The second day of the 2013 SHOT Show seemed like it might not be as fast-paced as the first, but President Obama’s press conference immediately put everyone into high gear and was (quite obviously) one of the hot topics of conversation. Opinions of Obama and his proposals are another matter for another article, but the overall conclusion on the floor was that the industry would be standing together against any encroachment—a very positive thing to hear.
But enough about politics (for the time being), here’s some more cool new stuff!
Heckler & Koch
One of the biggest names in firearms today, the German firm Heckler & Koch (HK) always excites at SHOT. Much of their booth is geared towards law enforcement and military buyers, but it’s always a great place to stop by. One of the items on deck for 2013 that will be available to a broad market are the HK45 Tactical pistols in .45 ACP. The tactical features include a threaded barrel and tritium night sights. They’ll be available with a black, green, or tan frame. Also making an appearance were the product-improved HK416 A5 and the MR762 A1 LRP (Long Rifle Package). The latter mounts a LaRue bipod, Leupold 3-9x40mm scope, and a buttstock with an adjustable cheekpiece (which was available on the G28 Patrol rifle).
There were also some new machine guns, the HK121 and MG4. They’re HKs, and they’re machine guns. Need I say more?
Probably. The HK121 Universal Machine Gun is a proposed successor to the German Army’s MG3 and is chambered in 7.62x51mm. The MG4 Light Machine Gun is chambered in 5.56 and was designed for the German Army’s “Infantryman of the Future” program. I was unfortunately unable to get a good picture of the HK121.
This year Crimson Trace will be releasing several new economical Defender Series laser grips. They’re pretty laden with features despite their affordable price tag, and the laser is crisp and clear. The grips felt great on everything displayed at their booth, from the compact Glock featured below to a Smith & Wesson revolver. They have a master on/off switch that is easily manipulated, instead of Crimson Trace’s trademark instinctive activation mechanism.
California-based Franklin Armory is one of the most innovative firearms manufacturers in the United States. Despite having to work within the difficult legislative constraints of gun ownership in their home state, they consistently produce some awesome products. Their booth had the successor to the XO-26, dubbed the XO-S, which mounts a unique low-profile fully Picatinny-railed forend that is built by another local California manufacturer. Another interesting item is the Convert, which is an underslung, rail-mounted AOW single-shot 12 gauge shotgun married to a pistol frame. Topping off their booth was the tripod-mounted CSW-V1, which is fully California compliant. Franklin is now one of my top manufacturers to keep an eye on.
BLACKHAWK!’s got a whole bunch of great tactical gear slated to be released in 2013, but one of the most interesting ones is their new Diversion Bag. The version I was shown looks like your typical tennis racquet bag, but contains a roomy, padded interior that can comfortably fit a rifle with its stock folded and has ample space for magazines in zippered pockets. It’s perfect for someone carrying a firearm in a particularly sensitive environment.
TAPCO is a brand with a long history in the American-made tactical field, and they’ve been steadily improving their standing in said field for the past several years. In 2013, they’ve got some items that will continue to build upon that progress. Handy for garage gunsmiths will be the AR, AK, and SKS vice blocks that can be inserted into rifle magazine wells for easy stabilization when using a gun vice. Under the all-American-made TimberSmith name, they have several new furniture sets, including premium wood AK stocks, pistol grips, and handguards. An intricate skull pattern pistol grip is even available for a little bit of extra flavor. They’ll also be releasing some stunning wooden grips for 1911 pistols.
Silencerco and SWR are two of the trusted names in the suppressor business, and this year they’ll continue to supply the good stuff. This year at SHOT they were showing off their SPECWAR 762. They bill them as “workhorse centerfire rifle suppressors,” and based on their reputation we have every reason to believe it. It sports their unique Active Spring Retention (ASR) locking collar to provide a never-fail attachment mechanism. The 762 package also includes their Trifecta RS flash suppressor mount.
Images by Matt Korovesis and Colin Anthony