Innovative Products Primed To Boost Business.
At the 2015 SHOT Show, buyers from law enforcement agencies and the military crowded in with distributors and independent retailers — all looking to see what was new at the booths of nearly 500 law enforcement and tactical exhibitors.
Notable Long Guns
Like years past, the L.E./tactical market continues to be a hotbed for MSR-style rifles. SIG SAUER introduced the MCX at SHOT Show, garnering interest from dealers. According to Adam Agri, SIG SAUER factory test engineer, the MCX is a new platform that will allow the user to change calibers, stocks and handguards with just a few quick motions.
Scott Harp from Lotus Gunworks in Jensen Beach, Fla., was impressed with the MCX.
“The MCX carbine is a good balance of innovation versus compatibility with existing products,” he noted.
Jeff Chau of Jensen Arms Company in Loveland, Colo., also liked what he saw from another new product: the SIG MPX.
“The short-barreled MPX rifles will be pretty cool when SIG releases them,” he said.
Joe Collier, owner of Collier Rifles in Millen, Ga., liked Barnes Precision Machine’s new MSRs.
“Barnes Precision Machine had some MSRs that had quite a few upgrades for a nice price,” he said.
Collier also appreciated SWAT Firearms’ billet upper and lower receivers.
“They had some new designs on some handguards that I really liked,” he said.
John Wier, president of SRT Supply in St. Petersburg, Fla., was impressed with the rifles from Bergara — and also liked what he saw at Lancer Systems. He particularly liked the new Lancer L30 Long Range Tactical (LRT).
“All the new Lancer sniper rifles and accessories are really well done,” he said. “With the L30 LRT, they’re guaranteeing a half-minute-of-angle in a semiautomatic gun.”
Eric Hendricks, Custom Shop sales coordinator for Bergara, said he is seeing an increased emphasis on chassis rifles.
“They’ve always been big, but the trend is drifting more and more away from traditional rifles,” he noted. “Bergara has a line of rifles geared toward the Precision Rifle Series, and also toward shooters who want chassis guns.”
David Thralls at KE Arms in Phoenix liked the charging handles from BeatenZone Manufacturing.
“They had one called the ATCH with levers that flip out and retract,” he said.
KE Arms is a manufacturer as well as a retailer, and Thralls said they exhibited a drop-in trigger that he likes better than any other drop-in trigger he saw at the show.
“It’s called the KE Arms Duty Trigger,” he explained. “It’s a 4- to 4.5-pound, adjustable reset, drop-in trigger with titanium nitrite coating. It will fit any MSR or .308 receiver.”
New for 2015, SIG SAUER’s MCX accepts a broad range of accessories and
components — making it a very modular system, which will appeal to
According to Wier, one trend in the industry in the last few years has been a big push on suppressors in both L.E. and commercial markets.
“There are a lot of workers’ compensation issues for L.E. if you have a shooting inside and it blows out your hearing,” he said.
Richard Taylor from the Firing Line in Aurora, Calif., agreed.
“I think if the EPA or OSHA were involved, suppressors would be mandatory. When you use suppressors, you don’t have to worry about noise pollution or hearing loss,” he added.
GEMTECH’s new bolt carrier group caught Chau’s attention.
“The GEMTECH 5.56 Suppressed Bolt Carrier could change the industry in terms of how silencers are run. You can select how much gas you have coming back at you,” he said.
Dead Air Armament’s line of suppressors stood out to Wier.
“I liked the suppressors from Dead Air,” he said. “Their suppressors are built for .30-caliber bullets, but they have a 5.56 end cap that’s replaceable.”
SIG SAUER SILENCERS, which began operating last year, piqued Harp’s interest at the show.
“I like the price point, mounting system, weight and decibel numbers of their suppressors,” he said.
Some of SureFire’s new products were 9mm suppressors.
“SureFire has a big .338 Lapua suppressor in their SOCOM series,” Taylor noted.
Tyler Clark at Boise Gun Company in Boise, Idaho, said SilencerCo has released a shotgun suppressor — the Salvo 12 — for the general public and it can be easily moved from gun to gun.
“The Salvo 12 is very user-friendly,” he said. “GEMTECH also has a new suppressor called ‘The ONE’ that can handle every rifle.”
Leupold’s D-EVO attracted a substantial amount of interest from dealers.
This carbine optic can be fused with nearly any red-dot to provide a
magnified image for long-range shooting.
