Since I don’t actually get to go to SHOT, I have to do what the rest of us everyday folks do…read about it obsessively. These are the items that I find the most exciting. There is, of course, A LOT of other awesome stuff- but these are the things that I found the most exciting.
Kalashnikov USA AK-Alfa Rifle
Last year, there were are number of companies coming out with AK variants and AK hardware (I’m looking at you, Magpul). I was also excited for IWI to bring the ACE rifles to the US, but was not so excited with the associated price tag.
Kalashnikov USA seems to have developed what I think is a perfect blend of classic AK functionality with modern materials and design. It looks like the AK had a three-way with the FN-SCAR and the ACR. The best part, to me, is the expected price point below $1000.
This one is high on my “do want” list.
RS-Regulate and Browe Team Up
Continuing the trend of AK-focused accessories, there looks like a new mount/optic combo is coming to market. RS-Regulate has built a reputation of being among the best mounting solutions for AK platform rifles. Browe has similarly been building a rep as a viable alternative to the ubiquitous ACOG.
Up to this point, mounting an ACOG on an AK typically meant dealing with poor cheek weld, since ACOGS were meant for AR-15’s, and their corresponding height. This combination looks like it will allow AK shooters to have a better head position.
Magpul UBR Generation 2
I realize that Magpul spilled the beans on this a few days before SHOT, and many blogs out there already covered it, but that doesn’t stop it from being on my list.
I always liked what the original UBR brought to the table, since it offered a consistent cheek weld regardless of stock position. But it was not compatible with the A5 buffer system. This new generation fixes that, all the while being only slightly heavier than my current EMOD configuration. The extra weight at the rear will help me better balance the musket, in particular.
I’ve been wanting to add a Tavor to the collection for a while, just because I think it is a very unique and cool weapon. However, California’s laws preclude me from getting the version that I want (SAR 16). It seems that IWI is releasing the X-95, which is a slightly upgraded version. The magazine release has been moved forward to a similar position as the AR-15. The X-95 was intended to be a very short SBR, but this version has a lengthened barrel to keep it compliant with NFA.
Another major difference is the front end, which is designed to be modular. Rails are attached and removed, along with covers.
I will probably still end up with a regular Tavor, since the aftermarket support has been great. But this presents a very nice alternative for those inclined.
Nighthawk Cutoms Browning Hi-Power
The Hi-Power is a classic among pistol enthusiasts, being one of the last designs that the great John Moses Browning produced. I’ll be honest, I’ve never fired one, but I do find them to be quite fetching. In a world getting more and more full of polymer wonders, there is something to be said for classic all-metal handguns (Hi-Power, 1911, CZ-75, Beretta, Sig, etc.) I’m glad to see more of the high end 1911 shops branching out into other classic pistols.
I’ve been wanting to have my Beretta worked over by Wilson Combat, but this looks like a fantastic option for those with the Hi-Power (assuming you can get over the hump that is Nighthawk’s prices.
New Training Aids
This isn’t any one particular product, but training aids were a big thing this year. From new options with lasers and CO2 recoil simulators (CoolFire) to rail mounted bluetooth-enabled motion sensors (MantisX), there are a growing number of options.
I like these because they allow us to get better practice at home or at the range by offering better feedback about each shot. This helps us make more efficient use of our time and ammunition. I look forward to what else is in store.