Tag - airsoft

2017 Operation Lionclaws XVI Loadout

As we approach the 2017 Operation Lionclaws XVI airsoft game in Victorville, CA it’s time to put together our loadout. In case you missed our 2016 Operation Lionclaws after-action report, you can read it here. This year, Lionclaws XVI will consist of three different sides: SOCOM, Red Scorpion, and the Black Widow Militia. Currently, attendance numbers stand at 175, 128, and 131 respectively. With over 430 players in the AO, making sure to pack accordingly is key to having a great time. This main Lionclaws event is taking place at the abandoned housing area of George Air Force Base, an AO with many hazards for those players not paying attention. Because of this, coupled with the wonderfully warm Southern California weather, I thought we’d start by mentioning that players should pack plenty of water and protective gear in their kits. Knee pads, elbow pads, and bump helmets are very important, and could save you from injury.

Airsoft Guns

For this event, we are on the Red Scorpion side, so we are trying to pack in a more Russian/Soviet style. This means that our airsoft weapons are all of an AK variety of some kind. Here are my two primary airsoft guns for the event – notice I mention “two primary” guns. Always be sure to pack a backup in case yours breaks down for some reason.

Magpul PTS Masada AKM with Under-barrel 40mm launcher (Primary and Anti-Vehicle Launcher)

This AEG is a workhorse, and an extremely underappreciated one at that (most people went for the 5.56 style Magpul Masada). Made at the time when Magpul was still officially in the airsoft game, the Magpul PTS Masada AKM uses special AK style magazines and features high build quality. The only modification I made to it was to put in a slightly stiffer spring and an aftermarket hop up assembly.

The under-barrel 40mm launcher is one of the lighter “speed” models sold by Evike.com, and doesn’t weigh the front of the gun down like other, full metal versions would.

Product Link

KWA AKR-74M Electric Recoil Gun (Primary – Backup)

One of KWA’s new ERG family members, the AKR-74M ERG features great recoil almost like a gas blowback rifle would provide, all the while using batteries like a traditional AEG. This ERG has some really solid performance numbers and would make for a great primary or backup rifle.

Product Link

As far as secondary weapons go, I am packing both a sidearm as well as a cut-down launcher to supplement my under-barrel one. In Lionclaws games, only foam rockets fired from an under-barrel or shoulder-deployed launcher count to damage vehicles. My secondary launcher will handle BB shower type grenades while my under-barrel will be loaded with a foam rocket, just in case!

Evike.com Exclusive KWA USP Match Gas Blowback Pistol (Secondary)

This Evike exclusive re-issue of the famed KWA USP Match is one beast of a gas blowback pistol. It hits hard, has great range and accuracy, as well as rugged build quality.

Product Link

King Arms M79 Sawed-Off Grenade Launcher (Anti-Personnel Launcher)

Having this short airsoft grenade launcher in a belt pouch is easy to carry, and the fact that it’s built like a tank doesn’t hurt. I can deploy this launcher quickly and fire off a 140 round BB shower grenade for room clearing in no time at all.

Product Link

Tactical Gear

For our game, we are going with BDUs from AirsoftMegastore’s Jagun Tactical line. In this particular case, being a part of Red Scorpion, the trousers and shirts with the Digital Flora camouflage pattern. The nice thing about these gen 3 BDUs from AirsoftMegastore is that they come equipped with knee pads built into the trousers. This is so much more comfortable than wearing external pads, which do nothing except make your legs sweaty. With these, the air can flow through the trouser legs and you can still keep from skinning your knees up on dangerous ground.

Additionally, I will be wearing a Jagun Tactical Russian Smersh Chest Rig. This chest rig allows for good airflow as well as mobility – two things important for comfort and effectiveness. Being a chest rig, it will allow for enhanced air to hit my combat shirt, as well as provide less constricting material which could hinder movement. Additionally, it carries six full AK style magazines that will allow me to field plenty of ammo for the long duration games.

