After a LONG day of walking, networking, and more importantly - Product Viewing, Day 1 of SHOT Show 2023 officially ended. Needless to say, the Expo is AWESOME, and it's truly humbling to be surrounded by so many passionate firearm aficionados.
With so many new firearms being highlighted from all the top manufacturers, I thought it best to put together a comprehensive list of the Best Handguns and Rifles featured throughout Day 1 of SHOT Show 2023!
Armscor RIA 5.0
One product I really had no interest in until handling it at Shot Show was the Armscor RIA 5.0 pistol. Once handling one, however, it made it toward the top of the list of firearms I can’t wait to try on the range!
A couple of things are notable on the RIA 5.0, including its slightly odd blocky shape (that is actually kind of aesthetically pleasing) and rectangular profiled barrel that sits low in the receiver.
The beauty in this pistol lies in its trigger! The trigger on the RIA 5.0 is a double action, very similar in feel to the old but now discontinued Para Ordnance LDA (Light Double Action) trigger - but with much more refinement!
The trigger pull is very light and smooth. There is some, very slight, confusion on reset, as there is a barely perceptible, tactile click halfway through the trigger reset - but the trigger reset isn’t complete until you release it to its full forward travel.
This is a huge improvement over the Para Ordnance LDA trigger that I feel the RIA 5.0 is similar too, as the tactile click at half-reset on the Para felt like it had fully reset, and thus caused issues re-engaging the trigger while making follow-up shots.
My only real complaint with the RIA 5.0 is that, because the bore axis is so low, there is not a lot of meat to the slide to grip on to cycle it by hand. The RIA 5.0 will be available with iron sights or in an optic-ready configuration with a C-More RDS included.
Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol
Beretta showed off their new tactical and self-defense semi-auto shotgun; the 12 gauge Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol.
A300 Ultima Patrol is optic ready, has a 19.1-inch barrel, is chambered in 12 gauge, and will be offered for a limited time in a special tiger stripe camo pattern.
The A300 Ultima Patrol will also be offered in a tactical gray alongside a black finish with an MSRP of $1,099.
M9A4 and Beretta 92
I appreciate seeing a much loved and vaunted pistol be brought up to date with modern standards with the addition of accessory rails and optic-ready hardware.
Beretta has really given this old line of pistols new legs in the past few years. Those of us that grew up loving the M9, either carrying one in a military or law enforcement capacity, will surely appreciate the updates!
Pistol caliber carbines seem to still be going strong, and Beretta showed off a semi-auto version of its previously Military/LE-only PMX SMG, the PMXs.
The PMXs was displayed in pistol form, but there is an option for an SBR’ed version featuring a folding stock.
FN immediately had me drooling with two items most of us will never get to play with! At one corner of their booth, they had dual M240s on a pintle mount next to a mounted FN M3M 50 BMG.
Deeper into the FN booth, I came across another FN offering I wouldn’t mind owning, which is unfortunately offered through Military and LE sales only; the FN SCAR-SC.
However, FN did have their newer line of tactical pistols on display, and after handling them, I’ve determined one will end up in my collection someday soon!
The FN 545 Tactical is a much-refined descendant of the earlier FNP-45 Tactical, chambered in 45 ACP and featuring much-improved ergonomics.
The FN 510 Tactical and FN 509 Tactical round out the tactical pistol offerings in 10mm and 9mm, and feature the same enhanced ergonomics the FN 545 Tactical has along with being optic ready.
Coming from a law enforcement background, I have a love for the seemingly polarizing Glock offerings on the market.
But I’ll get to that trigger in a second. The Glock 47 is apparently the answer to the question somebody actually asked - and that somebody is the US Customs & Border Patrol.
The Glock 47 features a Glock 17 barrel and slide length while having the shortened dust cover of the Glock 19 and Glock 45. Most parts are cross-compatible between the Gen 5 GLOCK 47, 19, and 45.
But the star at the Glock booth, in my opinion, is the new Glock Performance Trigger for full-size and compact Gen 5 9mm pistols. Offered as a drop-in option (to be dropped in by certified Glock Armorers, that is!), the Glock Performance Trigger has a very light take-up to the “wall of pressure” and a reportedly 4.5 lb trigger pull that results in a nice break.
