Shot Show 2016 - Media Range Day

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Day 1 Media Range Day
By James Nicholas

This is just a small sample of some of the interesting stuff that I saw at the Media Range day. 

Yeti was at the range day showing off the new Rambler Bottles in 64oz, 36oz and 18oz's. One of the things the rep told us was that Yeti was officially releasing two new lids. Both the slider lid and straw lid should be available to view Tuesday. Think of these as updated modern Thermos bottles. 

Fix It Sticks was a company that original made portable multitools for extreme bicycle riders. Using their experience in building precision tools they have developed several kits for the firearms industry. These torque limiting tools are already available at brownells. 

At the Otis booth they were showing off a new cleaning tool and cleaning kit. This little black piece of polymer is made to clean that annoying area in the AR-15 upper receiver under the gas tube. You remove the bolt and the charging handle. Then attach the tool to the end of the charging handle and slide the assembly all the way forward. The tool then slides over the gas tube scraping all of the nasties out of the upper. 

Mechanix Gloves introduced a new Wolf Grey series of gloves. And then rereleased the camo versions in a name brand pattern instead of the older generic pattern. 

Standard Manufacturing Company has their DP-12 double barrel shotgun available to shoot. This shotgun can hold up to 16 rounds of pure 12ga power. It is a pump shotgun and with each pump both barrels load. When you pull the trigger one barrel fires (no need to pump) then you pull the trigger for the second barrel to fire. Now you pump to load two new fresh rounds. This shotgun was extremely fast for 12ga double taps. 

Honor Defense is a first time exhibitor and one of the newest firearms manufactures in the country. They are based out of Ga and their pistol is completely 100% manufactured in the US. I was told not one part was outsourced out of the county....How about that! The compact pistol comes in two different versions, one were the frame sticks out passed the slide and barrel as a stand off feature. You can push the pistol into a target and the slide will not come out of battery. My first impression of this pistol is favorable. The fit and finish was great, the texturing and ergonomics were top notch and on top of that it shoots great.  

 A big surprise awaited me at the Colt bench. Affordable and Colt are two things that are never used in the same sentence, but Colt is going to go after the budget AR market. This "M4" will retail for 699..........street price should be So lets start at the upper, it does not come with a dust cover. But wait yes Colt left on the dust cover mounting points so the user can then upgrade later. There is no forward assist, and it is covered with a polymer cover. And yes it is meant to be easily upgraded at a latter time if the customer chooses to do so. On the 1911 side Colt showed off the new Competition series 1911's with an adjustable rear sight and fiber optic front. 

Kimber has several of their new revolvers available to shoot. This revolver will retail at 899.00 and is mostly a J-Frame size equivalent revolver. The pistol is completely stainless steel and the example we had to shoot were 357mag. A couple of things to note: The front sight is pined in place and easily replaced. And the rear sight has a dovetail....when was the last time you saw that. To use the cylinder release you push it in and was really easy to use. The trigger was nice and smooth. I was told that these will come from the factory to seem like they had been tuned. One disappointment is that they will come with rubber grips not the nice wooden ones.  

UTM was showing off their civilian man marker rounds. These rounds allow you to practice with your weapon without a range just by changing out your AR bolt or your pistol slide. 

Springfield Armory Mod.2 tactical

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Tactical Mod.2 - Shot Show 2016
By James Nicholas

Today Springfield Armory released the XD Mod.2 Tactical model. In the last couple weeks that I have had time with this pistol I have grown to love it more each day. The one thing that I hate about it is that Springfield released it in the Winter time. All of the local ranges suspend most of the shooting matches until the weather is more moderate. If this would have come out during the summer, this pistol would have seen matches every weekend. The Tactical model continues the use of all the Mod.2 ergonomics so nothing has changed in that area and if you like the Mod.2 package you will like this as well. I see this as a great platform to build a competition pistol with. Yes you do have the XDM 5.25 pistol and that makes an excellent compition platform. But not everyone can afford its price tag. Remember that the Mod.2 pistols can be purchased significantly cheaper than the XDM pistols. Sure to some 100 bucks or more does not sound like a lot. but to many every penny saved can go into ammo, equipment or accessories. I tested this pistol with my completion holsters and it works like a charm. Since it used the same magazines as my XD Classic Tactical I am already basically set up for this to take over the competition duties of it's older brother. I talked with Powder River a couple weeks ago about the Mod.2 trigger kit and they should have them ready to go any time now. So by the time the new shooting season starts I should have had plenty of trigger time with the new pistol to get it nice and worn in. With me leaving for the Shot Show in a day, I have until Monday to figure out how to convince Springfield to just let me go ahead a pay for this pistol and keep it.

