Seriously, I wish each of you could experience the magnitude and excitement that comes each January at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show. SHOT = Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade (Show) and 2017 looks exciting! SHOT is SHWAT™ in many ways. You could also read that the other way around. SHWAT™ Team is you and me and countless others who love multiple aspects of Shooting, Hunting and the Outdoors. Mix those up in whatever proportions you want and you’re a SHWAT™ persona! Which means you’d love to be here, you should be here, but since you’re not I’ll do my best to show you a few highlights as we go through the week. Everything will be short on details, but you’ll have a lot to be excited about and an idea of what to look for as a result of this continuously updated SHOT 2017 News column. Let’s get started!
Yes, I’m still in love the Tavors, particularly the X95. We’ve waited a year for IWI to bring out the 300 Blackout model and it will be available sometime in the first quarter of 2017. They ended up redesigning the gas system which took longer than planned, thus the delay. But it’s done, and it ran subsonics like a champ. All it takes to switch the gas system to run super sonics is a flat bladed screw driver. IWI was demonstrating the new gun with a couple of Gemtech silencers. I’m looking forward to running one of these in wild!
Speaking of 300 Blackout, Team Never Quit is bringing some 220 grain subsonics that look perfectly suited for hunting. Take a look at the gel block above. That’s a twenty inch block and you can see the rounds expanded beautifully and penetrated the length. These are on my 2017 hog hunting list!
Team Never Quit (TNQ) again, but in 12 gauge! Here’s what’s really cool – these things are supposed to be super lethal yet just two pieces of sheetrock will render the round harmless. They say these created massive cavities in wild hogs during testing. If that’s all true, we’ll have an amazing round for hunting and home defense. I have some shotgun projects planned for the year and hope to get first had results to validate the claims. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to see what actually happens.
Next up is the Troy Pump Action Rifle. Yes, you read that right. It turns out this has been out for a year or so, but hadn’t really hit my radar. I mean, really, who cares? Well, me, suddenly. Troy markets this in 5.56 and 300 Blackout as a 50 state legal rifle option. Fair enough, but still not that exciting. Unless you think about just how quiet and how fast you could run subsonic 300 Blackout through it. Then it gets interesting. It also has a nice side folding collapsible stock. Pretty interesting, indeed!
On the purely fun side of life, I got to run a British STEN sub gun with a Dead Air Ghost suppressor. The STEN is a 9x19mm shooting WWII era design whose magazine protrudes off the left side of the gun. It shoots so softly, so quietly, so smoothly and is something of a unicorn to have in full auto. Would I go hunt with this? Probably not, but guns are fun and that silly grin on my face above is the best evidence I can share!
While Pro Staffer David Bahde has sung the praises of the $1200 Ruger Precision Rifle, I’d not shot one until today. It was indeed amazing. Sadly, it was on a 100 yard range with steel cowboy targets, so I can’t really say I shot a half MOA group at 900 yards with it. But I could consistently hit the cowboy’s toe…
I’ve been waiting for this! The Honey Badger was pretty much vapor ware forever. AAC had it, but it never materialized. While at Gunsite a couple of years ago, I shot another AAC variant called the LVAW which won my affection. A true, ergonomically sound PDW design, it has been often imitated. What I’m holding in the picture above is the real deal, however! It is the Honey Badger 2 and it is coming soon from Q. Yes, Q. Just Q. Or @the_official_Q on Instagram if you prefer.
Q also rolled out “The Fix,” a pretty interesting bolt action. It had a great trigger and was insanely lightweight. How light? Remember the disclaimer at the top, we are light on details here, and that’s one I missed. More when I have it, though. In any event, the folding stock and compact build make for a very light, portable gun that should be quite accurate. How accurate? Well, we didn’t shoot groups so it remains to be seen. That’s their titainium silencer on muzzle. It’s probably good, but with all the other range noise, the hearing protection never came out…
On top of that rifle is an exciting item, a magnified optic from EOTech. Yes, the holographic sight company has morphed and this optic was sweet. Glass was great, color and contrast were great, and the build quality I observed while adjusting parallax, diopter – the moving parts – seemed really good as well. I expect to have one or more of this line to test soon.