Trigger reset is the same as “stock” Glock triggers. The trigger itself has a flatter face than typical Glock triggers but still maintains the Glock Safe Action safety features.
I consider the trigger a deal at $99.99 - especially for someone who is looking for a bit more performance from their Glock trigger but is concerned about third-party aftermarket drop-in trigger kits.
Heckler & Koch
The H&K booth was one giant tease of the forbidden fruit!
I hardly noticed any of the more mundane semi-auto offerings because of the ridiculous number of full-auto SMGs, rifles, and LMGs on display.
“Newer” offerings included the MP7 SMG, 416 rifle, and MG4 LMG. Some of the “older” classics on display included variations of the MP5 (my most favorite of the full-auto guns I got to regularly shoot at my previous job) and the G36. So much want in one area!
We love KEL-TEC’s quirky-cool aesthetic. They don’t seem to follow many rules and turn out some very neat stuff!
The highlight at the KEL-TEC booth this year is the new KSG410 shotgun. As you can guess by its name, KEL-TEC has expanded the KSG product line-up by adding a .410 bore option.
This makes for a slimmer, less porky-feeling shotgun that I’m actually considering as a potential home defense tool for my wife. Being a bull-pup style shotgun, it maintains its maneuverability around tight confines AND retains the KSG design element of dual magazine tubes to feed from.
Reportedly, recoil is light and similar to an AR15, as one would expect from a .410. KEL-TEC had some fun things at the KEL-TEC booth that were interesting but not new.
One of these were 5.57x28 P50 carbines kitted out with both a 16” folding stock kit and a pistol brace kit. I was also able to handle the aluminum frame variation of the P15 pistol - and I would love to shoot this thing!
The P15 is a really nice size compact 9mm that feels like it would make for a nice, everyday CCW and for extra fun, KEL-TEC teased with a .22LR CP33 pistol wearing a sliding pistol brace and suppressor.
Smith & Wesson
It was nice being able to visit the Smith & Wesson booth to finally handle their newer M&P 10mm and M&P Metal pistols.
The M&P Metal is something to note as it is a damn good-feeling pistol in the hand, and it is finished in a beautiful Tungsten Gray Cerakote.
The product of note at the Smith & Wesson booth, however, was their new M&P offering chambered in 5.7x28.
Behind the counter, the S&W Rep was obviously proud of the new offering, and stated: “It took some time to get this right”. I can tell you that the 5.7mm version of the M&P fits very nicely in the hand with a narrow but long grip that my long fingers liked.
The magazines have a capacity of 22 rounds and the pistol comes optic-ready with your choice of with or without a thumb safety.
Taurus introduced something that has me scratching my head, asking, “Why??”
But you know what? It’s kind of cool. The defensive handgun market leans heavily toward the semi-auto side, but there are some options for those that prefer wheelguns for their simplicity and proven reliability.
Taurus took the simple wheelgun and made it slightly more complicated by making them optic-ready with the Taurus Defender 856 T.O.R.O. (.38sp) and Taurus 605 T.O.R.O. revolvers.
Both models of the T.O.R.O. series come in your choice of matte black or stainless steel finishes and are compatible with most optics that match the Holosun K footprint.
Bravo, Taurus, for daring to be a little different!
How can you walk by a booth and not stop when you see a garish, 24KT gold-plated AK47 pistol?
Actually, what got me to pump my brakes was the more “classic” line of AK offerings on display with the tried-and-true red wood stocks.
But I wouldn’t mind taking home one of the updated, more modern ZPAPM70 Tactical side-folder full-rail rifles. Really, I’m in the mood that I’d take any of the Zastava rifles with a side folder or one of their pistols with the side folding pistol braces.
Lastly, for those who want the gold AK look without the price, there is a pyrite (Fool’s Gold) version out there on the market!
Well that about does it for Day 1 - Firearm Highlights of SHOT Show 2023
What did you think? Did you see anything in particular that stood out or that you'd want to pickup for yourself?
Leave us a comment down below and let us know!
For more SHOT Show 2023 content, make sure you check out our SHOT Show 2023 News and Updates