Triggers to squeeze, training to try

SHOT Show is the largest gun and equipment exhibition on the planet. Most major manufacturers of firearms, hunting, military and law enforcement gear from around the world were present at the Sands in Las Vegas this year. Regardless of what you are...

Bastion are makers of custom magazine floor plates for handgun magazines. This small company from Oregon is less than a year old, but is making a big splash in the weapon accessories market. The T6 hard anodized aluminum floorplates are available for Springfield XD, S&W M&P, and Glock pistols. They have many stock designs, including American flags and a “Zombie Response Unit.” They will also make custom plates for you with your department badge or patch on them. In addition, they make custom Challenge Coins and patches. If you are in need of some tactical bling for your handgun or range bag, check them out.

Crye Precision

People in the tactical arena have been aware of Crye Precision for some time. They manufacture well-made uniforms, body armor and other gear for the serious professional. Operating out of Brooklyn, New York, everything they produce is made in the United States. This year they showcased a few items of note.

MagClip: the MagClip provides a new option for carrying 30-round magazines for an AR series rifle. These polymer clips attach to the bottom of the magazine and allow you to attach the magazines to MOLLE webbing, a belt or any other area they will fit. They’re great for low-profile carry, and would be ideal for use at the range. MagClips will fit G.I. magazines, PMAGs or HK magazines. Currently they are available in .223 caliber; other calibers are expected soon.

GunClip: This innovative polymer holster allows you to carry your Glock pistol with any weapon light and/or suppressor on the market. It can be used as a traditional belt slide or attached to MOLLE webbing. The mounting platform allows you to rotate the holster 360 degrees so you’re sure to find the angle that best suits your needs. The rugged design is lightweight and has an open bottom, while still covering the trigger and trigger guard. The retention device is easy to disengage while acquiring your firing grip on the pistol.

SPARTAN: The SPARTAN is a maxillofacial ballistic protective piece that snaps onto standard ACH helmets providing ballistic protection for your face. With over 70 percent of combat head wounds inflicted to the face, it is a smart move to upgrade your personal body armor. The SPARTAN is said not to interfere with vision, weapon firing or even eating and drinking. While offering the same ballistic protection as the helmet, it is lightweight (less than one pound), flexible, and can be donned and doffed in seconds. It is also compatible with goggles or NVG’s.

Israel Weapon Industries (IWI)

Long a leader in small arms production, IWI has now begun production here in the United States. Their first offering is a civilian version of the Tavor rifle. This is a semi-auto version of the rifle that is currently issued to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and was designed in collaboration with the IDF. The design of this rifle began in 1993 and went through years of upgrades and rigorous field testing. The Tavor is a bull-pup design chambered in 5.56 mm NATO and accepts both the proprietary magazines from IWI and standard AR series magazines. There are also conversion kits available that allow you to quickly switch it to either 5.45 x 39 mm or 9mm.

The polymer frame has QD sling swivel mounts molded into it front and rear, and on each side of the weapon. It has a Picatinny rail mounted forward on the pistol grip for a light and/or laser, and a full length rail on top for optics. Flip up iron sights are mounted into the top rail and when closed are nearly invisible. The weapon can be converted for left-handed shooters by replacing the bolt. All other parts swap easily from right to left to complete the conversion.

During firing, I found the weapon very easy to control even when firing rapidly. The bull-pup design effectively keeps the weight close to your body, which reduces fatigue. The magazine release, safety lever and bolt release are also positioned for the most efficient usage. After just a few minutes of orientation, I was able to fire and reload the weapon quickly. It comes available with a 16 1/2 inch barrel with an overall length of 26 1/8, or an 18-inch barrel with an overall length of 27 5/8 inches. The 16 - inch version weighs in at 7.9 pounds, while the 18-incher comes in at 8.15 pounds.

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 to 20 at the Sands.

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