It’s billed as the largest outdoor show on earth, and SHOT Show 2011 did not disappoint. SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade) Show was held at the Sands expo and Convention Center inside the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. What started in 1979 as a fledgling operation has grown into the premiere outdoor trade show on the planet. The event went from January 18 to January 21.
Every major manufacturer of firearms, hunting, camping, and law enforcement gear from around the world was present at the Sands. You could find everything you ever imagined, and some things you never would have related to outdoor sports, military or law enforcement equipment. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) press release, some 57,000 people visited the show over the course of four days. They were there to see over 1,600 exhibiting companies that covered 630,000 square feet of floor space.
In addition to seeing the latest products available, officers could also take numerous classes as part of the “Law Enforcement Education Program”. Renowned trainers like Dave Spaulding were on hand doing classes on developing the combative mind and enhancing your pistol skills. The training sessions were free with paid admission. Prior to the show, the course content could be reviewed and officers could sign up online. If you were not able to pre-register, you could sign up for classes onsite if seats were still available. After completing training, officers simply dropped his or her registration card into a bin. Organizers scanned the cards and attendees received a record of training.
Celebrities from the various shooting sports and other fields were also present signing autographs and talking to fans. Ultimate Fighting Championship star Matt Hughes was at the Browning booth, and the Daniel Defense booth showcased USMC Sniper legend Chuck Mawhinney, along with a limited edition M40 replica of the rifle Chuck carried as a Marine Corps Sniper during the Vietnam War. Glock had a big draw with R. Lee Ermey. Also on hand were Olympic Gold Medalist Kim Rhode, and competitive shooter Jerry Miculek, to name a few.
One of the big draws of SHOT Show is that manufacturers often unveil their latest products for the first time. As for new products, there were many more than can be listed here. I’ll go over a few of the things that caught my eye over the four-day event.
To enhance their Gen4 line of pistols, Glock has introduced a beavertail backstrap. The new grip replacement adds a high beavertail tang to the Gen4 pistol. Feeling good in the hand, it allows you to get a high grip on the weapon while protecting your hand from being gouged by the slide. It allows for a higher grip, which by reducing the recoil pivot distance, lends to better recoil control.
This item was so new they did not even have any literature on it in the Glock booth. It will soon be available for all Gen 4 pistols. They also have individual officer purchase programs, and buy-back programs for officers. If you want to trade in your old Glock for a Gen 4 model, it’s a very cost effective way to upgrade. Contact Glock for more info.
The new Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) is Aimpoint’s latest offering. This red dot optic has a 30mm tube and integrated mounting system. The mount will attach directly to any flat-top AR15/M4 series rifle without the need for specialized tools. If you want your red dot co-witnessed with your iron sights, you simply remove a small spacer that lowers the scope level with your iron sights. It boasts a continuous battery run time of three years and is fully compatible with any quality night vision equipment. This little scope comes ready to mount, and with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $440.00 it’s sure to fly off the shelves.
Kel-Tech’s new KSG shotgun is this company’s first foray into the shotgun market. The slick lines of the pump action, bull-pup 12-gauge are an eye catcher. But more impressive was the functional design. It has dual magazine tubes mounted below the barrel. Each magazine holds seven rounds. Manually flip the lever to switch from one magazine to the other. Spent shells are ejected through the bottom. The dual magazine design allows for very quick switching of munitions. One tube can be loaded with slugs, and the other buckshot. An operator can select slugs simply by flipping a lever; no longer do rounds have to be loaded and ejected to switch ordinance.
The overall length of around 26 inches makes it a good choice for entry work. The bull pup design also keeps the weight of the magazine tubes closer to the body, allowing for better balance and handling. The KSG’ picatinny rail runs along the top of the weapon for installation of your favorite optic or iron sights.
The forward grip also has a picatiny rail built into it. This allows for mounting of a vertical fore grip, light or laser. It also comes with a rubber recoil pad and built in ambidextrous sling attachments. Manufacturer’s suggested retail for the KSG shotgun is $880.00. Contact Kel-Tec for more information.
Having recently acquired Insight Technologies, EOTech has a match made in heaven. They are still offering the full line of Insight Technology products, which are a perfect companion to their fine holographic weapon sights. This includes weapons mounted as well as handheld flashlights.
The CNVD-T is a night vision rifle scope with thermal imaging capabilities. It comes with an integrated mounting rail that easily and quickly installs on any picatinny rail system. It has a 25-degree field of view and features a 1-power optic with a 2-power digital zoom. The height of this scope is perfectly matched to mount forward of your Eotech holographic weapon sight.
A rubber cup has been added that fills the gap between your holographic sight and the night vision device. This keeps ambient light and debris from getting in between the two optics. The aiming reticle can be turned on or off. This allows you the choice of aiming devices. You can run it using your holographic sight for aiming, or turn off your holographic sight and use the reticle in the night vision scope. The scope weighs in at 21 ounces without the batteries installed, and is 6 inches long. It claims a battery life of eight and half hours.
Magnum has been known for their high quality tactical boots since 1982. Their new line of boots (unveiled at SHOT) sport the popular “Multicam” Camouflage pattern. These boots have gone through extensive research and development. Designed with input from U.S. and British Special Forces soldiers, they have also been wear tested by troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
The thing that makes this footwear stand out from others done in this pattern is that the entire boot is covered in Multicam. Both boot models feature the versatile Multicam pattern on the outsoles, eyelets and even the logo. The Multicam pattern is even integrated into the rubber sole. As the sole wears down, the camo pattern is still visible. This is sure to be a hit with snipers who are tired of having to spray paint their boots. The Multicam pattern has grown in popularity since its introduction with tactical teams and military units. These two boots should do well.
VirTra Systems premiered their VirTra 300 LE training simulator at the show. This virtual range has five screens giving a 300-degree view of scenarios. Officers are totally immersed in the training environment through each scenario. Unlike many simulators, the multiple screens force the officer to continually be aware of their environment. This breaks the “square range” mentality of other simulators where the officer knows all threats will conveniently appear directly in front of them. The video and sound is very high quality and adds to the realism. A speaker at each screen allows the officer to hear sounds such as street noise, barking dogs or people talking come from the intended direction.
The system is run by an instructor seated at the entrance to the virtual environment. The instructor can add to and change scenarios on the fly, based on the actions of the officers being trained. The system will also record shot placement for review and critique after a scenario is run.
The weapons used are actual Glock pistols modified for use with the system. As such, it allows for a weapon that feels and functions as if it were real. When fired, the slide functions and there is some felt recoil. In addition to scenarios, multiple target style applications can be used to assess and train officers on basic marksmanship fundamentals.
Whether you’re a purchasing agent, team leader or just a cop who is interested in seeing the most current equipment available, you’ll be very satisfied with what you find at this event. Whatever you’re looking for in the field of law enforcement, hunting, or shooting gear, you’ll find it at the SHOT Show. Next year’s show dates are January 17-20 at the Sands. If you get the chance, stop out and wander the aisles.