[Updated 1-26] SHOT Show 2021 // January 2021 New Product Roundup

SHOT is a little different this year. Since there aren’t any dudes with cameras running around the show floor, and everyone is doing online product releases, I ought to do something like this. Normally I’d be some rando who couldn’t get in talking about stuff I haven’t seen in person. That describes everyone this year, so I might as well give it a go. This will be in chronological order, I’ll be typing it up as these products are released (or at least when I learn enough about them to start to form an opinion).

KELTEC: P50

Who shot first?

This thing looks like a sci-fi gun. Granted, most of KelTec’s offerings in the last decade can be described the same way.

First impression: Cool. The venerable PS90 gets a lot of lip service online, but very little attention in the real world. This gun being chambered in not only the same 5.7×28, but also being the only other production gun to use those P90 mags is awesome! I’m a big fan of both the 5.7×28 and the P90, so the P50 coming out will only make the P90 and 5.7 more relevant.

Break action semi-auto?

So here’s the thing about the loading procedure: You have to break open the gun to reload it. Now that sounds like a terrible idea, but we’re also talking about 50-round mags! Reloading is not going to be a thing that happens very often at the range, much less in a gunfight! But here’s the other part of that: Since you have to open the gun to swap mags, these don’t count as detachable magazines according to California (and other states’) law. This is a 50-state legal weapon! …probably. I don’t know all of Cali’s nuances, but as far as the magazine goes, it’s A-OK.

Now for the downside: There seems to be no provision for a stock or pistol brace. That cooled me down to the gun considerably. I probably care about that more than most, so I do expect this thing to be out of stock for the next 18 months.

LEUPOLD: Deltapoint Micro Dot

DP Micro

First impression: I hate it. The biggest problem with shooting a dot is finding it upon drawing the gun. Big windows and lots of practice are the only ways around that problem, but the LMD seems to be going in the wrong direction. The window is tiny! I get that they are trying to make it much lower profile and resilient, which they have done, but at what cost? They claim it has ‘cowitness with the front sight’ which means your already minimal field of view will be further reduced by your freaking front sight!

The one saving grace is that since it is a closed-tube style optic, a shooter may be able to quickly correct their aim based on the visual misalignment of the tube. I’d have to play with one in person to get a feel for that, though. The closed-tube style is also inherently robust, so I honestly believe this sight to be durable.

The extra length off the back of the slide doesn’t bother me. The unconventional form will not help sales. At an MSRP of $520, I’m not sure how well this thing will do.

SAVAGE: Impulse

A new straight-pull bolt action, made here in the USA. I really never thought I’d see the day. The straight-pull is such a European design, I just never thought anyone here would make one. I’m so glad I was wrong! I personally love the straight-pull action, it is just so fast! Bolt actions can be run quickly, but it takes a lot of practice and a slicked up action to accomplish. A straight-pull on the other hand is made to be quick.

The biggest feature for me is the ambi handle. I shoot rifles left handed and have decided to not purchase any bolt guns unless made for lefties. The Impulse can move it’s handle to the left side, from the factory! How freakin’ cool is that?! I’ve talked before about how I’d love to have a left-handed bolt action in a intermediate or short-action caliber. Now I have a brand new option and I don’t even have to hunt for a lefty version. Also, it appears that the handle’s angle is user-adjustable as well.

Only downside is that the MSRP is $1,380 for standard and box-mag models, $1,450 for the ‘Big Game’ trim package. Not bad for a nice bolt action, but still more than my mortgage payment. I do expect these to sell well, as the serious hunting market can well withstand a new, novel, but also high performance rifle in the sub-$1,500 area.

FNH: 509 Long Slide Edge

FNH is expanding their 509 family of guns with a 5” barreled competition gun. Pretty standard for a comp gun: longer barrel, go-fast holes in the slide, upgraded trigger, etc. It also has a much more aggressive grip texture than the standard 509.

Not real sure what the “Edge” is all about, honestly. Cool name, though, so props for that.

