The Honor Guard is the flagship solution of Georgia-primarily based firearm business, Honor Defense. At this point in time, 3 interpretations of the Honor Guard model are provided, all in 9mm. Lately I’ve been testing out their typical model, a subcompact that is jazzed up with prepared-to-order custom capabilities and colors.
Given that the company’s debut just a couple of years ago, it is risen from a newcomer amongst what founder/CEO Gary Ramey says are 597 semiauto pistol makers in the United States to a spot in the prime 50 in 2018—a substantial accomplishment for a startup producer thinking about the competitors, ranging from a couple publicly-traded corporations to boutique producers such as Wilson Combat and Cabot Guns.
Lately, I’ve had my hands on an Honor Guard pistol constructed about the company’s typical three.two-inch barrel. A three.eight-inch “long slide” is obtainable also. The test firearm sports Honor Defense’s signature Old Glory Cerakote finish, a battleship gray frame, and typical grip. A no-rear-bulge grip which the business calls 1911 style is optional. This is not to imply there are panels on the polymer grip, just a straight profile on the backstrap. There is no manual security on the test gun, even though an ambi security is optional. The test gun has concealment-friendly shaped polymer front and rear sights, the rear sight getting a driftable dot style and the front getting fiber optic. Tritium sights are optional, as is a laser attachment.
The Honor Guard’s slide is exceptional not only for its bold lettering, which declares the model name, but also for distinctive wraparound cocking serrations fore and aft of the ejection port. Regardless of the selected slide finish, the distinctive molding of the slide goes far to make the Honor Guard distinctly distinctive from a further subcompact that shares a related profile, the M&P Shield.
Like the Shield and most other polymer-reduced handguns, the Honor Guard is striker-fired. This carry-size gun is shipped with each a seven- and eight-round magazine. Further magazines are obtainable to order.
The magazine release and optional manual security can be converted for left-hand operation. The slide quit is smaller, low-profile, and all-ambi, all the time.
Internally, the Honor Guard tends to make considerably use of stainless steel. Field stripping, cleaning, and reassembly share the simple style most people today anticipate of the striker-fired genre, with the smaller exception that the recoil spring guide rod have to be set with the flat side just so in order to reattach the slide. After this is identified, the approach is effortless and quickly.
Any person who’s ever employed a spoon to pry also-cold ice cream from the container knows that it is all also effortless to unintentionally bend stainless steel. This test started with such an expertise, when I managed to enable the Honor Guard to fall by means of a gap in the shelf of my gun secure. It landed on the raised steel rail about the door. Although the Old Glory finish held up terrific to this unintended abuse, the effect bent a tab on the internal aspect of the slide lock slightly, but sufficiently to make the slide lock have a tendency to keep in location. Releasing it needed not only rearward stress on the slide, but some downward stress on the slide lock.
To my amazement, the Honor Guard nonetheless cycled ammunition just fine with this injury, even though manual operation of the slide had develop into a chore. I produced a contact to the business, and was quickly in direct speak to with Mr. Ramey himself. Think me when I say, gun writers get no typical particular privileges when contacting management about solution difficulties! In truth, we get ignored maybe additional generally than common prospects, presumably in an try to stay clear of delving into unfavorable solution press.
But Gary Ramey is no typical gun business CEO. He was rapid to clarify how each and every Honor Guard pistol comes with a lifetime components assure, and stood behind this policy by shipping a replacement aspect to me in just a couple days. “We replace any aspect that breaks,” he explained whilst adding that this was only the fourth slide lock to need replacement in 14,000 of his pistols at the moment in customer hands. There’s practically nothing really like the individual touch.
Ramey also shared a video hyperlink displaying how to get rid of the chassis, which contains the slide lock. A single pin, situated just above and forward of the trigger, very easily released the complete assembly. Replacing the aspect was effortless re-inserting the pin took about 15 minutes of trial and error. All in all, it was a lot less difficult than sending the gun back or to a neighborhood armorer.
On the second test day, a wide variety of ammunition was run by means of the gun, such as Honor Defense’s property-brand frangible, manufactured by Sinterfire. A bit of sleuthing primarily based on prior information of this exceptional hollow point – formed of tin and copper – revealed it is the very same load that had been branded with Group In no way Quit, headlined by Marcus Luttrell of “Lone Survivor” fame. I think this to be a terrific load for civilian self-defense.
