2018 Shot Show Recap
February 7, 2018 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
Last week some members of the GTI and Wraith Tactical team spent the week at SHOT Show at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. SHOT Show is one of the largest shooting, hunting, law enforcement/military, tactical gear, and firearm accessory trade shows in the world. People come from all over the world in order to be first at seeing what new products companies, within the industry, are introducing and, trust me, there are a lot of them! With over 1,600 exhibitors highlighting their products and over 12 miles of show floor, there is a lot to see at SHOT Show. Since there is so much going on during the show, we decided to fill people in on some of our favorite guns, ammo, and accessories that were released this year.
The first new product that was widely publicized, about a week before SHOT Show, was Sig Sauer's release of their new double stack micro compact pistol, the Sig P365. It was introduced to compete with the Glock 43 and Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. This pistol is chambered in 9MM and is rated for +P ammunition, with a magazine capacity and magazine options that make it an ideal carry gun. The P365 weighs in at 17.8oz with a barrel length of 3.1in, an overall length of 5.8in, and an overall width of 1.06in. The P365 comes equipped with Sig Sauer's famous Sig night sights and can be used with either a 10rd magazine (which comes with the gun), or an optional 12rd magazine. I personally had the chance to shoot this gun at Sig Sauer's range day, the day before SHOT Show, and I was impressed. It truly is a tiny gun and can be carried any way you wish and used by virtually anyone with ease.
Another new product that caught my attention was IWI's new TS12 Semi-Auto Bullpup shotgun. IWI has become very well known after releasing the famous Tavor to the market in America. This bullpup shotgun is a beast and very futuristic looking. When you first see it, you wonder if its something out of a Sci-Fi movie and that it is capable of shooting laser beams. A bullpup firearm is a firearm with its action behind the trigger; and, even with an 18.5in smooth bore barrel, the fact that it is a bullpup firearm makes it compact. This would make it easy to handle during any CQB operations. The capacity in this shotgun is another big advantage. The TS12 can hold 15 12-gauge shotgun shells, giving you a nice fuzzy feeling inside for anything you may come across. This shotgun is capable of firing 3in shells with internal muzzle threads and is compatible with Benelli and Beretta choke tubes. The TS12 is equipped with a top picatinny rail for any optic you may want to place on it and a MLOK rail on each side, where a flashlight or laser can be attached.
While we are on the topic of shotguns, another firearm that was released at SHOT Show was Mossberg's new 590M. The "M" stands for magazine. Yes, you read that right, magazine. This is a magazine fed shotgun with magazine capacities of 5,10,15 and 20. This new shotgun is ideal for home defense, tactical, and even competition situations. A big advantage of having the 590M being magazine fed is the fact that reloading/unloading can be done much faster, and it gives the shotgun a larger capacity without increasing the magazine tube length. The 590M is still a pump shotgun, but with an entirely new way of storing its ammo. With a full 20rd magazine the shotgun is still balanced very well due to the magazine being at its center of gravity. Really, the only thing to say about this shotgun is that it is awesome and can be used is a wide variety of situations.
Back in the October issue of the "GTI Monthly Mission Brief" I talked about how Smith and Wesson released a 2.0 version of their M&P lineup and all the various improvements they made to the pistol. Well it was only a matter of time until the 2.0 craze was worked into their M&P Shield lineup. The 2.0 Shield has all the improvements of the other larger 2.0 pistols, but in a smaller package. Smith and Wesson definitely listened to the people on this one and changed the Shield into a fine little carry pistol with a crisper and light trigger, front cocking serrations, an aggressive grip texture for more control, and much more. Little improvements like these are exactly what the Shield series needed to make it a better contender against the Glock 43, and now the new Sig Sauer 365.
The last release that really peaked my interest was actually not a firearm at all, it was a brand-new caliber that is getting ready to be launched onto the market. That caliber is the 224 Valkyrie, which was designed for long-range performance. This caliber is based off of the .30 Remington/6.8 SPC and will function in both bolt guns and a standard AR platform. Since the bullet is bigger than the 223, the only change you would need to make to your AR is a barrel swap or buy a new 224 Valkyrie upper. This caliber can be fed with your standard AR-15 magazine which is a HUGE plus, so you don't have to move heaven and earth trying to find a magazine for some weird caliber. If and when you do finally find one, the price is so high it completely turns you off to the idea in general. This round travels faster with less bullet drop than a 223 round, and the 224 Valkyrie round is less affected by wind than your standard 223 round. I can say I have never been this excited about a new caliber coming out, and I definitely need to get my hands on a barrel, so I can build an upper for my AR-15.
SHOT Show is always a very exciting and busy time of the year. It is filled with preparing for the show, being at the show, and, of course, after the show with following up the connections and contacts you may have made at the show. I have attended SHOT Show four years in a row and can honestly say I do not think I have ever seen everything the show has to offer due to the scale of it. Even though SHOT Show is a lot of work, it is worth it. It is exciting to be among the first people to view and examine new products released within the firearms, shooting, tactical, and hunting industry. I barely even touched on how many cool and new products were released at SHOT Show this year, but I wanted to give you a little peek into some of my favorites that got me excited!