Category Archives: SHOT Show

New Smith & Wesson Performance Center 686 Revolver

While I am on revolver kick, Smith & Wesson is releasing a brand new Performance Center version of their Model 686 Distinguished Combat Magnum.  This 7 shot L-Frame model will have a 2.5″ barrel, bead blasted finish, unfluted cylinder, and custom wood grips.  There is a red ramp front and adjustable rear sight. Other features to the PC 686 are a chrome teardrop-shaped hammer spur, chrome trigger with stop, precision crowned barrel, and a cylinder cut for moon clips.  S&W’s Performance Center has tuned the action. Aaron and I shot this gun at Media Day.  The trigger in double action was silky smooth.  In single action, the hammer dropped with … Continue reading

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New ERGO Delta Grips for S&W J-Frame Revolvers

Overheard at the Show from some GunPressMediaInternetCommandos:  “You gotta check out the new ERGO Delta Grips for the J-Frame.  They are ultra-high-speed-tactical and probably will show up on immediate-action SpecOps outside of CONUS!”  Maybe the word “Delta” fooled them.  Maybe I exaggerate.  Sigh, I checked the map and wandered down to ERGO’s booth in one of the rabbit warren ballrooms off the SHOT Show main hall. I have an affinity for my .38 Special revolvers and in the environment of .327 SmallBlock chambered AR-15’s and the latest in super Cryptoflage-patterned BDU’s, I could have used a bit of Old School Firearm-ery at that moment.  The new Delta Grip by ERGO … Continue reading

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Slide Fire Turns an AR-15 Upside Down!

At SHOT Show 2014’s Media Day at the Range, Slide Fire showed off a fixed mounted upside down semi-automatic AR-15 that mechanically bump-fired to shoot in “full auto.”  Watching it chatter elicited much joy from the assembled press, who did not fail to gather when the demonstration dinner bell was rung. There were many remarks from those around me who said that they had thought that Slide Fire was a flash in the pan.  There was surprise at the growing popularity of the product line, which kinda turns a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun (AR’s, AK’s, 10-22’s, Saiga’s, etc) into a fully automatic firing weapon.  This is done with a modified … Continue reading

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Shooting the New Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380

We got to shoot the new Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 at SHOT Show 2014 Media Day at the Range.  I uploaded the short video above.  Since I have carried a Bodyguard 380 both off duty and as a secondary firearm on duty for the last several years, it was a familiar platform to me.  No one I observed had any failure with the M&P 380’s at the range. In the video, I bobbled the trigger reset after the second shot.  As a weak defense, I will just testify that I had been shooting a lot of very different guns that day.  It is a good reminder, though, that … Continue reading

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TSSI TACOPS New Active Response Breacher’s Kit

TSSI‘s Don Wright showed me their new TACOPS Active Response Breacher’s Kit.  It contains a very portable hammer, halogen tool, and bolt cutter, each of which can unfold and telescope to full size for added leverage.  The tools are carried in a rugged nylon sling bag so the officer or operator can quickly transition to a handgun or long rifle, if needed. This set of tools and bag was specifically designed for active shooter situations, where, with proper training, an officer can come on to a scene and have breaching capabilities that were formerly only available to a SWAT team.  The ARBK is small enough to ride unobtrusively in the … Continue reading

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New Taurus View Revolver–Pushing the Limits of Minimalism

Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. is pushing the envelope with the new “View” handgun.  Where their large Judge model expanded the continuum in one direction, the View stretches the opposing limit for minimalism in a personal defense revolver.  I was able to handle the View at Taurus’ SHOT Show 2014 booth.  A few thoughts… Sporting a 1.41″ barrel and tiny hand grip, the profile of the View is smaller than even the most stripped down Smith & Wesson J-frame snubbies.  My immediate concern is in the size of the handle.  I have small-to-medium sized hands.  When I gripped the View tightly, I could barely get my ring finger above the very … Continue reading

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Rebar: Friend…or Foe?

SHOT Show is the fifth largest convention in Las Vegas.  But larger still is the Concrete Convention next March (well, it has a different name, but you get the gist).  I guess any convention makes sense to its attendees.  At dinner, writers Richard, Aaron, and I were trying to figure out what kind of seminars you would have for the concrete, asphalt, and construction crowd.  “Rebar: Friend…or Foe?” I said dramatically.  Laughing, Richard suggested I use it as the title to an article.  I think I also suggested, “Concrete Stamping and the Modern Aesthetic.”  Rebar was better. I have been busily running around the Show floor for the last two … Continue reading

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Media Day at the Range 2014

The high desert was good to us this morning. Temperatures were a balmy 45 degrees for SHOT Show’s Media Day at the Range 2014. Compare that to last year’s 28 degree deep freezer. The winds, though prevalent again, were also relatively tame. Richard, Aaron, and I rode out to Boulder City on one of the shuttle buses, arriving promptly at 0800 after the 45 minute commute from the Strip. Approximately 700 media members were invited to the morning session. The rest of the general media could come after noon. There seemed to be less of a crush this year, although we had a comical end to the bus ride when … Continue reading

