For those who have not attended SHOT Show, the massive industry trade show typically held in Las Vegas, the four-day convention is preceded by Media Day at the Range. Originally limited only to credentialed members of the press, Media Day is now open to certain retailers as well, and provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to actually get their hands on new guns before the show, and, better yet, shoot them. While full coverage will come later, these are a few of the things that caught our eye.
Rock Island Armory, whose .22 TCM cartridge has been well-received, continues to expand the line of pistols that chamber the 2,000+ FPS bottleneck round. In addition to their original hi-cap (18+1) M1911, they now offer single-stack M1911 pistols for it, in both full-size and Commander-size variants, some of which come with accessory rails. Wisely anticipating that many people might be skittish of purchasing a pistol in a non-standard caliber, out of concern for future ammo availability (9mm AE, anyone?), the TCM is readily convertible to 9mm with a simple barrel and recoil spring change, and 9mm barrels now come with all .22 TCM pistols.
Rock Island also introduced a Glock conversion for the TCM which shoots a .22 TCM cartridge called the TCM9R. Designed to have has less bullet protrusion from the cartridge case, it has a shorter overall length so that it will fit into the smaller frame window of a 9mm, as opposed to the generous length of an M1911 frame. Among its other introductions was the Baby Rock .380, a scaled-down M1911 that shoots .380 ACP—a trend we’ll look at in depth in a later installment.
Although not new (it was introduced at the NRA convention), Walther showed their CCP compact 9mm. Utilizing a gas delayed blowback system, the Concealed Carry Pistol fits the hand beautifully and with mild recoil, and marks a significant departure in pistol design. While gas-delayed blowback has its advantages, only a couple pistols have ever made it into mass production. This includes the short-lived Vektor and the HK P7, the only gas-delayed pistol that’s ever been successful. In light of this, the fact that the CCP is still in the market bodes well for it. If they all shoot like the one we shot, it should do very well.
The suppressor continues it meteoric rise in both popularity and respectability. A large number of gunmakers now offer pistols specifically intended to be silenced, often working in concert with suppressor manufacturers, such as Nighthawk did with its AAC collaboration a few years ago. Kimber has followed suit, teaming up with Gemtech to create an easily-suppressed M1911 .45.
What’s most impressive, though, and perhaps most indicative of the change in perception towards suppressors, is the number of large gun companies offering pistols with extended, threaded barrels. While HK has been doing it for several years, pistols we saw this year include the Beretta M9A3 and a new variant of Smith & Wesson’s CORE series of M&P’s.
More to follow in our continuing coverage of SHOT Show 2015.