Swiss Army Selects BLACKHAWK! SERPA Holster


The Swiss Army has opted to outfit its forces with the BLACKHAWK! SERPA tactical holster. BLACKHAWK! has received the initial order of SERPA holsters in various configurations. These different models will allow the use of the same holster system in varying job roles, regardless of a soldier’s mission.

The SERPA, respected for its durability and simple operation, also serves as the holster platform for the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, Army Military Police, the German Army and other law enforcement and military agencies, both domestic and international.


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Click To Read More Shooting Industry July 2016 Issue Now!

New Facility Focuses On Multi-Layered Approach

By Lisa Parsons-Wraith

Personal protection plans can never be “one size fits all.” Each woman needs to establish her own protection goals and the lengths she’s willing to go to in terms of lethal force to protect her home, her family and herself. Every woman needs a variety of defensive tools at her disposal to achieve these goals, ranging from weapon retention and grappling skills to pepper spray and firearms. Dealers across the country are working hard to provide women with firearm training and personal defense products, and, in the process, changing their business model to create a personal-defense facility for multiple disciplines.

Premier Shooting & Training Center (PSTC) in West Chester, Ohio, is the vision of General Manager and Co-Owner Jim Lentz. A former Marine M.P., Lentz is a martial arts instructor, as well as firearm instructor with numerous certifications. “Our primary objective is to teach people how to defend themselves,” Lentz stated. To that end, he recently opened a 30,000-square-foot shooting and training facility, which sports a 20-lane shooting range, 4,000-square-foot retail area, a martial arts dojo, VIP lounge, café, classrooms and meeting rooms.

Incorporating a martial arts dojo into a shooting facility is a fresh take on personal defense. “My goal is to give people options,” Lentz noted. Some people aren’t comfortable with firearms, but still want to defend themselves, so they sign up for a martial arts self-defense class, he said. “Once people understand how to really defend themselves, they see the parallels of both options,” he noted.

Premier Shooting & Training offers women-only classes as well as co-ed classes. The women-only classes are significant, because “it’s important for women to feel a sense of comfort, and women-only classes help alleviate intimidation” Lentz said. Classes include Women’s Self-Defense where women are taught how to defend, attack and escape an assailant among other defensive techniques.

PSTC also offers martial arts for the whole family, with kid’s karate classes, martial arts like JKDU/MMA for the Street, Kenpo, and Muay Thai conditioning. Their Shootfighting class combines disciplines, teaching students a fighting system that involves boxing, kickboxing and karate on the martial arts end of the spectrum. Weapons’ training includes learning the art of the firearm, cane and knife, weapon retention and fundamentals of marksmanship. This class also incorporates Hojutsu, an integrated fighting system that blends the use of firearms with martial arts.


ASP Key Defender


Sticky Holster SM-1 Small

Pinpoint A Training Niche

Though the training facility only opened in February 2016, Lentz has noticed a trend among women. “The typical track record we’re seeing now is women come in for the CCW class and then see what else we have to offer,” he said. “Women are much more willing to accept they need additional training. They start with handgun foundations, then take women’s self-defense, then buy a handgun and range membership.”

Premier Shooting & Training offers a holster certification course; it allows patrons to draw from an approved holster so they can conduct live fire training in the shooting lanes. As a result, Lentz said he and his staff are currently on a fact-finding mission to create a niche holster market in their pro shop — including a variety of holsters women can use with ease. So far, some of the holsters he has found include Raven Concealment Systems’ IWB holster, Blade-Tech’s OWB holsters and the Sticky pocket holster for .380s. “We try to have a broad spectrum of holsters based on design and price,” Lentz said.

Awareness, prevention and defense are the foundations of training at PSTC, and Lentz said he is a firm believer in a multi-layered approach to defense. For women who aren’t comfortable with a firearm or who can’t carry one for some reason, Lentz recommends pepper spray batons like the Key Defender or Palm Defender from ASP. This product is excellent for women because it gives a distance weapon with the pepper spray, while the baton is a close-up defensive option.


Sig Sauer P938

The Future Of Self-Defense?

The “try before you buy” philosophy is also a huge part of the firearm side at PSTC. Firearms training classes include the opportunity for students to try out and shoot various firearms. Lentz said women have responded well to S&W M&Ps and GLOCK 19s as guns they can learn to shoot and then decide if they want to move on to something else. “The SIG P938 seems to be a nice model,” he noted, adding it’s easy to shoot for women with small hands and the slide is easy to manipulate.

