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!
Not huge news, but it appears that Meprolight has opened a US subsidiary. Their website is at meprolight.us, but it’s not up yet. They are apparently at SHOT Show. Meprolight is owned by SK Group in Israel, which is the same outfit that owns IWI, so I would expect some amount of corporate overlap between the two in the USA.
One of Mepro’s biggest problems in the US with selling their optics is that their warranties are far below the industry standards (which are usually 5 years to transferable lifetime), so I am hoping that their new presence will allow them to improve that.
I was somewhat disappointed with the Israeli presence at SHOT Show 2015. Not a lot of surprises.
No new releases from IWI-US, albeit they certainly had quite a lot of announcements last year. Short Barrel Shepherd has a nice write-up, but couldn’t get them to talk about factory stocks for SBRs. Also seemed like there was some pull-back on the braces, which is not surprising given recent BATFE actions.
UPDATE: Adipose at Uzitalk confirmed with them that alternate stocks will be offered, including the Vietnamese wire folder. The “I can’t deal with AR stocks on rifles not an AR” crowd should rejoice, I suppose – horrible cheek weld will be yours again.
Meprolight launched a pair of new handgun sight lines that use tritium and fiber optics for illumination. The FT line is interesting from the perspective that TruGlo’s TFO sights are regarded as having durability issues, so Meprolight may be able to provide a better alternative. The RE series doesn’t use fiber optics, but does have an innovative (gimmicky?) dot-in-crosshairs approach. I’d give them a try, I suppose.
There was also a camo-skinned M21 (“M21H”) introduced. I can literally not think of a market that the M21H would appeal to. Hunters use magnified optics. Modern sporting rifle owners will spray the current M21 to match their color scheme, or just go with black. Maybe Mepro will prove me wrong and sell a zillion of these things, but it feels like an ill-conceived product. The Mepro 4x is still missing in action, which is a shame – maybe they felt it couldn’t compete in the US market against the ACOG?
There were rumors that FAB Defense was going to introduce a polymer KPOS chassis, but nothing was shown.
I am really hoping things are bit more exciting next year, as I am planning on attending SHOT in person.