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.
Despite all my planning, Mother Nature threw a bit of a curve at us with the biggest snow storm of the season. As a pre-caution, we flew out two days early to beat the storm. That is ok as we wanted to get some “Vegas time” and this gave us two extra days of that and I will be covering some of that as part of this review (we will see if I have time to make it to the Adult Video Awards lol).
The first thing we did after arriving was to have our first Vegas meal at In-N-Out burger!
How fitting that I was customer #1 lol.
Today we started with lunch at Jack in the Box, my first time eating here. I had the classic buttery burger, which is essentially like an egg Chalah bun.
Then we headed over to Boot Barn to pick up some Lucchese boots that I pre-ordered for delivery to the store. I have always wanted Lucchese cowboy boots and when I saw their new hybrid cowboy/work boot I had to pull the trigger. I love the concept! Although everyone raves about the Lucchese fit, I had never tried on a pair so was a bit worried and sure enough they were way too tight!
So I ended up buying these Dan Post boots in rough suede.
I also got a proper cowboy hat, a Rodeo King in “grizzly” style fur. It was an open crown
So I had them custom form it to a Gus crown with Rodeo brim…very cool to watch that being done!
I have to say Boot Barn has AMAZING customer service!!!
Next we went to the Shelby Museum. I had been to their old location and compared to that, I would say their museum is smaller and more focused on older cars while the factory and store are bigger.
We both signed the wall
Our nice tour guide
Lots of gear in the store including clothing, travel goods, signs, and even knives.
I got a few things.
Finally we went to watch the UFC bout between McGreggor and Cowboy at Tilted Kilt. It was quite surreal to watch it here knowing that the fight was going on live down the street! The crowd went bananas (I have some vids I may post later). We also ran into some guys headed to SHOT Show from OSS Suppressors, Sig, and a company that makes custom hearing protection.
Food at the Tilted Kilt….mozzarella sticks
Wings with Kilt Burner sauce (not very hot)
The Celtic Knot, a giant pretzel (the best part of the meal)
Our lovely server
We didn’t do much today…just picked up my Media pass
And then went for dinner at Heart Attack Grill, which I will cover in the food section at the end.
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
Tuesday SHOT Show 2020 Day 1
OMG this is so incredibly frustrating! I have hundreds of pics to upload but this internet connection is not cooperating….i will share what I can for now…
The Media room is open an hour before the show so I hung out there for a bit and ran into none other than Hickock45!!!!
Per the SHOT Show 2019 fact sheet, the total weight of goods delivered for the show exceeded 7,000,000 pounds! This included more than 15,000 firearms, which were all inspected and tagged before being put on display. Did I mention that SHOT is big?
STI was the first booth that I visited in 2018 so I thought I would keep up the tradition, especially since there was a chance of seeing the actual movie gun from John Wick 3! Of course, I love my own JW3 gun but handling the real movie gun is still a special experience for me.
Sadly it was not there but I would get a related surprise later on in the day. In the meantime, STI briefed me on their totally new lineup of no less than 7 Staccato variants! Based on customer demand of people wanting to carry their competition guns, STI is moving more toward “tactical” as opposed to a pure competition gun. They have even brought back a single stack!
From a quality standpoint nothing will change as the guns will still be hand fitted and will retain features such as island barrels.
Next on my list, B&T, which was my favourite booth of the show so far. As I mentioned, I REALLY liked the USW-A1 at range day so I wanted to have a closer look.
I also REALLY liked this in SPR in 300 blackout with integrated suppressor!
As well as this grenade launcher.
Just great product from B&T.
I shot IWI’s T12 shotgun at 2018’s Range day but I missed their booth at the show to get better pics and to see a real UZI in person so I wanted to correct those issues.
And here is the micro Uzi!
The Tavor shotgun with rotating magazines.
Loved the cut-aways
I visited the Ed Brown booth to see two things in particular…first the new “Fueled by Ed Brown S&W M&P collaboration…while there are lots of custom Glocks out there, not as many people are doing custom M&Ps…this one has Ed Brown parts and is hand fit just like a custom…US$1999
And second, the Jeff Cooper re-release…the last time this model was available, I chose my Molon Labe over it…glad that I can have another chance
I got to meet / re-meet a lot of celebrities and industry icons today….such as Les Baer (he was not at the booth when I visited in 2018), who I also ended up seeing a second time in the hotel elevator later in the day lol.
