17 Jan 13

At the Springfield Armory booth, I got a chance to handle the XD/S, in 9mm. External dimension are identical to the SD/S in 45ACP, so it is SA’s version of the M&P Shield, the PM9, and several others. Will be popular!

Windham Weaponry, makers of excellent ARs, had on display a new carbon-fiber model. Quite light! Good choice for the small-statured. Windham enjoys a fine reputation for reliability and first-class customer service, but, of course, they’re swamped just like every other manufacturer of military rifles.

I handled SIG’s new pistol-cartridge-firing carbine (SMG), the MPX. Very AR-like. Collapsible stock. Available in 9mm, and 357SIG. In the latter caliber, it will be formidable indeed!

SIG’s new 227 is basically a 226 in 45ACP, or, put another way, a double-column 220.

The 938 is a 1911-style 9mm, single-column, concealment pistol, on-par with S&W’s Shield. Small and flat, it makes a nice carry-gun.

Finally, SIG’s 716 is a 7.62×51 (308) gas-piston rifle. Very good choice in 308 and joins other excellent rifles in that caliber, like the DSA/SA-58, RA/XCR-M, SA/M1A, PTR/91, LaRue Predatobr, and others.

IWI (Israeli Weaponry Industries) is now importing the Israeli-made Tavor bullpup rifle, which is currently in the process of displacing American-made ARs within Israeli military forces. In 5.56×45 (223), it takes AR magazines, and field-stripping is fast and easy. You can shoot it off your left shoulder without ejected brass hitting you in the face. Nice-handling, this rifle will be popular!

DSA, domestic makers of wonderful FAL rifles, is now exporting them to Africa! The FAL is popular all over the world. DSA’s version is called the SA58. Hard to beat!

I talked to friends at PTR. As expected, they’re swamped with orders for their excellent line of military rifles, made in CT. They were nice enough to review field-stripping procedures with me. I have several, but seldom take them apart. It is seldom necessary!

A company called Faxon is making a drop-in upper that converts Stoner-System ARs to gas-piston. Of note is the fact that the piston, op-rod, and bolt carrier are all one-piece, so, during normal operation, the op-rod doesn’t slam into the bolt carrier, as is the case with most other gas-piston rifles. The Faxon system is more like the Kalashnikov and the RA/XCR.

A company called Xrail makes a unique shotgun magazine expansion system. Six, rotating magazine-tube extensions alternately rotate in place and deliver their rounds into the main magazine tube. The result is that the Benelli M2 goes from a seven-shooter to a twenty-seven-shooter, all without reloading! Fully-charged, the device makes the M2 bulky and heavy, but provides the shooter with a vast reserve of firepower. As military rifles continue to dry-up, shotguns are going to dramatically increase in popularity!

There are many other items I’ve seen, but have not commented on (like the side-by-side, duel-1911 pistol(s). The grip is so big I couldn’t depress the massive grip-safety and still reach the trigger!), because they are silly, intelligence-insulting, and I see no legitimate use for them. I won’t waste your time and mine with comments. At trade-shows like this one, there is always going to be a lot of stupid stuff!

Tomorrow is the last day. Much more to see, feel, and handle!