SHOT Show 2016 kicked off with a bang. All bad puns aside, there was actually a vendor setting off small explosions throughout the course of the day. He yelled, “Fire in the hole.” A fairly sizable boom followed shortly thereafter. The vendor to whom I was speaking at the time was only a few booths away and was clearly tired of the show.
Speaking of that vendor, it was an upstart company called Advanced Ballistic Concepts with a solution to low probability hits on target in high-pressure, self-defense situations.
According to Advanced Ballistic Concepts’ literature, 93% of first shots fired in life threatening engagements miss the intended target. (Source not cited.) Theoretically, the fragmenting Mi-Bullet, with a hit profile of 14″ (pistol) or 24″ (shotgun) “will allow a user to fire sooner during target acquisition, knowing that they will deliver a hit.”
The concept looks interesting and the booth was fairly busy. We have requested some ammunition for our own testing.
Getting lots of rounds on target was definitely a theme. Roth Concept Innovations (RCI) had their XRAIL high capacity shotgun solution on display. The XRAIL allows for a capacity of up to twenty-three rounds on board without the added length of traditional extension tubes.
Not surprisingly, the XRAIL throws off the balance of a shotgun considerably. If high capacity is your main goal, you might still want to take a look.
After being blasted by Mi-Bullets and XRAILs, we stopped by to see the folks at Rise Armament. Rise was featuring their newly-released RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger and RA-701 Compensator.
The RA-140 is Rise’s value-priced entry into the AR-15 drop in trigger market. While it is nowhere near as light and crisp as their RA-535 trigger (used in our Run and Gun AR-15 build), the lower price point ($129.00) tends to also lower one’s expectations. We hope to have one in hand to test in the not-too-distant future.
We have not had the opportunity to test Rise’s RA-701 compensator on its own, we have had the opportunity to shoot one of their rifles in competition. The phrase, “Set it and forget it,” comes to mind. The RA-701 flat out works.
Down the aisle from Rise Armament was clothing manufacturer, Vertx. Traditionally, Vertx has gone after the low-profile “tactical” market. This year they announced a line of more casual clothing. Their Delta Stretch pants were displayed with Vans shoes. They also had on display a plaid, square-tailed “concealed carry” shirt with faux buttons (actually snaps), a small pocket for a weight and grommets through which a length of paracord could be threaded – all in the name of a quicker draw from concealment.
From the Vertx booth, we headed to the Luth-AR booth. We’ve utilized their MBA-1 stock on a couple rifles and have been impressed by the features, quality and price. The Luth-AR family was enthusiastically welcoming and even sought feedback on a prototype pistol grip fresh from their manufacturer’s temporary mold.
Next door to the Luth-AR booth, we found an interesting concept in bipods. Manufactured by Accu-Tac, the SR-5 bipod had several interesting features beyond its rather unique look. Rather than having spring-loaded tension to extend the arms of the bipod, the SR-5 has spring-loaded tension to retract the arms. Additionally, the arms must be pulled past a detente to position them to the desired angle. The SR-5 is manufactured entirely in the US by Accu-Tac. We tried to wrangle a test unit but their booth staff was non-committal.
Not far from the Accu-Tac booth was the Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) booth. As usual, they had a magnificent display of dozens of knives. On a pedestal, all by itself was the new Trencher tool. CRKT is also usually a bit stand-offish when asked to commit items for review but we’d really like to get our hands on this item. It’s long and heavy (when compared, for example, to the Cold Steel 92SF shovel) with a polypropylene handle.
Secure storage solutions were everywhere. We stopped by the SecureIt Tactical booth, down the aisle from CRKT, to talk to them about their take on secure storage. Historically, SecureIt has targeted the law enforcement and military markets but has several new products for the civilian market. The Fast Box is intended to provide secure, under-bed or mobile storage.
The Fast Box 47 can accommodate a firearm up to 46.5″ in length while the Fast Box 40 can accommodate a shorter firearm. The 47 can be bolted to your floor. The 40 can be securely mounted in a vehicle. Both are intended to be mounted horizontally but can be fitted for vertical installation as well.
We’ve always loved Nite Ize gadgets and doohickeys. They make so many cool little products, it’s hard not to integrate them into your daily life once your discover them. Well, now Nite Ize finally has released a product called … wait for it … the Doohickey. The Doohickey is a “6X Key Tool featuring a carabiner clip for convenient accessibility and 6 compact, but incredibly useful tools: a bottle opener, scraper/tape cutter/scorer, flat-head screwdriver, pry tool, ruler, and wrench.” Personally, I’m not a big fan of key ring tools but I might just give this one a try.
Nite Ize’s marketing director was really excited about their Financial Tool. I knew that Nite Ize made tools for almost everything but financial tools? Rest assured, they haven’t strayed far from their primary focus.
The Nite Ize Financial Tool may not help you maximize your IRA’s returns but it is a handy wallet-size tool meant to actually replace your wallet. “This 7-in-1 multi tool can be a wrench, screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, and securely hold your cash and cards without breaking a sweat.” Stay tuned for a review.
Our last stop of the day was the SOG booth. We expected, of course, to see a vast array of knives and tools. What we didn’t expect to find was … relatively high-end backpacks and day packs. Apparently, not content to constrain themselves to knives and tools, SOG – like others – is going after the soft goods market. Their booth was jam-packed so we didn’t get a chance to try on the packs but they have all the latest bells and whistles that one would expect from a market-leading pack.
Stay tuned for more coverage tomorrow morning.