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Honor Guard Update

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At SHOT Show Industry Range Day we dropped by the Honor Defense booth to see what was going on with the Gainesville, Georgia-based handgun manufacturer these days.

2017 had to have been rough for anyone selling small single-stack nines, what with Smith & Wesson dumping massive Shield overstock at fire-sale prices, and the guys at Honor Defense acknowledged that they’d felt it.

Their base offering, the Honor Guard 9, is effectively a direct Shield competitor, albeit with improvements like forward cocking serrations and one of the best factory grip textures on the market right now. Additionally, the HG9 uses ubiquitous Glock sights, giving access to pretty much the largest aftermarket sight selection possible.

Near the end of 2017, the YouTube trend of hitting guns with hammers caught up with the Honor Guard 9. While it had passed ANSI/SAAMI drop tests, the HG9 fell victim to both a series of repeated heavy hammer blows to the rear of the slide (a not terribly relevant test) and the “-30° test,” in which the dropped pistol lands on the top rear corner of the slide. The latter is a very relevant test since it’s how polymer-framed pistols often land.

The 3.8" long slide variant.

The 3.8-inch long slide variant.

Honor Defense initiated an upgrade program, which is standard on all current guns and can be retrofitted to all previous ones. The re-profiled trigger bar and heavier striker block spring increase the trigger pull to seven pounds, but the new configuration has been tested by multiple outside labs and features on a don’t-try-this-at-home-kids 10-foot drop on Honor Defense’s Facebook page.

Going forward into 2018, the basic 3.2-inch barreled Honor Guard 9 is now accompanied by a 3.8-inch variant. The long-slide gun is available with a short dust cover as well as a longer dust cover with an accessory rail. If it were a little longer in the grip, the long slide would be awfully close to the mythical single stack Glock 19 for which people have been clamoring for the last twenty years.

Will the removable chassis become the norm?

Will the removable chassis become the norm?

Honor Defense is also leveraging the fact that their pistol design uses a drop-in “chassis” system for the lockwork, similar the Sig Sauer P250/320 and others, to offer bare grip frames on their website in a variety of colors and configurations. Since these aren’t serialized, they can be ordered directly to the owner’s doorstep should they decide that a change a change of color is in order.

Hints were also dropped of a heavily redesigned v2.0 pistol on the horizon, as well as possibly a completely different firearm line to complement the HG9. Watch this space for future developments.

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