Every winter, the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show attracts buyers from the major wholesalers, federal firearms license holders, and a mix of individuals from the government and law enforcement. The annual event showcases the latest gear for hunting, shooting, and law enforcement from bullets to boots. This year's SHOT had many worthwhile finds for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or the troops who fight crime on the streets of America.
For those of you who couldn't get to Orlando in mid-January to walk the aisles of the show, here's a quick look at some of the gear that caught the eyes of our editors.
Converse: C8666 Boot
Converse haltingly entered the law enforcement market a couple of years ago, but this year it's looking to make a splash with the C8666 boot. The company says the C8666 will wear like your old Chuck Taylor basketball shoes. The boot is available in six- and eight-inch versions and in desert rough out tan or black polishable leather.
Original S.W.A.T.: SEK9000 Boot
Original SWAT is another company that has answered the call for athletic shoe comfort in its duty boot. In 2007, this tradition continues with the SEK9000. This boot was designed to meet the requirements of GSG9. From what we saw of the SEK9000, it should be a very good duty boot, and it is affordably priced at $120.
Wiley X: Prescription Eye Shields
It is easy for those who don't require optical enhancement, a.k.a. glasses, to find stylish functional ballistic eye shields for duty. Those of us who have well-over-40-year-old eyes have a tougher time, but that's changing. Wiley-X has redesigned and improved versions of its glasses that will accept an RX insert. This might seem like a small thing, unless you wear glasses and need eye protection. While eye protection is synonymous with modern military operations, it's also not a bad idea when you're on duty as a cop. On duty, you encounter any number of items from a finger to various chemicals that can rob you of your sight. POLICE recently published a "Shots Fired" article about a cop who was shot in the face with birdshot. Without eye protection, he could have lost his vision.
Benchmade: ERT-1 Rescue Knife
Benchmade's ERT-1 was designed with EMS/SAR operations in mind. The knife is a seatbelt/harness/clothing cutter, light, and glass punch in an affordably priced clip-it size.
Insight Technology: Integrated Sighting Module
Insight Technology, best known for the M3 weapons mounted light, introduced the Integrated Sighting Module. This is a multi-function sight, not just a red dot. The unit offers a red dot and a visible aiming laser, and is offered with infrared capabilities for military and law enforcement applications. All three aiming systems are co-aligned so you only have to sight the unit in once.
Bright Strike: Blue Spot Flashlight
Bright Strike offers several very bright LED handheld units. Unique to Bright Strike is the hi/lo switch of the Blue Spot lights. This increases run time of the light and gives you output options. For easy carry, Blue Spots all have pocket clips. Blue Spot lights were designed by cops and are only sold to cops.
Night Vision Systems: MX-2A Thermal Imager
The MX-2A is a next-generation version of NVS's popular MX-2 thermal imaging camera. A 25-micron detector and 320 x 240 resolution make it easier for viewers to identify targets at greater distance. In addition, the MX-2A is 30-percent smaller and one pound lighter than its predecessor. Because it requires less power than the MX-2, the MX-2A can run on four 123 batteries. The MX-2A can be handheld, used on a tripod, or mounted on any Picatinny rail-equipped rifle.[PAGEBREAK]
Streamlight: H.I.D. Litebox
Designed for search and rescue and other applications that require extremely powerful lights, Streamlight's H.I.D. (High-Intensity Discharge) Litebox is the massive counterpart to your Stinger patrol light. The 10-pound rechargeable light can produce a 1-million-candle beam. It's also got a great feature that allows you to tilt the lens at up to a 180-degree angle from the light's body.
Covert Carrier: Weapon Concealment System
Law enforcement officers should be aware of the CovertCarrier for two reasons: It's an innovative way to carry a backup or hideaway gun, and they may run into it on the street. The CovertCarrier is a replacement grip for a small pistol that incorporates a clip that can be used to secure the weapon inside the user's waistband. Designed by a veteran cop, the CovertCarrier fits a number of compact and subcompact pistols.
Leupold: Tactical Prismatic Riflescope
If you've ever wanted a dot scope that doesn't require batteries, check out Leupold's newest tactical model. Leupold's Tactical Prismatic Riflescope is a 1x14mm rifle optic with an illuminated circle dot that is etched into the scope's glass so that it is visible even when your batteries are out of juice. You can also just use the scope without the illumination module; the circle dot is that easy to see.
Truck Vault: Vehicle Storage
If you need security for your patrol unit, SWAT rig, or any vehicle with four or more wheels, TruckVault has the box for you. This is a true custom built security case to fit your needs. The units can be configured for weapons storage, forensics storage, and even a desk with a white board. You decide what your budget is, and TruckVault can build storage to fit your needs.
