First, let me start by stating the obvious, SHOT Show 2023 was a wild ride! Especially given my status as a Shot Show rookie!
Over 1 million square feet of exhibitor space with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance - CRAZY! Even more crazy is that during the four days of exploring it all, I walked a little over 50 miles. Needless to say, it wore me out!
In the end, the experience as a whole was fantastic! Additionally, not only was I fortunate enough to run into a handful of people I knew from my previous life as a law enforcement firearms instructor, but I also made a lot of new firearm industry/firearm community/firearm industry connections that I'm looking forward to working with.
So new contacts, old friends, and firearms industry "eye candy" aside, let's get to the good stuff - highlighting the latest and greatest products that will soon be hitting the market.
*Keep in mind these are the product highlights that stuck out as being noteworthy to me - And obviously, opinions differ!
The RIA 5.0 Sporting Pistol from Armscor
First on the list is the RIA 5.0 pistol from Armscorp. This handgun was highly appealing. It has a buttery-smooth trigger for improved accuracy in rapid-fire situations and a two-piece modular grip frame for flexibility and control.
The RIA 5.0 also features a patented RVS recoil system engineered to maximize barrel mass, a double-action trigger, and a low bore axis.
I'm looking forward to getting one of these in my hands one day to put some rounds down range.
Henry Homesteader Rifle
Another item that really stuck out and caught my attention was the Henry Homesteader 9mm rifle.
A pistol caliber carbine that looks like dad's old hunting rifle but can also accept other popular 9mm magazines such as Glock, SIG Sauer M&P9 magazines through the use of an adapter.
The Homesteader is built with a two-piece stock, is designed to be fully ambidextrous, and features a centrally mounted tang safety, as well as an equally accessible magazine release located forward of the magazine on the underside of the receiver.
This was definitely a hidden gem at this year's Shot Show - hidden in a small booth in the basement of all places!
Tombstone 9mm Lever-Action Rifle
While not exactly my style, I have to hand it to POF-USA for showing off their new Tombstone 9mm Lever-Action Rifle (pistol caliber carbine).
Yes, you did read that correctly - it's lever action!
The Tombstone features a 'Tacti-COOL' all-black color design, has a compact overall length of just 36", and comes at an ultra-lightweight 5.75 lbs.
Additional features of the Tombstone include a 2" Picatinny rail, a 10.5" Modular Receiver Rail (M.R.R.), and M-Lok slots.
While admittedly, this style of rifle isn't exactly my style, I have to give credit where credit is due. POF-USA absolutely deserves the special shout-out for daring to be different, cool, and succeeding at it!
But why doesn't the Tombstone take Glock or Sig mags like most cool PCCs on the market? Ughhhh! I'm not a fan of proprietary magazines!
Holosun Enhanced Optics
The most remarkable thing at Shot Show (in my opinion), was Holosun's line of enhanced red-dot type optics featuring thermal and night vision overlay capabilities.
Although the technology isn't exactly new, if you look at the current products on the market that offer this level of technology/functionality, you can generally expect to pay in the thousands per unit.
Holosun has managed to develop an optic that is newer, more innovative, and is delivered in a compact package at a price point that actually makes the technology accessible!
Full disclosure, at the time of writing this article - the exact pricing has yet to be set, so we're looking at the possibility of seeing three levels of this optic coming to market for between $1000 to $2300.
If that's the case, you can sign me up! (Just don't tell my wife!)
The SCS-320-GR (Solar Charging Sight) is designed for P320 optics ready handguns and other DPP footprints.
It is designed to attach directly to the slide without an adapter plate and uses our solar charging system with multi-directional light sensors to automatically adjust brightness.
The DRS-NV (Digital Reflex Sight-Night Vision) is a red dot and digital night vision fusion sight that combines Holosun’s red dot sight technology with digital night vision capability.
Additional features of the DRS-NV include an LED MRS (Multi-Reticle System), two digital reticle options, a digital night vision sensor, and video recording with on-board storage.
The DRS-TH (Digital Reflex Sight-Thermal) is a red dot and thermal fusion sight that combines Holosun’s red dot sight technology with thermal imaging capability.
Additional features of the DRS-TH include an LED MRS (Multi-Reticle System), two digital reticle options, a digital zoom, digital image and video recording with on-board storage, and has five thermal image modes including White Hot, Black Hot, Highlight, Outline, and Fusion modes.
On the disappointing side, I am sad I didn't see anything wildly innovative being shown at Shot Show.
In years past, I craved Shot Show coverage for all of the crazy, mostly prototypical stuff being shown that was destined to be forever vaporware that people lusted after for years until it was forgotten (IE) Project Fortis from VLTOR for those who were lusting after a Bren 10 pistol.
If you work in the firearms and/or outdoors industry (or military/law enforcement) and haven't attended Shot Show, start planning on going.
It's a sight to behold, and (miles of walking aside) - I can't wait to go back for SHOT Show 2024!