The day before the SHOT Show begins there is a range day at the Boulder City Gun Club. South of town, the ranges are filled with the newest firearms, ammunition, optics, and support gear. The number and variety of firearms and accessories on display demonstrates the high demand for quality duty and personal defense handguns, rifles and shotguns. AR-15 type rifles and carbines are available in every form and multiple rifle and pistol calibers. Striker fired, polymer frame handguns are offered by an ever-increasing number of companies. The demand for the single action 1911 type handgun remains strong as it has some of the best handling and shooting qualities of any handgun type. Revolvers are still at the front of concealed carry options. If you want it, somebody is making it and that is good news for all of us.
- Colt has reintroduced their .38 special Cobra snub revolver. This is an all stainless, 2 inch barrel six shot model. It has a very smooth, redesigned double-action trigger system. Rubber grips and a fiber-optic front sight are well designed. In exchange for the heavier, all steel design, you get a softer shooting revolver.
- Springfield Armory: A new AR-15 carbine named the SAINT. In a shooting world filled with every possible type of AR, Springfield offers some nice upgraded featured that include a mid-length gas system, a heavy tungsten H-type buffer, nickel boron coated trigger and hammer for hard duty use, an all steel back up iron sight, black salt nitride barrel finish with a 1/8 twist rate, Bravo Company for-end, stock, and pistol grip, and their unique Accu-Tite Receiver Mating System; a lower to upper frame tightening system. Shooting the SAINT, I was impressed by the overall feel and handling qualities.
The EMP 4” Concealed Carry Contour is their upgraded version of the original 9 m/m EMP 3 inch barrel model. The EMP is a reduced size 9 m/m 1911. This new 4 inch barrel model has excellent grip design, frame treatment on the front and backstrap, and a front fiber optic sight. This is one of the best handling, reduced size pistols I have shot.
- Geissele Automatics: Known for their wide variety of high quality AR triggers, Geissele previewed a new standard AR-15 type version that can be adjusted from 4-6 lbs by use of varying trigger springs. It has a new low friction coating and costs in the $70 dollar range. Their new AR15 / m-4 scope mount is a lightweight design that starts out as a four pound block of aluminum and appears very solid which is the key factor of any scope mount.
- Inland Manufacturing M1 1945 Carbine: A true to form WWII era .30 cal. M-1 Carbine. Proven in combat for over 60 years, it continues to have a strong following. Used by legendary NYPD Officer Jim Cirillo during his Stake Out Squad days,it is soft shooting and accurate to 100 yards plus. I also shot their new metal stock version made by Sage Int. that adds a pistol grip and upgraded handling qualities. Loaded with modern .30 cal. ammo, you have a very capable short carbine for smaller stature shooters or those looking for a compact long gun.
- Kimber: Their 6S stainless steel six shot .357 magnum snub revolver is upgraded with a fiber optic front sight. This is a heavy revolver for the concealed carry role but it offers a very smooth double action trigger and full .357 magnum capability. If you want to use the hottest loads, this is the platform to do so. Kimber’s 9m/m Micro 9 is an easily concealed, single action seven shot capacity semi auto pistol. There are several options offered as to grips and finish for the aluminum frame and steel slide. This pistol is the big brother to the Micro .380. The 9 m/m as expected is bit snappier as to recoil than the .380 but still easily handled.
6. Smith and Wesson: A redesign of the M&P system called the 2.0 combines an enhanced trigger and grip system. The interchangeable backstraps can be changed out to fit varying hand sizes.