Top 5 Firearms from the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting

Top 5 Firearms from 2014 NRA AM

Every year, thousands of people make their way from destinations across the country to the NRA annual meeting and some of us are even lucky enough to be paid to attend this firearms industry Mecca. No matter where you come from or what your profession is, we’re all giddy to see the latest offerings from the leading manufacturers. The 143rd NRA annual meeting went off without a hitch considering  the wide talk of potential anti-gun protests. After covering every square inch of the 9 acres of guns and gear the Indianapolis convention center had to offer, I’ve narrowed down my favorite firearms of the show.



SIG Sauer MPX-P – Who said us civilians couldn’t own a submachine gun? SIG has high hopes for this wicked multi-caliber “pistol”(wink-wink). Not only does this pistol remind me of a mix between an H&K MP5 and UMP, but it features SIG’s tried and true short stroke gas piston operating system. This means no matter what you’re doing or where you’re shooting this baby is going to function. What really excites me is the ability to quickly and easily change not only barrel length but caliber as well. SIG will be offering the MPX in 9mm NATO, 357 SIG, and 40 S&W. All this comes together to give you a small and nimble weapon system that is classified as pistol but readily takes advantage of SIG’s very own SB15 forearm brace. I was told at the show that we can expect this exact model to hit stores soon with an initial street price under $2k.

SPHINX SDP Compact Duotone

SPHINX SDP Compact Duotone

SPHINX SDP Compact Duotone – After being unimpressed at guns coated in every color of the rainbow at the show, I was caught dead in my tracks by this beauty. In my opinion if the Jericho 941 baby eagle and CZ75 came together and had a kid, this pistol would be the end result. The SPHINX SDP compact isn’t brand spanking new on the market but this Duotone model sure is. The SDP uses the same slide in frame and full guide rail design as the infamous CZ but is by no means a clone. You could say that this is a semi custom gun, seeing as how each slide is hand fit to rest perfectly in the metal frame. The folks at SPHINX couldn’t provide me with an estimated date as to when we can see this attractive 9mm at gun stores but after seeing it, I can’t wait to own one.


Faxon Firearms ARAK-21

Faxon Firearms ARAK-21

Faxon Firearms ARAK 21 Upper Receiver– Ok, so technically this isn’t a firearm but it’ll turn any AR-15 lower into a gun we AR guys have always wanted. The ARAK-21 by Faxon Firearms aims to blend all the best features of the AR-15 and AK47 into one unit.  There are other upper receivers on the market that try to make this happen, however with the ARAK-21 you don’t have to change a single thing on your existing lower receiver. What instantly grabs my attention is that this system no longer requires a buffer assembly to function, so now you can finally have that folding stock you’ve always wanted. Another great selling point for me is the easily adjustable gas system, a simple click of a knob allows you to shoot subsonic ammo. Also if you’re not satisfied with the ballistics of 5.56, this upper is available in the hard hitting 300 blackout round. With prices starting in the $1,100 range, you get quite a lot of versatility out of something that you can ship directly to your home.


SRM Arms Model 1216

SRM Arms Model 1216

SRM Arms Model 1216- Similar in size to some of the latest and greatest bull-pup shotguns on the market, The SRM Arms model 1216 is only 32.5 inches from muzzle to recoil pad. What that means for us shooters is an easily maneuverable semi-auto shotgun for clearing rooms or shooting out of a vehicle. Tired of cutting you thumb up when loading shells under pressure? Not a problem with the model 1216, this shotgun features a whopping 16 round detachable magazine. After blasting through the first 4 shells, you rotate the magazine one click over and go to town. Don’t worry about shelling out the big bucks for slugs and buckshot to make this thing run, according to SRM Arms it’ll function flawlessly with the lightest of target loads. Unfortunately picking up a unique semi-auto shotgun has it’s drawbacks (list price is $2,400), however I do think it’s worth it for what you’re getting.

