Shot Show 2022
After a Covid induced hiatus, Shot Show is back for 2022. While there is definitely a somewhat subdued vibe, there was still a lot of cool stuff to see. Listed below, in no particular order are some of the coolest things I saw from day to day while at Shot Show.
Day 1, Industry Day at the Range
European American Armory (EAA)
Apparently 2022 is the year of the Hi Power. Having shot and reviewed the Springfield SA 35, I spent some time at EAAs area during Industry day at the range and also got a chance to shoot EAAs take on the Browning Hi Power.
The basic pistol feels light, is very accurate and comes in 3 different finishes, Matte Black, FDE, and a two tone version.
EAA also has added other models to the line, including a model with a flared magazine well, beaver-tail, and a rail for mounting a light or laser. I was very impressed with the EAA Hi Power and am looking forward to getting my hands on one and putting a serious round count on it.
Silencer Shop made history by making it easy to purchase a silencer by having all the forms in one place. From the form 4 to a trust, Silencer Shop made it easy.
Silencer Central just raised the bar by doing everything that Silencer Shop does and has taken it up a notch by doing everything online, that’s right you can now put in your Form 4 and fingerprints without getting out of your pajamas if you like.
Silencer Central has also put together a network of FFLs in every state. What does this mean to the customer? Simply, once your paperwork is approved by the BATFE, your suppressor will be delivered to your door saving you a trip to your FFL.
That kind of customer service is hard to beat. Silencer Central also has 2 new models of silencer, the Banish 46, which is designed to suppress pistol calibers including .45 ACP and 10mm, and the Banish 338, which does an outstanding job of suppressing calibers up to and including .338 Lapua.
FoldAR has a completely new take on concealable ARs. While takedown, concealable AR pistols and rifles are nothing new and companies like Law Tactical and Sylvan Arms have been making folding AR stock adapters for a few years, no one has made a concealable AR that can be put into action as quick as the newest product from FoldAR.
They have revolutionized the concept with an AR-15 platform that can be employed in seconds by simply unfolding it and throwing a couple of latches. It also comes with a pouch for storage and carry that is only slightly larger than a fanny pack. With practice you can easily extract and unfold the FoldAR in under 30 seconds.
FoldAR also makes rifles in 5.56 NATO, .300 Blackout, and 6.5 Grendel that can be folded and stowed in a backpack sized pouch and employed just as quickly as the pistol variants. They also have dedicated upper receivers that can be mounted to your existing lower in various calibers and barrel lengths.
Holosun had several new products to showcase at Industry Day, but the one that garnered my attention the most was the SCS (Solar Charging Sight). The SCS is a maintenance free sight that does not have an external battery to be changed when it dies.
The SCS has small solar panels that continuously charge a small lithium battery inside the sight and an extremely efficient reticle that uses less energy than is being produced by the solar cells so the sight stays charged at all times.
The SCS is cut for specific firearms and mounts directly to the pistol’s slide, which allows it to sit lower and present a lower profile than previous pistol red dot sights. This allows the user to co-witness their iron sights without having to purchase aftermarket suppressor height sights.
As I have gotten older and found that my eyes don’t work as well as they used to, I have been moving to optics as the best way to put steel on target, however I have been reluctant to put a Red Dot Sight (RDS) on any of my pistols since I would have to make adjustments to the way I aim.
The reason why I’d have to adjust is due to the fact that the dot on the RDS was high off the bore axis and I would have to adjust when presenting the pistol to get on target.
The SCS relieves that issue by mounting directly to the slide and not to a mounting plate. This gives the user the ability to co-witness with the factory sights and I found that my presentation of the weapon without any changes to my sight picture or adjustments to be able to see the reticle.
At Shot Show 2020 Angstadt Arms showcased a whole new take on the 9mm AR pistol… roller delayed blowback.
Roller delayed blowback is nothing new, companies like HK, PTR, Vector Arms, Century Arms, and Zenith have been making roller delayed blowback pistols, rifles, and carbines for years.