DSA: TP9 Tactical Pistol
One of the last things that you expect to see at the SHOT Show is a new
select-fire subgun, but there it was in the DSA booth, the polymer-frame TP9 tactical pistol. The law enforcement-only TP9SF has a cyclic rate of 900 rounds per minute, but the Swiss manufacturer says the gun is remarkably accurate. The LE version has a forestock and Picatinny rails for optics and accessories, and it can be fitted with a suppressor.
Columbia River Knife and Tool introduced two pocket tools/knives that are noteworthy. The Guppie is a carabiner-style tool that offers a knife, a wrench, a light, and a screwdriver in a compact package. Slightly larger is the Zilla-tool, a clip-it size knife that incorporates a real pair of pliers and a screwdriver into a duty friendly tool. Both are priced under $40.
Trijicon: ACOG TA33
Designed for eye comfort and relief, Trijicon's newest ACOG, the TA33, is a state-of-the-art rifle optic with an illuminated reticle that doesn't require batteries. The 3X power sight has a 30mm objective, and a broad band anti-reflective coated lens. Trijicon says the sight, which incorporates a bullet drop compensator for .223 and .308 caliber rifles, is accurate to 600 meters without any adjustments. For those who want the smallest red dot you can find, Trijicon also introduced the RedDot Sight, the only reflex sight with a lifetime warranty in the market. [PAGEBREAK]
Pentagon Light: MOLLE Light
Pentagon Light's MOLLE Light is a very innovative small flashlight. It is about four inches long, weighs about three ounces, and is designed to clip to MOLLE gear. What this means is it will clip to most anything, and has a rotating head and a click-on button.
Med-Eng: IDAS Tactical Armor
IDAS stands for Integrated Dismounted Armor System, it's essentially a head-to-toe armor suit for tactical law enforcement applications. The IDAS armor is very lightweight at nine pounds, and it features a series of Rigiflex panels for Level II protection against shrapnel and other fragments. IDAS is a supplement to the officer's vest, worn under the vest for extra protection.
Safariland: ALS Concealment Holsters
If you carry a weapon-mounted light on your concealed carry pistol, Safariland's newest ALS holster may be just what you need. The newest Safariland Automatic Locking System (ALS) holsters are the 6377 belt holster and the 6378 paddle holster. Both of these retention holsters are designed for concealed carry, and they fit pistols equipped with weapons lights. The ALS system locks the gun in place; the lock is released by a natural thumb movement during the wearer's draw.
Elcan: Digital Hunter
SHOT is both a law enforcement and a hunting trade show, so it's not unusual for stuff in the hunting and target shooting aisles to have a potential LE application. Case in point Elcan's nifty Digital Hunter Riflescope. The combination scope and digital video recorder is designed to record a hunter's kill of a game animal, but it could be modified to capture footage of a critical incident such as a sniper operation. This application would require some modification since the scope's flash memory only records 10 seconds of video, but the Elcan rep we spoke with thought it was possible. For example, the scope could be set on continuous run if it's attached to a laptop.
Patriot 3: Minuteman Folding Shield
Patriot 3's new Minuteman folding ballistic shield is a lightweight Level III shield designed for patrol and SWAT applications. The shield folds into a compact carry bag; it can be made rigid with stiffening rods, and is available in three different configurations, ranging in weight from 15 to 23 pounds.
Speer: Force-On-Force Ammo
The maker of Gold Dot duty bullets announced at SHOT that it will soon be making marking rounds. Speer's new Force-on-Force ammo contains no powder; the marking agent is propelled by primer only. The company says this provides the ammo with more consistent ballistic performance than powder-propelled marking rounds. Force-on-Force marking rounds come in five colors, and the marking agent never dries out, making it easy to remove from clothing.
LaserMax: Uni-Max Laser
LaserMax's new Uni-Max laser sight fits pistols with Picatinny and Weaver rails. The laser is available in red, green (for better daylight visibility), and infrared (available to law enforcement and military buyers only). A light can be mounted on the laser's integrated rail to create a modular illumination and sighting system. The company says that the laser maintains zero after battery changes, and it can be adjusted for windage and elevation.
TAPCO: Mini-14 Stock
Officers who use the Ruger Mini-14 as a patrol rifle may want to check out Tapco's new T6 collapsible stock. The T6 is a six position stock that can be easily installed on any Mini-14. The stock has an S&W pistol grip for greater comfort and control and an internal storage compartment for batteries and other small items. It also comes with a forearm that adds a Picatinny rail to the basic Ruger design.