More Miles, More Aisles

SHOT 2017, Part 2

By Paton Miller

Note: Last month we began walking readers through items of interest at the 2017 SHOT Show. Unfortunately, we ran out of column inches way before we ran out of stuff. So let’s now continue our journey through those miles of Las Vegas aisles.

Aimpoint’s Micro S-1 for shotguns rides on the vent rib and features a 6 MOA dot.

Aimpoint was a pioneer of red-dot sights and they still appear to be on the cutting edge. Their new Micro S-1 attaches directly to a shotgun’s vent rib at any point and comes with adapter plates to accommodate most rib sizes. The Micro S-1 features a 6 MOA dot and can be used for upland birds, waterfowl, sporting clays and turkey. It weighs 3.5 ounces.

Galco Ironhide

Always on the lookout for leather, I stopped by the Galco booth and was carried away by their new Ironhide rig. It’s for 1911’s and GLOCKs and is based on the company’s Wheelgunner revolver rig. It’s a belt-slide system basically, and can be used for strongside or crossdraw carry. You adjust it by unsnapping the holster from the belt slide, moving the slide to a different location on the belt, reversing the retention strap (if needed) and re-attaching the holster. Pretty cool!

Browning A5 A-TACS Arid/Urban

I was floored at the Browning booth by their A5 A-TACS Arid/Urban. I usually don’t pay much attention to camo patterns, but on this one I did. Could’ve been I’m just a sucker for Browning’s A5. This one looked to be tailor made for the Southwest. Featuring a Dura-Touch composite stock, this short-recoil operated classic features an aluminum alloy receiver, Vector Pro lengthened forcing cone, F, M and IC Invector DS choke tubes and an Inflex recoil pad to cope with those 3-1/2-inch 12-gauge shells (if you simply must use them).

FirstEdge Tactical Hunter

A knife you can depend on will always have its place in the scheme of things, and one of the nicest premium ones I encountered at SHOT was the Tactical Hunter from FirstEdge Knives and Tools. Featuring the TrackLock locking mechanism (allowing for easy one-hand opening and closing), this 3-1/8-inch bladed drop-point folder can be had with a plain edge or partially serrated. Handle scales are coarse-textured black G10.

IFG Howda

Although few folks need a double-barreled pistol to deter tigers from climbing aboard their elephant, or burglars on their ’27 Chevy’s running boards, the Pedersoli Howdah .45/.410 is an excellent replica of a true special-purpose handgun. Patterned after Ithaca’s Auto Burglar pistol from the 1920’s, the Pedersoli-made Howdah is a lot more manageable than the originals. And with a ramp front sight and folding-leaf rear, it’s probably easier to hit with, whether you’re using a stout .45 Colt load or 3-inch .410 slug or buckshot shells.

FNX .45 Tactical

A big-bore pistol of more modern design, the DA/SA FNX-45 Tactical was one of the SHOT “showstoppers.” It features a 5.3-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel, raised night sights for suppressor use, a checkered polymer frame, serrated triggerguard, accessory rail and a low-bore axis. The version catching our eye was in Flat Dark Earth (well, after all, we were in the Southwest!).

Ruger Precision Rifle

The big word in rifles these days appears to be Creedmoor—as in 6mm and 6.5. Ruger’s new bolt-action Precision Rifle makes the most of them (as well as the .308). Featuring a cold hammer-forged barrel with 5R rifling, a proprietary Precision MSR stock, a 20 MOA Picatinny rail and a Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger (2-1/4 to 4 pounds), this looks like the ideal tool for folks who like to hit things way out there.

Since this wouldn’t be a real SHOT report without mentioning at least one 1911, Ruger has wisely decided to offer up a version of what has long been a cult item—the SR1911 Lightweight Commander-Style in 9mm. With a 29.3-ounce weight, a 4.25-inch barrel stainless-steel slide and aluminum, gray-anodized frame, it fits the classic template to a T. And its 9+1 single-stack capacity and Novak 3-dot sights make things both ergonomically “shootable and see-able.”

Winchester Commemorative 1866 .44-40

For me, the highlight of the Winchester booth was the 150th Commemorative High Grade 1866 in .44-40. Featuring a full octagon 24-inch barrel, ladder-style rear sight, custom grade walnut engraved brass receiver, this one is almost too pretty to shoot. Well, almost…

As always, Smith & Wesson managed to come up with something new for revolver fans. The Performance Center Model 986, a 2-1/2-inch barreled 7-shot 9mm L-Frame has a stainless steel frame and barrel and features an unfluted titanium cylinder, fully adjustable target sights and custom wood grips. It weighs 31.7 ounces and has, as you’d expect, a PC-tuned action.

TOPS Knives generally has something very cool every year and 2017 was no exception. What caught my eye was the Finnish-inflected Tanimboca Puukko, a sleek, fixed-blade belt knife featuring a 3.6-inch clip-point blade with a tan canvas Micarta handle. Simple, understated and very classy, it was designed by Goran Mihajlovic.


The Ammo Locker

Sub-gauge shotgun fans should take note of the fact Aguila Ammunition will be offering 28-gauge shotshells this summer featuring No. 6, 7-1/2, 8 and 9 shot sizes.

The big news from Black Hills is their “non-HP” HoneyBadger line of defensive handgun ammo. It currently includes .380 (60 grain, 1,150 fps), .38 Special + P (100 grain, 1,275 fps), 9mm Subsonic (125 grain, 1,050 fps), .44 Magnum (180 grain, 1,800 fps), .45 ACP (135 grain, 1,325 fps).

Federal now offers a .38 Special +P HST Micro load specifically tailored to CCW revolvers, featuring a deep-seated 130-grain JHP using a low-flash propellant. In addition, they have a new Hunter Match .22 LR match-grade high-velocity load featuring a 40-grain HP. And for those .264 fans out there, there’s pair of new Fusion offerings in 6.5 a Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor.

From Remington comes the American Clay and Field shotshell lineup. Featuring high-hardness lead shot and a reloadable unibody hull, it covers 12, 20, 28 and .410 and features shot sizes No. 7-1/2, 8 and 9.

Gorilla Ammunition has a pair of new supersonic hunting loads in .300 AAC—the 110-grain Pig Punisher and 125-grain Buck Assassin.

It’s a black gun world and there are now dedicated lines of ammo specialized for it. Hornady’s new Black Ammunition includes 5.45×39, 5.56/.223, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC .300 Blackout, .308, 7.62×39 and .450 Bushmaster. They’ve even got a 12-gauge 00 Buck load for tactical shotguns.

Lapua has a couple of new loads featuring their monolithic copper Naturalis bullet: a 55-grain .222 (2,887 fps), a 156-grain 7x65R (2,756 fps) and a 170-grain .308 (2,625 fps).

Winchester’s got something from the “quiet side” which should be of interest—the Super-X Subsonic Power Point. The radically configured bullet is designed for optimum terminal performance at lower velocities and comes in two chamberings. First is a 200-grain .300 Blackout load. The second is a 185-grain .308 Winchester offering. Both clock at 1,060 fps.

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