Quick Range Report from SHOT Show 2018

SHOT (Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade) Show is in Vegas this week.  Thousands of vendors and 60-75,000 enthusiasts will be here to see the latest and greatest in outdoor gear.

Yesterday was “range day” and I went to the ATAC military, government, and law enforcement event.

On the plus side, I got to try out some very cool new gear that I’m going to tell you about.

On the minus side, since some of the gear was sensitive and some of the people need to keep a low profile, photography was extremely limited…but I was allowed to take a few photos that I’m going to share with you today

There were a few notable products at the event.

One was the Schmidt & Bender 1-8x scope:

One of the big problems with 1-4x and 1-6x optics is that the 1x isn’t really 1x.  The further you are away from 1x, the more precise you need to be with your eye placement to make good hits.

That’s why 1x red dot sights are so easy to use.  You don’t need to get your eye in the same place every time to make solid hits.

I found the 1x setting on the Schmidt & Bender to be very forgiving and quick to get on.  It was also very quick to switch from 1x-8x…even without a cat tail.

The down side…this is a $2,000+ optic.  Incredible glass if you can afford it, but not priced for most.

Next was a replacement trigger for Glocks from Overwatch Precision.

I’ve shot A LOT of replacement triggers and this has to be the best one that I’ve used to date.  Even with stock trigger weight, it’s incredibly smooth, easy, and fast to shoot.  I didn’t get enough time with it to get behind it fully and still wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Apex or Zev.

A few of the booths were showing their gear on the new Glock Gen 5s.  They shot good, like I’d expect from Glocks, but I couldn’t really perceive any big changes from previous generations.  If the finger grooves on older Glocks bothered you, then the Gen 5 may be a great change for you…otherwise, I mainly see it as an opportunity to buy older generation Glocks cheaper.

On the target side, there were some great setups from ZF Technical.  They have a popup steel target that you can control with your phone, it runs on drill batteries, and you can shoot the target while it’s going up or coming down without hurting the mechinism.

Next, Action Targets has popup targets that have 2 layers of metal separated by a non-conductive layer.  When the bullet passes through the target, it completes a circuit between the metal layers and records where you hit.  You can program how many hits you need to drop a target and the targets “talk” to each other so you can have one target pop up as soon as the first one drops.

The next one was from Oakwood Controls.  This one uses 6 sound sensors placed in front of any target.  As long as the bullet is supersonic, when it passes the bars, the computer records the path of the bullet..regardless of whether the round hits the target or empty space.

All 3 of these were in the $1,800-$5,000 range apiece.

I saved my 2 favorite items for last…

The first was PolyFrang ammo.  I’ve been shooting frangible ammo for a few years and REALLY like it.  I have the first 2 rounds in all of my magazines loaded with TNQ frangibles.  Why?  Because I actually pull out my carry pistol and shoot things that need shooting on a regular basis.  They happen to be things like porcupines, raccoons, and coyotes.  I don’t always have glasses and I usually have a rock backstop.  I’ve had a nickel-sized riccochet lodge in my cheek bone before and I don’t really like it.  Frangible ammo disintigrates when it hits solid surfaces…you still get flying rock particles, but at least there’s no chunks of steel coming back at me.

Frangibles also have solid terminal ballistics.  The big problem until now is that they aren’t suppressor safe.  Polyfrang changed that.  I was shooting suppressed .223 and .308 INCHES away from steel targets and didn’t get any splatter on me or on the people next to me.  Very impressive.

And last was a red dot mount from Spuhr.  This mount lets you dial in your elevation based on range so that you can use a single dot red dot optic to engage man sized targets out to 800 meters.  On my first try with the system, I turned the dial to 250, hit a 250 yard torso, turned the dial to 600, and hit the 600 yard torso.  There was either a 4x or 6x magnifier in front of the red dot.

I WAS able to get a picture of this setup:

Last night, we spent the evening with the SOFREP crew…good times that I’ll share more about later.

Doors are open at the show today and I should have more updates through the week.  If you’re at the show, comment below or contact me through Facebook.


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