gear

Faux Automatic: Rapid Fire Without a Machine Gun

Before heading to SHOT Show this year, I consulted with a few other female shooters that I know to ask what they were hoping to see new this year.  In general, I was surprised to find that they were actually in the same KISS school of thought that I am: something that works well, works consistently, and is not difficult to understand how it works.  One thing that did surprise me was more interest in fully automatic firearms than I had expected.  I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to shoot automatic weapons.  If you have not experienced full-auto mag dumps yourself, to be completely honest, it is even more fun than it looks.

Fully-automatic weapons, or machine guns, are regulated  under the National Firearms Act (NFA).  The law basically says that the only legal machine guns for civilians are the ones that were lawfully possessed prior to May 19, 1986 and those require payment of a $200 transfer tax, lengthy approval process, and federal registration in the NFRTR.  This makes for a very limited supply of weapons that are in circulation, which – as we learned about supply and demand in Economics 101 – drives the price sky high – often into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Unless you either join the military or have some pretty cool friends, you may not get the opportunity to shoot a machine gun.

However, a shooter and their ammo (ergo, their money) are easily parted and the firearms industry has come up with some innovative ways to turn a pocket full of money into a hot, smoking pile of spent brass.  Thanks to that innovation, there are some legal ways to simulate full-auto firing power.   Continue reading

2017 SHOT Show Boasts Big Attendance and Positive Outlook for the Firearms Industry

Four-day show draws nearly 65,000 industry professionals

LAS VEGAS – The 39th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, owned and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), signaled a positive year ahead for the firearms industry. Strong attendance, upbeat buyers and sellers, and a series of packed special events that collectively made up “SHOT Week” resulted in one of the top-rated SHOT Shows.

The show spanned January 17-20 at the Sands Expo. Industry professionals packed the aisles from the opening bell, and attendance totaled nearly 65,000, surpassing last year’s turnout to make it the second most attended SHOT Show ever.

At one of the show’s biggest events, the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner on the first day, NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti, in a speech titled “A New Hope,” listed a series of priorities that industry will focus on to help protect its future and that of its customers. “Our overriding hope is that when it comes to helping stop the misuse of firearms by criminals, and preventing access to them by legally prohibited felons, the violently mentally ill, and the drug gangs who terrorize disarmed inhabitants of our cities, the American public will realize we are all on the same side.”

There were thousands of products for buyers to see on the show floor, encompassing firearms, ammunition, accessories, optics, knives, gun safes, apparel and law enforcement equipment, among other categories. More than 500 new products from 338 companies were on display in the show’s New Product Center, sponsored by U.S. Concealed Carry Association. In addition to the more than 1,600 exhibiting companies on the main show floors, the NEXT 2.0 Pavilion provided first-time vendors from the show’s extensive waiting list with welcome visibility and potential new customers.   Continue reading

GunLink SHOT Show 2017 Photo Gallery

GunLink_SHOTShow17_0426We are blazing our collective trails through the 13 acres (630,000 square feet!) of SHOT Show 2017, through the 12.5 miles of aisles (many of them multiple times over) to visit with as many of the 1,600 exhibitors as we can squeeze into the short time that we have here this week.  Don’t forget that you can help us shape our coverage by posting in the GunLink Forums SHOT Show thread.

While the days, weeks, and months ahead will bring more in depth reviews and news about what is being unveiled at the enormous industry event, we will take you inside the halls of the SHOT Show to get a glimpse of what attendees saw through the following photos.  Comment below or in the show thread if you have any questions or want more details about particular photos or products before we have a chance to post more details about them.

And, of course, a big shout out to our partners who help make our coverage possible, including Brownells, Gunz Incorporated, Shot Force Pro targets, Northwood Components, BulletSafe, and Safariland Group! Continue reading

Smith & Wesson’s Battenfeld Technologies to Acquire UST Brands

Acquisition Will Add Survival and Camping Brands to Accessories Platform – Closing Expected November 2016

Smith_Wesson_2Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, a leading manufacturer of firearms and provider of quality accessory products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast, today announced that its Outdoor Products & Accessories segment, through a subsidiary of Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., will acquire the business of Ultimate Survival Technologies, Inc. (“UST Brands”), a provider of high quality survival and camping equipment, in an asset acquisition for $32.3 million in cash. In addition, up to $2.0 million will be due over a period of two years following the closing, contingent upon the financial performance of the acquired business.

