Although SHOT Show started out focused on Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor sports, it dedicated a specific space to military and law enforcement products a few years back. That section has grown in size and significance and plenty of what is available there is covered on this week's tactical side. On the recreational side there was much more space dedicated and I'll do the best I can to cover as much of the new products as possible. This week, though, we're taking a quick look at the notable new product releases on the recreational side. I've done my best to include hunting, fishing, camping, archery, backpacking, etc.. Given that the outdoor (original) part of SHOT Show is much larger than the military / LE part, I faced quite a challenge walking it all and finding the items I thought you readers would be most interested in. Let's take a look...
Let me be a complete sexist pig up front: A company called Wilderness Creations had a booth full of mannequins clothed in their camouflage apparel. The apparel line ran mostly to lingerie and bathing suits (not shown here for obvious professional reasons) but was attractive none-the-less. If you are one of those folks who likes to have everything in camouflage, then some of their products are probably right up your alley.
And if you let your significant other go out dressed in one of those outfits, she may need a self-defense tool. Of course, if she's dressed liked that, she won't have room or pockets to carry much. Kimber firearms has released an OC-based defense tool--the LifeAct Guardian Angel--about the size of a pack of cards, that fires two shots of colored gel containing the effective ingredient. The plastic clip on the side makes it pretty easy to carry on a belt or in a pocket and there is a safety built in. Although I wasn't exposed to the agent, and I have no desire to be, I have no reason to believe that it wouldn't be an effective disabling tool.
If your significant other likes to accessorize and happens to purchase a Kimber LifeAct Guardian Angel, they can now accompany that with another defensive option: the new TASER C2. Looking an awful lot like a futuristic "phaser," the TASER C2 no longer even resembles a gun. It looks more like a universal entertainment remote and is available in four different colors: pink, blue, silver and black. Still limited to a 15 foot range, the C2 can be carried in a pocket and has no issues connected with static electric discharge as the X26C did (according to the rep in the booth). Speaking of the booth, I thought TASER went a little overboard with the stock car and Playboy Bunnies, but it's all good. The C2 is priced at about $300, which is a HUGE reduction from the $1000 price tag on the X26C, AND it requires only one pull of the trigger to deliver the 30-second "ride" to the bad guy. The cartridges still incorporate the Anti-Felon Identification Tags and, as a new twist, a background check is required to purchase a C2. This can be done online or via the 800-number they set up for just that purpose.
Revision Eyewear, well known for their military protective eyewear, also has a line of protective masks that are great for use in paintball fun. Shown in the pictures above right they are quite unique and present an almost-alien appearance.
BlackHawk Products Group took the step last year of expanding their line to the outdoor market. It was a logical and easy step and this year saw further growth on that front. The packs, hydration systems, apparel and more in real tree camo have grown in number. Shown here is only one of their packs, hydration system incorporated. Other packs incorporate weapon carrying systems (to haul your rifle or bow long distances). Designed and built based on BlackHawk's extensive experience and knowledge of pack systems, the outdoor line is sure to become a popular item with the hunting crowd. I like it for anything outdoors...real tree is cool.
For as much space SHOT Show required, there just didn't seem to be that many outstanding new product items added. Variations on old themes seemed to be the name of the game. If I had to pick a single outstanding note of the show it would be the explosion of BlackHawk's product line: they've added armor, apparel and expanded their outdoor line, not to mention introducing the first single cell LED pistol light ever AND a Level III holster to go with it.
Be sure to come back next week for the usual reviews that didn't require me to walk just under 60 miles in four days carrying a 40-lb back pack.