Day two of SHOT continued, for us, with back-to-back meetings.
We started the day with Tim Matter and Chris Wood of Tactical Walls. They showed us their new drop-down shelf product and introduced us to David Roberts of Tennessee Arms Company. Tennessee Arms produced polymer lowers for AR-15’s. David claims to do one thing and do it very well. He also suggested that their hybrid, nylon-brass lowers can withstand far more abuse than poly lowers of the past. Tennessee Arm’s lowers are made of nylon with a brass inserts in the buffer tower and pistol grip. The basic lower weighs in at 5.6 oz, lists for $46.73 and is available in black, flat dark earth, rifle green, OD green, stealth gray and pink.
Shortly after leaving the Tactical Walls/Tennesee Arms booth, we came across one of our dedicated readers.
After pulling ourselves away from Ted, we stopped by the CRKT booth to see what was new. A couple of their fixed-blade knives caught our eyes.
Designed by Lucas Burnley, the ACHI’s understated elegance drew us in to striking distance. The ACHI is designed to be a traditional utility/EDC knife with an intriguing shape and design. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV. The knife is 6.25″ long and weighs a scant 2.8 oz. With a price point of just $59.99, we predict the ACHI will become a fan favorite.
Just down the display row from the ACHI was the Yukanto, designed by James Williams. With a twist on Osaraku style, William’s blade is made for fighting and designed with our special operations forces in mind. The name means “sword of valor.” The blade is made of AUS 8 steel and powder coated black. The knife is 8.69″ long with a weight of 3.9 oz. The G10 handle, with its unique X pattern, felt secure in our hands if, perhaps, a little small.
The VertX booth was next. They announced their new Core Casual Pants on Day 1 of the show. With an even lower profile than most of their pants, the Core should feel right at home in the casual office environment. All of the typical VertX features were there. The 9 oz, 98% cotton/2% Lycra fabric also seems like a good fit for an urban/sub-urban environment.
Next up – one of our show favorites. RISE Armament President Chris Barger thinks that his new RA-535 drop-in trigger is the “Ferrari of triggers.” You know what? He may just be right. The trigger has an exceptionally fast reset, nearly nonexistent over-travel and a smooth, crisp, light trigger pull. At $259.00, the RA-535 is smack-dab in the middle of the price range for high quality, drop-in AR triggers with what felt like a bit of a performance edge.
One of the themes of the show, in terms of backpacks, seems to be the “covert” AR-15 pack. While we’re confused by the term “covert” as it relates to these packs (What exactly are people supposed to think is in these packs, tennis racquets … violins … really long books?) we have to admit, they do have a niche. Eberlestock was certainly one of the earliest companies to understand that niche and provide a product. With their history in Olympic shooting, Eberlestock has been making packs to carry rifles during competitions and hunts for years. Their Cherry Bomb and Secret Weapon packs are no exception.
Most of Eberlestocks new products this year are targeted at the hunting market. Their F1-Mainframe is their latest innovation in hunting packs. A basic frame system that can be configured in one of more than 100 combinations, the Mainframe allows the hunter to go light, capable, comfortable or all of the above. You can even haul a cooler in/on this pack.
Sneaky Bags and Arc’Teryx also appear to be getting into the “covert” AR-15 backpack game.
We’ve done a couple reviews that included the MDT LSS precision rifle chassis. They had their new, skeletonized stock, polymer magazine and HS3 chassis at the show.
Based on the products at this year’s SHOT, the “gunderwear” (Our term. So far, we haven’t seen a product with this name … thankfully.) category of concealed carry wear is hot.
On the other end of the “I Might Actually Wear This” spectrum were Kitanica’s denim jeans. Built to withstand the same abuse as Kitanica’s other clothing, these jeans looked both comfortable and durable. The multicam pocket liners were a big hit.
We had a really good discussion with the founder of Flashbang Holsters, Lisa Looper. She showed us their latest release, the Audrey. The Audrey was designed for ladies with “some extra curves” and can be worn strong-side with a reverse cant or weak side for a cross-draw.
Mesa Tactical was also very hospitable, walking us through their entire line. New for this year is their adapter for the FN SCAR that allows virtually any AR-15 stock to be used with the Belgian rifle.
That’s it for today. Stay tuned for another update on day three of the show.