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SHOT Show 2014

Mid-January is that time of year when I pack up my gear for the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas known as SHOT Show. Armed with a press pass, I will again assault Media Day at the Range and the Show floor to bring back any battlefield pick-ups of information I can record on my reconnoiter. I already published articles about two guns that will be “introduced” at the Show:  the Glock 42 and S&W M&P Bodyguard 380.  I have been receiving press releases non-stop for the last several months about new products that can be seen at SHOT.  With over 1,600 exhibitors on hand, it … Continue reading

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SCCY CPX-2 Pistol Review

One of my buddies loaned his Ruger LCR to a co-worker for off-duty carry.  The co-worker is a newer cop and she was short on funds after having a baby.  It got me thinking that not everyone in the squad room can afford an expensive back-up piece.  Introducing:  SCCY Industries. SCCY Industries, LLC (pronounced “Sky”) makes handguns in Daytona Beach, Florida.  After handling their Generation 2 CPX-1 and CPX-2’s at SHOT Show, I was impressed with the design and quality control of their 9mm polymer pistols.  Fit and finish was above average, especially if you factored in the MSRP:  $319.00 for the CPX-1 and $299.00 for the CPX-2!  It elicited … Continue reading

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Kel-Tec KSG Bullpup Shotgun Review

Finally!  I waited two whole years from SHOT Show 2011 to SHOT 2013 to fire a Kel-Tec KSG bullpup shotgun.  I really wanted to mount it on my shoulder to check out its maneuverability for room clearing.  I wanted to test its ergonomics and controls.  Mostly, I wanted to stack up with the boys and run a shoot house while wielding this particular shorty shotty.  Well, at least I did get to fire the doggone thing. Cocoa, Florida’s Kel-Tec CNC debuted the KSG (Kel-Tec Shotgun) to the press two years ago.  Since then, the KSG’s have been a little hard to come by–much like the KT RFB, which the KSG … Continue reading

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RDR Holsters Micro Carry Review

RDR (Rounds Down Range) Holsters is a Hollywood, FL company making Kydex™ holsters and accessory carriers for most major brands of concealed carry handguns.  One of our longtime readers here at ThinBlueFlorida, M@ (Matt–get it?), met me at SHOT Show out on the main floor.  Funny, we both traveled all the way from Florida just to meet in Nevada.  M@, who works for RDR, brought me a RDR Micro Carry holster for my Kahr PM9. Founded by two brothers, RDR is visibly represented by owner Jeff Wilber.  Mr. Wilber is very active in the firearms industry.  In January 2013, it was announced that Mr. Wilber would be the new Sales … Continue reading

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Armored Mobility Inc. Rapid Response Carrier and SAPI3 Plate Review

My agency responded to an active shooter in the workplace last week.  Shots were fired.  Hundreds of workers, fearing the worst, hid in their offices.  There were gunfire injuries to a civilian.  Our PD response was swift and decisive.  The shooter was arrested.  Afterward, some of my co-workers expressed a desire to upgrade their patrol load out to include a critical incident vest.  I could not help but give them my opinion on the importance of armor and ammo. I currently have an Armored Mobility Inc. (AMI) Rapid Response Carrier with two AMI SAPI3 plates in the CVPI trunk while on duty.  Armor–check.  Multiple AR-15  and Sig magazines.  Ammo–check. Since … Continue reading

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U.S. Fire Arms ZiP Pistol–Part Deux

I wrote a quick article about the U.S. Fire Arms ZiP pistol back in December.  I met with Chris from U.S. Fire Arms at SHOT Show and had a chance to examine and shoot the ZiP.  The little gun, which loads .22 cal. long rifle ammunition from a Ruger rotary 10 round magazine, is made mainly for plinking.  It was cool and not nearly as ungainly in the hand as it looks in photos. With your middle finger inserted in the hole below the trigger guard and using that for the base of your grip, the ZiP

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N8² Tactical’s Professional Series Holsters

N8² Tactical makes holsters in North Carolina.  At SHOT Show 2013, I asked Nate Beard about their name.  Nate Beard and Nate Johnson formed the company.  “Nate Squared,” get it?  I asked Mr. Beard what was new and he showed me their improved Professional IWB concealed carry holster. From the N8² Tactical website: The Nate Squared Tactical Professional holster is the ultimate IWB (inside-the-waistband) holster. It has all the comfort of our Original design, but comes with the following additional features:  ADJUSTABLE CANT TUCKABLE  EXCELLENT POSITIVE RETENTION The holster is made of polycarbonate, which is an extremely durable thermoplastic. Common uses range from cd’s & dvd’s to bullet resistant glass. We … Continue reading

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