I am nearing the end of my “list” of companies to check in on at SHOT. There were a number that I visited that didn’t really have anything new and/or interesting, so they were omitted. I’m interested in cool tactical-style shooting stuff, and so that’s what I focused on.
B&T: I visited the B&T booth because I wanted to see their Glock chassis. Some neanderthal had managed to break the retention tab on the stock (it locks closed AND open), but I was still able to pick it up and give it a whirl. On the whole, not bad. It felt much more usable than the FAB KPOS Gen2 with the stock closed, and it was about the same weight.
Nomad Defense: I spent quite a while talking with the guys from Nomad Defense. They’re a small shop who does injected molded Glock 19 frames (and, soon, Glock 17 frames). Unlike the competition, they’re a gen4 frame. Their frames have a number of advantages over other enhanced Glock frames, including interchangeable backsteps and a single pin locking block. I was impressed with their rapid prototyping ability and general enthusiasm for the platform, and it seems other people were, too – I’ve been seeing the Nomad frames start popping up in some high-end custom Glock pistols. As a bonus, I’m told the frames take very well to laser stippling, and they had a stunning example of that on display – just a fantastic grip texture.
Alpha Shooting Sports: Alpha Shooting Sports is introducing a line of ported Glock barrels and slides for 2020. Despite what were poor sales by Glock standards, ported Glocks are a bit of a cult classic, and I think Alpha may have some success with these. They also showed me their new non-NFA PCC barrel with machined compensator.
Silencerco: Silencerco‘s surprise for SHOT was reviving the Warlock II and Octane suppressors with aesthetic improvements and a lower price point. I had wondered what they were going to do to fill in the gap of an aluminum rimfire suppressor and a general-purpose pistol can, and I guess we now know. Looking at their catalog, it seems like the Octane cans are the full-size pistol cans, and the Omega K cans are the short pistol cans – eg, there is no Octane 45K listed. Makes me glad I got one in the BOGO promotion! The Octane cans were also modified slightly to make it easier to get their mounts on and off – I assume they will be pushing the Alpha ASR mounts with these.
I was also told that the non-NFA Maxim 9 was still in the requirements gathering phase, and that they were figuring out how to get the trigger and firing reliability to where they needed to be for a wide pistol release. I wish them luck; the Maxim 9, for all its flaws, was way ahead of its time.
Angstadt Arms: I stopped off in Angstadt Arms on my way to some other booths, and I had a chance to take a look at the MDP-9. It is very pricey. But it’s also a 3.6lb SBR that can be serviced for all wear, including the indent that the roller half-locks into (it’s like a little block hanging off the side of the rifle). One fascinating tidbit is that it takes MP5 barrels – I had not known that before. It also has an MP5-style charging handle, albeit without the cut-out at the end for doing the “HK slap” to release the bolt. The BCG itself is also very MP5-like. From a conversation I overheard, it appears that they’re marketing this as an improved replacement for LEO MP5s.
Eotech: Eotech didn’t have a lot new going on, except for a few magnifiers:
- G30: This is a G33 with a non-flip QD mount that doesn’t appear to be quite as ruggedized as the plain-jane G33. Probably intended to be the equivalent of the Aimpoint 3X-C.
- G43: Miniaturized G33. It fascinates me that Trijicon, Vortex, and Eotech all came out with micro-style magnifiers in the space of about a year.
- G45: G43, but with 5x magnification and the touch of extra length that goes with it. Magnifiers with magnification beyond 4x tend to be controversial, but I think it’s often due to size/weight/eye-relief constraints more than more magnification being a bad thing. If Eotech solved those problems, it could be a compelling choice.
There was also a lot of attention being paid to the Vudu scope line. Eotech has had a fair amount of good press from Daniel Horner cleaning up the 3 gun circuit with his Eotech SFP scope, and they’ve got a new 1-8x SFP scope specifically designed for that game.