The Saber Modular Rifle Chassis System for the Savage Model 10 short-action calibers
from Ashbury Precision Ordnance, scores off the charts with adjustable ergonomic design.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance: http://www.ashburyintlgroup.com/
Streamlight®, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance flashlights, significantly upgraded the lumen output of the Waypoint® Alkaline battery model and the Waypoint® Lithium Ion Rechargeable pistol-grip spotlights, while also enhancing both lights’ design. Handheld and powerful, the lights feature C4® LED technology to provide extremely bright lighting with an integrated long-range targeting beam.
“Both of these models are ideal for boating, camping and other outdoor pursuits, as well as for a wide variety of search and rescue and other first responder applications,” said Streamlight Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Michael Dineen. “They’re rugged and dependable, and extremely bright whether used as a handheld mobile searchlight, or as a hands-free, stationary light to illuminate a scene.”
The Waypoint Alkaline, when powered by four “C” alkaline batteries, delivers 10 hours of run time on high, 82 hours on both low and emergency signal mode, and unlimited run time when using its included 12-volt DC power cord. The Waypoint Rechargeable uses a Lithium Ion battery that is rechargeable up to 800 times. It offers 3 hours of run time on high, 6 hours on medium and 80 hours on low. Both lights feature a C4 LED that is impervious to shock, and use a deep-dish parabolic reflector to produce a long-range targeting beam while also optimizing peripheral illumination. The lights have cushioned handle grips to eliminate user hand fatigue, as well as a removable high-strength wrist lanyard.
Featuring a high-impact polycarbonate housing, the Waypoint Alkaline weighs 1.8 pounds, while the Waypoint Rechargeable weighs 1.52 pounds. Both measure 6.75 inches long by 7.14 inches high. The Waypoint Alkaline features an IPX4 rated design for water-resistant operation, while the Waypoint Rechargeable has an IPX8 rated design for waterproof operation to two meters. Both are impact resistance-tested to one meter and are available in black and yellow.
The MSRPs for the updated Waypoint Alkaline and Waypoint Rechargeable are $102.00 and $204.00, respectively. Both feature Streamlight’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Sightmark’s Wolverine lineup of red-dot sights are designed for quick-target acquisition. They are available in CSR and FSR models. Both are housed in a single piece of rubber-armored 6061-T6 aluminum protected by scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coating. Running on just a single AA battery, the Wolverine red dot sights are fog proof, waterproof and nitrogen purged. They have an adjustable mount height and are compatible with Picatinny mounts. The CSR Red Dot Sight is designed for shotguns and short-barreled rifles; the FSR Red Dot Sight is built for the AR platform.
By Jazz Jimenez & Jade Moldé
Encompassing an entire wing at the SHOT Show, as well as having a presence throughout the show floor, the Law Enforcement & Tactical section had bustling aisles and received lots of attention from dealers, military buyers and law enforcement agencies alike. As you already know, this market continues to be a profitable category for dealers, especially with the number of high-tech products on the market. Some of your tactical customers will always want the “latest and greatest” products, and will look to your store for these new, innovative firearms and accessories. Here, you’ll find over 30 products introduced at the 2016 SHOT Show that will appeal to your law enforcement and tactical customers.
The DDV51 is a rifle designed for the 7.62 x 51mm NATO (.308) cartridge — Daniel Defense’s first rifle in this caliber. Engineered by Daniel Defense from muzzle to buttstock, the DDV51 features a four-bolt connection system, an optimized upper receiver, improved bolt carrier group, ambidextrous controls, configurable modular charging handle, cold-hammer-forged barrel, Geissele SSA two-stage trigger, DD Superior Suppression Device and 15-inch Picatinny top rail. The DD5V1 weighs in at only 8.3 lbs.
The Tac-Tops Karambit by TOPS Knives was designed by Colin Despins. It features an oversized finger hole to accommodate gloves used in different locations and climates. The Karambit has a long reach but still allows for close quarters fighting. The strike face on the spine of the knife and another at the end of the finger hole give multiple options when striking an opponent.
With the Steel Challenge Silhouette Series, MGM Targets has developed a versatile and economical target to better facilitate tactical/personal protection training. This series features three sizes of IPSC-style target silhouette sets: Full (17.75×29.5 inches), “C” Zone (11.762×23.625 inches) and 1/2 IPSC (9×15 inches). Each set comes with a laser-cut AR-500 target plate, MGM SC cap with AR target hook and a steel base for a 2×4 post.
Franklin Armory has announced the availability of two patent-pending triggers: The Binary Firing System (BFS) and the Release Firing System (RFS). The BFS has three modes, one of which fires one round with every pull or release of the trigger. The RFS also has three modes but one fires only on the release function of the trigger stroke. The BFS will be appreciated by 3-Gun competitors and by tactical and recreational shooters. The lightweight RFS trigger is ideal for varmint hunters and target shooters.
Federal Premium has added two Tactical Ballistic Tip loads in .223 Rem. and .308 Win. to its line of LE Tactical TRU rifle loads. The bullet’s polymer tip contributes to accuracy while the tapered jacket allows rapid, yet controlled, expansion on impact. Like all ammunition in the Tactical TRU line, the new loads are designed for semi-automatic rifles, including M-16 or MSR variants. The ammunition is built to military specifications and uses low-flash propellants, brass and crimped primers.
The Maxim 9 is the world’s first integrally suppressed 9mm pistol. It’s based on the Smith & Wesson M&P C.O.R.E. series of pistols and takes GLOCK magazines, as well as GLOCK aftermarket sights. It has a 4.38-inch barrel and will be delivered in Q4 2016.
The MCRS-AR is an improved version of the APO’s Saber Modular Rifle Chassis System. It uses the same center chassis section module as all other SABER rifle platforms, but integrates a wide variety of commercial AR shoulder stocks and hand guards. Aside from being AR compatible, the MRCS-AR rifle chassis is also compatible with all APO and Magpul M-LOK accessories. It uses the Magpul PMAG 5 7.62AC 5-round detachable box magazine for the .308 Win family of cartridges and features an ambidextrous paddle lever release. The MRCS-AR is initially available for the 10-bolt, short-action Savage Model in right- and left-hand operation.
Sightmark’s Wolverine lineup of red-dot sights are designed for quick-target acquisition. They are available in CSR and FSR models. Both are housed in a single piece of rubber-armored 6061-T6 aluminum protected by scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coating. Running on just a single AA battery, the Wolverine red dot sights are fog proof, waterproof and nitrogen purged. They have an adjustable mount height and are compatible with Picatinny mounts. The CSR Red Dot Sight is designed for shotguns and short-barreled rifles; the FSR Red Dot Sight is built for the AR platform.
The PhD 1911 from DoubleStar Corp. is a quality production gun with the features of a high-end 1911. The new defensive model has rear-cocking serrations for a sure grip in harsh environments. Its slide has been flat-topped and serrated to reduce glare. All models in this series are equipped with Express sights from XS with a tritium front sight for fast target acquisition even in low light situations. The PhD 1911 also comes with a Wilson Combat high-ride beavertail grip safety.
