2012 SHOT Show
Okay, I hate reviews of trade shows as much as the next guy, but the Shooting And Hunting Outdoor Trade Show is different because it’s a giant showcase of all that’s cool for the coming year. We get some “Insider” information (get it?), see new stuff, see semi-secret (and really secret!) new stuff that might see the light of day, and chat with industry people about trends, troubles, new companies, old companies and companies no longer with us. So, without further ado — and in no particular order — here’s some cool stuff, news and what-not I stumbled upon at the 2012 SHOT Show held in Lost Vegas this past January, and some general “ephis” as Connor would say.
Para USA Sold
Big news just after SHOT (but some of us kinda’ knew it at SHOT …) was the fact Thanos Polyzos — the owner of Para USA — elected to sell Para to the Freedom Group (Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster, DPMS/Panther Arms, etc.) owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Thanos founded Para in Canada, initially building the first hi-cap frames for the 1911. The rest has become 1911 history, with today’s Para USA (since moving to the US several years ago) building a wide range of respected 1911 series pistols. We honestly don’t know what will happen now, but we only hope Para’s absorption, Borg-like, into the “collective” of Cerberus doesn’t cause it to drop off of the map. And to Thanos, I’d like to say, “Well done old friend, so now … why not rest a bit, eh?”
Colt Rail/Gold Cup
Colt has a fire lit under ‘em right now and their booth was packed constantly. A couple things stood out to me, the Colt Rail Gun and … drum roll please … the good old National Match Gold Cup is back! The Gold Cup has cool sorta’ retro rubber grips with the gold Colt logo, and put me right back at my first IPSC matches in the late 1970s. The Rail Gun suddenly gives you a genuine 5″ Colt 1911, but with a factory rail, no after-market add-on thingy here. Colt is very definitely back, boys and girls! www.coltsmfg.com
While it ain’t about handguns, we’re not so uppity as to not admit we love long guns too here. Mossberg introduced something called their “Flex” system, which basically allows you to turn a 500/590 shotgun into about any kind of shotgun you’d ever need, from tactical, competition, sporting, etc. with an easy-to-change series of accessory barrels, stocks and goodies — all very cool. Their 5-Gun Hunter Education Set is a series of non-functioning long guns (rifles and shotguns) allowing anyone who teaches hunter safety classes to get hands-on with new shooters, safely. And, in the “We told you so” department, their 464 SPX is their lever-action .30-30 (and a .22) with all the bells and whistles of many AR-platforms. This has been toyed with before, but Mossberg did it up good. While it’s weird to look at, why is it any different than a B-52 still flying combat missions 60 years after its first flight? www.mossberg.com
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