FNH FNS-9 Long Slide

FNH FNS-9 Long Slide

FNH FNS-9 Long Slide– Countless years of testing in various competitive shooting sports have spawned the FNS-9 Long Slide. The FNS-9 has been around for a while now and it only makes sense that FNH offer it in a long slide 5 inch barrel version. If you’re split between an XD or M&P, this pistol is more or less a fusion of those firearms but does it with the impeccable quality that FN Herstal has been known for. I had the chance to talk with competitive shooter Pat Doyle about  the FNS-9, which he uses in USPSA. Pat pointed out several features that make the pistol one of a kind, like the front slide serrations, fully ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release, and the 3 included magazines that’ll go to hell and back for you. I was also clued in that those of us looking to upgrade certain key components of this gun for faster follow up shots should expect to see new offerings from the aftermarket in the near future. Based on the time I spent manipulating this pistol and from the features Pat pointed out, this was my favorite gun of the show. And with a street price of $500, I have a feeling it’s going to be extremely popular in the shooting sports community.

Every firearms manufacturer appears to be honed in to what we gun lovers want, and with the latest innovations as well as the reduction the MSRPs, it’s truly a great time to be in the market for a new gun. Let me know what you think of my Top 5 firearms from the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting, as well as any additions you might make, in the comment box below. As always guys, shoot em straight and be safe!





If it goes bang or has to deal with the outdoors then I am most likely passionate about it. If I'm not at the gun range then I'm either hiking, mountain biking or kayaking. Follow along as I dive into outdoor gear related products and topics.

Related Posts

13 Responses to Top 5 Firearms from the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting

  1. Ryan says:

    I am about to turn 21 and when I do so I plan on getting my CCP and have been deliberating very hard on two perticular firearms, The Sig P226 and the FNH FNS. What would you say are the major differences between the two and any pros and cons you know of between the two specifically? Thank you very much.

    • Jeremy L says:

      Both the Sig P226 and FNH FNS are great pistols, however they are two totally different firearms. The Sig operates with a DA/SA trigger, meaning the first trigger pull is long and roughly 10 pounds and the following shots are a short single action light trigger pull. The FNH FNS has a Double action only trigger, which means that every trigger pull is the same every time and that’s around 5 pounds. Neither of the guns feature a thumb safety. For the price, you could purchase two FNH FNS pistols for the cost of the SIG P226. Also as far as carry guns go, the Sig is 10 ounces heavier than the FNS. In my opinion when people choose to carry a large full size pistol for concealed carry, they eventually end up leaving it at home because of weight and discomfort. Hope that helps!

    • Gman says:

      I have to agree with Jeremy L. The Sig P226 and the FNH FNS are fine firearms but the weight and size can and will be cumbersome. Not saying purchasing either or both would not be wrong either. Great firearms for home personal protection and fun at the range. If your really looking for a good carry firearm that you trust with your life and the lives of your family, look for what is comfortable and fits the caliber and round count your looking for that is the best choice for YOU, What I am saying is there is no “one size fits all” firearm that works for every CCP holder. Obviously your looking for a SA weapon. Check out Colt, S&W, KEL-TEC, Ruger, PARA, and of course Glock. There are others to go to also but don’t skimp on $$$$ but you also don’t have to dip in your saving account. These and other manufacturers make some great compact, lite and affordable carry firearms. in what ever caliber you will be looking for(also, be open minded for a wheel gun for carry). I also suggest that to go to a gun range facility close by that rents and or sell guns to shoot there at their range to check out the particular guns and calibers you’re looking for. You will find out just how they work, fire and feel what is right for YOU. When you find the perfect firearm, then comes probably the second and possibly most important decision and that is how you will carry the firearm. DO NOT SKIMP on your method of carry. Go with good brand name holsters. That cannot be stressed enough. CCP means “concealed carry”. You do not want the public or law enforcement, freeking out or the hassle, seeing you have a gun. This is where the rubber meets the road. As Jeremy L said, this will keep you from leaving the gun at home. Hope this also helps. Just make the right choices for YOU and God willing, you’ll never ever shoot your carry firearm except at the range always practicing.