Kimber to Release a Revolver?

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Shot Show 2016 - Kimber Revolver Teaser
By James Nicholas


On Monday, January 18, 2016, Kimber will be releasing a new platform that will change the way that you think about concealed carry.

This "revolutionary" new handgun will be on display in the Kimber bay at the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range on January 18, 2016, and in the Kimber SHOT Show booth (#11762).

For all of our loyal fans and consumers that will not be attending 2016 SHOT Show, we will be running a live feed of this product launch and other SHOT Show on-goings within our SHOT Show media page and throughout all social media platforms.  Also, detailed new product information will be available on on the afternoon of January 18, 2016.

Shot Show 2015 Day 1

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Took a tour around the crowded Magpul booth. By now you know they will have a whole series of AK-47 MOE furniture. They will also release metal lined AK-47 magazines and as far as right now they will still be shipping the non metal reenforced versions as well. The Glock magazines are cheap than Glock factory mags with all of the reliability and are easier to take apart to boot.

Over at the Barrett booth they had a beautiful engraved and blued M82A1 that the NRA will Auction. The Stock had nice wooden accents with gold inlays in the metal engraving. The metal was given a nice polished blued finish. showed off some of their new locking holsters that will be available in the next couple months. Over at the focus booth I found a new holster that I think many people will like. It is a universal inside the wait band holster that will fit hundreds of different pistols. They come in two different sizes one for large semi autos like a Glock 22, XD or S&W M&P or the like. The small fits pistols like the S&W bodyguard or similar. 

I ran into some more noteworthy folks today. Todays highlights in the getting beat up by famous people included Michael Rooker who played Merle Dixon on AMC's The Walking Dead. Stephanie and Kris Ford previously, on Sons of Guns, were networking for their new shop Ford's Firearms. Check out their Facebook page at Over at the Sig Sauer booth I ran into I.P.S.C world champ Max Michel. And I was able to catch Springfield Armory owner Dennis Resse on his way into a meeting for a quick photo op (I should have posed him beating me up). 

Shot Show 2015 Media Range day

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

I had fun at this years Shot Show media range day and saw some great things. 

So a funny story I was at the springfield booth and I was shooting the new XD Mod.2 45acp. Rob Leatham decided to come up behind me and try to distract me while shooting. But looking at the first picture you would almost think that I was getting a nice relaxing back massage. One of my favorite guns of the day and an addition to my must buy list is the Range Officer Champion. This more compact 1911 shot like a dream and was super accurate. In picture 3 Rob Leatham decided to embarrass all of us who thought we could shoot. Picture 4 shows both the Range Officer Champion and Compact. 

At the Glock booth they let us shoot the new MOE model Glocks. These are guns that have had the slides milled out from the factory to low mount an electronic dot. I was told that the guns will ship with the slide out out cover incase you decide not to put a sight on. And the they have no plans at this time for taller factory sights that could co-witness.

Another one of my favorites for this year and the biggest surprise was found in the SAR booth. The new SAR ST-9 & ST-45 is a great sleeper gun. What I mean by this is that this Turkish gun will be looked down upon by many. But let me tell you this thing is solid and she is a shooter. It is a polymer striker fired pistol available in both 9mm & 45acp. It comes with three sizes of grip back panels to fit most hands. The magazine release is a paddle like release similar to HK pistols. The magazine release, Safety and slide release are all ambidextrous and easy to reach and use. It should ship this year and will be distributed by EEA. When you load a round in the chamber you are cocking the pistol, allowing for a nice lighter trigger pull that aids in accuracy. 

This year IWI is going to make a bigger push into the U.S. market. The UZI Pro Micro pistol is new this year with its polymer frame. The Galil is a battle proven with a rich history. IWI has now improved that weapons system. The polymer lower will make it weigh less all around which most users will enjoy. It will now come standard with rails across the length of the top a rails under the hand guards. And the biggest improvement comes that this generation of Galil will be able to use any standard AK47 magazines. IWI will also be importing multiple models of their Jericho pistols. 

The quite part of the range: SilencerCo had the Salvo 12 ga shotgun suppressor available for testing. WOW what a difference this bad boy makes. The negatives are the added length and weight on the end of the barrel. The pros are really reduced recoil and just fun shooting that will help save your hearing and your dogs while hunting. The Salvo is constructed in such a way that you can take some of the baffles off shorting its length at the expense of a louder shotgun blast. At the Smith & Wesson booth they had the new M&P compact 22LR in a suppressed electronic dot set up. This is just fun to shoot and requires no hearing protection to use. 

