In retrospect, Smith & Wesson had nobody to blame for the situation but themselves. The company didn’t invent the subcompact, lightweight, single-stack nine, of course. Walther and Beretta had preceded the original Shield to market by a few years with the PPS and the Nano, respectively, and Kahr had more or less created the niche back in the 1990s.
While the hot-as-magma market for guns and ammunition has dominated the news, optics are also selling at a record pace. Fortunately, optics manufacturers have been able to develop and introduce a dizzying array of new products, including line enhancements, feature-rich budget options and technological marvels that were once unaffordable to anyone not named Bezos, but are now approaching price points where many shooters can make use of them. Whatever your needs or budget, we’ve got info on the latest tactical, long-range, self-defense and concealed-carry optics in our annual guide.
Between magnified riflescopes, electro-optics and plain ol’ iron sights, today’s rifle shooters can pretty much take care of everything from the muzzle to several thousand yards (or meters) away. Picking one setup for a narrow range of distances is no problem, but it gets trickier when you need to skin several cats at once.
What is a suitable quick-draw time, and how important is that for the armed defense with a handgun?