The Safariland Armor collection — a complete line of ballistic panels and carriers — was unveiled at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Designed to deliver protection as well as comfort and fit, the collection is comprised of five panel packages that work universally with all the carrier models. The new carrier lines, in covert/concealable and overt/external designs, use advanced materials and performance fabrics to work with the body. Each ballistic panel is cut to maximize coverage, maneuverability and comfort in a range of styles for duty, tactical and mission-specific needs.
The Nightstick brand LED traffic wands are now available from Bayco Products in red, blue or yellow integrated cones. The SL-1600 series LED traffic wands can each run up to 18 hours in constant-on mode, or 27 hours in blinking strobe mode using three AAA cells (included). Ideal for daytime or nighttime use by crossing guards, the police, airport ground crews and traffic enforcers, the Nightstick traffic wands can also be used to mark potentially hazardous areas.
The Cannae Legion Day Pack is ergonomically built to provide maximum comfort while carrying light to heavy loads. It features Dupont Cordura Nylon, strong Duraflex buckles and hardware, YKK Zippers, 37 mil-spec MOLLE attachment points, two internal tie-down straps, four exterior heavy-duty D-rings, four exterior compression and tie down straps and two quick access side pockets. In addition, the Legion Day Pack has an easy-to-grab top handle and a unique single zip body and top position opening for full or vertical access.
The Vudu 1-6x from EOTech is compact, yet packed with features. Crafted with the 3-Gun and serious hunter in mind, the Vudu 1-6x optic can be used on a MSR platform or bolt-action rifle. This first focal plane scope has an EOTech Speed Ring reticle that allows fast target engagement at low power. At a higher power, the reticle provides the resolution and accuracy required to tackle longer shots. Weighing 19.75 oz. with an overall length of 10.63 inches, the Vudu 1-6x is ideal for short- to medium-range applications requiring durability and accuracy. Its 30mm tube has a 24mm objective lens. Like all other Vudu scopes, the Vudu 1-6x comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Magpul’s UBR GEN2 is an adjustable stock for the MSR/M4 designed to offer the same strength and stability as a fixed stock with a consistent and comfortable cheek weld in any position. An update of the revolutionary Utility/Battle Rifle (UBR) stock, the UBR GEN2 features a fixed cheek piece to provide a consistent cheek weld in any of its nine positions. The UBR GEN2 is nearly five ounces lighter than its predecessor but retains the durability of the UBR. Compatible with carbine and A5-length buffer systems, the UBR GEN2 comes standard with front and rear QD sling attachment points, two footman’s loops, an ergonomic MOE SL angled-toe rubber butt-pad and a customizable storage compartment.
The 4PV (Four Panel Vest) (pictured) and the 4PV-FEM are part of the new armor line unveiled by Propper at the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The 4PV, with four independent panels to provide mobility and protection, is a highly adaptable and comfortable vest. The 4PV-FEM also offers a four-panel system but is designed to fit around the female form better than a traditional two-piece vest. Setting a new standard in women’s vest comfort and protection, the 4PV-FEM won’t bunch, billow, or scoop on the chest and neck.
The Bergara BPR-17 series of Long Range Precision (LRP) rifles is built to deliver long-range MOA accuracy. The series comes in two models: the BPR-17 LRP Elite (pictured) and the BPR-17 LRP. Both are designed to meet the performance levels required by professional shooters and law enforcement special teams. The BPR-17 LRP Elite rifle features an aluminum chassis stock CNC-machined from lightweight 7075-T651 billet aluminum. The BPR-17 LRP rifle also features an aluminum chassis stock but is CNC-machined from solid 6061 T6 aluminum. Both rifles come standard with threaded muzzles; their length of pull and comb height are fully adjustable.
Protech Tactical has expanded its Entry shield series with the addition of the Entry 1 First Responder (FR). NIJ 0108.01 type IIIA tested, the Entry 1 FR is designed for high-speed, first responder assaults at only 15 lbs. and provides protection against a wide spectrum of handgun threats. The shield can be used for one-man coverage or for team mission maneuvers. With an 18-degree curved design, it’s ideal for high-speed entry coverage with its added wraparound protection from angled shots and maximized peripheral vision through the 4×10-inch viewpoint.
The Speed Scabbard is a holster without a thumb break but it still securely holds a firearm. The holster’s precise molding, smooth finish and the tension screw device on most models make concealment as well as retention of handguns easy. It comes in black or tan unlined leather. Belt slots on the Speed Scabbard are 1.75 inches wide. The holster is now available for the Kimber K6S.
The YHM-135 Dedicated 9mm Lower Receiver allows the user to build a dedicated 9mm MSR-style rifle. The magazine well is machined to accept Metalform-style 9mm magazines. It comes with a feed ramp, bolt catch and ejector — all designed for best function with the 9mm pistol cartridge. All holes, inletting, and pin locations have been machined to final dimensions. The user just needs to add the trigger group, buttstock and 9mm buffer/spring of choice. It’s machined from high-grade 7075 T6 aluminum that provides superb strength and rigidity.
Revision Military has developed and patented a laser dye for a dual-band laser protective lens that blocks 99.9 percent of green laser energy and over 99 percent of the most powerful Near-Infrared (NIR) component of commercially available green lasers. Revision’s patented dye is used in the company’s LazrBloc GF-8 Laser Protective Ballistic Lens. In addition to blocking green laser emissions and the high-risk NIR energy that exists outside the invisible spectrum, this lens delivers extensive visible light transmission and color recognition — making the GF-8 lenses ideal for day or nighttime use.
The DTI LIMA Keymod Pistol is a lightweight 5.56×45 mm pistol featuring a Samson Evolution Keymod forend, as well as several optics mounting options and a 30-round magazine. The pistol weighs 4.8 lbs. when empty and has a total length of 23.125 inches. Additional features include an A2 Flash Hider, a phosphated 8620 steel carrier assembly, forged 7075 T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver and a pistol length hand guard.
The new TecGrip Holster from BLACKHAWK! keeps firearms concealed and secure. Designed for civilian and law enforcement concealed carriers, the IWB and pocket holsters are comfortable to wear. The TecGrip outer layer holds tightly to almost any material thus keeping the firearm holstered snugly in place. The high-density closed cell foam allows the holster to conform closely to the human body and protects the firearm as well.
The WX Rogue is the newest addition to the Wiley X Changeable Series eyewear family. Designed to deliver clear vision, comfortable wear and eye protection, it is an ideal choice for hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts and tactical wearers. The new WX Rogue is offered in two- or three-lens interchangeable kits featuring Wiley X’s T-Shell scratch-resistant and Foil anti-fog coated Selenite polycarbonate lenses. The WX Rogue’s lightweight matte black half-frame features an adjustable wire core rubberized nose bridge for a secure, comfortable fit. Wearers of the WX Rogue can quickly and easily switch lenses for visual acuity and target acquisition under a range of light conditions, backgrounds and situations.
