As gloomy as some are about sales in the industry in the coming year, we’re just not sure we see it: Good, ol’ fashioned American ingenuity is everywhere at SHOT. We found a shy example at Matrix Arms/Aerospace in the form of a very neat side-charging 9 mm upper and bolt hold-open lower that runs on those ubiquitous Glock magazines. Our photo shows their SBR version, but they assure us a non-Class III version is headed our way soon. We think it will make a neat job of a PCC match, so stand by.
Trijicon’s MRO line just got even better with the new MRO PATROL. The new red-dot sight adds lens covers in front and back, and an ARD Kill Flash that protects you from unwanted detection at range or in bright conditions while eliminating glare. A strong quick-release mount that’s available in either full height or one-third iron sight co-witness means greater versatility, as do the eight brightness settings—including two that are night-vision compatible and one very bright setting for use with lights or in bright conditions.
Stoeger’s M3000 auto-loading shotgun has become a hit among hunters and budget-minded 3-gun competitors. Now the new M3000 Sporting is offering its entry-level prices and high quality to sporting clays shooters. With a black finish and a black, synthetic stock, the shotgun features a 30-inch barrel topped by an elevated rib; an oversized bolt handle and oversized bolt release; and three extended chokes.
We prowl the smaller booths beyond the main hall of SHOT, and are occasionally rewarded with finds like ATX Armory. What first caught our eye was their rack of complete rifles in interesting finishes (like “Patina Copper” from BDL Custom Finishes), but what brought us to an actual halt was a brand new 15-inch handguard that looked like it would float away in a breeze (though no breeze would catch it). Available in 10-, 13- and 15-inch lengths, the longest weighs only 10.7 ounces (including the 4140 barrel nut), and it’s smooth enough to not snag a silk tie. Watch for one on a fast-swinging rifle near you soon, though we may beat you to it with one of our own.
As one of the few outfits that have actually seen and shot a so-called smart gun, we try to stay dialed in on such technology: Most of it is bogus malarkey, and more or less cleverly disguised Second Amendment sabotage. We think we’ve found one that isn’t, however, in the Identilock. A clamshell that fits over the trigger guard of your pistol to prevent unauthorized access, it reads your fingerprint—and yes, it will read more than one—as you grip the gun, dropping away on a “positive.” While the mechanism itself actually works a lot faster, it seemed to us that it only added about a half-second when it came to realistic access to that defensive arm. And if you blow it (which we only did once in seven or eight inexpert reps), there’s essentially no reset “cycle”: Just put your finger on the sensor again. It’s decidedly worth a more serious look, and we hope to run it down for you soon.
MSR fans will recognize the Jard name: They’ve been 16 years in the hot-rod trigger business, and we’ll vouch for their excellence. When it comes to their J68 Bullpup, our photo tells it all—we know it is everyone’s clear winner for the SHOT Utilitarian, Er, Beauty Award, but don’t judge this book by its cover. Being utterly ambi, as far as we could tell, is point one in favor. Point two is their use of Glock magazines—tough, tough, tough. Last, but not least, it shoulders just great, despite how that buttstock looks. The nice folks at Jard say we’ll be shooting one soon, so a full report is headed your way.
When Swiss GPS giant Garmin bought Delorme in 2016, the acquisition was motivated by the Maine-based map company’s InReach Personal Locator Beacon, a satellite-based technology that allows outdoorsmen to call for help far away from the nearest cell coverage. The first offspring of the marriage of the two companies is the Garmin InReach Explorer, a handheld mapping GPS that gives you global 2-way communication and location sharing, and puts GEOSinternational emergency rescue services at your fingertips. Very handy.
Every man has a multi-tool or two floating around in his bug-out bag. But attempting to use them for anything more than opening boxes from Amazon will highlight the huge difference between a cheap multi-tool and one that will do the job without causing you to invent new profanities. Gerber’s new Center-Drive multi-tool is designed to actually work across a wide range of tasks and not leave you with bloody knuckles. It’s made in Portland, Ore., by bearded worker elves who like black coffee and carburetors.
SHOT Show Range Day featured more than just firearms. Israeli-made Tomcar was there handing out rides in its super-impressive TM-4, a military-grade side-by-side made in Arizona that you can buy for a little under 25K. We took it offroading and were blown away by its smooth ride over ruts, rocks and bushes. If you’re looking for something that will perform across all terrains, you should really check one of these machines out.
When a power outage hits or you just need a light to look under the sink, there’s nothing more frustrating than dead batteries in your torch. With the HP7R flashlight by COAST, a versatile range of charging options ensures your light is always ready when you need it. There is a micro-USB port in the handle, another on the battery itself, and—if all else fails—a cartridge that accepts four AAA batteries. A stunning 300 lumen output and water-resistant case make this a must-have flashlight.