It’s TACCOM time! I was originally going to cover the show on Friday however the TACCOM team has graciously invited me into many of the seminars and events so I have decided to make a weekend out of it! As such, I will be providing daily updates as opposed to one big review at the end so check back for new pics.
Checking in to the Westin…
I requested one of their “airport view” rooms
Good idea for dinner but I plan to hit Zorro’s tomorrow
All checked-in, I head to the International Centre for pre-show set-up!
First stop, pick up my media pass and snazzy media t-shirt (thanks TACCOM!)
Through the magic door
A few aisle shots to give you a sense of the scale of the show
It was very cool to watch the booths being built and filled with awesome guns and gear. I didn’t have a plan of what to visit first but the shiny F-1 Firearms at O’Dell Engineering sure caught my eye. I have shot F1s and I dare say they are my favourite ARs (maybe even more so than my HK)
I will definitely be back to check them out in more detail during the show.
Another one of my favourite brands at O’Dell’s booth, U.S. Optics! Including the new 2.5-20 issued with our troops Colt sniper rifle system (they will have one on display during the show)
Also at O’Dell, for those of you looking for a bullpup shotgun
Speaking of bullpups, I can confirm the Tavor 7 is at the IWI booth!
Another distributor high on my list to see is Gravel Agency, who carries Remington, Bushmaster, and Marlin among many others.
Ahh much better as the guns start coming in…so glad to see the Marlin Dark
Apart from all the guns and gear, it is always great to catch up with friends in the community…I ran into Tracey Wilson again
Ironically she told me to “keep out of trouble” yet the very next time I saw her, I was playing with a grenade launcher at Wolverine’s booth (caught with my hand in the cookie jar lol)
One must behave though when Chris Costa is nearby lol
More friends…from the CSSA
And Canadian Gun Vault…love that new prohib package you are introducing through Trigger Wholesale bro!
And the FOC crew…awesome job organizing the show guys!
Ok back to guns…Mossberg
And SIG…wow so much goodness at SIG! I can tell I will spend a lot of time at their booth during the show ..cant wait to handle the Rattler!
Simunitions guns in blue
M17 commemorative…should have bought one when I had the chance
From their custom shop
The Nightforce Optics booth will be EPIC! Hope they have a BEAST
Also looking forward to Springfield Armoury..i am on the waiting list for one of their FBI guns
But ultimately I think my first stop tomorrow will be Korth, in all the way from Germany with their fantastic revolver
Also in from Italy, Chiappa
Good to see my friends at Grey Fox Strategic..i plan to pick up one of their Geist mag holders
Movie Armaments Group was still setting up so I could not get a closer look
Durham Military vehicles
Lots of retailers will be present with great show specials…Select Shooting
Don’t forget to stop by the TACCOM swag booth
And enter the many contests for great prizes
As for dinner? Well it was Ruth’s Chris after all….16 oz. bone-in filet with blue cheese crust
Nice touch that you can select your own knife
That covers the pre-show set up
Showtime! Still a bit surreal to see TACCOM on major signage…as it was to see ads for “Canada’s Largest Gun Show” in mainstream media!
My first stop was to pick up my media tshirt..sadly it was too small
As was this one
I’ll tell you what wasn’t small though, the crowds! Yowza! Luckily I had early access so I could take some of my pics
Show organizer Fred looking spiffy with the gentleman from O’Dell Engineering
Per my plan, my first stop was the Korth booth to see their spectacular revolvers.
I was immediately drawn to the Super Sport ULX…I loved its wild styling and it felt INCREDIBLE in my hand…it seemed as if the grip was moulded to my hand and the cut-outs on the slide improved the balance over the other SuperSports that I handled.
I also liked the National Standard, at the opposite end of the spectrum…I tend to like extremes lol
Or if that is too plain
The cutaway was also very cool as it showed the internals, demonstrated interchangeability of the chamber, and most importantly, allowed for dry firing of the legendary double action for which Korth is known
It was great to chat with the Canadian distributor and also to speak with the owner! I learned so much about the lineup. For example, this .44 magnum (with the red grip)
Has a front sight that is quick adjustable to different distances
As is the rear sight…specifically the gap can be widened or narrowed by turning screw…don’t remember ever seeing that before!
It is also possible to add a compensator such as this
If you prefer a smaller revolver, Korth has the Ranger for you
Korth also makes a unique semi-auto, the PRS, which may look like a 1911 but is quite different. The barrel is fixed and it has a roller locking system with bolt head like an HK MP5…it was surprisingly heavy!
