13 Jan 14

2014 SHOT Show, Media/Range Day

The SHOT Show hosts a “Media Day” at a local range, so people from the gun press (for which I apparently qualify) can handle and shoot guns. There is a simultaneous and separate “Range Day|,” at a different local range, where military rifles and accessories were on display and available to shoot.

I attended both, Media Day in the morning and Range Day in the afternoon.

Here is what I found, of note:

Beretta, who at one time manufactured the excellent 1201 autoloading riot shotgun (long-since out of production), has reintroduced it, now called the “1301/Tactical.” I shot it, and it is wonderful, similar to the Benelli M4. Glad Beretta brought it back. Nice sights this time, six-round tube, slim and slick.

I also got a chance to shoot the Beretta AXR rifle. Compact 223 that takes AR magazines. Nice trigger, and I like it. But, at 2k/copy, it is priced up there with the Israeli Tavor. Both have to compete with ARs, which are available at half that price.

Beretta’s “Nano” compact 9mm pistol is small and slick, smaller than a S&W Shield, and runs fine.

However, Beretta’s “Pico” in 380 Auto is a very small and amazingly thin, thinner than just about any other 380 I know of. Owners will find it easier and more convenient/comfortable to carry concealed than most other small 380s.

I shot the Kriss “Vector” carbine for the first time. 45 ACP rifle (carbine) that takes Glock magazines. Compact and light, and controllable. I shot the full-auto version, and, even in full-auto, it is smooth and controllable.

One of the “under 1k” ARs I handled and shot was from a new company, called Devil Dog Arms. Excellent rifle! Another is Double Star’s CCC Carbine (a copy of which I have), also excellent.

On the Devil Dog AR was mounted a compact, rugged 4x optic from a company called Browe. For those wanting magnifying optics, this is a good one!

Another interesting optic on display is the AQC by a company called MSE. Resembles an EOTech, but is available with multiple reticles, in the same optic. They have a circle and dot, similar to EOTech’s, but one can instantly switch to just a dot. The third choice is a dot, flanked by red lines.

Yet another EOTech-like optic, designed specifically for shotguns, is the “Red Ring” the reticle is a red ring, with no dot. It is designed to define a shotgun pattern. I shot a Kel Tec KSG shotgun equipped with a Red Ring, and it is very fast indeed!

My good friends at MGI demonstrated their “Hydra” rifle. It is an AR that can be converted from 223 to 7.62×39 by changing barrels, bolt/bolt carrier, and magazine well. The whole process takes less than a minute. Pretty slick!

Another AR on display that I had the opportunity to shoot is the ADCOR gas-piston system. It features an H&K-style forward charging handle. Very slick and smooth, but a little pricy at 2.5k

As mentioned above, I finally get the chance to shoot Kel-Tec’s bullpup KSG pump shotgun. Ran fine, but it is a bruiser, a consequence of its light weight! It has two, parallel, seven-shot magazine tubes, but switch-over is manual, not automatic.

Glock was there with their new G42 and G43. I didn’t shoot either, as the lines were too long! The G42 is a small, single-stack 380 auto. Like all Glocks, it runs fine, but it is a good deal bigger than Kahr’s P380 and a lot bigger, and fatter, than Beretta’s Pico.

The G43 is a single-stack 45ACP, about the same dimensions as a 5-inch 1911. It is designed mainly to accommodate rules for certain pistol competitions. However, for concealed carry, the existing G36 is smaller and more suitable.

The Israeli Tavor was on display, and it is a rifle I really like, one of the few bull-pups I do! Takes AR magazines and is very compact, so it makes a nice travel gun. I’ve had several in Courses, and all have run fine. Once again, pricy at 2k/copy.

I got chance to shoot ROBAR’s SR21 compact long-range, bolt-action rifle. ROBAR had copies there in 308 and in 300 Win Mag. The stock comes off for easy transport. I watched shooters hitting targets at 800m with it. Even I had no trouble hitting the 400m target. I couldn’t even see the one at 800m! Target market is police and non-police, domestic consumers. There are a few people who can appreciate, and take advantage of, this kind of significant capability. Like everything from ROBAR, it is top-drawer.

Tomorrow, the 2014 SHOT Show officially begins at the Sands Expo Center.