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Calibre
01-14-2013, 11:36 AM
And thus it begins. After a terrible night's sleep that wasn't too different from that of a 5 year-old's on December 24th, I made the pilgrimage to the airport for a 10 am flight to Vegas. So far quite uneventful, the only real indication that something might be afoot is the inordinate amount of black, flack dark earth, and olive clothing being worn by various other folks waiting at the gate... Oh yeah, that and the close-cropped haircuts and molle-strapped baggage that's lumped all over the place! Everyone seems excited though, so it doesn't look like the controversy and potential awb have dampened many spirits thus far...

Xtreme
01-14-2013, 12:11 PM
Have fun and keep us posted!

jwirecom109
01-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Wish i could be there!

Calibre
01-14-2013, 04:31 PM
Alright, the eagle has landed. Sitting on the plane reading, I don't think I've ever heard guns, ammo, and shooting talked about so casually! It definitely made for a far more enjoyable trip than usual, but I also had the pleasure of overhearing some antis wandering around the airport thereafter referring to a local "gun convention" like it was some sort of leper colony. I say pleasure because you can't help but enjoy the irony in hearing such negativity from people that must be otherwise oblivious to Nevada's gloriously nonrestrictive gun laws... what would they say if they knew there were a bunch of journalists a few miles away blowing the hell out of a dirt berm with all manner of fully automatic "assault weapons?"

Overall, it's been fantastic. We're lodged in the Vdara hotel, mostly because it was semi-cheap and reviews claimed it wasn't crappy... but the truth is far better than that. There's a range top, proper fridge, huge bathroom and microwave... great for when those midnight munchies hit (or when you're a small startup and actually need to save money occasionally). We've gotten our equipment squared away, and will be heading down to the Sands convention center shortly in order to pick up passes and get a lay of the land in preparation for the gungasm that surely awaits tomorrow.

Oh. And some beer. We're gonna get that too.

P.S.: In unpacking, we discovered that the US government must be pretty stoked to get their hands on some copies of Calibre too; they couldn't even wait until we got to Vegas to hit us up for a copy or two!

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/385288_468306793229731_33147688_n.jpg

bradofcanada
01-14-2013, 04:38 PM
I hope you like taking pictures :)

Strewth
01-14-2013, 04:43 PM
I hope you like taking pictures :)

This!
Although taking pictures of your baggage bodes well for all us poor schlubs stuck up up here...if you want, you could just mount a GoPro to your head for a couple of days...just sayin'....

Calibre
01-14-2013, 04:48 PM
Hahaha I would... although they won't actually allow you. All photos and video have to have the express permission of the booth agents. However, I can take up to 500 photos a day with my DSLR before I start nearing compact flash card capacity, and have unlimited amounts of space to upload 'em on Flickr, so it bodes well for you guys that couldn't make it here...

Strewth
01-14-2013, 04:52 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BqLTqLcurqI/T9bToofMz_I/AAAAAAAADV4/I1AKOzMGfYU/s320/mrburns_excellent1.JPG


and Thank You!

Calibre
01-14-2013, 07:42 PM
Alright. Second check in for the day, and probably the last before I start drowning my sorrows in the cheapest Guinness I've ever bought and a big bag of those powered-sugar-covered doughnuts that was equally cheap.

I took a wander down to the expo center to take a look at the show floor and pick up the media pass, and I learned a few things. The first thing is that although it might be called a "convention center," the SHOT venue is still attached to a casino and thus bears a remarkable resemblance to the Hotel California: you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave. Seriously. It's like living out the nightmare that is an M.C. Escher painting when it comes time to head back to home base.

Secondly, the combination of that diabolical layout and it's general disarray (it formally opens tomorrow, so they're still wheeling stuff in and setting up, I just snuck around after I got my pass) makes is seem WAY bigger than it geographically is. I can tell you right now that I will be spending hours poring over the booth maps on the website and plotting out my attack. However, there is a generous media room that's got lots of nice little amenities, so at least there'll be a dumping ground for gear and a home base away from the home base away from home.

Thirdly, it's going to be awesome. I mean, that much was obvious. But when you walk out the doors of the venue and a semi-truck rumbles past you carrying multiple Trijicon-marked crates the size of compact cars, you know you're in for a treat.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/227762_468486969878380_959464137_n.jpg

It also bring me around to another point: between the death of Mr. Noveske and the AWB talk down here, I did not expect to see the sort of thing that's going on. As a Canadian, I expected to see gun companies and owners downgrading their visibility and trying to fly under the radar as best as possible... but it looks like the opposite is true. They're out there in force, and they're not shy about it, which is really great to see. And the mood, which most had thought would be subdued this year, seems to be through the roof; there's guys left, right, and centre talking about how excited they are for the show to open. In fact, I haven't spotted a single gloomy guss among the lot.

Oh, and I thought I'd keep a daily tally on the number of people that ask if the magazine's title is a typo. Today opens that total with 2. To their credit, they first tried to be fancy and pronounce it Cah-lee-bray, so I guess they get top marks for effort!

jwirecom109
01-14-2013, 09:09 PM
What a sight to start off with

Strewth
01-14-2013, 10:53 PM
What a sight to start off with

No doubt, hey? I'm visualizing VW sized aimpoints for howitzers, or maybe NV for elephants.

I lol'd at the fancy Calibray pronounciation, especially seeing the Cartier sign in the pic:).

Calibre
01-14-2013, 11:21 PM
Everyone I've met so far (which has been many cabbies and bartenders thus far) has been like "oh you're from Canada? This cold snap must be nothing to you then!"

I don't have the heart to tell them that Vancouver has never, ever, in 27 years looked like this:

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/543839_468541463206264_1890578611_n.jpg

If the temperatures don't start coming up, I'm going to start referring to it as Lasinski Vegasgrad.

Strewth
01-14-2013, 11:28 PM
What's that white stuff on the fountain? People outside the Lower Mainland talk about it....ece? aic? eyess...something like that.

Calibre
01-15-2013, 10:26 PM
Alrighty. Day one is in the books... and my feet are witnesses. They're in ice as we speak. Beer helps.

But I know none of you callous (nice pun, eh?) bastards cares about that, you only want the photos. Well, here you go:

To kick it off, we'll go with the new replacement for one of my own personal favourite guns; the Beretta 682. Now going under the name 692, the gun now boasts adjustable weights in the stock to alter balance, and Steelium barrels with even longer forcing cones. Looks sexy too.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8508/8384662931_2a17968365_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8224/8385747470_227c1b2b56_b.jpg

Next up, we have a slightly less exciting product from one of my favourite companies: Victorinox. It's their first ever lock back knife; a proper one-handed hunting folder. Feels great and tips the scales at around $80.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8352/8385747598_af32540e3b_b.jpg

Also new is this super sweet looking Maxus form Browning; one of a bunch of new shotguns from them. Great detailing overall on this sucker.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8092/8384663973_df11df976a_b.jpg

And here it is again, pictured with a couple new Citori 725s... I know, again, not super exciting unless you're a bit over/under guy in which case that weird fore-end shape should intrigue.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8053/8384664305_f3cd3e2b6a_b.jpg

What? Had enough Browning shotguns? Not yet! Check out the all-new A5. Sure, it might look like the old humpback bastard, but it's all new. It's still recoil operated, but it uses the modern system rather than the old long-recoil system, and it actually does a great job of looking like the old one with lots of modern touches.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8355/8385748334_da0aa9459b_b.jpg

Over/under-gasm. Ten points to anyone that can guess what it is?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8212/8385748538_35049d54c2_b.jpg

If you guessed it was 1/4 of a four-gun set from Perazzi that carries a price of $233K US, then you guessed right!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8330/8384664821_a1e53a4135_b.jpg

Now here's an intriguing one. It's Walther's newest pistol. A hammer-fired full-size pistol that's destined to become their new flagship model, the PPX can be had in 9mm and .40, and could come to Canada as the threaded barrel version takes it over the 4.2" barrel length limit. It's pretty slick, and that weird grip shape is supposed to make the gun fit all sizesof hands... which I'm pretty convinced it does. I've played with plenty of pistols and this one fills the hand more naturally than most.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8385748826_7fc8133e99_b.jpg

Whaaaaaaaa to stuff we can't have!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8233/8385749136_ea9f710e05_b.jpg

Holy crap this is awesome. It's an AR10 that they're raffling off to further what American's call "the cause," and it's been heavily reworked... obviously. I dare anyone to call something that looks like that an "assault weapon."

