In the mid-19th century—just as in today’s world—citizens were clamoring for a concealable, reliable and affordable handgun. Ironically, inspired by the acceptance of his massive .44-cal. 1847 Walker and First Model 1848 Dragoon, the enterprising Sam Colt sensed an opportunity.
The 6.5x55 mm Swedish is an age-old cartridge, drafted for military duty by Sweden and Norway in 1894. The 6.5 mm Swede has also been rejuvenated in recent years due to interest in a host of popular new 6.5 mm cartridges and the stream of new bullets, initially intended for those cartridges, that make the now-classic Swede an even better target and hunting cartridge.
Springfield Armory expanded its XD-M Elite lineup with a .45 ACP-chambered model that's ready for a mounted red-dot optic.
The M1911 is now well into its second century of production, though many features of the design have been contemporized, including 9 mm Luger variants with double-stack magazine such as the Staccato 2011 P tested here, which is one of five M1911-style models made by Texas-based Staccato, the successor to STI International.
Of all the options for home-defense arms, the shotgun has long been a staple for such scenarios, as explored here with Benelli's semi-automatic, 12-ga. M4 shotgun set up according to the teachings of Tom Givens of Rangemaster Firearms Training.