2013 SHOT Show

Keep Your Skills Sharp with New Dry Fire Practice Accessories

TLB1In a perfect world, we would all be able to hit the range a couple times a week for some target practice and burn through a couple hundred rounds of ammunition to keep our drawing and shooting skills honed.  Even without skyrocketing ammo prices (when you can find ammo, that is) this still requires packing up all your gear, traveling back and forth to the range and cleaning everything once you’re finished.  Dry firing practice at home can be a useful way to practice drawing, trigger pulling and manipulating firearm controls while saving your ammo and range fees, but it isn’t quite as good as the real thing.

We got a chance to look at a number of products at SHOT Show 2013 that provide a happy medium between range time and standard dry fire practice.  These products include the Beamhit line from L-3 (think EOTech), Top Gun computer-aided shooting training system from Op.Electronics and the Laser Trainer line from Laserlyte, each of which allows you to train at home with your own (unloaded!) firearm. Continue reading

Self-Securing ‘Sticky Holsters’ Provide Flexible Carry Options

Sticky HolstersMike Christoff’s “Sticky Holsters” had already been around for over a year before we first started hearing the name.  Last year, the name came up again in the Gear Review section of the GunLink forums and again when we asked who we should visit at SHOT Show 2013.  Well, we visited them at the show and we’re glad that we did.

The first response when the holsters were mentioned on the forums was probably a common one:  “They’re sticky?”  Sticky Holsters aren’t so much sticky like glue as they are just “high friction.”  The IWB holster is constructed of three layers:  a layer of padding sandwiched between the textile interior and the rubberized exterior skin, which is somewhat similar to the material on the those no-slip dashboard mats that keep your cell phone or GPS from sliding away when you go around a corner.

This construction allows the holster to work without loops, clips or other gadgets to keep it in place.  Combined with the “sticky” exterior, pressure from your waistband holds Continue reading

Strip Gun Club Offers Unique Shooting Experience on Las Vegas Strip

Strip Gun Club Custom M3HBDuring SHOT Show 2013 we had a chance to take a break from the show floor and visit Las Vegas’ newest firearms-oriented addition.  Opening in early December 2012, the Strip Gun Club, which describes itself as the “first and only shooting range on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip,”  offers a high-end shooting experience for visiting shooters and locals alike.

The double doors at the front of the building (featuring rifle- and pistol-themed handles) give way to a well appointed lobby/gift shop complete with hardwood floors, attractive furnishings and a gun safe protected by the door of a bank safe allegedly knocked over by John Dillinger himself.  The place is decidedly a touch classier than many other shooting ranges I’ve been to.

The point of a shooting range, however, is not the decor – however nice it may be here.  Strip Gun Club offers seven shooting lanes divided among Continue reading

Bullpup .22LR Pistol from ZiPFactory Keeps Plinkers Within Budget

ZiP .22 pistolZiPFactory, an offshoot of US Fire Arms (USFA), was at SHOT 2013 and they brought with them their ZiP .22.  This bullpup pistol doesn’t have a slide, an ejector or an extractor.  This allows the number of parts in the entire firearm (in the basic configuration) to limited to only 25.  It also allows the MSRP to be kept just shy of $200.

The company is marketing the ambidexterous ZiP .22 as being highly modular with the ability to use it as a pistol, an SBR or as an accessory mounted under another firearm.  The pistol also makes use of ubiquitous (and supremely reliable) Ruger 10/22 magazines, even offering the 10-round Ruger BX-1 rotary magazine as a factory accessory for an additional $20.  The blowback operated ZiP .22 also relies on the feed lips of the magazine to act as an ejector.  As such, it may be advisable to Continue reading

More Bump-Fire Fun on Display at SHOT 2013

At last year’s SHOT Show, we had a chance to get hands-on with several of Slide Fire Solutions’ polymer bump-fire stocks for AK and AR pattern rifles.  Bump-fire stocks make it super-easy to blow through mountains of ammunition before you can say “ammunition is out of stock pretty much everywhere.”  The Slide Fire offerings at this year’s show are largely unchanged with a few notable exceptions.  One new item is a new ergonomic AR hand-guard (shown here on the BFR) that should help to make using the bump-fire system faster and more controllable.  They’re also working on bump fire stocks specifically for Saigas and .308 caliber AR-style rifles.

Also at this year’s SHOT Show Media Day at the Range were the competing DefendAR-15 and Bumpski bump-fire stocks from Fostech Outdoors.  These billet aluminum stocks feel like Continue reading

Tracking Point Xact System Offers Amazing Update to Long Range Shooting

Tracking Point Xact System at SHOT Show 2013The first documented use of firearms was somewhere in circa-12th-century China.  While it’s quite clear that firearms and their accessories have come a long way since the first gunpowder-filled tubes, the basic principles remain the same: ignite the propellant and the expanding gasses send the projectile out of the business end of the barrel.  For the most part, any advancements since then have been been to make firearms more effective in terms of power, portability and accuracy.  A big advancement in the accuracy department was on display from Tracking Point at the 2013 SHOT Show.

Tracking Point’s XactSystem is a Precision Guided Firearm (PGF), which the company describe as “fighter-jet-style, lock-and-launch technology into a rifle system.”  This closed-loop system consists of ultra-consistent ammo loaded by Barnes, a precision Surgeon Rifle with a 22-27″ Krieger barrel and Harris bipod on a LaRue QD mount, and the smart networked tracking scope mounted on top.  Given the components involved, the precision of the rifle itself is spectacular, but the scope is what makes the system truly amazing.

The XactSystem’s tracking scope takes the ballistic guesswork out of Continue reading

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