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8225/8384665441_9b494489a7_b.jpg

Dead. Friggin. Sexy.

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So, this isn't a picture of Leupold. What it is, however, is a photo of some of Troy's latest work: a pretty sweet mount. Incredibly strong and light, it toggles in and locks onto the rail like a LaRue, and then remains locked in place until you both push the spring-loaded vertical button and pull on the toggle. Oh, and it's different from LaRue because we Canadians will actually be able to get them. Oh... and what's it mounted on, I wonder?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8498/8385749936_7c83fa8b51_b.jpg

This! A decidedly bad-ass precision AR in 308 from Troy. Sadly, the jury's still out on this sucker's importation to Canada... but who knows, it isn't impossible. And if it ever does make it into Canada, it's heavy enough that you might end up liking the fact that you can't drag an AR into the woods... it weighs a ton. Look into the rail holes just ahead of the receiver and check out that barrel profile.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8075/8385750630_6d63d6c53d_b.jpg

Now here's the coolest news I got today. This rifle is one of Troy's new line of AR rifles, and it is the closest thing they had to the variant that they will be building for export to the Canadian market. What's pictured is Frank Proctor's personal gun, but if you imagine that gun in either FDE or black, with a Troy alpha rail fitted with integral back-up sights, a standard trigger (Frank's gun has a three gun match trigger), and a standard flash hider, you have the new Troy rifle that's being built for us Canucks! And even better still, it'll have a price tag somewhere on the good side of $2,000.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8080/8384666931_aeed1a5afe_b.jpg

More stuff we can't have... but damn do I wish we could! Is it just me, or do suppressors make a gun exponentially cool? An M1A is nice. An M1A in a Troy chassis is nicer. A suppressed M1A in a Troy chassis? Drool.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8354/8385751026_f9ce86f77a_b.jpg

It's a grenade launcher. No big deal.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8384667289_2f62039dfb_b.jpg

Now, I don't know if we have this, or how long it's existed, or if we'll ever get it... but it's sweet. It's an all-aluminum chassis for the 10/22 that looks great and feels insanely solid. Sorry for the dark pic, but it was in Troy's room walled by tinted windows to keep prying eyes at bay... luckily these prying eyes came with a press pass attached.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8336/8384667441_40eec2511e_b.jpg

And here's something that's still a way's out. They wouldn't even tell me how they got the tiny buffer fitted. It's the Troy PDW and it's amazing. Still apparently a bit of a prototype, it will be available in 5.56 and .300 Blackout, and is apparently garnered much attention from the special forces community. Also, the founder of Troy is a former LEO, so he has a thing for small guns that are readily available to law enforcement. Also, check out the rubbery grommets on the foreend. They're a new squidgy grip thing they're making for their rails to increase grip.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8385751572_440de6606f_b.jpg

Remember that Daniel Defense video where they trash an AR to show how reliable they are? This is the one!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8094/8384663129_ea93998b5c_b.jpg

Hmmm... wonder what that is?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8384668187_c09eed1d36_b.jpg

Ta da! It's Daniel Defense's new integrally suppressed AR... sigh.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8053/8384668375_ae799befdc_b.jpg

Again, don't know if these are new, old, or what... but they're sweet. Beautiful laminated stocks for SKS' from Tapco/Timbersmith. They actually make that ugly as hell gun look pretty decent!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8367/8385753216_183ae8b143_b.jpg

Not your cup of tea? How about this new stock setup from ATI/Promag? Again, another one for the SKS that'll be roughly $149 US when it debuts. And yes, it features adjustable LOP and cheek piece height, and will accomodate both detachable mag versions as well as fixed mag variants. It didn't feel bad, either!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8367/8384669663_02ef1cb403_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8366/8385754030_7de8401d09_b.jpg

I'm a bit of a Leathman nut, so I had to stop by. They got a bunch of new stuff (the Surge I got for Xmas has already been replaced by a new model!) but this was the big one: the OHT. Opening like a Gerber tool, it's more solid than the old Gerber I got from the army, and when deployed, is spring-loaded so the pliers stay open. However, as cool as it is, I still want a Skeletool CX and Charge TTi like a mofo though.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8384670159_c860bba736_b.jpg

More stuff we can't have... but hey, who needs a suppressed Bushy ACR, eh?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8385755108_333a148557_b.jpg

And if you don't need a suppressed ACR, you definitely don't need a suppressed M240B

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8194/8385755274_68b8664ac1_b.jpg

When words fail...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8333/8384671607_07ea834e0b_b.jpg

At the other end of the spectrum are these cool .22s from Walther. Aluminum chassis with lots of neat features (check out the charging handles that be put in any of six position (three on each side), AR-like controls, and a variety of stock options... and they handle nicely! Nice triggers too.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8517/8385756274_d882b12b65_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8496/8385756092_0e5520e4e3_b.jpg

And here's another handgun that we SHOULD be getting in Canada, and MIGHT, but haven't yet. The full-size Steyr L9A1. I had an M9A1 and loved it and this one's even better thanks to the legal-length factory barrel!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8385756600_637f70a375_b.jpg

And apparently you don't need to live with Steyr's interest trapezoidal sights any more either... although they are optional.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8223/8384672253_a8af2317b5_b.jpg

Steyr HS-50. Yup. Just sitting there... and not a baby nor kitten killed as a result.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8385756718_ba8b56a07d_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8385756718_ba8b56a07d_b.jpg

There were a LOT of damned fine looking guns in the SIG booth. Good lighting too.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8384672833_d569ecb5eb_b.jpg

Hmmm... looks like an AR, right?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8222/8385757596_ebab94c040_b.jpg

Nope. It's the Sig MPX smg in 9mm, .357 Sig, and .40... and yes, that one's in semi-auto... so let your imagination run wild.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8096/8384673583_400d4dc866_b.jpg

Me want. You want. WE ALL WANT.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8237/8385758240_aa5c420cc2_b.jpg

Well hey... whaddya know... Hoppes is owned by Bushnell! So why is there a photo of good old No. 9 here? Because it's not good old No. 9, it's the new synthetic No. 9. It's supposed to clean like usual, and smell the same, but be WAY less harmful.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8092/8385758824_fb12dcbe80_b.jpg

This is one of a new line of AR scopes Bushnell is making with price tags starting in the low $200s. Available in a variety of magnifications, some models of these Trophy scopes feature this big magnification lever to help change magnification without fiddling with knobs. And all models features exposed target turrets calibrated for .223.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8377/8384674849_f3a9cecd01_b.jpg

Silencing is not a crime... unless you live in Canada.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8077/8384675901_d21a52e421_b.jpg

And from Leupold, we have this: the new VX-6. It's exactly what you expect; a nice scope. But one cool feature is the included custom-made CDS turrets that come with each one. You order it, stick it on your gun, sight it in, and then give the bullet and drop info to Leupold, and they send you the custom turrets made specifically to suit your load.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/8385760950_642cb66b2b_b.jpg

I don't know what to say about this... except that it's a horseshoe of revolvers.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8384677453_64924fcdeb_b.jpg

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd of course...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8465/8385759918_1d5d4ebf7f_b.jpg

You'll just have to wait until tomorrow for more!

