I had a jam-packed afternoon after lunch at SHOT, and caught up with some companies that I was interested in… hopefully you’re interested, too!
Meprolight USA: As I have previously mentioned on the blog, Meprolight has taken control of US distribution in-house as Meprolight USA, which is very similar to the IWI / IWI-USA relationship. My interest in them lay in the new Meprolight FORESIGHT and the Meprolight microRDS.
The Foresight is, in my opinion, a revolutionary red dot sight, at least in the consumer market. It utilizes a fully digital display and adjustment controls, and can communicate with your smartphone (albeit I don’t believe it needs to do so to work). This means fun things like:
- Choosing what reticle you want from a big list
- Being able to swap the optic from gun to gun, and then configuring it for zero (eg, no need to re-zero)
- Using the app to zero your gun by simply scanning a target.
- Digital level display
- Digital compass
- Round count (eventually)
This is a pretty amazing feature set, and they did mention they were trying to integrate rangefinders as well (eg, range and then the reticle will adjust for drop). Street price is $650 (judging from OpticsPlanet), which is steep, but not unreasonable for an optic such as this. I’d really like one to T&E.
The microRDS was not quite as revolutionary, but did take a different approach to a common problem. When you’re putting a red dot on a pistol, you have the problem of retaining irons for emergency backup usage. The common solution, and the one I use, is suppressor sight heights. What Meprolight does is different – they provide a pair of tritium sights with a mounting bracket on the rear sight. You then QD mount your optic to the rear sight’s bracket. If the optic goes down, you just pop it off and you have your irons there.
It’s not a bad solution as they go. They’re less obtrusive than suppressor sights, and provide you a usable option for shooting the same gun in both production and carry optics. Street is $360, which seems steep until you realize you get a free pair of tritium irons with it.
IWI: Visting IWI is something I couldn’t miss. I didn’t see the ZION-15 at the show, which may have been just me missing it. I did see a pretty rocking Tavor SAR cut-out, which I grabbed a picture of.
I did ask briefly about whether there were any future plans for the Uzi Pro. Answer: no. They don’t see a carbine or factory SBR version as being a worthwhile seller. Too bad.
Federal Ammo: I have very limited attention span for factory ammo, given that I roll my own. However, Federal did have their 9mm NATO and new “Practice+Defend” boxes on show.
I have to wonder if the “Practice+Defend” stuff is going to be a big seller. I never really thought it was a huge success for Winchester.
Vista Outdoors (Federal’s parent company) did have a clever mock-up of The Sommelier’s gun safe at The Continental Hotel in John Wick, full of sexy TTI guns.
Walther: Walther was really out in full force, and was pushing the Q4 and Q5 guns very hard, especially the Q4 SF (steel frame). I have to admit, the trigger on it is pretty good. Not fantastic, but certainly far better than a stock Glock, and probably better than mine with a minus connector.
LaRue: In what I can only consider to be a stereotypical LaRue move, they had a CNC machine out on the floor, running, making a rifle chassis. They were pushing their MBT trigger line pretty hard, too.
Beretta: I wanted to check out the Beretta 92X, and this was my chance. The trigger is glorious. Seriously, this gun felt like it was ready to rock and roll on the competition circuit, and I expect to see some real successes with it. I also saw Beretta’s Aridus-equipped 1301; gotta hand it to them, they are making it happen in terms of bringing the market what they’re asking for.
Gerber: I didn’t have time to look at Gerber’s booth too hard (perhaps tomorrow?), but check out this picture of a FOLDING MACHETE. That’s the EDC I want to carry.
FN: Not a lot new at FN, but I did have a chance to check out the SCAR-SC. It looks pretty balling, but the unfortunate truth is that the stock is going to feel very short unless you’re in some heavy body armor.
Arsenal: Arsenal was pushing their AK 20 line pretty heavily. These have a reworked, free-floated handguard and a Sig 556-style adjustable gas block. The really key question is whether they’ve got barrel thread to bore concentricity nailed down well enough that mounting a can to the guns isn’t a roll of the dice.
Sig Sauer: The big news from Sig is the Sig Cross. But everyone else has covered that ad nauseum, and I feel like I have nothing to add. What was neat was seeing the Sig MCX Spear in person, and having a chance to take a closer look at the P320 X-series guns (including the Legion – again, just an amazing trigger).
Mossberg: The big news from Mossberg is the JM Pro 940 shotgun, and the MC2c pistol. I checked out both. The JM Pro 940 FEELS solid, but then again, so did the 930, and that thing broke a little too frequently. The MC2 feels pretty nice in the hand, as single-stacks tend to do, but the trigger is not exactly exceptional. Usable, though.
You can see a couple 590Ms in the background; for reference, I saw ZERO 870 DMs at Remington’s booth.
Lyman / Mark 7: Lyman bought Mark 7 Reloading, and was pushing them hard at the show. I can’t blame them; just look at these videos.
The Titan can load 7000 rounds an hour. In fact, it can load 7000 rounds an hour of TWO DIFFERENT CALIBERS. My wallet shudders to even think how much it costs, but I’m always tempted to go into the commercial reloading business every time I see these mechanical masterpieces.
Sionyx: Sionyx makes color digital night vision, specifically the Aurora digital cameras. I asked if they were going to make higher wavelength IR emitters, and, alas, that is not a commercial possibility at this time. They did show off a bino setup, and a rifle setup. I took their demo (which was literally looking in a dark hole), and at least under their highly controlled circumstances, it seemed to work very well. One of these days, I am going to give these a try…