The Honor Defense Honor Guard Series

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Honor Defense has introduced their new Honor Guard series of sub-compact 9mm handguns. Designed with usability in mind, the new handguns have a variety of features and options that will appeal to the market (that I personally feel was left hanging by the so-so Glock 43).

The Honor Guard series is designed to be sub-compact 9mm handguns replete with features that are typically found on higher-cost offerings. The handgun is 100% completely and totally ambidextrous. The magazine release and the slide release are both mirrored on the handgun. If one wanted to opt for a manual safety model, the safety is mirrored on both sides too, with placement and operation like the common 1911 platform.

Of personal interest is their FIST (Firearm with Integrated Standoff) which features a lower picatinny rail longer than the slide itself. It creates an unusual looking firearm, but I can see how it would keep a user from accidentally putting a finger or hand in front of the muzzle.

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However, it is likely that the FIST frame is designed for the upcoming “Long Slide” versions which Honor Defense is saying is coming soon. If that is the case, I am highly interested to see what the long-slide can do. For me, its much easier to conceal a slide than it is a grip and with the long slide means a better sight picture and more velocity, a win-win.

 

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My only complaint? The Honor Guard lettering on the sides is a little over-the-top. MSRP is pegged at $499, with the first guns shipping (supposedly) in November.

We will request one for review and see if its everything I hope for.

 

 

Full Features List, Courtesy of Honor Defense:

  • – Custom designed grip with an advanced texture that provides a secure grip for better control
  • – Short crisp trigger with a short re-set for more accurate shooting
  • – Snag-free sights that won’t catch on your clothes when drawing the pistol
  • – Serrations that go over the top of the slide for easier racking
  • – Ambidextrous slide catch to fit everyone
  • – Ambidextrous magazine release to fit everyone
  • – Two (2) magazines (7 round and an 8 round)
  • – Two (2) sizes of backstraps so you can customize the fit for you

Title photo courtesy of American Rifleman, which some additional details on the handguns. 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • El Duderino

    Those are some cool lookin’ custom Shields.

    Oh, wait…

    • Nicholas Chen

      Exactly what I was thinking. They look like S&W Shields.

      • Gary Ramey

        You have a sharp eye my man! But time to think again!

        If the Shield had the following, you might be right…..but it doesn’t.
        – Exchangeable back straps.

        – Custom serrations over the top.

        – Custom stippling covering where your grip is

        – Finger bump in the grip
        – Wide trigger
        – Ambidextrous magazine release.

        – Ambidextrous slide catch.

        – Ambidextrous manual safety (if equipped).

        – Snag-free sights (they should be snag free for when you are drawing the pistol)
        – Rear sights with flat leading edge so you can rack with one hand

        – No trigger pull needed for dis-assembly
        – No tool needed for dis-assembly
        – Crisp trigger with short re-set
        – Metal Striker housing (do you know what material they use….hmmm?)

      • Gary Ramey

        That’s like saying Kate Upton looks like Hillary Clinton…..
        Maybe after several beers, c’mon man!

        • Don Ward

          That’s a lot of beers to make Kate Upton look like Hillary. I mean, unless the smoking has caught up with here and there was a horrible accident filming those game of war commercials…

          • Lammo

            That should probably be the other way around (and it’s more like an IV hooked up to fuel pump hooked up to a huge rail car full of beer). 🙂

          • JK

            And Hillary would have to tattoo her name on her forehead.

    • Edeco

      I dunno, I think aftermarket stippling ruins the… oops, never mind.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Do like the Shield? But hate the options available and want to pay more for it?

      Well, do we have the gun for you!

      • Gary Ramey

        Better product is not for everyone, some people buy on price.
        Bell helmet used to have an ad that said:
        “If you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet”.

        • Andrew

          So, you admit that your product is inferior to the one it was copied from, but you believe people will still buy it simply because it costs more. Good luck with that.

          • Gary Ramey

            Nice try, but not taking the bait.

          • That’s literally the opposite of what he said.

