Hello from the SHOT Show! I’m the guy running from firing lane to firing lane trying to test everything in the brief amount of time one gets during “a day at the range.” The second day I cruised the floor in a vain attempt to take it all in.
At the range
Daniel Defense was one of my first stops. I got to see and shoot their new Mk12 featuring with an 18-inch Cold Hammer Forged stainless 1:7 twist barrel (optimized for for 77gr ammo), full length gas system, Geissele SSA two-stage trigger, and a BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle.
You should know that many of the premium guns I looked at had Geissele triggers in common. The buzz I’m hearing is the consistency of pull, as well as a reliable trigger weight. This is a drop in improvement for a patrol rifle that will give a consistent spec. It goes without saying that my next build will have a Geissele trigger.
I’d like to say the Mk 12 is the most exciting addition to the Daniel Defense family, but their furniture stole the show. Their pistol grip and buttstock have a textured tacky textured surface which puts the soft stuff near the palm and cheek. The toe of the buttstock is kicked up. It’s one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” kinds of features. If you’re the officer searching in tight quarters, you already know what I mean.
After I fired a few mags at Daniel Defense, I headed to the next range and ran into another participant. We almost bowled each other over. He looked familiar. I said, “You look familiar. Have you ever been in the military?” thinking I had seen the guy over the course of my career.
“I’m Dakota Meyer. I’m pleased to meet you.”
Really. I just asked the Medal of Honor recipient if he was in the military…I was so flabbergasted, I didn’t even get my picture with him.
My next stop was Colt Competition Rifles. Glenn Wisser of Bold Ideas Texas walked me through the Colt CRP 20SS, a mid-length fixed gas system that requires no tools for adjustment. It sports a free floated 1 in 8-inch chrome moly barrel with a triple chamber muzzle brake and, one shouldn’t be surprised, Geissele SSA-E trigger.
Why should law enforcement agencies have a serious look at Colt Competition Rifles? They are built to sub MOA specs. This accuracy is essential for a tactical intervention rifle.
I found I could shoot this rifle faster with the triple chamber muzzle brake from Bold Ideas. The pots are offset, which not only compensates for the recoil, but also the RH twist, keeping the muzzle flat and steady during quick strings.
Everyone has been waiting for the debut of the Glock 41 and 42, and I got to put a few magazines through each. At 5.94 OAL, the Glock 42 is the smallest Glock ever. Its 12.35 ounces is perfect for the vest or pocket. Not only was it controllable, it felt exactly like my G22.
The G41 Gen4 is a “practical-tactical” .45 with a G34 length slide on a G21 frame. For once, a Glock felt completely different in my hand. Don’t get me wrong, it’s every bit a Glock. However, it made shooting a .45 feel a little like I was playing with a G34. I talked to Gunny (R. Lee Ermy) on the range, who told me that Mrs. Gunny needed a G42. (I hope I didn’t spoil a surprise.)
DoubleTap ammunition was on the range, too. Since I’ll be shooting DoupleTap next issue for my article on building AR-15s, you’ll get to see some DT Tactical ammunition there.
This year Beretta debuted their Pico, which, believe it or not, is smaller than their already tiny Nano. The Pico is an 11.5-ounce .380 auto with rounded edges and a pretty good feel in the hand. I was able to ring the steel plates on their range every time. I like this gun, but I am lukewarm on .380 auto. I rang the steel plates, but could not drop them.
Over at Lancer, I stopped by to see the L7 Advanced Warfighter Magazine (AWM), a hybrid .308 magazine carbon fiber and aluminum. I got to put these magazines in the Lancer L30, which comes in .308 Win / 7.62X51 NATO, 6.5mm Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Rem. and .243 Win. This is a 7075-T6aluminumbillet upper and lower semi auto that can be configured according to the mission. Two words: Tack driver.
Next I stopped by to shoot my dream gun—a Korth revolver. I have always wanted to own a Korth.
This year SIG SAUER had a separate range and it was worth the drive to shoot the new SIG556xi rifle, a completely ambidextrous carbine with a folding stock. It has a unique method of quickly swapping the charging handle from one side to the other.
