Unreleased — 6 Guns That Never Made It To Production

In most industries, plenty of new products get announced and even produced in limited numbers, but they seemingly never see the light of day. The gun industry is like any other. These unreleased guns faded into obscurity most of the time until a pain-in-the-ass gun writer like me brings them back to remind everyone that they exist. 

A Few of Many Unreleased Guns

Let’s be clear here this is in no way a conclusive list of all the guns ever announced that later went unreleased. It’s a bit of a modern list that focuses on more recent announcements. The oldest one here is from 2014. It seems silly to go back to that one Remington rifle that didn’t enter production from 1994.

The modern age of firearms envelopes so much more marketing and SHOT Show is so much bigger these days. Every announcement gets to the eyes of millions of people instantly via blogs like this one. In the modern age, it’s impossible to ever be really forgotten. Like the Emperor in those god-awful Star Wars sequels, we are bringing these unreleased firearms front and center.  

1. Century MDL 38-3 

SHOT Show 2014 seems to have been a great year to announce revolvers that were never released. That’s when we first saw the Century Arms MDL 38-3. These unreleased revolvers promised to be the thinnest centerfire revolver ever. It was a snub nose revolver, and the cylinder held a mere three rounds of .38 Special. 

MDL 38-3
The MDL 38-3 promised to be the thinnest revolver ever. (Courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Much like the Chiappa Rhino, the barrel was in line with the bottom chamber of the cylinder to encourage a much lower bore axis. A laser aiming system sit above the barrel since sights weren’t included. The little gun was still roughly the same length and height as a J-frame but promised to be less than an inch thick. Sadly after 2014, Century and the rest of the world forgot all about the MDL 38-3. 

2. Avidity Arms PD-10 

Before Glock designed the Glock 43X and Glock 48, Rob Pincus came up with the concept of a single stack weapon roughly the same size as a Glock 19 but much thinner. The PD10 would be a polymer frame, striker-fired gun with the same relative barrel and grip length but would use a 10-round 9mm 1911 magazine

Avidity Arms PD10
The PD10 is gone, but soon the PD11 will ride

To be honest, the PD10 had tons of great ideas, but bringing the gun to market seemed to be near impossible. We first saw the gun in 2016, and then later, seemingly at every SHOT Show after. It never hit the market, and it’s dead—kind of. Rob recently announced the PD11, which will be an optics-ready version of the PD10. 

3. Scavenger 6 

The Scavenger 6 is a gun I really want to get my hands on. It was announced in 2016 and came from the mind of Tim Ralston. Ralston is a prepper type who has designed a number of gadgets and gizmos, with the Scavenger 6 being his first firearm. Ralston got fairly famous for blowing off part of his thumb working on a prototype firearm. Whether it was with the Scavenger 6 or not is unknown.

Scavenger 6 diagram of parts and configurations
Lots of calibers and configurations.

The Scavenger 6 was a huge revolver rifle that could chamber everything from .22LR to .308 Winchester. The cylinder itself was the rifled portion of the gun, and the barrel, I’m guessing, is unrifled or something similar. The Scavenger 6 seemingly had several different models, including the Standard, Battle, Hunter, and Survival. The gun apparently had a preorder option, but as of this writing, the Scavenger 6 website is down. 

4. Kalashnikov USA AK Alpha 

Kalashnikov USA opened at the right time to deliver high-quality AKs at a time when the faucet to Russian imports was fully turned off. They made some big promises at SHOT 2016, and one was the AK Alpha. This modernized AK features a longer handguard, a seemingly monolithic scope rail, and a high-tech stock that collapsed and folded. 

This thing could’ve been a cool addition to the AK market

The safety became an AR-type design, and the charging handle was mounted to the left-hand side of the gun instead of to the right. Kalashnikov USA promised a futuristic-looking AK, but it went unreleased and was eventually canceled. 

5. Chiappa PolyLite Rhino 

The Chiappa Rhino certainly exists and is one of the more futuristic revolvers ever created. In 2014 Chiappa announced a new Rhino known as the PolyLite. It was around this time that guns like the S&W Bodyguard .38, Ruger LCR, and Taurus PolyProtector hit the market showing that polymer had a place in the world of revolvers. The Polylite model of the Chiappa promised to use a polymer frame.

Chiappa PolyLite Rhino
Polymer revolvers offer a lightweight, affordable alternative to titanium (Courtesy of Guns, Holsters, and Gear)

This model of the Rhino was like every other with its lower barrel placement and bottom cylinder alignment. Unlike other Rhino models, the Polylite was .38 Special only, likely because the polymer frame might not be able to handle .357 Magnum. Sadly the Polylite kind of just disappeared and remains unreleased. 

6. Standard Manufacturing S333 Volleyfire

As a fella who likes weird guns, the S333 VolleyFire from Standard Manufacturing captured my attention at SHOT 2017. It was at range day but was not on the firing line. This was a six-barrel pepperbox-style pistol that fired the .25 ACP cartridge. With every trigger pull, the gun fired two rounds at a time in a volley-fire manner. 

Standard Manufacturing S333 Volleyfire
Before the S333 Revolver, we had this thing,

The weapon used a double-action design with a rotating barrel. The barrels opened downward, and each barrel would be loaded individually. The S333 came in a number of colors and seemed just odd enough to sell well if the price was low. The S333 remains unreleased, but we did eventually get the S-333 Thunderstruck revolver. 

New, Old, and Unreleased 

It’s somewhat sad that some of these guns were never released. I’d love to have a Scavenger 6, or even the odd Century MDL 38-3. I’m sure you’ve noticed that these guns are all rather odd. When a polymer Chiappa Rhino is the normal gun on the list then your list is full of weirdos. 

Are there any unreleased guns on the market you wish made their way to the market? Let us know below! 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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