Thursday, February 5, 2015
Do We Really Need A Modern Pepperbox Pistol?
There is an old saying that goes "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." That saying should, in my opinion, be applied to The Reliant from Signal 9 Defense.
What is The Reliant? It is a four-barrel pepperbox-style pistol that weighs 16 ounces and has a 2.63" barrel. The dimension of it are 5.25" long by .94" wide by 4.25" tall. It has a four-shot speedloader that fits into its grip similar to a magazine. It is available in .32 H&R Magnum, .32 ACP, .380, and .38 Special. The trigger pull on The Reliant is 8 lbs. It can come with an integral laser from LaserMax.
Base price on The Reliant is $499 with the red laser being an additional $149. If you want a green laser, that is an additional $299. Extra barrels are available so you can change calibers. These run $175.
If I had to guess, I'd say the designers had the derringer in mind when they developed this. The break-action loading is similar to that of derringers. The change was to add another two barrels.
Signal 9 Defense is positioning The Reliant as a concealed carry gun. They state that it could be used as either a primary or backup weapon by shooters of all experience levels.
Let's look at some alternatives for a small concealed carry pistol. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, the Springfield XDx 9mm, and the Ruger LC9/LC9s are all single stack pistols that are easily concealable and have 7 (or 8) +1 capacity. Sizewise, they are all as thin, approximately the same height, and just marginally longer. In terms of weight, they range from the LC9s at 17.2 ounces to 23 ounces for the XDs-9. They all have a lighter trigger pull.
I checked the prices on all of the above alternatives using Davidson's Gallery of Guns for my local dealer's price. The M&P Shield was $354 delivered, the XDs Essential was $407 delivered, and the LC9s Pro (which I just ordered) was $333 delivered. All of these prices include North Carolina sales tax.
I just can't understand why you'd want to go with a pepperbox (or 4-shot derringer) when you could get a semi-automatic pistol with double the capacity, that is the same approximate size and weight, has a better trigger pull, reloads easier and quicker, has plenty of holster options, and most likely costs less.
It just doesn't make sense to me nor do I see it's utility.