The Razor HD AMG 6-24×50 Riflescope is an optic for long-range shooting. Machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum, the body of the scope features a 30mm diameter tube to maximize the 95 MOA/28 MRAD elevation adjustment. The exterior of the scope, including the mag-ring, eyepiece and turrets, are Type III hard-anodized for durability and scratch resistance. O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the riflescope; argon gas purging prevents internal fogging. Weighing only 28.8 ounces, the Razor HD AMG has optical and physical specifications normally reserved for heavier scopes with larger tube diameters.
The Dozier Arrow folder from the Ontario Knife Company (OKC) is the result of a partnership with knife maker Bob Dozier, whose designs have been distinguished as no nonsense, hunting, tactical and utility knives without frills. The OKC Dozier Arrow has an overall length of 8.19 inches; its spear-point, AUS-8 steel blade is 3.63 inches long and .125-inch thick with a hardness rating of 56-58 HRC. The Dozier Arrow features a fiberglass-based laminate G10 handle machined to display Bob Dozier’s iconic arrow and textured to provide a superior grip. It is offered in either a stonewashed finish or a black powder-coated blade.
CAA Command Arms is the U.S. importer of the Israel-based Hartman MH1 red-dot reflex sight — an advanced tactical sight with a large field of view to greatly improve target acquisition and situational awareness. Built to Mil-Std-810F specification, it’s waterproof up to 20 feet. The MH1 Red Dot Reflex Sight offers an enhanced reticle; accessible, angled ambidextrous activation buttons; a smart battery and more. The MH1 is also night vision compatible.
Lancer Systems has introduced two new products: the L12 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (below) and the MPX Carbon Fiber Handguard. The L12 Advanced Warfighter Magazine is a single stack hybrid magazine engineered for the new .510 Beck cartridge from Beck Defense. It will be available in a five-round and seven-round option. The L12AWM features a lightweight, high-strength polymer magazine body with hardened steel feed lips. The Lancer MPX Carbon Fiber Handguard offers reduced weight and less heat over the aluminum forearm. It is M-LOK compatible in keeping with Lancer’s decision to fully adopt the M-LOK modular locking accessory mounting system for its carbon fiber hand guards.
Designed for discreet everyday carry, duty or a day at the range, the Jedburgh Pack from Blue Force Gear provides several options for end users. The pack incorporates the modular Dapper Organization System for accessories and pouches to keep gear organized. It’s made with military-grade materials and features ULTRAcomp technology. The bottom of the pack is made of a single piece of ULTRAcomp, which is water- and abrasion-resistant. Color options include black, coyote brown, Multicam, OD green and Wolf Gray.
The Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System – Light (MARS-L) from LMT Defense can be manipulated from either side. The ambidextrous features allow a user to perform more operations with the right or left hand including catching the bolt with the right index finger so he/she does not need to remove the hand from the grip. The MARS-L has an Ambi-Safety Selector Switch, Ambi-Magazine Release Button, Ambi-Bolt Catch/Release Paddle and Ambi-Charging Handle. The modular weapon design is available in Semi-Auto (LS) or Select Fire (LA) models with 14.5-, 16-, 18- and 20-inch barrel options and can be fitted with the CQB upper to accommodate a 10.5-inch barrel.
Under the Tactical Hunter Series, Sun Optics introduces the First Focal Plane riflescopes, which is available in two models: 6-24×50, with a total length of 14 inches, and 4-14×44, with a total length of 12 inches. The First Focal Plane riflescopes feature extra-strength 30mm tubing as well as a fast-focus adjustable ocular and resettable wind and elevation controls. It’s available in a satin black finish.
Hogue’s lightweight EX-F02 Fixed Blade is specifically designed for the outdoorsman. In black and hunter orange, it’s offered in clip-point and tanto style blades made of heat-treated A2 tool steel. The EX-F02 comes with a fitted, ambidextrous, polymer sheath that is MOLLE compatible. Its handle is made of a polymer/overmolded rubber hybrid with a finger detent and a recess on the tail end. Other features of the EX-F02 include a large stick tang, a broad top edge and a serrated thumb ramp.
The 3 lb.-10 oz. MOD*X GEN III Modular Rifle System is a lightweight, ergonomic, drop-in chassis for the Remington 700 Short Action. The system serves as a modular foundation on which tactical accessories can be added to. Made of aluminum hard-coat anodized to Mil-Spec III, it is easy to assemble and ready to attach to the Remington 700 Short Action. Other features include a 20-MOA built into a Mil-Spec 1913 rail, KeyMod standard slots on three sides of the forearm for mounting equipment, conventional slots for mounting Geissele Automatics accessories on two sides of the forearm and a 13.5-inch free-floating modular forearm.
By Greg Staunton
Handguns continue to move to the forefront of the firearms market, with several factors driving this growth: namely, politics and personal protection, with an eye toward possible terror threats. Even in states with tougher gun laws, reports indicate a dramatic increase in new handgun purchases and concealed-carry permit applications — many from first-time gun owners.
Todd Vance, president and owner of Vance Outdoors, and head of retail operations for Vance’s three firearms/outdoor stores in the Columbus, Ohio, region, has been tracking these trends. He gives SI readers his take on how the handgun market is doing and where it may be headed.
“There was a big surge at the end of 2015, centered around Black Friday sales because a lot of inventory was sitting out there. Then, after Black Friday, we had the shooting in (San Bernardino) California, which was labeled a terrorist attack. That scared people, and sales just skyrocketed again. This time around, the bulk of the sales were in handguns. Then ammo followed suit, in centerfire and 9mm,” Vance said.
As 2016 dawned, Vance says dealers began to see handgun demand outstripping supply.
“What the industry saw — and nobody was prepared for this — was a lack of available inventory from the manufacturers to the dealers. Inventory had been cleaned out,” he said.
Vance saw the Dec.–Jan. sales surge as a quick spike, which leveled out as inventory began to flow back in during February.
“It was a good spike; it helped a lot of people in the industry,” he noted.
Left: RUGER 22/45 Lite OD Green
Right: BROWNING 1911-22 Compact Supressor Ready
Interestingly, Vance says a 15-year-long pistol trend is now reversing itself.
“We are seeing a huge swing, maybe as much as 70–80 percent, out of .40-caliber guns (back) into 9mm. It started on the law enforcement side, but we’re seeing it play heavily on the commercial side right now, too. The FBI did some testing and said the new 9mm defense-style loads — there’s been some from Hornady and other companies — were easier to train with and to shoot,” Vance said.
Naturally, this trend is also creating a .40/9mm ammo imbalance in the market.
“I believe it’s going to put a little bit of strain on delivery of 9mm from the manufacturers until they can get their runs balanced out. And they’ll correct it,” Vance added.
“The uptick we’re seeing in 9mm handguns revolves around multiple platforms and manufacturers. Smith & Wesson’s SHIELD is very popular right now. The P938s from SIG are also very popular, and Ruger’s LC9 also. GLOCK 43s are a big deal right now. Anything for concealed carry sells well. I’d say those take a large segment of most dealers’ sales,” Vance observed.
In addition to mid-size 9mm models, Vance says .380 is still a popular caliber in pistols.
