For gun owners, SHOT Show makes up four of the most exciting days of the year. Every January, numerous new and innovative products from various manufacturers make their public debuts at the NSSF event. Since only three things are guaranteed in this life: death, taxes, and opinionated gun owners, I figured it could not hurt to share some opinions about new products at this year’s show. As a disclaimer, Modern Rifleman as a new blog did not attend the show, but it is my hope to be there in the future.
Advanced Armament Corp
AAC appears to be addressing a weakness in their lineup this year. Ever since the M4-1000 was discontinued, AAC has lacked any real midrange product for 5.56/.223 rifles. It looks like they will be filling this hole with the new, budget minded 556-SD. The 726-SD will also make a return this year. Both will carry a reported $650 MSRP and will utilize AAC’s popular, but controversial 51-tooth mounting system. According to AAC representatives, the 556-SD is only 2 dB louder than the current M4-2000. Lastly, the Ranger 3 will make a reappearance as a thread-mount 5.56mm suppressor. The MSRP for the Ranger 3 will be $600.
Taking over the top of the line for AAC will be the new SR5 and SR7 suppressors. As you might imagine, the SR5 is a 5.56mm suppressor while the SR7 is a 7.62. These new models will use AAC’s new 90-tooth mounting system that has been vaporware for the past couple years. The new suppressors can be seen in SWAT Magazine’s video (http://youtu.be/zuskA0Hwvr4).
Lastly, as part of Freedom Group’s acquisition of Storm Lake, AAC will be releasing threaded barrels for a wide variety of pistols. Initial offerings will be aimed at the Glock, M&P, and XD lines of handguns. The barrels will feature traditional rifling, which should please lead shooters. The MSRP is expected to be around $250 so these should sell pretty well. Personally, I hope to see HK barrels join the AAC lineup in the near future, but there has been no announcement thus far that this will be the case.
Crye is not exactly known as a firearms manufacturer, but look for them to make waves this year with their new SIX12. The SIX12 is a revolving 12 gauge shotgun that can be used as a standalone firearm or in a mounted configuration similar to the famous Masterkey. The SIX12 can be reloaded by individually loading the chambers, or by dropping the entire cylinder and swapping it with another one. Initial reports were that the shotgun had a pretty brutal trigger, but the SHOT model was a preproduction prototype and may have also been broken. Haus of Guns did an excellent, brief video on the shotgun (http://youtu.be/5t9aMAT784w).
Desert Tech may seem like a new name for some readers and in a sense, it is true. Formerly known as Desert Tactical Arms, Desert Tech has undergone a rebranding and as part of this process, plans to release some very interesting products over the course of the next year. Starting with their established bread and butter, the precision rifle market, DT will be releasing their new R7S chassis for the Remington 700 series of rifles. Unlike their current Covert chassis, the R7S will be a traditional, non-bullpup chassis.
Perhaps the most exciting new release at SHOT this year was DT’s new MDR and MDR-C caliber convertible bullpups. With plans to offer them initially in 5.56mm, and .308, DT also has plans to release 7.62x39mm, .300 Blackout, and 6.8mm SPC models later on. Parts interchangeability will mean easy conversion between calibers. The rifle utilizes a short stroke piston and features a unique forward ejection system that pushes cases out of the ejection port on the forward travel of the bolt. MSRP will be around $2,400 for the .308 version and $2,150 for the 5.56 model. I hope readers will pardon my ineloquence, but I think these are damn cool rifles that may help me forget that I once lusted after a Bushmaster ACR. InnerBark Outdoors (http://youtu.be/JWi6ff22xBs) and Iraqveteran8888 (http://youtu.be/TJWWSDR7i5o) have excellent videos showing off the MDR and R7S.
FN was a little quieter than some vendors at this year’s SHOT Show, but still brought some excitement to die-hard AR fans with the announcement of the FN 15 line of rifles. At an MSRP of $1,149 the FN 15 series is likely to go toe to toe with Colt’s lineup and should carry significant appeal for those who are looking to buy an as close as possible replica of a USGI M4 or M16. Guns & Ammo has a video of the new rifles here: http://youtu.be/LLm27dd6ECQ.
Glock created all sorts of commotion when they announced the Glock 41 and 42 handguns just prior to SHOT. The Glock 41 is a long slide .45 ACP pistol similar to the 9mm Glock 34 and .40 S&W Glock 35 handguns. The 41 has a 13 round magazine. The Glock 42 represents the fruit of all the crying Glock enthusiasts have done for years about the Austrian company’s unwillingness to make a single stack 9mm handgun. Unfortunately, Glock gave shooters a .380 ACP (9mm Kurz) pistol in lieu of a 9x19mm offering. There is some speculation that Glock may be attempting to double-dip the market with intent to release a 9x19mm model at a later date. Obviously, there is no proof to support these claims, but I must admit that I have given them some serious consideration. In terms of size, the 42 compares closely to Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield and is slightly larger than Kahr’s P380. Hickock45 has already reviewed the Glock 42 (http://youtu.be/LskihWv3ALw) and firearmsguide has Media Day footage of the Glock 41 (http://youtu.be/LIrRNeFjn2M).
Heckler & Koch
It was an interesting SHOT Show for HK. Leading up to the show, the expectation among many enthusiasts was that we would see civilian G36, UMP, and MP5 rifles announced. Unfortunately, only some of this news proved to be true. HK will be releasing civilian versions of the G36 line and will also bring an MP5K to the market. Unfortunately, the company has no plans to introduce civilian UMPa or full-size MP5s. This is perplexing to me, given that a full-size MP5 could be imported in pistol configuration.
HK expressed no plans to release a civilian MP7, but did suggest that a .22 LR version may be in the works. On the pistol side, despite rumors no striker-fired models made an appearance at SHOT. It also appears that HK will not be releasing .22 LR conversions for their handguns.
