Best New and Unusual Guns and Gear from the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits
Tom McHale 04.15.15
One of my favorite NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits activities is to dash through the trade show aisles at .0007 miles per hour (due to the crowds) and find new guns, gear, and miscellaneous accessories. Many of them are announced via press releases and media emails as the show begins, but sometimes you stumble onto new things that are there, but not even announced yet. Such was the case with my stop at the Sig Sauer booth. More on that below.
Here are some of the more interesting new product finds from this year’s NRA Annual Meeting, held over the past weekend. Don’t forget to check out my articles on the Glock 43 and the FNH USA M249S, too.
Team Never Quit Ammunition
My friends at LuckyGunner Ammo hosted a dinner with some very special guests. I had the pleasure of meeting Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and Pete Scobell. They’ve teamed with KC Betzold to manufacture Team Never Quit Ammunition. The core values of the company are the same that these SEALs lived every day. In Marcus Luttrell’s words, “I’m only as good as I was yesterday. Today, I have to prove myself all over again.” You can expect the Team Never Quit folks to enter many different product categories—the business concept is not just about ammo.
The best part of the new project is that a fixed portion of all proceeds will benefit the Lone Survivor Foundation. You can buy Team Never Quit ammo direct from LuckyGunner.
Sig Sauer air guns
Yes, those folks at Sig Sauer are busy. New guns, then ammo, then optics. And now, they’re entering the air gun business with the same intensity and level of investment as other Sig brands. By chance, I happened to bump into Lou Riley, former CEO of Gamo. I only say “former” as he is now the guy heading up the air products group at Sig Sauer. He dragged Jason Knight, lead engineer on the product, into our discussion, and together they gave me the full rundown.
While not yet publicly announced, numerous models were on display at the Sig booth. What I like about these guns is that they are true to size and weight and, therefore, will make great trainers. Use your existing holsters and accessories to practice at home. I shot the P226 and MCX models during the show, and yes, they’re cool. The guns are CO2-powered and feature innovative magazines. For example, the pistol mags have feed loops at both ends. When an eight-round mag runs dry, just flip it upside down and reinsert, and you’re shooting again.
Stay tuned for more news on this topic, there is a flood of new announcements coming over the next couple of months.
Purdy .600 Nitro Express
The NRA booth contained a portable National Firearms Museum display with a number of gems for Annual Meeting visitors to see. My favorite was a Purdy .600 Nitro Express double rifle. Wow!
Consider that a 5.56 AR-15 delivers about 1,300 foot-pounds of energy. Now consider that the .600 Nitro Express delivers somewhere in the 8,700 foot-pound vicinity. Can you say recoil?
Savage M112 Target .338 Lapua
Speaking of monster rifles…
Known for their great accuracy per dollar, Savage is bringing a new rifle to the market. It’s a single-shot, target model bolt-action. It’s heavy, and that’s good. As you can see from the photo, the stock, receiver, bolt, and barrel are all hefty.
The stock is an HS Precision model with V-block and Pillar bedding. A large muzzle brake up front helps tame the beast. Of course, the included muzzle brake also means that the barrel is threaded and suppressor-ready.
It lists for $1,177.
Beretta M9 .22LR
I stumbled on another surprise in the Beretta booth. Delivered by hand to the show floor Friday morning, I saw the very first samples of Beretta’s new .22 LR pistols.
In the past, Beretta has offered conversion kits for the 92 pistols, but now they are making complete guns chambered in .22 LR. Dimensionally identical to their larger relatives, the only noticeable difference is slightly lighter weight, owing to the polymer frame. Three models are forthcoming: the M9 .22, M9A1 .22 and 92FS .22.
Nashville and nice boots go together like Rosie O’Donnell and hearing damage. J.B. Hill brought quite the display. My personal favorite was the American Gator ones – they were stunning. They can be yours for just under nine grand.
Patton’s personal M1 Garand
On display at the Winchester booth was the actual Winchester-manufactured M1 Garand Presentation Rifle given to General George S. Patton. Called by Patton “the greatest battle implement ever devised,” the M1 is famous for its performance during World War Two and subsequent conflicts.
This particular rifle normally lives at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming, but is on loan to Winchester for display. In case you’re wondering, it bears serial number 02828.
Birchwood Casey Adjustable Target Stakes
Normally target stands require bases, wood stakes, and cardboard backers. Only then do you staple or paste targets to the backing. Birchwood Casey has a simple new product that eliminates all of that—even the tape and staples.
Two metal stakes have built-in spring clips to you can attach paper or cardboard targets direct to the clips with no backing required. There’s no fuss—just push them into the ground and start shooting. You can space the stakes however far apart you like to fit most any target size.
The 36-inch-tall adjustable target stakes sell for a suggested retail price of $32.90.
Safariland GLS holster
The Safariland GLS Pro-Fit Holster Series is a single holster designed to fit a multitude of different firearms. The key to this system is the proprietary grip locking system. As you might guess by that, it’s a positive retention holster that releases the gun as your middle finger naturally activates an unlocking lever when you assume a firing grip. A single adjustment screw and shim are included to help this holster fit billions and billions of different guns. Well, maybe not billions, but it’s a lot. It’s a cool idea, and I found the fit to be plenty solid on a variety of blue guns I tried.
I got a hands-on demo of the new LaserLyte training and competition product, the LaserLyte Score Tyme. Using either dedicated laser guns or laser inserts for your regular firearm, the system tracks hits, times, and allows up to three people to complete for accuracy and time honors. MSRP is $349.95.
With over 550 exhibitors and just under a half million square feet of exhibition space, there were way too many new guns and accessories to cover here. From company exhibits with products to sell to collector exhibits to educate, it takes a solid three days to see it all. If you haven’t yet been to an NRA Annual Meeting, put it on your bucket list. Next year’s event is in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon.