SHOT Show 2017: A Whole Lotta NEW Stuff!
by Diane Walls,
After several years in a row at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has SHOT Show down to a science. It starts with the media day at the range and goes on into the show itself, four days of a vast array of products to view and consider as well as old friends to connect with and new friends to make. This year’s show boasted higher attendance than last year with 65,000 people counted. Not quite the record of a couple years past of 67,000, but close. The feeling on the floor this year was remarkably calmer and more hopeful because of the change in political climate after the last election. When Inauguration Day came around, people gathered around big screens in the press rooms and on the floor to watch the proceedings and cheers were heard when the new president was sworn in. It was quite the experience.
Some new guns were making news. The Hudson H9 captured considerable buzz as a low bore axis, polymer-framed pistol with 1911 fit and trigger design and double stack capacity of 15 plus one. Due to a mix-up on the company’s ammo supply on media-day, they had to ration people to 5 rounds each to test fire it and they had no control over they type of rounds they could find to feed through it. A bit more of a trial by fire than Hudson was hoping for at their debut of the product. I found it very controllable with a good reach to the trigger and good trigger feel. This one has promise.
Colt has a new revolver harkening back to their golden days of the snake series revolvers in the snub-nosed Cobra 5-shot in .38 special. They have improved the trigger to take a lot of the stack out (noticeable stiffening toward the end of the trigger press). With stout + P rounds, it was still very easy to shoot and could be a viable choice for a revolver carry gun for anyone.
Walther is coming out with the Creed, a 9mm polymer gun with a lot of features for $400. It offers 16 round capacity standard and a 10 round version for restricted states.
Remington is also debuting their full sized, high capacity (18 + 1) polymer 9mm, the RP9. It has a reduced circumference grip that allows good trigger reach for even small hands and has a reasonable MSRP of $489.
Smith & Wesson has redesigned the M&P to have a much improved trigger, clean and crisp with a distinct re-sec right our of the box. This makes a good all-around gun even better and should gain traction with enthusiasts in shore order.
Kimber now has their revolver, the K6, in stainless. This compact 6-shooter has a great trigger and is controllable even with .357magnum loads. It, too, is a good revolver for concealed carry. Also available is their Micro 9, the 9mm version of their Micro .380. It is now available in several attractive designer finishes, including the Belair for chose who love the Tiffany look.
IWI is offering their Jericho pistols in a nice kit that includes a holster, double magazine pouch, Maglula loading device, and cleaning kit with the gun for $699 for the polymer frame pistol kit and $779 for an all steel pistol kit.
For those looking for a micro sized gun at an entry level price, Taurus is offering the Spectrum for around $300. Also SCCY has the CPX 2 in 9mm in a mindboggling array of colors for an MSRP of $312.
In long guns, Springfield Armory is debuting The Saint, a very well made and shootable AR 15 for an MSRP of $899.
Cobalt Kinetics has a very lightweight AR15. Their Edge is designed with competition shooting in mind. The piston action is very smooch. They will build one for you in your choice of rifle calibers.
Also stylish is Unique ARs. They offer super lightweight handguards machined in a variety of patterns with the color finish you specify to add some serious visual appeal to your AR build. They can build a gun to your specifications or you can choose from their components to dress up your own gun.
More shotguns are now being offered in interesting configurations. Adler Arms of Turkey had lever action shotguns as well as ARl 5-style shotguns in 1 :2, 20 gauge or .410 bore. These looked like they would be a lot of fun to shoot.
This year, I wanted to look at protective gear, storage options and clothing as well.
There were lots of purses and bags offered for off body carry. Gun Tote’n Mamas has ;added to their line of purses with some beautiful choices. Also, designed in collaboration with Vickie
Farnam and utilizing Claudia Chisholm’s many years of experience in luggage design, a new rolling range bag is coming out that will be just the ticket to organize your range gear. It has many compartments for neatly stowing away guns, ammo, cleaning kits, ear and eye protection, trauma kit, hats and anything else you might find rattling around in that dump style duffel you may be hauling. For a bit extra, a set of bags and boxes made of matching nylon fabric are available to customize your organirzation even further. The ·quilted nylon exterior is available in black for chose with simple tastes or some pretty prints to style it up. If you want to go high end} brown distressed leather is available for about double the price. Claudia has built it with big nylon wheels, a heavy-duty handle and an easy clean reinforced bottom to take the abuse of rolling around on outdoor as well as indoor ranges. I hope to be testing one soon in the wilds of soggy, muddy western Washington to see how it holds up to abuse. More to come on this item.
Gun Tote’n Mamas has designed a beautiful, one-of-a-kind couture purse in genuine ostrich and1 Italian calfskin to be auctioned off with proceeds to go to Wounded Warrior Project. Go to their site online and find the link to bid on this gorgeous piece and benefit a worthy cause. Claudia wants to periodically offer auction pieces for charity benefits in the future as well.
