1/16/2013 10:34 AM
Dateline Las Vegas - SHOT Show 2013 is on, and SHWAT™ founders are here. We're going to continuously update this article for you, so keep checking back to see what's exciting in the firearms industry right now. Politically, there are a lot of unknowns at the moment, but 2013 could shape up to be very exciting for tactical shooters and hog hunters alike.
The Israeli Tavor. It's largely mythical to most of us in the USA. This legendary bullpup has been used by the Israeli Defense Forces, and unless it's banned shortly, SHWAT™ will bring you ongoing reports of it's use in the tactical training and hog hunting environments. Talk about a great gun, the IWI Tavor is as short or shorter in overall length as most short barreled rifles (SBRs), but you don't have pay the BATFE a $200 tax stamp to own it. Oh yeah, you can buy a 9mm conversion kit for it, too! VP Michael Kassner had a vision of bringing these rifles to the USA, and a lot of us are going to be very glad he did.
Calling all 300 Blackout fans (and detractors!). 300BLK is growing in popularity, and growing fast. Some people have reported that ammo is hard to find. So are a lot of calibers in the current environment. Optic companies have seen the rise in 300BLK use, and a significant problem associated with it. What problem? Lots of users want a 300BLK to shoot subsonic rounds with the silencer they intend to own, but also want to shoot supersonic rounds for power or range. The trajectories of the two kinds of rounds are radically different. EOTech has solved that issue with a 300BLK holographic site. As you can see from the image, it's a single sight that gives you appropriate zeroes regardless of the ammo choice. Stay tuned to SHWAT for more on this optic as we'll have one in house soon.
Now this is something new - breaking away from the typical AR expectations, Daniel Defense introduced the ISR. It is a 300 Blackout rifle with a sixteen inch barrel and an integral silencer. So, you don't have to buy a silencer separately to go quiet. Because the suppressor isn't attached to the end of a sixteen inch barrel, the overall length of the rifle is basically no different from a standard civilian AR-15. We think it's packaged very nicely as well.
If you've paid attention to 4x optics lately, you've probably seen the name Browe come up more and more frequently. Brian Browe, President, wasn't rushed as he described the myriad of innovations that went into the creation of his optic. From flash upgradable firmware, to reticle color options, these are impressive. You'll see the blue reticle in our picture here. Yes, that's blue. Turns out that it really helps those challenged with various degrees of Red/Green color blindness. Battery life is amazing, thanks in part to a sleep mode that is automatically defeated by vibration. There's a whole lot more to this, so keep coming back for a full report.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. It's all the Viking Tactics legend needed. Army Sergeant Major (retired) Kyle Lamb served in combat operations around the world (Iraq, Somalia (Blackhawk Down incident), Bosnia...). Widely regarded as one of the top shooting instructors in the nation, he enthusiastically traded hog hunting stories with us. We hope to see a lot more of this hog hunter here at SHWAT™.
Smaller and lighter - these two words drive all kinds of technology forward. And moving technology forward is something Laser Devices, Inc. knows something about. The OV-3 Gen III is a combo white light and IR (infrared) illuminator. The small, lightweight unit has a 200 meter range, nicely suited to lots of night hunting scenarios. It weighs only 6.9 ounces and is less than four inches long. Once we have one on hand, we'll bring you a video review to compare to the SPIR, the longer range IR illuminator from LDI.
Another amazing day at SHOT Show 2013! To do SHOT right, you must have a firm grasp on the high speed, low drag concept. You don’t have to be a SEAL or Delta to attend, but you better be light and fast. Not to mention tireless. Today is a great example. Here’s a quick look at Day Two...
We stopped by the TNVC booth and talked with the owner Victor DiCosila and he gave us a walk through of TNVC’s new WASP. Similar to a PVS-22, it clips on in front of your magnified day optic. While it’s not mil-spec, it’s about half the price of the PVS-22. Designed to work with up to a twelve power scope, is should be a great addition to your medium range rifles. Expect a full field test from SHWAT™!
The Saker series of rifle suppressors features three key innovations that make it stand alone in its field. 1) The MAAD (Multiple Accessory Attachment Device) mount is an industry first. It’s an interchangeable centerfire rifle mounting platform that is used to attach a Saker suppressor, or other muzzle accessories, to the users choice of flash hiders and other mounts. 2) The Patent Pending Hoplon blast baffle is a radical departure from traditional cone blast baffle designs that uses "new to silencer design" materials, strategic reinforcements and improved geometry. 3) The Saker also Features the MAAD cap, the first ever user replaceable, rifle silencer front cap. The MAAD cap is threaded to the fully welded suppressor tube and does NOT hold any silencer parts inside, so there is no reduction in strength as is seen in some non-welded designs.
US Optics has a new 1-8x scope that is pretty exciting. A true 1x setting and a red dot toggling on/off by a quick push button gets your attention. With excellent light transmission, and a very reasonable price, it should be an excellent choice for hunters of all varieties. And this optic is tough. Really tough. We inspected their torcher-tested scope. They submersed it, covered it in sand and mud, dropped it from a helicopter (twice) and shot it with a .22. Despite still having a bullet lodged in it, a hole in the side of it and extensive visible damage, it was still pretty clear and we are told still shoots accurately. Quality and durability appear to be high priorities at US Optics. We are scheduling a field test.
