What do you get when you cram an insanely diverse crowd of 70,000 people into eight acres of floor space filled with 400+ vendors? Smiles, lots and lots of smiles if we’re talking about the annual NRA meeting, aka “NRA Show” or “NRA Convention.” Young and old, tattooed or tweed jacketed, it wasn’t just me noting the cordial mixing of people from all over the map. “I can’t believe how nice and patient everyone is,” said one local food vendor I talked with. Nice, check. Patient, check. And excited, too. Read on for five highlights I’ve hand picked to share with you.
Battle Arms Development PDW Stock
Since the world first saw the AAC Honey Badger with its HK reminiscent collapsible buttstock years ago, countless enthusiasts (like me) have looked for someone to effectively reproduce the idea. In the last year, a number of players have attempted this, but as someone whose actually shot with the LVAW/Honey Badger, I have to say I’ve not been impressed with most attempts. Uniquely, the prototype PDW stock is integral to a dedicated lower receiver, a collaboration with Cross Machine Tool. While not in its final form, I can tell it is solid. It can lock at several different lengths and provides a cheek weld. As currently designed, no proprietary bolt carrier is needed. If you want to follow this development, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
It’s no secret that I love the bullpup concept – shorter, faster handling guns that don’t need ATF permission to take out of state, don’t require a $200 tax stamp and add variety to the collection. Kel-Tec has produced the RFB rifle for years and now is rolling out the RDB, a downward ejecting bullpup design. Having once owned an FNH PS90, I can attest to the value of this design. Not kicking out brass to the side is terrific when hunting with buddies and could prove helpful in helicopter hog hunting. Kel-Tec hasn’t rushed this design to market fast enough for a lot of people, but the first 200 production guns are headed out for field testing. While that’s not what retailers and prospective owners might want to hear, it should provide a truckload of useful data to Kel-Tec as they get ready for full production runs.
Our founding sponsor, CrossBreed® Holsters, always has something new to announce. This NRA convention they rolled out some new additions to their modular holster line. While I don’t have a real use for the handcuff holder or OC spray carrier, I’m excited to see the modular flashlight carrier rolled out. It seems like my lights always end up in the bottom of my pack or my floorboard – or permanently lost – and this solves that riddle. This Kydex carrier with hook velcro back might just save me buying a new flashlight periodically.
Trijicon AccuPower LED Riflescopes
Trijicon is a brand that keeps showing up here at SHWAT. Bill Wilson, Brian McCombie and Fred Mastison have each written glowing reports of several different Trijicon optics. If you’ve ever used them, you understand why. To my way of thinking, they built their reputation on scopes that use no batteries, illuminating their reticles through fiber optics and tritium. However, more recently Trijicon has rolled out battery powered optics and introduced the AccuPower™ series in Nashville. Basically, they are battery powered AccuPoint™ scopes, but with substantially lower price points. The value proposition in these magnified optics looks impressive.
LWRC and Aimpoint Promotion
Every so often we find a unique deal to share with you. There are always deals, but this one caught my attention. If you’re in the market for a new AR-15, LWRC has partnered with Aimpoint to give away a free T-1 optic with almost any rifle they sell. I have a T-1, and can tell you it’s not cheap, making this promotion particularly noteworthy. I’ve not used an LWRC rifle so I can’t comment on the brand, but they always look good at industry events. Most do.
There was a lot more to the show, and I could write for page after page on the vendors there, but instead I’d really encourage you to make it to a show yourself. If you’ve never been, you’ll likely find yourself impressed with the attendees and stretched working your way through eight acres of vendors. I didn’t get to them all, and you might not either. It’s family friendly, so pack everyone up and head for the convention in Louisville, KY in 2016.