But sufficient about this writer’s favourite carry load. The gun ran every little thing else, from Federal Hydra-Shok Deep 135 grain, to Speer Gold Dot +P 124 grain (yes, the barrel is +P rated), to Sig Sauer Elite Efficiency 115 grain FMJ, to Sig’s M17 124 grain +P FMJ, to Hornady 115 Grain FTX Crucial Defense. Not one particular malfunction was skilled in around 170 rounds fired.
Honor Defense prices the trigger weight of this pistol as 7. pounds. On a 10-pull sample employing a Lyman trigger gauge, the typical weight for the test gun is six.three pounds, with only two pulls coming in at 7. or additional pounds. The trigger feels considerably much better in reside fire than dry for some purpose. There is travel standard of the platform, which is to say about .five inches. There is a grainy feeling to the roll as soon as the wall is reached, and reset is on the subtle side, but constant and effortless to develop into employed to with practice. I am certain the people at Honor Defense tire of the comparisons in between their pistol and the Shield, but the trigger to me is reminiscent of the initially generation of Shield pistols—which is to say, an suitable trigger for concealed carry and not also fancy for a newbie shooter. The owner’s manual tends to make a point of instructing the user not to employ trigger reset. This, in my opinion as an instructor, is not for the owner’s manual to determine. Disengaging from the trigger throughout a number of-shot sequences, as implied in the manual, is generally suitable for new shooters or people today who lack master of the motor capabilities needed to run a trigger with precision. This is not to say everyone is excused from standard finger discipline when handling a firearm.
The slab-sided profile of the Honor Guard tends to make it concealment-friendly, at least in this shorter-barrel configuration. Its grip angle borders on 90 degrees in relation to the slide, supplying exceptional recoil resistance when handled properly. I have discovered a lot of who favor this angle and really feel the gun handles additional naturally with it. I did uncover the somewhat quick grip a bit of an obstacle to dropping the magazine, as the meat of my hand tends to block it from falling—but that is correct of any subcompact. The eight-round version of the magazine is an improvement upon the style of that employed by the Shield in that it does not have an annoying collar in between the baseplate and grip base that slides up exactly where it shouldn’t go. It does have a collar, just no sliding. This to me is a considerable improvement in comparison to the Shield’s mags.
Ramey produced a point of saying the slide lock is not produced for releasing the slide the slide is developed to be run with the operator’s non-firing hand. Although I could send the slide residence with some practice on the somewhat tucked-in slide lock, the slide does not regularly go into battery with this technique. Greater to take the further fraction of a second and genuinely rack the side with the recoil spring at complete compression than to threat possible for a malfunction.
Given that Honor Defense has detailed ammunition accuracy information on its internet site, such as comparisons to other well known carry guns, I did not dedicate ammo to an accuracy test this time about, but rather enjoyed seeing if I could make the gun malfunction by loading distinctive brands and varieties of ammo in the very same mag. As a individual protection gun really should, it didn’t appear to care what ammo is in it. Incidentally, the Honor Guard logged much better accuracy than other pistols in the factory test.
This gun has been about a couple of years, and Honor Defense has shown integrity in admitting and eliminating an essential bug. When drop testing, beyond the bounds of US Army requirements, became all the rage amongst gun reviewers, the Honor Guard was discovered to be lacking. Honor Defense did the correct but financially risky point in performing cost-free upgrades as properly as generating all newly created guns genuinely drop secure from even the worst abuses.
If you like the M&P Shield but uncover it boring, or just want to know the business you obtain from genuinely does stand behind its warranty, the Honor Guard may well be the semi-custom 9mm EDC gun of your dreams. If supporting an all-American enterprise is your interest, Honor Defense guns and now, ammunition, are a terrific alternative. The reliability box is checked with this gun, generating it a valid selection for concealed carry. Being aware of that consumer service from Honor Defense exceeds the sector typical very easily tends to make the Honor Defense a suggested choose.
Ordering direct, the base value of an Honor Guard is $299. As pictured, (such as an further eight-round mag) the value is $464. These figures do not consist of shipping or transfer costs.
Specifications: Honor Guard 9mm pistol (supplied by Honor Defense)