The Latest Firearms From The 2013 SHOT Show
By Steve Tracy
This year’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas proved once again the 1911 pistol and AR-15 rifle platforms are more popular than ever. It seems there are more firearm manufacturers offering their own version of these proven designs than those that don’t. However, the polymer frame/striker fired pistol is catching up fast. These semi-automatics offer the same trigger pull from the first shot to the last. Competition between manufacturers is fierce as they each try to get their full-size pistol into your duty holster, their tiny off-duty/backup concealment gun tucked in your waistband, and your patrol/tactical-SWAT/sniper rifles and shotguns stored in your squad car’s trunk.
We walked 12.5 miles to cover 1,600 booths while dodging over 60,000 attendees at this year’s SHOT Show and noted the latest products. The Law Enforcement section has expanded over the years and it now occupies nine additional rooms. The large gun companies display their entire product line on the main floor, but some set up additional specialty booths just for the police market.
The M107A1 from sniper rifle maker Barrett is four pounds lighter than the military version. This new .50 BMG rifle is designed for use with a suppressor for signature reduction. Barrett’s reliability and durability are supported by hardened steel, titanium, chrome lining, along with PVD and nickel Teflon® plating for lubricity, corrosion resistance, and easy cleaning.
The Mossie Midnight Mount from Battlecomp attaches to the standard and “F” front sight bases on AR-15 rifles. This accessory places a weapon light at 12 o’clock for ambidextrous and wireless use on rifles lacking a quad rail handguard. When mounted, a tactical light casts a minimal barrel shadow.
The first polymer frame pistol from Bersa is a small, 9mm single-stack, polymer frame, striker fired pistol with a polygonal barrel and ambidextrous magazine release. Interestingly, it makes use of a Sig Sauer front sight and a Glock rear sight. Low price and reliability have been Bersa’s hallmarks and this new little pistol fits right in.
Making a 9mm pistol extremely small, the Boberg Arms XR9 pistol accomplishes its task with a unique operating system that pulls cartridges from the rear of its seven-round magazine. This innovative system allows for a longer barrel (which generates more power) than a standard magazine design. The double action-only pistol utilizes a rotating barrel for less recoil. The grip was found to be very ergonomic and pointed naturally on target.
Walking every aisle paid off when we happened upon Bore Tips, who offers a new solution to firearms cleaning. Their Gun-tips™ are foam pads mounted on rigid plastic sticks for getting into tight crevices when cleaning your firearm. They are lint-free, unlike cotton swabs, and can be cleaned and reused. Their Bore-tips ™ are foam swabs that screw onto standard cleaning rods in place of patches. Kits are offered in specific calibers and for certain weapons, such as an AR-15 cleaning package.
Caracal’s 9mm and .40 caliber full-size pistol (F model – 18 rounds) is now accompanied by a compact version (C model – 15 rounds) and a new carbine (CC10) that takes the same magazines as the pistols. The C pistol features a unique fast-acquisition sight system that places the rear sight in front of the handgun’s chamber. The United Arab Emirates-made pistols are polymer frame/striker fired with a low bore axis and low profile slide. The carbine has a grip safety, rear peep sight, top picatinny rail, and a thumbhole style stock.
The new RONI from CAA Tactical converts your duty pistol into a carbine. The aluminum and polymer shell houses your pistol securely and provides the stability of a shoulder fired weapon along with picatinny rails for electronic sights, lasers, or a scope. Several different RONI models are offered to fit different Glock, HK, Beretta, Springfield-Armory and Sig Sauer pistols. The system conveniently houses an extra magazine in the stock.
Colt and Leupold, both revered as premier United States firearms and optics companies, have teamed up with a line of Colt Competition-branded Leupold VX-R scopes. The partnership brings together more than 280 years of American-made manufacturing expertise. Colt and Leupold will bring premium scopes to the market, such as the 1.25-4x20mm VX-R Patrol and 4-12x50mm VX-R with Fire Dot reticle for attributes that Colt shooters demand. These co-branded riflescopes are specifically optimized for Colt firearms and the AR platform in general.