Thanks again to the Korth team!
Next stop, Gravel Agency to have a closer look at the Marlins. My buddy bought a Black Knight and I had the chance to shoot it…how fortunate that I could compare one side by side with the new Dark!
The Dark is very interesting…it has a rough pebbled finish that feels like plastic but it is actually wood. Ultimately, I liked the stainless trapper the best.
As I mentioned in my review of set-up, SIG had a lot of awesomeness so I didn’t waste time heading over there. Thanks for letting me have an closeup look at the commemorative edition of the M17..again, wish I bought one.
The rattler was cool too but didn’t excite me as much as the M17….that may change after I shoot it,
Also so happy to see a 365!! Per my John Wick obsession, Halle Berry used on in JW3.
On my way back to Wolverine, I ran into Chris Costa again (or did I? One does not find Chris Costa, Chris Costa finds you lol) and he very graciously accepted to autograph the Raven Concealment holster I bought due to his endorsement…this was worth the show alone! Thanks Mr. Costa…super nice guy.
Ok on to Wolverine! I must visit this store one day! Incredible selection of Brugger & Thomet
Schmidt & Bender scopes
Daniel Defense, including the new Delta precision rifle
And FLIR…happy that the Breach made it to Canada
Etc. etc. lol
By now the Nightforce booth was ready and it was SPECTACULAR! They set up the same booth they used at SHOT Show and the NRA Show…so pretty serious
And they had a BEAST! This is Nightforce’s top of the line scope with intelligent four-function elevation control
I also love the ATACR 1-8×24..it is a FFP that functions as a red-dot at 1 but a reticle starts to appear as you increase magnification
The new NX8 2.5-20×50…it features DigIllum reticle illumination so you can change the colour of the reticle and other features like powering up to your previous intensity settings
Spotting scopes including the TS-82 with APO Fluorite glass..this is even higher quality than ED but would be too fragile for a scope mounted on a gun with heavy recoil
And we all know durability is a hallmark of Nightforce scopes
Of course, to benefit from a great scope like Nightforce, you need a great rifle so off to Alberta Tactical Rifle…to see their new collaboration rifle with the CCFR…a Modern Sporter variant that looks exactly like a classic AR15 yet is non-restricted! One of my favourite guns of the show!
Vs. the original Modern Sporting Rifle (with carbon fiber forend..so beautiful!)
If you prefer bolt action, check out this rig with McMillan stock and Proof research carbon fiber barrel
The Shooting Edge also had some new non-restricted options including a whole new product line for Canada from Sterling
I preferred it in white
These three custom builds were pretty snazzy
And the Troy 102 has finally arrived as well.
The original AR10 upon which modern 102s are based.
Another economical option, albeit restricted, were the polymer AR15s from Omni at Armchar
For those who prefer more classic designs to AR15s, Czech Small Arms
They are still made in the Czech Republic but the chrome lined barrels are supplied by Lothar in Germany
CSA also offers mounts for red-dot sights
The Scorpion is also very cool…I shot one recently and wish I put more than 5 rounds through it.
Ok, although I have lots more pics..i am pretty beat so the last booth I will cover today is Trigger Wholesale….
LOTS of shotgun options here…from bullpups to double barrels to mag fed to compact
But of course I had to have a closer look at Canadian Gun Vault’s prohibition kit that simulates a Tommy Gun….that is not an actual drum mag, rather a housing for a conventional mag…very clever!
Trigger Wholesale also carries Armalite, the original AR.
That’s it for Day 1…now off to Zoro’s for their 28 oz. Zoro’s cut prime rib…but first a dozen escargot
First stop of Day 2, the FN booth, which as you can see was quite crowded!
I have always been a fan of the Five-Seven…looks great in FDE
The 509 is also very nice…I plan to shoot it next week at Select Shooting’s range day
Next stop ATN…their optics are so cool, exactly like what you see in movies with screens of information that scroll distance and ballistics data
The tablet on the table was showing a live feed from their binoculars and head mounted monocular
Here’s me looking at the FOC booth…so cool!
Next back to the IWI booth for another look at the Tavor 7 as well as their new augmented sight and Massada pistol
The augmented sight can be controlled by a phone app
I had seen the Massada pistol in black…now it is available in grey and FDE as well
Well well well..look who I ran into at the IWI booth..Lovie Malespin! What are the chances of meeting this Tavor training legend here? Lol
Funny I would run into Lovie several more times during the day…here she is with my good friend Doug from Code of Arms, who are now publishing High Capacity magazine, for which I am writing some articles!