Airw4ves
01-15-2013, 10:47 PM
Thank you for these awesome pics! And because nobody else will say it, we appreciate you sacrificing your feet in order to bring us these.
Hope you aren't too tired to get out and see what Vegas has to offer.

Strewth
01-15-2013, 11:12 PM
ERMAHGERD I haven't even looked at them yet...so many pictures!
Thank you very much Calibre!

Edit after a brief scroll down: Wow! Thank you again for taking the time to do a write up on each picture! Now, back to the top!

50calshooter
01-15-2013, 11:44 PM
Wow, thanks for the pics, so much want here so far.....

jono_619
01-16-2013, 12:07 AM
Wow, the Troy PDW and the Sig MPX look nice! Do want!

CanuckWR
01-16-2013, 12:13 AM
SIG SMG in 357 sig!?! Holy poop!!! I would love one!!!

Calibre
01-16-2013, 12:26 AM
They had some video of that thing, and it looked rock-solid; there was absolutely no muzzle climb. Fun as hell to play with too...

jono_619
01-16-2013, 12:40 AM
Is there an MSRP for that Sig yet?

Calibre
01-16-2013, 12:44 AM
Not as yet. They did have both select-fire and semi-auto variants on the wall, so that gives me some confidence... but given SIG's lacklustre interest in exporting their rifles, I don't know. But I'll do my best to find out!

MadMarty911
01-16-2013, 12:46 AM
Thanks for the day 1 update!! Any chance we'll see those Walther .22's in canada?

jono_619
01-16-2013, 12:57 AM
Not as yet. They did have both select-fire and semi-auto variants on the wall, so that gives me some confidence... but given SIG's lacklustre interest in exporting their rifles, I don't know. But I'll do my best to find out!

Thanks.

5.56 Medic
01-16-2013, 02:12 AM
Great Job Calibre! I picked up your mag today at Italian Sporting Goods in Vancouver. That and a 1000 rounds of 9mm! Keep up the good work.

bradofcanada
01-16-2013, 02:51 AM
Thanks for the pics,keep em coming.

Airw4ves
01-16-2013, 04:59 PM
Any chance of hitting up the Surefire booth and asking whether or not they will be bringing a new, high output head for the scout line of weapon lights?

bradofcanada
01-16-2013, 06:38 PM
Any chance you want to get me a bunch of free stickers for my new gun safe :)

farmfan1
01-16-2013, 07:50 PM
Great pics ! keep them coming

Satain
01-16-2013, 10:34 PM
...And here's something that's still a way's out. They wouldn't even tell me how they got the tiny buffer fitted. It's the Troy PDW and it's amazing. Still apparently a bit of a prototype, it will be available in 5.56 and .300 Blackout, and is apparently garnered much attention from the special forces community. Also, the founder of Troy is a former LEO, so he has a thing for small guns that are readily available to law enforcement. Also, check out the rubbery grommets on the foreend. They're a new squidgy grip thing they're making for their rails to increase grip.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8385751572_440de6606f_b.jpg
The rumor on the street about this is that NEA and Troy have teamed up to come out with this design for a DI gun to run this style of MP5 style stock and I have to say if it works they are going to rock the sales Big Time! As many security personal would love to have a carbine but in a pdw configuration like this stock will offer.
Hence Sig's MPX...
Now if the MPX was in 7.62x25mm well that would defenatly kill the AR in 223 due to it's punching power in short barrel rig's.
Keep up the porn as I am loven it!
Any pic's on Magpul booth yet?

jono_619
01-16-2013, 10:41 PM
I want that PDW stock too.

stefman722
01-16-2013, 11:33 PM
I want more pics! heh

Calibre
01-16-2013, 11:44 PM
I'll be hitting the Surefire booth up tomorrow, and I have a ton of questions, so I'll try and get that one in.

So today was a bit different. I hung around the hotel for a while to watch the president's proposal for an AWB, and when I arrived at the show it was relatively quiet. Some people were murmuring about how dictatorial he is, others were saying how glad they were that he wasn't using an executive order to ram it down their throats. The most interesting conversation I had was with a woman from CMMG who explained that some states (including hers) had already passed laws dictating that any federal official that attempts to enforce any federal firearm statutes enacted after January 1st of this year will themselves be arrested. She explained that it would be the situations thus created that would precipitate the violent reactions so many Americans are talking about, and as a Canadian that had sort of sloughed those "we'll fight back" sort of comments as threats and little more, I think I get it now... and it's pretty frightening to consider.

BUT

Back to fun stuff. To kick it off we'll start with the quintessential assault weapon: a long, heavy-barreled AR... and no you can't have one unless you go grey market!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8334/8388705372_a5ca808c56_b.jpg

Are you a lefty? Well, Charles Daly's only new models for 2013 will excite you, as they're just lefty versions of existing guns and better still they'll be coming to Canada!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8072/8388707264_a679d2a0b6_b.jpg

Ok, we've all seen the Chiappa Rhino, but this was my first chance to play with one and I was impressed. I fondled some of their cheaper .22s and it was... um... less than satisfying, but the Rhino felt like it was build like a brick shithouse. It was all clicks and clacks instead of snaps and cracks, and it was damned fun to play with. Interestingly, the "hammer" you see is actually a hammer actuator; necessary since the hammer actually works to actuate the firing pin located, like the barrel, at 6 o'clock. So when you cock it, the hammer actuator pushes the actual hammer down, and then snaps back up afterward. Kinda weird, but fun. And available in everything from black to bling, and obviously available to Canadians.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8388707398_9c1aabdf85_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8509/8388707588_bf8347c20e_b.jpg

I've got a thing for Cooper rifles. They're exquisite. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "if you have the means, I highly suggest acquiring one." Sadly, I didn't have a chance to talk to their staff, so I have no idea about Canadian distributorship and how that works with their custom program.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8494/8388707788_17295ecf85_b.jpg

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And at the other end of the spectrum you have Barska. They had a lot to launch this year, such as a new line of hard cases and gear, but I concentrated on their optics and attachments. This is their optic; it's an entry level AR-format 1.5-7 (if memory serves!) that comes with the mount. It certainly didn't feel as great as the Bushnell I played with yesterday, but it has a place. And it's Canada-bound.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8503/8388708500_765b577f09_b.jpg

And on the fore-end, we have their new laser (it's like the old one but way smaller) and intergrated foregrip/light. It's in the mid-200 lumens, so it's not as potent as a Surefire or something, but again, it's affordable and it felt very solid. For a shooter looking for a solid vfg, you could do a hell of a lot worse. It also has multiple modes (solid, strobe) and is pressure-switch actuated. I think they cited a US MSRP of $30!?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8048/8388708654_5773d5bee4_b.jpg

Now this was nice. It's a new red dot from Barska with three reticles and varying brightness. It felt solid, and it looks pretty sweet too. Again, don't expect Aimpoint awesomeness, but at least this one looks cool.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8387620965_6a9241d83c_b.jpg

On the day they proposed a magazine capacity limit down here, I couldn't help but wonder what these guys were feeling today.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8233/8388708918_b1bbda030e_b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8351/8388709078_0e30a381e9_b.jpg

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd now we change gears again. Vortex had some sweet new stuff kicking around. One of a trio of new models, this 2.5-10x32 first-focal plane Viper. They also have a 4-16x50 and a 1-4x24. As with most Vortex stuff, it felt nice; good clicks on all the adjustments and a nice weight. Optics were great too; since they're illuminated the reticles are all etched and stupidly crisp.

