Follow along here as we add more photos and news from SHOT Show 2017!
From the time you board the plane to Vegas that’s full of more 5.11 pants and shirts with the word molon on them than you can count until the day it’s wheels up to go back home, it’s easy to start conversations and guess exactly who is out here for SHOT Show. Such is the industry we choose to associate with—big, but full of so many awesome pewpew-ers that it feels small. The SHOT Show is less about losing a couple hundred bucks playing whatever game it is you keep trying to win at in Vegas than it is about catching up with people from across the country who you really only see once per year in some cases. And it’s the people that makes the show what it is. But if there weren’t any cool new products, this article would just be full of pictures of people you don’t know (and maybe a couple you do know) instead of dirty, dirty guns. And we know you like gun pics. So here’s your guns, people. Share this link with your friends who might be interested in SHOT Show updates this week.
Apologies in advance because this Media Day report is only my most favorite products…I am on a bit of a time crunch this evening. But stay tuned tomorrow for more. Also of note, SIG will be in tomorrow’s Day One Article and Glock said they “might” reveal something new later, but probably not tomorrow at SHOT. This article is for new things…so that’s why Glock is conspicuously absent.
This year the Hudson H9 has been all the rage in shooting circles leading up to SHOT 2017. Today, we finally got to shoot it. And it shot well. It’s an all-steel gun with VZ grips and an interesting internal design. Bore axis is low and muzzle flip isn’t bad at all. The rail location is a bit low for my taste, but that’s an unavoidable consequence of the design of the gun, so it isn’t a big detractor at all—just a thought if you plan to attach something to the front of every gun you own.
The weight and balance are good. It weighs 34 ounces, which isn’t overly heavy considering some Sig guns (which I love) have alloy frames and weigh about the same thing. It’s smaller in the hand than something like a 226 or a 229, so if you don’t have big hands and want a double stack 9mm, certainly don’t rule the H9 out until you hold one.
It is clear that the crew at Hudson spent a lot of time trying to keep this thing under wraps and get it right on the first release. They had pre-production samples ranging back about three years sitting on the table, and it was interesting to see the evolution of the gun into its final form.
One note: if you grip high enough to get “Glock bite” or slide bite, this will probably get you too. That isn’t really a negative thing, but FYI.
The news I expected to be covering at the Colt booth was the new COBRA, which is the first production Colt double action revolver in approximately 1000 years. Or at least that’s how long it feels. The old Colt revolvers are some of my favorite wheelguns to shoot, from the Cobra and the Viper to the Trooper series and (obviously) the Python. I like this little snubby as a starting point for them to re-enter the market and I would like to pick one up. I did hear some reports about the trigger doing something odd, but I am hopeful that Colt will get anything worked out before shipping these guns.
Even though I thought I would leave the Colt booth most excited about the revolver, I left enamored by the new stainless 9mm Series 70 Gold Cup Trophy. IT IS AWESOME. First of all, it’s a 70 Series firing mechanism. Secondly, it has a fiber optic front sight, a magwell, and well done checkering on the front strap all for an MSRP of a little more than $1500. It is a VERY well-spec’d out gun that is literally perfect out of the box for competition. Massive kudos to Mark Redl and the entire product team at Colt for this one. I have to have one. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review of this one later this year for sure. Also note the Wilson Combat mags. Love everything about what Colt did with this. Colt also has a railed Delta Elite this year, for those of you who have been asking for it.
Walther recently introduced the Creed pistol, and it shoots very well. Unlike the PPQ series, this gun is hammer fired. With an MSRP of only about $399, I expected the trigger to be worse than the PPQ series (which is the new standard-bearer for striker guns). It wasn’t. In fact, it honestly felt a little lighter. So hats off to Walther on this one. We also shot the Q5 Match, which was fantastic. One thing the Creed gives up compared to the more expensive Walthers in the current lineup is interchangeable backstraps; however, I didn’t feel the need for one because the ergonomics were good and the MSRP is set so low that I’m perfectly fine giving up a feature I might not use anyway in order to open up the market to people who might not have as much to spend on a handgun. All in all, I liked the Creed a lot and I would like some more time with one.
