Two Unique Firearms From SHOT Show

April 18, 2024
These new models stood out at the annual event in Las Vegas.

Every now and then you get asked a different kind of question. In this case, the question asked, both last year and this year, was: “If you had to pick out a rifle and handgun combination only from what you saw new at SHOT Show this year, what would it be?” Interestingly, in both years the rifle selected was made by Henry Rifles (Henry Repeating Arms). Last year’s handgun was from Glock, but this year’s is from Daniel Defense.

This article appeared in the March/April issue of OFFICER Magazine. Click Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

Briefly, last year’s combination was the Henry Rifles Homesteader. The (then) newly released rifle is semi-automatic and chambered for 9mm. Through the use of magazine well adaptors, the weapon can be fed from a variety of different magazines, Glock among them. The handgun was the Glock Model 47, also chambered in 9mm, and with magazines that would feed the Henry Homesteader. The pair was chosen because, with one set of magazines and one type of ammo, both weapons could be fed. After identifying that pair in the conversation, the immediate argument came back that the “rifle” didn’t really qualify because it was actually a “pistol caliber carbine.”

Arguing semantics seems silly, so it was settled that—for the purposes of that conversation—“rifle” and “long gun” were synonymous. This year, when the same question was asked, the person asking specified a “rifle caliber” rifle. So, no pistol-caliber carbines were allowed in the discussion.

Considering that, this year’s pair would be the new Henry Lever Action Supreme and the equally new Daniel Defense H9 handgun. The Henry Lever Action Supreme (referred to as the LAS from here on) was experienced at Media Range Day and was quite a handy surprise. True to what you’d expect from Henry Rifles, and in keeping with its name, it is a lever-action weapon, but instead of being fed from a tubular magazine running under the barrel, the LAS is fed from a detachable box magazine. Yes, that’s correct: a detachable box magazine. And it gets better.

The Henry LAS is available in .223 or .300 Blackout. The .223 version is delivered with an 18” barrel while the 300B has a shorter 16” barrel. The barrels are free-floated, and the action/trigger/ barrel combinations offer sub-MOA accuracy potential. The trigger is a match grade trigger and on top of the receiver is a length of picatinny rail for ease of mounting optics. The best part of using detachable box magazines is that Henry designed the rifle to accept any standard AR-style magazine. PMags and the more traditional metal mags will all function and feed with the LAS. So, now we have a rifle-caliber, lever action, very accurate, “high capacity,” easily equipped with optics rifle. The icing on the cake is the fact that it has ambidextrous controls, and the barrels are threaded for suppressors if that need exists. For any agency out there arguing with the powers that be about patrol rifles and getting pushback against the AR-style “black rifle,” here’s an easy answer: a lever action patrol rifle in .223 or .300 Blackout that holds just as many rounds in the magazine and can take the same optics. The rate of fire is slower, but shot placement ought to be far more deliberate and controlled as well.

Then there’s the Daniel Defense H9 9mm striker-fired handgun. If you take a look at the pistol profile, the most immediate feature is the fact that the grip frame shares the profile of a government-model 1911-style pistol. The grip angle of the 1911 has long been proclaimed as perfect so using it only makes sense if you’re introducing a new pistol. But if you look at contemporary history for 9mm caliber handguns, a capacity of 15+, a straight pull trigger, and passive firing pin block and a slide pre-cut for optics are all necessary. Again, the H9 delivers.

The frame on the H9 is aluminum to minimize overall weight and feels good in the hand—most especially if you’re used to the feel of a 1911. The grip isn’t much wider than a standard 1911 in .45ACP, and the overall width of the gun is 1” at the slide. The grip slabs are G10, just as removable as those on your favorite government model, and again, offer a familiar feel in the hand. Magazine capacity is 15 rounds and the H9 is delivered with three magazines. The slide is pre-cut for mounting a red dot sight and if you specify the sight when you purchase your H9, they include the proper mounting plate at no extra cost (per their website).

One of the most commented-on features of the H9 is the straight pull trigger. It still has a safety incorporated, but pulls straight back like a 1911 pistol, without any pivot pin involved in the pull stroke. This pistol, like the Henry LAS discussed above, also has ambidextrous controls and is fitted with a cold-hammer-forged barrel. What does that mean? That means it’ll take you forever—if ever—to shoot the accuracy out of this weapon. There are no lands and grooves to shoot out of it. It should (easily) last as long as you do.

That’s the pair: The Henry Rifles LAS and the Daniel Defense H9. For more information on either one, do that Google-fu homework. While both weapons are new on the market, they are both produced by companies with long histories of quality products and excellence in manufacturing. The designs are solid and the imagined uses are plentiful. Between the pair, there is the capability of 300+ yard engagement, backed by the capacity and reliability you need in a secondary weapon (the handgun). There is no doubt that holster manufacturers will (or already have) produce duty and off-duty type holsters for the H9 and if you can’t find magazines and pouches for the Henry LAS, your Google-fu is weak.

Check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

This article appeared in the March/April issue of OFFICER Magazine.

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