So cool to see my magazine article at the show!
The Code of Arms guys are up to so many great things..in addition to their youtube vids and High Capacity, they are filming the CCFR’s DownRange tv show as well as their own tv show, Midlife Mayhem!
Atlanta Arms is one of the few ammo manufacturers offering the 9MM MAJOR I shoot out of my John Wick 3 gun so I wanted to talk to them about this great cartridge.
Their spec for 9MM MAJOR is a 147 grains at 1170fps with a target power factor of 171. It was developed about 6 years ago for champion shooter K.C. Eusibo…he was shooting out of compensated guns and given that comps reduces velocity/power factor, he wanted something more potent than a standard 9mm luger.
Atlanta Arms uses the same testing methology as the military of 10-10-10 (10 rounds in a 10 ring 10 times) and achieves 1” groups at 50 yards with this ammo!
That’s it for booths for today…the rest of the day will be dedicated to seminars and the industry dinner. But first, lunch! I know you guys like food pics…given that I was going to the Golden Bullet Award dinner, I wanted a lighter lunch so I hit FireHouse Subs nextdoor for a 12” steak and cheese sub.
You may think I am eating huge amounts of meat, and I am! Lol…but I am also doing A LOT of walking at the show lol..Adam from FOC posted that he took 100,000 steps at the show and I must be pretty close lol.
First up, a great presentation by Rod Giltaca of the Canadian Coalition for Firerarms Rights (CCFR) on the Political Dynamics of Gun Control…get out and vote people!
Next and incredible panel of instructors with different perspectives, including internationally acclaimed tactical trainer Chris Costa, with extensive military/LEO background, Magpul ete. etc. (come on you guys know who he is lol)
4 time national IPSC production division champ Alex Berdat
former IDF and Tavor training legend Lovie Malespin
Mike Brake, Former DND Special Service Forces and an Emergency Task Force SWAT operator with 25+ years’ experience and Certified Use of Force Instructor
And former Special Forces, M. Rohlehr, who is now teaching the PAL course to new shooters
The discussion centred around the different approaches and mindset for instructing shooters and what we as shooters should look for in an instructor.
I can say that I share Chris Costa’s mindset and would be thrilled to take a course with him. He gave an EPIC speech that I video taped but unfortunately forgot to ask his permission to share so I will just stick with still shots.
Each speaker had their turn and all were very humble
Great discussion, I learned a lot!
And I got to hang out with Alex a bit and got some great shooting tips!
I cant tell you how much forward I was looking to seeing Master Ken in person..he is AWESOME! He started off by providing his opinion on other forms of martial arts..like BJJ “the only place you will find more inappropriate touching is at a slumber party at Bill Cosby’s house” hahahah he is so awesome.
Some gun disaems
Next, how to deal with Beta Males who need protection from his airborne toxic masculinity
Demonstrating his “non-orifice specific” fish-hook technique to the audience
After the show I got this awesome pic with Master Ken
And bought the whole Master Ken Starter Kit lol…one of everything he had on the table including his book, hat, ballbuster, diploma, and patch…and he autographed a couple of them!!
Time for a wardrobe change lol…and off to the VIP Industry Dinner and Golden Bullet Awards show!
Lots of well dressed people
The crew from FOC
Scott from Bulls Eye London
Ha Lovie again! And as luck would have it, we were assigned to the same table!
Dan from Nanuk with BabyGoesPewPew and Mrs. Grey Fox Strategic
Dan with Grey fox Stretegic and friends
Tracey Wilson with Mrs. Select Shooting
Tim from SIG…thanks again bro!
Robo Rambo making his rounds
Ok let’s take our seats
Great job on the atmosphere!!
Happy Birthday Adam!!! You and the team at FOC did an incredible job on the show!
And guess who is MC…Master Ken!!!
Awesome I get to see more Ameri-Do-Te martial arts demonstrations!
Some opening words from Fred of FOC, lead organizer of TACCOM
And now an introduction to the Code of Arms Golden Bullet Awards
Firearms Rights Advocacy Award – presented by O’Dell Engineering ………17 year old Ryan Slingerland for getting 80,000 signatures on a petition advocating for us…he couldn’t be here to accept the award in person.
Best Seller of Canadian Product – presented by the CCFR goes to..Triggertech Diamond Trigger!
Veteran Industry Award – presented by Vortex Canada ………. Millbrook Tactical Inc.