5.11 Tactical XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant Review

5.11 Tactical has been in the tactical gear and apparel industries for many years and they have a great reputation among airsofters looking at quality gear that won’t completely break their budgets. One of the most popular products they sell to airsoft gamers is the MultiCam TDU Pant. For just under $80 dollars, this pant has some great durability and construction quality that stands up to rugged gameplay. It was with great excitement that I saw they had announced the line of XPRT tactical apparel at SHOT Show 2017.  With a much higher price point, I was curious as to how they would hold up and compare to their lesser-expensive counterparts. 5.11 Tactical sent over a pair and I was able to find out.

In terms of design and layout, the XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant is similar to its older sibling with some important deviations. First, the new XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant features 16 pockets! This time, you can even find pockets in the lower ankle areas of the pants! This pair of pants even features magnetic closures on the multiple cargo pockets so that you don’t end up making a bunch of noise like you could with Velcro or zippered pockets. The fabric is nice and durable, being very similar to the MultiCam TDU Pant, and I didn’t feel as though it would rip very easily – although, I should note that I did not purposely try and tear them just because they are an expensive pair of pants. The belt loops of the new XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant are nice and large to accommodate thicker rigger/gunner belts and the waistline of the pants features a nifty elastic adjustment system that enables the wearer to custom fit them to their particular dimensions. As an added bonus, there is a comfortable padding on the inside of the waistband to make wearing those thick belts a bit more comfortable.

The knee pad area of the XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant has also been updated a bit. It more easily fits 5.11 Tactical’s new ENDO.K knee pad, a semi-rigid foam pad which I highly recommend. I squeezed these pads into my older MultiCam TDU Pants and simply love them – however, the fit is somewhat awkward. The new pocket is much more accommodating and shaped to these knee pads. you can still fit 5.11 Tactical’s softer knee pads in there if you like, but I highly recommend switching over to the ENDO.K pads.

The older MultiCam TDU pants tended to be a bit tight in the crotch – especially when in a crouched position. If posted up for a time, this could be pretty uncomfortable. The best way to combat this problem was to buy a size larger pair of pants than you would normally need. This gave the crotch area more material for stretching, and worked fine, except that the rest of the garment was a bit looser than I would prefer. Thankfully, this issue is now longer anything to worry about with the XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant. 5.11 Tactical has replaced sections of the pants with a stretch fabric that moves with you and allows you to perform squatting and prone maneuvering without a problem.

The Good

  • Rugged construction
  • Stretch fabric where needed
  • Lots of pocket space
  • Adjustable waistline
  • Fits ENDO.K knee pads very well
The Bad

  • Price point
  • Magnetic closures tend to snap closed when you might want them to stay open

Overall, the biggest problem with the 5.11 Tactical XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant is its price point. At $269.99 the pants are more expensive than a set of Crye Precision G3 combat pants. Now, is the XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant great and amazing: YES! If you can afford these pants, you should. However, for most airsoft gamers out there, the price point is quite a bit more than what they will be comfortable with or used to paying for such an item.

5.11 Tactical XPRT MultiCam Tactical Pant Review Score

(4 out of 5 Stars)

Official Product Page


PTS Syndicate and KWA Join Forces with Distribution Deal

Los Angeles, CA – PTS Syndicate and KWA Performance Industries, Inc. (KWA) proudly announce a joint venture to distribute PTS licensed airsoft guns in the United States.  Commencing immediately, US-based airsoft dealers and customers will be able to purchase PTS airsoft guns from both KWA and PTS Syndicate (America).  KWA’s industry-leading warranty service will apply to all US sales with PTS providing supplemental customer assistance support.

“This new US joint distribution agreement leverages the strengths of both global airsoft brands and gives  our American dealers and customers more accessibility to PTS airsoft guns with greater post-sale service and support,” says PTS Syndicate Founder & CEO Sam Lam.

