14 Jan 14

2014 SHOT Show, First Day:

The Shot Show is again this year at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, with its never-ending ballrooms, as well as main convention halls, at two levels. The SHOT Show is now the fifth biggest trade show in the nation, eclipsed only by the Consumer Electronics Show, the Auto Show, and several others.

Even at that, this year’s SHOT Show is sold-out of vendor spaces, with a waiting list of vendors trying to get in.

Last year’s event-coordinator was fired, and a new one is in charge this year. One consequence is that hundreds of attendees (including several friends), who have attended SHOT Shows for years, arrived only to find there was no record of their past attendance. Who were accustomed to just showing up, paying their $20.00, and getting their show-badge on the spot, discovered they now had to stand in endless lines for the entire morning of the first day for the privilege of paying over ten times that amount!

We were lucky we took care of all this in advance!

As is typical for the first day, we rushed around visiting old friends and seeing as much of the new items on display as we could. Tomorrow, we’ll be more methodical!

Items of note:

Yesterday, I reported that the new G41 was a single-column 45 ACP pistol, similar in size to a 1911. I handled a copy today at the Glock booth. It is actually a double-column 45ACP, which makes it even less interesting! Very little difference from a G21.

ELSA (Emergency Life-Saving Armor) fits in what looks like a computer case. One dons it instantly for front and back coverage, with all accessories, including spare magazines, in place. Clever way of carrying a rifle-armor ensemble in low profile! Whole thing weighs less than four pounds!

The armor used is DKX. Very light! The same DKX armor is used for the CBCS, a hand-held ballistic shield with integral flashlight. Excellent for going down stairs!

There are lots of people making and marketing flashlights, but I particularly liked Four Sevens’ MMR Tactical light. Puts out 800 lumens and is USB rechargeable.

I carry a Terralux 600 lumen TT5, because I like its ruggedness and controls. I bought Vicki a 250 lumen TT1 at the show. She liked the small size and, once more, convenient controls.

Strategic Systems, makers of training systems, had on display a clever, self-resetting steel pistol target, called the “Auto-Popper.” At 20 lbs and $300.00/copy, it makes a handy, transportable steel target that can be set-up quickly.

DSM (Don’t Shoot Me) has an improved, quick-deployment “police” banner that can be quickly donned. I carry one constantly, and I plan on putting mine on as soon as I can when involved in any tense situation where I might be confronting police who have guns drawn!

Friends at Kahr showed me their 1911U, a sub-commander sized 1911. New for 2014. Nice concealment gun and far more reasonable than similar 1911s from other manufacturers.

A company called Adaptive Tactical has a kit for converting a Mossberg 590 (12ga pump shotgun) into a ten-shot shotgun, fed from a compact, drum magazine. For those who live places where high-capacity, military rifles are hard to legally own, this might provide an adequate alterative.

This year, I took a close look at the Double-Tap Pistol. It is a break-open, over/under “derringer” that fires one or two rounds. It stores an additional two rounds in the grip. It is available in 9mm and 45ACP. It is extremely flat and very small. Fits in a pocket easily. For some people in some situations, this little pistol may represent a good option. In any event, I’m interested enough to get a copy for testing!

We probably walked ten miles today, and still haven’t seen 75% of the Show!

More tomorrow.