The FNS is FabriqueNationaleHerstal’s (FNH) polymer frame/striker fired pistol available in 9mm and .40 S&W. On hand at their booth was the new 5-inch-barrel “Long Slide” version for law enforcement officers desiring a longer sight radius and the added velocity achieved from an extended length barrel.
The 30S is the newest .45 caliber handgun from Glock. The mating of the Model 36 slide with the 30SF frame gives a slimmer and more concealable package that still touts 10 rounds of .45 acp in its magazine.
Israel Weapon Industries
Israel Weapon Industries’ (IWI) new TAVOR bullpup style rifle has been in use by Israeli Defense Forces since 2006, but they are being introduced in the U.S. for the first time. Ergonomics, reliability and accuracy complement the 5.56 NATO rifle’s long-stroke piston operation. The detachable barrel is chrome lined and a 9mm pistol cartridge conversion kit is offered. The rifle uses standard AR-15 magazines.
The new CW380 (.380 acp) from Kahr has an MSRP of $419 compared to their P380 at $649. The new CW45 (.45 acp) at $485 compares to their P45 at $805. The cost savings makes the double-action-only concealment pistols more desirable to police officers, while still retaining Kahr’s reputation for reliability and accuracy. Cost is kept down by use of a polymer front sight, standard rifled barrel, less complicated machining on the exterior of the slide, and the CW line ships with just a single magazine.
Maglite is back in the police/tactical flashlight business. Their newest models are the Mag-Tac LED lights with a plain (310 Lumens) or crowned bezel (320 Lumens) in four finishes. The tactical lights can be weapon mounted thanks to their 1-inch circumference and were designed with the extensive input of police tactical officers. The tailcap switch activated lights run on CR123 batteries.
McMillan rifles have won national championships and set world records. Their new ALIAS action allows the mixing and matching of components to create configurations customized for any mission. The quick detachable stock stores on a forward picatinny rail and reduces the size of the storable rifle considerably. The ALIAS was fired with a suppressor at 100 yards using subsonic .308 ammo. Its outstanding trigger, precision bolt, and super accurate barrel made the hits come easy.
O. F. Mossberg and Sons
A recoil reduction system using Mathers® Harmonic Damper™ Technology is offered in tactical configurations of Mossberg’s 3.5-inch chambered shotguns. The system purports to reduce recoil up to 20 percent.
The R1 1911 .45 pistol from Remington is now offered as a Carry model with melted edges and as a shortened Commander length pistol with a 4 ¼-inch barrel.
Rock Island Armory
The XT 22/45 pistol from Rock Island Armory comes as a 1911 .45 pistol with an extra top end in .22lr caliber, factory matched to the duty gun. The package allows inexpensive .22 ammunition to be used for practice and training. The same trigger is utilized for both calibers, providing as much of an exact training duplication as can be accomplished due to the use of the same frame.
Sig’s big news at SHOT was their MP-X line of submachine guns in 9mm, .357 Sig, and .40 S&W calibers. The gas-operated, short-stroke piston weapon fires from a closed and rotated bolt. Barrel length, caliber and shoulder stock configuration is all user/field changeable for mission specific requirements. Select fire and suppressed versions will also be available. The MP-X’s operation is very similar to the AR-15 style rifle for ease of training consistency.
The P227 is Sig’s long-awaited double stack, 10-round capacity, .45 acp double-action pistol. The P220 slide is mounted on a P226-style aluminum frame with an E2-style grip, providing a less bulky grip.
A new P224 SAS (Sig Anti-Snag) model was also released that features a de-horned slide and frame. It is available in several calibers and with the DAK or standard DA triggers.
“Keep your finger off the trigger” is a training issue every agency deals with eventually. The inert training pistol from Smart Firearms ends the debate over whether a trainee’s finger was, in fact, in the trigger guard when it shouldn’t be. An alarm sounds when a trigger finger remains inside the trigger guard for a period of time beyond pressing the trigger. A sound effect of a fired shot emanates from the training pistol when the trigger is pulled, but the alarm will sound again if the shooter’s finger is left on the trigger too long. Incorporated into scenario-based training, this tool can provide true safety training that can prevent costly lawsuits down the road. The system can be molded into a replica of any firearm in use by law enforcement.