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But if the Viper's just too plebeian for you, Vortex has brought out another version of their uber-sexy Razor HD. All the mechanics are the same, but it now comes in two versions; one of which has adjustments that are twice as coarse as before, allowing for faster elevation and windage setting. In the Razor HD line as well, they have a new 1-6x24 that they're hoping will catch on with service rifle shooters. Again, it looks super sexy in that nice stealth coating, and feels crazy nice. No photos of that one though.

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Here's something a lot you will probably like. It's Vortex's new magnifier and mount. Instead of flipping around 180-degrees, this one just flips to the side. That means you can use the 3x magnifier to glass a target without needing to flip it in front of the optic. It's also a lot easier to use.

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Howa was quite excited to announce their new partnership with a new Canadian distributor that assures more of their lineup and product makes it to Canadian retailers... apparently it used to be a setup where smaller distributors brought Howa product in for small-scale sales, they now have a large-scale Canadian distributor that will bring them to every region in Canada. So if you like any of these new camo-covered rifles, you should be able to get one soon. Also, it's worth noting that the camo looks good, and feels even better... it's a sort of speckle-finish that feels really nice and grippy.

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So I wandered around the Caracal booth, and sadly, all their sweet pistols are still to small for our market; the longest barrels they have are 4.09 inches. But they do have this. It's a sweet little carbine in 9mm that actually looks pretty decent. However, as no importers could bring in their pistols, it seems unlikely that anyone would pursue a distributorship them to bring in just one gun... but who knows?

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Augh. More unobtanium. :'(

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Ok, so here we have a VQ-build 10/22 beauty. Again, sadly, pretty tough to get up here... but looks great, eh?

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But if walnut and whatnot isn't your bag, there's this thing:

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Now this is a friggin' barrel... pretty nice for a 10/22!

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Wait... that magazine and receiver look a little bit for .22...

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Hey, whaddya know! It's only the same shape as a 10/22, but it's actually a .223 semi-auto precision rifle! How sweet would that be, eh?

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No details on these bad boys, but they sure were nice. I'll be heading back to the Sightron booth tomorrow to get more info.

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I took a quick stroll past the Leatherwood/Hi-Lux booth, and they had plenty of interesting. I couldn't get a photo of their externally-adjusted old-school replica US Army marksman scope (imagine a 2' long skinny tube sitting in rings with set screws that move the tube left to right and up and down) but I did find this. Again, not sure if it's old or new, but they've been good about providing products to the Canadian market, and although it looked a little rough around the edges, the big adjustment ring actually makes sense and felt really nice.

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It's not totally new, but for those SKS owners out there, ATI has a new-ish grey colour stock for you.

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But this is totally new; a stock setup they've just created for Stoeger and Benelli, and both will be available in Canada. And both were developed at Benelli and Stoeger's behest. They feels silly solid, although it makes for one heavy as hell Benelli M4.

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And these are the new magazine extensions ATI is making for the Benelli, Stoeger, Mossberg 590/500, and Winchester SXP.

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Also new (and coming here) is the Hatsan Escort stock set... and it's got a suggested retail of $150.

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And here's a product that ATI is quite excited about. Designed to work in concert with their Halo rail setup, these single shotshell-holding aluminium thingamabobs hold one shell a piece, and can be screwed on to the Halo rail system all over. They're available in a variety of colours, and let people choose where, and how many shells they want to carry.

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A better view:

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Here's a view of both the 590A1 Halo rail system with new shell holders, as well as the new SXP stock set, And the new Benelli M4 stock.

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But we need to change gears again. Rolling around the lower floor of the show, where all the ancillary and smaller companies were, I found Stack-On. This is just one their newest products; a smaller safe that's designed for pistol shooters. It comes with an electronic lock, the adjustable shelves, and door liner.

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And for the bowhunters out there, they also have these. To the right is a bow-only cabinet, while the left is a bow/gun combo. Also, both include adjustable inside storage and an external hook for hanging bows.

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And here is the tactical line of safes. They look slightly different from the rest of the Stack-On line, and feature new back-lit keypads. Inside, they have various adjustable stuff, and can house up to 14 long guns, accessories, handguns, and ammo.

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So, back to guns! Here we have the newest rails from Aimtech. Easily installed, these suckers are slated to come in at roughly $100, and are entirely machined from aluminum. I was verrrrrry impressed with the quality, and was downright flabberghasted at the price.

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And this is how they attach. Screwed into the scope mount holes on top of the receivers, they simply clamp around the barrel like a scope mount. Simple, but effective.

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Ok. Now if yesterday's news from Troy about the Canadian rifle was the biggest deal I came across yesterday, this is today's. It's a really friggin sweet digital, infra-red optic from Pulsar that fits onto your existing scope. I got a chance to try it out, and it's incredible. Inside is a small rectangular screen that projects the digital image, and the infra-red is super cool. And since it simply slips onto your scope, it means you can use it when you want, and not when you don't. Of course, it's not cheap... but it will be coming to Canada, of this I have been assured! Even better still, they might be advertising in Calibre!

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Now, this isn't quite as cool, but it still is pretty nifty and will come in with a substantially lower price... think sub $1K. It's a digital scope that has some of the same features as the previous one, but is a dedicated scope unto itself. Interestingly, it can be zeroed in one shot; you simply take the shot, and then use the dials to move the crosshairs onto the hole. A nice side-effect of it's completely digital design!

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It's not a gun, but man, I'd give my left nut for one. It's called the Local Motors Rally Fighter.

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Anyone hungry?

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Sadly, the folks at EAA had no Canadian rep, so I have no idea about these things' chances here but I'd say they're slim to none...

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Here's a close up view. They aren't terrible, although the old habits of grabbing the whole slide comes back to bite you in the ass when the slide's this small.

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This one looked really cool... but it's all painted or something, so it felt a little low rent. All the machining marks were all filled with paint and it just wasn't very good.

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WHOA! Beautiful guns at the Fausti booth, but terrible, terrible lighting.

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Alright, so the lighting kinda kills the engraving, but check out that walnut. Seriously, I thought Kreighoff's were nice looking guns, but these things are amazing.

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Now, I know it just looks like another really, really nicely engraved gun, but it's actually a 28 gauge side-by-side, and that engraving is TINY. It's the same engraving you get on a 12 gauge, but scaled down just like the receiver. Very, very nice gun.

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Check out that case hardening... and the engraving... and the inlay... and the wood-to-metal fit... and the pierced top lever. Ungh.

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Changing gears AGAIN! Here's the latest in wares from Rock Island Armory. Sadly, they'll continue making their other guns in barrel lengths of less than 4.2", but they have some new 1911s for us. The first is this; their new railed 1911. Now, I'd heard a lot about these things, bu was skeptical about their Made in the Philippine-roots. Having played with them now, I have no such qualms. They aren't Les Baer customs, but for an entry level gun they feel good. If they have a downside, it's just that their finish feels a little thin, but mechanically they feel tight and solid.

