We see a lot of questions regarding various handguns and the Production Gun List because a word, maybe two, in the handgun name do not appear specifically in the list under that manufacturer. In short, the majority of these are approved because they belong to the same family as an already approved handgun. Let’s dig deeper.
If you pull up the Production Gun List and scroll through many of the more prolific manufacturers you will note at the top of the list there are often a lot of notes. These address things like; including all threaded barrel variants, including ported models as long as a non-ported barrel is utilized, and that the magwell must be removed to be legal.
Here is the deal folks. Most manufacturers have a marketing department and the one thing that marketing departments seemingly love to do is to create variants so they can increase choices and often increase the price. Words like “Pro”, “Match”, “Special”, and “Competition” often show up in these models. What this often means is that the trigger might have been tweaked or even upgraded, sometimes the sights have been changed out (e.g., fixed black sights replaced with adjustable sights with fiber optic inserts), and perhaps different grip panels/modules are included. Most of this stuff does not affect the gun in that a 4.5″ Loudenboomer Pu-38 and a 4.5″ Loudenboomer Pu-38 Pro Match Competition Special are functionally the same gun. We often refer to these as being “in the same family” as a specifically approved gun.
This is much the same for the “Carry” and “Compact” variants which are usually the very same gun with a shorter barrel, and/or a shorter grip frame, than the standard model. If the base model is approved, then the carry or compact variant is also likely approved barring disallowed modifications.
This is to say that the criteria we are concerned with for the Production list; size, weight (59 oz limit), type of action (e.g., double vs. single), general type of sights (e.g., notch and post irons) and so on have not been changed. That it now has a purple and orange striped slide with gold metal flake grip panels and an iridescent frame and lime green trigger is of no consequence, other than a likely major fashion faux pas, but hey, if you believe you will achieve higher scores with that handgun then be my guest.
Keep in mind that the gun still has to make weight (59 oz with empty magazine), still has to fit in the box (for Production), and cannot have any prohibited modifications/additions such as a magwell that cannot be removed, compensated barrel, optical sight (unless in Carry Optics division) and so on. And, it really has to be a direct member of the family.
Manufacturers wishing to submit handguns for approval have to fill out the USPSA Production/Carry Optics Compliance Form and certify that the handguns they wish to add are available to the general public and that they have produced 500 complete firearms. Frame and Parts kits do not count. Please note that the submittal must be from an employee/owner/legitimate representative of a gun manufacturer.
Members wishing to have a specific handgun listed need to work with the manufacturer to get the appropriate submittal performed.