Smith & Wesson
An M&P10 rifle is now offered in 7.62×51 (.308 caliber) for police officers needing that .30 caliber punch. Various configurations similar to S&W’s extensive line of M&P15 5.56 (.223) rifles will be forthcoming. The M&P10 handled similarly to the AR-15 rifle we all know, without much added bulk due to the slightly larger magazine well.
S&W’s Performance Center had a new Commander size 1911 .45 with a Scandium lightweight frame, bobtailed mainspring housing, and lightening cuts on the slide. This extremely light pistol conceals well due to its shorter barrel/slide and the sliced-off butt corner. With its hand tuned trigger and low-profile night sights, it proved quite accurate.
Last year, Springfield Armory surprised everyone with their XD-S pistol in .45 acp. The super flat and compact pistol was a big hit because it wasn’t chambered for the expected 9mm cartridge. This year, the Illinois gunmaker came out with the XD-S chambered in 9mm. The softer shooting pistol carries just as flat as the .45 version and is an excellent choice for concealed carry.
Stark displayed a new angled foregrip for railed AR-15 rifles that gives your support hand the desirable balance between the usual horizontal or vertical grip choices. The angled grip worked well with both large hands and small. It is comfortable for extended periods of training and provides less wrist and forearm stress with its natural angle. The hollow grip also has a cap to provide secure storage as well.
The TLR-2 G from Streamlight is a 200 lumens LED weapon mounted light that incorporates a green laser in the light’s reflector. The green laser projects brightly on target, even in bright sunshine. A single CR123 battery provides 1.5 hours of continuous run time.
The TLR-1 HL is a High Lumen weapon mounted light that drenches targets with 630 lumens of white light output. Despite its amazing power, it can operate on CR123 batteries for up to 1.25 continuous hours.
Sturm, Ruger and Company
The succession of the SR9 (9mm) and SR40 (.40 S&W) polymer frame/striker fire pistols from Ruger is the SR45 in .45 acp. All the features of the previous pistols are included in this larger caliber pistol, including completely ambidextrous controls and a frame slimmer than one would expect with a 10-round magazine capacity. The $529 MSRP makes the SR45 attractive in addition to the SR pistol’s reputation for toughness, reliability and accuracy.
The stainless-steel SR1911 .45 is supplemented this year by a Commander size version with a 4 ¼-inch barrel. The SR1911CMR sports Novak 3-dot sights and all the extended safeties and switches one would expect on a custom 1911.
Ruger had requests on their “Ask the CEO” website for the LC9 9mm pistol to be chambered for the .380 acp cartridge. Apparently, many found the LC9 to have a bit too much recoil and the LCP .380 to be a bit too tiny to shoot well. Ruger answered with the LC380. It’s an LC9 chambered for the less-powerful .380 acp cartridge.
The Millennium G2 9mm pistol from Taurus is an updated version of their earlier polymer frame Millennium pistol. The 2013 G2 has a striker fire system with a trigger safety, new textured areas, pull-down disassembly tabs, picatinny rail, and a fully adjustable rear sight. With an MSRP of $350, this new Taurus is laden with features at an affordable price.
The PPQ M2 from Walther positions the magazine release to the standard American location behind the trigger guard on their polymer frame/striker-fired duty pistol. The PPQ has a reputation for an excellent trigger pull with a very short reset. At the range, the PPQ supported its reputation well.
Winchester’s new Matchking load was on hand at the range in the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. Firing the round in a Savage 110BA proved both accurate and, judging by the swing of the steel gong as the 250-grain rounds struck home, powerful. PM
Steve Tracy is a 25-year police veteran with 23 years of experience as a firearms instructor. He is also an instructor for tactical rifles, use of force, less-than-lethal force and scenario-based training. He can be reached at