But as far as I know there is only one other company doing a roller delayed blowback AR, and Angstadt Arms beat them by a year at least (not to mention the other company uses a traditional AR buffer system).
This year at range day we spoke with Rich Angstadt of Angstadt Arms, and he went over the MDP-9 pistol with us.
The MDP-9 is a compact, lightweight, 9mm AR pistol that uses the roller-delayed blowback system which makes for a fast, light, flat shooting, flat recoiling gun.
Since it does not use a traditional AR buffer spring system, it is very compact with a Picatinny rail on the back for mounting your favorite folding arm brace, or you can attach a single point sling adapter and use the sling for support.
At 14 inches long and 3.6 lbs, it is small and light, just right for concealment in a PDW role.
The lower also accepts AR parts, and the upper can be purchased separately and put on your current 9mm AR pistol lower. It takes Glock magazines so it is an outstanding partner to your G19 or G17 duty pistols.
I was able to shoot it on Range Day and it is quick handling and very easy to transition between targets due to its flat recoil. For something truly innovative and effective give Angstadt Arms MDP-9 a look.
Day 2, Shot Show
Having been following Auto Mag Ltd. since its inception in 2015, and having reported on the first prototypes and pre-production models that showed up at Shot Show in 2018, I have been following the saga of the herculean task of bringing a legendary firearm back into production.
There have been several setbacks along the way, issues with magazines, parts from vendors not made to spec, engineering/design issues that carried over from the original that had to be rectified before they could be put into production.
To fix these and other issues, it appears that Patrick Henry III, the owner of Auto Mag Ltd. went with the tried and true adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” He invested in new machinery to make the most critical parts in house and the result is nothing less than spectacular.
The .44 Auto Mag is pricey, but it’s also a straight up hot rod, and as they say in the hot rod/racing world… “horsepower costs money, how fast can you afford to go.”
The Auto Mag isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those who can afford its $3495.00 starting price, it is a piece of firearms history that hearkens back to one of the most innovative guns since John Browning developed the M1911, with just a little more power.
The reintroduction of this legendary firearm only leaves me with one question. How much is a kidney worth on the black market and do I have to take it out myself, or does someone else do it?
Defense Distributed, Ghost Gunner
Defense Distributed flipped the firearms world on its head and drew the rapt attention of the feds when its founder Cody Wilson first designed the “Liberator,” the world’s first 3D printable firearms design widely available online.
Since then he developed the Ghost Gunner, the world’s first, self contained CNC milling machine for finishing 80% receivers. Defense Distributed’s newest innovation was also in response to the ATF’s attempts to crack down on 80% receivers and the right of all Americans to build their own firearm.
At Shot Show 2022, Defense Distributed unveiled the newest Ghost Gunner III, this one with a software version capable of turning out a finished lower from a solid block of aluminum alloy.
That’s right, a 0% receiver.
As usual Cody Wilson and the folks from Defense Distributed are working hard to ensure our 2nd Amendment rights will not be infringed, regardless of how much some in power would like to.
Wild West Guns
Jeremy West with Wild West Guns has been building custom lever action rifles for years, and if you have ever watched Wild West Alaska on Animal Planet, then you have heard of Wild West Guns.
While lever action rifles are not exactly innovative, Wild West Guns have been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to lever guns to the point that manufacturers are starting to take notice.
They also have developed their own Magnum caliber, 457 WWG, which emasculates its parent caliber the 45-70 Govt. Their take-down rifles 457 WWG and other calibers are, if not innovative, cool as hell and Jeremy himself is as nice as they come.
Being a fan of lever guns myself, I could not resist the opportunity to drool over some of their coolest creations, like their flagship, the WWG Co Pilot, a finely finished stainless steel take-down rifle equipped with beautiful wood forend and stock, ported barrel, peep sights, and a barrel mounted picatinny rail that allows you to mount your favorite long eye relief scope.
Wild West Guns are some of the finest crafted custom lever actions I have ever come across, which leaves only one question. Do I really need kidneys at all?
