Below the Radar
with John Hall
SHOT Show 2012: Sphinx SDP in 9mm
The National Sports Shooting Foundation promotes an event called the SHOT Show, which stands for Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade, Show. Before the SHOT Show starts an event called “Media Day at the Range” is conducted. The event allows media to examine and test fire a wide variety of firearms and ammunition. There are also numerous vendors showing products other than firearms during the event.
At the 2012 SHOT Show, a new import from Switzerland, the Sphinx SDP in 9mm was demonstrated. The Sphinx is a Double-Action / Single-Action ambidextrous safety and magazine catch. The magazine catch is set up for a right hand shooter but can changed for left handed shooters by an armorer. It was these controls that really jumped out about the gun and will be talk about but first a little more description about the gun.
The slide is fully-machined from a solid piece of aeronautical grade, hard-anodized aluminum. There are also several features to reduce the wear to the slide and increase accuracy. The grip is made from a proprietary polymer and has three different sizes but it is the operating controls that I was impressed with. The operating controls are design to be of a minimal profile as possible but to fully function.
Born from Competition
There was a limited amount of time to examine the Sphinx, but the gun was put through as much of a function test as possible. The slide stop/lock lever, safety lever, and magazine release catch are designed to reduce the possibility to catch on material when drawing the gun from a holster or when concealed. The Sphinx could not be drawn at the event but was shot to test the operation of the controls as best as possible. The controls are large enough to operate with full authority... in other words, to work.
The magazine catch operation was smooth and the magazine was released promptly with a positive drop. The ambidextrous safety looks small but is not. The operation of the safety was quick, smooth and precise.
Test firing the Sphinx in double action (DA) to single action (SA) and repeated several times, gave the impression the difference between the two is minimal. The company list the technical specifications for the trigger pull weight as a little over 8 pounds for double action and just under 3 ½ pounds for the single. Though the actual trigger pull weight could not be measured during firing the Sphinx, the pull was smooth and the hammer broke clean. In shooting the Sphinx two shots shot in a rapid but controlled manner the Sphinx allowed the second shot to be fast and accurate.
In fact, the Sphinx was designed from a competition model and the accuracy and shootability from the competition gun has been transferred over.
The retail price has not been determined but is expected to be around $1400.00. For that price one gets what you would expect from a Swiss made product, a very reliable and functioning handgun though on the high side for a Law Enforcement Agency. The expected released date is March or April 2012 to the civilian, military, and law enforcement market.
For further information you can visit www.sphinxarms.com.