The biggest newsmakers from a consumer perspective at the HK booth were the new MR-556A1 and MR-762 A1 rifles. Sold both with and without the specially designed Operators Suppressor Systems (OSS) suppressors, these new rifles will feature keymod rails for user customization. OSS’s new suppressor is a reflex design that reportedly carries no increase in backpressure. Time will tell whether these claims prove true. More information on these rifles can be found here: http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2014/01/07/heckler-koch-introducing-mr556762a1-sd-with-oss-suppressor-and-new-handguard/?repeat=w3tc.
Remington made a splash this year with the R51 handgun. Designed as a concealed carry handgun, the R51 takes its name and design from Remington’s old Model 51 handgun. The pistol operates off of a delayed blowback mechanism that was originally designed by John Pedersen. This operation should result in lower recoil than straight blowback designs, and possibly even less noticeable recoil than a Browning cam-style action. Unfortunately, Remington was noticeably absent from SHOT’s Media Day at the Range, so the pistol remains untested from an independent perspective. Tim from Military Arms Channel and The Bang Switch has commented that the slide had some discomforting machine marks internally and that both the trigger and grip safety were not as nice as he would have preferred (http://www.thebangswitch.com/remington-r51-over-hyped/). Regardless, the firearm is an interesting design that should suppress well and has a low enough bore axis to almost certainly allow for quick follow-up shots. Another nice feature is that the sights and other edges of the handgun are remarkably snag-free, which should help with concealment.
Remington also showed subcompact, officer sized models of its 1911 line. Unlike the R51, these were at media day. These can be seen Mike Beliveau’s video here: http://youtu.be/e-M6WCJ6CHM .
Some readers may be unfamiliar with this company. As the importer for the Sarsilmaz line of firearms from Turkey, SAR Arms is a relatively new company on the US market that has gained a following for its incredibly affordable line of CZ clones. I must admit, SAR makes some very attractive firearms, not the least of which are the ST10 and SAR9/40/45 series handguns. The ST10 has already made its appearance here in the US and resembles a sort of alloy framed USP derivative. By all accounts, it is a nice firearm. My hope is that the SAR9/40/45 handguns will make an appearance here in the US at some point this year. SAR did have these pistols at SHOT so it may be possible.
However, the most intriguing product from SAR Arms was not a handgun, but a pistol caliber carbine based on the AR-15 layout called the 109T. The Bang Switch covered the 109T in a post (http://www.thebangswitch.com/sar-arms-109t-9mm-carbine/) and had good things to say. As a recent NFA enthusiast, I am very interested in the 109T. Personally, I am not a fan of the magazine well adapters that many use with 9x19mm AR-15 uppers and I have always found myself drawn towards the DDLES-style pistol caliber lowers. With DDLES’s recent inability to deliver product, the SAR 109T may fill this void nicely.
Serbu created a great deal of excitement by announcing their new SU-15 upper receiver for the AR-15 platform. This upper roughly resembles the SCAR upper receiver in that it features a monolithic rail and short stroke piston. Serbu expects that the upper will retail at around $700. To me, that is an amazing value for an upper that will almost certainly be of excellent quality. A video from James Madison can be seen here: http://youtu.be/YuUGtxf3C_k. I am very excited about this upper.
SIG brought a number of new products to SHOT this year. The new 556xi was likely the most interesting of the bunch. This new offering in the popular 556 line is completely ambidextrous and features a swappable barrel that will allow the rifle to interchange between 5.56mm, .300 Blackout, and 7.62x39mm. The rifle features a new pistol grip and three stock options. A video from 2brothersadventures can be seen here: http://youtu.be/vveRucu9OjA.
SIG Sauer has also announced the release of the P320 striker fired handgun. This model replicates the look and feel of SIG’s P250 and features the same interchangeable lower frame (non serialized part) system. SIG boasts that this pistol has an excellent trigger. Given that it is SIG’s first foray into the striker fired world, I look forward to seeing just how nice the trigger is. A video by Rockwell Arms from Media Day at the Range can be seen here: http://youtu.be/DM1cf5cb2P0.
SilencerCo made news just prior to SHOT with the announcement of the Harvester and Harvester Big Bore suppressors. Rated for up to .300 Winchester Magnum, the Harvester is an incredibly light suppressor at 11.3 ounces. In an interesting departure from traditional suppressors, the Harvester has a brake on the end to reduce felt recoil. This should make shooting .300 Magnum very tolerable. The standard Harvester will be a direct thread suppressor and will have several adapters available for different thread pitches. MSRP on the Harvester will be $750 and it is likely that street prices will hover in the $500 to $550 range. At this price, the Harvester should sell very well.
The Harvester Big Bore is simply a larger version of the Harvester intended for use with the powerful .338 Lapua round. Unlike the Harvester, the Big Bore model will be compatible with SilencerCo’s Active Spring Retention (ASR) Mounts that are used with the Specwar line. MSRP on the Big Bore will be $1,600.
Lastly, SilencerCo announced the release of the much anticipated Saker 762. Using the same MAAD mounting system that the 556 introduced, the Saker 762 should be a highly versatile suppressor for anything up to .300 Winchester Magnum. SilencerCo has reported impressive suppression on a variety of calibers with especially impressive performance using 5.56 (134 dB) and .300 Blackout (127 dB). The Saker 762 will weigh 20.7 ounces and carry a retail price of $1,300.
More information on SilencerCo’s new suppressors can be found at http://www.SilencerCo.com.
Zenith Quest International is a new entrant into the civilian firearms market. Zenith plans to bring the MKE line of Turkish HK clones back to the United States. A video from SHOT by the NSSF can be seen here: http://youtu.be/vZwQAZBOAN4.