As of this writing, I am just getting back-to-normal from my trip to Las Vegas and the 2020 Shooting, Hunting, & Outdoor Trades Show. This annual event is when manufacturers premier most of their new wares.
SHOT is an experience, to put it mildly. 60,000 exhibitors, vendors, dealers, consultants, and other industry professionals come together to show off their newest developments and establish business contacts.
A few of the new things that I thought were noteworthy were the Mossberg 940JM shotgun (designed primarily for the 3-Gun market), the new Taurus G3 pistol (aimed at the EDC market), and the new SCCY DVG-1, which is their first foray into the striker-fired pistol market. The trigger quality is nice on that one.
Another trend is manufacturers offering carry guns with red-dot sights already affixed. The aforementioned SCCY pistol is available that way, as are the new Springfield Armory Hellcat and Canik TP9 sub-compacts.
Speaking of red-dots/carry optics, I attended a class given by Trijicon on how to implement RDS-equipped guns into law enforcement agencies. Higher qualification scores, improved hit ratios in gunfights, and faster/simpler initial training in the Academy were a few of the advantages that they brought up. I've never been a big fan of the slide-mounted RDS, but I am going to make a concerted effort to learn that system. Watching iron sights at high speed for over 35 years makes for some pretty-ingrained habits, both good and bad.
I also met with the folks from Stag Arms. In the past, I have always thought that left-handed AR-15s were a solution to a non-existent problem, but.... PDW's (the short little 4-inch barreled AR's) are a different animal. With a full rifle, your face is in a pretty fixed position on the stock (Remember your Drill Sergeant making you touch your nose to the Charging Handle?). On a PDW, your face is detached from the gun and can be anywhere in relation to it. The ejection pattern of a standard AR is downright dangerous to a southpaw. Even when "shooting from the hip", those ejected cartridges are been sent right into their belly. I ordered one of their Left-Handed Upper Receivers to build a small gun in .300 Blackout for a customer. I look forward to results.
Another thing I've noticed is the proliferation in "Operators" roaming the hallways. It seemed that a very high percentage of attendees were wearing tactical cargo pants with 40 pockets, "Kill 'Em All" t-shirts, and Desert Tan boots. A number of these folks were escorted by K-9s. I saw more Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds than I could count, almost all of which were equipped with MOLLE vests and (believe it or not) GOGGLES. A noted law enforcement trainer cracked me up when he said, "It's a miracle that our troops in SW Asia haven't starved to death yet. I have yet to meet a veteran of that 18-year conflict who was a cook, a clerk, or a diesel mechanic.".
YouTubers were out in force also. I saw all sorts of people conducting interviews with celebrities, manufacturers, and sales reps. You could tell the professionals (Shooting USA, Michael Bane, NRA TV, etc.), but there were also semi-pros with their gimbal-mounted Canons or Nikons and an even greater number just using their cell phone cameras. One manufacturer commented to me, "Everybody with more than three Instagram or YouTube "followers" is now an industry expert.".
And it's a little too soon to tell, but everyone is ready for this year's version of "the SHOT Show Crud", an illness that seems to go around every year. When you put this many people from all over the world in one small place and have them interact repetitively in narrow aisles, some respiratory-transmitted infection is bound to proliferate. It's gotten so normalized now that many exhibitors had the super-sized pump bottles of hand sanitizer out on the counters alongside their product and some were giving out the mini bottles as SWAG.
On a serious note, the National Sport Shooting Foundation (sponsors of SHOT) have started a new initiative over the past couple of years raising awareness about suicide prevention. Several booths were occupied by organizations specializing in PTSD treatment, mental health assistance, and promoting open discussions about those issues.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be following up on some contacts that were made that will expand the number of products that CCGW can get, both for resale and incorporation into OEM products. Stay tuned for news as those relationships develop.
Some of y'all who know me on a more-personal basis know that I've been kicking around the idea of shooting CMP Service Pistol in 2020. Ever since Wolf Creek Shooting Range closed in the early 2000s, I haven't been able to shoot International or any of the precision handgun sports. I sold off my Walthers and Pardinis and most of my ancillary equipment.
Two things happened at SHOT that will enable me to shoot Service Pistol soon. First, I met with officials from the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the guys who conduct the Camp Perry National Matches and operate the CMP Park in Talladega. I expressed my dismay that there is not a single Service Pistol match at the CMP Park. I was told that they were unable to cultivate an interest locally and that nobody had stepped up to actually run the matches there. We solved the second problem, as I volunteered to take the lead on this as soon as I can attend the CMP Range Officials course. This should happen around May/June. So....stay tuned to see how this develops. I plan on posting updates via this newsletter, shooting club contacts, and my business and personal social media accounts.
The second thing I did was to buy a Les Baer Custom "Hardball" .45. We're making some updates to the version featured in his catalog, as the rules have changed recently to allow more-contemporary modern 1911s. In years past, there were no beavertail grip safeties, extended safeties, guide rods, etc. It had to pretty much be a 1911 that looked just like grandpappy's, except adjustable sights were allowed. Nowadays, just about every feature of a modern Springfield "Loaded" or a Kimber would be allowed, except for a magazine well. Although a 9mm is allowed, I decided on a .45ACP because it is intrinsically more-accurate.
FREE: Dillon Precision was giving away coupons at the SHOW Show. I picked up a few in the many rounds I made by there. They were "scratch-offs" and they were worth 10% off of Dillon-branded merchandise. If you want one, just let me know. They're only good for a limited time, so let me know.
My PDW experiment is your gain!!! I currently have a Maxim Defense PDX in 5.56 NATO for sale. MSRP is $2295, plus shipping and tax. How about ”$1995 and I eat the shipping and tax”? It’s definitely low-mileage, with maybe 100 rounds on it. It comes with a 20-round OEM mag; I’ll throw in a 30-round Magpul on-the-house.
I have done a lot of work on Kalashnikov pattern rifles over the years, but have never owned one until now. I found an American manufactured rifle that I am impressed with (the Riley Defense RAK-47, out of Charlotte, NC), so I bought one. It has a stamped receiver, but both the front and rear trunnions are forged. The dimensions are true, so aftermarket parts work with minimal fitting. The safety is either the sought-after one from Kreb’s Gunsmithing or a really good copy. I can get you into a base model for $595.95. The upgrades that I did to mine were: a Magpul OEM pistol grip ($22.95), an ALG trigger ($84.95), and a muzzle brake ($24.95). The pistol grip and trigger were both ergonomic preferences. The original trigger was a nice TAPCO unit that a lot of enthusiasts upgrade their Yugo or Chinese AKs with, but the ALG has a straighter trigger profile that just fits my hand better. The comp was installed because I am recoil-sensitive... :-) Seriously though.... 7.62X39 is a lot closer ballistically to a .30-30 Winchester than a 5.56 NATO. It moves in rapid fire!
NOTE: I finished working on my AK and it is definitely a HOSS!! The compensator really stabilized the gun and it has become very fun to shoot.
Gun Cleaning Special: Get the full-house, world-renowned CCGW cleaning job on your match guns, carry pieces, and hunting guns. Most every gun will be only $25 each; complicated guns slightly higher. (Glocks, M&Ps, 1911s/2011s, and the like are simple. Benelli M-4s, piston-driven ARs, etc. are NOT. I recently learned that Browning Auto-5's definitely are not....) Turn-around time is typically less than a week.
Chronographing Services: Got some ammo that you've been producing and you want to make sure that it's living up to what the reloading manual promised? Going way out in left field, using non-standard powders to do things that books say can't be done (like 9mm Major)? I will chronograph that ammo, using your pistol and give you a detailed report with each shot recorded, average velocities, extreme spreads, Standard Deviation, and Power Factor. Doppler radar will be used, so accuracy isn't dependent on light. Competition loads will be checked "hot", "cold", and "room temperature" to ensure that you don't go "sub-Minor" at your next big match. Fees are "a la carte", but would normally be around $35 per hour. Five or six different loads could be tested in that time, allowing time for the barrel to cool between strings.
We are offering complete basic guns built on our Camp Creek Gunworks-branded Lower Receivers, in addition to the full-house competition guns that we've always offered. We're calling these mil-spec guns the "Basic Defense" series. They feature a 16-inch barrel with A2 flash hider, a flat-top upper receiver, free-float handguard, collapsible stock, mil-spec trigger, mil-spec pistol grip, and the Magpul MOE trigger guard. Add a soft case and 30-round MagPul magazine. Of course, like all CCGW products, they're backed by our "We'll make it right" warranty. The price is only $749 plus tax.
Our latest thing has been PDWs (Personal Defense Weapons). These are built off of our CR-15 lowers and feature short barrels (length depends on caliber and your desired features). A pistol-stabilizing brace is added for greater accuracy potential. 5.56mm and .300 Blackout guns get the Noveske KX-5 suppressor. 9mm's don't need it. An upgrade to a folding stock model is available for $300 more. Prices start at $1500 for a basic model and go up to $3750 for the top-of-the-line model with EOTech HoloSight, TLR-2G light/laser combo, backup sights, premium SB Tactical brace, upgraded trigger, and custom fit case.
We have a 6-inch 2011 in-stock in .40 S&W. It is built light, so it swings well from target to target. The extra sight radius makes mid- and long-range shots EASY. Only $2700
CCGW PCC's suitable for USPSA or 3-Gun competition are available. Got one ready-to-go now for $950!
Glock 22C: These are Blue Label Glocks (3 mags & night sights). Brand new in the box for $499 plus tax.
Used Glock 23C. LNIB with night sights and three mags. $425
Until next time, See you on the Range!!