The response for Premier Shooting & Training Center has been very positive, according to Lentz. “People seem to get they can pick and choose from a variety of self-defense options to fit their needs and comfort level,” he noted. Martial arts gives people a defensive foundation, and from there they can explore other personal-defense choices ranging from lethal to non-lethal. This combination of training may well be the model for the self-defense facility of the future.

Hidden Heat

Women looking for a bellyband-style holster will want to check out Hidden Heat holsters from Miss Concealed. Available in a variety of configurations, these holsters can accommodate both small- and large-framed firearms. The firearm is held securely in place by retention straps and an adjustable Velcro closure allows for a custom fit. A patent pending support system incorporated into the elastic provides optimal support to the firearm. All models include extra pockets for magazines and cell phones. Available in black in standard models, and black and natural in lace models, Hidden Heat bellybands are a discreet and comfortable on-the-body carry option. All of the Hidden Heat holsters allow for either right- or left-hand draw.

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Click To Read More Shooting Industry June 2016 Issue Now!

What’s Next For Ammo?

Manufacturers Take Aim At
Addressing Market Volatility

By Kevin Russelburg

If you’ve been in business long enough, you already know your store’s bottom line benefits greatly from ammunition sales. In order to capitalize on them effectively, it’s important to have a plentiful stock of good quality range and personal-defense ammunition on hand to meet the need of your customers. However, the volatility of the ammunition market over the past couple years has challenged a dealer’s ability to provide these products to their customer base. There’s good news, though, for the dealer community: ammunition manufacturers are positioning themselves to meet current and future demand with the anticipated increase in the number of people becoming involved in the shooting sports.

As you well know, there will be spikes in demand that cannot be avoided or planned for — but be encouraged there are ammunition manufacturers looking toward the future to effectively manage their product lines and minimize the peaks and valleys for retailers. Evaluating current trends and avoiding mistakes from previous years, both dealers and high-quality ammunition brands will benefit in satisfying customers and growing the shooting sports.

Election Year Effects

Black Hills Ammunition Inc. has been in operation since 1981 in Rapid City, S.D. Owners Jeff and Kristi Hoffman are focused on delivering the highest quality ammunition with excellent customer service and selling directly to dealers. Their dealer pricing includes freight with a minimum order of one case.

“The ammunition business is heavily influenced by politics, especially during election cycles. People become scared, or uncertain and stock up to avoid the possibility of not having plentiful supplies on the shelf at their local gun store,” said Jeff Hoffman.

Buying surges create a rollercoaster-type environment for ammunition manufacturers and are very difficult to manage, according to Hoffman. “People rush out and buy up everything that’s available creating a void that is very difficult to fill until things settle down,” he added.

Likewise, a stable environment can be just as difficult to manage. When the market is full and there aren’t any current threats for increased gun control, the market stands still and companies sitting on large amounts of inventory can find themselves in financial distress — which has been felt in other product categories in recent years, as we’ve seen with MSRs.


Ruger ARX .380 Auto

Personal-Defense Shift

One noticeable trend in firearm sales is the obvious shift to personal security and safety. “Consumers aren’t really concerned they won’t be able to purchase a particular make and model of hunting rifle,” Hoffman observed. “People are more concerned about purchasing guns to protect themselves and their loved ones. The selection of firearms for this intended purpose is driving demand for specific handgun and semi-automatic rifle calibers.”

Hoffman attributes this shift to people realizing they need to be responsible for their own safety.

“There’s a large, growing segment of people who don’t feel the government is capable of fully protecting the population, and are breaking away from that sense of dependency. People who no longer feel a sense of security are buying guns for safety.” While purchasing firearms, these people are also seeking out training and discover the need for range and personal-defense ammunition, as well as other accessories.

Women shooters are contributing to this segment as well, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the firearms industry. This is driving an increase in some specific calibers, such as .380 ACP and .38 Special.

The demand for 9mm in the market remains strong. Military supplies are now caught up and remain steady, which is creating some surpluses in the commercial market. This is reflected by the current price and availability of calibers such as 9mm and 5.56mm. Traditional hunting calibers continue to remain stable, but do not constitute a majority of sales in the current ammunition market.

Commercial ammunition sales were down a bit in 2015 primarily due to consumers being content with the quantities they have on hand.