Day 3, Shot Show
FN-USA High Power
Fabrique Nationale or FN was the company that hired John M. Browning to design what became the HP-35 more commonly known as the Browning Hi-Power.
I had already reviewed the offering from Springfield and shot the EAA Hi-Power, when I saw that FN was releasing a BHP as well via social media. I immediately wondered what in the world is going on, is 2022 the year of the Hi-Power?
Day 2 on the floor I was finally able to get to talk to someone from FN about the new High Power pistol, and I was impressed. FN has released it in 3 different finishes, basic black with brown grips, FDE with matching grips, and a beautiful stainless version with nicely contrasting black grips.
While the Springfield seems to be true to the original and the offering from EAA runs to the custom Hi-Powers that have been built by pistolsmiths for the last 40-50 years, the FN offering is a modern take on an 80 year old classic. It comes with ambidextrous safety and slide release.
It also has a modern style take-down lever similar to Sig and Beretta.
The pistol also has a wide open ejection port unlike its namesake and most interesting of all, comes with a 17 round magazine to give it a 17+1 capacity. The original Hi-Power got its name from its revolutionary 13 round magazine, an amazing innovation in a time of single stack 7-8 round mags.
As a former owner of an original Belgian FN Hi-Power, and a Browning Mark III, all I can say about the FN High Power is, stop it… I am running out of kidneys.
Smith & Wesson CSX 9mm
I was initially drawn to the S&W booth at Shot Show to check out the Shield in the new .30 Super Carry caliber, but once I started talking with them I was introduced to the new for 2022 CSX.
The CSX is what S&W calls a micro 9 pistol with very 1911ish looks. In truth though it is an outstanding sub-compact with an alloy frame and a 10 round flush fit double stack magazine and a 12 round extended magazine built with concealed carry in mind.
The CSX has rough texture in all the right places and has a good feeling in the hand, it is also equipped with a flat trigger that gives you a very good purchase with the first pad on your finger. As a wrong-handed shooter I was very pleased to see that the people at S&W took us into account by equipping the CSX with ambidextrous controls that include the safety and slide release lever.
The S&W CSX is at first glance an outstanding sub-compact, concealed carry, metal framed pistol that should prove to be an outstanding metal framed contender in a field of plastic. I for one am looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on one.
Taylor’s Firearms, Alaskan Takedown .44 Magnum
Taylor’s Firearms is well known in the firearms world for making and tuning firearms to a high degree. I have been a huge fan of lever action rifles since I was a kid and Taylor’s sells some of the finest lever guns in the industry.
I was literally drooling like a kid in a candy store when I got to the Taylor’s booth, it was a cornucopia of lever action rifles.
They had everything from the 1860 Henry Rifle (that Yankee rifle they load on Sunday and shoot all week), to the 73 Winchester (the gun that won the west), to the 1894 Winchester, one of the strongest actions that John M. Browning ever designed.
But the rifle that really caught my eye was the Alaskan Take-Down model in .44 Remington Magnum, a stainless beauty that looks as utilitarian as the 1873 looks beautiful. With a satin stainless finish and black furniture it is all business and looks like it was designed to stand up to the rigors of hunting and hiking in the Alaskan wilderness.
To say I fell in love with it instantly is an understatement, this is my kind of rifle. I would have no qualms about having it in the rack while I bounced around the farm in my side-by-side utility vehicle, because that is the kind of use this rifle is made for.
It features a very slick action with a large loop lever and an octagon barrel that is designed for the heaviest .44 Magnum loads, just in case you find yourself on the wrong end of some of Alaska’s more ornery critters.
Leaving the Taylor’s booth I was left wondering what other internal organs I could put up for sale.
All in all, the first Shot Show since the Covid outbreak was full of products from some of the finest companies in the industry, and I was not disappointed with any of the products that I had the chance to handle and in some cases shoot.
It also left me looking forward to hopefully getting to test and write about some of these guns in 2022. I am looking forward to bringing you more information concerning some of these great guns and products over the coming year… Stay Tuned.