This was one of the funnest booths at the show was Witt Machine Co. At their table they had a Mosin cannon that they had built basically just for fun. On display was a huge flash hider from another one of their cannon builds, Just look how big it is compared to my wife hand for scale. Now they also had some of their serious work available for inspection. They specialize in really creative and adaptable flash hiders. The flash hider kits come in three parts allowing you to not only direct the gasses where you want, but also look good while doing it. 

Have you ever wanted a 9mm revolver? have you ever wanted a 9mm revolver that does not use clips? Well Korth firearms has done it. Using unique locking cams in the extractor mean that you can load rimless 9mm rounds into this revolver. The trigger was nice and smooth and the recoils was very manageable. The only con of this revolver is the price, your looking at a cool grand for this type of coolness. 

You get to meet some great characters at the Shot Show. On the left is the "Great One" Rob Leatham, and of course everyone knows the "Gunny" Mr R Lee Ermey. The joke here is that I told Springfield Armory sponsored shooter Rob I was going to be switching to Glocks. And I told the Gunny I didn't like Glocks anymore. Most people do not realize that the firearms industry is relatively small compared to other industries. And its at the Shot Show were you run into the same people year after year not only for networking but for having fun as well. 

The Maglula Bench Loader is something that I am anticipating and should be available soon. Down Range Fab had a booth full of some of their different target options. One of the cool things they do is a clay hanging system. Using a series of Pigeon Hangers that attach to the main steel target stand you can mount clays in any configuration you can come up with. 

Now gun art is interesting by it self as is. But what if I told you this artist was only 13 and has been making art since the age of 5. Please visit to see some more of his work had a booth showing off a cool cardboard target system. You basically unfold everything and set up a shooting gallery. had a display of their AR-15 magazine storage solution. This clips hold any AR-15 magazine securely and all in one place like inside your safes door. had an interesting take on vertical firearms grips. 

The CMMG MK47 was fun to shoot especially in full auto. Even though I am a diehard Tundra guy the Nissan Titan project looked great. So has a new plier tool called the switchplier 2.0. And some people take their shot show serious, although it seems way over kit for just a product review video doesn't it? 

Shot Show 2015 Pre Show Press Release MagPul 2

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

New For 2015 in the Magpul AK lineup:
PMAG30 AK/AKM GEN M3 -7.62x39 Steel Reinforced AK Magazine, MSRP $26.95

Zhukov-S Folding AK stock- Right side folder for stamped rifles, adjustable LOP, optional cheek risers, integrated QD socket on hinge. Allows use of side mounted optics, allows firing from folded position (without cheek risers). Wedge block interface allows easy fitment and requires no adapters. MSRP $99.95
Zhukov Hand Guard-Extruded and Machined anodized aluminum chassis with Polymer hand guard. M-LOK slots-side slots attach through to aluminum chassis. Ultimak compatible. Requires removal of Hand Guard retainer. Includes upper hand guard/gas tube cover. Fits stamped and milled rifles with 16.75-18.25mm barrels (Measured behind HG retainer) MSRP $99.95

MOE Stock-Fixed triangle stock for stamped rifles. Compatible with Magpul AK cheek risers. Includes storage compartment. Wedge block interface allows easy fitment and requires no adapters. MSRP $59.95
MOE AK Hand Guards- Both MOE Hand Guards install with stock hand guard retainer, extend further forward than stock hand guard, and include a blackened stainless steel heat shield. M-LOK slots. Ultimak compatible. Include upper hand guard/gas tube cover.
MOE AK- Fits AK-pattern rifles with no sling loop on hand guard retainer or rifles with loop removed. Symmetrical design extends forward of retainer on both sides. MSRP $36.95
MOE AKM- Fits AKM, AK-74, and AK 100 pattern rifles with sling loop on hand guard retainer. Allows use of sling loop or can be bridged with any M-LOK cantilever rail product. Asymmetric design requires no modification to rifle. MSRP $36.95

All AK furniture products will also be available in our new color-Plum.

All products shipping Spring 2015. More information and photos coming soon. These products will be at ATAC range day on Monday prior to SHOT show.

Shot Show 2015 Pre Show Media Release

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Magpul 2015

The PMAG D-60. Sixty rounds. Reliable, durable, lightweight, shorter than a 30 rd mag, and full of features that make it extremely easy to use. MSRP $129.95. Please note that transparent back and cut-away versions were for testing purposes only, and the solid drum with round indicator window is the variant that will be offered for sale. Shipping Spring/Summer 2015, but you can get a sneak peak of the drum in action at ATAC range day before SHOT show.

