As Promised, a SHOT Show Report

I’m back from Vegas and the 40th Annual SHOT Show and I didn’t even get sick. Shaking hands with hundreds of people each day and breathing that same stale convention center air seems to attack those who are ill-prepared. I must have used a gallon of hand sanitizer, two packs of disinfectant wipes and several packets of that super-vitamin, cold-killer medicine. I also did my best to get to bed early each night. But that is clearly not what you are interested in hearing about the SHOT Show.

Where to begin? The talk of the show was the SIG Sauer P365. It’s a great little pistol designed from the ground up for concealed carry. And with the SIG name on the side, people were falling all over themselves to get a closer look. The gun was certainly worth a look.

Glock also has a new version on the market: the Glock 19X. This is basically a Glock 19 slide mated to a Glock 17 frame. I feel like it is a solution looking for a problem, but people who study marketing know what buyers want, and if buyers want the 19X, the free market will provide it to them. I did like the idea of the ambidextrous slide lock on the Gen 5 Glocks. Such a move was, in my opinion, long overdue. Glock also claims 19 more design changes to the Gen 5 that include a new barrel, new finish and other upgrades.

If you watched the USCCA social media feeds, you will know that I declared the Cool Fire Trainer the coolest new item I found at the show. The Cool Fire replaces the barrel of your pistol (several models are currently available) with a CO2 cartridge that matches the barrel profile and ensures no live ammo can be chambered. Change the recoil spring. Fill up the CO2 reservoir. Insert the laser in the muzzle end. With those steps done, you have a visible laser-training system that allows you to use your own gun, with your own trigger, your own sights and your own grips for safe, effective dry-fire training that includes simulated recoil by operating the action of your pistol to reset the trigger.

Each CO2 charge gives you about 20 shots, and you can use any of the currently available reactionary targets that respond to visible lasers. A 20-ounce CO2 tank provides nearly 4,000 shots. And those tanks can be filled at many local sporting goods stores. I predict the Cool Fire system will open up a whole new world of training for people who have previously used laser-based dry-fire training to enhance their skills.

Yes, there were thousands of other things to see at the SHOT Show. The USCCA sponsored the New Product Center and I went through it a couple different times, reporting on cool stuff coming to market. But I see SHOT Show as something more than a gathering of new gear. For me it is an idea — an event that gives life to the American ideal of freedom. It is an event that embraces the free market and the 2nd Amendment. What could be better than that?

I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be involved in this industry and grateful that I can bring small portions of it to those who have given me their trust.

We all have lots to learn about guns, gun ownership and the legal use of force in the name of self-defense. I’m happy to be on this journey and hope I’m helping people along the way.