There will always be a need in the market for high-quality, economical ammunition for training and plinking, and that particular segment continues to stay strong. However, premium accuracy for long-range, sniper competition and reliability for personal protection comes at an increased cost.

Calibers that are growing in interest include 10mm and 300 AAC. Long- range competitive shooters are showing a strong interest in 6.5 Creedmoor and .260 Remington.


Ruger ARX .380 Auto


Daniel Defense FIRST CHOICe 300BLK

The Return Of Rimfire?

In what will be good news for retailers, .22 rimfire products are starting to experience a recovery. Aguila Ammunition has responded to this by expanding their manufacturing equipment to meet the demand in specialty ammunition.

“Beyond the traditional .22 LR, the demand for specialty .22 products is expanding,” said John Domolky, director of sales for Texas Armament & Technology, the exclusive importer of Aguila Ammunition. “The demand for higher quality and higher velocity rimfire ammunition is increasing significantly.”

The record demand that peaked a few years ago prompted consumers to begin hoarding ammunition, but the decreased availability of .22 rimfire ammunition today is most likely due to another reason. Before the years of widespread shortage and hoarding, shooters traditionally used rimfire rifles and handguns for plinking outdoors or to introduce young shooters to the sport. Over the past five years, however, the development and introduction of high-capacity magazines and conversion kits for platforms such as MSR-style rifles has increased the overall usage of rimfire ammunition beyond the occasional backyard shooter.

“It’s a different shooter using .22 rimfire today than five years ago. Today, there are more shooters using rimfire than ever before and shooting more volume than ever before. People are not just buying bricks of .22s, they’re shooting bricks of .22s,” Domolky said.

In addition to their rimfire offering, Aguila also manufactures a full line of FMJ centerfire cartridges for range and personal-defense use. The company reports it is in the process of expanding a hollowpoint product line as well.


Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

9mm Continues Upward Trend

The improvement in modern projectile effectiveness has decreased the difference between calibers. This is represented by the fact the FBI has decided to go back to the 9mm cartridge from the current .40 S&W — which has had a far-reaching effect among consumers and handguns of both calibers. As these guns work their way into the “trade in” and surplus market, prices of .40 S&W handguns will come down to such a level that makes them attractive to customers, which will in turn drive demand for available .40 S&W ammunition.

As such, 9mm is clearly the caliber of choice for most shooters today. Many factors are contributing to this, such as a higher volume of new shooters entering the market and settling on 9mm as their caliber of choice.

“Just as the release of the GLOCK 42 drove demand for .380 ACP ammunition a few years ago, the GLOCK 43 is doing the same for 9mm. There are also a large volume of high-quality concealable handguns such as Springfield XD-S, S&W M&P SHIELD, Walther PPS that are also contributing to current demand,” Domolky added.

How has your store handled the volatility of the ammunition market? Have you had similar experiences with a shift in demand for 9mm and .40 S&W? Send an email to and share your thoughts with us.

Reloading At Home

Those who have been reloading their own cartridges at home have also felt the effects of market volatility. Many reloading enthusiasts have a sufficient quantity of brass casings available and ready for the reloading process. The availability of primers and specifically powder at the local level is an opportunity for dealers to offer a significant service to their customers.
Dealers with shooting ranges can also offer an additional service by reselling their used range brass to reloading hobbyists. This keeps good quality brass casing in the local market, rather than selling to metal scrapyards that simply offer straight scrap value for these metals. Adding this service to your local customer base will keep a steady stream of materials in the community at a lower price — which customers value highly.

Additionally, dealers such as Datum Arms in Bolingbrook, Ill., have a constant supply of once-fired range brass sorted, cleaned and ready to ship or pick up at all times.

“We collect all of our brass from local indoor ranges, so we have sufficient quantities of the most common pistol and rifle calibers available in quantities of 250, 500 and 1,000,” said Kent Carrol, a partner at Datum Arms. “We supply the local dealer community with any needs they have for reloadable brass to pass along to their customers. We also sell direct to individual reloaders on a local and national basis.”

Some dealers have recognized a unique opportunity to enhance their reloading sections. They set up displays with working reloading operations to showcase some of the latest equipment offerings and also to provide an opportunity to educate existing and potential future reloaders on the equipment, processes and best practices.

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Click To Read More Shooting Industry June 2016 Issue Now!

