Reflections On The SHOT Show

This year’s SHOT Show felt different than in years gone by. It may have been because I have attended a few of them and the mystique is gone. It could also be because there didn’t seem to great excitement about new introductions which were few and far between.

If anything, this year’s SHOT Show could be characterized as the year of the line extension. This was a common theme I heard from multiple people and sources. For example, CZ-USA has expanded their striker fired line of pistols from just the compact P-10C to add a full size P-10F. Conversely, FN expanded their FN 509 line to include a compact model. Even Hi-Point came in with a more compact version of their pistol.

Industry Day at the Range could be called the year of high winds. While not cold, there was a constant wind that increased throughout the day. Wind speeds were in the 20 MPH and higher. Other than shooting a bolt action Savage in .224 Valkyrie early in the day, I really didn’t shoot anything at longer ranges. I will say the .224 Valkyrie seemed to do OK in the wind as I was on target at 780 yards.

I did get to shoot the new Mossberg MC1sc pistol. They said distributors had already purchased their entire first run of these subcompact 9mm pistols. The distinctive feature of the Mossberg is the take-down. Unlike some striker fired pistols, you don’t pull the trigger for take-down but rather first remove the back plate and then the striker. Once you’ve done this, you can remove the slide and barrel. The MC1sc is meant to compete with the S&W Shield, the Glock 43, the Springfield XD-S, and the Ruger LC9s. Retail is in the $425 range with lower prices probably available. The Mossberg was a decent gun. However, my feeling is that most people would rather go with a pistol at the same or lower price from a company that has been making pistols for years.

I also got to shoot the Seismic 180 grain 9mm cartridge. The rep had me fire three rounds of regular 115 grain ammo followed by three rounds of the new Seismic 180 grain ammo. Despite the difference in weight, they felt about the same. The 180 grain cartridge is subsonic so I’m sure it will have a market from those who want to shoot 9mm suppressed. Tam has a good review of the round at RecoilWeb.

Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast had asked me to check out the new Kel-Tec KS7 bullpup shotgun. I did and wasn’t wowed by it. The loading gate on the shotgun has such sharp edges that it cut my finger while I was loading it. The supposed advantage is the length. For the price of $475, I thing you could do much better with a new or used Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with an 18-20 inch slug barrel. Kel-Tec also introduced their CP-33 .22 LR pistol. The key feature is that it has a quad stack magazine. The CP-33 is a large pistol but was easy to shoot, accurate, and the quad stack magazine fed flawlessly.

The Supplier Showcase was on Monday and Tuesday. It featured suppliers to the industry ranging from raw materials to parts to subcontractors. The raw materials included everything from nylon webbing to steel barrel blanks. A couple of vendors caught my eye for different reasons. Toolcraft makes high quality AR bolt carrier groups. I didn’t realize until I talked with them that their plant is about 30 miles away from home. The other vendor that caught my eye was RCC Brass. They manufacture brass using CNC machines and can make any obsolete, wildcat, or bench rest grade brass that you desire. If you have the measurements, they can make it. It is not cheap – about $5 per piece – but it might be the only option for some guns. Moreover, if you want brass made to the exact chamber dimensions of your firearm, they can do it.

Finally, NSSF and the SHOT Show are making a great effort to give new vendors a chance to show their wares. They had what they called the Pop-Up Preview on Wednesday in a separate ballroom. Vendors had small booths compared to the regular show but they were larger than the Next Level booths. The SHOT Show will also be adding two new exhibit locations over the next two years – MGM Grand in 2020 and the new Caesars expo in 2021.

The SHOT Show gave me a chance to see a lot of old friends from both industry and media. I also made new friends such as Lara of the Liberal Gun Club and Craig of C4 Defense. I was fortunate to have David Yamane of the GunCulture 2.0 blog as my roommate. I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate as we had a lot of good times together. Ultimately, for me, the SHOT Show is about the people and not the product and there were a lot of good people in Las Vegas this past week.

NY State Rife & Pistol Case Unnerves Brady Campaign

I had been waiting to see the response of the gun prohibitionists to the Supreme Court granting certiorari in NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York. Jonathan Lowy, head of the Brady Campaign’s Legal Project, didn’t disappoint. A fundraising email was sent out yesterday under his signature yesterday afternoon.

He said, in part, that the stakes are high and it is a case of “life and death”.

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that, for the first time in almost a decade, it will hear a Second Amendment case – the first gun case to be decided by a Court with two Donald Trump-appointees. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, challenges a city ordinance governing transportation of firearms. Make no mistake: the stakes could not be higher. Commonsense gun safety laws across the country are at risk. We need your support to make sure that the voices of Americans who want stronger gun regulation are heard loudly in the Supreme Court.

The stakes for this case are nothing short of life and death. Whatever the Supreme Court says in its decision will help determine whether Americans maintain the right to enact the strong, commonsense public safety laws they want and need to protect loved ones and communities from gun violence, or if judges will take this right from us. But the Framers put “well-regulated” in the Second Amendment and “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence for good reason. We are committed to making sure the Supreme Court doesn’t write the gun industry’s guns-everywhere vision into our Constitution.

