By Mark Kakkuri
Some of the best stuff at SHOT isn’t found in the booths of the well-established manufacturers but in the smaller booths in what SHOT calls the NEXT section — an area devoted to companies who are new to SHOT and who want to break into the guns and gear market. As I moseyed around the show, I noticed five products that may not get a lot of attention … but should. Here then, is a gun lock, holster, knife, training system and a pair of jeans you may have missed.
5.11 Defender Jeans:
5.11 is one of those larger, well-known brands — famous for their tactical clothing — but I wanted to point out what may be the most non-tactical and even boring item I saw at SHOT. And the most exciting and useful. The 5.11 Defender Jeans look like a regular pair of jeans — except they’re anything but. Made from a unique cotton/polyester mix, Defender Jeans are tough, they stretch (but they’re not “skinny jeans”), and, best of all, they have none of the tactical styling cues normally found on pants meant to accommodate a truckload of tactical gear. Defender Jeans, however, can handle some gear: pistol mags, rifle mags and 2-inch duty belts. They just don’t look like it. So they’re suitable for undercover work or civilian concealed carry — especially for those who value the tactical advantage of not looking tactical at all.
Child Safe 1 Gun Lock:
We’re grateful for innovations in safety, whether on guns or gun locks. In the case of Child Safe 1, its inventor, Lynwood Farr, created a gun lock using no electronics (at least not for the lock mechanism) but instead applied the philosophy of a child-safe medicine bottle cap — a lock only opening when adult-size strength is applied to just the right portions of the lock. The release mechanism is hidden, requiring a significant squeeze from a properly placed thumb and finger to open it, an operation taking about two seconds. Additional features include a 95-decibel motion sensor alarm, which not only alerts others when the gun lock has moved, but would also probably frighten a child into leaving the gun alone. A 120-decibel trigger block removal alarm also sounds if the trigger block is removed. The Child Safe 1 fits 99 percent of handguns and long guns on the market and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Talon Holsters Tuckable IWB Holster:
If you’ve ever wondered whether we’ve reached the apex of holster manufacturing, the answer is no. Enter the Talon Holsters Tuckable IWB Holster. American-made from U.S. steerhide, each Tuckable is designed for only one gun. In other words, it’s not a universal fit holster. This is the kind of holster you buy for civilian concealed carry — when there’s going to be a lot of gun-in and gun-out throughout the day. With only one steel clip, it’s easier to manipulate on and off belt and easier to hide. Made from genuine Hermann Oak steer leather, some break-in will be needed, but it will result in a more form-fitting holster for the gun and a more form-fitting holster on your person. And it’ll probably outlast your customers. Talon Holsters come with a “No Bull” guarantee: Customers will get their money back if not satisfied.
Colonial Knife Company CE 100 Bushcraft Knife:
Colonial Knife teamed up with custom knifemaker Abe Elias to make this special-edition bushcraft knife. Suitable for military personnel, survival instructors and bushcraft professionals, the CE 100 weighs 16 oz. and sports 154 CM blade steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59-C. The 4.5-inch long blade is 0.190 inches thick and fits into a quick-release, large-mouth belt-clip equipped Kydex sheath. Overall length is 8.5 inches.
MantisX Gun Training System:
Fitting on the tactical rail of a handgun, the MantisX training device looks like an accessory laser attachment. While it’s attached, however, it analyzes every squeeze of the trigger and generates data to an app to let you know how you’re doing in terms of gun movement during firing. If you’ve fired a handgun, you know you have certain proclivities. Maybe you pull right. Maybe you anticipate and push down. Maybe these change from shot to shot. You’ll never know until you collect real data, analyze it and then train to correct any problems. And that’s what MantisX does — consistently but inconspicuously. Use it during dry fire or live fire, you’ll soon have real data about how your gun moves during a trigger squeeze and follow up. It comes with a smartphone app, micro-USB charging cable, one-year limited warranty and 45-day money back guarantee.