SHOT Show 2015
New LE Firearms & Accessories
By Steve Tracy
The 2015 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas had its second highest attendance with 64,000 attendees. The law-enforcement exhibition halls were jammed with police officers checking out specific offerings geared to our profession.
Glock, Sig Sauer, and Kahr Arms proffered factory pistols with slides equipped to mount small, electronic, red-dot reflex sights. These firearms join S&W’s M&P C.O.R.E. pistols by having their slides machined to accept various red dots. We spoke with Safariland Holsters about the creation of duty holsters that would accommodate a rail-mounted light and protect a red dot. We believe the future of the duty sidearm is a red dot-equipped pistol on your duty belt.
Drawing from the hip with a red dot (that turns on immediately without use of an on/off or pressure switch) will allow police officers to focus on the threat instead of the front sight. Tall backup iron sights that co-witness with the red dot are standard equipment on all of the factory pistols we saw at the SHOT Show. This system already works well on law enforcement duty rifles and carbines and it will increase our hit ratio with pistols.
Red dots on duty pistols will save police officers’ lives.
Here are the new products for law enforcement that were at the 2015 SHOT Show:
The Mutant rifle from CMMG chambers the 7.62×39 Russian cartridge and utilizes AK-47 magazines in an AR-15 platform. This crossover rifle provides all the modularity of a standard AR, while firing .30 caliber rounds. The drawbacks of the AK-47 design are countered by the AR-15’s manual of arms. In the case of this CMMG rifle, a mutant is a good thing.
Dan Wesson’s Valkyrie .45 combines an aluminum alloy, Officer’s length frame with a Commander’s length slide. This high-end 1911 pistol is small and light to carry off-duty, while still providing a decent sight radius. VZ grips provide traction in your hand and a Browning Hi-Power-style muzzle cut gives the pistol a different look.
The Delta Grip from Ergo Grip is an unusual, triangular-shaped rubber grip for S&W J-Frame revolvers that is now available for the Ruger LCR as well. The grip provides a comfortable and secure grip that also points and aims naturally while controlling recoil. While unusual in appearance, the Delta Grip’s function is excellent.
The FNS duty pistol (available in standard and long slide variations) now has a smaller model for off-duty carry. The FNS Compact is chambered in 9mm or .40 S&W, with or without a manual safety, and features a shorter slide/barrel and grip frame. It’s the perfect companion to the full-size FNS duty pistol.
The FN-15 Series of AR-style rifles (standard impingement semi-automatic) now include the Patrol, Carbine, Tactical Carbine, and Magpul MOE SL (with stock, grip, and hand guard from Magpul).
Introduced at Industry Day at the Range, Glock’s new Modular Optic System (MOS) 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 caliber Tactical/Practical pistols are offered in long slide versions with their slides factory machined to accept electronic red dot sights. While primarily intended for competition or hunting, the use of red dots on duty pistols is the future and Glock may offer new models with standard duty-length barrels.
New Gen 2 pistols from Kahr Arms feature a new trigger with a center safety tab and a 30-percent shorter trigger pull than the company’s previous Gen 1 triggers. Known for their smooth and light trigger pull (similar to a fine double-action revolver pull), the new trigger is more like common striker-fired pistols. The trigger’s pull is short and breaks clean with minimal pressure.
A tactical light that mounts under the barrel of your S&W J-Frame revolver is a new product from Lasermax. If you’ve got a classic snub nose, this bright light makes it more practical for off-duty/backup carry or as a home protection firearm.
Lasermax is also offering their guide rod laser for Glock pistols that project a green laser, which is easier to see in daylight conditions.
The D-EVO is a new sighting system from Leupold. Used in conjunction with any electronic red-dot reflex sight, the D-EVO provides a magnified optic that co-witnesses with the red dot. Shifting your line of sight by just 6 degrees gives two different sighting options, one clear view with a reflex red dot and one magnified optic for distance shots.
The Range BenchLoader from Maglula quickly presses 30 rounds of 5.56mm NATO rifle rounds into an AR-15-style magazine. The design is truly fast and easy to use and will make better use of valuable range training by speeding up the time it takes to load magazines.
The Striplula is a small, but ingenious device for quickly loading or unloading 30-round AR magazines with single rounds or with 10-round stripper clips.
The leader in polymer magazines with their excellent AR PMags, Magpul introduced their own 17-round polymer Glock magazine at the SHOT Show. Quality and low cost go hand in hand with this Magpul product that boasts their well-known reliability. Magpul also displayed their new 60-round drum magazine for AR-style rifles. About the same length as a standard 30-round magazine, the drum doubles magazine capacity with reliable function.
The minimalistic polymer holster from Q-Series Holsters for Glock pistols is now available for the S&W M&P and was also found to work with the Walther PPQ. The inside-the-waistband design secures to your belt and allows a shirt to be tucked in to conceal your pistol. For appendix or hip carry, the holster adds almost no bulk to your pistol. It covers the trigger for safety and provides for one-hand re-holstering.
Ruger created the LC9s by converting their double-action, hammer-fired LC9 single-stack 9mm into a striker-fired pistol. The trigger has a safety tab and a much shorter, lighter pull. This engineering feat created a pistol that functions entirely different than its predecessor.
The LCP Custom is a new version of Ruger’s .380 off-duty/backup pistol with a red anodized trigger providing a lighter double-action pull and big, easy-to-see sights. These features greatly improved the tiny backup pistol.
For revolver fans, Ruger’s Match Master .357 Magnum is now offered with a fully adjustable rear sight. The stainless-steel pistol with custom Hogue wood grips is Ruger’s ultimate double-action revolver.
The new GLS 578 holster from Safariland is a belt/paddle design with a retention lever located near the front of a pistol’s frame. Gripping the weapon naturally releases the retention device while keeping your trigger finger away from the gun. The unique attribute of this holster is that it accommodates 88 different firearms (excluding the XD, 1911, and Sig pistols) by simply tightening or loosening its tension screw. There are not 88 different holster models, just one that fits 88 guns. The Safariland holster was found to easily secure S&W M&P, Glock, and Walther PPQ.
Sig’s striker-fired polymer frame P320 modular pistol is now offered in .45 ACP. A new model also comes with a factory-machined slide to accept a red-dot electronic sight.
The Romeo (military designation for the letter “R”) is Sig Sauer’s electronic red dot sight for handguns. Factory machined slides on various pistols will be offered to accept the Romeo reflex sight, including the P320. Sig’s booth had a P320 on display with the Romeo mounted atop its slide.
Sig also displayed four different P220 pistols chambered in 10mm, including both double-action and single-action-only models. Firing the all-stainless steel at Sig’s Range Day found the 10mm to be easily controllable.
Smith & Wesson
The Competition Optics Ready Equipment (C.O.R.E.) S&W M&P is now available with a ported slide/barrel combination for reduced recoil. Taller front and rear sights co-witness with an electronic red-dot reflex sight mounted in the C.O.R.E.’s machined slide.
On hand at Range Day was Springfield Armory’s new XD Sub-Compact Mod.2 pistol, available in 9mm or .40 S&W. The Mod.2 offers the new Grip Zone™ with three different textures for a secure grip. The pistol also features new slide serrations, a slimmer slide width, a High-Hand™ beavertail and undercut trigger, and slim contoured frame and takedown lever. Recoil, for such a small pistol, was found to be mild when the new Mod.2 was fired.
This one-piece, wraparound, rubberized grip tape for polymer-frame pistols greatly aids in controlling your handgun. Each kit comes with alcohol wipes to de-grease your polymer frame, then the grip is peeled from its backing and carefully stuck to your gun in a wraparound manner. The Talon Grip for an S&W Shield even included a section to cover the extended magazine. For under $20, this system feels and works better than skateboard tape. It also did not add to the pistol’s size and a Crimson Trace laser was still secured to the frame.
The .380 caliber Taurus Curve comes with an LED light and laser under its muzzle, a belt clip, a trigger-finger index indentation, and a frame curved to contour to a right-hand shooter’s body. Its design also does not print in a pocket like a handgun, but instead provides an outline more like a cell phone.
Walther’s new CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol) is a single-stack 9mm with a fixed barrel and piston operating system. Walther calls the design “soft recoil” and recoil was mild when firing the compact handgun. Accuracy comes naturally with the fixed barrel and the pistol is ergonomically designed for comfortable shooting. PM
Steve Tracy is a 27-year police veteran with 25 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 firstname.lastname@example.org