SHOT Show Swag

I picked up a bit of swag at the SHOT Show. The swag ranges from T-shirts to pins to patches to caps. I probably didn’t get as much swag as if the Complementary Spouse had been with me at SHOT. She is the expert on getting pins and patches.

The joy of swag isn’t that you got something. It is the memories that come with it. For example, I ran into a couple of guys from Memphis on Media Day – Tactical Photographer and Everyday Civilian – and they each gave me a patch. I had been following them both on Instagram so that was very cool.




SHOT Show: You Had Questions; I Have Answers

Before I went to the SHOT Show this past week, I asked readers if they had questions that they wanted answered or products for me to check out. With one exception, I was able to check out all the companies and products. Unfortunately, Ross & Zheng Engineering was not one of the SHOT Show exhibitors do I couldn’t check out their Unimag.

Ronald W. asked about whether Robinson Armament was planning to release their XCR-L in 6.5 Grendel. Currently it is only available in .223, 5.45×39, 6.8 SPC, and 7.62×39. Representatives of the company said they have done chamber drawings of 6.5 Grendel and have the reamers on hand to do the barrel. They did say they haven’t had a great demand for this caliber so it might be a while before they release it.

Danno asked me to check out the Chiappa X-Caliber and give my opinion of it. When I stopped by their booth, I spoke with Giada Chiappa, the granddaughter of the founder, about the combo gun. She said they were aiming for the prepper market with their conversion tubes. The intent is to be able to fire just about any ammo you can find. You can see the X-Caliber with the eight barrel conversion tubes. The gun itself is chambered in 12 gauge and .22 LR.

The trigger guard is the lever used to break open the gun. While the official weight is 5.8 lbs, it feels heavier. The triggers seemed OK but the stock was a bit short for me and I’m not a tall person. I don’t know the MSRP for the X-Caliber but I found one on for $750. It is an interesting concept but I think something like a Ruger 10/22 Take Down might be more useful at a much lower price.

Mark C. asked whether Winchester Repeating Arms had any intention of releasing the Model 70 with iron sights like they did in earlier years. The answer is no. The only Model 70s that will come with iron sights are the Alaskan and Safari versions.

Anon. wondered when or if Rhino Arms planned to release their AR-10 in 12 gauge. They had a pre-production model of the AR-10 12 gauge in their booth. A spokesman for Rhino said it probably would not be released before 2016. They are in the process of sourcing the magazines for the shotgun. What caught my eye at their booth was their PDW and their shotgun shell holders for 3-gun competition. You can see a picture from their Facebook page of the PDW below.

Anon. asked about the Sig P320. He wanted to know if it would be available in .45 ACP and 10mm. He also wanted to know if subcompact versions were being released. The Sig P320 is available in both full-size and compact versions now in 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. There are no plans to offer it in 10mm. Their representative said that is going to be limited to the P220. Subcompact versions are in the works. The Sig P320 is a lot like the P250 in that the chassis is the serialized item. Grips, barrels, and slides can all be exchanged on the one gun.

Finally, a bit of gossip about Glock. While they released a number of new models that were optics ready, they still haven’t released a single stack 9mm. Some people wondered if they were going to do a surprise reveal on Thursday. They didn’t but it would have been a great marketing ploy. Now for the gossip. According to one of their booth representatives, the single stack 9mm is in the works and probably will be released at the NRA Annual Meeting in April. I’m sure they will sell all they can produce.

UPDATE: One thing I forgot to add. Someone asked me and I forget who about Magpul magazines for the Ruger Mini-14. The answer is no. They don’t have any plans to develop a magazine for the Mini-14 at this time. My guess is that they will never have a Mini-14 magazine just because it isn’t popular enough.

SHOT Show Day One – First Impressions

Day One of SHOT Show is over and Day Two is about to begin.

It was different than what I expected but certainly not disappointing.  I think I expected the exhibition area to be like the NRA Annual Meeting but on steroids. It wasn’t. Unlike a show in a large arena type setting, the Sands Convention Center has almost a cozy feel to it. It wasn’t held in two gigantic  rooms but in a series of smaller (but still large) rooms separated by hallways.

The highlight of the day was not a new product. It was a documentary put together by the Outdoor Channel called “Safe Havens”. Produced by Tim Cremins and hosted by journalist Katie Pavlich, it explored the fallacy of gun-free zones. It captured both the emotions and facts behind the so-called gun free zones and their failures. Experts such as Massad Ayoob and Prof. Eric Deitz of Perdue University were featured as were victims such as Amanda Collins who was raped on campus.