“With Ruger lowering the basic retail cost of their LCP, they’re going to pick up a lot of sales in that market. Of course, Smith & Wesson has their BODYGUARD .380s, and those are a big deal,” he pointed out.
The .380s have their own devotees who like having a smaller backup pistol or a convenient sidearm to carry on its own.
“I use a .380 in the summertime because it’s easier to hide in a pair of shorts with a T-shirt on. It’s a little harder to shoot than those mid-size 9s, but having it is a whole lot better than not having it,” Vance said.
He says J-Frame revolvers from Smith & Wesson and Ruger are also selling well.
“Those three categories (.380 and 9mm pistols and J-Frames) are driving a large percentage of the handgun business right now because it’s geared around personal protection,” Vance said.
Kimber surprised a lot of folks with its introduction of the K6s revolver, which debuted at this year’s SHOT Show. Vance says he liked the way it looked and felt when he handled it there.
“It’s not inexpensive. If you like revolvers, you’ll like it. It’s a little different and probably not for a first-time revolver owner. I imagine somebody buying it would already own something like a Smith & Wesson J-Frame or a Ruger LCR, and they’d like to upgrade,” he said.
Kimber also has a new Micro 9 pistol coming out, possibly in mid-second quarter, and Vance predicts it will be well received.
“They’ll sell far more of those than they will of their K6s revolver, and their revolver is nice,” he said.
The ever-popular 1911 platform is still doing well, and Vance says 9mm calibers continue to be added by a variety of manufacturers. Many consumers prefer either the 9mm or .45 ACP 1911s for home-defense handguns.
Smith & Wesson’s Victory .22 LR pistol, introduced at this year’s SHOT Show, is creating a good buzz. Its easy-to-change-out 5.5-inch barrel, fiber-optic sights and other features are a hit with target and competitive shooters.
Left: SIG SAUER P938 Blackwood
Right: SPRINGFIELD ARMORY EMP4
Left: KIMBER Micro 9
Right: WALTHER PPS M2
Vance says his handgun market in the metropolitan Columbus area (with a population of 2 million-plus) is about as diverse as one could imagine. Knowing how to treat customers, regardless of their experience level, is as vital for success as knowing what the next, hot handgun is likely to be, and his sales staff knows this.
“We have a tremendous amount of repeat business, and we have a lot of competition in town. We have a lot of loyal customers,” Vance said.
The recent shift toward concealed carry and home defense for newer consumers brings more younger folks and women into firearms stores these days. Some only want that contingency handgun, but others will move on to recreational shooting.
“We are seeing a lot more women purchasing self-defense firearms. If they get some training and become acclimated to the industry, a lot of them find shooting is fun,” Vance said.
Vance Outdoors holds various handgun classes at one of its retail store ranges. Vance says they see more and more women coming in for defensive handgun training at whatever level they feel comfortable starting.
“It’s not as intimidating as they thought, once they get proper training and get around other women who are shooting. We have a Ladies Night every Tuesday, and they get a lane rental for free. It’s amazing how many women come and bring their significant others,” Vance said.
The growing number of women in the shooting industry drives more innovation in products geared to their specific needs. One example:
creative options for carrying concealed. Women entrepreneurs are creating a variety of body wraps, which allow those of the fairer sex to “holster” their handguns snugly and out of sight when their clothing or circumstances won’t allow for a more conventional holster or carry method, such as a purse.
“You’re going to see more of it as they become frustrated with what’s available. I don’t blame them. We’re going to see a continual revolution of the market with women helping women,” Vance said.
To get a closer look at 2016 new products, Todd Vance attended the Nation’s Best
Sports Spring Semi-Annual Market Show in Ft. Worth, Texas, in February. While there,
Smith & Wesson’s SW22 Victory Target Pistol caught his attention.
Vance Outdoors mails a monthly flyer to advertise prices, classes and other
special offers to over 500,000 local residents 11 months out of the year.
Vance complements this effort with e-blasts to a targeted audience, where
additional items and announcements are featured.
Depending on the locale and demographics of any given market, independent dealers have to test the waters with advertising and media outreach to consumers.
“We don’t do a lot of radio or TV. Not that we won’t in the future, but a lot of our time is tied up with print and social media,” Vance said. “We did do a live radio show for about six months.”
Vance Outdoors has a weekly print ad in the local newspaper (Columbus Dispatch) 52 weeks a year.
“We also have a monthly flyer, an insert, 11 months out of the year. Those are typically six or eight pages, heavily geared to firearms. There’s a full page of handguns,” Vance added. “We circulate anywhere from a half-million to 900,000 of those monthly. It’s a model that seems to work very well for us, and we’ve been doing it for a long time,” he added.
Vance says his stores also have good success with their email blasts.
“We look at the e-blasts a lot because they get directly to our consumers, and we can refine and target it as we need to. They have 12 items, one manufacturer’s item. We keep things fresh and offer different items which may not be in our ads,” he noted.
Vance Outdoors’ Facebook page is frequently updated with a variety of both informative and entertaining items.
“We’re constantly trying to improve our social media, and we have people dedicated to it,” Vance said.
Whether riding the personal-protection wave or continuing to capitalize on the growing interest nationwide in recreational/target handgun shooting, firearms dealers can expect a year of opportunities.
By Carolee Anita Boyles
Buyers from law enforcement agencies and the military crowded in with distributors and independent retailers at the 2016 SHOT Show, all looking to see what’s new at the nearly 500 law enforcement and tactical exhibitors. One thing several attendees mentioned was the presence of dogs at the show, both personal service dogs and working K9s.
“Some handlers were doing demonstrations,” said Jordan Blake, match director for Salute To Valor Veteran’s 3-Gun Charity Match in Houston. “The handlers were saying ‘Ask me about what we do,’ and it was really neat to see this kind of exposure.”
With a 24-inch barrel and built-in 20 MOA Picatinny rail on top of both the handguard
and receiver, the Watchman 2.0 in .300 Win. Mag. is built for long-range shooting.
Additional features include a Magpul PRS sniper stock and the NEMO Arrow B1 muzzlebrake.
In the SIG SAUER booth Michael Milburn, owner of Premier Tactical in Scottsdale, Ari., liked the Legion series of handguns. “It’s nice to see a big manufacturer listening to the users and incorporating their wishes into the design of the handguns,” he observed.
Richard Neal, owner of Southern Tactical in Morrilton, Ark., liked the MSRs from NEMO Arms. Calibers on display included .300 Win. Mag., 7mm Rem. Mag., .338 Win. Mag., 300 Blackout, .223 and 5.56 NATO.
Joseph Long, owner of Long Arms in El Paso, Ark., liked the Heizer Defense pocket AR and pocket AK. “I love it’s a pistol that fires a .223 or 7.62x39mm round and drops right into my pocket,” he said.
The MGI Hydra from MGI Military also caught Long’s attention. “It’s a modular MSR weapon system with a two-part receiver,” he noted. “It has interchangeable magwells that come in the MSR standard, AK, GLOCK 9mm and Colt 9mm, and they’re working on .45. Their barrel system is quick-change also, which uses a cam-lock system to swap the barrels back and forth.”
