SHOT Show 2012 – Wrap-Up!
SHOT Show 2012 is in the rear-view. YouTube videos abound. Blogs are updated. Print rags are readying future articles. We were looking for some very specific things this year at the SHOT Show. (In case you missed it, click here to read my previous post on what exactly the SHOT Show is, what we were hoping to see.)
Overall Thoughts & Some Trends I’ve Spotted
I’ve watched countless YouTube videos. I’ve read all kinds of blogs. This could just be a function of what I’m “tuned-into” at the moment, but here are some trends I’ve noticed from SHOT Show 2012 coverage:
- Likely somewhat of a function of the overall economy, but overall, it seemed like an evolutionary year, as opposed to being revolutionary.
- Highly concealable, pocket pistols rule the day! Increasing numbers of ‘pocket pistols’ are being chambered in larger calibers – like the 9mm, .40S&W and even the .45ACP. This isn’t a new trend, but it certainly continues with offerings like the Sig p938, the Beretta Nano, the Springfield XD-S and Colt has even gotten back in the game with the everything-new-is-old or everything-old-is-new-again Mustang.
- Modularity! Modularity across the board in ARs (of course, where ‘ya been), but also in pistols, rifles and shotguns. One gun value. One gun versatility – HUGE versatility. One gun training / muscle memory. More gun for less money. Empowered owners; no gunsmith required to change calibers. Start small and expand over time based on needs and budgets. It’s a trend I really like, and I’m very happy to see. Perfect handgun examples include the Beretta Nano, a new Rock River Arms pistol offering, the Thompson Center Dimension and the Mossberg FLEX top the non-AR platforms for me.
- Better triggers. Most shooters know trigger squeeze is one of the keys to accuracy. The modern [r]evolution in better factory triggers arguably started almost ten years ago with the Savage Arms then new AcccuTrigger, but more and more manufacturers are putting high quality triggers in their factory guns. This is something that not too long ago, a typical intermediate or expert shooter would pay good money for, after the initial purchase, and requiring the work of a qualified gunsmith.
- An increasing number of firearms, accessories and related products aimed squarely at women shooters. It’s a trend I welcome. I’m happy to see it!
- Factory competition firearms. Handguns and long guns setup for 3 Gun, IDPA an other forms of competition, like Stag Arms 3G, as well as offerings from Ruger and CZ.
- Airsoft! YouTube video and blog updates about Airsoft guns seemed to everywhere. Why not? They’re cool. They look like the real thing. The shooting fundamentals are the same and you can practice shooting them arguably many more places than your real guns.
So, how’d we do with what we really wanted to see??!!
The Sig Sauer p938 is Here!!
Hoped for by many for a while, rumored as early as September 2011, then formally confirmed by the company in November, the Sig Sauer p938 is in fact a reality, and it sure to be a home run!! It is exactly what the market has been demanding from Sig. This highly anticipated, mini-1911 pocket gun is now chambered in 9mm. As expected, it is the p238’s slightly bigger brother – same height, same width, same single action trigger and battery of arms, just .4″ longer overall and ~2 ounces heavier. Aimed squarely at the concealed carry, personal defense market the Sig p938 was on-hand at SHOT Show 2012. From what I’ve read four variations of the p938 will hopefully hit the market around April. I think we all hope street price is well below the ~$795-823 list, and that the p938 doesn’t suffer from some of the initial growing pains experienced by it’s “Little Brother”, the Sig p238. Click here for more pictures, spec and information.
While on the topic of Sig, the Sig Sauer p224 and p290 were also on-hand.
The Sig Sauer p224 is considered by many to be Sig’s answer to the Glock 26 / 27 sub-compact, double-stack backup or concealment guns. If the p226 is the “Father” of the the p224, this is the “Grandson”. It is intended as an on-duty backup gun or an off-duty / civilian concealment gun. It will be offered in traditional Sig DA/SA or DAK, which is Sig’s version of Double Action Only. Click here for more.
New for 2012, the Sig Sauer p290 has double-strike capability.
Highly anticipated in 2010, released at SHOT Show 2011 and then unfortunately not the hot seller Sig had hoped for (due to its weight and perceived bulk), the Sig p290 Double Action Only (DAO), polymer frame, hammer fired “pocket” pistol now has double strike capability. Certainly a welcome feature, especially give its intended defensive purpose. Click here for more.
The Beretta Nano
Announced in early September 2011. Released at the end of October. The single stack, polymer frame, striker fired Nano with no external controls from the World’s Oldest gun maker was on-hand at SHOT Show. Judging from all the coverage via YouTube vids and other blogs, this pocket gun is certainly a big hit. In one YouTube video I watched of this year’s SHOT Show, Beretta representative Ben Cook mentioned that new color, and NEW SIZED grip frames will be available. However, Beretta didn’t have any of those new grips frames at the SHOT Show, and Ben didn’t go into much detail. (What new colors will be available? What new sizes will be available? Will the new sizes be minimally different, to accomodate different sized hands – or fundamentally and game-changing different – like giving users the ability to drop a serialized, stainless steel Nano frame into a full-size double-stack frame or anything in between ? ) Nor did I hear anything about a .22lr conversion kit or extended magazines. I keep watching closely for updates, and will post when there is news. Click here for more from Beretta on the BU9 Nano.
Unfortunately (but as generally expected), there was no surprise of a new single stack, smaller G26 / G27 to compete with the likes of the Nano, the PM9, CM9, PF9, etc. That said, there was plenty to be excited about from Glock, with two “new” Gen 4 models: the full-size G21 in .45 ACP and the mid-compact G32 in .357 Sig. The first Gen 4s were released at SHOT Show 2012 and every model in the Glock Gen 4 lineup offers multiple, adaptable back straps, new gripping surface, an ambi-magazine release, and the new recoil system. All of these modifications are in response to customer feedback and demand. They are geared towards making this rock-solid, reliable performer more user friendly and comfortable to shoot. Click here for more.
The Black Rifle – The Stag Arms 3G
So what it announced a couple ahead of the SHOT Show? The Stag Arms 3G was on-hand, and it was a HUGE hit. Aimed primarily at the 3-Gun competition shooter, it features a stainless steel, heavy fluted 18”, a rifle length gas system, the new Stag Arms 3G compensator (said to reduce recoil to provide faster, more accurate follow up shots), a long, free floated Samson Evolution handguard (which supports multiple modular rail sections in various positions), a Geissele Super 3-Gun trigger (specifically developed for 3-Gun competitions), Magpul MOE pistol grip and Magpul ACS collapsable buttstock. The Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights (RTS) are optional. While pricier than some of their previous models, the Stag 3G is still very high-value! You get a lot of high-end features for the extra dollars. 3-Gun shooter or not, this is one hot, top quality AR. I imagine it will serve all AR shooters well, except for maybe the those in Close Quarters Battle, but I want one in my gun case! I anticipate this will be one of the hottest ARs of the year, and you can check it out here: Stag Arms Model 3G Hmmmm, my AR Build Vs. Buy decision is no longer so easy…
So, that’s SHOT Show 2012 Wrap-Up, Part 1. Please stay tuned for Part 2, and thanks for reading!