The slide cuts are more than for flexin’ on the Gram, though. They reduce the slide weight to that of the standard 509. I imagine to reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil, but there may be internal mechanical reasons for that weight also.

The most interesting part of the 509 LS Edge is that the gun has a P320-style serialized internal chassis with swappable grips & slides. This isn’t unique to the LS Egde, but makes new combinations of 509 possible that weren’t before now. The pic above shows what I mean.

MAGPUL: FDC-9

It’s finally happening. The famous folding machine gun that’s been discussed in hushed and saddened tones since the late 2000’s has been confirmed. Estimated arrival: 2022. So we’ve got some time to get our hopes up and our dreams crushed. But who knows? This might finally work out.

I know Magpul is dropping a bunch of other stuff, but this is the one that actually interests me. Plus, it being Magpul, everyone is going to cover it. I’m just here for the foldy boi.

And yes, that is Zev Tech. The ones who make the Gucciest of Glocks, they are in on this as well. Now if only Magpul can find someone to partner with to make the Masada. I vote SOLGW or Radian.

VORTEX: Spitfire HD Gen II 3x & 5x

I’m honestly surprised to see this entry. The fixed power optic market does not seem like be a good place to invest, but Vortex is doing it anyway. Outside of people with Astigmatism, I really don’t see these types of optics mentioned very often. And even then, it’s like “here’s an alternative if a normal red dot is unusable”. It’s almost never a first option. But like I said, Vortex is here anyway.

They must see something I don’t, as they are introducing two new optics, a 3x and a 5x. The optics have good features, with BDC’s, a new snag-free design, and an honestly very impressive magnificent-to-weight ratio. The MSRPs are also indicative of a thriving market, at $550 and $650, respectively. That’s not how you price something that you don’t expect to catch on. I guess keep your eyes on the fixed power/prism market segment, I know I will be.

DANIEL DEFENSE: Delta 5 Pro

DD is introducing another bolt gun. Their last one was a flop and I guess they decided to give ‘er another go. The last bolt gun from them was the Delta 5. The Delta 5 just seemed to be a nice gun from people who don’t make bolt guns, but were charging about the same. Why go with a relative unknown when well known names make guns just as good or better, for just as much?

This new gun seems to be better thought out. Chassis instead of stock, heavy bull barrel, 6mm or 6.5mm instead of .308, Arcalock rail, fully adjustable stock. It is aimed more at PRS shooters instead of tactical long range shooting. It is priced at $2,499.99 for the express purpose of being production class legal.

ATHLON: 1-10x Optics

Athlon has over a dozen new products for 2021, but these caught my eye.

The LPVO market continues to expand, both in options and capability. Athlon has introduced two 1-10x optics. I find that interesting because only a few years ago 1-10x was the realm of very high-end makers. Not that Athlon doesn’t make good optics (because they do), but Athlon’s aim is to make high-value scopes for people who aren’t in the top 1% of consumers. This is a good sign for everyday people like you & me.

The Helos BTR Gen2 has an MSRP of $625, which might be the most affordable 1-10x on the market for a long time. Not to mention that it’s FFP, too.

The Ares ETR is an FFP scope, and has an MSRP of $1,140. A little more pricey than the Helos G2, but you also get better coatings, features, and a 34mm body.

They also have a range finder good to a freaking mile!

STOEGER: STR-9S Combat

I’m not going to lie, Stoeger seems to be trying to compete directly against Canik here. With a base pistol MSRP of $300 and this tricked out version for $550, I’m not expecting a whole lot. Suppressor sights, threaded barrel, mag well, red dot ready, and all for so little. Kinda makes you wonder what they left out to keep the price down…

STREAMLIGHT: TLR-7 Sub

This is interesting. The TLR-7 is a solid choice and even more so with the updated buttons in the -7A. But this? This is different. Not that it’s bad, but that they made yet another new version of it. Granted, the P365, Hellcat, and G43x/48 are all selling at an incredible rate, something like this is to be expected.

