SHOT Show 2018

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20 Jan 2018 10:45 #1 by 22F
22F created the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Welp, I’m flying out on a jet plane! (You buggers are lucky you can’t hear me mangle that song)

Off to that hive of scum and villainy that is Las Vegas again.
I’ll let you mob know how cool I am and how much cool guy gear I saw when I get back.
Seyla!


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20 Jan 2018 11:06 #2 by Skip
Skip replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Have a blast.

If you get a chance to have a Squizzy. See what’s lurking in the new toys part in TNVC booth.

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20 Jan 2018 13:01 #3 by sigsako
sigsako replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
I'll add, anything Thermal. It would be nice to see what is developing and then get disappointed we can't get it.

Have fun 22F!
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21 Jan 2018 01:28 #4 by proshooter
proshooter replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Ahh don't forget you can have the latest in mil spec here now :whistle: Just had one arrive a couple of days ago. Even the y.... are buying them :dry: cos they are better than "theirs"

www.australianshootingservices.com.au
Specializing in Night Vision.
Importer of General Starlight Company Inc. Night vision -
High end Thermal and Image Intensifying, including Gen 3.
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29 Jan 2018 15:12 #5 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
I just arrived home from another SHOT Show.

It’s been a great week catching up with old friends, making new ones and running around like a headless chook to various meetings.

Some very interesting things are likely to come out of this year’s show, probably the most exciting is to participate in a multi-national podcast to discuss gear and it’s usage in various environments.
This is likely to include design considerations, load packing and usage as well as considerations for different environments.
I’m really excited by this.

Just like last year, I’ll be discussing my observations over the next few weeks.


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02 Feb 2018 09:53 #6 by Moo Moo
Moo Moo replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
I've watched a ton of 2018 Shot Show videos on YouTube. Was super excited to see the re-release of the 44 Automag. Gee I hope they come to Australia.
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06 Feb 2018 23:43 #7 by Ernk
Ernk replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
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09 Feb 2018 10:02 #8 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
I actually saw that ultra concealable Glock modification.

It’s an interesting from an engineering viewpoint, but the real world compromises needed to make it work left me cold.

I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze for that particular platform.

On other news, I should have my first installment published this weekend or early next week.


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11 Feb 2018 22:22 #9 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Don't forget, all the cool pictures are on the blog!
Head on over to:
packsandbeyond.com/2018/02/shot-show-2018-part-1/#more-2995

SHOT Show 2018 – Part 1

SHOT Show 2018 was held in Las Vegas from the 23rd to the 26th of January this year.
As per last year, Packs and Beyond was acting as an ambassador for Crossfire Australia ( crossfire.com.au/ ). We would like to thank Crossfire Australia once more for this great opportunity.

RANGE DAY (Law Enforcement/Military)
Last year’s contacts enabled us access to this wonderful opportunity again.
It was a chance to soak up some sun, speak with like-minded people and work on our zen breathing with some really nice firearms.
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CZ USA
CZ USA continues to put on a great range day. A wide variety of their product, easy access and very knowledgeable staff made for a great time with them.
Thankfully, due to our sartorial elegance, the CZ staff remembered us. It was great to have a good chinwag (conversation) with them again.
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A first for me this year was shooting red dot equipped pistols. The P10 fitted with mini red dot and a SilencerCo Osprey suppressor was a nice combination.
I was impressed with red dot sights on a pistol. Since I shoot red dot optics on my rifles, it’s seems much easier to transition to other platforms with the same sight picture. Normally with pistols, after breaking the shot, I’m hunting to get iron sights back in alignment for a follow-up. This even occurs after years of instruction in the correct methodology for pistol shooting by a mate who’s a police pistol instructor).
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I found with a red dot with it’s single plane focus, I could get a useable sight picture so much faster. Whereas with iron sights, I would be hesitant to take such a rapid follow-up shot for fear of not being on target.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a picture of this suppressed and red dot equipped P10, for the simple reason that the person that used it after me seemed to break it. There seemed problems with the suppressor, which may have led to a baffle strike. Such a dangerous occurrence had range safety staff understandably concerned.
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A fun little rifle we were also able to try out was the CZ 527 American Synthetic in .300Blackout.

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When my colleague and I were greeted warmly by the CZ range supervisor when we grabbed the little suppressed bolt action, since everyone was wanting to shoot the SBR (Short Barrelled Rifle) CZ Bren in 5.56mm, I suspect the poor bloke was a bit tired of having the fillings in his teeth rattled by the muzzle blast of that little select fire Bren.
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I particularly enjoyed the little CZ527. Very little recoil made for a pleasant experience.
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cz-usa.com/
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FN America
SCAR16 SBR in 5.56x45mm NATO.
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Can I mention I love my job?

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This was the first time I’ve shot the SCAR17 in the powerhouse 7.62x51mm NATO.
For such a big round, the recoil was suprisingly light. I am told by friends in the industry however, that there is no such thing as a free lunch, as this platform is known to eat optics with it’s unique recoil impulse.
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Here, an old fossil finally gets to use a “real mans gun” again.
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FiveSeven Pistol
Shooting this PDW (Personal Defence Weapon) round was a first for me. It resembled a .22WMR in appearance. It seemed a very long round for a pistol magazine.
Recoil was virtually non-existent.
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fnamerica.com/
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SUREFIRE INSTITUTE
Surefire was showing their range of suppressors and new polymer AR15 lower receivers.
This new lower receiver differs from the usual offerings in the industry by being made from polymer with it’s attendant weight and cost savings as well as having a safety catch that operates when the weapon is uncocked.
As some of you may be aware, American designed weapons tend to have safety catches that only function (can be placed on SAFE) when the action is cocked. This is an old doctrinal requirement from US Military forces weapons designs.
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COBALT KINETICS
This was a company that really impressed me. The blokes behind it are a former Las Vegas Policeman and a former US Army Green Beret.

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Cobalt Kinetics are a small company that produce AR-15’s for the duty (military and law enforcement) and sporting markets, especially the popular 3-gun competition.
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The big thing Cobalt want to introduce with their products is removing operating steps from the weapon system, freeing up the operator to make more situational awareness decisions rather than diagnostic analysis of a suddenly non-functioning weapon. By this, Cobalt have produced a rifle that will automatically eject an empty magazine or release the bolt to when a full magazine is inserted.
I can see the usefulness of these functions for something like 3-gun competition where speed is of the essence, but I’m not sold on the utility for a duty weapon.
Here is their sample of a racegun for 3-gun competition where bolt release and magazine drop are automated.
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What I did like of the Cobalt line-up of unique features was the ambidextrous bolt forward assist that was also able to be used as a bolt release when fresh magazine is inserted. On a conventional, stock AR-15, when a fresh magazine in inserted into the magazine well, the support hand push/pulls the magazine, and then moves to hit the bolt release above the magazine well. Then the support hand has to move to the foregrip for a firing grip and move the sights onto target.

This is a suppressed AR carbine in .300Blackout with this feature.
With the Cobalt system, the firing hand can release the bolt after a fresh magazine is inserted, allowing the support hand to move faster out to the foregrip. I found it much faster than normal manipulations of the AR system. Having said that, I can see why it wouldn’t be seen as useful for those who already have years of memory operating the AR system. For someone like myself though, with little legacy training scars, this could be a very useful addition.
Cobalt also have other items to control weapon recoil.
A muzzle brake that is obnoxiously effective and a hydraulic buffer system that seemed very smooth. Standing to the sides and even behind an individual firing a 5.56mm rifle equipped with this muzzle brake was very noticeable.


www.cobaltkinetics.com/
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Alright then, in the next installment, we’ll look at some of the highlights from the main show that drew my attention.

Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.


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12 Feb 2018 16:40 #10 by Moo Moo
Moo Moo replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Nice work. I'd love to go to Shot Show one day but I think it would be too distressing. Seeing all those Cat D firearms that are unavailable to the "average shooter on the streets".
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12 Feb 2018 17:33 #11 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
Thanks mate.

Yeah, it is rather frustrating to look at and handle all those wonderful toys knowing I’m unlikely to own unless I immigrate to the States.

Given how a lot of my Yank mates keep telling me I need to get a job over there, it might happen one of these days.


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12 Feb 2018 20:13 #12 by Westy
Westy replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018

22F wrote: Thanks mate.

Yeah, it is rather frustrating to look at and handle all those wonderful toys knowing I’m unlikely to own unless I immigrate to the States.

Given how a lot of my Yank mates keep telling me I need to get a job over there, it might happen one of these days.


don't dream about it pack your shit up and Go-Go-Go I did and never have regretted it... Only regrets were flying home in 96 to face the new Gun Laws... Bugger.

Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.
-Mike Tyson-
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24 Feb 2018 22:54 #13 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
SHOT Show 2018 – Part 2
Full article with pretty pictures can be found at:
packsandbeyond.com/2018/02/shot-show-2018-part-2/

Just like last year, I’m planning on presenting my observations of SHOT show products and companies in several parts. Both to make it easier to write and digest for you, the reader.
Let me know if you like this format.