Make The Most Of Fall Hunting Sales

As The Season Nears, Is Your Store Ready

By Carolee Anita Boyles

Today’s market may lean strongly toward tactical and self-defense sales, but fall hunting products still represent a significant portion of sales to retailers who cater to the hunting market. The regional differences in hunting regulations and the species hunters pursue means retailers in different areas may sell widely different products, so understanding your local market is the key to significant hunting season sales.

Richard Catts owns Delaware Firearms in Rehoboth Beach, Del. He said Delaware hunters must use shotguns for everything they hunt, including deer.

“There’s no rifle hunting in Delaware, so we’re a shotgun state,” he said. “For deer, hunters mostly use 20-gauge. For waterfowl they use 20-gauge or 12-gauge, but they primarily prefer 12.” The most popular shotgun with waterfowl hunters, Catts said, is the Beretta A400; deer hunters tend to like the Savage 220.

“Over the years, everybody used the H&R slug gun for deer,” he said. “When Remington bought H&R, they discontinued it. So now hunters have switched to the Savage, which is a 20-gauge bolt-action shotgun.”

Catts said hunters prefer 3½-inch shells for waterfowl.

“Hunters use slugs for deer, and I sell a lot of heavier loads for snow geese and ducks,” he said. “For deer, hunters like Remington AccuTip. For waterfowl, they like the HEVI-Shot brand or Black Cloud from Federal. Waterfowl hunters prefer the heavier loads, like #2 and BB shot.”


Wildgame Innovations V8B20


EOTech 512 XBOW Sight


B&P Heavy Pheasant

Legislation Impacts Buying Habits

At South County Guns in Cedar Lake, Ind., Greg Maurer said his deer hunters use either shotguns or rifles in pistol calibers. He predicts, however, a change on the horizon based off current legislative efforts.

“At present, we don’t have a full open rifle season for deer,” he said. “For hunting, you can only use bows, shotguns or rifles in pistol calibers such as .44 or .357; which means no .30-30, .270 or .308. However, the state legislature is working on allowing hunters to use some rifle cartridges to hunt — which is wonderful. We don’t sell many bolt-action rifles, because nobody has a real use for one unless he’s an avid sport shooter.”

A change to allow rifle calibers would be good, according to Maurer, to increase opportunities for hunters and encourage new hunters to participate.

“There are so few public lands here to hunt, and if you can only hunt them with a bow, it really narrows down who’s going to get into hunting,” he said. “So I’m tentatively excited about the coming changes because they’re going to be good for rifle sales.”

At this point, Maurer said, the hunting firearms his customers purchase the most are 12-gauge rifled-barreled shotguns with cantilevered scope mounts.

“The models they’re purchasing are primarily Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s,” he said. “In pistol-caliber rifles, we sell a good number of Henrys in .357, .44 Mag and .44 Special.”

When it comes to optics, Maurer noted customers are purchasing a significant number of scopes for crossbows.

“They’re buying the smaller 3X or 4X fixed optics,” he said. “You don’t need a tremendously expensive optic for them, which is nice for those customers.”

For shotguns, Maurer said, the store sells a lot of holographic and red-dot sights.

“Your shot is a little shorter with a shotgun, so you don’t need to reach out quite as far with your optics,” he said. “So guys are finding those optics are a good option for them.” Maurer said many of the red-dot sights he sells are Aimpoint or Sightmark; he also sells a good many EOTech holographic sights.

Since South County Guns carries mainly firearms and ammunition, Maurer said the store doesn’t sell much in the way of camo, pop-up blinds or tree stands.

“However, we do special order those things for customers,” he added.



Richard Catts, Delaware Firearms

Stick With The “Tried And True”

In Healy, Kan., Jamie Woods is the manager at Sharp’s Shooting Supply. He hasn’t seen any really significant changes in what his customers have purchased in the past few years.

“There have been some advances in technology, but the general concept hasn’t changed,” he said. “The one thing I’m seeing is youngsters who are coming up and are very eager, versus the older guys who have been hunting for years and are slowing down. I see a lot more excitement in the younger generation than in the older one.”

At his store, Woods has not noted any particular increase in women who are hunting. This isn’t because women aren’t hunting; it’s because a significant number have been hunting all along, he observed.

“Out here on the plains, deer hunting and pheasant hunting are our two major seasons. I always saw a lot of women hunting when I was growing up; out here they’ve always hunted. But I would say more younger women are getting involved,” he added.

