25 Nov 14

2014 ITOA, Oakbrook, IL

My long-time friend and colleague, Jeff Chudwin, once again organized a spectacular Program for all of us who are privileged to attended the 2014 ITOA (Illinois Tactical Officers’ Association) annual Convention this week in Oakbrook, IL.

My friend Jeff Hall delivered his inspiring lecture on “Finishing the Fight.” He is always a favorite!

The “Left of Bang” lecture was also riveting.

I only wish I could have attended them all!

In the vendor area, my friend John Klein of Sage showed me his new box-magazine-fed, autoloading, 37mm launcher, called the BML/37. It is a five-shooter and launches gas, baton, or any number of other less-lethal rounds as fast as the operator can press the trigger. It will be a boon to riot controllers!

He also has a series of chasses designed to update the M14, Mini14, and M1 Carbine. The M14EBR-R1 was particularly interesting. In upgrades the M14 with pistol-grip, rails, adjustable stock, etc.

The Soviet RPG is notoriously deadly within 200m. It remains extremely dangerous out to 600m, a good deal less dangerous at greater ranges. Infantrymen thus need to effectively engage RPG gunners before they get within the 600m threshold. The M4 is not up to that task! The M14 is, particularly in this new package. They’re going to Afghanistan as fast as they can be made!

Springfield Armory had copies on display of their new XD Compact/Mod2, in 9mm and 40S&W. SA has made a real effort to make this pistol attractive to people with small hands. The slide is now slightly narrower than before, and the rear serrations are designed to make it easy to run the slide when using the overhand method that most instructors recommend. SA deserves a lot of credit for never being content to sit on their laurels!

At the Glock booth, I got a chance to handle the G42 (380Auto) more extensively than I have before. Many clever innovations currently incorporated into the G42 will manifest themselves in “Gen5″ Glocks, which we’ll be seeing in a year or two! Sooner than that, we’ll be seeing a 9mm version of the G42, which will be single-column (9-shooter), only slightly wider, and eminently suitable for concealed carry, similar to the S&W Shield, XD/S, and the Kahr PM9.

Friends at M&A Parts, the preeminent supplier of AR parts and accessories, tell me that so many ARs have been sold over the past several years that the market is currently soft. However, that could all change overnight with the next turn of international events, even domestic events. The AR is still a favorite of American consumers, police and non-police like!

ITOA, like ILEETA and IALEFI, are gatherings I try not to miss. I love inspiring classes, wonderful comradery, and courageous vendors. It is the only way I can keep up!