    • Gary Ramey

      Dude!
      If the Shield had the following features they would be the same.
      – Modular stainless steel chassis (someone forgot to mention that in the review)
      – Custom serrations over the top
      – Custom stippling where your hand grips the pistol
      – Exchangeable back straps
      – Grip with a finger bump and grooved to fit your hand for comfort
      – Ambidextrous magazine release
      – Ambidextrous slide catch
      – Ambidextrous manual safety (if equipped)
      – Short trigger pull
      – Short trigger re-set
      – No trigger pull for dis-assembly
      – No tools needed for dis-assembly
      – Snag-free rear sights for when you are drawing
      – Rear sight with flat front edge for one-handed racking
      Oh wait…

      • JumpIf NotZero

        99% opinion or buzzword.

        You shillin bro

        • Gary Ramey

          Just the facts. Figured you might like them.

          • Semi-transparent overlay with a Shield and an Honor Guard, shading on the backdrop hastily removed to make the silhouettes clearer.

            Do you disagree that they seem quite similar?

          • Gary Ramey

            Kip, I have noticed that all sub-compacts with a 2.9-3.1″ barrel are quite similar.

        • Gary Ramey is the President of Honor Guard.

          • Gary Ramey

            Hi Kip!

          • Gary Ramey

            Kip Staton is Journalist in Texas.

      • El Duderino

        The Internet. 99% snark, 1% facts. Don’t ruin the ratio, bro!

        You don’t need to pull the trigger or have a tool to disassemble a Shield.

        “Short” doesn’t mean much…just a plain ol’ adjective. A comparative with some stats would have been better e.g. “shorter by 33%”

        Serrations that go over the slide…why are those good?

        Some of the other features are nice, but with Shields starting to head toward $300 it’s a tough sell. “More for more” is a decent selling proposition but “more for less” is still the undisputed champ.

      • iksnilol

        Only of those that attract me is the mag release (if it truly is ambidextrous), , the ambi controls and the sights.

    • raz-0

      I don’t know that they are shields, but I’m pretty sure they hired away STI’s rollmark designer.

  • iksnilol

    Is the mag release truly ambi? On both sides at once that is.

    Also, I believe the standoff is so that you can press the gun into an attacker without jamming the gun.

    • Gary Ramey

      Correct, it’s a standoff device.
      Yes, it is ambidextrous…….magazine release, slide catch and manual safety (if that model is chosen) have controls on both sides.

      • Andrew

        Does the standoff device have a glass breaker or a bayonet lug? In addition to standoff devices, I feel those are must haves on a pocket pistol.

      • Yes, pretty clearly designed so the muzzle can be pressed up against something without taking the pistol out of battery — i.e. contact shots. Not sure how that was misinterpreted in the article, especially given it’s specifically called a “standoff” device. Considering a huge number of people choose to carry a revolver due heavily to the fact that it will function for contact shots, I wouldn’t be so fast to denigrate this as a gimmick. Or, at least, as something that won’t be appealing to a decently-sized demographic.

      • iksnilol

        I mean, do I have to change anything to use the left handed mag release?

        What I am asking is do I need to change any parts to go from righty to leftie? Or can I just throw it into my other hand and use as is?

        • Gary Ramey

          It has standard ambidextrous controls on both sides of the firearm. You can throw it back and forth!

          • iksnilol

            Nice, I was just worried since many people claim ambi but you have to change parts (see Tavor).

            + it seems like a good gun to dual wield 😛 just keep one on each ankle.

  • BearSlayer338

    Looks suspiciously like modified S&W M&P Shields.

    • Gary Ramey

      That’s like saying you look like a modified Joe Biden.
      Not so much (I hope).

      • BearSlayer338

        Not really,you can clearly tell it is Shield with stripling different slide serrations and the same exact magazine but black and of worse build quality.The only major difference is that the firecontrol unit is removable,if glock could sue S&W over the Sigma pistols S&W will be able to and should sue Honor Guard Firearms.

