SHOT Show: Day 4

| January 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

The last day of SHOT Show is a mixed bag. Most people have left, so we get time to talk with everyone for longer periods of time, and it’s easier to take photos and pictures. On the other hand, everyone is tired, voices are worn out, and people are less excited. Imagine having to talk to tens of thousands of people about your product over and over again.

We were grateful that people made time for us even while they were daydreaming of getting more than 5 hours of sleep and being able to sit down.

Funker Tactical

funker tactical logoWe saw a lot of famous people in the Press Room this year. It’s always an interesting line to walk: to go up and talk to them, or let them keep working. Everyone from Funker Tactical was friendly and gracious. It was great to meet Instructor Zero, Doug Marcaida, and the rest of their crew (I’m not going to mention their names out of privacy).

A guest SBS writer and one of our firearms trainers reviewed Doug’s Fox 599 folding karambit instructional video last year, and it was awesome to meet the man that got so many of you interested in the 599, or knife fighting in general.

On a personal note, I was blown away when the video director from FT offered to give me advice on my videos here on SBS. The overall theme for this SHOT Show was generosity. Totally floored.

Active Self Protection

active self protection logoSpeaking of super awesome, generous people — we talked with the gentlemen from Active Self Protection about their skyrocketing Facebook community and their self defense training business. If you haven’t already, go check out their Facebook page. The ASP guys analyze real fight footage and provide a commentary.

We talked about the need to have some hand-to-hand skills. There’s a huge need to protect ourselves from initial contact, deal with an immediate threat(s) while accessing our tools, and the importance of Force on Force training.

If you live in the Arizona area, please check out their class schedule. We’ve added them to the She Shepherd’s Fight Focused Training interactive Pinterest map.

AG Composites

What do astronomy telescopes and firearms have in common? The carbon fiber from AG Composites.

We met the folks from AG Composites on the way to SHOT Show, and thought you might be interested in their carbon fiber work. Unlike some mass-market manufacturers, AG hand-layers, molds, and fine-tunes all of their carbon fiber products by hand. This part technology, part artisan approach is evident in their work.

Their current product is a carbon fiber stock for the M14. While the M14 isn’t the usual fare around here, I thought the AG Composites work was interesting enough to warrant the mention.

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The carbon fiber battle rifle stock set currently retails for $549. The more traditional USGI carbon fiber stock is $689. You can add on picatinny rails, QD mounts, and hydrographic dip options if you don’t like the carbon fiber look.

AG Composites is working on partnerships with OEM firearms manufacturers to create AR15 hand guards out of their custom carbon fiber blend. I wonder what it would take to get vSBR furniture made for a Mini Draco SBR ….

If you or someone you know is into M14s, give AG Composites a look. They are a US-based, US military veteran owned and operated company that recognizes one military, law enforcement, or firefighter member a year with a free carbon fiber M14A rifle.

Robar

Renowned firearms instructor Vicki Farnam told us to drop by Robar and look at their polymer-based AR15. 24-year Marine and Robar General Manager Freddie Blish was gracious enough to spend some time with us.

The PolymAR-15 is super lightweight and Robar spent over a year testing its durability. Several of their prototypes have over 50,000 test rounds fired through them.

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Robar is also coming out with a polymer free float fore end that weighs about 6 ounces. That’s a weight reduction of 11 ounces from their current aluminum fore end offering. The combined weight of their 16″ barreled carbine will be 5.75 pounds.

Their PolymAR-15L (lightweight) model comes with a Faxon Firearms pencil barrel, Bravo Company furniture and Bravo Company KMR-13 rail and weighs just five pounds. In comparison, my AR15 300 Blackout pistol weighs about 6 and a half pounds.

Robar also offers a pistol configuration with a 10.5″ Faxon Firearms barrel.

The PolymAR-15 comes in various finishes, and they have a ton of customization options. The PolymAR-15 are available for purchase right now, and are made to order. MSRP starts at about $1595 for the rifle and carbine. The Light and Pistol options start at $1695.

Look for a more in-depth write-up and video interview coming up soon.

CZ-USA

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The CZ-USA booth was mobbed every moment of every day during SHOT, but I was able to get some quiet time on Day 4 with them to see the Scorpion. There are a ton of Scorpion write-ups and reviews out there, but here are some important things that didn’t typically get covered:

  • CZ-USA has suspended immediate plans to sell the Scorpion with the forearm brace or stock to civilians until they get clarification from the ATF. CZ-USA has a letter into the ATF Firearms Technology Branch, and hopefully they will get a response soon.
  • The Scorpion will only ship with 10- or 20-round magazines. 30-round magazines will be available soon on the CZ-USA Web site. MSRP on 20- and 30-round magazines will be $17.99 and $19.99, respectively.
  • The CZ-USA is really easy to take down.

An extended write-up is coming soon.

ALG Defense

People mistakenly thought Geissele was coming out with two AK triggers soon, but they’re not — it’s ALG Defense, who is a spin-off company and happened to share the same booth space. The base trigger will be an improvement over most standard OEM triggers, but will offer increased reliability and consistency. The Enhanced trigger will also feature a lighter trigger pull (around four pounds, but this is still undergoing fine-tuning).

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The basic trigger will MSRP for $49.00 and the Enhanced for $75.00. Both triggers will have a dual coating / finish for consistent performance no matter how grungy the inside of your AK gets.

I think the trigger is an amazing value.

We are strongly considering doing a group buy similar to what we did for the Law Tactical Generation 3 adapter.

Vertx

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Some of you told us to check out Vertx, and we were glad that we did. Their Commuter Sling bag is really nice and well designed. Made out of 220 and 310 Cordura, the bag has a very conventional look and is devoid of external “military” features like MOLLE webbing or camo patterns.

The bag was designed to allow a fast transition to the front of your body. I was impressed by the quality of the zippers and how quickly the main compartment can be opened.

The interior of the bag is really ingenious. Vertx features a “Tactigami™” system that allows you to attach various anchoring systems via Velcro inside of the bag. Vertx sells different kits that accomodate handguns, magazine pouches, and MOLLE adapter panels. They also have a generic “MAK” (MAgs and Kit) that you could wrap around differently-shaped items.

The Commuter Sling retails for $184.95 on the Vertix Web store and is available now.

We have some additional information about the Commuter Sling, and are trying to get one for extended testing and evaluation.

Project Child Safe

Project Child Safe works with police departments to get gun locks in the hands of firearms owners. New firearms come with a lock, but many (most?) used guns don’t come with one.

The folks at Project Child Safe wanted to get 1000 retailers on board with the program — and by the end of SHOT Show they shattered their goal.

If you know of any smaller firearms dealers / retailers who would like to get some free gun locks to hand out, please visit this page.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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