SHOT Show 2015 Coverage Day 1

Highlights from SHOT Show 2015:

62,000 Like-minded Individuals All Under One Roof
62,000 Like-minded Individuals All Under One Roof

If you haven’t been to the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoors Tradeshow) show, it’s difficult to imagine the scope and scale of this event. Roughly 60,000 red-blooded Americans crowd into the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas to check out the latest and greatest (and some not-so-great) products aimed at the shooting sports industry.

As with most large trade shows, celebrities abound. We figured you’d rather see pictures of products, however, than us posing with Jerry Miculek.

On with the show!

Much of the pre-show buzz focused on Magpul and their latest releases since moving to Texas. Freed from the anti-Second Amendment shackles of Colorado, Magpul is going after the precision rifle market and … close to the other end of the spectrum … Glock pistols.

Magpul’s Hunter 700 rifle chassis is marketed to those looking to build a precision rifle based on the Remington 700 short action. The chassis features an aluminum bedding block, Magpul’s SGA cheek riser and length of pull (LOP) spacers. Reportedly, the chassis will be available in March with a MSRP of $259.95.

Magpul Hunter 700 Rifle Chassis & AICS-compatible Polymer Magazine
Magpul Hunter 700 Rifle Chassis & AICS-compatible Polymer Magazine

While they were dabbling in the precision rifle market, Magpul decided to produce polymer AICS-compatible magazines to go with their nifty, new chassis. MSRP on the new AICS-compatible p-mags is reported to be a measly $34.95.

Close-up of the Magpul AICS Polymer Magazine
Close-up of the Magpul AICS Polymer Magazine

Someone on the other end of the Magpul office complex must have come up with this next idea … Glock magazines. Magpul insists that these polymer magazines (no metal feed lips) will have the same reliability as OEM magazines at a $15.95 price point.

Magpul Glock-compatible Polymer Magazine
Magpul Glock-compatible Polymer Magazine

When asked about his sales pitch for these magazines, the Magpul rep responded, “You can buy three of these for the price of one OEM magazine. That’s it. That’s my pitch.” Last I checked, you could pick up a Glock 17 magazine from a number of online retailers for about $22.50.  I don’t mind saving a few bucks, but you certainly won’t get three Magpul G-mags for 1/3 of the price of an OEM magazine.

Benelli created a stir prior to SHOT this year by announcing their first-ever over & under shotgun. The 828U – “the first over/under worthy of the Benelli badge” – had the Benelli booth filled with curious buyers. Unfortunately, the gun itself was nowhere to be found. Here’s hoping that Benelli actually gets one or two in their booth before the end of the show.

Benelli 828U Over and Under Shtogun
Benelli 828U Over and Under Shtogun

After a disappointing visit to the Benelli booth, we wandered past the Code Alpha display. Something interesting caught our eyes – a tactical, er “evil black” garment bag (in Coyote tan). Just what we needed for the evil black suits we wear during our evil black travel. We didn’t have much time to talk to the Code Alpha guys but they didn’t seem to find as much humor in the product as we did. Perhaps we’ll go back for a proper introduction.

Code Alpha "Evil Black" Garment Bag (in Coyote)
Code Alpha “Evil Black” Garment Bag (in Coyote)
Code Alpha Garment Bag (Folded & Closed)
Code Alpha Garment Bag (Folded & Closed)

Benchmade’s new 665 Ambidextrous Push Button (APB) Assist knife is one of the newest members of their Blue Class of knives. The opening mechanism is an aggressive spring assist while the closing mechanism is an ambidextrous push button. The 665’s blade steel is 154CM. The scales are blue and black contoured G10 with stainless liners.

Benchmade 665 APB Assist (Blue Class)
Benchmade 665 APB Assist (Blue Class)

Tenzing had an interesting pack that we thought could use a few minor modifications. Having some experience in carrying rifles over long distances in difficult terrain, we offered some constructive criticism. The rep was not amused.