I can’t tell exactly how the buttons work from these pics, but I can tell that they are different nonetheless. The TLR-7 Sub has an MSRP of $225.

WINCHESTER: .350 Legend Self-Defense loadings

Winchester released a good amount of new loadings this week, most of which are pretty unremarkable and otherwise “meh”. The .350 Legend defensive loading, however, is very interesting.

The .350L is and has only been a hunting cartridge until now. It was introduced as a way Ohioans to hunt with ARs, as Ohio requires straight-wall cartridges for hunting. The .350L is a 9mm bullet with a straight walled case and the standard .223/5.56 case head, meaning that a standard AR only needs a new barrel to shoot the .350L.

The .350 Legend has seen lots of success, even in my own home state, as a hunting round. Like, much more success than I ever expected. I’m not sure why the idea to make a self defense loading never occurred to me. The difference between humans and medium-sized game is not a whole lot. Well it’s a good thing Winchester has smarter people than me working there.

WINCHESTER: 6.8 Western

The official story is that Winchester has basically used the formula that made 6.5mm Creedmoor so successful and applied it to the .270 caliber, naming it the “6.8 Western”. Short action, long & heavy bullets, and closely resembling the .270 WSM in case dimensions. But I have a different theory.

I think Winchester saw the potential market domination of Sig’s .277 Fury and decided that they wanted a piece of that pie. The NGSW program is likely to make 6.8 and .270 cartridges much more relevant than ever before. Winchester and Browning have teamed up to introduce ahead of the NGSW’s conclusion their own 6.8mm/.277 offering.

I don’t blame them, it’s a good strategy. If the NGSW program actually does something (unlike most military weapon programs), then this move should work well. To help shore up their position, Browning is offering a half dozen brand new rifles chambered in this cartridge. I hope it works out for them, I love seeing stuff in new and novel calibers. .30 is played out, 6mm and 6.5mm are starting to get repetitive.

LANGDON TACTICAL: Red Dot Ready slides for Beretta92

People have said for years that the Beretta 92 has absolutely zero optics mounting capability. Langdon Tactical has done the impossible, and you can buy a red dot ready slide for your 92, today. It is just a slide, meaning you have to reuse your existing frame, barrel, spring, etc., but that also means you’re not paying for all those parts again. And it seems to fit basically any 92 series gun. From the product page: “Our slides will work on any 92 FS and later model pistol including WC Brigadier Tactical, M9 and M9A1s – the only known exceptions that are not compatible are the 92A1 and 92S pistol frames.”

This is really one of the most exciting things to come from SHOT 2021. Slides can be purchased Here. Available colors are black, FDE, OD Green, and gray.

ATN: TICO LT Thermal clip-on sight

The lack of needing to re-zero is interesting. I don’t have enough experience to say if 9 hrs is a good battery life or not, but if the claims listed in the video above are accurate, this could be a very interesting stepping stone towards legit civilian thermal optics.

MSRP is in the $3,000 range, though the actual price isn’t publicly available yet.

HOLOSUN: Optics Lineup for 2021

I’m just posting this w/o much commentary. Their products are high value, and their naming convention is highly confusing. As you watch, take notes.

UBERTI: Hardin Top-Break revolvers

I love a good top-break revolver. Ever since I saw 3:10 to Yuma I’ve been in love with that style of pistol. I’ll admit, it’s pretty irrational, but I don’t care. They’re cool. Seeing a new model on the market makes me happy. Since Uberti is introducing the top-break this year (along with a series of other wheel guns), I had to include it in this list.

Stats and quote lifted from TFB (thanks!)

If one man alone could typify the gunslinging outlaw, this man would have to be John Wesley Hardin. His career as a skilled gunfighter started in his teens and spanned the entire period between the 1860s and his death in the mid-1890s. This revolver follows the lines of his S&W top-break with which he prevailed in a shootout against Deputy Webb in Comanche, TX in the 1870s. Hardin is blued steel, case-hardened, with a simulated Buffalo-horn grip.

