After a nice night out with my relatives, I was ready for my last day of SHOT Show coverage today. I have some interesting stuff to share, including pictures and details about Holosun’s unannounced, prototype ultra-low pistol red dot.
Saw this news this morning on Facebook. BUL is introducing the AXE pistol at IWA 2019. It looks like a Glock-clone striker-fired pistol. There are supposedly “duty” and “sport” models that will be announced soon. If it uses Glock mags, I think it may prove fairly popular in Israel and Europe, but it’s going to be tricky to market it in the USA.
It is unclear whether this is designed to replace the Cherokee; there is still a robust market for DA/SA guns, but BUL has traditionally been fairly aggressive in keeping a small product line. If that is the case, it does seem possible we’ll see the usual importers selling surplus Cherokees at a bargain price… keep your eye on Gunbroker. (RIP CDI Sales!)
I’ve previously reviewed the BUL Cherokee Compact “2nd gen” handgun. Spoiler alert: I liked it a lot.
But before the 2nd gen gun, there was the original “Gen1” BUL Cherokee. The 2nd gen gun has very distinctive looks – an elongated dust cover, finger swells and a rail. The first gen gun, however, looks very much like a Tanfoglio Force 99 copy.
But that’s OK, because I’ve never owned a Tanfoglio Force 99 before, so it’s all new to me. I recently bought a Cherokee Gen1; read on for my thoughts.
It looks like another supplier for BUL handguns has entered the fray: Liberty Gun Sales of Ohio. They’ve got a price list up and everything, and the prices are actually pretty good. (Pro-tip: dealer prices are for dealers, don’t expect it as a regular person. :)) Competition is a good thing, and BUL getting further into the US market can only bode well for us.
LGSOS is selling Cherokees (FS and compact, G and non-G), M5s, and Classics. Alas, no SAS variants, Classic Ultras, or Mini Cherokees. I am super-tempted to pick up an M5 Ultra-X in 9mm, and maybe grab a Classic Commander in 9mm and slap some Recover Tactical grips on it.
Rating high in the “realm of things I’ve never seen before”, my police surplus BUL Storm Compact came to my FFL with a broken mag catch. Ordinarily, I would not consider this to be a big deal, but since I needed to submit it to the Maryland Handgun Roster Board for approval in a working state, this was less than ideal, as the gun was punted back from the board for fixes… meaning another 4-5 month round trip for approval The magazine would fall out if any real pressure was put on it from the top… such as stripping a round from the magazine.
I wound up using a new EAA Witness mag catch from the Ben Stoeger Pro Shop. He shipped it the same day I ordered, and it came very quickly. This was the newer-style (post-2004) magazine catch, so it’s also a bit of an upgrade. Installing it wasn’t hard, but did require three hands.
I had previously opined that BUL had never released the “official” factory mag sleeve for the BUL Impact. Apparently, this was not quite true, because a pair of 9mm BUL Impacts being auctioned off by Mach1Arsenal on Gunbroker have them:
These appear to work like the 3D-printed ones that I’m using – slip over the top of a full size magazine and just slide them down. There’s no locking mechanism at the top of the heel of the sleeve, which I had theorized might be a way of keeping it permanently connected to the grip. Unlike in the official shots, this sleeve doesn’t seem to be pinned to the bottom of the magazine. It looks to me like these sleeves are what would have been the bottom of the Impact’s grip if it were full-size.
As you’ll recall from my review of the BUL Impact, I loved the pistol, but bemoaned the lack of a way to get a nice flush fit with the full length BUL M5 9mm magazines. There was a product image showing a sleeve adapter, but I had never seen one in the wild.
Well, if you can’t buy it… you build it. Or in my case, you 3D print it.
It’s been a long time in coming, but Battle Ready International has updated their website and is now selling BUL Classic 1911s in 9mm. They seem to have them in Commander and Government lengths, but not the oh-so-sexy Ultra / Officer length (or at least those aren’t up on the website). After having handled an Ultra-X, I am a real believer in compact 1911s, and hope they’ll get on that soon.
I also see BUL Cherokee Compacts with threaded barrels now, which may prove a good option for someone looking for a nice, easy-to-suppress Israeli firearm.
For the longest time, I was convinced that the BUL Cherokee Mini (which is to say, the Cherokee variant that has a smaller frame ala the Storm Compact) was never put into production, either as generation 1 or generation 2.
Imagine my surprise when someone at BUL corrected me, told me it was in current production, and sent me a picture! You can see it above. The interesting thing about the Cherokee Mini is that it’s chambered in .380ACP. I’m guessing that it might be selling well with the current events in Israel.
I also have a picture of a gen 1 Cherokee Mini (9mm), but I don’t know if that ever made it out the door.
One of my “grail guns” has always been the BUL M-5 Ultra-X, dating from my first year of getting into firearms. I’ve always loved its combination of compactness and firepower. For a long time, I had been holding out hope of getting one in 9mm, but it became clear through my research that if any Ultra-Xs in 9mm were ever imported, it was probably vanishingly few. I settled on a Charles Daly .45ACP model that a reader offered at a good price.
My thoughts? Read on!