15 Jan 14

2014 Shot Show, Second Day:

As I did last year, I stopped counting at fifty, or so, the number of companies purporting to manufacture ARs. Most actually just assemble them, but, in all fairness, most of them we see in Classes run well.

CORE is a manufacturer who actually makes their own barrels, and most other parts. Excellent ARs, at just over 1k/copy.

I’m told by friends in the Special Forces Community that the 300 Blk (Blackout), now designated the “7.62×35.” is rapidly displacing the 5.56×45, both officially and unofficially. It appears to be doing what the 6.8mm SPC (6.8×43) was supposed to do, but never did!

The small Boberg Pistol, at 1k, is a little pricy, but has nice features. Very small, single-stack 9mm (7+1), rated for +p ammunition, with soft recoil. We’ve had several in Courses, and they run just fine. The XRQS is the smallest 9mm version. 45ACP version, only slightly bigger, will be out later this year.

Coonan Arms continues to manufacture and sell their 1911-style pistols, chambered for 357Mg (revolver cartridge). They had a nice display!

I talked with Mike Gibson of MGM (Mike Gibson Manufacturing). Their basic steel rifle target, plus stand, is $500.00. Steel in the stand is armor plate, so the stand itself doesn’t get chewed-up. Hard to beat!

Firstlight’s Tomahawk right-angle flashlight has been upgraded to the 400 lumen “T-Max.” I now have a copy, and it has features found nowhere else, including red/green combination for detecting blood, plus flashing red, white, and blue for police ID. I carry my copy constantly! Pricy at $270.00, but a stepped-down version is under $100.00.

Blue Force Gear has a new version of their famous Vicker’s Sling, called the 221. Same quick-adjust feature of the original, but the 221 quickly converts from two-point to single-point. I’ll have a copy for testing shortly.

Yet another flashlight company, whom I’ve never heard of until today, Eagtac, displayed a small, tactical flashlight with an output of 1116 lumens. Amazingly bright!

My old friend, Brian Hoffner, showed me his new folding knife, designed for carrying. One-hand opening, designed for damaging impact, whether the blade is deployed or not. I now carry a copy. Too good to pass-up!

Yet another AR manufacturer, Anderson Arms, produces rifles with their exclusive “RF85″ calcium coating process on all parts. They claim their rifles never need lubrication! I don’t know enough about coatings and other surface treatments to even comment. I may get a copy just to test their theory!

I saw and handled the much-heralded R51 Pistol from Remington. A small, single-stack 9mm, designed for concealed carry, about the size of the S&W Shield. Quite a disappointment! Slide movement was extremely gritty. Significant scratch-marks on the barrel, just from attendees handling it manually. They may have brought this pistol out a little too soon!

Taurus has been far from perfect, but the reach to the trigger on their polymer-framed Millennium Pistol is short enough to accommodate even the smallest of hands. Many women who have difficulty reaching the trigger on other autoloaders with enough finger to press it smoothly, will find this Taurus user-friendly indeed!

SIG’s contribution to the small, 9mm, concealed-carry gun market is the single-column P290 (7+1). Self-decoking, and, like all SIGs, it runs fine. It, the S&W Shield, Kahr PM9, the Beretta Nano, the Kimber Solo, the Boberg, the Rohrbaugh, and several others offer the concealed-carry consumer many acceptable choices.

More tomorrow!