North Carolina AR-maker Bear Creek Arsenal this week moved into the handgun market with its new optics-ready GENES1S pistol series. 

While it may look like your standard striker-fired 9mm, the GENES1S is a little different, using an all-metal lower crafted from 7075 T6 aluminum – a medium with which Bear Creek is very familiar. Suppressor and accessory-ready, the new handgun comes standard with a 4.5-inch threaded Bear Claw fluted barrel made from 416R stainless steel while the frame has a true M1913 Picatinny rail underneath the slide.

For easy compatibility, it can accept aftermarket Glock Gen 3 internals as well as G17 barrels and slides, and uses G21 style holsters due to the size of the frame.

Bear Creek Arsenal 9mm pistol
The frame of the Bear Creek GENES1S pistol features aggressive stippling, a wider trigger guard, trigger safety, ambidextrous mag release, and a flared magwell for faster reloads. Weight, even with the aluminum frame, is only 26 ounces, unloaded. 

The slide is Cerakoted FDE and includes front and rear serrations and window lightening cuts to reduce weight. The top of the slide runs metal photo-luminescent iron sights and is optic-ready out of the box for RMR-style red-dot sights.

The GENES1S ships with a pair of Korean-made KCI Glock-pattern 17-round magazines and has a base price of $750. While that is kind of an eyeroll price when stacked against a stock Glock or about twice what a budget not-a-Glock clone like the PSA Dagger runs, you have to keep in mind the Bear Creek pistol has a fluted stainless barrel, a kind of cool guy slide, an optics cut, and a metal frame – the latter apparently the mark of 2022.

Either way, it is nice that somebody is finally giving Shadow Systems some competition. 

revolver barrel loading graphic