The Hudson H9 is definitely something new and different. It’s been burning up social media but this was its first official outing. It might be called the evolution of the 1911 pistol, but you’d need to note that it is striker fired like most of the modern polymer pistols. It also takes double stack magazines and the geometry is different. The combination of a low bore axis and the changed recoil system geometry allowed me to regain my sight picture much faster than is typical for me. I rode the slide release, however, so the slide didn’t lock back on the empty magazine for me. I also talked to another media writer who managed to inadvertently drop the magazine while shooting. There may well be some refinement to come, but this looks like a great idea in the works to me.
One of my SHWAT™ projects this year is to focus some stories on shotguns. If you read my duck hunt story (aka, Tactical Duck Hunting), you know I need help. That will come later this year. While the Remington 870 configured tactically isn’t really a duck gun, but how about a hog hunting gun? A home defense gun? So, here are a couple highly modified 870 variants for our consideration. the top is by Cadex Defense, the company behind the Grandpa’s Gun Reborn project chassis. The bottom is by Magpul. What’s your preference? Tell us in the comments.
The Hearing Protection Act filed in both the US House and Senate would remove silencers from the taboo list. Under the mantra, “Go big or go home” this mega can was hanging out at the Cadex booth. That’s a lens cap from a pro camera for size reference. So why is here? Because it’s a big deal! See what I did there?
Long range hunting is a fast growing sport, but these three guys really understand what extreme long range is. The guns are 2 mile guns held by 2 mile shooters. The one on the right weighs 46 pounds! On the left is Kelly McMillan, owner of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks. Not coincidentally, all three stocks pictured are McMillan stocks.
If you’ve followed SHWAT™ then you probably know about the custom build we did using F-1 Firearms major components. That gun shot .65 MOA, but then surprised me with a .277 MOA group when I switched ammo. Now F-1 is releasing lowers to accept standard mil-spec upper receivers.
No secret, I love the HK V9. I managed to get one of the first ones released in the USA a couple of years ago. This year HK updates the line with colors and a tactical model. What makes it tactical (aren’t they all?)? Threaded barrel. Oh yeah, let’s put a can on that puppy!
If you have guns, you have to store guns. SecureIT doesn’t think much of your gun safe and the president and creator of the SecureIT made a pretty compelling case to that end. It is definitely a different approach to storage that’s pretty tough to summarize here, but I plan to go in depth this year. Bottom line, Underwriters Laboratory doesn’t even call most gun safes, “safes”. They are referred to as RSC, or Residential Secure Containers. That’s the tip of the ice burg, and SecureIT has the military contracts to be taken seriously. More when I have it…
If you’re going to go hunting and you have a jeep, secure storage is something you have to work on figuring out. The fact that DU-HA box locks in via rails, slides out and rolls on 2 or 4 wheels makes this look pretty promising. They also make larger options for pickups and SUVs, but jeep drivers are often overlooked in this department.
No, you can’t buy this cut up Primary Weapons Systems SBR, but it sure looks cool! Note the CQB muzzle device. It’s not new for 2017. As a a matter of fact, it’s not new at all, but I have a 5.56 version on an AR pistol and it’s ability to reduce the concussion upon firing is remarkable.
So you want a high powered scope that doesn’t break the bank you say? You’d like to try some precision rifle shooting, but don’t want to sacrifice this year’s vacation for a European mega optic? While I’ve never shot with one of the new Nikon Black series optics, they look pretty impressive at a really impressive price point. Coming in at $500-$650, Nikon debuts a 4-16×50 and a 6-24×50 with 30mm main tubes. Both are available in MRAD or MOA, illuminated or not. The reticles are simple and unnumbered. Some will like this because they are clean. Some may not like it as they want numerical indicators for holds. But did I mention the price? Also in the new Black series is a 1-4×24 illuminated optic for $400. There’s also a new range finding set of binoculars that seemed pretty sweet.
It’s been a couple of years since we did a Boots On The Ground review, so when I saw that Ariat had hunting boots I stopped to see what was up. I mean, isn’t Ariat a cowboy outfit? Lots of cowboys and wannabe cowboys (cut the 1986 hit song) hunt, so it makes sense. The line is well thought, using elements from their work boot lines. I know people who will only wear Ariat work boots, so while I’ve never even put my foot in a pair of Ariats I have reason to believe they are probably good to go.