The Hunter 700, $259.95 MSRP has an anodized aluminum bedding block, uses SGA cheek riser and LOP spacers, has M-LOK slots, has dimples to add swivel studs and places to add our QD sockets, weighs 2.9 lbs, and works with factory Rem bottom metal as packaged, or....

Remove a spacer (30 seconds) and insert our hybrid steel and polymer Bolt Action Magazine Well (MSRP $69.95, includes one magazine) to use AICS compatible magazines, speaking of which...

The PMAG5 7.62 AC is an AICS compatible polymer magazine with anti-tilt follower, MSRP $34.95. The magazine holds five rounds as packaged to comply with hunting regulations, but if you clip the follower stop on a pre-scored line, it becomes a 6-round magazine, useful in competitive shooting disciplines or just for an extra round.

Above are screen shots of the Hunter 700. Pictures 3/6/7 have clean close ups of the new PMAG5. And interesting that magpie outfitted the Remington with a Kinetic Research Group Bolt lift instead of something like a Badger oversized bolt. The KRG Bolt Lift is a polymer clam shell snap on oversized bolt handle. There is no need to modify the factory bolt and it is easily installable. I guess they wanted to target the market of do it your self up-graders. 

The new MBUS Pro LR is the most intuitive, low profile back up sight available. It offers a flip up deployment capability with elevation and windage adjustments. Also, available will be the new M-LOK Paraclip Sling Mount and QDM. The QDM is a quick disconnect sling mount that is a heavy duty upgrade to the standard push-button QD sling swivels.

Shot Show 2015 Pre Show Media Release HK

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

HK Adds HK45 Colored Variants

The new HK45 and HK45 Compact models are special colored frame/colored slide variants. A choice of an olive drab green or desert sand Cerakote™finish is applied directly to the HK pistol slide, preserving the original HK hostile environment nitro-carburized protective finish underneath. The color of the polymer frame matches the slide. Cerakote™ceramic coatings outperform other firearms coatings and have been extensively tested by the U.S. military. All the standard HK45 series features are present on the Cerakoted models. 

PDF Sheet 1                     PDF Sheet 2 

HK's New Striker Fired Handgun

"Heckler and Koch is always concentrating on quality and our pistol line is now getting the kind of recognition it deserves. The recently introduced striker fired VP9 has been a tremendous success and adding new models to the HK45 and USP series highlights our pistol-centric direction,"said Mike Holley, vice president of commercial and law enforcement sales at HK-USA. "We have superb quality handguns with one of the best lifetime warranties and the lowest warranty repair rates of any company. And with recent manufacturing advancements we can offer better pricing on HK pistol models like the P2000 series."

USP9 Tactical Model New for 2015

USP9-Tactical PDF

An enhanced version of the USP, the USP9 Tactical brings all of HK's tactical pistol features to the 9 mm model for the first time ever. A threaded barrel with an O-ring, match trigger with adjustable trigger stop, and adjustable target sights make this the ultimate 9 mm "spec ops" handgun.

Like all full size HK USPs, the 9 mm Tactical uses a modified Browning type action with a special patented recoil reduction system. The USP recoil reduction system mitigates recoil effects on the pistol components and also lowers recoil forces felt by the shooter.

By using a modular approach to internal components, the control lever function of the USP can be switched from the left to the right side of the pistol to accommodate left handed shooters.

Like all USPs, the USP9 Tactical can be converted from one type of firing mode to another. This includes combination double action/single action modes, double action only (including HK's acclaimed "Law Enforcement Modification"). Well-suited for personal defense use and a wide variety of security and civilian/commercial applications, the USP9 Tactical can also be used with a variety of sound suppressors. Please note that use of suppressors can void Heckler & Koch's limited lifetime warranty for commercial/civilian customers.

The USP9 Tacticals are engineered with the famous long-term durability that make all HK products especially cost-effective when subjected to total life cycle cost analysis.

HK's MR556A1 Competition Rifle

On the long gun side, the MR556A1 Competition Model, announced earlier, is now shipping after being in short supply for most of 2014. The Competition Model is a customized version of HK's MR556A1 rifle, the semi-automatic model of the company's legendary HK416 carbine.

The ideal gun platform for competition matches -especially 3 gun competitions -the Competition Model is equipped with the extended 14-inch hand guard produced by HK's Newington, New Hampshire manufacturing facility. A Magpul CTR buttstock replaces the standard stock and an advanced compensator developed by OSS (Operators Suppressor Systems) supersedes the conventional MR flash hider. A larger magazine release is also a feature.

