The SHWAT™ Crystal Ball (SHOT Show 2018)

SHOT show 2018Want a glimpse at the future, maybe even your future? When it comes to all things Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors, the best crystal ball is the annual SHOT Show, or SHOT for short. Typically, 60,000 or so people hit about 1600 exhibitors spread out over more than 13 acres or the area covered by the Great Pyramid at Giza. It all happens inside the Sands convention center in Las Vegas.

The typical questions I get during and after each show are “What’s new or coming?” and “What’s the most interesting or exciting thing you’ve seen?” In some cases the answer is the same. I’d have to start with future products from ZRODELTA and IWI, two companies I’ve been excited about covering here for years.

If you’ve followed SHWAT™ a long time, you know that ZRODELTA launched with rebranded, and in some cases improved, products formerly bearing the Alamo Four Star brand. Their return to zero mounts are remarkable and their muzzle brakes are about as good as they get. Recently, I reviewed their Warhammer bipod. In a recent buying blitz they acquired the assets of War Sport (known for high end unique AR platforms, but quiet for a while now) and others. This year at SHOT they showed off some sweet rifles that I hope to get in house here soon. They also have some new mounts for bolt actions guns. Their really big splash was their new Genesis Z9 modular pistol. That excites some of you and others want to yawn. Either way, stay with me for a moment.

ZRODELTA65-CREEDMOORHave you ever been to a MOD Pizza or other build your own pizza places? You start with what size you want, then your base (didn’t even know you could order a garlic base before going to MOD Pizza, right?). Then pick from an array of toppings too long to guess at the number of possible combinations. In the end, you get a pizza custom built to your preferences. The only thing you can’t determine is what dough is made from.

The Z9 is the same thing, only as a hand gun. They literally assembled the gun part by part asking me each step of the way how I wanted it done. Just like the pizza, the only thing I couldn’t direct was the dough making. The Z9 is aluminum only. Hopefully I’ll have a proper video at some point for you.

Z9-GENESIS-ZRODELTA

On to IWI. You know we enjoy hog hunting with their guns. We’ve run the original Tavor SAR, and X95s in 5.56 and 300 Blackout. This year they are launching a supersized Tavor, the Tavor 7. Supersized might be overstating it. It’s a sweet shooting .308 bullpup that I got to run on the range. I’m told I’ll get one in pretty soon, but here’s what we can say for now…

Shooting-Tavor-7The Tavor 7 appears as if it were the result of a SAR to 300 Blackout X95 marriage. The 7 has a four position adjustable gas regulator that goes from “regular” all they way to off for shooting sub sonic .308 while manually cycling the bolt. MLOK slots in the forend are a first, and you can switch from right to left handed configurations in the field. Yay, but the difference I really love between the Tavor 7 and its predecessors is the HK style bolt catch and release operation. Simply pull the charging handle back and rotate slightly up. Slap it back down to drop the bolt.

Also coming in 2018 from IWI is the TS12 shotgun. It, too, is a Tavor though even more space gun looking than it’s rifle cousins. While IWI frames this as a home defense shotgun, you can imagine what hog hunters might have in mind!

Tavor-TS-12The TS12 looks big but weighs in at a moderate eight pounds, unloaded. With the bullpup design keeping the weight close to your body, it doesn’t feel heavy. Souldering the shotgun your support holds a three tubed rotating magazine. Each tube holds up to five 2.75” rounds or four 3” rounds. That nets us either a 15+1 capacity or 12+1 capacity accordingly. Pull the trigger enough times to empty a tube and then you rotate the magazine with your support hand. It will take a little practice to get fast at it, but I really enjoyed the gun and found it to be more than pleasant to shoot.

Another set of guns I found quite intriguing was the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 rifles. You could just about call these .22LR Remington 700s. You can buy a complete bolt action rifle or drop the barreled action into any Remington 700 stock or chassis. We’d all probably agree that .22s are a ton of fun, and these are supposed to shoot almost as well as the biathlon .22 guns the Olympians use. Hopefully I’ll acquire a barreled action this year, drop it in a crazy McMillan stock and see what we can do.

Vudoo Gun WorksAs many of you know, I’m excited to roll out some Bushmaster ACR content in 2018. I’ve teased it plenty, and took my SBR ACR shooting with Top Shot All Star Alex Charvat recently. We both loved it. But there’s another gun out there with almost identical layout and it’s not the FN SCAR. It’s the Robinson Armament XCR. Before last week I’d never picked one up, but when I did, it had quite a familiar feeling. This is another gun I hope to spend some more time with this year. If so, you’ll find what I discover right here. One thing I do know, they make a version in .308 and 6.5C. So stay tuned!

Robinson-XCROn the optics front, Nightforce has a couple of new 1-8x scopes, both of which looks awesome to me. My personal long range scopes are Nightforce so the new ones felt just right. I know I could use a new 1-8x scope right now. In truth, I could use a couple.

nightforce scopesSpeaking of optics, Eotech has a sweet new compact 5-25×50 Vudu first focal plane optic. It’s just over eleven inches, pretty surprising for its magnification range.

eotech 5-25CZ isn’t a brand we’ve featured often here, but they have a new Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Micro coming out that just looks sweet on paper. And in person! I’m starting to sound like a broken record as I type this, but YES, I want one! At lease I think I do, so I’ll try to get one in.

scorpionThis list of exciting guns and gear from SHOT Show is anything but exhaustive. 2A Arms is doing some very cool things. Nikon is raising the bar with new optics. Alexander Arms is growing as their two signature rounds 6.5 Grendel and 50 Beowulf gain ground. The CMMG star continues to rise. 2018 has some very cool things coming your way and mine. Be sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter so you never miss a story. Odds are, we’ll bring you content like you cannot find anywhere else! Thanks for being part of the SHWAT™ Team!

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