As we exit 2019, I was tasked to come up with a list of gear or items I would like to see in 2020; gear that I know is coming out, gear that I might be looking forward to getting in the new year or simply “pie-in-the-sky dreams” for new gear in 2020. I decided to go with the “pie in the sky.” It’s fun to dream.
I really love my .38 Special Colt Night Cobra revolver and carry it quite a bit. However, when I want to carry a lightweight six-shooter, I go with my vintage Cobra .38. The Night Cobra — like all the new issue Cobras — is constructed entirely of stainless steel. My original Cobra has an aluminum frame, which makes everyday carry (EDC) more comfortable. While the new Cobras are marvelous handguns — smooth, beautiful and accurate — I still want an aluminum frame snub-nosed added to Colt’s stable as it expands the Cobra lineup.
So, how about reviving the “Viper” name for an aluminum-framed .38 Special snub? Better yet, maybe Colt could chamber this new aluminum frame Viper in .357 Magnum. Truthfully, however, I’d be thrilled if they just introduced a .38 Special version!
Ruger ‘New Security-Six’
I was crushed when Ruger dropped the Security-Six, Service-Six and Speed-Six from its revolver lineup in 1988 in favor of the significantly larger and heavier GP100. The Ruger Security-Six was a marvelous medium-framed revolver that was built to withstand regular .357 Magnum use. I was issued a stainless 2 ½-inch barreled Speed-Six (chambered for .38 Special) as an “undercover” revolver near the end of my time with Ohio Liquor Control. It was a bit big for an undercover gun but solid as a rock. And it could be easily stripped for cleaning like a semi-auto. I also owned a stainless 4-inch Security-Six for a time and even shot a bit of competition with it after installing a set of Wolff trigger springs.
The GP100 is too big for EDC carry regardless of barrel length. I would love to see Ruger bring back new Security-Six and Speed-Six .357 Magnum revolvers with seven-shot cylinders. I see seven- and eight-shot revolvers becoming more important as certain cities and states restrict semi-automatic pistol magazine capacities — perhaps an aluminum-framed version could be developed as well.
I love the Five-SeveN 5.7×28 pistol. It is an amazing handgun with great potential. I would like to see the barrel length reduced from its current 4.8 inches to 4 inches for concealed carry. I also believe that if FN would do just a bit of re-engineering of the manual safety (placing it in a more conventional 1911 position) the Five-SeveN would find greater acceptance among CCW permit holders. Its reliability is flawless. The 5.7×28 performs like a +P 9mm in ballistic gel. Oh, did I mention the 20-round magazine capacity and 21-ounce weight … with zero recoil?
Retro Scout Rifle
In the 1980s, the late Col. Jeff Cooper advanced the development of his Scout rifle concept — a lightweight, short-barreled, bolt-action carbine with a forward-mounted scope chambered in a caliber that would be effective against man or beast. The idea was that the Scout rifle could be easily resupplied with ammo due to the use of a commonly encountered caliber such as the .308 Winchester.
While multiple companies manufacture their own version of the Scout rifle, most have become ungainly (weighing up to 8 pounds!), expanding well beyond the original Cooper specifications. I would love to see a manufacturer return to the original concept chambered in .243 Winchester.
The “retro” Scout rifle would have a fixed five-shot internal box magazine with cuts for reloading with stripper clips like the 1903 Springfield (Springfield strippers should work fine with .243 ammo). A lack of a protruding magazine allows easier carry and balance, and a five-shot capacity is currently legal in every state. Overall weight with a scope attached would be no more than 6.5 pounds.
The .243 Winchester ammunition is widely available in backcountry shops and gas stations. It is capable of taking large game, and recoil is significantly less than its parent .308 Winchester. A retro .243 Winchester Scout rifle would be a great addition to any survival battery.
What gear are you hoping to get or looking forward to coming out in the new year? Have a safe, prosperous and happy 2020!
About Scott W. Wagner
After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.
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