Sunday, January 19, 2014

And One Week Later...

...I'm back from SHOT!

Exhausted, my voice shot (so to speak), a sad, dragging-butt specimen of humanity. But I had a wonderful time. The annual "Michael Buys the Beer" post-SHOT party came off perfectly, with a slew of industry executives, competition shooters and media swilling my beer. Even the new Prez of OUTDOOR CHANNEL brought his family. Watch for the announcement of "Michael Buys the Beer" at the NRA convention in Indianapolis...wait they even have beer in Indianapolis? I'm sure some of my commenters will know the best places!

We won a GOLDEN MOOSE Award for GUN STORIES, and were one of 4 nominees in the increasingly competitive "Best Produced" category. It's darn hard to get ahead of that Jim Shockey and his amazing hunting productions! Congratulations to IMPOSSIBLE SHOTS, which won out over my 4 nominated shots in the "Shooting Sports" category. Jim Scoutten and his son, John, as well as their producer Mike Irvine, are friends, and we're all on the same page.

BTW, read the great interview with Joe Mantegna on Brietbart (where they also say some very nice things about GUN STORIES).

I have 2 new shows that will (I think) go to pilot, and, as usual, I can't say anything about them until we're farther along. Strangely enough, I've been asked to be a judge on a mainstream network outdoor competition..."we need a Simon Crowell, and you're him!" that actually a compliment? My participation will ultimately be an OC decision, since I'm under an exclusive contract.

I also have an agreement in principal with Burris on endorsing their line of optics. Even if I didn't, I'd be all spun up on the new AR-1X Prism. I love the reticle, love the fact that it uses a AA battery and love the sub-$300 price point, I should have one of these on an AR within a month and will give you a full report...ditto on the other new Burris products.

Alright alright...I know you want to know what I bought, or at least ordered, at SHOT. The answer is...not much.

Sig P938

The Sig Sauer P938 .22 conversion unit is a slam dunk, of course (it's not up on their site yet). After shooting the Doublestar .308 I'm glad I already have one on order. I asked for a T&E on the Remington R51...the trigger on the guns they had at SHOT was really good, and I loved the art deco-ish design of the pistol. I have pretty high hopes for the little gun.
Remington R51

After fiddling around with one at SHOT, I'm ordering an Atlas quick detach bipod. It looks like a rock-solid unit and perfect for the shooting I've got planned for 2014. Just as the Show was wrapping up I stopped by Mark Serbu's booth...he has a really cool side-cocker AR upper with the spring system
mounted above the barrel, eliminating the buffer tube. It'll make a really slick pistol/SBR set-up.

Two big surprises:

Walther's PPQ M2...felt great in my hand...had the best out-of-the-box trigger pull I've ever felt on a striker-fired polymer pistol...super short reset...the 5-inch version may well be my Sweetie's new 3-Gun pistol.
Walther PPQ M2

It is a really nice pistol! The trigger is on par with an Apex M&P trigger...honest.

Rhino Arms' incredible new AR-10 platform 12 gauge. I'd never even heard of Rhino Arms before this SHOT Show, but it turned out to be old friends from the early USPSA days. These guys have built a killer .308 AR-10 platform, with a 1/2 MOA guarantee with 168-gr Sierra Match King factory loads. Yes, it's more expensive than production AR-10s ($3K vs. an average of $2.2K), but it is the best .308 I've handled (I did not get a chance to shoot it). So they took the .308 platform and created a 12 gauge...not a 12 gauge that mimics the style of the AR, but a top-of-the-line 12 gauge built on the actual platform.  They had a 10 round metal magazine and showed me printed models of the final mag versions. 
Rhino .308

Both the .308 and the 12 gauge are "can't wait to shoot" guns. Rhino tells me there is a lot of interest from LEOs on the 12 gauge, and justifiably so.

In the end, I will probably buy one of the S&W 69 5-shot L-frame .44 maggies, even though the gun bucks like irritated mule with hot .44 Magnum loads. It can keep my .44 Special L-frame Hamilton Bowen custom company. And yes, some sad, sick part of me cried out for the .460 Magnum snub, but I already have a .454 Ruger Alaskan that would induce carpel tunnel syndrome in a tree.


Unknown said...

Impossible Shots not Incredible. Had me thinking there was a shooting show I wasn't yet DVR'ing.

KevinC said...

Man, wish I coulda been there Friday. Hope you got back to your hotel safely! :D

Overload in Colorado said...

Indianapolis is rife with beer places. The problem is being within walking distance of the convention center.
The two easy choices are the RAM and Alcatraz brewing. Both are 2 blocks from the show. There's a Rock Bottom another block away.
A more daring choice would be Sun King Brewing (no food) on the east side of downtown, about a mile away. They've won GABF awards, and worked with Oskar Blues in our neck of the woods.
This might help if you want to go further away than that:
I'd add Twenty Tap to that list.

I'd add the DPMS GEN II .308 AR to the surprise list. I'm shocked to see a 7.25 pound 308 AR. It's a bonus that it'll be able to use many regular AR parts and accessories. Assuming it works, and doesn't beat itself to death, it should be a "game changer".

Michael Bane said...

You're right, Overload...I didn't get to DPMS, but as I was walking out Friday afternoon, I ran into my friend Carlos Martinez, who's the Brand Manager for DPMS and BushMaster. He was seriously waxing eloquent about the Gen II .308...I hope to get my hands on one pretty soon.

My plan is still to run the Ruger in Heavy Metal for this year...but man, that Rhino gun is nice!


Unknown said...


Contact Kasey at B&T and ask him about the new Atlas PSR Models coming out this Spring. Specifically the BT46-LW17 PSR and BT47-LW17 PSR Tall. They have some minor improvements and the Tall version goes from 7"-13". That is a bit more practical for us "larger frame" guys.

Frank W. James said...

It's not a micro-brewery, but there is ONLY one place to party in Indy and that is the SLIPPERY NOODLE. (After even Dillinger used the back room/garage for target practice back in the day.)

I heartily recommend the SLIPPERY NOODLE...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Charlie Foxtrot said...

Did you get to the Marlin booth to ask about lever production? Or at the very least, rub a Remington exec's nose in a Marlin catalog? "Bad Suit! Bad Suit! No exec comp!

Anonymous said...

The Smith & Wesson Model 69 looks like a good alternative to the old Custom Shop Model 629 "Mountain Gun". I should have bought that version of the 629 when it was out, BEFORE the addition of the S&W "safety lock". Now, unfortunately, the right-hand side view shown in the linked video clearly shows the safety lock on the 69. I WILL NOT BUY THIS GUN WITH THAT LOCK! Based on documented past performance, including on this site (Michael's S&W .44 / 329), I can't trust my life to it.

Sorry S&W.

I have a vintage S&W N-framed Model 610, in 10mm and it's the most accurate handgun that I own. Reliable too. It DOES NOT have the lock. Practice good gun safety and you don't need it. Follow the NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling.

Life Member

Sheepdog1968/ said...

I've got to agree with Uno Mas. The 1895 SBL I bought in Aug 2011 was bad. I've discussed in detail at thehighroad over the years. I sent it off to grizzly custom and they fixed almost everything. The one thing we didn't fix were the off center factory installed XS sights. It shot straight at 50 and 100 yards so we decided to leave it be. I've bought lever actions since then but they were used Marlins.

Where this is an important issue is that Remington didn't handle this well. Ford to this day suffers from the quality problems in their product in the 70s and 80s. The quality problems have been fixed for two decades but I'm not sure public perception agrees. Same with the Marlin brand. Too many have complained for Remington to not address the issue.