Friday, February 5, 2016

SHOT Show 2016 in Review Part 2

Sorry it took so long for this follow up but like many who came back from SHOT we were also stuck with the creeping crude that goes around some of these events … LOL but its past time for my Part 2 review…

I left off with Springfield XDS series and as I said I can no longer be a naysayer… but let’s chat about some of the other offerings that I was able to test.  There were many AR15’s out there and some of you will think I’m pretty mean but if you’ve shot some of the best out there it’s hard to judge 30 more variants of the same platform and be wowed. Different rail systems, barrel lengths, suppressors, triggers, dot systems, side chargers, stocks… not many changes.  It could be that I work with a group of guys at PDWarehouse in Chandler, AZ that build a very nice custom AR and do some gorgeous Cerakoting too so I guess I’m a little jaded about them.  So other than Daniel Defense, Barrett and Colt I won’t be talking about AR’s this year.

But until I get to them let’s talk about a little gun that surprised me this year. Kimber’s K6s revolver is a 6 shot hammerless 357 magnum revolver that performs.  It is stainless steel and weighs in at 23 oz but doesn’t feel that heavy.  It’s been crafted with smooth edges for non-snag when removing from concealment and the trigger is no less than you would expect from Kimber smooth match grade with a clean action. I was able to shoot it with 357 magnum rounds and, of course, my expectations were that it was going to hurt. But, once again, I was surprised and it delivered much more controlled recoil than anticipated. Now it is 23 oz and it is stainless steel but I’ve shot 357 magnums out of other small heavy revolvers and it hurts. So call it voodoo magic but I was impressed.  It comes in on the high dollar scale for a 2 inch revolver but for those who love Kimber it will not be a stretch.

Another manufacturer that I just cannot resist visiting is Barrett. This year they were unable to bring the 50 caliber due to range restrictions but did bring a beautiful MRAD in 308. And I just want to say that thank God for young men with a great deal of patience because as I stepped up to shoot this great piece of equipment the hardest part of the whole exercise was finding the target at over 900 yards. It appears that bifocals, old age and some of the scopes don’t always coordinate in a smooth sight acquisition but a little help from my trusty helper from Barrett I was successful and managed to pick off the long shot. It was a frustrating but had a very satisfying finish.

Our next stop was Ruger to check out their newest additions the Ruger “American” striker fired
pistols in 9mm and 45ACP.  I’m not sure why Ruger felt that they needed another full size 9mm and 45ACP but we took the time to check them out and there is really nothing to rave about. We actually liked the SR9 and SR9c pistols but we were completely under impressed with these new ones. They are big and heavier than other polymer framed guns. The trigger is nothing to write home about and to be perfectly honest they were not worth much more time or effort. Sorry Ruger but better luck next design.
Armscor / Rock Island is another brand that keeps delivering. If you want to get into a 1911 and you don't have $1000 plus to do that then give these guys a try. They've got them from the GI model down to the carry version Baby Rock 1911. They are performers but they are affordable. I had the opportunity to shoot one with a suppressor and one of the original GI series and truly had a blast. Great products ... Great prices!! Check them out.

And I generally save the best for last stopping at Daniel Defense and they did not disappoint. I started with their beautiful DDM4 / MK18 300BLK SBR in Tan. What a sweet, quiet piece of high quality equipment to shoot. On to their DD5VI 7.62X51 (308) not only good looking but  a reach out and touch kind of firearm that the 50 yard bay did not do justice to. But the accuracy and quality shines through. Daniel Defense has some great looking furniture that has very good ergonomics as well. And last but not least their DD4M in 5.56 full auto all in basic black. All I can say about this firearm is that they never give you enough ammunition. Sweet to shoot, accurate, functions smoothly and very easy to manage…can’t ask for much more.

The next day we spent at SHOT Show proper and checked out some new knives by Benchmade and visited with old friends like Bill Murphy of Surefire Institute, touched based with Medal of Honor recipients, Gold Star Moms, some of the industry’s great shooters like Julie Golob and some outstanding bloggers and podcasters like Kenn Blanchard "Black Man with a Gun". By then I was really running out of steam but so happy that we were able to make the trip. SHOT Show is a huge hassle but the common bond and joy of being part of the gun industry is worth the hassle. Over the years I don’t believe I’ve ever felt a camaraderie like the one with other gun owners, whether it’s at a local match or at one of the top
events of the year.  I’m thankful every day that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of it all.

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