20 Jan 23
2023 SHOT Show, Last Day:
The 2023 SHOT Show is now over. From what I saw, it was the biggest I’ve ever been to!
The entire Sands Convention Center, both floors, plus all the ballrooms, plus the entirety of the adjacent (and enormous) Cesar’s Forum were completely filled with vendors!
Police and armed security were present, but not overwhelming. I saw no protestors.
I’m told that major military weapons systems (including small arms) purchasers, including the US Military, are now demanding that manufacturers provide competent, thorough training to go along with their product(s).
To that end, a company called “Mustang Industrial Design” has designed an ingenious dry-training pistol magazine intended to enhance training programs sponsored by major gun manufacturers.
I sincerely hope manufacturers look into this and other systems that are aimed at reducing gun accidents and incompetent gun usage.
It is my opinion that the repeatedly tried-and-failed “smart gun” idea is nonsense and cannot be made to work, so manufacturers need to be looking for other ways to educate/enlighten their ultimate customers, beyond just proving them with a written manual.
Holosun showed me their thermal red-dot system. It’s actually fairly compact, but still too big for a pistol. However, on a rifle it is very usable. Available later in the year, this will provide the user with an ability to both identify and effectively engage threats in the dark! It will retail for $2.5k
The world is now awash with plastic-framed, striker-fired, 9mm pistols, so many brands that I can’t keep up! Most I’ve tested have proven reliable and eminently suited to serious purposes, so just about any one of them represent an acceptable choice for personal defense/concealed carry.
One can say pretty much the same thing about M4s and similar serious rifles.
So, I made the sweeping statement the first day that not much was “new”
In so doing, I overlooked Glock’s new “Performance Trigger,” which I had the chance to test today.
Glock is producing this trigger as a “drop-in,” intended for existing Glock pistols. New-production pistols will not be coming from the factory with the Performance Trigger already installed.
Glock’s Performance Trigger is smooth, with a crisp break and snappy reset. In all fairness, it does represent an “improvement” over the stock trigger. The Performance Trigger breaks at four pounds and change. Maybe fine for recreational shooting, but too light for serious purposes, in my opinion. In my opinion, a service/issue pistol needs a trigger break of 5.5-7 pounds.
Thus, one of these will not be finding its way into any of my Glocks. Glock’s “standard” trigger works just fine!
I also overlooked the RIA (Rock Island Armory) 5.0 Pistol. The 5.0 uses an ingenious barrel lock-up at the muzzle, rather than a Browning-style tilting barrel. The copy I handled is big, heavy, and clunky, but when reduced in size this pistol might become a serious contender.
Staccato, a small manufacturer of high-end 1911 pistols, makes a small/short model called the “CS,” specifically designed for concealed carry. It’s a 17-shooter (all Staccato pistols are 1911 style and double-column 9mm). It fits Vicki’s hand well, and she really likes it!
POF (Patriot Ordnance Factory) introduced the “Tombstone,” a lever-action 9mm rifle designed for serious purposes. Takes proprietary magazines. $2k.
Black Rain, a high-end maker of M4s that also enjoys an excellent reputation is introducing a bullpup 308 rifle later this year, called the “Commando” The copy I handled is very light, compact!
Friends in the distribution business tell me that armies ordering AKs, (like Afghanistan), specify milled receivers (rather than stamped), because milled receivers can be easily re-barreled when the old barrel is worn-out. Of course, this is of moot concern for the individual consumer (who will likely never shoot enough to wear-out even one barrel), but large consumers (like armies) who shoot a lot of rounds during training need to think about such things!
Finally, my esteemed friend and colleague, Manny Kapelsohn, and I visited the National African American Gun Association. Their booth was staffed with friendly people where we were warmly welcomed and encouraged to join, by the Group’s president himself! He explained that the Group heartily welcomes all among the freedom-loving, regardless of ethnicity, religion, etc.
Manny and I are the latest members!
For those of us who like to keep-up with this industry and Art, the SHOT Show is highly recommended, although you’ll do a lot of walking and talking!