Who would have thought a PepperBall donut would taste so good?
In getting prepared for my first trip to the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show this week I had visited a good many websites, watched product videos, and read through press releases. I was aware PepperBall had been selling unique, pepper-inspired donuts to raise funds to support the National Fallen Officer Foundation. The donut fundraiser will continue through the end of March, but PepperBall was offering coffee and donuts at SHOT, so I gave one a try. I am in no way a food critic, so my explanation of the unique flavor would just have to be, “great.” However, benefitting fallen officers is a higher purpose than just providing donuts. PepperBall also was promoting its PepperBall Patrol Carbine, which has an effective range to 150 feet.
I often found I was directionally challenged in my multi-floor, multi-venue, navigations through SHOT, but I did run across myriad vendors and products.
Two officers from Los Angeles stopped by the Police Magazine/Policemag.com booth we had a great talk. But then, maybe a half hour later, I spotted them again. One of the two was taken to the floor, into a kneeling submissive position, effortlessly during a demonstration of The G.L.O.V.E. at the Compliant Technologies booth in the law enforcement area of SHOT.
With the press of a button, the G.L.O.V.E. wearer can turn it into an effective conducted electrical weapon (CEW) that commands compliance on the spot. It can quickly de-escalate a situation in a slightly different way than traditional electronic control devices. The subject’s body does not become as rigid, so an officer can ease a non-compliant individual to the ground without having to contend with supporting their body weight.
Officer safety is also a priority with Alien Gear, which had staff on hand to showcase the Rapid Force Duty Holster. The holster can be configured for Level 2 or Level 3 retention yet is quick and intuitive on the draw. Now I admit I did not draw it from the hip, but in handling the demo holster I can tell you that your thumb falls in place easily to activate both the first and second locking mechanisms in fast sequence.
Another interesting hands-on experience was over at the KelTec booth where I was surprised at just how good the new P15 feels. The striker-fired polymer handgun only weighs 14 ounces, is super thin for a double-stack 9mm, and carries 15+1. It had a good balance and pointed easily but measures a mere .875 of an inch thick. I am not a trigger snob and do believe you can train to be accurate with nearly anything, but the short, crisp, P15 trigger made it seem like it would be easy to shoot accurately right out of the box and without much practice. If you think of KelTec in terms of the trigger we all know from the P3AT, well this P15 is on the far other end of the spectrum.
As SHOT Show gets all of us excited and we head to the range in the coming weeks we will all end up back on the bench at home cleaning after those range trips. Well, Otis Technology has got you covered with the Otis Elite Pistol cleaning kit for .22, 9mm, .40, and .45. It is quite the cleaning set complete with all the regular assortment of patch pullers, brushes, and more. Otis had the foresight to even include an 8-in-1 Pistol T-Tool and Glock Magazine Disassembly Tool. The entire kit is more geared toward keeping on the bench at home, but there is a smaller round kit you can slip into a pocket and carry with you. Another item that caught my eye at the Otis booth was the Foaming Bore Cleaner. It seems so much easier and less messy than using regular liquid solvent and pulling a patch so I may have to give it a try sometime.
The team over at Streamlight was also on hand to make sure they take care of law enforcement with everything from weapon lights to duty lights. They were proud to show off a downsized weapon light for the SIG P365 as well as the BearTrap, a 2000-lumen rechargeable scene light.
Over at the Tru-Spec booth I checked out some of the company's new apparel like the tactical response Direct Action (DA) Pants. The DA Pants are designed for those needing quality tactical pants with knees set up for heavy use and cushioning. Supplemental knee pads can be added in behind the built-in knee pads for extra comfort and protection. Additional consideration was included into the design of a waistband, which features contour padding to make the belt-borne loadout more comfortable. True-Spec is also showcasing its DA Shirt, Agility Shorts, Pro Vector Shorts, and Ops Tact Long Sleeve T-Shirt.
All in all, there is so much to see at SHOT Show it can be hard by the end of the day to recall what all you have seen, so the trick is grabbing business cards, brochures, patches, and more to help spur your memory later while kicking your shoes off and trying to rest in preparation for the following day.