SilencerCo brought out the new Omega 9k, the BRAND new Omega 45K, and the Maxim9. The Maxim9 is in production now and I didn’t have a lot of time to edit the other photos, but we shot all 3 and all 3 are great. The Maxim9, for those of you not familiar with it, is an integrally suppressed handgun with adjustable baffles (like the Salvo shotgun suppressor) that allows adjustable length and adjustable noise reduction. It uses a fixed barrel and Glock 17 magazines. The trigger is proprietary, but it was 5-6 pounds and this isn’t a competition gun, so I’m not worried about changing anything about the more than servicable trigger pull on the Maxim. Also, it looks like a space gun and I want one.
You’re going to hear a lot more about Springfield this week, but for now suffice it to say that I think the Saint, their new rendition of the AR-15, was a great move for them. The EMP line is also expanding, so I’ll drop a little teaser here for the EMP’s and you can expect to see more Springfield gear tomorrow.
Show Floor Coverage
We left off with Springfield yesterday before heading out to check out all of the brand new products from our friends at Freedom Munitions last night, so those two companies get the nod on lead off position for the Day One recap.
I still like the move Springfield made by introducing the Saint. They are going to sell a ton of these guns. It’s well spec’d out. But at the end of the day, this is Handgun Planet, so I’m going to focus more on the expansion of the EMP line here because I am actually pretty excited about it.
This year, Springfield introduced an EMP 4.0 Concealed Carry Contour model with a bobtail. Now admittedly, I am not a very big bobtail fan. BUT I freaking loved this one. It shot ridiculously well at range day yesterday and it feels amazing in the hand. For the money, I am a big fan of the EMP series and I think this gun should do well. A “1911” pattern gun designed from the ground up to run like a baller in 9mm is a win. They also introduced a EMP “all black” PI9208L model without checkering on the front strap or a stainless slide, which in conjunction should allow the MSRP to drop about $150 and get the EMP into more peoples’ hands.
Freedom Munitions released some new purpose-driven hunting loads (Depredation and Tagged Out) this year as well as an affordable submission to the big bore market called Big Grains. Additionally, they expanded the American Steel line to include 147 grain 9mm, the ProMatch line to include a 69 grain .223 submission, the Boar Buster line to include an awesome copper plated slug 12 gauge load, and the HUSH line to include 38 Super and 22 LR, among other things.
The highlights are as follows: Tagged Out will be loaded for optimum hunting performance and will be loaded with Nosler Accubond bullets in 243, 270, 308, 7mm, 30-06, and 300 Win Mag. Depredation is designed to be the ultimate varmint load—something that will fragment on impact to minimize damage to pelts. It will be loaded with the “best and brightest” from the projectile world depending on caliber: everything from the Barnes Varmint Grenade to the Hornady V-Max to the Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting bullet. It’s coming in 204 Ruger, 22-250, 243, 223, and 308, and 12 ga.
Big Grains, which I am very excited about, will bring affordable bullets to the table for loads that are NOT known for being affordable to shoot. It’s debuting in 500 S&W, 50 AE, 45-70, and one I am particularly excited to try out: 458 SOCOM. Now, you can actually afford to take your 458 upper to the range and plink around with it a little.
I begged Glock to show me something new. I like Glocks. They work really well. The new “FBI gun” 17M is floating around somewhere…but not at SHOT. Soooooo this is it for Glock. I just knew if I didn’t name drop the G word someone would ask what they had at the booth. Good stuff…just not new stuff.
Lots of new things…but there is only one new introduction to the Legion lineup…and that’s the P220! And yes, there is an SAO version. I am a happy man. I have been anxiously awaiting the 220 Legion SAO and it is finally here. I was excited about it at the NRA Show back in May, but it’s here now, so I wanted to reiterate how awesome these guns are.