PTS will contribute its line of premium quality, exclusively licensed airsoft gun replicas to supplement KWA’s wide-range of professional training and airsoft products which are highly regarded in the law enforcement and recreational airsoft market. “We’re very excited to share our logistics, sales, and support infrastructure and growing authorized dealer network to expand the footprint of the PTS brand and continue to grow the sport,” adds VP of Sales & Marketing Albert Villalta.

PTS rifles will leverage KWA’s evolving gas blowback and electric gun technologies.  While KWA’s gas blowback system is widely accepted as the most durable and reliable in the market, PTS’ electric guns will be built on KWA’s new class-leading AEG 2.5 and AEG 3 systems.

PTS products that will be available through PTS Syndicate (America) and KWA include:

  • PTS Mega Arms™ MKM CQB AR-15 Gas Blowback Rifle – This 10.5 inch barrel length CQB rifle utilizes Mega Arms’ proprietary MKM upper receiver and Keymod compatible handguard along with Mega’s billet lower receiver.   Its unique appearance complements the best-in-class performance and durability of KWA’s LM4 gas blowback rifle system upon which it is based.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $420. (AVAILABLE NOW)
  • PTS Masada GBBR – The Masada rifle is available in Black or Flat Dark Earth colors, has fully ambidextrous controls, integral front sight, flip rear sight, and a unique quick change barrel system that authentically replicates that of the real Masada.  A quick change 11.5 inch CQB barrel and Masada rail system are available accessories from PTS.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $420. (BOTH COLORS AVAILABLE NOW)
  • PTS Mega Arms™ MML MATEN GBBR – This highly anticipated new product, more than 2 years in the making, will be one of the first AR type heavy rifle/designated marksman rifle airsoft gas rifle platforms available in the United States.  It features a 16 inch barrel, Mega Arms’ billet style lower receiver, and Mega Arms’ proprietary design and highly rigid MATEN upper receiver with a 14 inch M-LOK® compatible rail system.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $460. (PREORDER ITEM – ETA PENDING)
  • PTS Mega Arms™ MKM AR-15 GBBR – The Mega Arms MKM AR-15 is back due to popular demand. This 14.5 inch barrel length carbine utilizes Mega Arms’ proprietary MKM upper receiver and Keymod compatible handguard along with Mega’s billet lower receiver.   Its unique appearance complements the best-in-class performance and durability of KWA’s LM4 gas blowback rifle system upon which it is based.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $440. (RE-RELEASE PREORDER ITEM – ETA PENDING)
  • PTS Enhanced Polymer Magazine (EPM) GBB – The EPM GBB magazine utilizes a Dupont™ Zytel® reinforced polymer shell and has design features that ease insertion/extraction from rifle magazine wells and magazine pouches.  It is fully compatible with all KWA LM4 rifle variants and has a 38 round capacity.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $49.95. (BOTH BLACK & FDE AVAILABLE NOW)
  • PTS Enhanced Polymer Magazine Large Round (EPM LR) GBB – The EPM LR magazine features a rugged Dupont™ Zytel® reinforced polymer shell designed specifically for the Mega Arms MML MATEN GBBR with a 35 round capacity.  The EPM LR has a “Blank Fire” switch which allows the user to “fire” the rifle without bb’s loaded.
    Suggested Retail Price/MAP: $49.95. (PREORDER ITEM – ETA PENDING)

Accessories available ONLY through PTS:

KRYTAC Signs Exclusive Distribution Deal with EVIKE

April 10, 2017 – Brea, California, United States – KRISS USA, a leading manufacturer and distributor of small arms and training replicas, has signed an exclusive agreement for the U.S. market with Evike.com, a world leading distributor of airsoft training equipment, for the distribution of KRYTAC® products. Evike.com will be offering the full range of KRYTAC® replicas and accessories to retailers and end users, along with providing customer service and warranty support, beginning April 10, 2017.

“Evike.com has been an invaluable retail partner since the beginning of KRYTAC®, we’re looking forward to continuing with them as a distribution partner to better serve our customers,” states Peter Ching, CEO of KRISS USA Inc. “This new synergy is a key part of our strategy for KRYTAC® as we concentrate our efforts on branding, R&D, and product development, to bring exciting new products to the market.”

