It was great to see Tactical Imports back at the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show! The last time they were here it was amidst a huge buzz around the Type 81, now available with both a fixed stock
And folding stock.
Truth be told, I didn’t think the Type 81 was my style of gun. However, I really like this variant with genuine issue quad rail! Now THIS is something I would buy!
TheShmoo liked it too.
More my typical speed, the HK G36 which I had seen at a previous event but wanted a closer look. The first thing I noticed is how light it is compared to my HK MR223 (granted that one has a ton of accessories hanging off it but still). Tactical Imports will be bringing in more of these and the ones with Walther barrels (in place of HK) will be priced accordingly.
At that same event where I first saw the G36, I had the opportunity to try another TI exclusive, the BRS-99 and it is incredibly fun to shoot!
TI also brought a nice selection of Extrema Ratio knives, including the KH at my request (thanks gents!). This is ER’s take on a kukri except with multiple grinds to make it a great chopper and slasher.
I like the drop-leg sheath as well.
The Waki is super light for something of this length.
The RAO II, same great features of the RAO but with a different blade profile.
Next stop, Nikon. They always have something great for the show, last year it was the $10,000 star gazing binoculars (and old field microscope), this year their new red-dot
And one of my favourites of the show, these mini-binoculars….incredible performance for such a small size.
Another show surprise, this time at the Stoeger booth, was this one-off Benelli concept shotgun with leather wrap and crazy fiber optic ghost ring sights among many other unique features
Stoeger introduced the Victrix line of precision rifles such as this Pugio at last year’s show…they have been very well received among law enforcement communities.
Also at Stoeger’s booth, Steiner optics such as the ShadowQuest, designed for lower light hunting
The Military Marine
In search of more firearms, I headed over to the Bell Outdoors booth where I was greeted by the Hatsan Escort Raider mag fed
Versus the new Escort DF12 with more AR like controls
However my favourite shotgun by far was the Escort TFS or “top folding stock”
With the stock extended
Still more firearms at Shooter’s Choice
And AIM Firearms and Outdoors, one of our newest gun stores.
That about covers it for firearms so moving on to more gear….I discovered Nanuk at last year’s show and have since acquired two of their cases…amazing pieces of kit! New this year is a 36” version of their long gun case for carbines or take down rifles.
And specs on the rest of their lineup of gun cases
It was great to connect with Dan, he is a great ambassador for the industry.
Nice poster they had at their booth too lol
Another one of my show favourites, the Garmin 701 with Ballistic calculator. My next wrist instrument for sure (too bad I wasn’t wearing my Surefire Luminox 2011 for size comparison)
One model down, the 601
I would be happy with a Tactix too…especially this blacked out version!
While the Sportsmen’s Show is focused on hunting and fishing, you can find tactical gear if you look hard enough. I really liked Mgear’s style, especially their belt buckle knife all held together by magnets.
Some EDC cards from Mgear.
Custom hunting knives from Ron Post
Helle Knives of Sweden at the Canadian Outdoor Equipment booth
Along with Gransfors axes
Of course attending such shows is not just about guns and gear, it’s also about meeting and re-connecting with industry folk, like Amanda Lynn Mayhew and Baby Goes Pew Pew at Just Hunt
Tony Bernardo and Jarlath at the CSSA, working tirelessly for our gun rights
As are Rod and Tracey from the CCFR
As usual, I don’t cover the fishing or boating sections as I don’t know enough about those to do them justice. I will say that the fishing section appeared to be especially busy this year…way more people than in the hunting / firearms sections.
So the bottom line is that I know people in the firearms community would like to see more representation of our sport, especially having restricteds but I think it is still a worthwhile visit. I always manage to find something that I like and it is a great opportunity to re-connect with people.
While I am not a huge fan of the International Centre, one benefit of the venue is its proximity to my favourite place for souvlaki, Zet’s, which TheShmoo and I hit on our way back from the show.
While Zet’s was filling, our gun appetite was not totally satisfied so we stopped off at Al Flaherty’s for dessert. Here we were pleased to find a Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde, complete with its wood furniture.
Although we just saw a Victrix Pugio at the show, this was our first time seeing one in the wild, so to speak.
Victrix doesn’t just make tactical rifles, here is one of their competition guns with the lightest trigger I have ever experienced
The new Sig M400 Tread…very light and streamlined
The new Sig Select series in 1911 and P226 with the matching custom grips and rails among other features
The new Kahles Helia RD
No major purchases for me, just some LEO over-run training ammo
All in all a great day.