The 2020 SHOT Show is like the mega-store for anyone who likes hunting, plinking, shooting, long-range challenges, optics, self-defense firearms, clothing for the outdoors, ATVs, packs, knives, patches and pins and anything in the gun world. The biggest problem is there are so many things to see—and the clock is ticking. Here are some things I spotted that every buyer and range owner should put on their must-see list.
Boyt Harness Company, based in Osceola, Iowa, is displaying a product that left me scratching my head: Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? It’s the Swivel Rifle Case with Sling, a soft-sided rifle case that includes a standard rifle sling of Mil-spec-type webbing for carrying, but that sling attaches to the case with standard quick-detach sling swivels. Boyt Harness Company is also offering Explorer soft gun cases and travel luggage in OD green and orange along with a Team Series of soft gun cases, range bags and around-the-waist shotshell pouches, complete with belt, in eight colors to include purple, yellow, brass, red and others. Yes, there are also matching Team Series mesh shooting vests; high-school competition teams will love these.
Brownell’s sees value in the modern sporting rifle (MSR) for plinking, shooting and hunting and has expanded its line of Retro Rifles and other MSRs, and the BRN-180 continues to grow the company’s lower selections.
When traveling to any firearms range on a sunny day, it’s a good time to wear sunglasses. For this, Leupold has you (well, your eyes) covered. The company’s new Performance Eyewear is offered up in five models and with various lens colors, and some change as light conditions change.
If you like big knives, a machete or a hatchet, you’ll find all of these in the new Gerber Double Down. This large bladed tool has a two-piece handle that folds to provide a blade cover and opens to create a handle. It’s like a Transformer—for adults. There are three models available, with black or tan handles, and they’re made in the U.S.A.!
Some things provide a cool factor to ownership or otherwise deliver lots of flash. Then there are the firearms that provide both, one of which is the new and very special Desert Eagle pistol chambered in .50A&E that Davidson’s was showing. The mostly silver pistol had lots of engraving enhanced by wording honoring America’s President Donald J. Trump. It even includes “MAGA” on the grip’s backstrap. Indeed, I could not find any space on the flashy pistol that had not been touched by engraving—bling-bling.
Lockdown is showcasing the Puck, an innovative sensor to improve firearm safety and security. The Puck can be placed in or on a gun vault and will send a signal to your phone if there is a change in temperature or humidity, if someone attempts to open the vault door or rattles it and other disturbances. The small box design is so subtle, it’s unlikely to be noticed when placed on a vault.
Industry icon Bushnell is bringing a new series of Nitro rangefinders to a store shelf near you. There are five models of the compact handheld rangefinders, one of which, the Nitro 1800, will range up to 2,000 yards. These rangefinders use multi-coated glass, incorporate brush/target/scan modes and are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. The Nitro 1800 also provides ballistic data to your phone (via a free Bushnell app) and will also communicate with a Kestrel wind meter. James Bond would shop for these.
The FN booth showcased a unique wheeled mobile military unit, the Hunter WOLF, that was drawing a huge crowd. This military-intended item looks like a small tank—and it’s equipped with a full-auto 30mm machinegun and perimeter scanner. The device is remotely operated with a small handheld control unit. When deployed, U.S. Armed Forces can pull this to a site behind a HumVee and then send the unit up mountains or down streets to engage unfriendly forces. The unit moves at a max speed of 14 mph and will run three days on a charge. It rides atop special Michelin Tweels that will not go flat. Many versions will be utilized, include trail clearers, a backhoe/loader and a TOW missile carrier among others. This is a fully mobilized drone for land, and it’s impressive.
In future rifles to consider, Kimber is bringing a new rifle series—the Open Range Pro—to firearms retailers near you. These bolt-action rifles have synthetic stocks in either computerized camouflage or slate gray and with a carbon fiber barrel. Offered in 6.5 Creedmor and .308 Win., the firearms are guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA.
While Las Vegas is known for bright lights and millions of light bulbs, some places are just dark. If you hunt or travel at night or want to see into the darkness at home, take a look at Browning’s Alpha Elite light. This handheld light can be charged with a USB connection, and can then be used to charge your cellphone. Browning also tackles the light market in 2020 with approximately 30 models that include spotlights, headband lights and handheld flashlights. One floodlight, the High Noon, can shine up to 1,000 yards, and nearly every model features batteries that can be plugged into a USB port and rechanged.
Since the SHOT Show covers hunting and hunting can involve dogs, this is a great place to find innovations for hunting dogs. Bryan Davaris with EYENIMAL is showing a dog-feeding bowl that has a scale on the side so the dog’s food can be weighed and over-feeding can be curtailed. This company is also showcasing lighted dog collars that can be recharged by plugging into a USB port, along with several barking deterrents and other dog products. Many are available on Chewy.com.
There must be at least a million pistols at the SHOT Show—I did not have time or a calculator to count them. With all those pistols there’s great need to carry one, and one that caught my eye is Versa Carrry’s mostly leather shoulder holster with a double mag pouch on the opposite side. It’s fully adjustable and offered in three sizes to securely hold pistols ranging from an S&W Shield to a 1911.
After miles and miles of show floor hiking and a bit of sensory overload and the first day of the show closed. Dreamers will dream, and with the show floor open for day two, I’m off to find more great products to tell you about. See you there!