“We are honored to have been appointed as the Exclusive Distributor of KRYTAC® for the U.S.A.” states Evike Chang, CEO of Evike.com Inc. “In less than three years, we have witnessed the rise of KRYTAC® to be referenced today as a world-class leader in the premium airsoft market through its dedication to innovation, out-of-the-box performance, and quality. We look forward to working closely with the KRYTAC® team at KRISS USA as they contribute to support the growth of the airsoft community.”

For more information on KRYTAC®, please visit www.krytac.com. For more information on Evike.com, please visit www.evike.com.

RōM Pack Review

RōM Outdoors has made a backpack for true survivalists with their RōM Pack. The RōM Pack transforms from its initial backpack state into a poncho with a hoodie or a blanket that is soft on one side and water resistant on the other. Usually retailing for about $100 dollars, RōM Outdoors is currently have a sale on their website, making the sale price of the RōM Pack $69.97! The pack is made from 600D poly fabric which gives it a good amount of strength (most airsoft gear is 500D, while the expensive stuff is 1000D) while not being too rough to touch.

The RōM Pack starts out as a backpack, so that’s what we wanted to start by looking at. As far as internal space goes, the RōM Pack has plenty of it. The when calculated, the RōM Pack features 3040 cubic inches of cargo space and weighs only 4.6 lbs. Aside from its cavernous main compartment, the RōM Pack comes with two removable saddlebags that can be used to carry on-the-go gear that you might need to get to in a hurry. I made one of mine into a medical kit – its rip-away capability is a godsend for an IFAK (individual first aid kit).

Each side of the RōM Pack has a mesh pocket where you can store a water bottle or other small accessories. And, if that isn’t enough for you, there is MOLLE webbing along the back of the pack that can be used to hook on additional gear or pouches. If you are concerned that comfort might be an issue with such a back pack, I can assure you it is not. The straps that RōM Outdoors has put on their pack are soft enough to be comfortable and set wide enough apart that they don’t rub your neck raw while wearing it.

If you are done using the pack as a blanket or hoodie and want to fold it back into a back pack, the method for doing so is not very difficult. In the following video, you can see a child folding the pack back up as an example of just how simple it is.

The biggest challange in fielding the RōM Pack for any length of time is that the pouches and overall design of the pack allows for some wiggle and slouch. It is braced, for the most part, by straps that help keep everything together, but it definitely moves around a little more than most standard packs.

Overall, the RōM Pack from RōM Outdoors is a great survival pack. However, remember that when used as a hoodie or blanket, its storage space gets taken away, so you might want to pick up an inner pack to hold the items during the transformation. RōM Outdoors actually has an inner pack on sale for just about $4 dollars, so you might want to pick one up as well. You can find out more about the RōM Pack as well as purchase one of your own at RōM Outdoors official website.

Vital 4U Screamin Energy Max Hit Review

One of the things that can happen after long periods of video gaming or, for that matter, any sort of activity is that you begin to feel fatigued and sluggish. Runners have known about energy gel shots for a long time – different than the energy shots you find at the super market or gas station, these gels are designed to replenish energy stores and get you moving again. My personal hobby of choice these days is long-duration airsoft games. These games can go on for several hours and can be made up of numerous bouts of high endurance activity separated by long periods of walking. It is very easy to run out of gas after a few big shoot outs, and it was my hope that the Vital 4U Screamin Energy Max Hit would help.

The Screamin Energy Max Hit pouch is made from a foil like material that allows for easy storage, and features an easy-to-use, tear-off top when read for consumption. I had been playing for a couple hours and my proverbial wagon and seriously dragging. I opened a pouch and swigged it back. The first thing that hit me was its terrible flavor. The Screamin Energy Max Hit product comes in a Coffee Mocha flavor that is bitter and, if that were the only issue, would not be a problem. It is also mixed with a concoction of vitamins and panax ginseng. The mix of flavors is not good. But, I pressed on and drank it down, followed by copious gulps from my canteen (Important Safety Tip: Hydrate!).

