Viva Las Vegas. The land of $35 hamburgers and everything is inflated along with a local shrug “What are ya gonna do?”
SHOT Show 2024 opened to the droves of gun industry reps, sales and “others” in the massive Venetian yesterday. Largest firearms trade show in the world. How big? I walked 6 hrs yesterday and saw one floor. They have 5 floors. 70,000 people will walk through in three days.
On the inbound flight, fashion is my life of course, I could not help but notice all the attendees, and I mean ALL the attendees wore black. Dark black everything. 1st class alone had 13 males dressed in black. I knew they were headed to the show and were not even remotely Amish.
One nice trend I saw this year at the show was the Duck Commander Tacti-Cool beards seem to be on the wane. Plaid shirts were neck and neck with Camo and Desert Tactical colors. Cargo pants were of course practically mandatory what with so many OBERATORS on hand. GOBBLESS and THANKYOUFOR YOUR SERBICE SHEEPDOG/WARRIOR/NINJA/GUNCOUNTER CLERK.
The amount of black polar fleece in evidence reminded me one good dry spell and static electricity could have bound them all together.
Case Knives- cutting through time.
Case actually brought out a new Kinzua pocket folder with a tanto blade to the show. Case? New Director of LE and MIL Troy Corum said the company is showing an updated style. The knife is very nice in 20CV steel for LE/MIL and 35CV for CIV models. Several handles and other blade styles are available in the platform, but I was pleased to see a “modern” tanto blade being offered. Case knife in your pocket has a lot of history to go with it.
Nifty item I spy at the CRKT table is a new version of the iconic Karambit tiger claw inspired ring knife. I am not a Karambit guy. I don’t think my synapse’s function that quickly to spin one around my finger and disembowel me. But this was a smaller Karambit called the Provoke EDC which featured a straight blade instead of the normal curved blade. The blade was only 2″ long, and the gears/bearings were much smaller than their full sized Provoke. Kind of cool.
Franklin Armory Binary Trigger and Slide for Glock 17 3rd Gen and Glock 22 3rd Gen.
Franklin Armory is announcing the introduction of their iconic single and binary trigger system for the Glock 22 Gen 3. Building on the success of their Glock 17 Gen 3 slide and trigger system they are adding the .40 Glock 22 Gen 3 and a .223 model. All three models retail for $899.
They announced refinements on their 1911 style .45s in the TRP series… a series with long roots going back to LAPD SWAT and the FBI National HRT. They released their Echelon this past year in 9mm and the double stack 2011 style Prodigy which I shot at last years range day, but the tweaks to the 30-year-old TRP designs was this year’s big show announcement.
Palmetto State Armory
PSA brought their Glock 19 clone the Dagger to the market couple years back at very reasonable prices and all parts are interchangeable if you want to soup one up. They have a 5.7mm pistol too. Well established but fairly conservative. This year at the show they opened the cellar door to Frankenstein’s lab. They must have a lab full of designers fueled on Red Bulls and Hot Pockets. Wow, first up, one of the biggest hits of the show were two prototype clones of the H+K MP-7 in 5.7mm (made famous by some Tier 1 mil units like the SEALS.) They said it is prototype only and were taking votes on whether to build it. People lined up to put their fingerprints on it. Reps had drool rags to wipe the items off between customers. Big hit.
After that I found a whole board of concept guns from the PSA lab including a pump shotgun, a .22 Dagger, a .45 acp Tactical Dagger on a Glock 21 style frame, a 10 mm Dagger Carry (13 rds), a full sized G17 clone Dagger, a Dagger Micro C (think 15 shot G43x or G48) and 5.7mm Dagger in 4.4 and 5″ models. Go guys go.
Smith & Wesson
One of the biggest draws at the show was the unveiling of the S&W lever action 1854 in .44 mag. They are saying it goes back to their traditional roots. I don’t recall any S+W lever guns back in the old west, but I was still pretty young and may have missed it. The lever gun is avail in blue and brushed stainless and only in .44 mag. I am sure they will expand calibers if it sells, and it looks like a big winner. Lever guns were huge at this show (original high-capacity defense rifles) from Marlin, Henry, Rossi, Chiappa and Winchester.
Now I have had Glocks since 1987 when they first hit America, but c’mon can’t you bring out something new? With the passing of Mr Glock this year I wondered if some of the reigns would come off and they could be a bit more creative. This year, again, not so much. Yes this year’s big announcement and hold on to your polymer holsters….the G29 chunky compact 10mm and the G30, same sized chunky compact .45 ACP are now updated to GEN 5 standards. Whee. They get the Marksman barrel, “improved trigger” (wait, what? Is Glock admitting their factory trigger needs improving?), no finger grooves on the grip (hold me back) ambidextrous slide stop and yet another grip texture.
Reps were bombarded with fans asking when the new HK Micro 9mm Spf9cc will be released in America. Maybe you saw the advertising on it. Thoroughly miffed rep said the gun is a prototype for German military contract and not in production, not coming to America any time soon, and those people in the Public Relations office should not be allowed access to the internet.
Big news at the show involved Canik showing their new full on race pistol made in conjunction with Taran Butler, the Canik TTI Comp. TTI makes the John Wick pistols on Glock frames for the last couple of movies, so this is a big departure to custom up a Canik. They will ship March-April and have lightened trigger pull (it was awesome!), stippled grip of course and stylish inletted slide with a straight trigger, fiber optic sights, flared magwell and compensated barrel all in 9mm. It is a out of the box ready USPSA or 3 gun race gun all for MSRP $949. Canik always a bargain.
Sheer Coolness Award
How about a suppressed Browning M2 Ma Duece .50 machine gun!
No, wait…this is cooler. How about a 20 r0und drum magazine for a Barrett .50 cal?
SHOT threw an after hours concert with full on rock and roll stage and lights that was terrific. They also threw in open bar, so as you may imagine people had a good time. The $35 I paid for a hamburger and a hotdog did take away some of the fun!
The concert had a terrific backup band Sixwire and Gretchen Wilson sang first and Derek St Holmes (former lead singer with Ted Nugent) rocked. Big ticket item was Johnny Van Zant the lead for Lynrd Skynrd who did their biggest hits. Lots of greybeards were singing along and calling out “Freebird!”