Ahhhh it is so great to be back in Vegas…and even greater to be back at SHOT Show!!! I had such an amazing time at SHOT Show 2018 that it will be hard to beat but I am confident that I can do it!
As in the case of 2018, I have done an enormous amount of planning, even though I am more familiar with the layout. Why all the planning? Well, the main show is 690,000 square feet or 12 squares miles (the same as the base of the Grand Pyramid in Giza). It now extends to secondary venues and includes over 1,600 exhibitors on the show floor but that increases to over 2,400 if you include the Supplier Showcase and Pop-Up Preview. Access to SHOT is limited to 65,000 industry folk and 2,500 media members.
To put the size in perspective, consider that if you spend just 10 minutes at a booth (to take pics, handle guns, wait for your turn to handle them, talk to reps, get swag etc.), you could cover 6 per hour or 48 per 8 hour shift. That means in three days you would cover roughly 150 booths. But of course, you have to factor in walking time, breaks etc. so maybe 75 is more realistic. Per SHOT Show’s fact sheet, if you wanted to visit all booths, you could only spend 22 seconds at each!
Thankfully I have a co-author this year and collectively Tom and I plan to cover at least 100 booths. If we post just 10 pics per booth, that would result in a review with 1000 pics (our goal) that covers only 100/2400 or 4% of the show!!!! SHOT is BIG!
In preparation for SHOT, I picked up some cool gear such as this Otte Patrol Parka…thanks to Chris Costa for providing feedback on jacket options and to Parabellum Prime for the super speedy delivery!
I got some shirts made too…gotta look professional!
Along with a few other things that may show up during my review.
Monday Industry Day at the Range
Apart from being able to take pics, one of the greatest benefits of a Media Pass is that you get to attend Industry Day at the Range and shoot everything from super compacts to full auto to suppressed with no limits on ammo.
And the amount of ammo consumed is staggering! Consider that there are 2,500 media folks and if each one shoots 20 guns with 10 rounds each, that would be half a million rounds! I can’t remember the exact round count but from what I recall, it was even higher than that.
Here is an aerial view of the incredibly beautiful range, courtesy of SHOT. I will have more of my own range shots below.
Industry day was awesome! We shot a ton of guns and many exceeded our expectations. Tom and I took about 400 pics and shot lots of vids. I suspect you are anxious to see them so I will start with some of my pics and let Tom chime in with his.
We started at the Geissele booth expecting to see some AR15s fitted with their legendary triggers…we were half right! I was not aware that Geissele soft launched their own in-house made AR15 last year and is fully launching the lineup at this year’s SHOT show. Needless to say, the triggers on them were great.
Next, OSS suppressors…I opted for one mounted on an AK and it was one of my favourite guns of the day.
It was great to get an explanation of the internals of the OSS suppressors. I dare say that I enjoy shooting suppressed firearms more than full auto!
My absolute favourite of the day though was the B&T USW-A1 with its collapsible stock and platform specific Aimpoint site. It made such a difference to shoot it with the stock extended! I will definitely get one of these!
The Alien was certainly the most unique gun of the day…it has the lowest bore axis on the market with the fixed barrel and the interchangeable slide top allows you to swap optics in a breeze (with 90% zeroing)…it can also reliably fire any load of 9mm with its piston system. It is an expensive gun for sure but a lot of thought went into the unique features.
I was quite anxious to try the re-introduced Colt Python…it was available with 4” and 6” barrels and I opted for the longer while Tom shot both. It was nice but not something I would buy.
Another re-release high on our “must try” list was the HK SP5…available in several configurations, Tom and I opted for the traditional profile with iron sights….so satisfying to do that HK slap lol…and it shot great!
No surprise that the Glock booth was all about the new 44 in .22lr…now I have shot Glocks with .22 conversion kits so I kind of had an idea of what it would be like but I have to say the 44 exceeded my expectations! It was lighter than I expected while the trigger was better…I would not hesitate to buy one.
We also ran into Glock shooter Michelle Viscusi
I have read a lot of good things about the sub-compact Springfield Hellcat…it offers the largest mag capacity (13+1) in the smallest package. I tried variations with red-dot and iron sights and I actually shot better with the irons. I really like micro-compacts like the Glock 26 and the Hellcat felt just as good.
It was great to meet Rob Leatham at the Springfield booth
During the course of my research for SHOT, I came across the Rock Island Armory TCM22…a very intriguing round! It is essentially a .22 that moves at 2000 fps!
Here are some 1911s chambered in this round
It creates quite the fireball with no felt recoil!
Next we visited the long range section where I was happy to meet Rob Furlong, who has EXCELLENT taste in jackets lol
He must have given me some good luck as I hit both of my shots on target at 1090 yards out of a Cadex in 300 Norma Magnum…three times longer than I have ever shot before! That Cadex is quite something…and thanks to the Cadex team.
Tom and I were both impressed with Ruger’s latest offerings. First, the 5.7…it is much thinner and easier to hold / control than the FN
Next the Wrangler revolver…an aluminum (very light) frame .22 single action at a very affordable price (under $300 I believe)
Speaking of .22s, how about those long barrels!
More nice Rugers
By now you must have heard of the new Kriss Vector in .22LR…it does not use the Vector recoil mitigating system, rather a more conventional design. However, with a .22 you really don’t need it as there is no recoil anyway. Also, the quad rail allows a light to be mounted on top without obstructing the sight. It costs about a 1/3rd of a centre-fire Kriss.
Vs. the centre-fires in 9mm, 10mm, and 45acp
Just next to Kriss at Maxim Defense I ran into Kris “Tanto” Paronto
Pics of the spectacular range
MORE TO FOLLOW…WORKING ON TECHNICAL ISSUES