        • Gary Ramey

          Bear, that’s like saying you can be sued for pretending to know firearms! What did you think when you shot it?
          And btw, the magazines are specific to this pistol, they are not from another firearm. Some companies do that, but this one is specific to this line of pistols.

          • BearSlayer338

            Yeah right that’s why the Magazines are exactly the same as shield mags but with poor welding in the back to where you could see the weld seem from 10-15 feet away.Worse build was in regards to the magazines.Your like EAA telling me my CZ75 mags aren’t exactly the same as theirs and won’t interchange.(they do) You aren’t fooling anybody and BTW their are already photos of “your gun” de-assembled in a GunsAmerica review so don’t give me that line of BS.

          • Gary Ramey

            You have some confidence on this?
            Let’s put some money down, loser buys dinner at SHOT Show for Nathan and the winner.
            I say Honor Guard magazines don’t work in a Shield.
            Want to take that bet?

          • Dr. Daniel Jackson

            We get it your paid to defend the product to your dying breath, company man.

          • Dr. Daniel Jackson

            Looks like you’ll be owing BearSlayer a coffee at SHOT show then,your magazines and the S&W ones a 100% identical other than the color.

          • Gary Ramey

            Look again, more closely at the Honor Defense “prototype” magazine.
            A second opinion is sometimes called for in emergency cases like this Dr DJ.

            And did I mention that the Honor Guard has ambidextrous magazine release?

          • Daniel

            Slight difference in the mag catch. Not much of a difference. But still. It’s the details. It’s like uzi mags. Only “modified” uzi mags work in 9mm AR’s.

          • Andrew

            That’s because HONOR GUARD mags are Shield mags, with an HONOR GUARD logo stamped over the S&W logo and then refinished. Notice how you can see a faint half circle in the bottom of the HONOR GUARD logo on those mags? Same mags = same internals.

            Yet Gary Ramey will be here to tell us how the HONOR GUARD isn’t a Shield knockoff in 3…2…1…

          • Daniel

            Am I the only one who can see the “tab” about 2/3 of the way up on the forward side of the honor guard mag over the mag catch? I don’t have a dog in this fight. My daily-ish carry is a 9mm shield with safety. Great gun. Love it. I don’t think Honor Guard Guy said anything about where the mags may have started life. (Like as a shield mag) But I believe him that honor guard mags won’t work in a shield. Somebody owes somebody a lapdance.

          • Gary Ramey

            I’ll just take a black coffee instead……

          • Gary Ramey

            If you don’t have a lot of confidence, we can back that down to coffee.

  • How about some full-sized pistols for a change?

    • john huscio

      Like the vp9?

      • Sure, it’s a start. I’m looking hard at the Walther PPQ 45, though…all the stuff the VP9 is, but in .45.

  • Don Ward

    Needs more mentions of the word “honor” in the name.

    • BattleshipGrey

      At least it doesn’t tell us where the “grip zone” is.

      • Don Ward

        You mean the Honor Zone?

        Nah. Your joke was better.

    • Gary Ramey

      Honorable thought….

    • Andrew

      The “Honor System” sights are a game changer. You say you hit the target, so people believe you.

  • Riot

    FIST frame – for when you want to ruin the point of a compact slide

    • Gary Ramey

      Gosh that’s funny….what a riot.

    • Gary Ramey

      Should have called it the “FWYWTRTPOACS”, but seems hard to spell….

    • maodeedee

      Also not a good idea to put forward slide serrations on a gun this short. it encourages people to put one of their hands in front of a loaded gun.

  • Andrew

    Honor Guard pistols – for people who want S&W Shield looks with Diamondback DB9 reliability.

    • Gary Ramey

      Andrew,
      What was your experience with the firearm that makes you say that.
      Ooooh, it’s zero????

    • Gary Ramey

      You haven’t even shot the pistol and you are dissing it.
      Have a Snickers bar…..

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Uh huh… And despite having not shot it, YOU are here in every thread defending it. I think we found the company man.