I am holding the new American Handgunner
While he is holding this one
I also got to meet the founder of Freedom Arms…who had this very special set made in his honour
To me though, all of their great big caliber revolvers (and a single action) are works of art
I know a lot of people are into chassis systems, when I hear the words “precision rifle” I immediately think of the H-S Precision HTR. I especially like the take-down version.
H-S was showcasing many new, lighter hunting models in various finishes.
I especially liked this one.
That having been said, I’d be very happy with a Desert Tech lol…especially the Covert
Or for larger calibers…
The MDR is now available in multiple calibers.
I stopped at the Kel-Tec booth mainly to check out their KSG line of shotguns. Yes, they introduced some new handguns but the focus of my review is on things that I like not necessarily reporting on every new introduction lol.
I liked the ultra compact, which would be prohibited here I think but there is a version with an extended barrel that I handled recently at Bulls Eye London
Speaking of, look who I ran into at the booth! None other than Scott from Bulls Eye.
I knew that Tom was visiting Cadex so I wasn’t sure that I would but their booth sure caught my eye! (that happens at SHOT lol). LOT’S of great new products here.
The Sheepdog was introduced last year
…and now there is a lighter version for hunting.
The Kraken with interchangeable calibers…you can see the take down tools to make the switch in the second pic
And if you think that suppressor on the Kraken is big, check out the one on the .50BMG Tremor!
My personal favourite, the C.P.S with quick release stock
New two stage trigger (vs. single stage)
New rail mount
And new shotgun accessories!
As you may know, I am just as much into knives as I am into guns, maybe even more so! I did visit several knife booths, such as Benchmade.
I took the opportunity to look at their latest Balisongs, since we don’t really see those here. The handles on these three are G10, steel, and titanium respectively. The magnetic latch on the titanium model was pretty cool (pretty much pops open when you squeeze the handles).
Apart from their Balisongs, my favourite Benchmade of all time is the Stryker designed by custom knifemaker Allen Elishewitz (who is at SHOT as he designs knives for Hogue), now only available as an auto.
I did like their new out the front auto a lot though
SHOT exclusive scales and S90V blade steel on this one
This gentlemen’s folder is expected to be their biggest new introduction…no pocket clip, it comes with a sheath
Continuing with knives…I was hoping to see Ernie Emerson and update our comparison picture but sadly he was not at the show.
I did get to see the new smaller Sheepdog, shown here next to the original size.
Other interesting knives at his booth…the Seax fixed blade neck knife
CQC-7 fixed next to the folding version
The P-SARK trainer
And my personal favourite, the Super Commander
Back to guns….I put myself on the “the list” for a Springfield FBI gun almost 2 years ago without ever having handled one in person…now I can say that my instincts were right because it is stunning in person
Next stop, Colt
Of course all the talk about Colt is around the re-released Python, but as I mentioned after shooting it at Range Day, it didn’t excite me enough to want to purchase one.
The cut-a-way was pretty neat though
The King Cobra
Or if you prefer your revolvers to be more dressy
To me the most interesting gun at Colt was the M16
Vs. the more modern M4
I started the day with a celebrity sighting and will end with a few more…Lou Ferrigno at Brownell’s booth
Taran Butler at Benelli with the actual John Wick movie guns!
On the way to dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Steak (which I will cover later) I ran into Lovie Malespin in the parking lot!
Then at 11:30 at night I went down to the convenience store in the hotel lobby to get a drink and ran into Royce Gracie!!!
Quite a good start to the show!
Wednesday SHOT Show 2020 Day 2
First stop on Day 2, Silver Shadow to check in with Lovie and see the Gilboa double AR-15!
I liked it a lot more than the Arsenal double 1911
I knew about the Gilboa but a big surprise was that Silver Shadow also brought a Corner Shot, which I have always wanted to see in person so I was pretty happy about that!
