SHOT Show is in full swing, and I’ve been working the floor to see what’s interesting. I’ve only been here about two hours, and I’ve already got plenty to talk about. This post will cover some interesting stuff I found at Ikon Weapons, ABA Arms, Tyrant Designs, C4 Precision, Blue’s Bullets, Gas Block Genie, HasGrok, and Cloud Defensive.
First, Ikon Weapons. The first time I heard about these guys was an email from Atlantic Firearms about some new Galil clones that were coming out. When I was traversing the floor of the Supplier Showcase, I saw some good-looking Galils at the Ikon booth and just had to ask Suliban the story.
Ikon was (is?) an industrial gunsmith that does warranty and contract repairs. At one point, they were contracted by another, now-defunct entity to build Galil clones. Readers of Recoil magazine may be able to guess which one. Anyways, Ikon was about midway through their run when the wheels fell off, and had all the tooling set up… so they purchased the remaining Galil Micro kits, bought some ARM kits, and manufactured them under their own shingle. The quality of the rifles that I saw on the floor looked solid; they reminded me very much of the build that TennGalil did for me.
It was clear from our conversation that Suliban takes a great deal of pride in Ikon’s work. They have a lifetime warranty (only a couple minor repairs thus far!) and the warranty number goes straight to his cell phone. Further, because they have all the kits, they can work with you if you want something special – like the stock of your original rifle, if you have the ATF Form 1 approved on a pistol. If I was in the market for a Micro, I’d absolutely be going to these guys for one.
He had one last surprise to show me – he racked open the bolt, and the chamber flag ejected out. Ikon is importing the mil-spec Indumil Galil chamber flags that make use of a cartridge rim to enable ejection of the flag. If you are like me, and constantly forget to remove your chamber flag when you rack your gun, these seem like a pretty awesome product. Kudos to them for using them. I look forward to seeing more great stuff from them in 2020.
Next up, I stopped at the American Built Arms booth. I use an AB Arms USS-X stock, so I was a bit interested in what they had to show at SHOT.
First thing, I asked about how my stock was a bit wobbly at the back. He showed me that they had very recently improved the stock to fix that. Very cool.
Second, I asked what their hot new product was. (This was a question I tended to ask a lot – no sense asking about new stuff.) They are coming out with an M14 stock, and it seems delightfully light-weight while providing a good stock interface and MLOK slots. It appears to be free-floated, at least insofar as the M14 platform free-floats.
I swung by Tyrant Designs to check out their wares. Not much new, but they did seem very proud of their two-piece, no set-screw comp. As someone who’s had all sorts of fun with Glock comps, I can appreciate their design. This was the first time I had seen it up close, so I did snap a picture.
C4 Precision was showing off their wares, and they were quite friendly to a newbie SHOT Show reporter like myself. The guns they had were neat-looking, but I admit to not being a guy who sends his guns off for coating.
That colorization you see in the bottom picture was done via laser oxidization. That’s totally amazing to me.
The Blue Bullets… kind of laughed at me if I asked if they had a hot new product, as their product line doesn’t change too much. Can’t say I blame them! When I pressed them a little harder, they did tell me that their newer 135gr 9mm bullet was getting a lot of purchases as a “do-it-all” competition bullet for 9mm pistol and PCC.
However, here is an interesting tidbit. I mentioned that I was really very interested in seeing 160gr 9mm bullets, and they confirmed that, yes, this was a thing they were actively working on. No date yet for it, but it’s nice to know that it was happening.
Gas Block Genie is a well-known smaller company amongst AR builders. I knew about the Gas Block Genie. What I did not know about was their “Roll Pin Wizard”, which makes getting the bolt catch roll pin and the pivot pin spring/detent in MUCH easier. For $18, it seem like a must-have product for people doing a lot of lower builds.
HasGrok was a random vendor I ran into on the Supplier Showcase floor. They make machines that separate out cases by headstamp. If you’re a mom-and-pop reloading shop and want to separate out Lake City 5.56 brass from everything else, they’ve got just the machine for you.
I could watch that machine work all day.
Cloud Defensive was my final stop. Nothing new and unnanounced, but they did have the newer REIN light out on display. It takes Scout mounts, and they are apparently producing their own MLOK mount. Cloud Defensive is maybe a touch out of my price range for a light, but I appreciate how they’ve been driving the industry lately.
One thing I want to emphasize is just how big the Supplier Showcase was. I don’t think many people fully realize just how many subcontractors and specialized toolmakers are utilized by firms we tend to think of as “firearms manufacturers”. I saw a LOT of items out on tables that were clearly designs by other firms. I went to SHOT Show as a journalist, but I’m really starting to understand the appeal of the show to everyone else.
Alright… on to the second floor!