Summer is officially here, and the mercury is rising across the country. The heat isn’t just felt at the beaches, parks, and pools – you can find your local range getting hotter, too. Undoubtedly, summer is a great time to train and plink, but there is something about having new hardware on the range that really makes that time shine. 

We’ve compiled a list of the hottest guns for the range in the summer of 2023. Check out the new guns below that everyone should want to shoot on the range this year.


Banner image: FN's new micro-compact 9mm Reflex is sure to be a hit at the range this summer. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

FN Reflex

FN recently brought its “battle-ready” heritage to the world of micro-compact pistols. This size of semi-auto handgun had been conspicuously missing from FN’s lineup for the last couple of years, but no more. The Reflex brings you a 15+1 package with a 3.3-inch barrel and 6.2-inch overall length, while hitting that magic 1-inch width. Perhaps the biggest differentiator for the Reflex, though, is the internal hammer-fired design, as opposed to the traditional striker-fired trigger design employed by every other manufacturer making a pistol in this size. 

The SAO trigger design has promised to give a smooth 5-pound trigger pull but also means it’s easier to rack the slide, and you don’t need to pull the trigger in order to field-strip the gun. We’ve been burning up the range, sending as much lead through this gun as we can to determine if this will be the next gun up in our concealed carry lineup. So far, the results have been promising, and we don’t want to put this latest micro-compact down. 
 

Related: A Closer Look at the new FN Reflex Micro Compact 9mm
 

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC

Smith & Wesson set the firearms world ablaze back in late February with the introduction of the M&P FPC folding carbine. This folding carbine is a first for the famed firearms manufacturer, and sales were instantly through the roof. The FPC has landed on top of bestseller lists since its inception, and it’s not hard to see why.

Folded, the carbine is just 16.375 inches, and when in battery, it measures 36 inches. It can maintain an optic when folded, comes with a zippered carrying case and three magazines, and carries popular M&P features like grip texture and trigger. When you match all these features with a price point under $1,000, it’s no wonder it keeps selling out everywhere. 

Luckily, we got our hands on one. We haven’t been able to put it down, either, becoming the envy of anyone we meet at the range. 
 

Related: Smith & Wesson M&P FPC – The Ultimate Truck Gun?
 

TTI Pit Viper

Now, what may be the coolest but also most unattainable gun on this list, the Taran Tactical Innovations Pit Viper. This gun was featured in “John Wick: Chapter 4” as the main handgun Mr. Wick sports. While that in itself should make this gun extremely desirable, there is a whole lot more to it that makes competitive shooters and range junkies alike drool with envy. 

This is a Ferrari of a race gun, but just like select sports cars, quantity is limited. Only 400 of these pistols are being produced. With over 600 people on the waitlist and more being added every day, you don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that not everyone is going to get their hands on one of these. The gun shoots super flat and stays on target, thanks to an incredible trigger and integrated comp. If you happen to have deep enough pockets to add one of these to your collection, then you’ll be the talk of the range.
 

Related: New ‘John Wick 4’ Gun Up for Grabs – Taran Tactical Pit Viper Review
 

SIG Spear

We’re finally getting to the long range with SIG Sauer’s latest installment for the U.S. Army: the SIG MCX Spear. While this isn’t the exact rifle you’re going to see in the military – no select fire and differing gas port adjustments – it’s the closest you’ll get without enlisting. While the Spear clocks in heavier than its M14 predecessor, it is feature-rich and set to upgrade our troops in a major way.

Features we love on this rifle are its true ambi nature, with everything from mag release to charging handle to safety being ambidextrous. The left-side charging handle with a built-in detent spring to avoid snags is another nice addition. Finally, the ability to easily fold the stock is a nice touch that surely won’t go unnoticed. While the rifle is rated for combat accuracy to 600 meters, we were easily able to place hits at 1,000 yards on an IPSC-style target. At the end of the day, this is rifle that is a joy to shoot, and we didn’t want to stop the fun.
 

Related: Testing The Army’s New Battle Rifle – SIG MCX Spear
 

Marlin 336 Classic in .30-30

The Marlin resurgence under the Ruger banner has been nothing short of amazing. These rifles seemingly sell out overnight, and the 336 Classic chambered in .30-30 is no exception. The 336 was a staple in the Marlin lineup for years and now has seen a rebirth under the new ownership. It has fans in a frenzy to get their hands on one of these.

The attention to detail and quality aren’t hard to miss. With American black walnut furniture, deep checkering, and a blued alloy steel receiver, this rifle is a handsome catch. While many of the features and details have been kept the same, such as the gold-colored trigger, you’ll notice the different rollmarks and red-and-white bullseye in the stock that set it apart as a new rifle. It has been very accurate and a pleasure to shoot on the range, and we’d be happy to try it out in the deer woods come fall.
 

The Re, Re, Return of the Deer-Dropping Marlin 336 Classic
 

Taurus Defender 856 TORO

We couldn’t leave the wheel gun fans hanging. Rounding out the list is the Taurus Defender 856 TORO, the first ever mass-produced optics-ready defensive revolver. This nifty revolver is chambered in .38 Spl and is ready to accept Holosun K-series (Shield RMSc) footprints for red dots. We got our hands on this new wheel gun, which is both budget-friendly and ready for concealed carry or home defense. Adding the Holosun 407K was easy work, and soon enough nothing in range was safe on the mountainside. 

The slick addition of the optic pairs nicely with the matte black look, making for a revolver that is modern and appealing. With a 3-inch barrel capable of firing +P, it’s a capable choice for defensive work or an afternoon of plinking around whatever range you happen to visit. 
 

Related: Taurus Defender 856 TORO Brings Optic-Ready Performance to a Revolver

revolver barrel loading graphic

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