Pistol Set Featuring President Obama and Piers Morgan Debuts at SHOT

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

Pistol Set Featuring President Obama and Piers Morgan Debuts at SHOT

Piers Morgan and Ted Nugent Face Off on Left and Right Handed Pistol Set by Cabot Guns

Piers Morgan and Ted Nugent Face Off on Left and Right Handed Pistol Set by Cabot Guns

Pennsylvania based Cabot Guns transforms the 1911 into a work of fine art depicting the great American debate of gun control on a mirror image set of left and right hand pistols featuring President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, Piers Morgan and Ted Nugent.


A mirror image set of 1911 style pistols featuring artistic renderings of President Barrack Obama and Piers Morgan was displayed earlier this month at SHOT, the world’s largest consumer firearms tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV. The pistol set is named “The Left and the Right.”


Cabot Guns crafted this rare left and right-handed set of iconic 1911s over the last year. The pair are true mirror images of one another with the exception of the images on the handles. The grips of the right-hand gun depict President George W. Bush on one panel and Ted Nugent on the other while the left-hand pistol grips feature President Barack Obama and Piers Morgan. The pistol set illustrates elements of a great American debate on firearms. Fine art Scrimshander, Darrel Morris, was commissioned to carefully handcraft the art on each grip.


Cabot Guns President and Gun Designer Rob Bianchin had been contemplating the project for some time and wanted to use scrimshaw to detail the work. “As the guns are positioned in opposite directions, the grips show President Barack Obama facing to the left while President George W. Bush faces right,” said Bianchin. “While oriented towards one another, the right-hand pistol depicts Ted Nugent and the left-hand gun depicts Piers Morgan, representing the great ongoing debate in 2013.”


Nugent viewed the pistols during their exhibition at SHOT and described the work of Cabot Guns as ballistic art. “Cabot Guns treads the line between firearms and art. The medium of our art is our guns,” added Bianchin.


“The art of scrimshaw – engraving on bone or ivory - dates back to the 1700s,” noted Bianchin. “And the detail in Darrel Morris’ scrimshaw work is just fantastic.” Morris explained the process of scrimshaw; "Scrimshaw works are created by punching tens of thousands of tiny holes in the surface of the ivory and filling them with black oil paint. This technique takes hours and hours of meticulous labor, but it makes it possible to achieve very delicate gradations of tone resulting in incredibly lifelike images."


It should be noted that the Cabot left and right pistol sets are true mirror image pistols. The left-handed pistol is built from the ground up from a block of billet steel; it is not a converted right-handed pistol. Not only is the ejection port engineered to the left, but all small controls have been inverted. Even the rifling in the barrel has been reversed.


A three-year-old start-up, Cabot Gun Company is based in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania. Cabot utilizes Penn United Technologies Inc. to produce its 1911s. Penn United Technologies is a world-renowned manufacturer of precision components for aerospace, nuclear, and other industries requiring precision manufacturing. “Each Cabot represents the work of over 70 of America's finest engineers, tool makers and master craftsmen," added Bianchin. “Our objective is to build an important and enduring American brand,demonstrating how the finest products in the world are built right here in America.”

Scrimshander Darrel Morris, Ted Nugent and Cabot President Rob Bianchin at SHOT 2014

Scrimshander Darrel Morris, Ted Nugent and Cabot President Rob Bianchin at SHOT 2014

Cabot Guns was launched in 2011. In a short time, the company has won two consecutive NRA National Pistol Championships. The Cabot 1911 has been described as “the Rolls Royce of 1911's" by S.P. Fjestad, Author and Editor of the "Blue Book of Gun Values.

Shot Show 2014 - Truglo 1911 TFO Sights

by James Nicholas the XDMAN

New TFO Sights 

By James Nicholas 

Well it has been a couple of years since Truglo has released a new model of TFO sights. This year I am pleased to announce that Truglo is releasing a TFO version for the Colt 1911 Novak Dovetail. These sights will be available with tall and short front options as well as tall and short rear options. So many different companies make 1911 pistols and what that means is that there is never a set standard that will work across the board. For sights a bunch of companies use Colts Novak dovetail cut including Springfield Armory, Ruger, Colt and American Tactical. But even then every company is going to have their own tolerances. To combat this Truglo is purposely making the 1911 TFO oversized meaning your gunsmith can fit it to almost any 1911 Colt Novak Dovetail. This should be available later this year.