Aspiring Youth Award – presented by Wolverine Supplies goes to Ryan Dobbs …who came 2nd to Alex at the IPSC nationals, and he is only 17 years old…oh and an IPSC Grand Master!…plus he was at my table! Lol
Firearm Instructor Award – presented by Black Bear Gear… Mike Brake! Glad I saw him on the panel earlier in the day.
Mens Shooter of the Year – presented by Select Shooting Supplies, goes to…Alex Berdat! Also at my table!!! Lol we had the best table…the #1 and #2 IPSC national champions and Lovie Malespin
Should be no surprise that Hunting Ambassadors Award – presented by O’Dell Engineering – went to… Amanda Lynn Mayhew of Just Hunt!
Canadian Made Product of the Year – presented by the NFA, goes to…the WK-180C Rifle
Women’s Shooter of the Year – presented by FOC………… Emily Brown
Media Recognition Award – presented by NAS Guns & Ammo ………. Nicolas Johnson (I thought about Kanye Westing this one lol)
People’s Choice Retailer award – presented by High Capacity Magazine ………. The Shooting Edge
Lifetime Achievement Award – presented by Code of Arms ……… John Hipwell, who got a well deserved standing ovation and delivered a very emotional speech surrounded by his family.
And last but certainly not least, the Secret Award: Industry Visionary Award – Fred Pellegrino..who also got a well deserved standing ovation
Nice food too…
We take a moment for Adam to blow out his birthday cake…
A great way to cap a great evening.
Well today is the last day and we are going out STRONG! Believe me, there will be some FIRE in this post!!!
One of the big advantages of a show like this is connecting and re-connecting with industry folks..i ran into my favourite Stoeger rep at the dinner last night and that reminded me to visit her booth. And boy am I glad that I did!! I found my absolute favourite gun of the show, the Benelli M4 A1…like heart beating fast, hot flashes favourite! I already have a Benelli M4 but not like this and the clever boys at Benelli made it so I cannot retrofit the parts, forcing me to buy a new one. And I think their plan worked!
The proprietary fore-end
Now if that is not enough for you at the Stoeger booth, how about this $27,000 Victrix .50BMG from Italy? Yes, that is DOLLARS not LIRA! Every part of the gun is laser mapped pre-assembly and then the whole gun is laser mapped again once assembled. The data is tied to the serial number and if your gun ever needs servicing, they will clone parts for it to the laser specs! All their guns are F1 class.
Note the unique vents on the bolt to direct gasses sideways for shooter safety
Still not enough? How about a SAKO TRG…with a takedown screw in the bolt handle
Oh and the takedown tools are stored in a compartment on the fore-end
I was told on set-up day that an actual Colt C20 would be on display to showcase its USO optic…I checked back and did not see it but thanks to social media, I saw that it arrived so that was my next stop. WOW…another show favourite!!!
The same thing happened with the CSA Compact….it wasn’t there when I visited the booth but I saw it on social media and bam a THIRD show favourite!! Wow, I am finding all the best stuff on Day 3…usually things are winding down at this point. But don’t worry, there is more!
I love the super Compact and can confirm that it fits in a GoRuck GR-1 Shooter bag
One of my objectives for Day 3 was to get an action figure from 3RIUS – Holodeck 3D
Here I am ready to be scanned
After seeing the scan, I got a great idea…I remembered seeing an airsoft version of my John Wick 3 gun so I rushed over to Action Air and they graciously let me borrow it for a re-scan!
By the way, those guys had some other incredible airsoft guns…check out this Resident Evil limited edition
Thanks to Action Air, my 3D action figure will look like this…man I love TACCOM!
3RIUS – Holodeck 3D is actually owned by the same group who owns M-GEAR …awesome EDC tools
And these guys even teach Filipino martial arts!!!! More on that topic after lunch!
But first, a visit to my good friends at Tactical Imports to see their new bullpup shotgun…these were flying off the shelf and TI had to keep re-stocking during the show lol
MKA 1919 Match Gen 2
Speaking of good friends…Nanuk! New big multi-gun case
Nice big handle to carry the big case
And for shorter carbines
I still need to get a custom two gun case made
By now you must be wondering, what about Glock? Well as you can imagine, their booth was pretty mobbed at all times. I did manage to see the new Aimpoint ACRO on a Glock and believe it or not, it was SMALLER than I thought it would be (based on all the memes)
Considering they won an award, I wanted to give Triggertech a closer look but they were mobbed too! I didn’t get a chance to speak with them but got some decent pics.
