SHOT Show

Micro-Handguns of SHOT Show 2017

Pocket-Sized Fire Power Makes it Easy to Always Have a Gun

Cowboy_DerringerDiminutive handguns are nothing new; Henry Deringer’s eponymous Philadelphia model was produced and sold from 1852 and tiny, eminently concealable firearms have been popular for at least as long.  Nihil novi sub sole; at SHOT Show 2017 a number of manufacturers showcased the continuation (and expansion) of this corner of the firearms market.

Bond Arms, the largest modern manufacturer of derringers, is probably the closest living cousin of the early models.  For just over 20 years, Bond Arms has been creating small(ish) non-repeating break-open handguns with caliber-swapable double barrels (available in everything from .22LR rimfire to .45 centerfire to .410 shotshells) reminiscent of early pocket guns like the ones that might be found in a frontier gambler’s vest pocket.  More recently, Bond added a more modern touch to their pocket gun lineup when they acquired Boberg Arms’s design for a semi-auto bullpup pistol that strips rounds rearward from the nose-down magazine before chambering them.  Although they are small and classified as derringers, neither Bond offering could realistically be called “tiny” or classified as a “micro gun,” much less a “mouse gun” when chambered in such heavy rounds as .45LC or .410.

A staple of the tiny-gun market is the lineup from well-known North American Arms (NAA) – founded in 1972 as Rocky Mountain Arm – probably best known for the mini-revolvers that they have been selling since 1990, when they acquired the design from Freedom Arms.  Available only in .22 rimfire chamberings, NAA mini revolvers are spur-triggered single action only revolvers with several models small enough that a pair of them could fit into the space occupied by a deck of cards.  Now sold in a variety of configurations (including ones that fold into their own grip, and ones that are carried in a belt buckle), if you’ve ever walked into a gun store and saw a revolver-shaped speck in the bottom of the case, chances are that it was an NAA.  In 1997, NAA entered the semi-auto market with their Guardian series to compete with Seecamp’s tiny offerings, although they don’t enjoy the same widespread recognition as the wheelguns do.

What’s New?

Now that we know some of the established players in the micro-gun game, let’s take a look at some of the new arrivals which were showcased at SHOT Show 2017.    Continue reading

Airguns Make Big Noise at SHOT Show

Wind-Powered Projectiles Garnering Much Attention in Shooting Industry

Airguns_1477With the hustle and bustle of racing around four days of SHOT Show 2017 and an extra day of range time behind us the GunLink team is now working to organize it all and bring our readers info on the latest developments from the shooting industry.  While it seems like many companies were conservative with their R&D last year, likely due to the unknown outcome of the election, there were a few themes that I noticed; one of which was air guns.

It may have just been me, but it seems like a lot more companies than usual were displaying air guns and it got me thinking about what could be driving all of the interest behind this segment of the shooting sports.  The answers to this question are likely as varied and diverse as they are to the question of why anyone is interested in any kind of shooting activities.  Airguns can be quieter, less expensive, and, in some regards, safer than shooting traditional firearms.  Another reason for their popularity is likely that there are fewer regulations on air guns since they are not considered firearms – making them more readily available to a wider audience.  It may also be the case that positive role models from last summer’s Olympic Games shooting sports events may have sparked more interest in air guns.   Continue reading

Trump Inauguration Garners Enthusiastic Response from SHOT Show Attendees

After spending eight unsure years years of worrying about forthcoming gun control laws that would further infringe upon rights ostensibly protected by the US Constitution, firearms enthusiasts and industry members breathed a sigh of relief as the 45th President was sworn in on the last day of the 2017 SHOT Show.

Team GunLink members who stuck around through the end of the show were in the press room during the official swearing in ceremony – as were many other members of the media.  There, the transition from President-Elect to President Donald Trump elicited a boisterous round of applause and a standing ovation from many, and cheers were heard from exhibitors and attendees alike who filled the hallways and downstairs show floor areas.

The reaction was no surprise, given the political environment and near constant threats against Second Amendment rights over the past decade and the perceived sea change in that environment.

GunLink_SHOT17_1284The perception is not only reinforced by President Trumps loud proclamation of support for Second Amendment rights during his campaign, but also his creation of a “Second Amendment Coalition” that is populated by half a dozen political representatives and big-name industry players like Ronnie Barrett, Marty Daniel, Alan Cors, Kim Rhode, and Josh Waldron – true supporters of the Right to Keep and Bear arms, to be sure.   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

First Look: KelTec RDB Survival Bullpup Rifle

KelTec_SurvivalRDBSorry about your luck, everyone who left SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range any time throughout the day up until about 25 minutes before all of the action wrapped up.  Because that is around when the folks at KelTec remembered that they had forgotten to uncase their latest contribution to to the firearms market:  the RDB Survival Edition bullpup rifle.

We had just finally made our way to the the KelTec booth and finished being confused by why the KSG bullpup shotgun on the bench was obscenely long (it is because of the Germans, in case you were wondering, and it is called the KSG 25) when we heard the company reps start expressing concern over some piece of missing equipment.  That missing piece of equipment happened to be a literal one-of-a-kind on earth prototype firearm that relatively few other humans have laid eyes on or had the opportunity to fire – including everyone else at the range day until Chad Enos and crew happened to locate it in a case under one of their shooting tables and pulled it out with minutes to spare during shooting hours, providing Team GunLink the opportunity to be the first to snap some photos and send some rounds downrange with it.   Continue reading

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