Lovie doing some demos of how it works to shoot around corners
I always feel safer when Lovie Malespin provides cover
I have a Battle Blades Tops Wolfhawk mounted to my HK MR223 and there are a few disadvantages to the design. In my opinion, the Gripknife is a much better way to have a blade mounted to your gun. The intriguing design is a spring mounted blade that deploys out of a rail mounted fore-grip.
It comes in two sizes in multiple finishes
Thanks to Lovie for demonstrating as well
And thanks to the Gripknife team as well…great guys.
I love catching up with old friends at such shows…such as knife designer Liong Mah…I have a few of his older, more radical designs
His new lineup is geared more toward EDC and utility
For example, the Field Duty with drop point, flat ground blade and frame lock
It looks like an integral but is actually made of two pieces…either way, super solid
Next, the Lanny
Forgot the names of these two
It was also great to see Michael Janich again…and update our comparison pic lol
Spyderco now offers an all black version of Michael’s Yojimbo 2…I really like how the lock-bar on the compression lock is coated black as well
Shown here with the Chinook 4
The Chinook 4 closer to James Keating’s original design (I have a Chinook 1 with box signed by James)
Another new interesting knife from Spyderco, the Nightstick single edged dagger
As I have reported in the past, F-1 Firearms are my favourite AR15s. I dare say I like them more than my HK MR223! They are known for feeling “light” when you shoot them and I had the same sensation whenever I have shot one.
They are also known for their wild finishes, although those have been toned down this year.
This finish changes colour depending on the angle of light
Proof carbon fiber barrel
Their newest model is more discrete and geared more toward law enforcement than competition
Shown here by Tom, who tests / tunes the guns that go out (thanks for all your time!)
My favourite is the Dynamis collaboration
Here was a big surprise for me…F-1 is getting into handguns! Right now they are based off Shadow Systems guns but they are gradually transitioning to completely in-house.
A Cabot would be a good pairing with an F-1 lol…sadly they did not bring their $4.5 million meteorite guns of even the Trump gun they had at SHOT Show 2018. Fortunately they brought my personal favourite, the Ultimate Bedside gun
Of course, if you are going to buy a Cabot, you may as well buy a pair to benefit from their clone technology…their guns are made to the thousandths of an inch and unlike other custom guns that need to be hand fitted, you can interchange the parts on a cloned pair.
Some of you may know that I have a fetish for trainers, even going so far as to have custom knifemakers build training versions of their live blades for me. In the world of firearms trainers, Blue Guns is on top. There is a Blue Gun for EVERYTHING, and if not, they will custom make one for you! In fact, Blue Guns makes props for movies as well as mock ups of prototypes before they are launched. They do not use lasers, rather they make physical molds of products.
Love the 249
And the pipe wrench! Lol
Black Aces Tactical was not on my original list but thanks to online coverage of the show, I found out about their new lever action shotgun…it also caught my eye as I passed by their booth (I guess I am susceptible to shiny new things at SHOT show after all!)
While this bullpup looks similar to others on the market, it is actually 2 inches shorter
As I mentioned in my intro, I got an Otte Patrol Parka in anticipation of this show. I discovered this great piece of kit through some past SHOT show videos showing Todd explaining its various features so I wanted to stop by Otte and meet him in person. Todd gave me a similar rundown on the HT Insulated Parka that he is wearing.
Also in terms of tactical clothing, I am a big fan of Crye Precision…I have a G3 Combat Shirt and am waiting (for six + months!) for my G3 Combat Pants. It was great to see their Loft jacket in person and I have to say that G4 Field coat looks awesome (sadly I did not get a pic).
I left the show a bit early today in order to attend Doug Marcaida’s seminar on karambits…it was very educational! Once again, it was great to update a comparo pic lol
Thursday SHOT Show 2020 Day 3
Let me start today’s coverage with yet another gun that far exceeded my expectations…the Full Conceal Glock 19! My first impression is that it is far more “solid” than I anticipated…also the way it is designed, it is completely safe to carry with one in the chamber as it is impossible to fire when it is in the folded position. One of my favourites of the show.
Easily fits in the pocket
This year Full Conceal introduced a more economical model built off a proprietary frame instead of a Glock.
