Greetings from SHOT Show 2013! The gun trade definitely got plenty of media attention this past few months, but I am happy to report that SHOT Show 2013 was not about the controversy. It was about the new products, and it was full of surprises.
The biggest surprise was from tactical clothing and equipment manufacturer 5.11 Tactical. Yes, they did release some new stuff that law enforcement officers worldwide will use when kicking down doors. Notably, they have the new 5.11 Tactical Traverse Pant System with new quick drying stretch fabric and a new pocket design, and their Tac Tec Plate Carrier, which I plan to test soon. This was what I expected to hear when I went to their press conference.
In fact, the 5.11 Tactical press conferences I attended was not about their new designs at all. Instead, they mesmerized us with their Tactical Writers Conference, a face-to-face with some of the most prominent tactical writers in the industry.
SHOT Show is all about what’s new. Here’s my abbreviated list:
Trijicon has produced a set of taller Bright and Tough Night Sights for co-witnessing with their RMR with machined slides. I used to think it was just a trend for officers to add optics to their duty handguns, but handgun optics are now mainstream. I shot a milled 1911 with RMR mount and found the unlimited field of view was a tremendous advantage for patrol officers. An RMR can be mounted on almost any handgun; most shooters can pick up the optic and shoot well with it right away. Think of it as a handgun-sized ACOG.
Konus has improved on their Sight Pro Series with the Sight Pro TR. This is a 1X optic with 1MOA adjustments and multi reticle choices. They also released a 3 x 9 x 40 (30 mm main tube) tactical scope from their T30 Series. The scope is waterproof, shockproof and fog-proof.
I have done several extended tests on Konus products. Their scopes have rather distinct looking coatings; the tactical ones have a bright green tint, which gives great contrast in twilight. These models have etched reticles and their edge-to-edge clarity makes them one of the best bargains in the business. Konus uses efficient illumination for their reticles, and the fact that they have brought more tactical scopes to the table (including several NTOA-approved models) only betters the situation.
SIG Sauer showcased two introductions that quickly caught my attention. First the SIG MPX, a 6.5-inch short barreled select fire SMG which comes in 9mm, .357SIG, .40 S&W. The most striking feature is the integrally suppressed barrel, which has a uniquely designed, easy-to-keep-clean system. Law enforcement officers will immediately notice the receiver feels and operates like an AR-15 platform, making the learning curve easier. Adam Painchaud, director of the SIG Sauer Academy, talked me through the MPX. I think I need to check this one out myself. Exeter, here I come...
The second addition to the SIG Sauer line is the P227, a double stack that will fit leather (Kydex, etc.) designed for the P226 and P220. For officers used to the P226, this is your 45.
Clothing: Magnum and Darn Tough
For law enforcement officers, the tactical clothing releases during SHOT 2013 were the best ever.
Magnum released their new Response series of outerwear. This is packable stuff, made of 100-percent nylon Dry Tec, which is waterproof and breathable.
Magnum responded to a need that many of us had on patrol. Waterproof uniform jackets didn’t fit in the bug out bag, and even the zip out lining ones were too hot for a summer downpour. The Magnum Response Series is lightweight and packable. The wicking mesh liner keeps the climate inside the clothing different from the climate outside. One only needs to put patches on the jacket and it’s good to go.
Magnum’s Mach 2 8.0 Side Zip Waterproof boot is a 14.2-ounce duty boot with an athletic shoe type of fit. It has a Clarino upper, which looks and wears like leather, in a lighter package. The Mach 2 8.0 Side Zip uses a waterproof bootie. Most users know the Magnum design keeps feet dry.