Hands On SHOT Show Range Day 2019
The weather in Vegas is typical for this time of year. Fast rolling clouds careened across the open desert. For those of us here to shoot video, the wind posed a bit of a problem. There was no good way to record audio at SHOT Show range day. The constant sound of mini-guns and .50 calibers combined with the ripping wind. It was so loud you could hardly talk.
For those of you new to the Range Day phenomena, it goes like this. The first day of SHOT is spent building booths and networking. Some of the FFLs and media get to drive southeast of town to Boulder City, where we shoot many of the guns that we’ll see later on the show floor.
That didn’t stop us from shooting.
The highlight of the day? The Maxim PDX. While Maxim brought a couple of long guns, the stars of the show were their new short guns in 5.56 and 7.62×39.
The barrels on these are 5.5″ long. They have to have a very short gas system, too, in order to function. But SHOT Show is a proving ground. If it can survive this, the gun will work.
We shot the 7.62×39 suppressed. I’d forgotten to drop my glasses before I pulled the trigger, and I got a face full of gas. Still, for the ridiculously short overall length, it is well worth it.
The Mossberg MC1
The longest line of the day was at Mossberg. We had to wait a long time for guns. The MC1 is a subcompact powerhouse, just like they’d promised.
Accuracy was no problem. There were hostage targets at 30 feet, and hitting the bad-guy flipper was reliably easy. The gun also fed well from its all-polymer magazine. The retail price on these is expected to settle out around $350, so they’ll be flying off the shelves.
The Return of the Snakes
I’d like to think that Colt had to fly their King Cobras out to SHOT Show. Regardless, this is a nice revolver. While there have been some slight tweaks to the old design, this is a nice medium-sized .357. The double action pull is flawless.
And the ergonomics of this one are decidedly Colt. It doesn’t feel like a S&W Model 60, though it is close to the same size, and it isn’t as hefty as the Rugers. If you are into classic mid-century guns, get your mitts on one of these.
The Kel-Tec KSG on a diet
Let’s be truthful. The old KSG, while a very versatile and popular shotgun, was one wide shotgun. The dual tubes were fat. Now the KSG has a new slim profile and a totally overhauled carry handle/sight rail.
I’m not sure what happened to the images of the Kel-Tec. Their booth was cramped and the lighting was terrible. But it is in the video above, and the new KSG is a rocking gun.
Kel-Tec had their new .22, too, the CP33. This is a solid pistol, and it has a compact quad-stack magazine. Daniel is shooting this one in the video, and he couldn’t stop laughing.
Walther’s new Steel Framed PPQs
The buzz in the Walther booth was all about the PPQ Steel Frame. I’d shot the competition model back in December, the one they’re calling the Pro. I hadn’t even seen the standard model yet.
I’d mistakenly assumed it was the same gun, but without the slide cuts and racing features. Nope. It is identical, except for the flared mag well.
Magpul’s New Drum
If you’re a fan of drums, Magpul has a new option for you. Their .308 drum is a beast. The PMAG D-50 LR/SR GEN M3 (not the easiest name to remember) is solid (we’re told).
Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get hands on with it. We waited in line, but the gun they were running with the drums wasn’t cooperating. It needed a time-out, and maybe a spanking.
We did get to see a great mag loader, though. More on that to follow.
What wasn’t there?
There were some notable names absent. Beretta wasn’t there. No Remington. FN. CZ was not there. We couldn’t find Standard Manufacturing, either. Others were there, but didn’t bring their showpiece guns. CMMG is launching something Wednesday, we’re told. Franklin Armory has a not-a-semiautomatic pistol caliber carbine looking thing that they didn’t bring to the range.
We’ll be looking these at the show and will have updates soon.
What do you suppose they’ll have for us at SHOT Show 2020?
David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife’s tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.