Every year in January the cream and the crap of the Shooting Industry gathers in Vegas to showcase what’s new for that year. 2016 will be no different. The sales pitches, the showmanship, the Multi-cam/molle festooned clothing, out-of-control morale patches, the rampant body odor will all be on display at the Sands Convention Center. There’ll be Italians in their sharp suits, Germans, who can’t be bothered to talk to you (but will talk about you), an army of wannabe extras from Duck Dynasty, and maybe even a few Chris Costa look-alikes. But amongst all that should be something interesting, something new, and I will be working to find it for you.
Some industry trends/predictions for this year:
It’s been some time coming, but the entire industry is having to adapt to the ADD generation. Gone are the days of losing your favorite piece for 6 months at a time. Rabid HK fans might remember the days when you’d send an HK91 off for a Dyer or Urbach for conversion to PSG-1 and have several birthdays before ever seeing your rifle again. While this still may be the case in some select circles (HKs, custom 1911s), the old-time gunsmith is a dying breed.
Some examples of this trend:
1) Drop-in triggers for ARs.
2) Drop-in triggers for polymer framed guns like Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P series, etc.
3) Now, drop in triggers for traditionally gun-smith-only pistols like the P-series SIG.
4) The dominance of single-trigger-pull-only guns.
5) Manufacturers adding cuts from MRDS to pistols as a default option (used to have to send away for this procedure). BTW another trend: MRDS on EVERYTHING!
We are absolutely moving toward a plug-and-play industry standard of modularity. Consumers just won’t tolerate “custom” work that takes more than 15 minutes to complete. Ok, maybe a week at the most.
Another trend is fancy finishes. I know, “Diamond Plate” and “Rainbow Titanium” were so 2012. While that’s certainly true, the number of non-standard finishes continues to grow (and I don’t just mean cerakote, but the actual pattern of the cerakote). And we’re not just talking about short runs from large manufactures with diverse lines like SIG, but regular offerings from more conservative producers like Daniel Defense (whose V11 Kryptec Typhon is a best seller). It’s taken the industry a while to find where the line is, but expect them to run with it. People don’t necessarily want their guns to look like what the local PD is carrying.
Grey, Gray, Grae. Different shades, different patterns, different accents. But still the same direction. Maybe we’ll see some green next year.
Manufacturers making single-stack versions of their double-stack old faithfuls. The trend began with Glock’s 42, it continues with SIG’s P225A1. Doublestack won’t ever be done to death, but it’s hard to put “innovative” and “double-stack” in the same sentence anymore.
9mm taking precedence over the .40. I wouldn’t say that .40 is dead, but my shop doesn’t even carry .40 ammo anymore.
.22 LR will continue to be hard to get and above 2012 prices. I intend to ask more questions along this line, but if prices stay high, manufacturers are not morally obligated to lower them. .22 LR could finally graduate from the red-headed stepchild of cartridge profitability that it’s always been up till now. Good news for manufacturers, bad news for shooters.
I’m hoping for: less expensive, but still competent civilian Class I IR lasers. Up till now, the entry point has been ~$800. Something around 300 with an IR illuminator or at least co-slaved visible/IR lasers would be welcome.
Cross Platform Suppressors: I’ll be investigating the Silencerco Hybrid, but I expect other manufacturers to follow suite. We may never see a suppressor that crosses the centerfire/rimfire divide, but maybe the mad science that is being invested in cans these days can give us a can that will work across all centerfire applications—that would be a big step forward from where we are now (and a lot fewer tax stamps, which I would be 100% ok with). As much as I’d like to see a single registered sleeve that can accept different cores (e.g. a 9mm core, and a .308 core) this probably won't happen due to the legal definition of suppressors ("any combination of parts..."). Manufacturers will have to get innovative, or at least legally agile, and that's what I'll be looking for.
Brighter and smaller Pistol lights. Micronization is just another aspect of technological evolution—but the trend is also driven by shorter and shorter long-guns like many of the .300 BLK rifles/pistols that folks are building these days.
A preview of what’s to come:
My view of the Strip: opulent, stately, blessed with impeccable taste, and undeniably patrician, as usual:
I know what y’all be thinkin’: “Who does he think he is? LDD dun gone off to SHOT and forgot where he came from!”
All I got to say is this: You pay LDD money, you get LDD views, know whut I’m sayin? Ain’t no welly, bein’ jelly.
And now it’s time for me to be off to SIG’s Media Day at the Range. Reports as I am able to make them.
|Fighting the good fight|
I'm looking forward to your coverage, as usual. Thanks for doing what you do, LDD.
The funny thing is, many of these various new tacticool shades of "gray" are really just grayish greens. Like someone spilled some gray in their OD Green or Foliage Green.
I found this online, and while it isn't the most professional photo, it does a decent job of showing some of the various grays next to each other:
1-MAS Gray (a darker brownish OD)
3-SDU Gray (cross between FDE/FG)
4-Urban Gray (darker FG)
5-Wolf Gray (actual gray)
Here's a more professional comparison of some of the older gray variants. Note that most have a greenish hue.
|They're after my Lucky Charms!|
Looking forward to the coverage. Would be nice to have the SHOT threads stickied somewhere so it isn't a search and find....
As for the grey, finally saw MagPuls grey last week. Looked more like charcoal black than a grey.
Glad MultiCam is still 'in'. I just bought a few pieces in it, and was worried seeing Kryptek was the new cool. LOL.
Looking forward to Sig, HK, Ruger, BCM, and the silencer makers new products.
Lord, your ocean is so very large and my divos are so very f****d-up
Dirt Sailors Unite!
Give us a review of the competition P320 after you get all the Vegas grime off. You guys were shooting at my local range. It's nice to have a Five Star outdoor range for $10 a day.
Training as often as possible!
NSSF Media Member
|The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rollah|
Has anyone mentioned that Kyle Lamb has gone over to SIG yet?
"For the cause that lacks assistance/The wrong that needs resistance/For the Future in the distance/And the Good that I can do" - George Linnaeus Banks, "What I Live for"
Thanks for the info
Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it! - John Steinbeck
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