I’ve now been back from SHOT Show 2014 for a week, and I’m still reeling. It was my third gun-filled pilgrimage to Las Vegas, and the best I’ve been to yet. The excitement of getting to see and learn about all the new guns and gear that will be released in 2014 and beyond didn’t truly hit me until I stepped off the shuttle to Media Day at the Range, when the familiar report of pistol and rifle fire filled the desert air. It felt good to be back and among friends.
Of course, Media Day is one of the most high-profile parts of the show, but a lot of the time you don’t find all the new products there. After making the rounds on Monday, I walked the floor the next three days and gathered up info on everything that I could. I’ve collected my picks for the most noteworthy new guns from the show below. Links are included to our more detailed posts on each firearm.
TrackingPoint Precision-Guided Firearms
Much has been written about the new “smart scopes” mounted on TrackingPoint’s Precision-Guided Firearms (and the more affordable Remington 2020 series), and a lot of it has been negative. Their optics have been called out for “ruining the sport” and “making it too easy,” to name just a few criticisms.
While I don’t think that I’ll be shelling out $25,000 on a TrackingPoint gun anytime soon for my own collection, there is significant educational potential in the product. Simply observing how the optic corrects for distance, wind, cant, and other factors could help a novice better understand the basics of ballistics—and maybe improve their chances at landing a shot when they have to do it “manually.”
Plus, hitting a target that’s 967 yards away with a .300 Win Mag TrackingPoint 300T on your first try is just cool.
SIG Sauer P320 pistol
SIG Sauer’s new P320 pistol builds on the modular design established with its predecessor, the P250. Most of the gun’s major components are interchangeable, including its polymer grip modules, slide assemblies, and barrels. However, unlike the double-action only (DAO) P250, it features a new striker-fired action that’s sure to put it in competition with other modern striker-fired pistols. Its trigger breaks light and comfortably at 5.5 pounds. It’ll be available in 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG initially and in Full-Size and Carry variants, which will both retail for $719.
Lancer L30 rifles
As I laid bare in my Media Day coverage of the Lancer L30 rifles, I was surprised (and embarrassed) to learn that the company made more than just great AR magazines. Not only do they make guns, too, but they make darn good ones, if the .308-chambered L30 Heavy Metal I fired is any indicator. The rifle was very accurate and pretty light for a larger-caliber AR, yet felt recoil was minimal.
The L30s are Lancer’s new line of “bigger caliber” ARs they’ll be releasing this year. The rifles, all of which feature free-floated carbon fiber handguards and a lower receiver with a modular magwell extension, will be available in .308 Winchester, 6.5mm and 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and .243 Winchester. The .308 guns will feed from standard SR-25-pattern magazines. All of the L30s will likely retail for $3,000 and above.
Remington R51 pistol
Remington’s new R51 subcompact was the talk of many at the show. It’s an all-metal single-stack 9x19mm pistol rated for +P cartridges. Based on a unique action originally used in one of Remington’s pistols back in the 1910s, the R51 has a unique look to it and an attractive price point: $420. Though it may not be as small as its competitors, the R51 has aesthetics and construction that likely appeal to more traditional shooters. Strangely, Remington did not have any R51s at Media Day, so live-fire testing of Big Green’s formal entry into the concealed carry market will have to come later.
Desert Tech MDR
For me, the Desert Tech MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle) stole the show. Combining Desert Tech’s reputation for well-made guns and a modern semiautomatic bullpup design seems to be a winning matchup. Two main variants will be produced: the 27.12-inch-long MDR (initially available in .223 and .308) with a 16-inch barrel, and the 21.62-inch-long MDR-C (initially available in .223) with a 10.5-inch barrel. The .223 model will feed from standard AR mags and the .308 from standard SR-25 mags.
Keeping with its “dynamic” namesake, the MDR will feature swappable barrel assemblies and an ambidextrous ejection port, selector switch, bolt release, and magazine release. Its anticipated release date is currently mid-2015, and will linger around the bullpup price point of $2,000 ($2,450 for the .308 MDR). Conversion kits for calibers like .300 AAC Blackout, 6.8 SPC, and 7.62x39mm are planned. If there’s anyone who could do a semiautomatic multi-caliber bullpup right, it’s Desert Tech.
For some of the innovative stuff everyone else might have missed, check out Tom McHale’s great summary of his interesting finds at SHOT here.
Images by Matt Korovesis, Colin Anthony, and Joe Gregus