Specifications:

  • Frame: S&W Top-break
  • Caliber: .45 Colt
  • Barrel Length: 7 inches
  • Overall Length: 12.8 in
  • Overall Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Grip: Two-piece simulated bison horn
  • Finish: Case-colored
  • Cylinder: 6-shot, case-colored
  • Number of Grooves: 6
  • Rate of Twist: 1:16, RH
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • MSRP: $1,479

Man. $1,500 is a lot for a gun I have no practical use for. Then again, I did say this was an irrational attraction…

CENTURY ARMS: Thunder Ranch edition AK

So here’s my opinion of Clint Smith doing a whole bunch of collabs with gun companies: Clint’s been a great asset to the gun community for decades. Outside of government contracts and Hollywood consulting fees, it’s hard to make much more than a decent living in the gun world. As far as I’m concerned, Clint’s earned the chance to make a few dollars.

Choosing to do it through an all-American made AK but made for the average working man (proletariat?) I pretty cool. I wish Clint and Century the best of luck.

ROCK RIVER ARMS: RBG-1S

First off, good for RRA. An AR company making a bolt gun may not be exactly new (see Daniel Defense, above), but it’s still interesting.

Secondly, this looks to be a slightly modified Remington 700 action they make in-house, along with the barrel & bolt. Everything else is sourced from vendors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. TRG stock, AICS mags, and triggers from Timney or Triggertech (buyers’ choice). The barrels are either .308 or 6.5 CM, and in 20”, 22”, and 24” length options. Scope rail is 20 MOA on all rifles, and MSRP is $4,235. Ouch.

Third, I’m pretty sure RGB stands for “Really Big Gun”. The -1S? I’ve no clue.

SMARTGUNZ: Sentry 9mm

Unfortunately, I’m ending this one on a bad note. Yet another ‘smart gun’. Oh, where to begin…

This gun is a bad idea. For you & me, absolutely terrible. You have to be wearing the specific glove they send or it will not fire. You have to press the equivalent of a grip safety while wearing the glove or it will not fire. The gun can only be shot from your right or left hand, which you must specify upon ordering.

Get used to wearing a glove to bed. To work. While lounging around the house. Or just around in public, in general. It will take all of 30 seconds for criminals to realize that a person wearing a single glove is an armed person. How many of them will see you as a walking resupply point? It’s like open carrying, but worse.

The real issue is that multiple states, including New Jersey, have led on the books already that mandate as soon as a ‘smart gun’ comes into the market, then all guns for sale in that state must be smart guns. That’s not pending legislation, it’s already the law. This was put to test a few years ago in the Northeast. A gun shop naively tried to become the US importer of some European smart gun. The guy was a regular patriotic American, he just was unaware. He got so harassed and tormented online that he almost had to shit down his business. At least this time the darn thing is in 9mm.

There are some instances where this is the worst idea in the world. Cops and possibly Dept of Corrections officers, for example, might actually have a good use case for this product. If it is reliable enough, I think a cop having a gun that cannot be used against him wouldn’t be terrible. If you worked in a prison, even more so. But for everyday Joes like you & me? Avoid this like the plague.

Conclusion

I’m not a big fan of SHOT show this year. I feel like I missed 95% of the stuff I normally see. Granted, most of it is completely unremarkable, but I want to be the decider. I really hope that they do it normally again next year. I guess we’ll just have to wait & see.

I got most of (but not all) my info from The Firearm Blog. I would much rather have had dozens of poorly shot videos from the show floor to sift through and find little hidden gems. I would prefer to be there myself, but this humble blog has yet to get that kind of attention (Share with your friends and subscribe!).

Until next time, avoid smart guns, and I’ll see you next Friday.

-S_S

2 thoughts on “[Updated 1-26] SHOT Show 2021 // January 2021 New Product Roundup

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