I also got to shoot one of the many variants of the SIG SAUER P320. This is a completely modular multi-caliber handgun with a stainless steel frame assembly, the “chassis,” with interchangeable grips and slides. It goes from a compact carry gun to a full sized duty gun.
For those of us who have been waiting for this safety upgrade, the P320 double action, striker fired gun can’t be disassembled with the magazine inserted. Most importantly, it doesn’t take a pull of the trigger to disassemble it.
On the SHOT Show floor
I started with Streamlight’s booth where I got to see the debut of the Portable Scene Light. This is a high lumen flood light made of high-impact thermoplastic, with the light head on a telescopic pole. The sturdy base holds the lead acid batteries. Having stood next to a noisy generator at a DUI checkpoint and in a crime scene, I can tell you exactly what I liked about it.
I also checked out D&H Tactical’s when my eyes settled on their pink magazines. Mind you, they make a number of custom finishes, including several subdued colors in a hard finish with great lubricity. I’ve used their magazines before and they have quality followers and springs. I know if I have pink ones on the range, they won’t disappear.
If your agency uses higher quality 6061-T6 mags, you have probably seen D&H Tactical magazines. They can be purchased in U.S. Military Spec Green follower or the (better) Magpul anti-tilt follower. You’ll see some pink mags next month.
Chris Aylor of Pulsar talked me through their Forward DFA 75, a day optical sight converter. This is a night vision optic that mounts on the front of the daytime optics, converting an already sighted-in system. For agencies looking at equipping their teams while maintaining flexibility, this is a product that has several advantages, including daytime capability, a last IR illuminator and the fact that it uses common batteries.
In the garment and footwear industry, last year’s trend of lighter products carried over to this year, with some huge refinements. First, 5.11 Tactical debuted their Storm Grey color, which they immediately released on their tech fabric products like their Ridgeline Pant.
Rocky Boots transferred their popular outdoor product, the Broadhead, into the Broadhead Duty Boot. This is an athletic built boot with the Rocky WaterProof protection, in all black with a polishable toe. There are no seams across the toe cap and the outsole extends just a bit to protect the periphery of the upper. This is excellent example of taking a proven design andputting it on duty.
I stopped by to see one of my favorite product reps, Dayna Stejskal of Magnum. Dayna showed me the Blackbird, a mid-weight full grain/nylon upper tactical boot. Its composite safety toe can give an officer moderate protection (it’s non-metallic) without the weight. My favorite feature is the Fastrope system, a layer of protection in the mid foot and instep deigned to protect the officer during a FRIES (Fast Rope Insertion Extraction System) descent, which makes it ideal for interdiction officers whose ride to work is often an insertion.
Dayna brought out Magnum’s Mach 3 Urban Patrol Boot and set it on the table. “Is this some kind of joke?” I started to ask. The boot hardly weighed anything. The Mach 3 is a Vibram soled boot with an EVA midsole and non-metallic hardware. I yanked up the insole and declared, “It’s slip lasted!” This is a method that running shoe manufacturers use to make lightweight, flexible footwear. This boot has a sneaker pedigree, and I recommend it for officers that like foot pursuits, like me.
Vests are just getting better. PROTECH Tactical has introduced their IMPAC-HT1 plate, which has protection up to .357 SIG and also a degree of edged weapons protection. I’ve been pushing for this kind of innovation and I’m glad that PROTECH Tactical has stepped up to the…well, never mind.
Point Blank Enterprises introduced their Alpha-1 tactical armor system with Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology by DSM. This is a lightweight, flexible bullet resistant fiber used in Point Blank Alpha Elite Series products. It’s about 3/4 the weight of my old patrol vest with greater protection.
The Alpha-1 Tactical Vest has a Selective Point Release System (SPRS), which allows you to do a quick release at one point only. On other tactical vest products, pulling the quick release yanks the whole panel, which flips down over the cummerbund. On the Alpha-1, the quick release only releases a single shoulder or part of the cummerbund. It takes longer to explain it than to demonstrate it. What’s the advantage? Rescuing officers can do wound management without removing ALL of the victim officer’s protection. It goes back on just as easily.
Over the next few months, I will likely be shooting many of the new things I found at SHOT. What’s the next thing I’ll be shooting? Vyse Gelatin, of course.
Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. and enjoys competing in shooting sports, running and cycling events. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.