Thankfully, the taste was the only drawback of the Vital 4U Screamin Energy Max Hit product. Within about a half hour I started feeling a boost of energy that I would classify as “smooth”. I always recommend you check with your doctor before using any new health products but I had no issue with this one. Unlike some energy supplements, the Screamin Energy Max Hit did not make me jittery or upset my stomach. The energy seemed to last for a couple hours and then I just didn’t notice it – one way or the other. Just as smoothly as it came on, it went away with no crash. I applaud Vital 4U for creating such a smooth energy supplement and would definitely use it again in future long-duration airsoft events.

*Please check with your physician before using ANY new energy products

You can purchase Vital 4U’s Screamin Energy Max Hit at their official website for $17 dollars a multi-pack.

Richard Turner New Umarex USA President

FORT SMITH, AR (March 9, 2017) – Umarex USA, Incorporated announced today that Richard Turner has been appointed President, effective immediately. As President, Turner will have responsibility for the full scope of company operations and he will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Adam Blalock.

Turner, 45, is a 10-year veteran of Umarex USA and since 2006 served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Turner was responsible for the strategic expansion of the company’s product portfolio and sales across key channels. Under his leadership of the sales and marketing teams his strategies resulted in a decade of year-after-year growth. These actions helped drive solid topline increases and positioned the company among North America’s top three airgun manufacturers.

Turner also played an instrumental role in leading the recently announced brand additions of Optical Dynamics long distance lights and Axeon Optics, which expand the company’s brand offerings and portfolio into the sport optic and lighting industries.

“Throughout the first decade, Richard built an impressive track record of strategic sales and marketing accomplishments,” said Adam Blalock, Chief Executive Officer. “He has proven to be a successful and trusted leader with the drive, determination, work ethic and strategic vision to lead our North American operations as we continue to expand our product offering and identify acquisition opportunities. Richard understands our business and the markets we compete in and has a drive to succeed, motivated by his passion and appreciation for the skills and abilities of everyone in our work family. I could not be more pleased about his appointment to this critical role.”

As President of Umarex USA, Turner will begin to assume responsibilities for the full scope of company operations. He will continue to report to Adam Blalock who remains Chief Executive Officer of Umarex USA, Inc. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, James Sheffield and John Miller, Vice President of Operations will begin reporting to Turner on all matters related to Umarex USA. Blalock continues to remain serving as CEO and President of both Walther Arms, Inc. and Walther Manufacturing, Inc., both of which share a business complex with Umarex USA.

“I am excited and honored to take on this role and look forward to working closely with our talented people to deliver on our current and long term visions and help accelerate the strategic actions we’ve set into motion that will grow our company,” said Turner.

About Richard Turner
Turner, a 1993 graduate of Birmingham Southern College, also earned his MBA from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His professional career has focused largely in consumer product and sporting goods industries where he has held various sales and marketing leadership roles including: Marketing Research Manager for Russell Corporation, Director of Marketing for Kinescope, an internet consulting and development company, Director of Sales & Marketing and then General Manager for PRADCO Outdoor Brands Hunting Division, which included the Knight & Hale, Code Blue and Carry Lite brands. Richard also served as National Sales Manager for Mossy Oak Apparel. He is a lifelong hunter, shooter and outdoorsman.

About Umarex USA
Umarex USA, Incorporated is one of North America’s fastest growing outdoor sport and recreation companies. Umarex USA innovates, develops and markets products under brands owned or licensed by its parent company, Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG. Such brands include Axeon Optics, Beretta®, Browning®, Colt®, Elite Force®, Heckler & Koch®, Hornady®, IWI®, Optical Dynamics, Ruger®, RWS®, Smith & Wesson®, Umarex®, Walther®and others. For additional information regarding Umarex USA visit www.UmarexUSA.com. Follow Umarex USA on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and sign up for email notifications at UmarexUSA.com.

