January 10, 2023
By James Tarr, Handguns Editor
If you’re a gunwriter…first, my apologies, for not having a real job, or marketable skills, but there are some benefits to the job. If you are a gunwriter, Christmas starts in late October and lasts through the second week of January.
While many manufacturers have begun debuting new products throughout the year, including at the NRA Show at the beginning of summer, most new product introductions happen at SHOT Show, which takes place in January, usually in Las Vegas (one of the most the most anti-gun convention destinations!). So, the sneak peeks of these products start in the fall and stretch all the way until SHOT. The only bad thing about these events is having to keep your mouth shut for a month or three about cool new guns until they are publicly announced.
It was to one of these events that Firearms News was invited this past December—the Colt/CZ Pre-SHOT Media Event, held at the world-famous Gunsite Academy in Arizona. Gunsite is the largest and oldest privately run firearms training facility in the world. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend taking a course there. For those of you not paying attention, CZ recently bought Colt, and they are now officially the Colt CZ Group (which includes CZ, CZ-USA, Colt, Colt Canada, and Dan Wesson). Now to just a few of the new products talked about at the event, most of which you’ll see reviewed in Firearms News over the next year.
The biggest new product at the event, both in physical size and surprise, was Colt’s new CBX bolt-action rifle. Yes, you read that right. The CBX is a modern chassis-type rifle. The gray aluminum chassis has a flat-bottom forend with ARCA rail, M-LOK slots on the side, and adjustable length of pull and cheek rest. While Colt has a long history of going after military and police contracts, they will likely sell more of these to people interested in PRS shooting. The CBX will be offered in .308 Win (24-inch barrel) and 6.5 Creedmoor (26-inch barrel). The barrels are carbon steel and button rifled, with nitride finish, and a 5/8x24 threaded muzzle. Trigger pulls are adjustable from 2.5-five pounds. It’s fed by a detachable, five-round AICS pattern magazine and has a 60-degree bolt throw. At $1,899 MSRP, these rifles are affordable.
The “M5,” this next-generation Colt AR-15 has already been publicly announced, but this event allowed gunwriters to get their hands on it. This rifle has a 16.125-inch CMV barrel with an extended M-LOK compatible handguard, flip-up sights, Magpul CTR stock, and A2 grip, with an MSRP of $1,999. What’s different about the M5, beyond the bilateral controls on the lower receiver, is the barrel/nut/receiver design. The barrel has a tapered extension, and the handguard only contacts the upper receiver. This should result in less barrel stress and increased accuracy, the only question is how much, and whether the difference will matter to the consumer, especially with the increased price over a standard Colt M4, in a very saturated market.
Colt Python 3"
Colt’s reintroduction of the .357 Magnum Python was huge news a few years ago, and now they have expanded the line to include a three-inch-barreled model. Still just as beautiful as the other models (Colt says it has a “semi-bright stainless steel” finish), with an excellent trigger, but now sized down a bit and better for concealed carry if you were so inclined. The Python is also available in 4.25- and 6-inch models. This three-inch version has smooth walnut grips and an MSRP of $1,499. It’s almost too pretty to shoot. Almost.
Colt King Cobra Target .22
This .22LR King Cobra revolver was debuted at the last NRA show, and while I was able to get hands on it there, it wasn’t until this Gunsite event that I was able to shoot it. A 10-shot .22, available with a 4.25- or 6-inch barrel, these revolvers are just a joy to shoot and probably the most popular pistols at the range among the veteran, jaded gunwriters. Great for target shooting, plinking, or training new shooters, these guns have minimal recoil and are just a beautiful as the Colt centerfire revolvers. MSRP is $999.
Dan Wesson DWX
The Dan Wesson DWX has been eagerly awaited by many people since it was first announced in 2019. Think of it as the mash-up of a CZ 75 and a 1911. This pistol sports a grip contour similar to a CZ 75 and is fed by inexpensive and available CZ P-09/P-10F magazines, but it has a 1911-style single-action-only trigger pull with a sliding (not pivoting) trigger. When this pistol was first announced, Dan Wesson had prototypes of a compact version, but for this full official rollout, the first model is a full-size, all-steel gun with bright red grips and a matching trigger. It is available in 9mm, and those big magazines hold 19 rounds. Samples on hand were beautiful and looked like some alternate reality 1911 with a link-less bull barrel and no MIM parts. The front strap is checkered 25 lines per inch. MSRP is $2,099.
CZ Field Sports 712 G3
This semi-auto hunting shotgun has been a huge success for CZ, and with the third generation, they’ve changed and improved a lot of things on it, so much so it’s darn near a new gun. It has an altered receiver, improved trigger, improved and moved safety, comes with stock shims and new butt pad. The rib has been narrowed to 7mm. The shotgun is provided with two different gas pistons (for light/heavy loads), and it uses CZ’s Active Choke System. These chokes are longer for tighter patterns and threaded in the middle for stability. They are designed to work perfectly with the 712’s .735-inch bore. This shotgun is available in several different options (wood, synthetic, camo), and best of all, the CZ-USA 712 G3 is very affordable with models running between $579 to $679.
These are not all the guns Colt and CZ showed to the media, and if you’re tired of black rifles and polymer pistols, you’re in luck. Look for a 4-inch .44 Mag Colt Anaconda, a redesigned TS 2 Orange from CZ, and an AO1-SD OR (short dust cover optics ready) from CZ Custom, all sold by CZ-USA.
About the Author
James Tarr is a longtime contributor to Firearms News and other firearms publications. A former police officer he is a USPSA Production Division Grand Master. He is also the author of several books, including CARNIVORE, which was featured on The O’Reilly Factor. His current best-selling novel, Dogsoldiers, is available now through Amazon.
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