In optics, Leupold’s new D-EVO attracted a considerable amount of attention from dealers at the show. According to Tim Lesser, Leupold’s director of product development, “D-EVO” stands for Dual-Enhanced View Optic.
“It’s a 6x20mm platform that looks around existing red-dot or holographic sights,” he said. “This eliminates the need for flip-out magnifiers, and allows the shooter to use both optics simultaneously, without adjusting cheek weld. The reticle compensates for bullet drop out to 600 meters and also compensates for the lateral offset of the D-EVO around the other sight.”
Harp appreciated the D-EVO’s innovative features.
“It’s out-of-the-box thinking,” he said. “You just look down — kind of like you would with a bifocal — and catch this periscope thing that sticks off the side of the gun that gives you six times the magnification and still allows you to use your existing red-dot optic.”
Mike Cecil, president of CS Tactical in Elk Grove, Calif., contended the D-EVO is an entirely new concept in optics.
“It’s a reflective lens system that’s like a periscope,” he added. “It lets you use a normal 3X power system with a red-dot right above it, so you don’t have to move your head to go from a zero magnification red-dot system to a magnified system.”
Taylor also zeroed in on Leupold’s D-EVO.
“It has a 1-power and then a magnified optic that goes behind it,” he said. “It’s relatively expensive, but very impressive.”
Wayne Debarry, Nightforce marketing specialist, said many of his company’s 2015 introductions were directed at the competitive shooting market — but that they’ve carried over into the tactical environment as well.
“The ATACR 5-25x56F1 and ATACR 4-16x42F1 are first focal plane scopes,” he said. “They were born and bred from a military background, and applied to a competitive market. First focal plane is what long-range precision rifle shooters really want.”
Thralls thought Nightforce had some high-quality optics.
“I appreciate the quality and clarity of the glass,” he said. “The adjustment for the zoom is a knob you slide. It’s a nice, progressive adjustment that’s deliberate without being something you have to fight to get the optic to zoom in.”
Cecil found a Nightforce scope that would appeal to his long-range customers.
“They came out with a new long-range precision tactical scope that looks like it’s going to be a fabulous add-on to the wide selection they already offer,” he said.
Speaking at the Bushnell booth, Mike Capps, Howard Communications senior account executive, said the number of people involved in long-range shooting is continuing to increase.
“This has grown out of the tactical market,” he said. “So the tactical market has increased not only in the L.E. field, but also in the tactical shoots taking place. Bushnell has brought out a number of new tactical scopes in the Elite line, and they’ve introduced several new reticles for the market.”
Taylor noted Schmidt & Bender’s top of the line scopes.
“They’re very expensive,” he said. “You’re looking at $4,000-plus, but they’re very nice shorter scopes.”
Cecil maintained his focus on optics, with several others makers attracting his attention.
“I liked the Tangent Theta scopes,” he added. “The light transmission is cleaner and clearer than what’s been previously offered. They have a high-grade optical system that offers amazing glass and every feature you’d want for recreational shooters to L.E. to military long-distance shooting.”
Cecil said Kahles’ scopes also stood out.
“They offer lightweight long-range scopes for the competition shooter to law enforcement and military,” he said. “They have the parallax adjustment right below the elevation turret instead of to the side, and the reticles are well laid out so they’re very usable for any application.”
Point Blank’s Alpha Elite body armor has been ergonomically designed
for a tailored fit with minimum visibility. Models are available for
men (left) and women.
Magpul’s new 60-round drum magazine — the PMAG D-60 — appealed to Chau. In addition, the Enhanced Duty Slide from Primary Weapons Systems caught his attention.
“Primary Weapons Systems has a really cool Glock slide,” he said. “You take the standard slide off, put this slide on the gun and it makes the trigger super lightweight, crisp and clean.”
Wier noted an increase in body armor products.
“Point Blank has a new ballistic line called the Alpha Elite that’s the lightest, thinnest vest I’ve seen,” he said.
Clark said body armor is getting lighter and performing better as technology improves.
“DKX has released armor plating that’s light enough and of low enough density it can float,” he said. “The plate weighs almost nothing; it’s a plastic, not a traditional ceramic or Kevlar.”
Chau also liked some of the triggers from Geissele Automatics.
“They have the new Super Sabra trigger and boy, is that nice,” he said.
The L.E./Tactical market continues to be an expanding, popular segment of the SHOT Show and dealers can expect these products — where legal — will appeal to civilian customers as well.
Save The Date
The SHOT Show will return to the Sands Expo & Convention Center Jan. 19-22, 2016.
By Carolee Anita Boyles
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