5.11 Tactical Unveils New TAC Pants

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 17, 2017 — SHOT SHOW® (Booth #13162) — 5.11 Tactical, the global innovator in tactical apparel and gear, today introduced the Defender-Flex Pant and Jeans, an innovative new pant that uses advanced fabrics and classic jean styling to reinvent how we work, live and are always ready.

“Our end users tell us that they want more covert tactical apparel, and the Defender-Flex Pants delivers all the tactical functionality and durability that the world expects from 5.11 in a classic jean slim or straight-fit style that blends into everyday life,” said Joel Alarcon, 5.11’s consumer division vice president.

The Defender-Flex’s tactical features include stretch and recovery technology woven into comfortable denim and twill fabrics. Its seven versatile pockets fit everything from mobile devices to full mags. Whether it’s a day at work, on the range or outdoors, the Defender-Flex Jeans are covert carry capable and ensure you’ll Always Be Ready®.

Pricing & Availability

A weekend in the backcountry, on the range or a night out on the town, the Defender-Flex Jean rolls with you. Both, straight-fit and slim styles are crafted with a lightweight Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend; with just enough elastane, these pants are made to keep their shape with style. The five-pocket styling and soft fade finish look sharp, and with the back mag pockets, you’ll always be ready. The Defender-Flex pants are available in Stone, Volcanic, Burnt and Oil Green. MAP: $69.99.

After a decade of R&D, 5.11 releases the Defender-Flex™ Jean. The Defender-Flex Jeans are tactically tough in a slim or straight cut for everyday wear with the features you need to power through every part of your day. From the backcountry to the briefing room, out shooting or a quiet day at home, the conceal carry weapon (CCW) ready Defender Jeans have you covered. It’s the pant 5.11 customers have asked for. An innovative cotton/polyester (LycraT400 Tough Max) mechanical stretch denim means better stretch and recovery. Five pocket styling plus two mag pockets and an extra-deep coin pocket for a mag or pocket knife up your tactical game. The Defender-Flex jeans are available in Indigo and Dark Indigo Wash. MAP: $69.99.

Colorful, comfortable and built for the tactical woman, the Defender-Flex Pant is crafted with Cavalry Twill cotton / polyester blend, with just enough elastane for freedom of movement. The Defender-Flex Pant keeps its shape no matter how you move. Device ready front pockets and back mag pockets help you stay ready. The Women’s Defender-Flex Pant is available in Stone, Volcanic, Thyme and Code Red. MAP: $69.99.

The next iteration of 5.11’s tactical pants is constructed of 5.11’s proprietary lightweight and versatile fabric Fast-Tac. Featuring articulated knees, a fully-gusseted inseam and durable water-resistant finish, 5.11’s Fast-Tac material is 25 percent lighter than traditional Ripstop. It moves effortlessly and offers superior evaporation and heat management, which is key in hot and humid conditions. Both Fast-Tac Urban and Cargo pants are CCW and mobile device ready. They’re available in Charcoal Black, Khaki, Battle Brown and Dark Navy. MAP: $39.99 for the Urban Pant and $49.99 for the Cargo Pant.

Building off the success of its EVO and ATAC® Boots, 5.11 delivers the ultimate urban tactical boot with the Halcyon line. They provide the maximum performance you would expect from a tactical boot designed for the most rigorous environments. Each pair is built with Clarino Rapid Dry Micro Suede, high abrasion Mesh and a Maximus midsole/outsole platform. The Halcyon Boot also features slip- and oil-resistant traction, a Slipstream Low-Friction Antimicrobial® lining, and an OrthoLite® insole. The boots are available in sizes 4, 5, 6-12, 13, 14, 15 Regular and 7-12, 13, Wide; MAP: $129.99 / Black, Dark Coyote.

About 5.11
With offices around the globe, 5.11 works directly with end users to create purpose-built apparel and gear designed specifically to enhance the safety, accuracy, speed, and performance of tactical professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. 5.11 products exceed rigorous standards, which have allowed the brand to establish a reputation for innovation and authenticity, and become the premier choice for those that always have to be ready. 5.11 is a portfolio company of Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI). Learn more about 5.11’s best-selling tactical gear and accessories at www.511tactical.com. Connect with 5.11 on Facebook, Twitter @511Tactical and on Instagram @511Tactical. #511tactical.

