I first met the folks from Honor Defense about nine
months ago, at the 2015
NASGW wholesaler’s show, where they were introducing their
new Honor Guard pistol to firearms distributors. The little
pistol looked impressive, being what I call a “right-sized”
compact pistol. Some of the newest 9mm pistols on the market are
as small as were the 32 caliber pistols of a generation ago, but
this new Honor Guard pistol is small enough for easy
concealment, but has enough heft and size to make it relatively
easy to fire.
The Honor Guard is built entirely in the USA using
American materials, parts, and labor. Honor Defense makes it a
priority to hire veterans and former law enforcement personnel
to assemble their pistols in Gainesville, Georgia. The Honor
Guard pistol shown here was their first introduction, with other
models following soon. The pistol is a striker-fired design,
with a short, smooth trigger which releases with about five and
one-half pounds of resistance, as measured on my digital scale.
The Honor Guard ships with two magazines; a seven-round and an
eight-round, with the larger mag extending below the bottom of
the grip by about a half inch.
The slide of the Honor Guard pistol is made of 416
stainless steel with a black FNC (Ferritic
Nitro Carburized) finish. The frame is of black textured
polymer with an internal stainless chassis that houses the fire
control parts. The trigger is not articulated nor does it
contain a blade safety, as on many modern designs. The Honor
Guard pistol can be purchased with or without a manual safety.
The sample shown here has no manual safety. Disassembly is as
simple as it gets; lock the slide to the rear, rotate the
disassembly lever downward, and release the slide to move
forward off the frame. No need to pull the trigger to
disassemble this pistol.
The Honor guard has ambidextrous magazine release
buttons and ambidextrous slide lock levers. The slide locks open
on an empty magazine. The texture of the grip feels really good
in my hands; much like eighty-grit sandpaper. The design looks
like a burlap feed sack was used for the inspiration. It affords
a secure grip in any conditions, without being overly abrasive.
Perfect. The backstrap is interchangeable, and the pistol ships
with two; a large and a small.
The slide has generous serrations which are machined
into the sides and top of the slide for an ample grip to help
facilitate operating the slide. The pistol is Plus P rated to
use modern high-performance 9mm ammunition. The front of the
slide is heavily tapered to ease insertion into a holster, and
the rear sight is beveled to prevent snagging upon withdrawal
from holster or pocket. The sights are easy to see, with a
two-dot pattern on the rear in white, with an orange dot in the
front blade. The sights are the same size as on Glock Models 42
and 43 pistols, with aftermarket sights readily available. Also,
Crimson Trace already has an excellent Laserguard sight
available to fit the Honor Guard pistol.
The pistol is about the same size and weight as the Smith
& Wesson Shield, so we might as well get that comparison
out of the way now. Both pistols are striker-fired polymer/steel
semi=auto pistols, and both feel similar, but the Honor Guard
has some different features, such as the ambidextrous controls,
stainless chassis, and interchangeable backstraps. Both feel
good, have good triggers, and are easy to control. Like Coke or
Dr. Pepper, both are refreshing, but different.
specifications for the Honor Guard pistol are listed in the
chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear
measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured
at their widest points. The height includes the sights and
magazine base on the seven-round magazine. The trigger pull is
listed as pounds of resistance. The weight includes the empty
|Weight with Empty Magazine
|Maximum Grip Width
||Stainless Steel /
||Three-Dot White / Orange
||7 / 8 rounds
|Magazine Disconnect Safety
|MSRY as of August 2016
tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the
muzzle, and an air temperature of eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit
and a relative humidity of seventy-six percent. Velocity
readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet
above sea level. Velocities are listed in the chart below, and
are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket
bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. Lead Free and TAC-XP are
Barnes homogenous copper hollowpoint bullets. LWSC is a cast
lead semi-wadcutter bullet. UHD is Remington Ultimate Home
Defense hollowpoint ammunition. HCL is a hard-cast lead bullet.
Lehigh XP is a homogenous copper bullet. Velocities are listed
in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.
|Buffalo Bore FMJ-FN
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore +P JHP
|Buffalo Bore +P JHP
|Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP
|Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP
|Double Tap Tac-HP
|Double Tap FMJ
|WCC NATO FMJ
|Lehigh Defense XP
|Sig Sauer JHP
|CCI Blazer Brass FMJ
type of ammunition listed above fed, fired, and ejected
perfectly. There were no malfunctions of any kind, with any ammo
tested. The pistol never failed to lock the slide back on an
empty magazine. The Honor Defense pistol runs flawlessly. Recoil
was easy to manage, even with the Buffalo Bore +P+ ammo. For a
very light-recoiling load, the LeHigh Defense Extreme Penetrator
recoil feels more like a mild 380 ACP load, but the XP design is
very effective in tests on ballistic gelatin. The trigger pull
is very good, with a positive reset, and the wide trigger blade
makes the trigger pull feel even lighter than it measures. The
Honor Guard pistol exhibited very good accuracy for a pistol of
this type, and should serve very well for a defensive pistol.
The pistol is easy to shoot, and easy to shoot well. The Honor
Guard pistol is built right, and built in the USA.
Check out the Honor Defense firearms and accessories
online at www.honordefense.com.
For the location of an Honor Defense dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Honor Guard pistol online, click on the Gun
Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
order quality 9x19mm ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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