This year I decided to end my embargo of going to the "Smith & Wesson" (tm) booth.
I figure that since they are a presenter at the SHOT Show and that I am media that I should be ok going to their booth and showing pictures of their trademarked products without fear of additional threats of litigation. I should point out (per their cease and desist letter) that I am not affiliated with the company or products and that any logos or products shown are registered trademarks of the company.
Anyway, I wanted to go to the booth to meet some really great shooters. I did actually ask the reps a question, which I did not really get an answer to, but I will cover that in a later post. Onto the shooters!
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Julie Goleb and Jim Scoutten!
I am a fan of STI and also a big fan of the 10mm which they now offer a couple. It is always nice to take a look at their pistols.
Every STI on display had an exceptional fit and finish. Everything on each pistol has tight tolerances but yet remains smooth functioning. This includes the Trojan.
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I am a fan of RRA. IMO, they build a good product for the money. They are one of the few AR companies that has an accuracy guarantee on their rifles and have always supported multiple caliber platforms like the 6.8SPC, 458 SOCOM, etc. when other companies wouldn't.
One of the products that I was interested in was another that you wouldn't expect someone to make. The first was a revolver from a 1911 company (Kimber), and this one was a 1911 from an AR company (RRA). And not just an AR but a polymer framed 1911. I was thinking weight savings, slim line, and front/back strap checkering.
Well, these took a while to come out and I had a chance to take a look. And after hearing how well-made their prior line of all steel 1911s were, I have to admit that I was very disappointed in the Poly.
Lightweight? Umm...it didn't seem that much lighter. Their specs say 32.64 oz. A Colt 1991 is 35oz.
Slim? Umm...not at all. In fact, I think it is fatter than a ParaOrdnance double-stack! When I mentioned this, the rep. felt it necessary to point out that it was not in fact a double-stack.
Checkering? Yes! This was done very well. Some might find it aggressive, but I liked it.
Fit and finish? Well, that is where I have to say I was disappointed. They will need a serious breaking in. I don't just mean tight barrel/slide, slide/frame, etc. But everything. The trigger, the slide lock, and especially the safety. It was all very STIFF.
I didn't try out their regular line of 1911s since they are so highly regarded. I do wish that I did. I was just very surprised at the Poly.
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That's it for tonight. More to come tomorrow!
The Remington, err, Freedom Group booth was huge! It was a very nice walk in arrangement of multiple vendors (Bushmaster, DPMS, AAC, etc).
They had a nice display of the RM380 with multiple versions to play with. In the exact same spot and arrangement as they had for the R51 two years back. That begged the question, of course, WTF happened to the R51? So I asked.
The rep. was a little embarrassed and said that the project was still active, however, that they had not fully worked out all of the problems (holy cow!) and that they would not release it (again that is) until they were all resolved. I offered my support of the concept (it felt great in the hands and a polymer lightweight +P pistols sub-$450?) but that I wouldn't be holding my breath. I do hope that they get it worked out, but from the looks of things - I got the impression that they just wanted to forget that it ever existed and move on.
I wasn't super excited by the RM380.
More suppressors you say?
One of the companies that I wanted to visit was Rugged Suppressor. They come highly recommended from SilencerShop.com, especially now that they are not a supplier of SilencerCo (don't know the story on that deal).
Who are they? Apparently, the founder is the former head of SWR prior to it being bought out by SilencerCo. If I heard correctly as I was walking up, the Octane was his design.
I took a look at the Obsidian. If is a modular pistol suppressor. You simply twist off the bottom part of the suppressor and it removes a baffle and part of the tube leaving you a "short" suppressor. Probably of not a lot of functional need - but very cool.
I talked baffles and longevity with them. Their baffles are made of a proprietary material called "Stellite." They said that it is much more durable than stainless and aluminum. MSRP is $950.
The product looked good and they have the knowledge to make good suppressors, but my only concern would be that they are a very young company having only launched their first product in 2014.
P.S. to the person that asked me to go to the Strike booth, my apologies! If you click on the below pic you will see that it was actually at the top of the list in my notebook to visit. I couldn't find it on the first pass and never got a chance to try again. Sorry.
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Speaking of suppressors, I also stopped by the AAC booth and chatted with one of their reps. It was nestled in the "Freedom" booth along with several other brands like Remington, Bushmaster, etc.
I chatted with them about using aluminum baffles and they were very adamant that their aluminum baffles lasted longer than stainless, were lighter, and had better sound suppression despite others' printed numbers. You can write it off as just company propaganda but sound tests I have seen do seem to indicate that shooters perceive the sound from a TiRANT to be less than other brands - despite what the print #'s indicate. Regardless, nice products and the person was very knowledgeable as we chatted suppressor cleaning.
One of my favorite booths to visit was SilencerCo. They had plenty of product on display that you could handle and the staff was attentive and friendly. I was hoping that they were going to have a modular pistol suppressor (a full size that you can take a baffle out and make a short length) coming out but they have no plans currently. Both Rugged and AAC have one now.
However, they had one of the coolest pistols at SHOT that I got a chance to handle: The Maxim.
Initially, I wasn't too interested due to how bulky it looks in pictures and that it was based on the S&W (tm) M&P (tm) pistol. I am pleased to report that the final specs are in and the pistol will take Glock 17 mags AND Glock sights!
Handling the pistol was a completely surprise. It is not heavy or front-heavy what so ever! It is very manageable and promises to be a great shooter. While they may not be building a modular suppressor they are building some out of the box stuff. Remember when the wild looking (not round) Osprey came out?
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There has been a lot of questions on this somewhat of a surprise new product. I have to admit, being a revolver fan, I was excited about it myself. Not too many new revolvers, especially from a non-revolver company.
The K6s was not a disappointment. It is a cross between the Ruger SP-101 with its beefiness and a S&W (tm) J-frame magnum or more specifically the 640 Pro (tm) with its sights and moon clips. The price reflects this (the other product has an MSRP of $839).
The trigger was very good (keep in mind stock pistol) - Smooth pull that is not too long. The initial pull stacks a little but I suspect that it is on purpose. The grips were decent - they had both rubber and wood although the wood is not in the catalog. These were pre-production guns as noted by the wood grips that were stamped "SHOT Show 2016" and their SN's.
Some things I noticed: They rotate counter clockwise and the back-strap is serrated. It's cut for moon clips. Overall it is very well done. I can't wait to see what other models they come out with (with moon clips hopefully semi-auto round chamberings are next).
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Check out the SN and the SHOT Show grips:
So, a bunch of us were waiting patiently in line to look at, what appeared to be, the only K6s in the booth.
After viewing it, leaving, we all noticed that there was a stack of them on display a few feet away. LOL
Here are pics of the K6s brochure. I include it here because I know that not everyone has seen it yet, and it also contains all the details:
Nighthawk had a set of absolutely fabulous custom Browning HiPowers on display!
These pistols were amazing. The trigger was AMAZING, what you expect a good single action pistol to be. The shape of the trigger was almost straight, unlike most HP triggers including the C&S. Much thinner than the C&S also. Definitely for and from 1911 folks. The grips (there were wood and synthetic) were THIN. This is great considering that thin HP grips are hard to find now.
I had the chance encounter of being at their booth at the same time as some of the guys from FN actually taking a look at the pistol. I am not sure if they were too happy with the pic but they did reluctantly agree. I said that I thought it was amazing custom work and they agreed. Very cool chance meeting.