In the Serbu Firearms booth, company president Mark Serbu said the newest offering is the RN-50, a .50 BMG-caliber single-shot rifle. “It’s a break-action .50-caliber, which has never been done before,” he said. “It’s made entirely from existing parts of the guns we’ve been building for 17 years, and it breaks down and fits into a small case.” Serbu expects one big attraction to the RN-50 to be the price, which he has set at $1,199.
At Stag Arms, Steve Panzella was showing left-handed ARs. “We’re one of the few companies making them,” he noted. “This year we’re also offering Cerakoting on all our rifles in four colors. You can get it on the left-handed rifles as well.”
WMD Guns has a new .308, the Big Beast. “A lot of people don’t realize we sell fully coated firearms, as well as coated firearms parts,” said Michael Vetter of WMD Guns. “We also have a new Type III Plus anodized coating. So we have a whole arsenal of coatings to choose from for special applications.”
Utilizing solar and battery power, the PARALOW HS503C from Holosun is a compact
red-dot sight that can be installed on long guns, pistols, airguns and crossbows.
“I’ve been a Leupold fan for a decade,” Blake said. “I was excited to see their optics and get my hands on them and look at them and compare the different reticles. The one that really got my interest was the D-EVO [introduced last year].”
The coolest new thing from EOTech is the VUDU line of magnified optics, said Director of Marketing John Bailey. “For years we’ve made holographic sights great for close quarters and speed of acquisition,” he noted. “Now we’re getting into more medium- and long-range applications with our line of magnified scopes. Our initial introduction is all first focal plane, all tactical, with one-piece aluminum bodies in either 30mm or 34mm.”
In the Hawke Optics booth, Regional Sales Manager Joshua Friedman pointed out two new scopes in the Frontier line. “They both come with either a standard LR dot in a long-range reticle or our TMX grid reticle. They’re 1,000-yard shooting scopes. We also have our Panorama scope, which is our wide-angle scope. It has availability in a 10X mil-dot with red and blue illumination,” he added.
At Night Vision Depot, Marketing Manager Catherine Zile discussed the Knight’s Armament weapon sights. These have long been available for the military and L.E. markets, she said, and have just become available to the civilian market as well. “They’re clip-ons, which clip right to the front of your day scope on your Picatinny rail,” she said. “You use the magnification of the day scope through the system at night. There’s no sighting in needed; when you’re done, you just take it off. They operate on AA batteries with about eight hours of continuous use.”
The Maxim Defense CQB Stock was one of the top five most scanned products at the
2016 SHOT Show’s New Product Center. At its most collapsed position, the stock
adds 5.5 inches to an MSR.
Bianchi unveiled the Model 145 Subdue IWB holster at the 2016 SHOT Show.
As part of the Allusion line, the Subdue offers deep concealment in a
leather and synthetic combination.
“We do more suppressor sales than anything else, so we focused on this product category,” said Kurt Underwood, managing owner of JNK Tactical in Vilonia, Ark. “The two suppressors we were most interested in were the SilencerCo Hybrid and the SilencerCo Omega 9K for a 9mm. The Hybrid really piqued our interest because it’s so versatile. You can use it on anything from a small-caliber pistol up to a large-caliber rifle.”
Russell Alan Moles at Volunteer Supply Company in Knoxville, Tenn., liked a lot of the new Streamlight products. “I really liked their new ProTac Rail Mount light,” he said. “They’re lighter and smaller than anything I’ve seen before.”
At Longshot Manufacturing, Jerry Arpaio demonstrated the company’s aluminum Picatinny rails with up to 40 slots. “We have the widest range (from three to 40 slots) in aluminum,” he noted, “and it’s all made here in the U.S. The longer rails are important for versatility, and so people can find out where they want their accessories positioned on their gun. Our rails are very accurately made and have a high instance of return to zero, so you can take things off and put them back on and everything goes right back to where it was sighted in.”
The RISE Concealable Armor System from Angel Armor was developed thanks to
the input of 1,500 officers. It’s available in NIJ Level IIIA and NIJ Level
II threat levels.
Action Trackchair’s ST series allows wounded veterans the opportunity
to shoot and hunt. There are several models and sizes available.
“It was exciting to see the all-terrain wheelchairs,” Blake said. “One of my acquaintances was one of the first people to get one, and he has used it to shoot competitively and hunt. It’s good to see those adaptive resources for veterans who are struggling with obstacles.” Action TrackChair manufactures the chairs.
Michael Saunders, vice president of Patriot Tactical in Franklin, Ind., liked the holsters he saw at Safariland and Q-Series. “I also visited Holosun,” he added. “They had some solar-powered optic sights, which is intriguing.”
Saunders is planning to build a range in the near future, so he spent a lot of time talking to manufacturers of shooting range equipment. “I talked to Shooting Range Industries,” he said. “They provide everything from beginning to end, as far as putting a range together is concerned. They build the range for you; they have the target retrieval system. They even build modular systems you can take from place to place — they’re a one-stop shop.”
In the HT Holsters booth, Matt Moul-ton asserted the company’s holsters are designed on an adjustable platform able to fit almost every major holster in the industry. “The Safariland, Blade-Tech and BLACKHAWK! holsters will all mount into our system,” he added.
Milburn liked what he saw at ZQI ammunition. “I’m a belt-fed machine gun shooter, and any time I see 7.62 ammunition down around $0.50 a round, I’m interested,” he said. “I’ve shot some of this ammo, and I’ve been impressed with the pressures and the accuracy of the ammo for its price point.”
At Angel Armor, Communications Manager Reed Doughty said the company interviewed 1,500 officers and asked for their input in developing a vest system. “From those responses, we designed the RISE concealable armor system,” he added. “It has a ballistic suspension system that connects directly to the ballistic package for comfortable fit. We also got rid of the Velcro and use a high end synthetic rubber strap for a repeatable and customized fit.”
Angel Armor’s Truth SNAP magnetic trauma plate system also offers different levels of protection in a single vest.
Neal was searching for magazine organization products to sell at his store. “I was looking for something to let us have all our magazines strapped to our vehicles and ready to go,” he said. “I found that in the MagSafe from MagStorage Solutions. They have the MagSafe 6, which is really good for tactical operators to have instant access in their vehicles to magazine racks.”
Neal also liked the new Mag-Pump AR magazine loader from Tektite. “It’s tremendous,” he observed. “Maxim Defense also had a new collapsible tactical stock I was really impressed with.”
Knight’s Armament Co.
Leupold & Stevens
Night Vision Depot
Serbu Firearms Inc.
Tektite Industries Inc.
By Massad Ayoob
In something that would give a marketing instructor a good lecture in business school, pistols chambered for the .40 S&W have suddenly dropped in popularity. We started seeing this in law enforcement sales a few years ago, with departments switching from long-carried .40s to 9mms. The trend got a tremendous boost when, in 2015, rumors were confirmed as the FBI announced it would soon swap its GLOCK .40s for 9mm service pistols. We’re seeing the same in the private sector, where 9mm had already been more popular than .40 for some time.