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And here's another RIA 1911, this one being their first offering in 10 mm. It's got all their options, like the G10 grips, ambi-safety, enlarged mag-well, adjustable rear sights and fiber optic fronts. It should be coming to Canada, and will soon be available in 10 mm, .45 ACP, and 9 mm.

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And here's a beast of a gun. A fully-railed double stack 1911 in .45 ACP, with adjustable sights and an enlarged magwell. Ugly, heavy, and pretty much useless to us Canadians, but fun for those Americans that can still stick 18 rounds in there.

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And now here's an interesting concoction. Called the TCM, it might look like a pretty normal double-stack 1911 (and is thus appropriately ugly), but it's what it fires that's special: 22 TCM. As far as I can tell, it's a 9 mm round necked down to throw a 40-grain .223 projectile out of a 5" barrel at 2,000 fps. Apparently it's incredibly mild to shoot, but packs some serious punch down range, and costs about as much per round as .45 ACP. Even better still, it comes with a spare 9 mm barrel, in case you want to shoot cheaply.

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Want a Bell & Carlson stock? There's a few kicking around here...

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You really need to poke around a high-end stock to appreciate them. These things feel super-rigid, but it was the manner in which the stock had been bedded that impressed me. You could see where the aluminium chassis had been blended into the fiberglass stock body by hand, and you could see where they had ground the aluminium down slightly to get a better fit onto to the action. And the finish was perfect... nice, grippy, and sweet looking.

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Apparently Pentax USA has a corporate edict that prevents these from coming into Canada. A real shame, that. Friendly staff, though... not too hard on the eyes, either!

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If zombies were the theme of SHOT Shows past, this year's theme seems to be pure, unadulterated fun. From pink camo to yellow finishes to crazy urban camos, there has been a TON of guns like these Walther .22s. Its great to see manufacturers coming around to the realization that there are plenty of people for whom guns are basically toys

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I've always had a thing for the CZ P-07 Duty, and in OD green, it looks even better. The only downside is the stupidly long trigger pull, because otherwise it's one hell of a nice gun. Meaty, with a nice, beefy grip, and a good trigger reset... and not a bad price, either.

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At the other end of the spectrum, there's this beautifully polished stainless CZ75B... I felt a little more gangsta just fondling it. It just screams Russian mafia to me.

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Here's another ungh-worthy gun. A fully race-prepped CZ75 TS, this thing was beee-yoooo-tiful. Slick as snot, and effortless in everything from it's slide actuation to it's amazing trigger, it was a practical pistol shooter's wet dream. I'm not a HUGE pistol guy, but I seriously didn't want to put it down. Seriously. The trigger pull was infinitesimally short and super-light, and the reset was a nice positive "snick." Blah. I need to stop talking before I buy one.

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Of course, if you put function over form to the extreme...

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Now, it wouldn't be a shot show pictures post without someone of the attractive female persuasion... but slow down there boys, she's 16, and she can probably outshoot you! She's Allie Barrett; factory-sponsored VQ shooter competing in rimfire and practical pistol competitions... and she does friggin' well, too. Look for this girl to move up the ranks pretty quick.

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Tomorrow I'll be taking my sorry ass back to the second floor for the majority of the day to dig deeper into the big gun manufacturer's new offerings. I've staggered around that convention centre for two days without a break so far, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface... that'll change tomorrow. I know Mossberg's got some stuff to show me, as do a few others... so check back tomorrow!

blaxsun
01-16-2013, 11:49 PM
Well, if Troy's actually involved in manufacturing that PDW stock - I'll actually buy one. Hopefully they'll be manufacturing it, because the QA @ NEA still leaves something to be desired.

Calibre
01-16-2013, 11:54 PM
The rumor on the street about this is that NEA and Troy have teamed up to come out with this design for a DI gun to run this style of MP5 style stock and I have to say if it works they are going to rock the sales Big Time! As many security personal would love to have a carbine but in a pdw configuration like this stock will offer.
Hence Sig's MPX...
Now if the MPX was in 7.62x25mm well that would defenatly kill the AR in 223 due to it's punching power in short barrel rig's.
Keep up the porn as I am loven it!
Any pic's on Magpul booth yet?

I walked past them once; they have the chain gun-mounted VW Bus in front... or is it a VW Bus with a mounted chain gun? I will be heading into their booth in earnest tomorrow though. Truth be told, today was all about trying to turn a buck; covering the show had to take a second seat. However, tomorrow I'll be in there early and out late to cover as much as possible on my last full day at SHOT.

blaxsun
01-17-2013, 12:03 AM
I walked past them once; they have the chain gun-mounted VW Bus in front... or is it a VW Bus with a mounted chain gun? I will be heading into their booth in earnest tomorrow though. Truth be told, today was all about trying to turn a buck; covering the show had to take a second seat. However, tomorrow I'll be in there early and out late to cover as much as possible on my last full day at SHOT.

Bring me back one of those PDW stocks, would you? Black please! :D

Calibre
01-17-2013, 12:06 AM
Ohhhh man if only I could. I've gotten some CRAZY access; everyone has been 100% amicable. The only restrictions I've gotten has been from Knight's (they have some defense contract stuff that's ITARed out the ass and totally protected), and Troy about that stock. I started asking questions and they just said "we cannot tell you anything about it." Apparently it's landed in the hands of very few people, and most of them either work for Troy are get their orders from SOCOM.

blaxsun
01-17-2013, 12:26 AM
Ah, well - at least if you've touched it - that should sustain me for a while!

Strewth
01-17-2013, 11:59 AM
More wow! That case hardened Cooper reciever, the detail and wood on the shotguns, just wow!
Oh, and if you could bring me back one of those CZ Czeckmate pisols, I'll...wash your car, and mow your lawn?:)

Is there a Chiappa booth there this year? I've heard about a new breakdown "survival" rifle?

Satain
01-17-2013, 02:29 PM
WOW!
That full length cooper is a thing of beauty. Don't know about shooting it but I would love to sit and stare at it all day.
As for my gear nut friend...
Some people say a picture speaks a thousand words...

Broke on Soldier Systems the other day.

http://soldiersystems.net/2013/01/11/north-eastern-arms-introduces-css/

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/CCS-440x660.jpg
http://gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?5687-It-s-here

Well, if Troy's actually involved in manufacturing that PDW stock - I'll actually buy one. Hopefully they'll be manufacturing it, because the QA @ NEA still leaves something to be desired.
Not the first project that NEA/Troy have worked on.

Calibre
01-17-2013, 09:04 PM
Ok folks, I'm back and today was about as incredible as I'd hoped. Business-wise, we made some HUGE leaps forward, and in terms of product we stumbled across of a hell of a lot of cool stuff. But, I'm headed out for a wee bit of a get-together, so I shall not be able to upload images until later on tonight. Just to let y'all know, I haven't forgotten about you!

bradofcanada
01-17-2013, 09:29 PM
Well welcome back,hope you had a good time :)

Drache
01-17-2013, 10:14 PM
Can someone get me R. Lee Ermey's autograph? He's at the Glock booth :o

Calibre
01-19-2013, 03:21 AM
Alright, monster post time. SHOT Show 2013 is officially in the books, and I've got over a hundred new photos to close it out. Here we go!

First off, a product that will be coming to Canada is the Versapod 300. This actually was release sometime in 2012, but it's their latest product, and one that's pretty cool. Combining the nifty Versapod deployment system with a QD mount, the 300 is available in both fixed and pivot varieties and can be had all the Versapod feet options (raptor, skis, flat, etc etc)... and US MSRP is just $150.

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I'd say it's pretty solid...

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Now here's something really exciting. Apparently when Bushmaster was absorbed into the Freedom Group about five years ago, FG's executives decided the company was quite overstaffed... so they fired a ton of people. Those people, who all signed five year non-compete clauses now make up the majority of the staff of Windham Weaponry, which started making ARs just last year. In fact, when FG moved Bushmaster's production facility from North Carolina to Ilion, New York, Windham fired up production in North Carolina, and hired the 70 already trained, former Bushmaster assembly guys, techs, machinists and armourers that Bushmaster left behind there. So, what you're looking at are Windham Weaponry guns built buy the same guys that can be credited with earning the great reputation Bushmaster used to lay claim to. And yes, you can get these things in Canada! We hope to get our mitts on a tester in an upcoming issue.

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Applying what they already knew about AR design in composite materials, and using the new company's fresh start to implement the advances of the past five years more seamlessly, they've made this composite AR that serves as both their lightest gun as well as their cheapest... would you believe this thing's got a US MSRP of $900!? And having handled it, it feels first-rate... and stupidly light. Stick a pencil barrel in it and I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

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Of course, they also offer plenty of AR-15s in aluminium too, from a basic government profile 16" for roughly $1K all the way to uber-pimped guns with all the options for, as you can see, $1,680.

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Need a knife? Sadly, SHOT Show organizers were really cracking down on sample sales this year, so try as I might, there didn't seem to be a deal to be found. :(

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Did someone ask about Magpul? They have a pretty small booth this year (the VW and bike took up some room though), and didn't have too much to offer in the way of new stuff. One of their newest product is visible here; their fixed-length AR buttstock. The international markets guy was uber-busy, so sadly, no details on timeline or pricing.

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Of course, if the MOE isn't your style, Magpul's also got this fixed length stock that is apparently new, too... at least according to the booth staff. I know, not the most exciting stuff.

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Also new (besides a bunch of Pmag styles and sizes of little interest to Canadians... like new AK Pmags) was the expansion of their shotgun MOE rig to include the Mossberg pumps. I personally think the stock's absolutely horrific, but that pump handle's sexy.

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Now, I realized at this point I'd taken a hell of a lot of photos of boring plastic bits and guns, so I thought I'd sit down with Benchmade for those guys out their that're into the sharp pointy things. They walked me through their new line, which includes this incredibly nice assisted folder. The biggest thing I found with it, besides the super-slick opening action, was how thin it was for it's length. It'd be a great pocket knife. Sigh. Being poor sucks.

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Especially when the next knife that came out of the cabinet was this beast. I know, it looks gargantuan, but this is a PROPER bushcraft knife. The blade's appropriately thick for batoning through lumber (take a look at the tang), and the G10 scales might look comically large, but they're perfect. If you were working with this knife a lot, you'd really come to appreciate how all that grip area spreads the load around your palm; it felt incredible. And those scales are held on by three titanium tubes with flared ends that you see. The holes were chosen over rivets so that the knife could be more securely fastened to a stick to make an impromptu spear, while the titanium makes sure they don't lose their grip nor corrode. And the sheath is equally incredible. When it officially makes it onto the market, I will be buying this knife. It's the sort of bush knife that your grandkids could end up inheriting and using.

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Staying with the knife trend, I stumbled over to Wenger, where the least helpful booth staff in the world pointed at a case. Inside it were their newest knives. That's all I know.

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Now, I think swiss-made "swiss army knives," be they Wenger or Victorinox, should be red. BUT, if your's isn't going to be red, it may as well boast scales like this! And that's for a keychain knife!

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Speaking of pretty things...

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Colt introduced these new oddly-finished ARs last year, and trotted out the entire lineup for our enjoyment. Here are the most intriguing ones:

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Now, I know taste is subjective, but to my eye those things looked like they belong in Call of Duty or Halo. Furthermore, the finish feels quite thick and slick, which in my hands just translated into feeling kind of cheap. So, when I got to the other side of the booth and found these suckers, the comparison was something else. Solid as friggin rocks, with a really nice finish and some interesting features (the machining on the magwell and gusseted trigger housing is interesting, as is the cool ambi mag release. Monolithic full-auto AR in 7.62, anyone? They had 'em in tan, OD green, and bronze.

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And just to frustrate everyone, I couldn't resist:

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Now, I am a big fan of the M14s, and I got a huge amount of personal enjoyment out of telling Americans that I had a Norinco M14s and hearing the various version of "you lucky bastard" that followed. It was pretty funny to hear Americans expressing jealousy over our available M1A/M14 options, given they get things like this:

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Neat stock, and a cool solution to the age-old problem of M1A cheek weld!

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By now, my feet had a few clicks on them over the course of the week, so I went to Danner and investigated their newest wares. The first is a training boot that combines a fully rubber-coated EVA outsole with a lightweight upper to make a boot that is actually lighter than my New Balance running shoes.

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Next up was the Melee; a product that came out in the latter bit of 2012. They're sort of the next step, and can be had in everything from these camo full boots to low-top shoes that look like they'd be at home in a skate park. But, they all have fast-rope friendly arches, box toes, and all the other features one wants in a combat boot. Apparently the low top version has gained a following with those that need such features but also need to be able to blend in with a civilian population. It's also worth noting that the staffer (yes, her) leading me around was wearing them, so they must be comfy.

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Ah. Chiappa. Yes. They had some interesting stuff, like this "Triple Threat," or as I call it, "The Most Obvious Attempt to Literally Ane-up Stoeger's 'Double Defence' Evar." And that's not a soft focus you see in the photo, it's my camera rejecting such abject stupidity. It holds three shots, and weighs two tons, but it felt decent and would probably withstand being used as an impromptu club without breaking down.

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But thankfully, if you want a short, awe-inspiring shotgun, you didn't even need to leave Chiappa's booth since they also had these new toys. Replicas of the old 1887, they were available in both Mare's leg and fully-stocked versions, with metal that ranged from blued to bead-blasted and black to this great case hardened one. It's the Terminator meets Antiques Roadshow. It too felt really solid, and the action was slick and smooth, so I can see these things being a really great alternative to the Norincos we already get.

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Not new, but still awesome:

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Now, as you can clearly see from the in-focus stickers, these ARE new... and they're awesome. Building off the success of their 1874 Sharps replica, they've taken that relatively expensive but well-made retro rifle and expanded it into a full line. The best news? That while the one that started it off last year fires the appropriate but expensive (and punishing) 45-70, these new ones shoot either .22LR or .17 Hornet. Talk about a great plinker. And with set triggers, and the sweet Sharps action, they'd be awesome to play with. The only question I've got is why the three they had at the show had aiming options ranging from a drilled and tapped receiver to a peep (replete with bubble level on the front sight!) to a blade/fiber optic. Call me crazy, but fiber optic tubes (on the bottom gun) and modern hooded front sights (such as on the peep-sighted one) look pretty weird on this thing, and I can't imagine what one would look like with a modern optic on it... where's the good old blade/post arrangement?! Beautiful actions though, and we can expect these in Canada.

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Conversely, we shouldn't expect this any time soon.

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And so too it is with these Christensen Arms rifles... at least if you're a plebeian like me! They are actually getting exported to Canada, but as you can see in the photos, these aren't your entry level ARs. You'd have to have bigger balls than me, and a wayyyy bigger wallet, to strap anything onto that rail.

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Again, any plebeians can just keep on trucking here; Swarovski's booth was about as high-end as they got. New stuff from them was pretty limited in the optic front, but they sure are nice to look at (and through).

