22 Jan 16

2106 SHOT Show, Last Day:

The 2016 SHOT Show is now officially over! 2017’s iteration will be same time, same place.


Well attended! I saw a significantly bigger crowd than last year. In fact, I think the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas may now be too small. Vendor areas were all sold-out months ago!

It’s an election year, and the mood was upbeat. Everyone is looking forward to a merciful “regime change!” Vendors reported excellent traffic.

The Show appeals to the entire realm of gun interest, including various competitions (in which I have no interest), “cowboy action” shooting (in which I have even less), collectors, hunters, et al. I confine my comments to serious products and trends that interest me.

Even then, there are some interesting vendors I didn’t have time to see. The Show is huge!

Many are stranded here in Las Vegas due to the snow storm back east!

Today’s observations:

Our friend and colleague, Chuck Buis at Blackhawk (now a “brand” under “Vista Outdoors”), showed me their new “Tecgrip” holster. It’s actually a pocket-liner that can be also used as an IWB holster. Very thin, and made of a “sticky,” but not tacky, material. It keeps the holster in place, even with no belt! Like all “deep-cover” holsters, it is one-way. That is, the gun comes out fast, but does bot reholster fast. In fact, with all such holsters, it’s best to remove the entire holster from the pocket or waistband, replace the pistol in it, then put the whole package back in. It cannot be done quickly!

Blackhawk owns the “Knoxx” recoil-reducing shotgun stock, and the latest version is length-adjustable. Like everything Blackhawk produces, it is solid and well made. Available now for the Remington 870.

The Blackhawk “Arc” IWB conventional holster remains a favorite. Stiff, but with no sharp corners, nor edges. Excellent product!

We’re all familiar with Hoppe’s #9 cleaning solvent. Now, we have Hoppe’s high-pressure gun-scrubber, which contains a powerful solvent (which evaporates in seconds), combined with a high-tech lubricant (which remains on surfaces as a film). Good to have in the field. I have a can for testing!

A company called “Stealth Operator” makes a stiff, external concealment holster that is “multi-fit.” That is, it fits just about all Glocks, SIGs, H&Ks, Walthers, FNS, SA/XDs, S&W M&Ps. Fit is not perfect with any particular pistol, but it suffices for most practical purposes. We often have students showing up for Class with a “piece-of-crap” holster that is not only impractical, but dangerous. With several of these “Stealth Operator” holsters on hand, I can now reasonably fit nearly any pistol, and thus get the student up and running quickly. See them at stealthoperator.com

I own several Leatherman “multi tools,” but today I was shown the new “Signal” model, which has all the usual accessories, but with a knife-sharpener, fire starter, and whistle, all included in a compact package. Best tool yet from Leatherman. I’m getting a copy!

My friend, Dave Salvaggio CEO of DSA, showed me his new SA58Ti, a titanium version of his wonderful FAL. Two pounds lighter than the conventional, steel model. Amazing! When you want a serious, fighting rifle in 308, the DSA/SA58 is hard to beat!

Friends at LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool) showed me their “Compressor.” It’s a reduced-in-length AR buffer system that shortens an AR’s overall length by several inches. Handy for low-profile travel and for shooters with short arms. Available in “kit” form.

Zeiss’ version of the RDS, their “Z-Point,” is slightly smaller than an Aimpoint T1. I have a copy on one of my rifles, and it has always run flawlessly. It is a good product, but Zeiss all but keeps it a secret! The one copy they had at the Show was tucked-away in the corner of an obscure display cabinet.

Finally, my friend Ronnie Barrett, famous for his fifty-caliber rifles, also makes a wonderful gas-piston AR, called the Rec-7. I’ve had a copy for several years, and it is one of the few gas-piston ARs I really like. They now have an “improved” version, but most changes are cosmetic. When you insist on a gas-piston version of the AR, this one is at the top of the list!

In the way of criticism, too many graphic displays (some huge) clearly depicting:

1) People shooting guns while not wearing safety-glasses.

2) People clearly depicted pointing guns in unsafe directions.

3) People with guns in hand, sights not on target, and finger wrapped around the trigger.

These safety gaffs need to be absolutely prohibited by Show organizers. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy!