20 Jan 12

2012 SHOT Show, Last Day.

Today, I saw a sample of DKX personal armor. It is a hard chest-plate that stops all rifle rounds, including 30-06. It is stiff and a half-inch thick, but, unlike steel or ceramic armor, it floats! In fact, it can function as a flotation device when worn. I’m not sure how they do it, but, by comparison, steel and ceramic armor of the same capability is many times heaver.

Several companies displayed remote-control, multi-wheeled, battery-powered trolleys, designed to transport targets around a down-range impact area, so as to provide shooters with a genuinely animated target. Wonderful idea, but how does the shooter, or his instructor, know the target was hit, without physically going downrange and checking for, and patching, holes? This can be done, of course, but it squanders much valuable training time. One vendor, displayed a system where, when hit, the target collapsed, instantly communicating to the shooter that he was successful. Again, this is all wonderful, but how is the collapsed target reset? Again, someone has to go downrange and physically reset the target before training can resume.

Northern Lights Tactical is the only manufacturer that features an animated trolley-mounted target that both collapses when hit and is remotely, electronically resettable! It is expensive, but this is the way to train Operators to successfully engage lifelike targets while maximizing efficient use of range time. Excellent system!

I use and carry Cor-Bon DPX ammunition in all my pistols, believing it to represent the best combination of expansion and penetration currently available. DPX features Barnes all-copper bullets. Barnes cold-forms their pistol bullets from copper bar-stock on a “cold-header,” a machine typically used to form rivets and bolts. The result is a bullet that consistently expands without fragmenting.

Now comes a new company, Lehigh Defense. They are selling pistol ammunition that also features an all-copper bullet, but they make their own, not on a cold-header, but on an automatic screw-machine. They also begin with copper bar-stock, but their bullets are turned, not cold-formed. They had several on display that were recovered from gelatin, and expansion was spectacular! Of course, I need to do my own testing, but this may represent a significant development.

There was a time when the SHOT Show was primarily attended by retailers and distributers, and exhibitors spent most of their time meeting these folks and writing orders. Not any more!

Today, the SHOT Show is attended by a much wider spectrum of LEO and Military types, as well as end-users, trainers (like me), writers, and people looking for jobs! Exhibitors today write few orders, instead spending most of their time demonstrating their wares and debuting new products.

SHOT is surely not the only industry show, but it is the biggest and one I try not to miss.

Now over for another year!

The 2013 SHOT Show will also be at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas