Thursday the 10th was a another great day to see some new outdoors toys and spend some time with the movers and shakers for the outdoors and shooting industries. We hit a lot of booths and got a lot of great information from folks about what was going on in their world. The first part of this article includes pictures and articles on products that we actually had a chance to see and handle, and then we will also provide some information about other new products that have been introduced and we have gotten some press information. Since the show is so large, I decided to spend Thursday in the Law Enforcement area where all the manufacturers for duty gear and tactical wear were located. One of the first things that I saw was the new civilian rifles that have been developed and announced by HK. Yes, believe it or not, HK is actually putting together rifles for civilivans. These two rifles pretty much are based on the AR platform with HK’s finishing touches including a piston driven system which has been received well by the public for their M416. The model names are the MR556 and the MR762. They are chambered for the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO calibers respectively. The rifles also sport a free-floating four quadrant rail system incorporating picatinny style attachment for accessories. There’s no MSRP yet, and they are hoping for a 3rd or 4th quarter release of these items. This is a positive inidcation that HK might be changing some of their attitudes regarding civilian purchases of their products–particulary their semi-automatic rifles. However, the timeframe is so far out that it may end up only being vaporware, and as a couple of people have pointed out, with the curret political climate, we may not be able to buy the rifles by the time they are available. Only time will tell.
Another great company that many follks, including myself just love, is RAT Cutlery. RAT Cutlery is an offshoot of Randall’s Adventure Training which is a survival school that has a little different twist. Instead of just hitting the local woods. The owners Jeff Randalll and Mike Perrin take their students down into the jungles of Peru. After using various tools in the harsh conditions of the jungle, both of them had a pretty good idea of what equipment works in a tropical environment and what doesn’t. So, they came out with their own company to produce hard-use gear that can be relied upon in the most extreme conditions. One of their latest products include the RC5 Sere Knife. It is their first knive with a 1/4" thick blade, and it sports a 5" long cutting edge. I had a chance to pick it up and play with it a little bit, and I have to say that my initial impressions of this new model were very favorable. Hopefully, we will be able to get a test model in the near future to see how well it performs. But, just from initial observations, it is well balance, has a nice grip profile, and is wicked sharp! Like their other models, the RC5 SERE knife is made of high carbon 1095 steel which is a great all around steel for hard use and it allows for easy maintenance of the edge out in the field. I don’t think you can ask for more than that. But, even if you don’t, you’ll get more. With the knife, comes a great sheath designed by Eagle Industries that has two retention mechanisms that makes it jump-proof for operators, and it has several attachments that will allow the user to carry it on the belt or strapped to various other pieces of gear such as packs. The RC5 is due out around the middle of February, and I’m betting realy money that it’s going to sell like hotcakes! Our apologies to those that checked out the page earlier today. We inadvertently posted the wrong picture for the RC5. We have it correctly posted with this article now.
For those of you that are drooling in anticipation for guns news. I came across a couple of new additions to the Smith and Wesson Night Guard line of lightweight revolvers. Previously introduced were .357 magnum, .44 Special, and .45 ACP. This year they have also added two models that shoot .40 SW/10mm and 10mm. I have a colleague who was recently looking at a revolver that shoots .40 SW rounds, and he was the first one I called when I saw these new models at the SW booth. These are lightweight guns, but they do fill the hand and have a substantial profile. They are significantly larger than the J-frame line of revolvers, so it’s going to be up to the individual user as to what the most important aspects of a carry revolver are going to be for them. But, the Night Guard line certainly offers a nice diversity of calibers that can be used by just ab out anyone and can me added to the collection to complement semi-autos that fire the same rounds. For other firearms fans, we also had the chance to handle the relatively new FNP45. It’s quite a handful! The upsdie to the equation is that you can get magazines for it that hold 15 rounds. Include the round in the pipe, and that’s 16 rounds of .45 ACP stopping power in one gun. That’s a potent delivery system for such a big round. The grip is somewhat large, but not entirely unwieldy. It comes in several configurations, but I think the USG model will be the most popular since it offers cocked and lock carry and also provide both a conventional safety and a decocking mechanism.
After looking at some of the knives and guns, we also took a look at a couple of different lighting companies as well. First, we came across Fenix Lights U.S.A who had several new products on display. The first that I saw and that they demonstrated was their new TK40. It utilizies 8 AA batteries to power the Quad Core Cree LED light. It puts out 630 lumens of light for a little over an hour, but that’s not enough. Even now, they are working on a slight up grade which should be out in March and puts out 730 lumens. With an MSRP of roughly $150.00 U.S., it’s a lot of light for a great value. If it’s anything like some of the previous lights that we have reviewed from Fenix, this could be one of the most exciting LED lights to come out during the SHOT Show. After visiting the Fenix Lights folks, we stopped by and talked to the reps at the Streamlight booth. Streamlight has a long history in providing quality lights for various markets including outdoormen, hunters, military and law enforcement. Their new product out this year is their Buckmaster’s Pack Mate line of lights. Running on two CR123A batteries, they are available in RealTree Hardwoods Blaze and Realtree Hardwoods Green. These are attractive lights and pack a wallop with 125 lumens to help you find your way on the trail. We will be looking at trying to get a demo to review in the future to gauge their performance to like models in the industry.
We will be back later in the day with news from various press releases, new products we’ve touched, and pictures to make you feel like you’re right here with us!