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But in the realm of spotting scopes, they did have these new units:

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ERMAHGERD NO HE BROKE IT! OH SWEET JESUS SAVE US ALL! Oh wait, no, they're just modular spotting scopes. With three objective sizes (95mm, 85mm, and 65mm) and two different eyepieces (straight and angled), you can buy pieces as needed... you know, if you can afford it.

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Tanfoglio. Pretty... but locked up.

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Which brings us to Ruger. Some neat stuff here, including their new Guide Gun. Basically melding their giant .375 Ruger rifle with the Scout Rifle idea, this thing is a monster. For once, I can say "Do not want."

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But... when it comes to the new SR45, DO WANT. Basically a scaled up version of the SR9, it shoots .45 ACP, boasts ambi mag release, and feels great. Looks good, too. In the hand, there's no getting around it's big size, and although it's a polymer pistol it feels really substantial... sort of like a CZ or 1911 usually does. Expect it in Canada.

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In other news, Glock used SHOT 2013 to announce their newest procurement contract: the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

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Love 'em or hate 'em, you can never fault Glock perfection... er... um... I mean quality.

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Now here's something cool: the Blaser Tactical 2. Combining Blaser's weird action (you pull the bolt straight back, which in turn unlocks the bolt head, which is retained in battery by a bunch of lugs that expand concentrically out 360 degree around the bolt... google Blaser bolt for a picture) with a tactical chassis makes perfect sense: the huge 360-degree bolt engagement area can hold huge cartridges at bay and the straight pull bolt is both faster than a traditional bolt action layout and more modular (swapping to left-handed just requires removing the bolt and replacing it with a left assembly)... and since they're not made in America, these don't fall under ITAR...

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What's that? You can't afford to trade in your car for a rifle? Well in that case, never mind that Blaser, and take a look at Mossberg's new idea. Called Flex, it's a simple system that allows owners to swap stocks on and off all manner of Mossberg long arms in seconds.

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At the opposite spectrum from new, you have this old warhorse, now entering it's 102nd year of production! Still balls-out cool though.

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What? Not old enough? Ok, fine... how about this?

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Probably the single fastest way to go broke ever.

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Of course, you can't go to the Colt booth without taking some pictures of the M4/AR. I was told that Colt hopes to send a few more rifles up here this year, although truth be told, I don't know why they'd have said that to me given the buying frenzy down south!

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Love this fore-end. And the way it joins the receiver is just cool.

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This was the one big thing from Colt this year; a precision rifle developed with Cooper. Having debuted a little while ago, it's production ready now, and was designed with the sole purpose of helping Colt celebrate their anniversary. It's a .308 with a .22 barrel and a Surefire brake on the end. No word on export plans though.

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And this is why. Although I'm sure there will be those that blame the US buying frenzy for any gun shortages up here, the fact of the matter is that Colt freely admitted that they're throwing their weight behind this thing, which in turn puts their export rifles on the back burner. Currently serving primarily with MARSOC, they're putting a lot of resources into fulfilling the Marine 1911 contract. And if I was a marine, I'd be pretty friggin excited about that... I mean Lord Almighty, is this not a damned cool service pistol?!

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And of course, if you have trouble finding Colt ARs up here this year, at least you can take respite in the knowledge that Smith & Wesson's only recently signed off on an export permit to bring factory-backed M&P15s into the country!

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But not these. Bummer. I've always liked the Airweight.

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They also had a cabinet of some of their Performance Center's more memorable works. I think the turn of phrase I'm looking for is "If you have to ask, pal..."

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Bear defence done right? You be the judge.

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By the time you figure out how to aim the damned thing, I think the enemy'd already be upon you.

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If you judged that S&W Performance Center .357 Mag stubby to be "not enough gun" for your bear defence needs, I present you with this:

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Now, these Champion self-healing targets might not look too impressive, but when you consider what they were shot with, it's pretty incredible that they not only survived, but also survived largely unscathed.

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And they got 'em in all sorts of shapes.

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Also, Weaver's completely gone through their Grand Slam line for 2013, and what's emerged looks pretty unique. There's a lot new inside too; too much to recount here, but if you're in the market for a scope in that price range they might be worth looking into. The keynote pieces are the changes to the erector; first off the windage and elevation knobs are cupped internally, which combines with a raised ring on the erector housing to produce a far greater bearing surface internally, so adjustments are both more robust and more precise. Also, the single leaf spring that pressed the erector in place against the windage and elevation adjustments has been replaced with two. That means that instead of pushing the erector diagonally up and to the left, the new two leaf system keeps the pressure right on the adjuster itself. Again, it's just more precise, and more robust. Also, the replacement of a magnification right with the single machined eyepiece that rotates makes it much easier to made magnification changes with gloves on as you can just grab the whole eyepiece.

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And if you shoot off a rest, Blackhawk! unveiled these new rests at their booth as well. Nothing to write home about here... except that the fully loaded model in the middle retails with an MSRP of $170 in the US.

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Vltor's newest addition to the family is this foreend. It's relatively light, and incredibly solid, but allows for very easy changes to rifle setup, since it relies on keyways rather than threaded holes. Staff were all busy when I stopped by, so sadly I couldn't get more details than that... I had places to go and people to see!

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Now, if you've ever thought high quality optics weren't worth it, take a look at the photo below and then read the placard.

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Ever wondered what the inside of a scope looked like? Thank you Nightforce!

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Again, being an M1A/M14 fan, I couldn't pass up a chance to take a picture of LRB's wares...

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It's interesting to see how much of the forging is machined away during the manufacturing process... no wonder they cost so bloody much!

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Now, I like my tools... and I like to carry my tools around with me when I'm on the road. Maxpedition Gear is launching this new tool bag this year in both small and large (this is the small), and I quite liked it. Very robust, and fitted with a frame to keep the top square, it was well laid out and has plenty of pouches, pockets, sections, and webbing, so you really could set it up however you wanted. Very useful.

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New rifle from Stag... and not much to say about it except to mention that it's heavier than it looks. Can you sense that I'm getting tired yet?

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Ah. Now here we go. Insight was showing this off, and it'll be utterly useless to most, but for those that want a good laser, this is the one you've been wanting. Basically taking their full-size visible/infra laser rig we've all seen on rifles overseas and shrinking it down for smaller military consumption and civilian use, it's WAY smaller, substantially lighter, and slightly less powerful than the PEQ-15... but it's just as robust and way more economical. And since its lower output puts it into the realm of civilian laser technology, you might actually be able to buy one!

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New from Cadex are these aluminium chassis for all manner of bolt action rifles... but hold back your excitement until you hear the price: $2700.

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Which makes the roughly $700 TAC-21 chassis from MDT look very appealing. Of course, it only takes Remington 700 actions, but that's not much of a hardship! Now, I know these aren't new, but since they're so close by, we will be heading out to their factory for a feature in an upcoming issue on just how they make these beauties.

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Which bring us to what could be the biggest news for Canadians to come out of SHOT 2013... hopefully. Called the MSAR (which will change during import) it is made by Masterpiece Arms, takes AR-15 magazines, but is not a derivative of the AR-15. In fact, although the one pictured here uses AR-15 trigger components, Masterpiece Arms makes every piece and part in the rifle in-house, and is prepared to change the trigger specifications should the RCMP balk at the notion of an AR trigger in it. Better still, such a change would only take weeks to effect. Now, I'm not going to conjecture about price nor availability dates, nor even it's eventual classification except to say that Blue Line will be looking to bring it in as a non-restricted rifle, with a very attractive price tag. And I think I speak for everyone when I wish them only the absolute best of luck, as this thing would be pretty friggin cool.