There’s more than one reason behind this. One is the 9mm’s lighter recoil makes it easier than the .40 to shoot well at speed — particularly in the timed drills that are part and parcel of mandatory police qualification. The same, of course, can be true in the armed citizen market, particularly with new shooters. A second reason is in the same make and model, a 9mm will generally have higher cartridge capacity than the .40-caliber version. Thirdly, the .40’s snappy recoil and slide velocity cause more wear on the same type of pistol than 9mm; and fourth, 9mm ammo is generally cheaper than .40. Finally, many authoritative sources (including the FBI) have bought into the theory for modern ammo, 9mm delivers the same “stopping power” as larger calibers — such as the .40.
Obviously, if buyer interest is down, you’ll order proportionally fewer .40s for your inventory. But the problem lies in moving the .40s you already have in inventory. I’ve spoken with several gun dealers lately who have stopped taking .40s in trade, because they’re already overstocked with pistols in caliber and can’t sell the darn things.
The first thing I’d recommend is offering discounts. A rule of thumb in retailing has always been to discount merchandise that’s no longer popular among customers. At the ProArms Gun Shop in Live Oak, Fla., Owner John Strayer says, “We had a boatload of .40s in stock which just weren’t selling. Our manager Allen Davis put up a conspicuous sign that read, ‘10% off on all .40 pistols.’ With the discount, the inventory has been reduced drastically. However, the .40 suddenly seems to be a dying caliber.”
Having trouble selling .40-caliber handguns? Mas has identified several ways for
dealers to expand stagnant sales. If you’ve used other techniques to successfully
move these handguns, we want to know about it — send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlight Customers That Want A “4”: There are shooters (particularly older ones) who are still skeptical of the theory 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP all perform the same. They’re natural customers for a caliber that begins with a “4.” For these customers, it’s a good idea to compare ballistics. A 147-gr. subsonic 9mm from a GLOCK 19, a 180-gr. subsonic .40 from a GLOCK 23, and a 230-gr. +P .45 ACP from a GLOCK 21 might all chronograph around 950 fps. Now, let’s turn grains into pounds. In boxing, a 147-pound fighter would be a welterweight, a 180-pounder a light heavyweight or cruiserweight, and a 230-pound boxer would be a true heavyweight, all hitting at the same speed. Might one of the heavier combatants have some advantage over the welterweight?
Target Reloaders: If you think about it, .40 makes sense for reloaders. You know your customers: Do you have some who reload their own ammo? This will distinctly reduce the ammo cost advantage 9mm has over .40 S&W. While writing this article, I stopped by a local shop and found Speer Blazer Brass .40 practice ammo was selling for $23.95 in a box of 50, but similar American Eagle practice rounds in 9mm were $16.49. The .40 was about 45 percent more expensive. A local big-box store was selling 100 rounds of 9mm FMJ for $25, and .40 for $40, making the larger caliber some 62 percent costlier.
I texted a friend who shoots competition every weekend and reloads mass quantities on his own Dillon machines: 9mm for IDPA matches and .40 S&W for USPSA shooting. He told me since he doesn’t count the cost of the recovered brass he reloads, his .40 rounds cost him only about 20 percent more than his 9mm reloads.
Point Out .40’s Versatility: While selling a .40, remind the customer with its original 1990 load — the still very popular 180-gr. bullet at 950 to 1,000 fps — the .40 S&W almost exactly duplicates the .38-40 Winchester round from a Colt revolver in the Old West. If loaded with a 165-gr. hollowpoint at full velocity of 1,150 fps, the .38-40 generates 468 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. A 155-gr. .40 at 1,200 fps gives you 480 foot-pounds.
Lighter Loads Sell: Full-speed 155- and 165-gr. self-defense/police loads in .40 S&W do indeed have a zesty recoil. Therefore, you should be able to sell light .40 loads. If recoil is the big barrier between the sale of a .40 or no sale at all, have some 165-gr. Federal Hydra-Shok or a similar weight load at subsonic velocity in stock. This particular round is rated for 980 fps and 350 foot-pounds of energy. It compares well to the most famous “manstopper” round for the .38 Special: the 158-gr. lead hollowpoint +P — known as the “FBI,” “Chicago” or “Metro” load depending on your location. This light .40 round gives about the mildest recoil of any defense load in the caliber. In my subjective hand, it’s less than a 158-gr. .38 +P out of most revolvers, and about the same as the very hottest 9mm ammo.
A .40’s Barrel Conversion Capability: Finally, remind the customer with most models, he needs only a new barrel to convert a .40 to a .357 SIG, and a new barrel, recoil spring, and magazine to convert it to 9mm. This versatility does not work the other way, however, if the customer starts with a 9mm.
At ProArms Gun Shop in Live Oak, Fla., Manager Allen Davis has successfully
revitalized sales of .40s by dropping their prices 10 percent. Here, he’s showing
a Springfield XD, while carrying a GLOCK 23 on his hip.
Yes, 9mm handguns can hold more rounds than .40 in the same platform … but not that many more. In the super-popular S&W SHIELD or “baby GLOCK,” the 9mm holds only one round more. In a full-size service pistol, S&W M&P or GLOCK for example, the 9mm holds two more. And in many states, magazine capacity limits equalize the latter. In short, the onboard round count is probably the least persuasive argument in favor of the 9mm over the .40 S&W.
Saving the best argument for last, we have the selling point which made the .40 S&W America’s most popular police handgun caliber for nearly a quarter century: compromise. At a time when half the cops wanted a 16-shot, 9mm “because of firepower,” and the other half wanted an 8-shot, .45 “because of stopping power,” the 12-shot, .40-caliber S&W 4006 exactly split the difference: More rounds than a six-shooter to satisfy firepower advocates, and a “4” in the designation to satisfy those who wanted harder-hitting handguns. This conflict still exists in the armed citizen world, especially among newer shooters, and the .40 remains as viable a compromise in this regard as ever.
So, if you have a showcase full of .40s, don’t despair: The selling points listed above remain valid, and can still sell guns that make sense for their intended purpose of protecting your customers from violent crime.
By Massad Ayoob
At the 2016 SHOT Show, manufacturers introduced a string of new personal-defense products. What products can retailers expect to sell well in 2016? Let’s take a look at some highlights.
The most useful product I examined at the show (which I’d like to see in every gun shop in America) wasn’t a firearm, but an accessory: the Racking Assist, whose manufacturers are actively seeking dealers and want their product in gun shops, not big-box stores, which makes me like them by itself.
How many sales have you lost because the customer was unable to rack the slide on the semi-automatic pistol they otherwise wanted to buy? In this column in the past we’ve shown techniques for your staff to show such customers to make it easier, but severe arthritis and some other disabilities can make even those impossible. The Racking Assist works on most auto pistols of conventional “barrel enclosed by slide” design, calibers .380 and up, in its Model #1. They offer a Model #2 for bull-barrel 1911s and such.
The simple device can be mounted permanently as a bracket, or used free standing on a hard, flat surface (preferably not the glass top of a showcase). The muzzle is placed on the tube, the shooter — using body weight if necessary — pushes down on the grip frame and quickly brings the pistol back up, and voila, the chamber is loaded. (Or cleared, as the case may be.) MSRP is $24.95, with the makers requesting they’re not to be sold for less than $19.95. Dealer cost is $13.35 each for 40 units and $14.45 apiece for 20.