As I mentioned earlier, B&T has been my favourite booth of the show so far…I knew they had a second booth but I didn’t actively look for it so was pleasantly surprised to come across it. It was great to have another look at the USW and SPR 300…and to finally see VP9 pistol as well!
Team Wendy has a stellar reputation for helmets. In case you were not aware of the back-story of the company, it was founded after the owner’s daughter died from a head injury suffered while skiing. Their comfort and safety features were quickly noticed by law enforcement / military and the rest is history.
They had a set-up showing how some testing is done.
I tried on an Exfil Ballistic helmet…super comfortable and Level IIIA protection
The “Team Wendy” comfort can now be retrofitted to your other brand of helmet via their “cloud liner” system…note the strategically placed cushioning and ratchet tightening system
My timing for visiting the Winkler knives booth was great as both Daniel Winkler and James Williams were at the booth!
James puts his martial arts / combat training to good use designing application specific knives…
such as this one
More great Winkler knives
My personal favourites were the Tactical Cleaver
And weapon retention tool
For fans of Alien and Judge Dredd, digital round counters are now a real thing! The Radetec system requires changing three components of your Glock, the slide, backstrap, and one internal part of the trigger group as well as the follower on your mags.
They also offer a rail mounted “armourer’s tool” which is meant to keep track of shooting sessions…not only does it count the number of rounds fired over the life of the gun, it also keeps track of every shot to the 1/100th of a second…so you could check your splits etc. with the mobile app
Another cool piece of high tech gear, the new Trijicon Ventus …it uses Doppler LIDAR to measure headwind, tailwind, crosswind and vertical wind components at six different distances up to 5000M and includes a ballistic calculator as well
In case you were wondering what a $100,000 1911 looks like, Nighthawk has your answer!
Nighthawk is continuing their collaborations with Agency Arms
Their double-stack is much thinner than others on the market (such as STI) and features a full dust cover and compensator
Some new finishes such as this “triple black camo” with three shades of black…and nice stippling on the top of the slide (like the Bob Marvel model)
This is actually a Colt tuned by Nighthawk
Nice Officer sized gun, the Counsellor
Nighthawk Korth revolvers
Including this 8 shot .357
Ok ok HK HK….in my review of SHOT Show 2018, the HK booth seemed to get the most response so here
is another picture dump lol….
First some military hardware
my favourite was the M27, which is based on the 416
My favourite handgun, the Mark 23 SOCOM
And from the civilian line…
Last but certainly not least of my booth coverage, Kalashnikov!
The new Komrad semi-auto shotgun
Vs. the KS12
Lot’s of variations of KR-9s
And the new American made AK, the KR103 (on top)
Ok that’s it for my booth coverage. I will follow up later today with random cool things, more celebrity spottings, and yes, food pics.
Tom is also working on additional booth coverage and I will add that when ready as well.
Random Cool Stuff and More Celebrity Sightings
The Press Room for those with a media pass
The famous “back pack”
The Throne of Freedom
Mini-gun at Elite Defense, the Official Sponsor of the Good Guys
MTM watches, including my favourite, the RAD with its built in Geiger counter
I ran into the Ballistic Ink guys at Cabot guns…LOVED that Gustav shirt so much that I already ordered
one lol…along with another hoodie…such great designs!
The 1 Millionth Sig P320
The Magnum Research BFR with 17” barrel!
I ran into a buddy and he got the prototype for the CRKT Provoke Stormtrooper edition! Let me know when you are ready to sell bro!
It was a real honour to meet Jerry Miculek and his family at the Mossberg booth..such nice people! And I am sure my shooting performance improved exponentially just by shaking his hand!
JM Edition Mossbergs
Glock’s new spokesperson, Chuck Norris!
All done with SHOT Show, we headed to PVK, an incredible knife store.
Thanks to PVK for letting me have a look at the Microtech John Wick special edition set
My second favourite was this Microtech OTF rescue hook prototype…with a $4800 price tag to reflect its
Finally the Microtech
I picked up a Strider SLCC by Warren Thomas in his signature carbon fiber laminated and bonded to titanium and impregnated with carbide lol
And a set of John Wick assassin coins!
The obligatory swag pic
Coming up, the food of SHOT!