UST Brands is a recognized provider of some of the finest survival and camping equipment on the market. The UST Brands line of personal safety and survival tools includes LED lights, patented all-weather fire starters, unbreakable signal mirrors, premium outdoor cutting tools, first aid kits, signal whistles, survival kits, camp kitchen products, and more. UST Brands’ products are sold through a variety of outdoor, sporting goods, and large retailers, as well as through online merchandisers. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, UST Brands operates from a 100,625 square foot facility.

James Debney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson, said, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of UST Brands. With its complete offering of survival gear, UST Brands is our first acquisition that is entirely focused on the outdoor market, which is a key part of our vision to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast. By expanding its product portfolio and retail presence, UST Brands delivered impressive compound annual revenue growth of 49% from 2012 through 2015. We believe that UST Brands’ broad distribution network, which includes strategic retailers, online retailers, and distributors, will create incremental opportunities for our existing accessories products. Moreover, we believe that the UST Brands product portfolio will benefit synergistically from the product innovation, distribution network, and efficient sourcing model that have contributed to the success of our Accessories Division under the leadership of its President, Jim Gianladis.”   Continue reading

Alien Gear Holsters Releases New Cloak Tuck 3.0: Concealed Nation Edition

aliengearconcealednationIn response to winning Concealed Nation’s 2016 “Best Holster in the History of Ever” reader poll, Alien Gear Holsters teamed up with the concealed carry website powerhouse to deliver the all-new Cloak Tuck 3.0: Concealed Nation Edition.

Sporting a brand new look, the Cloak Tuck 3.0: Concealed Nation Edition comes as a product of a dual collaboration between both brands.

During the online poll, Alien Gear Holsters won several titles from Concealed Nation’s readers, including the highest in gun holster comfort, holster utilization, repeat business and affordability rates.

For Customer Service Team Leader Maxwell Wiener, the opportunity to connect with such a highly regarded concealed carry website is an exciting time for both brands.

“We are super excited to be recognized and partnered with Concealed Nation,” Wiener said. “It feels great knowing a product like our Cloak Tuck 3.0 has provided safety, comfort, and peace of mind to so many.”

Concealed Nation’s Brandon Curtis is also excited to offer customers a concealed carry holster.

“This partnership with Alien Gear Holsters to create these dual-branded holsters is something that we have been excited about for a while now,” Curtis said. “Paring these two companies for this project seems like a natural way to bring the brands closer together, and we hope to see positive feedback from both communities. We are happy to continue work with the great folks at Alien Gear Holsters, and are excited to promote responsible concealed carry together with these new holsters.”

Alien Gear Holster and Concealed Nation fans can order this special edition Alien Gear IWB Holster here.

Beauty or Beast – Ergo Delta Grip for Revolvers

Change Isn’t Always Easy but, Sometimes it’s for the Better

IMG_7012We got our first look at Ergo‘s Delta Grip a couple years ago at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits.  My first thought was that it was bizarre looking – maybe even a little ugly.  They certainly do not look like traditional revolver grips.  When we handled the chained-down demo unit in the Ergo booth, it felt every bit as foreign as it looked and, always being one to judge a book by its cover, I decided that it wasn’t for me.  Frankly, I wondered how they got it so wrong given how much I liked the original Ergo Suregrip on AR-15 builds.

Fast forward to the most recent SHOT Show Range Day.  The GunLink team stopped by the Ergo tent, where they were showing off the new Delta grip for the Ruger LCR in addition to the original Smith & Wesson model, to speak with the company rep.  While there, I mentioned my limited experience with the Delta grip and how my initial reaction was to be turned off by it, despite never having fired a shot from a revolver outfitted with the chunky stocks.  After he explained some of the reasoning behind the Delta’s design and offered to send us a test set, we agreed that it was time for us to pull the trigger – so to speak – on the new revolver grips and we soon had a set inbound to install on an AirWeight J-frame Smith & Wesson.

The Delta grip – to be sure – is a substantial paradigm shift for revolver shooters.  There are grips made of hard plastic, soft rubber, and wood; there are bird’s head, over-molded, flared, fat, and skinny grips; and there are slip-on and wraparound grip covers.  However, until the Delta, we had not seen a grip quite like this.   Continue reading

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