Tenzing "Evil Black" Shooter's Pack
Tenzing “Evil Black” Shooter’s Pack

Elite Survival Systems’ Covert Operations Backpack was one of many packs designed to carry an AR-15. Apparently, there is considerable demand for every day AR-15 carry.

Elite Survival Systems' Covert Operations Pack
Elite Survival Systems’ Covert Operations Pack

Vanquest has marshaled into the ranks of the AR-15 pack brigade.

Vanquest RACKIT-36 Covert Rifle Case
Vanquest RACKIT-36 Covert Rifle Case

This product adds a whole new meaning to, “Smile and wait for the flash.”

JTQ Gear LTD Smart Shoot Adapter
JTQ Gear LTD Smart Shoot Adapter

This seems like a natural combination. As with most things, trying to be too many things to too many people may not pan out. Time will tell.

ReadyMax Tools & Safety SoundShield
ReadyMax Tools & Safety SoundShield

The answer to the age-old question, “How do I carry while running?” Apparently, targeted at women who run and guys who don’t.

PistolWear Lifestyle Holsters
PistolWear Lifestyle Holsters

Esky coolers have quite a few nifty features like an integrated basket and cutting board that stores on the under-side of the lid and fits into the top of the lid. They’re manufactured by Coleman in the U.S.A. (Kansas) and claim to hold ice 44% longer than Y(eti)ou Know Who. We hope to get one of their evil black models to test in the not-too-distant future. We know what you’re thinking, “A black cooler? Whose idea was that? We talked to them about the evil black color choice and they explained that they had the evil black model tested by an independent laboratory and that it performed just as well as their lighter-colored models.

Esky Coolers, Manufactured by Coleman
Esky Coolers, Manufactured by Coleman

Stay tuned for more coverage tomorrow.

2014 Sniper Adventure Challenge Gear – Gear tough enough to take on the Challenge and come back for more

Author: Toby Asplin

If you haven’t read my after action report (AAR) on the 2014 Competition Dynamics Sniper Adventure Challenge, this article may not make much sense. If you’ve read my AAR, you know that the 2014 Sniper Adventure Challenge was an excellent test of both man and material.

The Competition Dynamics folks provided an extensive required gear list to competitors. This gear had to be carried at all times during the event. Thankfully, most of the required gear went unused as it was focused on trauma, first aid and rescue.

We did utilize several key pieces of kit. Here’s a review of the gear that survived the event and worked well for us.

A good foundation is critical to success in most disciplines. Tactical adventure racing is no exception. My foundation (boot) of choice was the Salomon Quest 4D GTX. The Quests, along with my sock choices and a liberal application of Body Glide, kept my feet blister-free during the event. Relatively lightweight, at 2 lbs. 13 oz., these backpacking boots from Salomon provided excellent support and held up well to the constant punishment of the rocky terrain. In contrast, the soles of the Oboz mid-height hiking boots worn by my teammate were literally shredded in several areas. If these boots fit you well, I highly recommend them for difficult terrain and pack weights in the 40-60 lb. range. Continue reading 2014 Sniper Adventure Challenge Gear – Gear tough enough to take on the Challenge and come back for more

Modular Driven Technologies LSS Rifle Chassis

Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Light Sniper System (LSS) Precision Rifle Chassis, MSRP $399.99, www.mdttac.com

Historically, precision rifle chassis have come in two flavors – heavy or expensive. Often, you could find a hybrid of both – heavy and expensive. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT), a Canada-based manufacturing company, has changed the equation with their Light Sniper System (LSS) chassis. At just less than $400.00, U.S., the LSS chassis could be considered “budget-priced” and, at just 1 lb, 12.1 oz (as purchased), it’s definitely on the lighter end of the precision rifle chassis market.

Continue reading Modular Driven Technologies LSS Rifle Chassis

Evil Black Missions & Gear