Signal 9 Defense Reliant pistol at the NRA 2015 National Meeting

    I got a chance today to go hands-on with the Signal 9 Defense Reliant at the NRA annual meetings in Nashville.  The purpose of the firearm, according to its designer, was safety and ease of use.  From Signal 9’s website:

    The Reliant is specifically designed for concealed carry, combining the reliability of a revolver with the profile of a 1911 pistol. The contoured grip is comfortable for all shooters it’s small size makes it easy to conceal. The Reliant is ready the moment you put your finger on the double action trigger. With no external action, it can be fired from “deep cover”, from inside a jacket pocket or other concealment. Reliant’s innovative design represents a true revolution in personal defense and is perfect for both a primary weapon or a backup gun for shooters of all experience levels.”

    • 4 shot, 4 barrel break-action
    • Multiple Calibers with interchangeable barrels
    • .32 ACP (requires moon clip)
    • .32 HR Mag, .32 Long, .32 Short
    • .380 (requires moon clip)
    • .38 Spl, .38 +P, .38 S&W, .38 Long, .38 Short
    • Finish:Various Hardcoat Anodized and Black Phosphate.
    • Trigger Pull: 8 lbs
    • Barrel Length: 2.63″
    • Capacity: 4 rounds with 4-round speedloader in the grip (.380 and .32 ACP speedloader w/ moonclip)
    • Overall Length: 5.25″
    • Height: 4.25″ (without speed loader)
    • Width: .94″ without grip, 1.25″ with grips
    • Weight: approx 16oz.
    • Stainless Steel barrel. Hard coat anodized aluminum frame. Aluminum Upper Receiver
    • Patent pending all-internal action equates to no jams
    • Firing action cannot be neutralized by an assailant grasping the gun.
    • Patent pending design makes accidental discharge from impact/dropping virtually impossible
    • 4-round capacity with 4 shot speedloader in the grip.
    • Ergonomic grip
    • DEEP COVER – Reliant can be fired from within pocket or purse
    • Ambidextrous one-hand operation
    • Patent pending ULTRA SMOOTH 8 lb trigger pull
    • Grip automatically activates optional red or green laser


    Picture of the open action, the brass-colored button below the chambers is the optional laser actuator

    Picture of the open action, the brass-colored button below the chambers is the optional laser actuator (all photos courtesy of Oleg Volk and Signal 9 Defense)

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    The striker assembly (not pictured) is quite interesting, it was inspired by the webley revolver, and looks like a mini-webley clyinder that cams and aligns the firing pin around to the different firing pin holes when the trigger is pulled, and when the trigger is released, returns to behind the firing pin block.  This feature makes the reliant 100% drop-safe.  Also, the lead designer worked on the Striker/Protecta shotgun with Hilton R. Walker in South Africa, so he has a long history in firearms design and development.  I asked about reloading and ejection, and was informed that the ejector is strong enough to eject the brass up and forward away from the shooter when the action is opened.  The grip extension you see at the bottom of the grip holds 4 rounds ready to be reloaded akin to Bianchi speed strips.  Certain details, such as standard night sights and barrel lengths for each caliber, are still being finalized.

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. Editor at