If you think about it, $25 for something to make the difference whether or not the gun the customer wants works for them, sounds like a great value to me. They come in Ziploc bags instead of blister packs so the customer can try them out right there in your shop. And, they label you the one who “solved my problem no one else could solve,” which is always a powerful force for continuing patronage. For more information, visit www.rackingassist.com.
The Racking Assist’s patent pending design is unique in that it
possesses a center guide post to maintain pistol alignment,
which allows for one-handed racking. It’s currently available
in two models to fit most semi-auto pistols.
Springfield Armory’s new M1A SOCOM 16 CQB is a modernized descendant of the
M14 and M1A and is built for “Close Quarters Battle.” It’s nearly ]10 inches
shorter than the M1A standard model and is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO.
In alphabetical order, the new firearms that showed me the most promise for potential sales were:
Colt’s new economy-priced MSR is called the Expanse M4. In a brand seen by many as the gold standard in this area, this stripped down MSR still has all it really needs, and is priced to compete with Del-Ton and other entry-level carbines in its class. A champagne brand at beer price? How could it not sell? Visit www.colt.com.
GLOCK products have been selling so well the company doesn’t need radical new products. This year’s news was the MOS (Modular Optic System) series expanding to service/carry-size 9mm GLOCKs — Gen4 G17s and G19s. They’re cut for red-dot reflex sights from the new generation of such, compact enough for concealed carry with a carefully selected holster. Your customers have been reading about them in gun magazines and online, and with GLOCK now in the market groove — which began thanks to S&W and their C.O.R.E. pistols — are sure to draw interest. Even more than America’s population in general, gun hobbyists tend to be a “graying” group, and for older shooters eyesight often goes first. In bullseye competition and IPSC shooting, red-dot optics have extended the “competitive life” of aging shooters, and it’s reasonable to expect this option will appeal to aging home-defense/concealed carry buyers as well. Visit us.glock.com.
Gary Ramey, Honor Defense LLC designer and president, now offers the Honor Guard pistol. Designed to compete with such proven polymer-frame, striker-fired subcompact 9mms as the million-selling S&W SHIELD, the Springfield XD-S, and the GLOCK 43, your customers are going to be asking about this 8+1 shot subcompact. Look for a test drive in FMG’s companion magazine American Handgunner and in the meantime, check out the Honor Guard at www.honordefense.com.
The K6s, Kimber’s new small-framed “hammerless” six-shot .357 Magnum revolver in the 23-oz. weight range, may have gotten more buzz than anything else at the show. This means it’s already all over the Internet, and by the time you read this your customers will likely be asking to see it. MSRP is more in the range of a S&W Performance Center gun than ordinary Smiths or Rugers, but the DAO trigger pull (done with input from revolver authority Grant Cunningham) is very sweet. Kimber also has a neat little Micro 9 1911, apparently designed to compete against the hugely popular SIG P938. Look for tests of both in SI’s sister magazine, GUNS Magazine and visit www.kimberamerica.com.
SIG SAUER’s Legion Series is available on three popular
models: the P226, P226 SAO and P229 (pictured).
SIG SAUER’s big pre-SHOT intro was the Legion iteration of their familiar P-series of double-action autos — prestige guns built for performance as well as style with Bruce Gray-designed trigger systems. All who’ve shot them, me included, seem to love them. On the less expensive side of the SIG house, the promised manual safety version of the striker-fired P320 is now available, meaning it has the ergonomics of a 1911 thumb safety and is positive both off and on. Think of all your customers who really wanted to try a gun like this, but because of tradition and habituation on one end of the bell curve and the caution of a new shooter on the other, would only buy it with a manual safety. This is a natural sell to each of those customer categories. Visit www.sigsauer.com.
Springfield Armory had multiple new entries, including a most ergonomic, modern stock for their long-proven, light kicking .308 SOCOM 16. But — Sleeper Alert! — the one gun I ordered from them to test and will probably buy is their new EMP4. For a decade or so, the original EMP, a 9mm scaled down expressly for 9mm-length rounds, has proven itself reliable, and its smaller grip girth makes small folks feel like John Wayne holding a regular 1911. Shorter trigger reach allows more of the user’s hand to wrap around the grip frame for more control. It has mild recoil, a sweet trigger, slimness for inside the waistband carry — and now the EMP is joined by the EMP4, with a longer barrel (think: Commander footprint) and a slightly longer grip allowing 10+1 rounds of 9mm compared to the 9+1 of the original. I see it for street and home as opposed to woods, and as what my friend John Taffin calls a “perfect packing pistol.” Visit www.springfield-armory.com.
With 64,000 industry professionals and nearly 2,000 vendors attending the SHOT Show, NSSF reported it to be the second largest in history — so obviously there were far more new products there than the ones we have space to mention here. Those above, however, are ones we think will garner the most “new stuff interest” from your personal-defense customers.
By Carolee Anita Boyles
The aisles at SHOT Show 2016 were crowded and booths were busy as attendees worked their way through more than 1,600 exhibitors to look for the year’s new products and always-popular best sellers. In exclusive interviews with SI, retailers discussed their favorite products and exhibitors pointed out what was new and trendy at this year’s show.
Bernie Frazier, owner of J & B Guns and Outdoors in Irvington, Ala., was impressed by the Bond Arms bull-pup pistol, which the company acquired when they purchased Boberg Arms. “It’s a 9mm with a unique semi-automatic action,” he said. In addition, Frazier also liked Kel-Tec’s short-barreled shotgun, and their SUB-2000 rifle.
“And I already knew about the Ruger AR-556, but I hadn’t laid my hands on the SR-556 Takedown,” he said. “I was very impressed with it.” Frazier also liked one of Smith & Wesson’s newest offerings: the SHIELD from S&W’s Performance Center.
“I got to look at some of the lever-action rifles from Mossberg,” he added. “I also looked at Mossberg’s MMR and Patriot; I was really impressed with both.” Frazier also preferred the SIG SAUER P320.
Marc Adler from Machine Gun America in Kissimmee, Fla., favored SIG’s P210. “It’s really nice to see an American-made Swiss classic,” he observed. “I like seeing things go back to the shooting sports of old. It’s also great to see SIG has entered the 10mm market; they’re responding to niche customer demands.”
In long guns, Adler was enthusiastic to see FN America’s civilian belt-fed M249. “It’s the ultimate enthusiast’s bullet launcher,” he said.
The Taurus Raging Judge caught the attention of Frank Manuel, co-owner of Montgomery Indoor Shooting Complex in Montgomery, Ala. “It’s impressive and massive,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t find one to buy anywhere.”
Phillip Jackson, owner of PJ’s Armory in Pompano Beach, Fla., was impressed by Dillon Aero’s gyroscopic mini gun. “It was some pretty high-tech stuff,” he noted.
