19 Jan 15

2015 SHOT Show, Las Vegas, NV, “Media Day”

Today, we attended two of the three live-fire SHOT show events.

There was the regular “Media Day.” Many vendors there, and an opportunity to shoot new guns. However, many non-shooting booths also.

There was a simultaneous “Military Range Day” at another range, way on the other side of town. Lots of shooting going on there!

Then, there was a third live-fire range, this one devoted to SIG products, at a yet different outdoor range.

We did not get to SIG’s range, but we made the other two.

Here is what I saw and found interesting:

Glock had on display several of their pistols fitted with small red-dots. Delta Point, Leupold, and DR. However, iron sights on all pistols there, were unusable, as the optic blocked the path between rear and front. They needed “suppressor” sights that are high enough to be used through the optic. The display must have been put-together in a hurry!

IWI had on display a 9mm version of their Tavor Rifle, as well as their version of the CZ, called the “Jericho.” We’ve had good luck with Tavors in Classes, but the rifle is not perfect. Locking the bolt to the rear is clumsy and awkward, and there is no bolt forward-assist. Factory trigger is poor. However, Geissele’s drop-in replacement is suburb!

I was able to use Aimpoint’s new T2 optic. Superior to the T1! Dot is crisper throughout the entire optic, particularly the edges, and turning up the brightness does not “bloom-out” the optic. Recommended!

I handled several competitors of the Glock.

Service pistols that are (1) striker-fired, (2) have variable grip-geometry, (3) have no de-cocking lever, and (4) no manual safety, (5) are polymer framed and (6) equipped with a “captured” recoil spring are the ones being increasingly used by modern police. In fact, hammer-fired autoloaders, particularly those with manual de-cocking levers, now sit on store shelves, doing little more than gathering dust!

Glock, to their credit, were the first pistols to meet the above criteria, variable grip-geometry being the last feature added.

Now, some real competition:

SIG320. I’m carrying a copy now, and it runs just fine. I wouldn’t carry it if it didn’t! Non-tabbed trigger is crisp, with a short reset. All other competitors have a tabbed trigger, similar to Glock’s, with the exception of S&W’s M&P, which has a “jointed” trigger (accomplishes the same thing).

S&W M&P. We’re seeing lots of these, and they hold-up well. I carried a copy for a year and a half. Never bobbled!

SA/XD and XD/M. These run every bit as well as Glocks. I’ve carried these too. An excellent system!

H&K VP9. A G17-sized, double-column, 9mm service pistol. Solid gun, and genuinely elegant, as least by H&K standards.

Walther PPQ. Again, G17-sized. The wonderful 5.5-pound trigger, feels like three! Short reset, like the SIG320.

FNS. Jointed trigger, similar to S&W’s. Manual safety is optional.

Caracal F (Compact model is the “C”). Made in UAE, but starting an American division. At 18+1, it has a lot of capacity for a pistol that size.

In the small, 9mm single-column, concealed-carry arena is Ruger’s “LC9S-Pro.” Similar in size and function to the S&W Shield and the Kahr PM9, this is not a bad little striker-fired eight-shooter. However, the LC9S (non-pro) version comes with a manual safety and a magazine safety. The former I can live with, even though it is unnecessary. However, I consider magazine safeties to be a death-trap. So, if this pistol interests you, get the “Pro” version!

Robar had on display their new “PolymarAR-15,” an AR with a polymer upper and lower! Amazingly light! This rifle will be a boon to female shooters. We’ll have a copy shortly for testing. I shot it extensively, and it is smooth, fast, and easy to maneuver. Recoil is there, but manageable. Everything Robar makes is top-drawer, and this new innovation garnered much interest!

Magpul showed us their G17 magazines. At half the price of OEM Glock magazines, they run just fine!

Bill Geissele had a Tavor and an AK equipped with his triggers. I shot both, and I reconfirmed how wonderful Geissele triggers are. Recommended, particularly as noted above, on the Tavor!

Krebs was there with their excellent line of AKs. When you want an AK, Krebs is at the top of the list. Krebs’ ingenious magazine-well modification solves the reloading challenges endemic to all AKs!

I got a chance to shoot Inland Manufacturing’s M1 Carbine. Like Kahr’s version, it is an excellent little rifle. With Cor-Bon DPX ammunition, it is deadly indeed!

I also got a chance to shoot the “Tracking Point” rifle. This is a complete system of rifle and computer optic. When you look through the scope, you’re actually looking at a TV screen. With the push of a button, you “mark” your target. When you subsequently press the trigger and hold it back, the rifle won’t fire until sights are exactly aligned with the spot you marked.

It takes some getting used to, as you might imagine. The optic itself is bulky. The system is pricy! But, it offers some distinct advantages.

This might represent the future of sniper rifles!

The big Show starts tomorrow.

More to come!