Editor's Note: View our photo gallery, "SHOT Show 2011 In Pictures," to see more of what we saw at the show.
The Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show continues to grow very quickly, attracting more than 50,000 attendees to Las Vegas for the January event. And one of its most rapidly growing market segments is law enforcement.
This year the law enforcement section of the show wound through both floors of the Sands Expo Center and into numerous ballrooms in the Venetian Hotel. Exhibitors along the law enforcement aisles were showing everything from machine guns to mannequins, ranging in size from vehicles to lights the size of a stick of Dentyne gum.
There were no huge announcements or any one product that had tongues wagging at this year's show. But a lot of companies diversified their product lines. Here's a look at the cool stuff that caught our eyes.
5.11 Tactical: 9/11 Memorial Gear
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, 5.11 Tactical announced it would donate 100 percent of net proceeds from the sales of a special line of clothing to three funds paying tribute to those who serve. The goal is to donate $250,000 to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, $250,000 to the FDNY Foundation for fire service, and $250,000 for EMS operations. A special 9/11 logo memorializing the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93 will be embroidered on the commemorative line of apparel created specifically for this project. Nine products-including shirts, bags, and packs-will be featured in the line. The products will be available for special order starting March 1.
Aimpoint calls its Patrol Rifle Optic an affordable option designed for the law enforcement officer. The Patrol Rifle Optic has a high-efficiency circuit that allows the sight to be turned on and left on for up to three years on a single battery. The front lens utilizes a band-pass coating that allows the sight to be used with all generations of night vision devices. The modular QRP2 mount includes a removable spacer that indexes the sight for absolute co-witness with standard iron sights on AR-type carbines. This spacer can be removed to enable the use of the sight on police shotguns or submachine guns. A transparent rear lens cover allows the user to engage a target with lens covers closed in emergency situations. The sight uses a two Minute of Angle (MOA) red dot for maximum accuracy at a variety of distances and environmental conditions. The Patrol Rifle Optic retails for $440.
ArmorExpress: LightHawk Tactical Vest
The LightHawk tactical vest from ArmorExpress is the latest model in the company's tactical carrier series. Features include a dynamic cummerbund system with 6x10-inch soft armor pockets, quick release cable system, MOLLE webbing, hydration pocket, and front and rear hard plate pockets. Options include deltoid protection and groin protection.
Benchmade: Triage Folding Knife
The new Benchmade Triage is designed for patrol officers, firefighters, and EMTs. It features a 3.5-inch hardened steel knife blade, a safety hook web cutter for seat belts, and a carbide glass breaker. Available with orange or black G10 handles, the Triage has a full stainless steel liner and a patented AXIS locking mechanism. Price ranges from $165 to $180, depending on configuration.
Sometimes the coolest things at SHOT Show are the smallest and even the cheapest. Flat and about the length of a thumb, Brite-Strike's All-Purpose Adhesive Light Strip (APALS) fits both categories. The APALS is a self-adhesive LED light strip with a constant-on runtime of 35 hours. It can be turned on and off and has three settings: on, fast strobe, and slow strobe. The basic APALS is available with white, red, yellow, blue, or green LEDs. Applications are numerous, including marking rooms that have been checked during a building search. The APALS is also available in IR. Applications include marking officers for night vision operations. The basic APALS is sold in packs of 100 for $400; the IR APALS in packs of 100 for $500.
With the LE901, Colt has entered the modular rifle market with a rival to the FN SCAR and the Bushmaster ACR. The Colt LE901 is both a 5.56mm and a 7.62mm rifle. Users can change the caliber by switching the upper receiver. The barrel length can also be changed without the need to re-zero or re-target optics.[PAGEBREAK]
Danner's Descender uses a new outsole design the company says gives tactical operators controlled and reliable arresting during fast roping. The Descender's outsole uses Vibram's abrasion-resistant V-4 compound in the medial arch to aid in controlling descent. Durable and low-oil content Nubuc leather and breathable 1000D spacer mesh-nylon upper keep the rope clean. The Descender also provides a co-molded midsole that offers impact, puncture, and lesion resistance. Available in a 4.5- or 8-inch style and with or without GORE-TEX lining, the Descender comes in canteen green or black. Suggested retail price for the Descender ranges from $179.95 for the 4.5-inch to $199.95 for the 8-inch style. It will ship in July.
The ZFL-M60 is tougher than nails. And to prove it, company reps used one to hammer nails into a pine two-by-four. Available with a standard or crenellated bezel, the ZFL-M60 has a 235-lumen max output. Features include: high output, low output, and strobe. For use on a long gun, the light can be operated by a remote tape switch. All components of the ZFL-M60 are American made.
Galco's KingTuk is an IWB holster designed for comfort, speed, and versatility. The KingTuk has a backing plate made of lined saddle leather with Napa leather front and Kydex holster pocket. Users can set the carry height using removable metal belt clips that can be moved up or down. Available in black with standard metal clips that fit belts up to 1.75 inches wide.
Designed by a police officer for police officers, the GearClip locker hanger is a tool for keeping duty belts and all of your gear organized in your locker. The metal clip attaches to most locker vents, allowing you to hang your duty belt inside the locker and out of the way. A hook on the GearClip extends out of the locker vent, allowing you to hang your uniform outside for attaching name plates and insignia.
Glock will release two more Gen4 pistols in 2011, including the G21 .45 ACP and G34 9mm pistol. The two new Gen4s will arrive in the summer, and Glock will also release a new beaver-tail backstrap to help larger-handed officers avoid slide bite. The backstrap is expected to be offered as an accessory, according to a company rep at the Glock booth. Glock now offers 11 Gen4 pistols. Gen4 Glocks feature dual-recoil springs to improve accuracy and adjustable backstraps so officers can achieve an optimal grip on the weapon.
