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PREVIEW: My Top 7 “Must-see” Products of SHOT Show 2018

SHOT Show 2018 is coming up next week, and the industry is abuzz. Tons of companies have announced new guns and accessories already that we will have our first chance at getting a look at firsthand. And of course many other companies are holding back waiting to surprise us! The team and crew will be there to take it all in and sort through the madness to bring you the best coverage of the annual event.

Here are my Top 7 products that are a must-see at the show:

#1 – SIG Sauer P365

This is the “big” one that everybody is talking about. We’ve been talking about it quite a bit since the announcement from SIG as any gun that is “concealed carry friendly” will get our attention.

This subcompact semi-auto is small with the best of the 9mm single-stacks, but it is HUGE in capacity as the engineers at SIG Sauer were able to cram a double-stack magazine into a package that up till now was not thought possible.

We can’t wait to get our hands on it which fortunately for us will come sooner than later since SIG was kind enough to invite us to their Premier Media Day event on the Sunday prior to the show. Look for some video and other great content from us on this gun—which, based on what we have seen so far, looks to be a big winner for SIG Sauer.

#2 – Springfield Armory XD-S Mod. 2 .45 ACP

xds mod 2

In all fairness, with SIG’s P365 topping out the list, I have to include Springfield Armory’s just announced XD-S Mod. 2 in .45 ACP close to the top of this list. The XD-S series of guns has proven to be far more popular than I would have ever thought. The same goes for their Mod. 2 configurations as well. People just seem to like the “Grip Zone.”

Once again, in true Springfield fashion, they are releasing this update in the same way the original XD-S was launched—the big bore .45 Auto first. I don’t know that I’ll ever understand the logic, but it seemed to work the first time, so why not stick with the formula.

Either way, this is one gun that folks are interested in, so we’ll be among the first to be there to see it!

#3 – Alien Gear Holsters IWB Holster with Integrated Fan

This is the back of a holster already being sold. What will they have up their sleeves this year?

A few days ago, a different news source reported on a new product from Alien Gear. We can neither confirm nor deny because we have not seen anything on it. Right now there is only one company reporting on it, so we will tread lightly here. But, if it is an actual thing, this product is either going to be awesome or a total flop. I don’t think I’ll be able to gauge it until I can lay hands on it. It is sure to garner a lot of attention by integrating a small cooling fan into the body of the holster. Nothing like this has ever been done, tried, or even conceived of before.

We’ll see how people respond to wearing a holster that they have to charge every night!

#4 – Glock 19X

Glock G19X

I have my own misgivings about this one, but the release of the 19X has gotten a lot of people’s attention. This hybrid pistol is a cross between the Glock 19 (barrel/slide) and the Glock 17 (frame/grip). Like I said, I’m not sure I get it. A full-sized grip, but you lose all the benefits of a full-length barrel, sight radius and balance. However, early reports from shooters are that people seem to like it. So chances are Glock will sell boatloads of them.

But after seeing the 19X which was inspired by Glock’s own submission to the U.S. Army for the new MHS contract gun, I’m not terribly surprised that SIG took home the big prize. Glock’s is far less modular, and has compromised too much I think with that darn barrel and slide that they shortened. Meanwhile, SIG submitted a completely modular gun that I suspect is intended to primarily be used in a full-sized configuration (with 21-round magazines!) but can quickly be reconfigured to a compact or subcompact variation. Not to mention SIG’s contract price was MUCH CHEAPER … but I digress.

Don’t read too much into my criticism here. I am still intrigued by the 19X, and I look forward to getting my hands on it at SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range on Monday. Stay tuned!

#5- Springfield Armory 911 .380 ACP

Springfield Armory has announced this new little thing that should be a direct competitor to SIG Sauer’s P238. It is a micro-1911 handgun chambered in .380 Auto. SIG has pretty much dominated the market in this category, but I have a feeling that Springfield is going to try to give them a run for their money. And they may do just that quite literally as the 911 .380 ACP comes in a fair bit cheaper than the P238.

It is a good looking gun, but I’m curious about the trigger. From what I’ve read and the photos I’ve seen, the trigger is made of G10 material. That’s a new one. Springfield claims that this has something to do with the incredibly crisp trigger pull. We’ll see!

#6 – Ruger PC Carbine

Ruger PC Carbine

Although there are some saying the aesthetics are poor or that the price is too high, I’m quite excited about the PC Carbine from Sturm Ruger. It’s been over 10 years since Ruger had a pistol caliber carbine in their lineup, and this looks like a solid offering.

Unlike some options from competing designs in the market, with the PC Carbine you are not limited to one particular style or type of magazine. It is compatible with Ruger SR-series and Security-9 magazines, Ruger American magazines, and Glock magazines with an adapter. That is really the selling point for me I think. You are no longer limited to just one type. Amazing!

#7 – Shield Sights RMS-C

shield sights rms-c

Shield Sights has announced the release of the RMS-C, a smaller version of their popular RMS red dot sights. The RMS is already quite small. Shooters have been cutting slides and putting these on their handguns including even small sub or micro-compacts like the Glock 43. The compromise was always that the RMS was slightly wider than the slide on the G43.

But now with the RMS-C, the optic is no wider than the slide. It blends nicely into the overall look and design of the gun. These slide-mounted red dot sights are becoming increasingly popular not just among the competition-types, but also with those with poor eyesight and even defensive-oriented shooters as well. This should be a winner because from what I have seen, this will be the smallest and lightest red dot sight on the market. And Shield makes some quality gear, too, so you can have confidence in its performance.

So there you have it, my top 7 picks of must-see products at the 2018 SHOT Show. Stay tuned for coverage throughout the week starting Sunday so that you don’t miss any of the action. Also please comment below with your thoughts on these products or about any other products you’re heard about or would like us to check out!

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