James Bond-Worthy Finds From SHOT Show 2023

This is going to be somewhat of a quick highlight reel of things I saw and liked at 2023 SHOT Show.  It’s not all-inclusive by any means.

Some of it is impractical, but cool.

Some of it is fun.

And some is super-practical.

Let’s start with this James Bond-cool counter-drone gun that has taken out drones at 2,000 meters!

The big thing that interested me about this was that the setup looks almost exactly like the 3d-printer made directional cell phone antenna that I use for WiFi.

Next is reactive targets using either liquid…as is the case with the Ballistic Dummy that combines bones, organs, and ballistic gelatin from Perma-Gel

Or powder with the https://Ikardasystems.com G3 reactive targets.  The body on these are made to take thousands of hits and the center mass and CNS inserts are made to take hundreds.

In both cases, they provide a very visible indication of vital zone hits.

These are both high on the cool factor, but priced for special-occasion use.

Next…pepper spray.

As much as I like pepper spray, it has some downsides.  It sticks around on clothing, fabric, fur, hair, and skin for a long time and it’s bad around the very old, very young, asthmatics, and others with respiratory issues.  Not that you’d need to use it on those groups of people, but you may need to use it AROUND those groups of people.

SOK is a very cool alternative.

It burns the eyes for a few minutes, forcing the eyes shut, and then it dissipates quickly.  You use plain water for cleanup.  You can hose down someone in the back seat of a car or laying on a carpet and use them again in 20-30 minutes without having to do major decon.  The designer has asthma and he had me deeply inhale 1-2″ above a bowl of the stuff…it was amazing.  No problems.  Let me know if you want me to post the video.  https://sokdef.com 

Next is a setup on the Augmented Reality front is a setup from Magic Leap https://www.magicleap.com/en-us/

Magic Leap Augmented Reality Rifle Training SHOT Show 2023

VR and AR has been rough for firearms training.  Traditionally, it’s awesome for visual decision making skills, but not for psychomotor skills.  Each inner ear sends signal to the brain, eyes, and spine 1 million times per second to adjust for posture and movement and when there is a disconnect between what we see and what we experience, there is a big drop in training value.  In addition, with shooting, proprioception is a super-big deal.  If VR/AR trains us to present the gun just SLIGHTLY differently than what we would in real life, then, at best, we’re creating a separate neural pathway for VR/AR.  At worst, we’re creating a neural pathway that will create sub-par performance in the real world.  It’s not as big of a deal for things like surgery because of speed, but for firearms training, it is a big deal.

Magic Leap is doing some stuff really well…like multiple sensors on the gun to accurately portray where the gun is in relation to your eye, but right now, the on-gun gear is super-bulky.  That being said, this is a company to watch.  They’re in the process of making things smaller and I think it will only be a year or two before this is a super-viable psycho-motor training tool.

Like every good boy and girl, I always hope that Santa will bring me flash bangs and distraction grenades for Christmas 🙂

They can be used for early-warning tripwires, or as a very effective force-multiplier in a home-invasion situation.

I found a few options that I liked.  Look for an opportunity to buy them along with my new counter home invasion training later this year.


2 pistols that I want to point out…

First is what I would call a full(ish) size .380 from Ruger

Although it won’t be cheap to shoot, this could be an awesome first semi-auto for shooters with low-grip strength or painful hands/arms.  I look forward to a LOT more .380s being produced in the near future and for ammo production to follow behind.

Next is Rob Pincus’ 10 year labor of love…the PD10 from AvidityArms.  Rob has tweaked and tested every aspect of this gun for the last decade and I’m super happy for him to launch it.

Rob Pincus Avidity PD10

I didn’t get to shoot it, but I did hold and dry fire it.  It’s a single stack 10 round 9mm pistol that has cuts and curves in all the right places to make shooting a lot more fun for shooters with smaller hands.

I was very excited to get to try out Comp-Tac’s new Level 3 holster.  Both the hood and level 2 release are activated with the thumb so you can defeat retention essentially as fast as a level 2.

More James Bond gear…

This is the LifeCard from TrailBlazer Firearms, a single shot .22 pistol that folds down to the size of a wallet that you can attach a suppressor to.

What’s it for?  What’s it not?

It’s not a primary carry gun…or primary concealed carry gun.

It’s a deep-concealment gun for non-permissive environments…think doctors or teachers who want SOMETHING they can reach across a room with but don’t want to risk losing their career because of being “caught” with a regularly shaped pistol.  It’s a tool that’s going to require considerable thought around tactics, angles, timing, and other considerations that are more pronounced with a single-shot .22 than with other options.

It’s not a good answer for most shooters.  For shooters who recognize it as a solution to their unique problem, it could be a great solution.

Next is the “Pivot” also from TrailBlazer.

This is an ultra-compact folding rifle.  20.9″ long folded with a 16″ threaded barrel.  Extends out to 30″ at full extension in firing mode.  Takes Glock mags.

They’re friends with the guys at KelTec and this represents some major improvements over the KelTec Sub2k.  The Sub2k may be a hair quicker to get into action, but the Pivot’s ergonomics give it a big leg up.

I’ve got several more, but the last one for today is T4E.  Here’s a shot of Troy and me on the last day.


They’re really doing some great stuff on man-marker platforms for force-on-force, at-home training, AND less-lethal pepper guns.  I’ll be filling you in on some of their new offerings as I get them in and have some time on them.

Several conversations about training at the show this year.  There is a huge seismic shift coming in the industry.  Consumers are coming into classes more educated…sometimes correctly, but oftentimes INCORRECTLY.

When they find out they’ve been misled, it’s creating a backlash.

Hopefully, this will result in Fudlore and other incorrect, dangerous, or outdated training methods being squeezed out of the market.

We can hope.

In the meantime, something you can do today is get a copy of my book, “Real World Gunfight Training.”  Get it for yourself OR, it’s priced to where you can afford to get a copy for your favorite shooting buddy when you click >HERE< now.


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