Woods thinks the rise in younger people and women in hunting can be attributed to the media.

“The media is making everyone feel like they’re more equal,” he said. “Gun makers are taking advantage of this and producing guns that are more suitable to women.”

When it comes to pheasant hunting, hunters are staying with the “tried and true,” Woods said.

“Everyone wants to hunt pheasants with either a 12- or 20-gauge,” he said.

Changes in Kansas law have expanded the rifle calibers hunters can use for deer, Woods said.

“The legislature here has changed the law so all centerfire rifles are legal for hunting deer,” he said. “This has allowed women to step down from some of those larger calibers that kick so hard and shoot a .223 or a .243, versus a .270 or a .30-06.”

Woods added customers are purchasing those smaller calibers for hunting.

“Again, gun makers are taking advantage of this trend and are producing more hunting-geared rifles versus target rifles in those calibers,” he said.

A couple of years ago, Woods said, Muddy Girl camo became very popular and female customers asked for a lot of it.
“When a woman would come in, it was the first thing she would ask,” he said. “She wanted to know what I had in Muddy Girl.”

In general, camo sales are manufacturer-driven at Woods’ store.

“When Mossy Oak or one of the other big camo companies comes out with a new pattern, it becomes the current
hot-ticket item,” he observed. “Hunters follow what’s advertised and what’s the cool new thing that’s out. Once something is advertised, people come asking for it; as long as I stay on top of the newest thing, my customers are happy.”

When it comes to getting the word out about what he has in stock, Woods identified social media as his best tool.

“We use Facebook quite a bit, and we have our own website as well,” he said. “We also do an e-mail blast and a text message blast. People have to come into the shop to sign up to be on those lists, and once a month we send out an email or a text message and share what we have on sale at the time.”

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Click To Read More Shooting Industry June 2016 Issue Now!

Sightmark Wolverine Sight



(817) 225-0310

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.

2016 L.E. & Tactical Product Showcase

New Advancements Continue To Drive Interest In This Market

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.



(866) 554-4867

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.



(208) 542-0113

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.



(888) 767-7371

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.



(408) 779-7560

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.



(866) 223-9388

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.



(801) 417-5384

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.



(434) 296-8600

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. 



(817) 225-0310

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.



(859) 745-1757

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.



(800) 776-7842

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.



(800) 233-2155

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.



(562) 349-0562

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.



(888) 368-4656

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.



(303) 828-3460

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.



(800) 296-9690

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.


(800) 320-8767

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.



(904) 741-5400

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.



(631) 841-6300

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.



(413) 584-1400

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.



(802) 879-7002

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.



(910) 645-2172

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.



(757) 436-3101

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.



(800) 776-7842

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.



(608) 662-1088

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.



(800) 222-5233

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.



(866) 611-9576

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.



(610) 973-2614

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.



(912) 330-9166

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.



(309) 787-7151

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.



(817) 783-6001

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.



(805) 239-1440

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.



(443) 310-8777

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.


Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2016 Issue Now!

Handgun Movers And Shakers

Sales Surge As Personal
Protection Concerns Mount

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

What’s Selling?

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


Left: KIMBER Micro 9

Tailored Marketing Strategies

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.

Advertising That Works

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.

Read More Feature Articles


Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2016 Issue Now!

Must-Have L.E. & Tactical Products

Dealers Identify Firearms, Optics And
Other Accessories From SHOT Show

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.

Firearms And Parts

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.

Other Accessories

“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.

Everything Else

“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.”


Action Trackchair

Angel Armor



EOTech Inc.

Hawke Optics

Heizer Defense


HT Holsters

Knight’s Armament Co.

Leupold & Stevens

Longshot Manufacturing

MagStorage Solutions

Maxim Defense

MGI Military


Night Vision Depot



Serbu Firearms Inc.



Stag Arms


Tektite Industries Inc.

WMD Guns

ZQI Ammunition

Read More Feature Articles


Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2016 Issue Now!

Moving .40s Today

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

Additional Strategies To Reduce Inflated Inventory

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.

The Compromise Factor

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.

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Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2016 Issue Now!

Predicted Personal-Defense Hits From SHOT Show

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


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.

Stand-Out Firearms

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

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

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

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


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

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

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.

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Click To Read More Shooting Industry April 2016 Issue Now!