Makers of armour, assault rifles (AR), handguns helmets, shields and other kit for law enforcement/military/Special Forces operations will be marketing a broad range of new and ongoing product lines at SHOT Show 2018 in two weeks.
It used to be that new body armour and other law enforcement/military/Special Forces protective gear such as helmets and shields were introduced throughout the year as they were developed. Now, unless a company really has a groundbreaking product that it can't wait to show the world, it will probably schedule its introduction in the first quarter of the year. The reason is SHOT Show. The annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show held in Las Vegas in January has become much more than a gun and hunting show. It is now the nation's premier showcase for non-electronic law enforcement and military products, including firearms, apparel and armour.
Industry tends to be pretty tight lipped about what it plans to bring to SHOT Show each year, due to some don't want to leak information to their competitors; others are just not sure they will be ready to debut their newest designs and don't want to promise something they can't deliver. Here's a sneak peek of some of the products featured at the show, according to various news and industry sources.
Angel Armor will be showing its modular soft and hard body armour system consisting of the company's RISE soft armour package and its Truth Snap plates: the Truth 47 and the Truth 44. The Truth 47 is a roughly 1.5lbs (depending on cut) special threat plate that provides protection from a number of high-powered pistol rounds and the AK-47's 7.62x39mm in the 123-grain FMJ configuration. The Truth 44 weighs about the same as the Truth 47 and offers additional protection from hot .44 Magnum loads. The two magnetic plates can snap together and create a plate that in conjunction with the wearer's soft body armor can stop 5.56mm rifle fire.
Set to debut at SHOT Show 2018, the SAU (Special Assignment Unit) from the Lighthawk Tactical division of Armor Express was designed to be a lightweight and modular tactical armour platform for law enforcement. The SAU's modularity allows it to function as both a tactical vest and plate carrier, the company says. Standard features include: front and rear rifle plate pockets, with expandable 4-way stretch, cummerbund with accessory wrap that accommodates optional Peraflex system pouches, MOLLE webbing or laser cuts for securing gear, removable sling catch, and advanced shoulder pads. Options include: cummerbund soft armour inserts, hard armour shoulder plates (HASP - also set to premiere at SHOT Show).
The latest AR-variant firearm from Daniel Defense is the DDM4V7P (Law Tactical), a 10.3in-barrel 5.56mm NATO version of the company's flagship rifle. Daniel Defense says the feds classify this firearm as a pistol, not a short-barreled rifle, so it does not require ATF approval and a tax stamp for purchase. The pistol's features include a cold hammer forged barrel, SB Tactical SOB Pistol stabiliaing brace with Law Tactical Gen 3-M AR folding stock, and a Daniel Defense flash suppressor.
FN America's new duty pistol, the striker-fired FN 509, is based on the company's entry in the US Army's Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition (awarded to SIG Sauer on 18 January 2017). The pistol has since been enhanced to meet the needs of US law enforcement, the company says. Built on the architecture of the FNS Compact, the FN 509's interior and exterior mechanics were designed to meet the requirements of the MHS competition. The company says the FN 509 was refined for reliability, ammunition compatibility and durability in testing that involved firing one million rounds. Features of this 9mm duty pistol include a 4-inch barrel; non-manual, internal, passive safeties; fixed three-dot night sights (on the law enforcement version), and 17-round magazine. The FN 509 was launched in 2017, so odds are FN will be showing some new variants of this pistol at SHOT.
Back in August 2017, Glock announced the launch of the fifth generation of its handgun line with the debut of the G19 Gen5 and G17 Gen5. Glock says the Gen5 pistols are a variation of the M pistol the company produced for the FBI. Differences between the Gen5 models and the Gen4 include: the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB), which utilizes new barrel rifling for improved accuracy; the finger grooves have been removed; an ambidextrous slide stop has been added; the mag well has been flared for easier mag exchanges under stress, and a proprietary finish has been applied to the guns.
Bullpup rifles are the signature product of Kel-Tec, and the company continues to innovate in that platform. The latest Kel-Tec bullpup is the RDB Survival, which was designed for backpackers, survivalists, and other folks who want a lightweight, easy to carry, easy to manipulate 5.56mm NATO rifle. The RDB Survival has a 16.1in barrel and an overall length of 26.1 inches. It has an unloaded weight of five pounds. Features include Kel-Tec's patented downward shell ejection system, an adjustable stock, and an accessory rail.