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Now, I'm going sleep, but I'll post up a post of overall impressions, highlights, and other such observations later!

Strewth
01-19-2013, 11:00 AM
Oh wow Calibre, that was phenomenal! Thank you very much for all the pictures, and the hours that the write-ups must have taken you as well. This thread is the best I've ever seen on SHOT Show, my wife has been laughing at all my "Ohh's" and "Lookitthat's"! Back to the top for more drooling!

blaxsun
01-19-2013, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the writeup and all the pictures!

Calibre
01-19-2013, 01:10 PM
Glad you guys like it! Sadly, I woke up this morning with a cough that's nearly identical to that of the woman sitting next to me on the plane yesterday. I remember sitting down, hearing her cough, and saying to myself "son of a bitch... I know how this story ends." But if all I had to offer up at the altar of SHOT 2013 is my health, well hey, so be it. But I do add the caveat that what follows has been penned by a brain being actively manhandled by some cold medication.

Overall, the show was pretty cool... obviously. However, what was less apparent was the sort of attitude. As a SHOT newbie that's a veteran of many automotive trade shows, I was surprised at the amount of commerce going on; there were entire areas dedicated to dealers placing orders. I'm used to seeing dealers wander around cars and take note of things they want to carry in the future, but at SHOT there's hundreds of people actively filling out order forms for rifles and accessories at any given moment. Now, I mention this because I believe this commerce was responsible for SHOT's strange atmosphere. I had expected most folks down there to be somewhat embittered by the political morass they're fighting through, or perhaps be somewhat reserved, but the fact was that most manufacturers told me they were enjoying some of the best sales at the show they've ever enjoyed... and no one's unhappy when there's money being made. So, the overall atmosphere was excited, and most people were in a great mood... the polar opposite of what I expected.

But there was an underlying sense of entrenchment that was nice to see, too. To be honest, the rhetoric of the debate infuriates me as it's a debate that always seems to attract, bolster, and disseminate the most extreme opinions, but I really wish we Canadians took the same view of firearms ownership as Americans do. I didn't encounter a single American at the show willing to throw assault weapons under the bus, from the people at Boyd's that make such traditional accessories as laminated wood stocks (by the by, they are optimistic that 2013 might the year we see the export limit raised to $500) to people that sell strictly to the military and law-enforcement and shun the civvy market, they were all unanimous in their opining that any gun ban is a bad gun ban. The individual motivations ranged from worries over a tyrannical government's rise in the wake of economic instability (it sounded crazy to me until one fellow reminded me that A) they're arguably suffering a more controversial and emprical government than hey endured under British rule, and B) that they're an incredibly young country that really hasn't been around long enough to suffer the growing pains we see in very, very old places like the middle east) to a simple desire for home or personal defence. And some just referred to the famous slogan, saying the American motto isn't "life, liberty, and the pursuit of subsistence," which I thought was a great argument to bring to the table for those "why do you need an AR" types.

Conversely, wandering around Vegas and talking to cabbies, bartenders, and various others, I found myself faced with quite a few anti-gun types. Now, I wasn't there to win over hearts and minds, so I took the opportunity to plumb the depths of the illogical argument, and what I saw was little more than emotionally-driven, groundless arguments that hinged on people placing themselves out of harm's theoretical way. My cab driver on the way home actually was the worst, and took my explanation of why I was in Vegas as a chance to tell me all about how she thinks no one should own an AK-47. I could only take it for so long, and as the meter ran over $45 I figured "screw it, if I'm paying you you're going to listen to me," so I posited the question of what SHE would do if she were given an AK-47. Her response was simply that she'd refuse it, so I said, what if it was a legal responsibility, mandated by legislation, that demanded you keep an assault rifle in your home in much the same manner as the Swiss do? Her answer was that she would probably just put it in her closet and leave it there, "unless she needed it." So, with the groundwork already laid by her own admission, I asked her what the logic was behind her belief that if SHE would be capable of responsibly owning an "assault weapon," others are not. She said "Great weather this weekend!" Again, it seems to be a matter of wilful ignorance on the anti-gunner's part to ignore fact and reason, which I have trouble seeing stand up against the well-informed and unemotional responses of the pro-gun crowd.

Now, to bring the focus around the Canadian market, I think we Canucks have a lot to look forward to. Wandering around and introducing myself as a Canadian publisher, I was met with big welcomes and lots of "it's about time you guys got a gun magazine" comments from people the genuinely seemed interested in the Canadian market... only a handful of people did the "oh, you're from Canada? We don't do any business there." Interestingly too, lots of people from all over the US asked me plenty of questions about our market, and a surprising amount referred to our extinct long gun registry and offered up congratulations. Combine this interest with the fact that US companies like Troy are now actually stepping up to the plate to build guns specifically for our market, as well as the success enjoyed by our various distributors that were shopping around down there, and I got the distinct impression that American gun companies are coming to appreciate the Canadian gun market.

And from a personal standpoint, the show was a huge success. Having the opportunity to meet thousands of people including a few groups of pretty tight-knit Canadian industry insiders was great, and although I am not one to count chickens before they hatch, I feel Calibre might have a shot at long-term survival. Everyone seemed to love the magazine, and the response from most was incredibly supportive... especially from the aforementioned Canadian industry guys. I owe a huge amount of gratitude to Blue Line Activities for helping me out, and am excited to attack the mondo stack of business cards I've got to address in an effort to sell some advertising space and secure the magazine's future.

But for now, I think I'm going to lay down and drown myself in Nyquil. Thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoyed my take on the show, and please feel free to tell a buddy, gun shop owner, or range dude about what we're trying to accomplish here!

jono_619
01-19-2013, 01:29 PM
Thanks again for the pics and reviews. This thread alone could have been it's own magazine issue.

CanuckWR
01-19-2013, 07:33 PM
Great coverage, even though I am sure you didn't get enough pictures to scratch the surface of what is at SHOT.

5.56 Medic
01-21-2013, 05:46 AM
Thanks Calibre, great read and love the pictures. May I have some more?!! I emailed some of the magazines advetisers to thank them for supporting our magazine. Keep up the good work!

Jarlath
01-21-2013, 01:01 PM
It was a pleasure to meet you too at our CSSA Meet and Greet. I apoligize for not being here in GOC to promote the event, but it was pretty much last minute.

jwirecom109
01-21-2013, 01:06 PM
Next Year Jarlath

Jarlath
01-21-2013, 01:17 PM
Next Year Jarlath

You are damned right! :)

3MTA3
01-21-2013, 05:08 PM
Wow! -Thanks

Calibre
01-21-2013, 11:47 PM
Glad everyone's digging the pictures! We just survived our first day in the office, beset upon by both influenza and email hackers... but I'll be damned if that's going to slow us down.

Next issue's scheduled for March, and we'll be updating everyone on the progress of that issue both here on GOC as well as on our Facebook page.

TheCanAm
01-23-2013, 10:36 PM
What's that white stuff on the fountain? People outside the Lower Mainland talk about it....ece? aic? eyess...something like that.

LOL! (oops my son is sleeping)

Pyro
01-27-2013, 12:24 PM
Hey Daniel,

I enjoyed meeting and briefly speaking with you at Jarlath's gig.
I hope to contribute articles and photos to your publication!

Cheers,

Jarlath
01-29-2013, 11:14 AM
Hey Daniel,

I enjoyed meeting and briefly speaking with you at Jarlath's gig.
I hope to contribute articles and photos to your publication!

Cheers,
And argue about Canadian firearms :)