Something I am going to attempt to convey this year is the interactions with people of our tribe.
It’s one of those events where there’s a lot of cool toys and gear, but the most satisfying thing about the entire trip is meeting like-minded people from all over the world who are so passionate about the industry they’re in, their service to their country and community and passionate about quality gear for sport, hobby or duty.
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I can’t even begin to describe to a neophyte just how big SHOT Show is. There are miles and miles of companies hawking their wares. Do realise that this a trade show, not for retail or end-users. Hence why most of the interactions are business to business based, such as trying to entice capital and investment into new projects from start-up companies and inventors.
For myself and a colleague, SHOT Show is a work event where we attend on the behest of Crossfire Australia and act as agents for them in meetings with suppliers and also search for new products.
Packs and Beyond would like to thank Crossfire Australia for the opportunity to attend SHOT Show and allow us to conduct our own activities concurrently.
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So, we’ll move onto some of the products and companies that drew my eye.
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HILL PEOPLE GEAR
Owned and run by a couple of brothers (Scot and Evan) who have extensive outdoor experience in the mountains and backcountry in various outdoor roles.

Their design philosophy is to have durable gear that is modular between sizes of packs. Essentially, the smaller packs can be docked to larger packs as pockets.

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The Hill brothers have a similar belief that whilst the carried load in the outdoors needs to be as light as possible, ultralight design philosophies that are currently prevalent in the industry can be mis-applied at significant compromise to durability and personal safety.

Three factors draw my eye to the Brothers Hill:
1. Their design form and function for load bearing equipment
2. The earth tones of their colour palette
3. Innovative designs for unique products, away from mainstream trends
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One of the most unique products that Hill People Gear produce are their Kit Bag’s.

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These are very similar to a soldier’s chest webbing, for civilian bushwalkers to carry some essential items (such as navigation and survival aids, concealed pistols) without the bulk of traditional military load bearing systems. This allows the Kit Bag to be easily and conveniently worn under a pack harness and be sufficiently low profile to reduce snags.

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Make sure to check Hill People Gear out at:
hillpeoplegear.com/

AIMPOINT
Two new products I noticed at the Aimpoint stand this year.
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The first was the M5 red dot sight.
I believe the M5 came about due to a requriement from the US Department of State security teams wishing to have a small, compact red dot optic that used a AAA battery, instead of the CR2032 battery. Apparently, the AAA battery is easier to acquire in various parts of the world.
Weighing only 238g with mount, this M5 is comparable in size to the T1 series, but in a similar layout as the M4 series.
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The only thing that I and my colleagues could think that we didn’t like the M5 is the battery compartment placement up high on the optic body. Our suggestion that the battery location needed to be moved to the similar M4S model was apparently a repeated theme for the stand attendant.
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The second Aimpoint that really impressed me was slightly larger, in size and application.
The FCS13RE is a new development for crew served weapons such as M2 .50calibre heavy machineguns, 40mm grenade launching machineguns (such as Mk19 or H&K GMG) and Carl Gustav 84mm recoilles rifles.

It is a red dot sight with built-in ballistic computer and laser range finder that can be configured for over 50 different ballistic algorithms.
Being a red dot optic, it is almost parallax free with unlimited eye relief and uses Aimpoint’s usual NFE (Night Fighting Equipment) compatible technology.
The computer compensates for the ballistic drop of projectiles at measured distances, factoring in such variables as rotational drift, propellant temperature, terrain angle and designating airburst distance for appropriate munitions. It’s also capable of calculating lead (point of aim) for moving targets.

All this, weighing in at 1.4kg and operating off six AA batteries.
The FCS (Fire Control Computer) we examined was mounted to an 84mm Carl Gustav, a very useful short to medium range recoilles weapon that is capable of firing a variety of ammunition types from anti-armour HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank), Beehive APERS (Anti-Personnel ie. A big shotgun round) to ILLUM.
I was first introduced to Charlie Gutsache as it’s called in Australian service in the mid to late 90’s when I was a young, dopey Digger.
In those days, the all steel M2 version weighed in excess of 16kg’s with a basic telescopic sight.
The M4 version seen in these pictures weighs in about 8kg’s including the fancy Aimpoint FCS.
This is an amazing weight reduction.
Fitted with the FCS, this old warhorse is capable of defeating a great variety of targets found on the battlefield, with an increased hit probability at a considerably cheaper cost than using something like guided ATGM’s (Anti-Tabk Guided Missiles) such as Milan and Javelin. It even offers serious capabilities against such threats as helicopter gunships, countering a threat that has been problematic for many light infantry units.
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In short, I thought the Aimpoint FCS could be an extremely useful upgrade for heavy support weapons.
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www.aimpoint.com/

STUKEY’S STURDY SHOOTING BENCH
This shooting bench drew my eye due to it’s simple but strong construction. The company marketing shot showed a large F150 class truck sitting on four of these benches – one under each wheel.

