So you couldn’t go the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show because you aren’t an industry insider? Then you should attend the NRA Show! This year it was in Houston, Texas and it was a great experience! More than 550 exhibitors were there, covering 400,000 square feet of floor space. Every major gun maker attended along with many gear manufactures and guides. Even Texas Governor, Rick Perry and Glen Beck of The Blaze took the time to show up. Want to get your hands on the latest gun you’re looking to buy but can’t find at the local gun store? Chances are it’s at the NRA Show.
SHWAT™ was there too. We met some great people and once again got to say hello some industry friends.
The NRA Show is an experience. The atmosphere is electric. Want to be the first in the door? Better get there early. When the doors open at 9:00 AM, there is a line. It’s impossible to see it all, so people are eager to get in the door so they can see as much a possible before the show closes at 6:00 PM.
Arriving on Saturday morning, we joined the line and were quite eager ourselves. We had a list of must see people and products. Just that list would take longer than the one day we had and that doesn’t leave any room for all the cool people and products we are sure to see and stop to learn about.
Once in the show, we quickly formed a plan of attack using the NRA Show iPhone app with a map and the booth numbers to lay a general course to follow. Then, we were on the move with purpose.
Who all did we see and what awesome products did we get to see and handle? There is too much to put in an article, but I’ll touch on some that may be most meaningful to you.
One of the most exciting new guns to be introduced is in our opinion the IWI Tavor. We’ve anticipated this release while following the people that are making it happen for years. This is a great example of excellent people working hard to bring an excellent product to the market. That is a big part of the American dream. Due to what VP of Sales and Marketing Michael Kassnar calls “Years of pent up demand,” Tavors are selling as fast as IWI can build them. Why is the Tavor so impressive? It is a battle proven weapon that begs to be taken hunting. As a bullpup, it is very compact without cutting the barrel length short and thereby necessitating a tax stamp to buy it. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Tavors right here at SHWAT™, so we can give you the scoop on how they perform both on the range and on the hunt! They should be here soon so keep a close eye on www.SHWAT.com for more.
It’s always good to see the people and products of Daniel Defense. Daniel Defense is well know for their top tier mil-spec type AR-15s and accessories. Of particular interest to the hunter/shooter is the new DDM4 ISR from Daniel Defense. ISR stands for Integrally Suppressed Rifle. In .300 Blackout, it has a 10.3 inch barrel with a suppressor permanently attached. By permanently attaching the suppressor, Daniel Defense has brought the legal measurement of the barrel back up to 16.145 inches so only one tax stamp is required for ownership. That’s a $200 savings! And don’t forget the Ambush line, which is made specifically for hunters.
Have you been looking for an AR with more punch but don’t want to move up to the more powerful but heavier AR-10 type platform? Considered 300 Blackout but not wish it to be more effective at longer range? Looked at 6.8 SPC, but found it to be more problematic or lacking in its maximum performance compared to what it could be? LWRC may have your answer! They have completely redesigned the AR around the 6.8 SPC cartridge and teamed with Magpul for an all-new magazine to complete the package call the Six8. I’m very excited about this platform and look forward to bringing real world experience to www.SHWAT.com for you.
Sig Saur has a new line of weapons too. The MPX is a slick new gun! It is an AR patterned, pistol caliber, PDW or carbine with an HK style collapsible stock. I won’t get into why a pistol caliber carbine is desirable here, but suffice it to say, this is one cool gun when you get it in your hands. We will try it out on some hogs and let you know how it goes!
SHWAT™ was invited to attend a lunch for a handful of media personnel with representatives from Smith & Wesson, ATK/Federal Ammunition, Blackhawk, and NRA Outdoors. In this meeting, the reps highlighted some new products for us. Blackhawk has some new goodies. The new Night-Ops Legacy handheld lights are quality at a good price. They have lots of new apparel (including women’s line), watches, Go Box Mag go bags and the Diversion Line of discrete cases for your tactical gear. Federal Ammunition has the new Fusion MSR line of ammo in four calibers. This ammo was developed in conjunction with Smith & Wesson for the modern sporting rife. It has a special powder that reduces muzzle flash. It also functions well in the AR platform, including shorter barreled versions. Smith & Wesson has introduced the new M&P 10 in .308. This is a lightweight AR-10 pattern rifle. With ambidextrous controls, mid-length gas system and 5R rifling, it should be a great hog stopper.
We paid a visit to our friends Joe Meaux and Jacob Herman at Red Jacket Firearms. They showed us a new .22 suppressor that anyone that shoots a .22 will be excited about. Rather than a traditional baffle stack, Red Jacket uses a monocore. We haven’t shot it yet, but it looks cool! It is coated in nickel boron to make it much easier to clean, a big plus when it comes to dirty shooting .22 ammo.
Speaking of celebrities, we had the opportunity to meet Colion Noir. Colion is a new commentator for the NRA and represents an exciting new direction and opportunity for the NRA and the shooting community. Known as “The Urban Gun Enthusiast”, Colion grew up in the inner-city with a negative view on guns. As an adult, once he had first hand experience with a firearm at a gun range, his views changed dramatically. He just passed the Bar Exam in Texas and is looking to practice law in a way that supports the 2nd Amendment. Keep an eye on Mr Colion Noir. He is a rising star in the pro gun rights movement.
As always, we were glad to see the CrossBreed Holsters crew. CrossBreed’s founder, the late Mark Craighead, was the first industry person to jump on board the SHWAT™ concept. It took him all of ten minutes to decide he wanted to support our new endeavor. Mark was an original member or our Pro Staff and a great friend. Today CrossBreed continues to support SHWAT™ and make the finest concealed carry holsters on the market. It’s all I carry, and that was true before SHWAT™ was ever conceived. Thanks again to Mark, his family and everyone at CrossBreed Holsters for all you do! The legacy continues.
There are many more outstanding companies and people just waiting to meet you and answer your questions at the NRA Show. Plan to meet folks from SilencerCo, NightForce, Eotech, Trijicon, Magnum Research, TNVC, Gem-Tech, Crimson Trace, UTAS and many, many more. There just isn’t space to cover it all here.
Wish you could see what I saw at the NRA Show? Wish you could handle all the guns and gear I did? Wish you could be around the sheer energy of thousands of like minded shooters and hunters? Then get yourself to the 2014 NRA Show in Indianapolis, IN! It’s well worth it. In the mean time, stay tuned to www.SHWAT.com for more details on the best and latest info to make you hunting and shooting experience the best it can be.