SHOT Show is typically a whirlwind of technology, gear, accessories, guns, meetings, networking and ideas. And the 41st annual show at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 22-25, 2019, was no different.

It’s always great to catch up with old friends and to check out new innovations while simultaneously trying to avoid getting ill (which SHOT veterans not-so-affectionately call “the SHOT Show crud”). Unfortunately, I caught whatever crud was going around, but the recovery afterward has given me a little extra time to sit back and reflect on some of the cool things I saw this year.

Besides a photo and an autograph with Lou Ferrigno (THE Incredible Hulk), the numerous (JackLinks) Sasquatch sightings and the possibility of getting a free tattoo at the Gerber Gear booth (right on the show floor!), here are my top four finds from SHOT Show 2019.

#1) Reach —

Chief Operating Officer Christine Tate brought this innovative new product by the USCCA booth, and we were all quite intrigued. From Vara Safety, Reach is an innovative biometric safe designed for both reliable security and immediate access. The device, which looks and functions a lot like a stocky holster, can be mounted on its own charging station just about anywhere in your home, office or vehicle. Your thumb naturally aligns with the fingerprint sensor on the side of the safe (programmable with up to five authorized users) as it unlocks for you to quickly access your firearm. I believe this clever tool is great for families with children or for anyone who wants safe, fast and reliable access to their home-protection gun.

#2) Glock G48 —

Speaking of firearms … how about a new gun? While I saw a host of great handguns that I’d love to add to my collection, I did make a point to stop and check out the new G48 9mm. It’s similar to the size of the very popular G19 but with a slimmer profile for easier concealed carry (especially for inside-the-waistband holsters). With a magazine capacity of 10 rounds, the G48 features beveled edges, front slide serrations and a silver nPVD-coated slide. This gun will likely be an effective option for those who prefer something a bit larger than the compact 43 but still want something smaller and slimmer than the more standard-sized handguns.

#3) Swab-its —

Though they’ve been around for a while, they are worth mentioning because Swab-its (by Super Brush) are reusable, lint-free cleaning swabs that are an excellent addition to your gun-cleaning kit — and your gun-cleaning routine. Caliber-specific Bore-Tips can be attached to any standard cleaning rod, or the one-piece Bore-Stick can take the place of a rod, jag and patch. They can also take the place of cotton swabs — for good! While those fuzzy cotton tips are often convenient, they always seem to leave behind bits and pieces. So I highly recommend grabbing a pack of Swab-its or one of the company’s handy kits for a fiber-free (and much more stress-free) cleaning experience.

#4) Nickel & Brass —

OK, so this mention isn’t something I actually saw at the show, but it’s something we talked about. And it’s exciting to see it coming to fruition — from a great idea tossed around by some new friends to a fun concept for gun owners to purchase ammunition. Nickel & Brass (from AmmoSquared) is an ammo subscription box, currently with three popular calibers (9mm, 380 and .38 Special). It’s a simple and creative way to get ammunition delivered right to your door on a regular basis. You decide on the type (all training ammo or some self-defense rounds mixed in), the delivery frequency and the price that best fits your shooting lifestyle. Nickel & Brass then sends you a specially selected package of ammo to use and enjoy!