Kimber's new Solo Carry is a micro-compact 9mm pistol with 1911 ergonomics. The 17-ounce striker-fired pistol has an overall length of 5.5 inches and a barrel length of just 2.7 inches. Features include a manual ambidextrous thumb safety, ambi mag release, and a checkered slide release. The Solo Carry's frame is machined from aluminum and finished in KimPro II. Slides and barrels are cut from stainless steel.[PAGEBREAK]
Leupold's High Accuracy Multi-Range (HAMR) optic was developed to be a combat-ready scope for any AR variant rifle. The 4X scope features ballistically matched etched illuminated glass reticles for precise shot placement in any light condition. Available with a DeltaPoint reflex sight for close combat, the Mark 4 HAMR features Leupold's Balance Coat Lens System.
Nivisys Industries' TAWS series offers a variety of thermal weapons sights. The TAWS units are rugged, compact, lightweight, and easy to operate. The 320x240 or 640x480 thermal detectors draw very low power. A remote control switch provides increased flexibility for the user, integrating the sight and the weapon. The objective lens is offered in 35mm or 60mm, providing the user with maximum target identification. An included hot shoe allows for accessories.
Original S.W.A.T.: SWAT ID Boots
Police units looking to build esprit de corps can now wear their unit logo on their boots. Officers can order the logo boots from Original S.W.A.T. through the company's SWAT ID program by registering at SWATID.com. Customers pick out a model of Original S.W.A.T.'s SEK 9000 boots and provide the company with its logo. For a slight premium over the cost of the boot, Original S.W.A.T. will produce the logo footwear. Original S.W.A.T. says some units have ordered the boots for each member; others have ordered one-offs for trophies or retirement/reassignment gifts.
Propper International: A-TACS Tactical Wear
Propper International introduced the first Advanced Tactical Concealment System (A-TACS) gear at SHOT Show 2011. Propper will produce the A-TACS ACU, combat shirt, and boonie hat this year, releasing the ACU in the spring. The Propper A-TACS ACU is sewn to military specifications and made as a poly blend with 35 percent cotton ripstop fabric. Colors in the concealment pattern were digitally sampled from elements that occur in nature, and organic pixels replace square pixels to remove 90-degree angles and create a more fluid appearance, according to Propper. The A-TACS pattern was developed by Digital Concealment Systems and initially licensed to EOTAC. In November, Propper announced it had entered a partnership with Digital Concealment to produce the A-TACS ACU.
One of the major complaints for operators in both the military and law enforcement is the need for all kinds of batteries for the accessories on their ARs. Reset thinks it has the solution for that problem, the Rifle Integrated Power Rail (RIPR). The RIPR is a combination of a battery pack and a rail. The rail has numerous gold-plated contact pads where users can attach accessories. Reset says that leading accessory manufacturers are planning to make products that will work on the RIPR.
Safariland: Impactor Fighting Shield
Monadnock, a Safariland company, showed its new Impactor Fighting Shield at the show. The Impactor is a polycarbonate impact-resistant shield for use in crowd control and corrections. Designed to allow the operator to use OC spray or a baton while wearing the shield, the Impactor is ambidextrous and can be labeled POLICE, SHERIFF, or CORRECTIONS.[PAGEBREAK]
Next Level Training: SIRT Training Pistol
Using dual lasers, the SIRT Training Pistol from Next Level Training helps shooters improve both sight alignment and trigger control. As the trigger is squeezed, a green laser shows sight alignment. When the trigger breaks, a red laser shows actual shot placement. The training gun, which looks and feels very much like a full-sized Glock duty pistol, can be used almost anywhere safely. No live ammo can be loaded into it, and the lasers are eye safe so they can be used in force-on-force training. Next Level Training also makes the SIRT AR-Bolt for patrol rifle training.
SureFire brought its Mini and Micro suppressors that work with SureFire flash hider and muzzle brake suppressor adapters. SureFire's Mini is the company's flagship 5.56mm suppressor at five inches in length and 14 ounces in weight. The Mini is one inch shorter and two ounces lighter than SureFire's existing FA556-212 suppressor. Even smaller, the Micro is designed for weapons with 14.5-inch barrels; it measures four inches and weighs 12 ounces. Like the Mini, the Micro features SureFire's Fast Attach system for rapid attachment and detachment on weapons equipped with a compatible SureFire adapter. It adds only 1.75 inches to the length of the rifle.
The Earphone Connection: Crane Extreme Headset
The Tactical EarGadgets Crane Extreme Headset has an ambidextrous boom so operators can maintain a proper cheek weld. It also features a remote push-to-talk button that operators can mount on their long guns. In addition, the Crane Extreme Headset offers 29 dBs of noise reduction. That's enough to save an operator's hearing when the stuff hits the fan. The headset is compatible with almost any radio.
The Reflex is a new retention holster from Uncle Mike's. Retention is achieved with no mechanical parts, which, according to Uncle Mike's, makes the injection-molded holster more reliable when things get hairy. The Reflex comes with a paddle attachment and fits belts up to 1.75 inches wide. Available for Glock and SIG duty pistols.
U.S. Armor's Extended Rifle Plate Carrier (ERPC) is designed to be worn over concealed armor during high-threat incidents. The ERPC features front and rear plate pockets for 10x12-inch hard armor, side pockets for side protection plates, MOLLE front and back, and integral AR-15 mag pouches in the cummerbund.
One of Woolrich's best new products is the Elite Discreet Carry Twill Jacket. It's a lightweight jacket with a lot of tactical features. The hip-length jacket has large, reinforced pockets for concealed carry, an accessory tunnel for wires, front hand warmer pockets, and adjustable waist and cuffs. Available in dark shale (light green) and wheat (light brown).