    • Jeremy L says:

      Couldn’t have said it any better Gman!

  2. Leny says:

    You neglected to discuss the firearm in the cover picture!

    • Jeremy L says:

      My apologies Leny! I tried to cover the newest products at the show and however cool the CZ’s in the picture were, they were not as new as some of the other guns. I hope you enjoyed the post!

  3. CZfan says:

    Gman, that was some of the best advice regarding a first carry gun that ive seen or heard in a long time.
    Before I ended up with the guns I have, I wanted a Glock so bad i could taste it, I had read absolutely everything that was ever written about them and loved it, I had shot other brands of semi autos like SIG, Taurus, various 1911’s but never a glock. I went to a local range like you suggested to Ryan and rented a Compact glock 19 in 9mm and some standard ball ammo and after shooting a few boxes I hated it. I just couldnt get comfortable on the gun I kept dropping the magazines on accident and it was not what I expected. Of course the mag issue was my grip, but since I really didnt have alot of experience with pistols it really turned me off of polymer framed pistols and glock. Now I still dont have a Glock I never liked the grips on the gen 1 and gen 2 models, I hear the gen 3’s and 4’s are better, Ive fell in love with CZ pistols but after 8 years of frequent pistol shooting I can shoot any gun including glocks, polymer frame or all steel, single action only doube action only, double single guns it doesnt matter I am comfortable and accurately shoot without issue.
    So going to a gun store and simply looking at a few and holding a few, then buying one isnt good enough, I certainly reccomend that you either rent the guns that you are looking at or get the chance to shoot them some other way.
    My brother in law bought a S&W MP full size and has some issues with accuracy because how light the gun is and he doesnt shoot enough to get the practice he needs so his trigger control isnt up to par , He can shoot my CZ85 no problem because its full sized all steel and softer shooting than the M&P, no 9mm isnt a hard recoiling round but put it in a light polymer frame and even in a full size gun its alot snappier than an all steel compact.
    Then if you are considering a larger caliber like .40, .45 or .357sig you should be ready to practice a whole lot with a compact/subcompact carry gun because those tiny polymer pistols chambered in 9mm can be alot to handle for newer shooters, and when they are in a bigger round they can be a handfull for anyone

    • Jeremy L says:

      I definitely agree with CZfan. I suggest renting the pistol and shooting at least 50 rounds through it before you spend your hard earned money.

    • Rob Gonzalez says:

      My wife and I discovered what you are talking about when we purchased a Springfield XDs for her carry gun. It’s a nice size but it’s a polymer frame. With a 3.3 in barrel, the gun has a very snappy kick, big muzzle blast and loud as hell. It would deafen both the shooter and the perp. I let her fire my compact RIA 1911 TAC II which is all steel and weighs about 2 lbs. Though it’s a .45, it’s much more comfortable for her to fire. Very manageable even for her…..and very accurate. The lesson is in understanding that small light guns from .380 up are going to be quite snappy and loud and blasty(?). I think most women would be turned of by them as the Springfield was uncomfortable for even me and I have large hands. The Colt Mustang, I found out later is solid steel and aluminum and apparently shoots pretty well but that’s the only subcompact I found that is built like that (after we bought the XDs). It’s a mini 1911!! No wonder it fires well. :-)

  4. […] FN Herstal! GearExpert by OpticsPlanet | Top 5 Firearms from the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting – GearExpert -CN The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. […]

  5. Jim R says:

    What is the first gun pictured on this page?

Leave a Reply

« »

Read previous post:
Guide to Knife Shapes
What’s The Point? A Guide to Knife Blade Shapes

When talking about all of this crazy tactical and hunting gear, it helps to truly know what you're talking about....