James Rabourne, owner of Rabourne Firearms in Baker City, Ore., spent time in the DSA booth and the company’s titanium FAL piqued his interest. “The weight is amazing. The loaded magazine weighs more than the rifle. It probably won’t be a big seller because of the price, but it’s a neat concept,” he added.
With the continued success of the MSR platform, scores of exhibitors introduced accessories for America’s favorite rifle.
“Strike Industries has a latchless charge handle for the MSR platform rifle — it’s innovative and unique,” said Bartt Brenton, president of BartZ. “It’s really outside-the-box thinking. It hooks on the inside where you never would have thought; it’s truly phenomenal.”
Up on the third floor in the SHOT Show NEXT Pavilion, Brenton found a push-button safety for MSRs at Elftmann Tactical. “Instead of a flip lever for a selector, it’s a push-button back and forth,” he said. “For the older customers who grew up with this style of safety, there will be some application for it.”
Jordan Blake, match director for Salute to Valor Veteran’s 3-Gun Charity Match in Houston, said she had trouble getting into the F-1 Firearms booth because it was so packed with attendees looking at neat new products. “I’m a big fan of their handguards — they’re substantial but not bulky,” she noted.
Rabourne liked Windham Weaponry’s Multi-Caliber System (MCS), an MSR caliber conversion package. “You can get all four conversion kits in a hard-sided case at a decent price, which makes it very usable,” he said. “The fact you can change calibers so quickly is going to make this a big seller.”
Martin Stowell, owner of Six Point Arms in Cabot, Ark., also liked the MCS.
“It comes in a suitcase with 9mm, .223, 300 Blackout and 7.62x39mm,” he said. “If it’s a modular gun you can swap out barrels and magazine wells.”
Frazier appreciated SIG SAUER’s new Electro-Optics line. “They have red-dot sights, and one model with a regular duplex reticle, which has the dot in the center,” he observed. “Even the lower priced models are very good quality.”
Michael Skinner, owner of Shoot Two Thrill in Limestone, Tenn., was excited by the Nightforce 4-14 first focal plane scope. “It’s in their SHV line, which stands for ‘Shooter-Hunter-Varmint,’” he noted. “They’re coming out with a first focal plane line of scopes for the line; they’re high-quality scopes at a reasonable price.”
Skinner also liked the new line of scopes from Athlon. “They’re a new company out of Kansas, making an economical line of optics with some really high-end features at a moderate cost,” he said.
Wildgame Innovations has a new stick-on measuring tape for scoring deer. Trophy Tape lets any hunter gross score a trophy in just a couple of minutes.
“You just tape the main beams, tape the tines and take some mass measurements,” said company representative Jason Campbell. “Then you peel the tape off and add up your score.” The company also has a new Dominant Buck Dripper for dispensing scent at deer scrapes.
Creative Pet Products continues its tradition of providing quality canine first aid kits for sportsmen. “Hunting dogs go into some very rough terrain,” said company representative Bill Sandve. “They can get really beaten up. These kits contain items for hunters to use to take care of their dogs until they get to a veterinarian.”
Ariat is using a new camo pattern aimed at the women’s market.
“Hotleaf was developed by women who hunt,” said Kelly Gentine with Ariat International in Union City, Calif. “Ariat has the exclusive license for hunting apparel and footwear in this pattern. It’s a performance pattern with hot pink leaves. Hot pink is as invisible to deer and other ungulates as is traditional blaze orange. Not only is Hotleaf an effective pattern, it’s appealing to the rising population of female hunters.”
Frazier liked the Take Aim Targets version of the Texas Star. “It has five arms, with one arm a little shorter than the others, and a sixth plate locks the target in place so it doesn’t spin. You shoot that plate first and it makes the target spin. It’s as cool as the Double Whirly-Gig from MGM Targets,” he added.
Brenton said he “walked the wall” to find small, lesser-known companies on the perimeter of the show. “National Emblem makes embroidered patches for law enforcement,” he said. “We needed someone to make patches for our shirts, so it was a really good find.”
Upstairs at the SHOT Show NEXT Pavilion, Frazier liked the lubricant Slip 2000. “It doesn’t stink and it’s biodegradable,” he noted.
Blake rediscovered High Threat Concealment, whose products she first used in the military a number of years ago. “They’re finding inroads into daily concealed carry with some really cool products,” she said.
Joseph Long, owner of Long Arms in El Paso, Ark., liked Sharpshooter’s .22 reloading kits. “I ordered them in .22 Magnum and .22 LR,” he said.
For Lilly Gibbs, co-owner of the Montgomery Indoor Shooting Complex in Montgomery, Ala., Lethal Lace stood out. “Concealed carry in summer attire can be a challenge here in Alabama,” she said. “Lethal Lace provides several options for wearing their concealment products, which will help meet this need here.”
Gibbs also liked the Maglula UpLULA speed loader. “If I had just glanced at it in a store I would have thought ‘speed loader’ and I wouldn’t have thought any more about it,” she said. “But when I tried the Maglula, I thought it was amazing.”
Tom McEnroe, owner of TXT Custom Gun Works in Arlington, Texas, does a lot of custom work on GLOCKs. “KE Arms provides magwells and a lot of other small accessories where the packaging would have my company logo on it,” he said. “Since magwells are all very similar, it gives someone like me the ability to sell something of quality under my logo. They have it not only with GLOCK accessories, but also with MSR parts. It gives small companies like me a chance to do some customization — which I don’t normally get to do.”
McEnroe also liked the SilencerCo Hybrid. “They’re multi-caliber suppressors where the customer can buy one suppressor to fit all their guns,” he said.
“The most impressive thing I saw was CaseCruzer’s cases for multiple guns,” said Vince Bizzini with Valley Defense Consulting in Modesto, Calif. “It’s a very diverse line and they do custom cases for the number of guns you need.” These cases have structured interiors so you can stack multiple guns without them banging around on one another.
Robin McDougall, owner of The Weapons Shop in Fairbanks, Alaska, said the most exciting new product for him was the Lyman Borescope. “It was initially introduced at the 2015 SHOT Show, but they had some problems in manufacturing, and it was announced as actually shipping at this year’s show,” he said. “That was a highlight!”
BOND ARMS www.bondarms.com
CREATIVE PET PRODUCTS www.petfirstaidkits.com
DILLON AERO www.dillonaero.com
ELFTMANN TACTICAL www.elftmanntactical.com
F1 FIREARMS www.f-1firearms.com
FN AMERICA www.fnamerica.com
HIGH THREAT CONCEALMENT www.highthreatconcealment.com
HOTLEAF CAMO www.hotleafcamo.com
KE ARMS www.kearms.com
LETHAL LACE www.lethallace.com
MGM TARGETS www.mgmtargets.com
SIG SAUER www.sigsauer.com
SIG SAUER OPTICS www.sigoptics.com
SLIP 2000 www.slip2000.com
SMITH & WESSON www.smith-wesson.com
STRIKE INDUSTRIES www.strikeindustries.com
TAKE AIM TARGETS www.takeaimtargets.com
WILDGAME INNOVATIONS www.wildgameinnovations.com
WINDHAM WEAPONRY www.windhamweaponry.com