[FIREARM REVIEW] Tristar T-100: Your New Budget Baby Eagle
Like it does a lot of concealed carriers, it took me a long time to land on a handgun to carry consistently that I was happy with.
I initially used a Sig P320 Carry which I rarely actually carried because it was just a little too big. Some of that had to do with a rookie choice in holsters, but the fact of the matter was the grip was noticeable in the small of my back, and that just doesn’t do.
So I traded that one away and, after a series of fairly fortunate events, ended up with the Turkish Tristar T-120, the big brother of the T-100 that would become my carry piece.
The T-120 is a beast. A “knock-off” of the Baby Eagle (Jericho 941), itself a variant of the venerated CZ-75, this thing sports a 4.7″ barrel, aluminum frame and steel slide, and a staggering 19+1 capacity in 9mm with the magazines that I was given (I think the standard is 17+1).
My first shots with the thing saw me making one big hole in the center of the target at 10 yards, and I’m no trick shooter.
I was elated, but it’s not a carry gun. It’s a mow-down-a-platoon-of-cavalry-without-reloading weapon. I wanted all the fun of the T-120 in a smaller package.
Enter, Tristar T-100.
The T-100 sported a much more reasonable size without sacrificing all that much in capacity– 15+1 in a compact ain’t bad.
The T-100 features a aluminum frame, steel slide, and a modest 3.7″ barrel, making it much more amenable to concealed carry.
Here are the features as listed by Tristar itself:
• Frame: Aluminum
• Slide: Steel
• Barrel: Steel 3.7”
• Action: Double/Single
• Capacity: 15 Rounds (10 Round mag version available)
• Sights: Rear Snag-Free Dovetail, Fixed Front Blade
• Grips: Black Polymer Checkered
• Overall Length: 7.3”
Worth mentioning that isn’t listed here is the firearm’s weight — it’s about 1.6 pounds unloaded, magazine in.
Oh, and did I mention that the slide rails are built right into the frame?
That’s right. This wildly-underappreciated feature makes this gun a blast (ha!) to shoot, manages recoil, and helps keep those shot groups nice and tight. I had no problem keeping holes in the 9 ring at 10 yards and, for concealed carry, I was more than happy with that.
Last, and best, is the price point for this little guy. I got mine for $350 from Academy, which after tax was still well under $400.
I’ve seen them bought for as little as $279. If that’s not budget enough for you, I can’t rightly imagine what is.
The prices aren’t always that low, so keep your head on a swivel. If you snag this piece for under $400, you’re getting an incredible value for your money.
One year later, it’s still my EDC, and knowing what I do now I would have bought it for twice the price — literally.
I’m going to throw a T-100 review I really enjoy down here at the bottom for your viewing pleasure — check it out!
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