Additionally, Sig Sauer came out with an XFive version of the P320 and a VTac version of the P320. I really liked both, but I think the XFive 320 has a chance to make some big waves and I hope I have the chance to put some rounds through one in a competitive setting later this year.
CZ had one of my favorite guns all show. Yes, it came out in 2016 but I never got my hands on one until now because it was a crazy summer. The Shadow 2 is a baller competition gun with some sharp, high quality checkering. I am really hoping to get my hands on one of these by the springtime to run a ton of rounds through and see how it does. I have heard excellent things, so I have high hopes on this one.
The new CZ P10 striker fired gun was also on display, and it looks nice but I couldn’t really get great photos because some people don’t understand that it’s terrible SHOT Show etiquette to stand in front of the new product display having a non gun related conversation for several minutes until I get fed up and ask them to move. Long story short: it’s a fine looking gun, but I am too much in love with the Shadow 2 to give it a headliner status over the Shadow. It’s available in “FDE” (ish) and black. Black looks way better. I will also say, for those who I know are interested in this gun, that the trigger falls short of the PPQ series in my opinion, but this is on par with a factory VP9, which is still very impressive. Obligatory pic:
We also got some looks at some great new accessories and related products, so stay tuned for some of those items in a late night addendum or tomorrow’s Day Two recap!!! You stay classy San Diego.
From Wednesday afternoon until Friday we stopped by a few more “big” names in between meetings.
Smith & Wesson
M&P 9 2.0…nice. Grip texture in fantastic, trigger is much improved over Gen 1, the new slide contour looks good, in my opinion. Did not get to shoot one yet, but we are working on it. The stippling texture is very rough compared to a lot of factory pistols, so expect this to be something that “bites” your hand. But for classes, training in hot or humid conditions, or competition, I really like the feel of the grip. Stay tuned.
In addition to the Creed, which we covered in the Media Day portion of this article, we remembered to grab some pics of the Q5, which was also at Media Day. The Q5 shot great at range day and the trigger is exactly as well as you’ve heard all over the internet.
Rail gripper TLR-6 for the G19, XD, M&P guns. Great light (check out our review on the initial iteration of the TLR6 here). This thing can fit on almost anything now. You honestly need one, especially for subcompact guns without rails. It’s a great light.
Keymate: this thing is 35 lumens on high. 16 on low, and USB rechargeable. It’s like a tiny lightsaber that can fit on your keychain. Look at how awesome this thing is. I dig this one.
DVC Steel, DVC Carry, DVC Tactical: Shown here, the DVC Carry. None of these guns are cheap, but they seemed well put together. The barrel is a Ti PVD coating in bronze instead of the standard “gold” TiN. It looks interesting, and it shot well on the range as well. The tactical model comes with a threaded barrel and looks pretty much like the carry with the addition of a threaded barrel in 1/2×28 and a full length rail.
I didn’t originally include Dan Wesson with the CZ items even though I stopped by the booth multiple times, but I was asked to include a photo of the new DW A2, which is a nice “plain jane” 1911 based on the CZ 1911 with the addition of an extended thumb safety, a bobbed hammer, and a really interesting grip safety that makes this thing very shootable long-term or during extended range sessions for people with larger hands without any other modifications. It felt really smooth and I would like to see this extended to more than the initial 200-unit run. The blued Valor also looked very good.
We also stopped by to check out the new Ed Brown CCO. Available in both the black Gen4 finish and stainless, the CCO can also be optioned out with a magwell (which is blended very well to the frame, for those of you who might have an older Ed Brown that is not blended).
These two guns were some of the smoothest Ed Browns I’ve handled, and I always like to see that kind of continuing quality from companies that are known for it. A better shot of the round butt on the stainless gun is coming, but there is a technical difficulty on that one at the moment.
This was a fantastic show and there are a lot of big things on tap for HP readers in 2017! Thanks for following along and please subscribe for more updates and articles!
-Colt Driver; Photos by Christopher Hatch and kChanko