The Switch vest from Propper is designed to be so flexible that it can be used to equip an entire unit, from snipers to EMTs, with one style of vest. The Switch is low profile and can be worn slick under a button-down shirt or fully loaded over a uniform or BDU. Pouches inside the cummerbund hold mags, tools, medical supplies, and other gear the mission demands, while soft armor inserts can slide easily into the side panels for added protection. Features include: integrated admin pouch with elastic tool retention, strategically placed MOLLE fields, 4-way stretch interior cummerbund pocket, non-abrasive interior mesh, and included shoulder pads. Options include: ID placards, NIJ Level III or Level IV hard Plates, double M4 double pistol kangaroo, triple M4 kangaroo, MOLLE attachment panel, and M4 attachment panel.
Remington was busy in 2017, launching its RP9 full-size polymer pistol, releasing a double-stack version of its 1911, and adding detachable magazines to its 870 DM shotguns. The RP9 full-size debuted at last year's show and it's likely the company will show variants at this year's SHOT. The full-size features a 4.5in barrel, an 18-round magazine, a slim grip circumference, a weight-balanced slide that the company says minimises muzzle rise, and a maximised slide profile for secure slide manipulation even with gloves. Remington's double-stack R1 1911 is available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Last month the company announced it was adding six-round detachable magazines to its 870 DM shotguns, including such law enforcement models as the standard 870 DM, the 870 DM Magpul with Magpul stock and forend, the 870 DM Tac-14 with 14-inch barrel, and the 870 DM Tactical with 18.5-inch barrel and pistol grip.
Safariland Group company Protech Tactical will debut a new series of five lightweight, boltless Type IIIA ballistic shields at the 2018 SHOT Show. Utilising a patent-pending process to integrate the lens cap into the ballistic body of the shield, the X Series improves ballistic performance by eliminating the risk of a round penetrating a bolt or seam. Protech says the X Series streamlines the traditional ballistic shield and introduces a design that eliminates points of weakness, reduces weight, and maintains overall ballistic integrity. Composed of polyethylene, X Series shields are the lightest handgun threat shields currently on the market, according to Protech. A choice between ultra-lightweight carbon fibre or Kydex exterior skin provides a durable, high-end finishing touch. Available with three-position or horizontal handle, X Series shields can be fitted with optional FoxFury Taker B50 LED light system.
SIG Sauer will likely be showing new variants of its P320 handgun at this year's SHOT Show. The company is still celebrating the US Army's selection of the pistol as the winner of its MHS competition. SIG Sauer is now delivering M17/M19 pistols to the army. The M17/M19 variants of the P320 have an external safety, an integrated Picatinny rail, self-illuminating night sights, and a barrel capable of accepting a suppressor. In addition to taking a victory lap over the MHS competition, SIG Sauer will be showing its new MCX VIRTUS rifle. Unveiled in August 2017, the MCX VIRTUS is available in 5.56 NATO and 300 BLK and it may be the world's most adaptable AR-style firearm platform. Between barrels, stocks, handguards, and colors, the MCX VIRTUS can be configured more than 500 different ways, SIG Sauer says. The MCX VIRTUS is available in Patrol, Pistol and SBR variants with cold hammer-forged barrels, available in 9in, 11.5in and 16inlengths that can be exchanged at the operator level. SIG Sauersays the VIRTUS is more accurate than the standard MCX because it has barrels with a heavier contour profile and the new SIG Sauer Matchlite Duo two-stage trigger. A new tapered bolt lug design results in smoother cycling and extends the bolt life.
The big news from Smith & Wesson at last year's SHOT Show was the M&P 2.0 pistol. In the last few months, S&W has expanded the M&P 2.0 line with the new M&P SHIELD M2.0 pistol line. The new SHIELD features the new M&P 2.0 trigger, a 3.1in barrel in both 9mm and .40 S&W, choice of white-dot sights or tritium night sights, and one standard and one extended grip magazine. Options include integrated Crimson Trace laser sight. In addition to showing the new SHIELD line at this year's SHOT Show, S&W will also be showing the M&P 2.0 pistol with TruGlo TFX sights. There are also rumours that the company will be introducing a new version of the BODYGUARD .380 ACP this year.
The new Team Wendy EXFIL Ballistic SL helmet provides a 15% reduction in weight while maintaining the same fragmentation and NIJ IIIA performance ratings as the original EXFIL Ballistic, the company says. The SL rails and shroud are compatible with all helmet mounted accessories while also facilitating the addition of a new Ballistic visor. The finished helmet system comes in at 2.22lbs in Size 1 and 2.31lbs in Size 2.
SHOT Show 2018 is showcasing the future of innovation across law enforcement/military/Special Forces equipment and weapons. www.monch.com/mpg/news/shot-show-2018.html brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #1/2018, available at the show or here; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR, as more news will become available.