As I write this on the shuttle bus back to Treasure Island, it’s hard to decide where to start to recap SHOT Show 2013’s Media Day—the unseasonably cold weather, the whipping wind, or, oh yeah, all the awesome guns I got to play with? Probably the last one.
After you enter Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club’s range and make your way past the shivering company reps at their booths, you get to one of the most famous and fun parts of SHOT Show—the Media Day firing line. This year’s selection of firearms was no exception to the rule of innovative and exciting new products. I’ll detail some of the highlights below.
IWI Tavor SAR
One of the most anticipated presences at SHOT this year is Israel Weapon Industries (IWI). They made big news a few months ago when they announced that they’d be setting up a production facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and manufacturing Tavor SAR bullpup rifles and Uzi pistols to make a formal entry to the US market. They brought some Israeli-made versions of the Tavor in 5.56 and 9mm, and I took full advantage of the early opportunity to get my hands on one. I was immediately impressed by the ergonomics, handling, and accuracy of the Tavor. Good ergonomics and handling are hard to come by in a bullpup, but IWI has nailed it with the Tavor. Looking forward to putting one through an in-depth review in the not too distant future!
HK MR 762 A1
The newest semi-auto version of the Heckler & Koch 417 rifle, the MR 762 A1 is a real nail driver. You can’t pick up just every glassed rifle off a bench and immediately be pinging steel, but that was exactly my experience with the MR 762 A1. It’s got a serious quality to it that you immediately sense when you pick it up—something you can’t say about every AR-type gun that’s slinging lead down range. Very impressive.
Remington M1911R1 Carry
The M1911R1 Carry made waves when it was formally announced a while ago, and the pistol well lives up to the hype. The R1 Carry is a refined and smoothed-out variant of the famous full-size 1911 in .45 ACP, and after my time with it at the range it’s easy to tell that the gun will be another high mark in this system’s hard-won reputation and legacy.
One of the first of its kind readily available to the general public, the KSG is a bullpup magazine-fed pump-action 12 gauge shotgun. It feeds from two seven-shell tubes that the user can toggle between with a switch located behind the pistol grip. I found the gun’s recoil to be very manageable and it was an exceptionally unique shooting experience. I’d recommend that anyone who ever has a chance to get some range time with one of these to do so—though judging by how quick they’re selling, that might not be anytime soon.
This new hybrid compact in .45 was a popular item on the line. Despite its large caliber and smaller size, the gun was very controllable and felt great in my hands. The slim slide and double-stack 10-round magazines make it a solid choice for concealed carry.
.17 Winchester Super Magnum
Winchester’s zippy new rimfire round is sure to make a name for itself in the lives of varmint hunters, plinkers, and accuracy hounds alike. The 20-grain bullet flies out of the muzzle at 3,000 FPS and the variety of rifles Winchester had available (a selection of lever guns and a Savage bolt-action) all pulled tight groups, rocked bowling pins, and spinning prairie dog targets. Can’t wait to see where this new cartridge goes.
Slide Fire Stocks
Media Day was the first chance I’ve ever had to try out Slide Fire’s rapid fire AR and AK stocks, and now I can see what all the fuss is about. I put two magazines’ worth of 5.45x39mm down a Slide Fire-equipped AK, and that was all that was needed to convince me that I needed one of my own. We also got to get a peek at their new Saiga-specific stock, which will be coming out sometime this year.
Daniel Defense .300 AAC Blackout ARs
Daniel Defense was showing off some suppressed AR uppers in .300 AAC Blackout mounted on select-fire lowers. One of the rifles, called the ISAR, sports a 10” barrel and an integral suppressor, drawing the barrel out to just over 16 inches—thus allowing it to be classified as a rifle. The other rifle featured was their .300 Blackout DDM4 SBR, another exceptional piece with a barrel a little over ten inches and a detachable suppressor. The full-auto rifles were soft-recoiling, accurate, and silent as could be. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on these.
Those were just some of the new guns to play with on the firing line, and there’ll be more great products to feature in the days to come. Keep following Outdoor Hub for more updates from SHOT as they develop!
Images by Colin Anthony and Matt Korovesis