 He goes on to say that the Supreme Court never meant the Second Amendment to apply outside the home as evidenced by the Heller decision. In my opinion, he has misconstrued the late Justice Scalia’s decision.

What is interesting about all of this is that none of the gun prohibitionist organizations bothered to file amicus briefs against the Supreme Court granting cert in this case. The only amicus briefs were from a coalition including GOA, another organized by the Attorney General of Louisiana on behalf of a number of states, and another from the Western States Sheriffs Association and various law enforcement groups. These all were in favor of cert being granted. I don’t know whether it was hubris or ignorance that explains the casual approach of the gun control industry to this case but I am certain they will now be submitting amicus briefs fast and furiously in support of the position of New York City.

This Makes Me Sad

For many years I have been posting the SHOT Show videos created by Jeff and Boge Quinn of I just learned that they won’t be at SHOT this year due to Jeff’s health issues.

I’ll let Boge fill you in at the video below. As for me, I hope and pray his health improves and we see him at SHOT next year.

“What Is The DC Project” – Watch And See

The DC Project is the brainchild of competitive shooter Dianna Liendorff Muller. Launched a few years ago, it seeks to have one women from each of the 50 states to go to DC to lobby on behalf of the Second Amendment. These dedicated women converge on DC at the same time and seek meetings with various representatives and senators to discuss why they support gun rights as women’s rights. That is kind of a hard proposition for a rep to turn down without looking virulently anti-woman.

Amanda Suffecool of Eye on the Target Radio and the Ohio representative to the DC Project clued me in that they had just released a couple of videos explaining it. One is a short one-minute video talking about the women of the Project while the second is longer and explains it.

First, an explanation of the Project:

And then an overview of the women.

Finally! Another 2A Case Is Accepted By The SCOTUS.

The Supreme Court has finally accepted another Second Amendment case. The case is NY State Rifle & Pistol Club v. City of New York. The case involves the effective ban by NY City on transporting a licensed firearm registered in the city out of the city. Therefore, if you wanted to transport your pistol to a range outside the city or to a vacation house upstate you are forbidden from doing so.

The city argues that it is a matter of public safety and this spurious argument was bought by 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018. The NY State Rifle & Pistol Club is challenging this as an abridgement of the Commerce Clause, the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Second Amendment, and the 14th Amendment as it applies the preceding to the States.

Attorney for NYSR&PC is Paul Clement who is one of the premier appellate attorneys in the nation having served as Solictor General for President George W. Bush. There are also amicus briefs from a number of 2A organizations as well as a number of states led by Louisiana.

The docket is found here.

More on this as it progresses.

UPDATE: I had a long chat with Todd Vandermyde who was formerly the NRA lobbyist for Illinois. His feeling is that this case is a lot more important than it would seem on the face of it. While the question before the Court deals with the New York City ban on transporting firearms out of the city, his feeling is that it will be used by the Court – provided we win – to set the standard for review of future Second Amendment cases. Given the way lower courts have been fudging scrutiny, this would be a great win if he is correct.

Neat Little Product For Campers, Etc.

Knowing we had some time to kill on Sunday, I wrangled us tickets to the ANME Winter Expo being held in Las Vegas. It is for those in the military surplus business and featured everything from knives to all sorts of surplus gear to camping supplies.

One of the coolest and least expensive things I found was the Simple Shower. It converts a 1 to 2 liter bottle into a handheld shower. Unlike the black shower bags, the temperature of the water never gets too hot. Setting a clear 2 litter bottle of water out in the sun for a couple of hours will raise the temperature to about 102-104 deg. which is plenty warm for a shower.

The kit includes the shower head and two tubes. You attach it to any water bottle, let it sit in the sun for a while, and now you have a warm shower.

The patented Simple Shower weighs less than an ounce and costs about $10. I think designer James Peet has a winner on his hands. You can order it directly from the company at this link.

Key Provisions Of Feinstein’s New AWB (Updated)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reintroduced her assault weapon ban yesterday. It is S. 66 and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill has 28 co-sponsors – 27 Democrats and one Independent (Bernie Sanders).

The full text is not yet available. However, from Feinstein’s press release we can see she aiming wide and deep.

Key provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.

  • Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.

  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.

  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other provisions:

  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.

  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.

  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

  • Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”

  • Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.

  • Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.

  • Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.

I had to look up Thordsen-type grips. She is referring to stocks and grips from Thordsen Customs which are meant to allow firearms to be California and New York compliant.

You can tell by the updates to her AWB of 2017 that she is after any adjustable stock and AR-pistols with or without a stabilizing brace.

Looking at the Key Provisions, firearms like the Ruger PCC pistol caliber carbine would be banned as it has a threaded barrel. I think she learned her lesson from the original AWB which allowed no more than two features. Not that I think this bill will pass the Senate but I could foresee the development of pump carbines that feed from a detachable magazine. Remington used to have such a rifle called the Model 7615. You can see an example here.

