Monday was Media Day at the Range – the first day of SHOT Show 2013 and a great chance to get some hands on time not just with the rifle scopes, red dots, and accessories we offer at OpticsPlanet.com, but also a chance to get our hands on many of the firearms we’re all extremely excited to accessorize in the coming year.
This was a Media Day unlike any other I’ve been to. It was a frigid 31 degrees out at the Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club, with a 15 mph wind blowing right in your face as you were lining up your sights. While not exactly the comfortable conditions you’d expect in Las Vegas this time of year, it was a great chance to see how the firearms performed in less than ideal conditions.
We (David, Trevor, Yelena and I) arrived early in the afternoon and the range had already started to clear out. I can’t blame other visitors. It was extremely difficult to shoot video with the constant wind, the dust was wreaking havoc on camera lenses, and pens kept freezing. Thank goodness I brought a pencil!
There were a few notable absences this year – Sig Sauer and Taurus were nowhere to be found. But we did stop by Springfield Armory, Colt, FNH, Chiappa, Winchester, and Ruger. If you’re interested in more firearm and ammunition coverage, don’t worry – we’ll make sure to take some time this week to get out to those booths!
At Springfield Armory, we got a chance to shoot a few rounds with the XD-S .45ACP – a huge hit for Springfield in 2012 and a firearm many guys want to accessorize with holsters, lasers, and more. We also popped a magazine in the new 2013 XD-S Compact 9mm. This baby is sleek, and feels perfectly balanced in your hand. XD fans have been asking Springfield for a 9mm version of the popular XD-S single stack platform, and Springfield Armory will be delivering in 2013. Trevor, a major XD fan, thinks it’ll be a huge hit with the market when it is released (TBD 2013.) We also ended up shooting the EMP, the XD-M 5.25, and Springfield’s 1911 .45 because, well, why not?
After that, we stopped by Colt to check out their wide array of 1911s. It was quite busy and we didn’t want to take up too much time, but we did get a chance to check out a new model – the Colt USMC (the M45 Colt 1911.) It was unclear if this is the same exact model as the M45, but the representative referred to it as the Colt USMC and they look very similar to the naked-eye. Even if it is the M45 Colt 1911, 2013 will mark the first time they are available to the public.
The firearm has a true 1913 mil-spec rail, which is a little longer than a traditional Picatinny rail. Trevor remarked that the firearm had nice heft to it, minimizing recoil. No surprise for a firearm used by the US Marine Corps. With an MSRP of $1999, it’ll set you back a pretty penny but no doubt people will be lining up for it once it’s available (the USMC gets first priority, so it may be awhile.)
We popped by the FNH briefly to shoot a few rounds through the FN-X .45 Tactical (complete with a Seymour Laser MRD reflex sight.) Very powerful, very handsome weapon. I can see the appeal.
After our long stays at the Springfield Armory and Colt booths, we were a little pressed for time as many exhibitors were packing up to get out of the cold (and for many of them, to get ready for a big day tomorrow.) We stopped by Chiappa to grab some pictures of some really incredible stuff – a Lever Action 12 Gauge and a Triple Barrel Shotgun. Sadly, they weren’t available for firing. Bummer.
On the ammunition side, we stopped by CCI and tried out the new CCI Quiet-Fire .22LR rimfire rounds. It blew me away. It’s incredibly quiet, almost difficult to explain. You don’t typically need hearing protection with .22 (though it doesn’t hurt!) but WITH hearing protection, we couldn’t even hear it. Just the “plink” sound of a hit – no pop, nothing. CCI is pushing this for backyard plinking and youth shooting. I have no doubt it will be a huge hit.
We stopped by Ruger, and they were was showing off the MKIII Target .22 pistol. Impressive firearm, it’ll be a nice piece for an afternoon at your local range.
Winchester had a few booths devoted to ammunition. We checked out the Winchester 17 Super-Mag, and wow. It’s got the punch of a .45, and no doubt we’ll see varmint hunters stocking up once they are available. Trevor ripped through a few rounds on the Savage Arms B-Mag platform.
At that point, we had to pack up and get going as the range was starting to shut down. Thanks for checking out our coverage of Media Day 2013, and stay tuned as we took way more photos and some video footage will be edited as soon as possible!