In the world of firearms and firearm related goodies, the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show (it just wrapped up in Orlando) has such a gravitational attraction that it is impossible to ignore. I know that Frank Borelli has already filed a report, but I'm going to offer a few of my observations as well. We both saw the same things, but never managed to actually see each other, so massive is the area involved and so varied are the items displayed. I'll pass on reporting on the guns of little interest to law enforcement, such as the CVA Electra muzzleloading rifles with electronic ignition, the AR crossbow and the Beretta single barrel, break open, semi-automatic, 2 shot, 12 gauge shotgun. Likewise the LaserLyte PB-1 pistol bayonet. (If you think you've seen it all folks, just go to the SHOT Show!) Here are a few that might actually be useful.
Ruger Is At It Again
Ruger created the big stir at the 2008 SHOT Show when they introduced the LCP, .380 caliber pocket pistol. Recall and all, it's still making waves. (More on that later). 2009 is the year of the LCR (Light Compact Revolver). What makes this revolver different from all the Ruger revolvers that have come before, as well as all other revolvers, is that a good bit of the frame, specifically the Fire Control Housing System, is composed of Long-Strand, Glass-Fiber Filled Polymer. I've been joking for years that if Glock wanted to do something really different, they should build a polymer revolver. Well, too late, Ruger got there first.
There is plenty of metal in the LCR, of course, with a stainless steel barrel and alloy cylinder, but the over all combination yields a lightweight (13.5 oz.) pocket revolver that is unlike any other Ruger. Other than the materials and the appearance, the most striking thing about the gun is the trigger mechanism. It has been completely redesigned from the typical Ruger l-o-o-o-n-g trigger pull associated with the SP and GP revolvers and has a short, smooth, crisp feel, similar, dare I say, to that of an S&W revolver. It isn't the same however, and discussing the mechanism with the engineer who designed it revealed that his new approach gives you that excellent trigger feel right out of the box. The LCR that I shot at the Media Day event was pleasant to shoot, even with its light weight, and was easy to control. The sights were a little off on that particular gun, as all of us who shot it were hitting a bit high and left, but the front sight is pinned on, allowing for swapping it out for different sizes and styles. Word has it that XS Sight Systems is already planning big dot sight for the LCR. What this means is that you can have a lightweight, 5 shot, .38 Spl +P snubby for your pocket or ankle at a more affordable price than any of the similar weight scandium/titanium/ultralight revolvers currently in use. Suggested retail for the LCR is $525 and actual selling price will certainly be less than that. And, there is already a Crimson Trace LaserGrip version, the LCR-LG, for about $250 more. Keep an eye out for the LCR. It is supposed to be available beginning in March, but they may be hard to find for a while, due to heavy pre-booking by many dealers.
Get A Grip
Speaking of Crimson Trace, they introduced some new styles that will be helpful in the LE world. First of all, there is a new, improved grip mounted module for Glocks, the LG-417. It will be more directionally stable than earlier models that tended to shift a bit as the retaining pin wore in. The new version actually wraps around the grip, like the current Springfield XD model, and places the activation switch on the front of the pistol grip, directly under your middle finger. They will still make the other model, for those who prefer that style, but I think the LG-417 will be an improvement for service Glocks.