Weatherby has a long history of making quality guns. Their current line up starts with quality entry level affordable rifles. On the upper end, they offer custom guns that cost as much as a nice used car. From the classic traditional wood furniture to reaper and Kryptec camo stocks, Weatherby has something for just about everyone. We expect to take some long shots this year with Weatherby rifles. Watch our All Access newsletter for time frames.
We have a couple of different models of Danner boots. SHWAT™ founder Jonathan is putting a pair of their Melee boots through the torcher test of SHOT Show now. The almost 72 hours of nonstop hunting we did with DRT Ammo and Red Jacket Firearms wasn’t very hard on our feet compared to the miles and miles we are putting in while covering SHOT Show. New for 2013, Danner is introducing the Tachyon here at SHOT Show. When we first held the boot, our reaction was, “Is it real?” At just 14oz for a size eight, it is amazingly light. Might have to put these on a shopping list…
Elite Survival Systems
Elite Survival Systems makes products a lot of people have used, but might not know it. They make some of the soft goods that come with guns from major manufacturers. They also make holsters, packs, bags, nylon belts etc. One of their products that grabs our attention is the M4 Roller. Designed for SWAT officers, it can hold a wide selection of gear and guns. It looks like a soft case, but it is a heavy duty case with internal reinforcements. It’s wheeled stiff and able to support a substantial load in transit. This might be the piece that organizes and simplifies trips for training and hunts. We’ll let you know!
Long known for making top tier triggers, Geissele now makes rails for the AR platform. Fit and finish on these rails is excellent, as you’d expect. With smooth lines and rounded edges, they are easy on the the hands, but still provide a nice grip. And they are good looking, too! Want an ultra light weight but top tier rail? Their new thirteen-inch Mk 4 rail weighs in at only 12.5 ounces!
Desert Eagle. The .50 caliber semi-auto handgun is legendary as bad guy hardware in the movies. What else do you need to know? I can’t say much about what we have in mind for these, but we had to bring one of the Desert Eagle engineers to the table to make sure our plan is doable. Get ready. This project is going to be fun!
Swag! There’s no shortage of it here. And we’ve been collecting it - Not for us, but for you. Keep and eye on this article, the “All Access SHWAT™” Newsletter, Facebook and Twitter for a chance to get some for free.
We are big fans of the bullpup concept. They are not without drawbacks, but for getting in close and using suppressors, they have significant advantages. Kel-Tec has been designing innovative guns for some time. The RFB seems to be a solid platform. A semi-auto .308 Win bullpup, this should do well with the tactical hunter looking to take out some critters while dealing with the confines of a vehicle or the length of suppressors. We’ll look forward to putting it through it’s paces and letting you know how it goes.
The Night Force name has been synonymous with quality optics for some time. In a world where you get what you pay for, it’s not to be found in the bargain basket. Night Force scopes are used by top tier operators keeping America safe, but how does it really stack up against the competition and are they a good value? Stay tuned.
Night Force optics are well known in the gun world. Light Force off road lights are well known in the 4x4 world. We learned today that Light Force has some impressive hunting lights too. And the people responsible for designing them really know their stuff. Already, some of my theories about light and how our eyes respond to it were confirmed and one or two were corrected. They have some extremely bright lights, but it takes more than just brightness to produce an effective tool for a given job. More to come on that.
Utas is making one impressive shotgun as would seem. Utilizing a bullpup platform with two magazine tubes and some unique abilities, it is a very versatile gun. It is lightweight, and well balanced. If it runs as good as it looks, it is a winner that you will be anxious to buy. We’ll keep you posted.
The new Sig MPX is a very interesting gun. In its full auto version, it’s a sub-machine gun with ergos that strongly resemble the AR, but without the receiver extention. In it’s semi-auto, civilian friendly version, it is a very compact, pistol caliber carbine. Or you can get it as an even more compact pistol varient. The carbine version comes with a compensator that doubles as the baffles of a suppressor once you do the leg work with the BATF and add the serialized suppressor shell. So adding a suppressor, won’t add any length.
As a completely unexpected bonus, we ran across the Nanuk brand of cases. Nanuk makes hard sided cases that feature some unique qualities. The line includes a variety of sizes and shapes that unfortunately don’t include a rifle case at this time, but there is one in the works. They look ideal for storing and transporting expensive or delicate instruments like night vision equipment. We’ll have more on these soon.
ATN Night Vision
ATN has more new products out at SHOT Show than any other company we saw. There are two things we are most excited about at ATN: The new ODIN. This is a full on 1x thermal weapon sight in a PVS-14 sized package with digital zoom. The other really exciting thing to us is the product development side of things. We hunted with some of ATN’s thermal sights a couple of months ago and had some suggestions on how they could be improved. What we found is that those suggestions were not only heard, but also acted on. Virtually everything we said should be changed was changed. That’s impressive. Another really cool upgrade ATN added to their top end thermal sights is a Wi-Fi video output, so you can see and record on your iPad, iPhone, etc.
We’ve collected a nice little stash and look forward to passing it on to you. Keep and eye on this article, the “All Access SHWAT™” Newsletter, Facebook and Twitter for a chance to get some for free.
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