        • Gary Ramey

          Didn’t know you were looking for me!
          It’s not like I signed in under an alias!
          Heck call us tomorrow, we are proud of the weapons and like to talk shop.
          Will tell you all you care to know about them.
          Number is 678-943-8035.

          • Gary Ramey

            No calls yet….10:47am.

          • Gary Ramey

            2:33 pm. one call from a gentleman on the thread to talk about different pistols. Thanks for the call?
            No “hater” calls yet.

        • Andrew

          Gary Ramey definitely outed himself. I bet that’s not even his real name. Is it, Gary Honor?!?!

          • Gary Ramey

            OK, let’s bet a coffee on the name as well.

          • Andrew

            It was a joke. You know, like HONOR GUARD pistols?

          • Cymond

            I was gone from TFB for a week. I really wish I’d seen what was originally posted. I’m guessing Gary deleted it (assuming it was gary).

          • Gary Ramey

            I decided to delete my responses to a few people.

            It became counter-productive.
            Since they have never seen the firearm, never fired the firearm, and are not in the industry, seemed pointless to argue with them.

            But I am a “company man” and it seems that working for a living offends some of these folks.
            I looked up their backgrounds and can see why they are bitter.

            If you’d like some more facts on the firearms, feel free to give us a call.
            The number is on the website.

  • Nathan, the FIST frame is there so that you don’t accidentally push your gun out of battery on a contact shot. It’s not a safety device.

    • This. It’s designed to allow contact shots similar to the way a J frame can be used.

      Great concept, but I think the reception to that particular model will be quite stand-offish.

      • I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE

  • Captain Obvious

    Thank goodness it was designed with “usability” in mind. Being designed to not be used is kind of pointless.

    • Gary Ramey

      Since some other gun companies have already produced firearms that don’t work well, we thought we would obviously try something else.

  • mosinman

    Did somebody say Long Slide?

    • MR

      “Only what you see, pal.”

  • Kelly Jackson

    It’s really not a bad looking gun, but the whole “Honor Defense” makes it look like it was issued to the Hitler Youth for the defense of the motherland.

    • Anomanom

      I tend to agree. Or else its marketed for use in honor killings

    • Gary Ramey

      Sorry mein freund, the firearms are made in the USA and all suppliers are American.

      • Andrew

        The HONOR GUARD in 72pt font down the side is so it can easily be identified at a distance in gun shops, allowing you to avoid that display case without wasting valuable time.

        • Gary Ramey

          You need a hug.

      • JK

        Lend-lease, then. Nice.

        Wait, wrong side.

        • JK

          “If the cash is there, we do not care.” 😉

  • Swarf

    I’m holding out for the CROSSING GUARD series.

    • Edeco

      … Sneeze Guard

      • Grindstone50k

        Point Guard

    • Andrew

      The CROSSING GUARD does come with a cool reflective vest finish, but I like the built in whistles on the SECURITY GUARD series.

  • Edgy

    Nothing said about the sights, except they won’t snag on your clothes. Not enough info about the sights !

    • Gary Ramey

      Three dot sights with an orange front sight.
      Note the design of the rear sight, snag-free for when you are drawing and flat front edge.
      So you can rack with one hand.

    • Andrew

      The “Honor System” sights are a game changer. You say you hit the target, so people believe you.

  • MAGDUMPED

    The Stand Off is so it doesn’t come out of battery when pressed against flesh…

    • Andrew

      The standoff device is so people immediately walk away when they see it at a gun shop.

  • Grindstone50k

    This Gary guy really needs to take a less in customer relations…

  • Strongarm

    What about the trigger action?…SA, DAO, SA/DA, Semi cocked like Glock?… What is the basic about Drop Safety, Can it be carried safely with a round in the chamber? Can it survive cocked mode after a drop or impact?.