Featuring no-tool setup, rock solid lock-up, and a large working space, this looked like a great piece of gear for those wanting a good bench for the home range.

www.shootingbenches.com/

MODERN SAMURAI PROJECT
This is a company that didn’t have a stand at SHOT. Instead, I was fortunate to meet the team behind it, Scott and his lovely wife Beverly. I’ve known the two of them via social media (especially the Primary and Secondary network) for some time, but it was great to finally put faces to names in the flesh.
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Scott (Jedi) is the Chief Instructor, and his specialty is teaching classes in private or small groups on basic self defence and firearms.
Services include introduction classes to self-defence, including striking, grappling, firearms manipulations and shooting sports.
In particular, Jedi is a big proponent for red dot sights on self defence handguns.
Since this year was the first time I managed to experience a red dot equipped pistol, I was very impressed with the utility of this setup. There appears to be many positives factors for pistols equipped with red dot sights, chief amongst them seems to be same sight picture as the rifle/carbine and ease of use.
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It was great to meet the Modern Samurai team, and hopefully sometime in the future hope to train with them.
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www.modernsamuraiproject.com/home.html

Alright then, let me what you think.
Stay tuned for Part 3 soon!


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29 Mar 2018 22:24 #14 by 22F
22F replied the topic: SHOT Show 2018
All my pretty pictures can be found at:
packsandbeyond.com/2018/03/shot-show-2018-part-3/

SHOT Show 2018 - Part 3

Alright then, we're up to Part 3 of my report from SHOT Show.
Last year, we mentioned a very talented young lady Sara Westman and her efforts.
Well, Sara isn't the only talented one in her family. Her younger brother Tommy has had a huge year. He's a recently graduated gunsmith who has opened his own shop (gun sales and custom gunsmith work), gotten himself married and now co-hosted his own stand at SHOT with another company that he's formed a partnership with.

ULFHEDNAR/ WESTMAN PRECISION
A Norwegian based company that develops equipment, clothing and weapons parts for hunting, long range and sports shooting in harsh Artic conditions.

Westman Precision has only opened in the last twelve months in the Iron Mountain area of Michigan, Tommy is working hard to make a name for himself.
We at Packs and Beyond are looking forward to seeing how this partnership between companies and this young man in particular will develop. We're also looking forward to developing further relations with Westman Precision.

Check out both companies at:
www.ulfhednar.no
westmanprecisionfirearms.com


EVIKE AIRSOFT
For many years, Airsoft (which is illegal here in Australia) has been the domain of spotty teeneagers playing guns in the woods. Nowadays, with the ever increasing need for budget conscious training for individuals and organisations, airsoft has found more utility.

Since these airsoft weapons can be made to almost any form, and shoot very cheap 6mm BB's, there is a significant area for Force-on-Force training and handling drills. The beauty of Evike's range is that real firearm accessories such as furniture and optics mounts can be mounted to the airsoft platform.
For competition shooters, just being able to use a mirror of one's competition rig for dry-firing is a very cheap and easy way to train for competition. This sort of training can be used for fine-tuning the firer's position (such as standing, kneeling) and trigger control.

It was hard to distinguish this Remington 870 from the real thing.

Evike also does some very cool science fiction conversions and less than serious pieces. In particular was the Mauser Broomhandle conversion to resemble Han Solo's DL-44 heavy blaster of Star Wars fame.

They also had a custom long barreled Kris Submachinegun that just looked the part for some futuristic science fiction thriller.

www.evike.com/


CELLPHONE PISTOL
A very unique firearm that was on display was the cellphone pistol. A double barreled derringer that folds up into the form factor of a smart phone.

Chambered in .380, it seemed directed to a market segment that needs deep concealment in what's referred to as non-permissive environments.

Like many designs that compromise some design points in favour of others, this one sacrifices ergonomics and magazine capacity for concealability.


US ARMOR
I was fortunate in meeting the crew behind US Armor that they were friends of one of my travelling companions. The social aspect of SHOT Show is something I truly enjoy. Meeting sympathetic like-minded people who are so welcoming of sartorially challenged travellers with a foreign accent far from home. The sort of lovely people who think that Australia's convict history is overblown, or has been left in the dustbin of history. The sort of people who don't realise that we are likely to acquire or liberate anything that isn't nailed down.

Fortunately for the US Armor crew, we couldn't find an easy way of making off with their central display of a powerful dirt bike configured for rescue in active shooter scenarios in remote and urban environments.

In one pannier was a fold-up ballistic blanket (rated to IIIA NIJ standards) to allow reinforcement of areas such as rooms or vehicles. It even allows evacuation of casualties.

The other pannier had a fold-up ballistic shield that allows easily portable protection for entry teams into such scenarios as counter active shooter.

Let me know what you think.

Watch this space for the next installment.


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