Day 1: Greetings from the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando!
On January 11-12, Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio volunteer Clint Lake attended the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando, FL. Following is Part 1 of a blog on his experience.
By Clint Lake
Where to start? The number of vendors here are of truly epic proportions. The building is easily 4 - 5 football fields long and a football field wide. Sections are broken into "Law Enforcement/Tactical", "General Shooting/Firearms", "Hunting", and "Outdoor Wear". Rows and rows of guns, gun stuff, and gun nuts!!! (and oddly enough a couple of Vegas showgirls)
Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.
I'll first start out with some boffo, socco stuff that none of us can afford...except for maybe Ken Hanson.
Imagine, if you will, three 6'x6' screens all connected together to form a 180 degree 'simulated' field of view. Sitting in front of the center screen is a metal cab of a HUMVEE (with a driver's seat and turret position housing a belt fed machine gun). As the driver cruises around Bahgdad, or Powell, the simulation creates adversaries in the form of 'technicals', IED's, or various 'bad guys' which the turret gunner performs the required Rx. What is really cool is that as the gun operates (via some sort of CO2 recoil) you are able to see the rounds hit on the street, against building, etc.
Today I'll review some of the whiz-bang stuff as it relates to pistols, and tomorrow I'll write on rifles and various tactical accessories.
Here we have another polymer frame pistol with traditional DA/SA action BUT what is nice, for lefties, is that it has an ambix mag release and frame mounted decocking lever (much like an HK). There are also interchangable back straps for differing hand sizes. This model holds 14 rounds of ACP and comes with 3 magazines. In addition this model is available in stainless steel. Feels very good in the hand and provides a little competition for HK in the lefty market. Oh, and of course the accessory rail comes standard.
- For all you frequent gun shoppers I know you've seen the big X-frame .500 revolvers in the heavy duty case with the knife, compass, signal mirror and tin-foil hat marketed as the 'Bear Survival Kit'. Well now they have a 'Disaster Ready Kit' (I call it the 'hood survival kit). For your $$ you get a 9mm/.40 S&W Sigma, emergency rations for 4 peeps for 4 days, crank radio/flashlight, multi-tool, water purification tables, and misc other survival stuff. So I guess the big question to ask is, what do I barter out of my pack of goodies to get bullets for my gun which I will have to use to defend the rest of gear? OK, the tin-foil hat isn't included.
- Yes, it is here! In all its full size, polymer glory! And for any hippie gun nuts it also comes in 'Dark Earth Brown'. Yes, really! Again, good news for the lefties; Ambidex slide release, mag release, and for those who want a frame mounted manual safety that looks like a 1911 manual safety. The manual safety is an option on a certain model but not standard on all M&P 45's. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds.
Even thought the catalog I got doesn't show the new versions of the USP 45 and USP 45 compact, the HK people did have some of the new pistols on hand.
- USP 45 Full size:
The grip on the USP has been totally refined. There are now finger grooves and a new checkering pattern that feels just great. I know I'm going out on a limb here, but the 'hand feel' is as good, or better than comparative 1911!!! Other changes are a full Picatinny rail, and an angled front instead of the trademark flat front.
USP 45 Compact:
Unfortunately HK didn't carry over the gripping grooves to the compact version and the compact will only be available in the 'desert tan' polymer frame, unfortunately. All other characteristics are carried over from the full size HK.
MP7A1 (Personal Defense Weapon):
For any of you wanting to know what the progeny of a HK G36 and an UZI consumation would look like, here is your answer. The round that it uses is even a hybrid: 4.7 x 30mm. What is nice is that the top of the receiver is one long Picatinny rail with flip up iron sights on both ends.
- I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing but Kimber is embarking on a 'side business' of non-leathal OC spray systems. They are named 'Lifeact'. The first is a compact unit (Guardian Angel), about the size of a walkie talkie, but with a trigger mechanism in the middle. The brochure states that the 'near pharmaceutical grade OC' is driven by 'pyrotechnic charge at 90 MPH' and is effective up to 13 feet. The thing that excites me about this product is the term 'pyrotechnic charge'! I digress. The 'Cowboy Up' version of this is called the JPX Jet Protector. Isn't that the Air Force's new air supremacy fighter? This one launches OC at 270 MPH (guaranteed to put an eye out) and has a range of 23 feet! This one is marketed toward law enforcement because it looks like a laser blaster that Bobba Fett used in the Empire Strikes Back, (Did I say that out loud?)
Really nothing big with this new model. Same as the rest; Custom Cover II, Pro-Covert II, Ultra Covert II. Only thing added is an olive drab frame and laser grips in the now standard digi-camo pattern.
This seems to be a very nice 1911 chambered for a 9mm. This is available in full size, commander, and officers models. Another cool thing is that the frame/slide are duo-tone with the slide being darkened stainless steel and the frame being alloy.
- Witness FCP:
This pistol gets my 'bleeding edge technology' award. This is a mid-size semi-auto, polymer pistol that has a very unique barrel/action system. The round that feed fire is inserted into a 'shotgun-like' shroud. This 'round' is then inserted into a magazine and the action looks like it fires from an open bolt condition. I state from the brochure, "The Patent pending fast cycle tube chambers eliminate the need for expensive magazines. Simple inexpensive, reusable tubes that encase each round and act like self-contained chambers." BUT check this out - The brochure says that you can fire .38 Spl! Just what I always wanted...a .38 special auto! What nirvana!
- 21 SF:
For you plastic officianado's, it don't get much better than this. The big ole 21 grip got whittled down quite a bit. I did a side-by-side comparison and there is indeed a big difference in the grip distance. Add to it a ambidex mag release and you have a real nice pistol. Old 21 mags will work with this but for the ambidex mag release to work requires the newer 21 SF mags. Unfortunately you still have a slide of aircraft carrier flight deck proportions.
- ADP (Advance Design Pistol):
1911 hardcores better sit down for this one. Wilson Combat is now making a polymer, 9mm BUG!!! They boast a new 'gas retard and buffering system' that allows this little guy to carry 11 rounds and has an unloaded weight of 19 ounces! But it has what is, in my humble opinion, a stupid safety that is positioned right above the mag release. Looks more like a Sig decocker....but it's a safety. This one may break Kahr's lock on the small BUG!
This is probably one of my favorite new products for pistols. It is an aiming laser built into a Picatinney rail that attaches to the existing rail on your pistol. Now you can attach your favorite weapon light to the laser/picatinny that sits on your pistol rail! Sorta confusing I know. Like watching yourself on tv, etc. This laser also comes in green, red, blue, infra-red and a charming, soft lilac.
Gotta rest my feet!
Your Roving BFA Reporter