  • Madcap_Magician

    I don’t care what other erstwhile good ideas they’ve had, if someone in their design team thought Ruger was a good role model for roll marks, they’re irrevocably cracked in the head.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    When is Shield not a Shield, when it’s an HONOR GUARD. Except for the Stand-Off version, that’s what is looks like. The Shield is a better deal though, as they are now being sold for $349 most everywhere I’ve seen them.

    • MR

      $499 is the MSRP, curious to see what street price will be.

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        This is true regarding MSRP, but Shield MSRP is $449; unless the Honor Guard is going for $319 on the street, why would I buy it over the S&W product? Personally, I think the Honor Guard would have to be like $299 on the street for it to have reasonable sales success.

  • Means What It Means

    “The handgun is 100% completely and totally ambidextrous.”

    OR

    “The handgun is ambidextrous.”

    See the damage you, “The handgun is ambidextrous with a reversible mag release” gun-tard-Fuds have done?

  • whamprod

    I have a XDS-45 and an XDM-45 Compact 3.8, and those were my two primary carry guns for a long time. I like them both, and the XDS seemed like a natural fit for someone who used to carry a 3″ 1911 for a long time. But, once in a while when nobody was looking, I would carry my wife’s G19. I was so ashamed. I felt like I had to take a shower. But I liked it. A LOT. So I caved and bought myself a G17 and have carried that off and on pretty regularly. Then I got my wife a G43. I liked it so much I had to have my own – a TALO edition.

    There’s not a lot of difference in the TALO G43 except for the addition of Trijicon HD sights. But I have to say that I like carrying this pistol even more than the XDS. It is true that the XDS is more feature-rich, but the G43 is significantly lighter. and doesn’t seem any bigger. And it may be a bit snappy, but it isn’t as snappy as a .45 ACP XDS.

    I haven’t had a chance to shoot an M&P Shield yet. I’m sure I’ll like it, but one of the reasons I’ve stayed with Glock lately is that my wife carries and is familiar with Glocks. She’s not really a “shoots for fun” kind of person…… more like a middle-aged Texan woman you had better not trifle with ’cause she’ll shoot you in the taters….. but it seemed important to me to also carry a platform she would be familiar and comfortable with, just in case. So G43 it is for me, and it’s not a bad choice.

  • maodeedee

    I’m still waiting for someone to produce a striker fired gun with a decent trigger and no additional safety, just like versions of the shield, Ruger, and of course the Glock 43 but SMALLER than any of these pistols like about the size and weight of a Keltec PF9 or less, but one that has a more reliable extractor (spring loaded hook like a Glock) than the kel-tec’s useless stamped steel POS extractor.

    I realize that a gun about the size as the glock 42 380 in 9mm is going to have recoil that most people aren’t going to like but I for one would willingly trade a little discomfort while practicing with my carry gun for having one small and light enough so that I could carry it 24-7-365 and even those times when I might be putting in a 16 hour day.

    The Kel-tec has a grip that hits my big thumb knuckle and so I did a little sanding on the frame at that point and then added a rubber grip sock and that helped. I also only carried the gun with 115 grain non-plus+P loads which I figure are still better than any .380.
    Another option would be if Glock made the 42 in 9mm Mak that could be used with Underwood’s 115 gain 9mm Mak plus+P load. I carry these in a P-64 Polish pistol and recoil is snappy but not uncontrollable.

    • BearSlayer338

      What you are looking for is called a Sig P938,it is smaller than PF9 and it is +P rated.I have 750 rounds through my P938 and haven’t had a single problem.(its a
      Sig)Recoil is also less then the PF9 to the point that it is comfortable to shoot 100-250 rounds at a time with no discomfort,also comes standard with night sights.

  • JK

    Needs some diamonds or rubies or something encrusted in the slide lettering to really set it apart.

  • Josh Callejas

    The integrated standoff isn’t for the safety of your off hand when firing, it’s so you don’t knock the slide out of battery if you press the muzzle up against your target. It’s actually not a bad idea.

  • Glenn Beecher

    Nice guns, well thought out. Best of luck, though – it’s a crowded market..