VooDoo Tactical had some nice bags to organize first aid supplies. Their backpacks are available in a number of sizes and are offered with some nice colored stitching for women. Of particular interest was the Tobago book pack chat they offer with a choice of ballistic protection panels that can protect the wearer in the event of an active shooter attack. le is sec up to be held in front like a shield as well as worn on the back. This should give students and their families some peace of mind when they venture into chose gun-free learning centers.
Another company offering ballistic panel book packs is Guard Dog SecurityBullet Proof. Their packs are designed to look like any book pack out there to blend in. They also have colorful holsters to disguise pepper sprays and stunning devices chat don’t look like what they are.
In holsters and belts, BladeTech has a carry belt in their line of products chat comes in black or can web, or black leather for a dressier look. They are cue to fit, attach the buckle, and use the ratcheting fastening system to customize fit in quarter-inch increments so you can go over layers of clothing and/ or go light depending on the season (or what you had for dinner the night before class).
Crossbreed has a lighter dress gun belt that is reversible from brown leather to black leather with a twist of the buckle. They are offering heavier belts for range wear, too. Always amenable to consumer feedback, they took my recommendations on fitting belts for women including offering a contour belt and. one with a removable buckle so a custom buckle can be used instead. Be looking for more belt offerings from this popular holster maker.
Some emerging holster companies in the SHOT Show Next area caught my attention. Talon Holsters has some nice pocket holsters and dip-style belt t olsters m leather that are well m: de and reasonable in price. Urban Carry holsters has reworked their deep front pocket system that conceals well and uses a pull up tab to access the gun. It now has a magnet co aid in gun retention until the gun is drawn. Clinger Holsters has some sturdy Kydex holsters including their innovative take on the leacher/Kydex hybrid inside the waistband rig.
In storage systems, Hornady has some new wall mount storage brackets for AR rifles and shotguns with their RFID entry or back-up key. Stanley has some nice smaller storage vaults with biometric entry. Their rep gave me an excellent review of optical versus swipe biometric systems that was very educational. Gun Vault is also offering some nice AR wall mount units. Cannon Security Products is marketing a medicine cabinet locking b0x for securing prescription meds from theft. This could be vital, especially for those coping ,with chronic pain, to seeing that medication gets to its intended user instead of falling victim to thieves. Tactical Walls has some locking hide-in-plain-sight furniture option for the home that can keep a gun secured and close by anywhere in the house. For full sized gun safes, Reed Custom Safes has a nifty sliding rack system to hold any size guns in easy to access pull out racks that maximize use of your safe’s capacity, interior space useage.
5.11 has some very attractive jackets and shirts in their expanding women’s line. I particularly like the pretty plaid shirts. Girls with Guns has some nice t-shirts as well as hunting clothing for women. For men and women that want rugged outdoor work clothing that can conceal a firearm, we found some nice things at Kakadu Trading. Their clothes are very sturdy with reinforced stitching to support the built-in holster system and distribute weight to avoid sagging that can give away the fact that you have a gun in your pocket.
Ear and eye protection are important shooting adjuncts. Peltor has some digital active hearing muffs with excellent sound quality that muffle gunfire and allow you to hear conversation without the cutting out that makes it hard to understand what’s said on an active shooting line. They have also designed some wrap around eye protection that has very thin flat and flexible ear pieces to fit snuggly under muffs without breaking the seal. SportEar has in-the-ear active hearing protection that protects from gunfire and enhances other sound for those that want muffs on their heads. These units can be done for an individual hearing loss prescription, if desired, for the price of regular hearing aids. They would be ideal for hunting or any outdoor activity that could benefit from sound control.
A product I found interesting is Quick Draw. This holster lubricant works on both Kydex and leather without harming either. The silicon and lanolin spray cleans out gunk and makes it easier to draw your gun quickly while maintaining your holsters retention quality. I’ve got a few holsters I’m going to try this stuff on.
Another great idea comes from Swab Its’®. These reusable sponge cleaning heads come in a bunch of calibers. They soak up cleaning solution and distribute it evenly in the barrel then come back to swab up all the dirt once you’ve brushed. They have little nook and cranny swabs chat are perfect for getting into slide rails and under extractors. A special swab works in the notches of your AR bolt to get those teeth cleaned up easily. To clean the Swab-Its, soak them in dishwashing liquid and water, squeeze out the dirt, rinse and blot dry on paper towels. Each swab lasts for about 10 to 15 uses they claim. We’ll be giving these a try as well.
This year’s SHOT Show went by quickly and, as usual, we missed a few things we wanted to see and saw some things we hadn’t expected to see. I hope to be getting a closer look at some of the products highlighted here and pass along what I learn to readers.
GunVault’s AR bracket safe can be hidden in a cabinet or secured to a wall.