You have seen this before, back in 2017. It looks like a nice update to the platform, so I’m glad they’re bringing it over. Hopefully IWI will be releasing a version with a factory optics cut.
IWI announced a limited edition release of the Galil ACE in 5.45×39, with 16″ rifle and 8.3″ pistol variants. This is pretty cool, as there are not a lot of new 5.45×39 guns coming on the market these days, and even fewer that AK-74 magazines. They are being directly sold through IWI. There are supposedly only 545 of each model being made, so there is some scarcity involved.
Unfortunately, it’s $1850 (pistol) and $1900 (rifle), which is a little too rich for my taste as an impulse buy, even if they would ship the rifle to MD. On the plus side, 500+ of each means that some will eventually wind up on the secondary market, so maybe I’ll get another bite at the apple…
I’ve had a few days to recover from SHOT, read the material I brought back, and otherwise meditate on what I saw.
SHOT is an experience. I’ve heard people say you should go at least once in your life, and they’re not wrong. Even just walking the floor, you start understanding a lot more about how the shooting industry works in terms of supplier relationships, subcontracting, marketing, and so on. There is just so much to see that even with four days, you’re not going to cover it all – especially if you’re interested in hunting, which I wasn’t.
I did pick up on some general trends in the industry, which I want to talk about.
I felt that it was worth announcing for my local readers that the big local training vendors have at least partial 2020 calendars up. Like any good training junkie, I schedule way out in advance so I can fit classes in around my competitive shooting schedule (expect MUCH more of that in 2020).
Green Ops: Schedule is here. Green Ops is also hosting the yearly local Modern Samurai Project class, so check them out if you’re interested in that. They’ve also told me there’s still a few more classes they’re going to add once they work out physical hosting. There is a LOT to love about the schedule this year; more advanced classes, more classes on Sundays, TCCC, etc.
Justified Defensive Concepts: Schedule is here. Broadly similar to last year – which is a good thing – but I expect to see a couple additions as the year goes on.
FPF Training: Schedule is here. It’s clearly not complete, but there’s already a lot of solid classes for 2020 on there, including some very well-regarded visiting instructors.
PNTC: Schedule is here. There is some really neat stuff in this calendar, and it’s basically the only place in the area for extreme long range shooting.
TOC, LLC: Schedule is here. A couple new courses this year. Not looking like they’re going to fit into my schedule, unfortunately.
Shadow Hawk tends to post their classes up on a quarterly basis.
I am wrapping up my SHOT Show coverage, as I am heading back to DC tomorrow, and am pretty exhausted from all this walking otherwise.
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.
After a nice night out with my relatives, I was ready for my last day of SHOT Show coverage today. I have some interesting stuff to share, including pictures and details about Holosun’s unannounced, prototype ultra-low pistol red dot.
I spent most of the afternoon in the fabled land of the first floor. This let me see some of the major exhibitors I had not managed to check in on. There’s still a lot to go for tomorrow, but I am making good progress seeing what I’m interested in.
I have FINALLY made it to the end of floor 2. SHOT Show is divided into three main exhibition floors. The fifth floor is the smallest, but changes at least twice. The second floor is “very big”. The first floor is gigantic.
I haven’t hit the first floor. But I do have a lot of cool stuff to tell you about.
I was at the NEXT exhibit on the fifth floor, which has a lot of smaller outfits. Not going to lie, most of them were questionable at best – lots of dudes selling cheap Chinese imported stuff. There were a few reputable manufacturers out there (Atlas Gunworks coming to mind). Still, a couple things did stick out for me, so let’s call this one a lightning round.
Grim Workshop: Grim Workshop makes wallet-sized and dog-tag-sized pocket tools. I was told they’ve got over a hundred of them, with more on the way. I am sucker for good pocket tools, especially ones without blades (since they’re less of a hassle getting through security). Some of them were the usual SERE-esque stuff I’m unlikely to use in my boring life, but others were more oriented towards every day emergencies, such as a pocket emergency sewing kit with line.
Vapensystems: Vapensystems makes rotary safes. These are as slick as you’d think, and seem well-thought out. I was told they are pursuing a UL rating on some models. I will note that they always seem to show their rifles sans optics, which makes me suspect you’re not going to stuff quite as many rifles in as they imply.
A few other interesting people I met:
Caliber 3: Caliber 3 turned out to be an Israeli training firm. Nice guys, and they apparently are training synagogue security teams via grant. They have a place out in California, along with their locations in Israel. Got slightly turned off when they talked about their “home defense civilian classes”, but I suppose not everyone’s into teaching the high speed stuff with average people.
Savior Equipment: Importers of the finest Chinese-made gun cases I’ve seen. Shook their hands and thanked for giving me options other than the NCStar trash cases I’d been previously using.
Radco Industries: Radco won some military contracts for making weapons lube, and then decided there was money in selling that stuff to civilians. They’re not wrong. I got a couple free samples and will report back on what I think.