Pretty hard to talk to Vortex too lol…this is why I try to get in early so I can take pics before the crowds but I cant get to all of them in time lol
I am a big fan of Peltor hearing protection…I have two electronic muffs (Comtac and Tactical Sport) and probably 5 of their non-electronic muffs lol.
I have never tried their in-ear products…until today! And I have to say I was pretty impressed! I
It was also fantastic to talk directly to an engineer…I am telling you, TACCOM is just like being at SHOT show!
Some more of my favourite brands…Surefire
And now for some new (to me) things…Danaper CCW bags…come in all shapes and sizes and feature quick access from multiple angles with hidden zippers…some also have compartments for body armour. The rep gave multiple demos using many of the variations and it does look fast!
I have heard of Alien Gear holsters but missed their booth at SHOT show so was pretty happy to hear they were coming to TACCOM! Their Shape Shift holster has won numerous awards. Basically it is a modular system that allows you to use different mounts to transform a holster into multiple carry options.
You can see the single attachment point here
And the companion trigger guard on the gun
Which allows the holster to be extremely flexible
Alien Gear was also showcasing their new Rapid Force high retention holster designed for law enforcement
Red Tower Armoury had one of the nicest looking displays of the show…unfortunately my camera didn’t like the backlighting that made it so beautiful ..sorry guys
But you can see it on their customized guns
Now this pearl pink really has to be seen in person!
Oh and now they are cerakoting motorcycles too!
Still tons to cover…C4L…veteran owned
CTOMS…where I bought the awesome Crye Precision shirt that I am wearing…I have pants on order too..should be here in January lol. CTOMS has GREAT customer service! Shout out to Shy who helped me on my order but could not make it to the show.
The venerable 5.11..i have LOT’S of their pants…and a few hats too, including one gifted to me by Doug Marcaida when he started representing the brand (and I took his seminar)…and another by the generous Canadian rep…thanks bro!
Nice Canada-specific product!
Fighting for our rights…NFA
Hey its TheShmoo manning the tanks lol
Ok time for lunch…and yes, more meat! I paid an extra $6 to supersize and WOW it was worth it!
The food court was right next to the main stage so I listened in to the panel about female shooters
Next on stage, Canatek Gun works with their innovative locking gun block to store and transport multiple guns…basically you don’t need individual trigger locks and allows you to fit many more guns in a smaller space. Definitely worth checking out.
Now remember that I said the M-GEAR crew teach Filipino martial arts? Well I was thrilled that they were doing an on-stage demo! I have taken a few seminars myself and, being a “knife guy” I love it.
They demonstrated using all types of knives and improvised weapons.
Again, I told you we were finishing strong and I think you will agree it is pretty hard to top a seminar with Chris Costa on the Mindset of the Use of Force. Given the sensitive topic, I cant divulge too much other than to say it was highly educational. Chris had some great anecdotes to drive his points home. And I think I will get a t-shirt made with “there is a mag change in there” because that could be the best line ever lol.
Now the very last but not least, Movie Armament Group! I have seen tons of social media chatter about their booth over the weekend…there was so much to see that I cannot do justice with comments so I hope you are all ok with a pic dump.
And now for some closing comments…
First, we had the Golden Bullet Awards now I present to you the RL1 awards for my Best In Show…but because I cant pick just one, I will do my top five in each category.
1. Benelli M4 A1
2. Korth ULX
3. Colt C20
4. CSA Super Compact
5. Alberta Tactical Rifle MS18-A3 CCFR Edition
1. ATN Monocular
2. FLIR Breach
3. Nightforce BEAST
4. Nightforce ATACR 1-8×24
5. US Optics TS 2.5-20
1. Attending seminars by Chris Costa and Master Ken
2. Getting things autographed by Chris Costa and Master Ken
3. Attending the Golden Bullet Awards and sharing a table with Lovie and 2 champions
4. M-GEAR Filipino martial arts demo
5. Seeing two editions of High Capacity magazine with my articles at TACCOM
Some people have called TACCOM “SHOT show of the North” and as someone who has attended SHOT, I tend to agree. It is not just the guns, it is the fact that you have global industry reps / engineers here to interact with you, seminars by industry icons like Chris Costa and Lovie, the industry dinner, and an overall professional atmosphere that brings the community together
The bottom line is that the TACCOM team did a phenomenal job.
I must also say that I am very grateful to be given an all access media pass. I could not have done this review without it. To put things in perspective, I spent about 25 hours at the show and that much again going through the approximately 1100 pics that I took…and I only posted half of them!
I’ll be happy to do it all over again next year.