It will be interesting to read the full text of this bill when it is published. To get an idea you might want to look at her 2017 version.

UPDATE: Ryan Cleckner, attorney and former Director of Governmental Affairs for NSSF, has this analysis of the Feinstein’s new AWB. Given his background in the industry and his shooting background, it is well worth a read.

UPDATE II: Ryan informs me that he has now read the actual text of the bill and has more comments on it. He thinks it is even more dangerous than before.

A Replica Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle?

I have been getting multiple releases announcing new products on a daily basis for the last month in anticipation of the SHOT Show. Some are line extensions and some are entirely new products. Not that they aren’t all of interest but this one really caught my eye.

Umarex will now be producing an officially licensed air rifle replica of the Ruger 10/22. I think it caught my eye because the Ruger 10/22 was the first gun I ever bought. I was 18 and it costs a whole $55 at Best Products in Greensboro. There is no word on the price of the Umarex replica.

From the release:

The level of detail in the Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle transcends its looks. “Umarex did a great job in developing the 10/22 Air Rifle,” said Ruger Vice President of Marketing, Rob Werkmeister. “We are truly impressed by the level of authentic detail and craftsmanship incorporated into this airgun, and we are proud to be affiliated with a company that shares our passion of providing quality products and exceptional service for shooters around the world.”

The 10/22 Air Rifle from UMAREX was designed to shoot .177 caliber pellets, the most readily available and most popular selling airgun caliber for recreational shooting. The magazine is authentic in shape and the magazine release pushes forward in authentic fashion giving you the ability to pull the magazine from the receiver. The magazine holds a red, removable rotary clip that accepts 10 flat or round-nosed pellets instead of the traditional .22 LR cartridge and is cleverly held in the magazine by a sliding lever, which allows for the easy exchange of a pre-loaded clip available as an accessory.

The bolt, while seemingly there for aesthetics, since it does not load a pellet into the chamber, serves to cock the rifle when actuated, giving the 10/22 Air Rifle a delightful three-pound trigger pull. The weight of the trigger and its identical overall size makes it an ideal rifle for first-time shooters whose natural next step up is the Ruger 10/22 chambered for .22 LR.

Loading quality UMAREX CO2 into the rifle is easy. With the twist of a button at the rear of the butt stock the buttpad slides out to reveal an incorporated Allen wrench. That wrench is used to remove a long cylinder inside the stock that punctures two, 12-gram CO2 cartridges when installed back-to-back within the stock of the rifle.

Beyond its function, the 10/22 Air Rifle is slightly lighter than the firearm, but looks the part. The sights are authentic in style, including the folding rear sight, and the rifle has authentic looking sling attachments incorporated. The receiver is ready to accept after-market rails that fit the Ruger 10/22 so that you can customize your Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle with the optic of your choosing.

I Missed This Story About Taurus From Earlier This Year

I’m not sure how I missed this as I like to keep up with the relocation of manufacturing within the firearms industry but I did. What clued me in was a posting on The Shooting Wire that this move won an award from the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

Taurus USA announced in April that they were building a manufacturing facility in Bainbridge, Georgia.

Taurus Holdings, Inc. (“Taurus USA”) announces plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Bainbridge, Georgia, part of Decatur County, creating over 300 new jobs with a combined investment of over $22.5MM in infrastructure and operations. Taurus USA, through its subsidiaries, manufactures or distributes the popular Taurus®, Rossi®, and Heritage™ Manufacturing product lines….

David Blenker, President & CEO of Taurus USA comments, “The decision to relocate stems from our desire to expand our facility, keeping all operations in one location. All involved have welcomed Taurus, from the Governor’s office to the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to establishing a solid workforce and giving back to a great community,” continued Blenker. Ground breaking ceremonies will take place mid-summer 2018.

Not being too terribly conversant with Georgia geography, I had to look up Bainbridge. It is in southwest Georgia near the Florida state line west of Thomasville. Perhaps more importantly, it is less than an hour’s drive to Tallahassee, Florida. It has is the home to Bainbridge State College which has partnered with industry on many occasions.

The award announcement on the facility:

In December 2019, Taurus will complete its move to a new 200,000 square foot facility in Bainbridge. This new state-of-the-art facility will help expand the company’s U.S. engineering and production capabilities, host the new corporate headquarters, and further strengthen core manufacturing efforts to better meet consumer expectations in firearm innovation and quality performance. For the Bainbridge and Decatur County area, this move will add 300 jobs and insert more than $22.5 million into the economy.

I’m not sure what was the impetus to this move from their Miami Lakes location in Florida. It could be cost of living, cost of labor, politics, or merely the desire to be a big fish in a small pond. I’ll be sure to visit the Taurus booth this coming week at the SHOT Show and ask.

By the way, I know it is convenient to hate on Taurus. I have a couple of their firearms – a Tracker 627 revolver and a PT1911 – which have worked fine for me. I got them used at a good price and I’m OK with them. They aren’t Smith or Colt respectively but I didn’t intend them to be.