them in such a crowded marketplace. It’s not always quite enough to simply add a frame/grip color or style or add a new metal finish to stand out from the crowd. Here are some guns that are pushing the style envelope and challenging traditional aesthetics with logos, emblems and illustrations.
Ruger LCP Flag Series
The American flag motif on the LCP’s slide gives this ordinary-looking .380 some definite zip. The flag is a Cerakote finish, so you’ll it’ll stand up even as it’s standing out. The LCP has a 2.75 inch, black-oxide-finished barrel. Overall length is just a tad over five inches; height is 3.6 inches. It’s a super slim pistol at less than an inch wide, and weight is a miniscule 9.6 ounces. Sights are integral with the slide. Suggested retail is $289
Thompson Auto-Ordnance Revolution
The engraving on this .45 ACP Government 1911 pays tribute to our Founding Fathers and the American Revolution. The right side features the Betsy Ross flag and likenesses and signatures of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, John Hancock and Paul Revere, plus a scene depicting the Boston Tea Party. The left side sports the Gadsden flag, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” and a depiction of Revere riding to meet Washington. The grips are solid copper. An eagle and the Declaration of Independence grace the left side, and the Liberty Bell is on the right. The slide and frame get a distressed Midnight Blue Cerakote with a matte clear overcoat. Made entirely in the U.S.
Suggested retail is $1,277.
North American Arms paired up with Bill Hicks & Company for a cool-looking .22 Mag. revolver with a striking rattlesnake motif engraved into the side plates and snakeskin grips. There are two versions: the Magnum, with 1-5/8-inch barrel and boot grips; and the Magnum Snub with 1-1/8-inch barrel and bird’s head grips. The five-shot revolvers weigh 6.2 (Magnum) and 6.5 (Snub) ounces and have half-moon sights. They feature special serial numbers, and you better get them fast because only 300 will be made. Street prices are $240 for the Magnum Snub and $250 for the Magnum.
Heritage Rough Rider Pinup
Handguns magazine recently featured an American-flag version of this .22 single action, but shooters who are fans of World War II-era pinups might find this line even more to their liking. Shown is the Miss B Havin version; there’s also a My Belle model. The white grips feature the aforementioned pinups, and the finish is standard black. The six-shot revolvers have 6.5-inch barrels and weigh 33.4 ounces. Sights are fixed blade front and notch rear. Suggested retail price is $200.
Kimber K6S DASA Texas Edition
God bless Texas! Kimber’s excellent six-shot .357 revolver is treated to a satin-finished stainless steel engraved in vintage Western scroll. The left-side ivory G10 grip panel features “Come And Take It” and a cannon. This invokes a flag that is a hallmark of Texas pride, commemorating as it does the 1835 Battle of Gonzales—the first military fight of the Texas revolution. The right side sports the star/state outline logo and “Texas.” Barrel length is two inches, and unlike the original K6S, it’s a double-action/single-action revolver. Suggested retail is $1,395.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield Don’t Tread On Me
Smith didn’t exactly go all out here, but if you’re looking for a Shield 9mm that doesn’t look like your buddy’s, the addition of the ubiquitous “Don’t Tread On Me”/coiled snake logo sets it apart. It’s a limited-edition pistol, but other than the markings it has all the features that made this line a great defensive choice: 6.1-inch overall length, 20.6-ounce weight, steel white-dot sights, and Armornite-finished stainless steel slide and barrel. Suggested retail is $374.