The film will be shown on the Outdoor Channel without commercial sponsors. Jim Libratore, president of the Outdoor Channel, said he didn’t want anything to be used to muddy the message. For more impressions of the film, listen to our discussion of it on the Polite Society Podcast which we recorded yesterday soon after viewing it.

I didn’t devote a lot of time to checking out all the new products. I did see the new optic from Leupold called the D-evo and it looks intriguing. I will also be getting a Ergo Grip’s Delta Grip for the Ruger LCR for review. I’m looking forward to tha.

I am still working on the list of items that you submitted. For reader Ronald, I do have an answer from Robinson Armament regarding the 6.5 Grendel. They have done chamber drawings and gotten the reamer for that caliber in their XCR. They did say that they haven’t had too much demand for that caliber.

The Difference Two Years Make

It is interesting the difference two years make. I’m listening to a rebroadcast of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. I was interested to see if he was going to call for more gun control. Reading through the speech and then doing word searches I can find no mention of guns, firearms, background checks, or Newtown. The only mention of crime has to do with the incarceration rate.

By contrast, the 2013 State of the Union Speech contains eight instances where Obama mentioned guns or gun violence (sic). He called for more background checks as well as restrictions on firearms and standard capacity magazines.

I don’t know whether it is because there is a Republican Senate and House who (generally) are pro-gun rights or because its just not sexy enough for him to bother with anymore. He’s still hung up on “climate change”and “rising oceans”. And, of course, it is for “the children”.

Oh, well, you can’t have everything.

UPDATE: I was wrong. He did mention Newtown and Tucson but in the context of grieving with families just as he grieved with dead miners in West Virginia.

The Polite Society Podcast – SHOT Show Pre-Show

We recorded our regular Sunday episode of The Polite Society Podcast yesterday. It was our SHOT Show Pre-Show.

Usually these podcasts are done with the host and co-hosts participating from all over the country: Paul in South Dakota (or the road), Rob in California, Gary D in Illinois, Rachel in Texas, and me in North Carolina. This was the first time I got to do it face to face with Paul and Susan. It was kinda cool. I just hope the mikes didn’t pick up my coughs, throat clearings, and snorts.

We will be doing micro-casts every night of SHOT. So plan to listen.

You can hear Episode 302 here or download it from the usual suspects (iTunes, etc.)

Clint Smith On A Shotgun Versus Pistol For Home Defense

Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch is one of the most highly respected trainers in the industry. In the NSSF video below, he discusses the use of a pistol versus a shotgun for home defense.

Often, the shotgun is downgraded as a home defense tool due to its length and the thought that an intruder could grab the barrel. As Clint shows in the video, the difference in length between a properly presented handgun and a shotgun is not that great. That said, regardless of the weapon used, you need to train as Grant Cunningham makes clear in this post.

How To Wear And Adjust An IWB Holster

If you are like me, you didn’t have anyone to teach you just how to place and adjust your inside the waistbelt holster. It was a trial and error process. The video below would have been quite helpful and would have cut the adjustment process immensely.

While the video is from Alien Gear Holsters, the information presented could be used with virtually any IWB holster.

SHOT Show 2015: What Do You Want To See? (Last Call)


The SHOT Show begins in Las Vegas in less than a month 3 days and I will be there!

Normally, SHOT is scheduled when I would be teaching. I usually teach my class on Monday nights. However this year, it is the week that includes Martin Luther King Day which means no class for me. I am really excited to be able to go as this will be the first SHOT Show I’ve attended in 19 years. The last one I attended was in Dallas and was a fraction of what it has since become.

To say that the SHOT Show is huge is to understate it. The show will utilize 630,000 net square feet of display space within the Sands Expo Center. There will be 1,676 vendors displaying their wares. And you have only four days to see it all. If I went non-stop from the moment the doors opened until they closed and visited each and every booth, I would have barely one minute to devote to each booth.

That just isn’t going to make it.

Thus, I’m asking you to make suggestions about what you’d like me to cover. Are there certain vendors that you’d like me to make sure that I don’t miss? Are there product areas that you’d like to see covered? Moreover, are there questions that you’d like me to ask? For example, I could ask Remington just when they expect to have the R-51 pistol fix available. Another example is that I could ask Glock when we can expect a single stack 9mm now that the Glock 42 seems to be a success. You get the idea.

You can make suggestions in the comments below. You can also email me directly at jpr9 AT earthlink DOT net.

I really do want to hear from you. I think it will take a good deal of advance planning to make my trek to the SHOT Show a success. Your suggestions will make this more doable. The SHOT Show website is here and the list of vendors is here.

One final thing – if you are going to be attending the SHOT Show, let me know by email and we may be able to meet in person.

UPDATE: This is a last call for items you want me to check out. Email is above. I have a short list and will do my best to check everything out.