SHOT Show (the industry’s largest Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) is always quite a whirlwind of activity, people, products, information, events and meetings. The 2020 show, Jan. 21-24 in Las Vegas, was no different. And, as always, it’s very difficult to try to capture the SHOT Show experience in a few hundred words. It’s also quite a challenge to try to narrow down some of what I learned and discovered at the show. But here’s an attempt at a recap and a small glimpse into a very full week of industry awesomeness!
As many folks probably know, Glock has released a new .22 LR. The Glock 44 was announced in advance of this year’s show, but I had a chance to see it in person at SHOT. Honestly, I am not a die-hard fan of .22 handguns, except for some fun plinking, of course. But the G44 does offer a great training opportunity, a nice starting point for some new shooters and a viable carry option for others. Being the same size as the G19 provides some familiarity … and possibly some double use for holsters as well. It’s super lightweight and includes familiar features you’d expect in a Glock pistol: a polymer frame, polymer magazines and a striker-fire trigger. Plus, .22 ammo is pretty cheap and easy to come by, so why not add this rimfire plinker to the collection?
M&P9 Shield EZ
Personally, I was a lot more excited to check out the Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield EZ. I have been very interested in the EZ model since it first arrived in a .380. With the easy-to-load magazines and super simple slide that just about anyone can rack, this gun is functional and usable for training new shooters and for working with people who have some limitations in hand strength or flexibility. Now that the EZ is available in the ever-popular 9mm, I think a lot more folks will choose this as an everyday carry option.
Federal Practice & Defend
I also had a chance to stop by the Federal booth, where I immediately picked up some Practice & Defend Packs. This ammunition option is a fantastic benefit for the responsibly armed since it offers personal-defense hollow-points and ballistically matched training ammo in one convenient box. This is a perfect way to get in some practice with training rounds that are almost identical to the defense rounds without putting too many expensive hollow-points downrange. You can test out how the ammunition works in your gun and experience felt recoil while gaining some confidence that you can shoot accurately and effectively, even under the worst circumstances.
Dene Adams Phantom 2 Leggings
It’s always fun to visit with my friend Anna Taylor of Dene Adams. The company always seems to be testing, researching and working on something new for women’s concealed carry lifestyle. Besides a very full line of corset holsters, bras, tanks and shorts, Dene Adams also has concealed carry leggings that offer the same quality, functionality and attention to detail as the other offerings. I was especially interested in the moisture-wicking, nylon-lycra-blend Phantom 2 Leggings, which offer amazing versatility for carry options (five holstering positions) while being super comfortable and form-flattering.
The Handi-Racker is another interesting newcomer to the show. You can use this device to help rack the slide of even the most stubborn handgun. Just place the device (which kind of looks like a flat, carved-out rectangle) on a table or another solid surface so you can stabilize the gun. Then, depress the handgun grip forward … and let the Handi-Racker do the hard work. Though not a tactical device (so don’t plan on having it in a dynamic critical incident), the Handi-Racker is helpful for teaching and training. You can even mount it on a wheelchair to help ease the loading and unloading process. The Handi-Racker is available in two sizes that fit about 95 percent of handguns.
About Beth Alcazar
Beth Alcazar, author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and creator of the Pacifiers & Peacemakers blog, has enjoyed nearly two decades of working and teaching in the firearms industry. Beth is passionate about safe and responsible firearms use and enthusiastic about teaching others. She is certified as an instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.