39th Annual SHOT Show 2017 Begins

LAS VEGAS — The 39th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®) opened its doors this morning at the Sands Expo Center with industry expectations running high in response to the energized market in America for firearms, ammunition and accessories.

Over the next four days, the show will attract nearly 65,000 industry professionals from the firearms and outdoor industry, including 2,500 members of the outdoor press-the largest gathering of outdoor media in the world-and showcase new, innovative products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes.

Owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, the SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world. The show is open to trade members only and not to the public; consumers will see the products unveiled at the SHOT Show on retailers’ shelves during the course of the year.

The 2017 SHOT Show opens following a year of extraordinary firearms sales-the strongest in history based on NSSF-adjusted background check statistics-and a surprise end to a tumultuous election season. Following those elections, the $6.7 billion industry is seeing purchases continue at a steady pace. Both industry professionals and consumers are optimistic about the future of firearms ownership and the shooting sports. Responding to this optimism, NSSF has added a number of new features to the show.

Kicking off what is now known as SHOT Week in Las Vegas was the 3rd Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic, which took place Sunday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear’s Best Country Club course in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, a firearms industry-run charitable organization that helps the healing of disabled combat veterans and their reintegration back into normal life through participation in hunting and shooting sports.

Monday’s pre-show schedule was jam-packed with events. First on tap was the new Supplier Showcase, featuring more than 260 OEM third-party suppliers on hand to network with exhibiting manufacturers and explore their needs for extrusions, fabrication, fabrics, machinery, metal, plastics, software, logistical support and tools.

Also new to Monday’s pre-show schedule was the much-anticipated Executive Management Seminar. Created to provide executive, senior level managers and rising managers information and insight on the latest management techniques and business practices, the sold-out crowd of more than 160 attendees heard from a top-notch lineup of speakers presenting on topics such as Voice of the Customer, multi-generation management and segment-specific marketing techniques.

Other pre-show events continued to build on their successes of years past. Industry Day at the Range took place on Monday with more than 200 exhibitors, a record number, providing a sneak-peek and hands-on experience to hundreds of firearms, ammunition, optics and vehicles to more than 1,600 invited outdoor media members and buyers. NSSF is the title sponsor of the event.

Finally, Monday was also the host day for NSSF’s annual SHOT Show University, the association’s premier educational resource for firearms retailers and range owners attending the show. Four learning tracks featuring multiple sessions allowed attendees from novice to veteran choose the courses that best suited their business needs. The event expanded its seating this year and sold out quickly, thanks to its extensive list of expert speakers and innovative topics.

New events and features weren’t relegated to the days before the show.

“The SHOT Show is our industry’s signature product showcase and media event that provides the first look at new products from iconic brands as well as new-to-the-market start-up ventures,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re focused on helping to ensure their continued success and to provide an exceptional customer experience for attendees and exhibitors alike.”

More than 160 exhibitors brand new to the main show floor of the Sands are in attendance, as well as an additional 100 new exhibitors in the NEXT Pavilion. Retailers, range owners, law enforcement and military personnel have a bevy of Retailer Seminars and Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) sessions available throughout the week, while manufacturing exhibitors will have the chance to explore import and export opportunities with the SHOT Show’s growing number of international attendees enrolled in the International Buyer Program.

This is the fifth year NSSF is participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program, which matches pre-screened foreign buyers with U.S. suppliers. This participation has been such a success that John E. Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Western Hemisphere for the U.S. Department of Commerce will be attending the 2017 SHOT Show. During his visit, he’ll be hosting a special luncheon and panel discussion on Wednesday, January 18, to help exhibitors connect with international trade opportunities.

“There is all sorts of good news for the firearms industry,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “But we will always face challenges from those who wish take away our livelihood and our rights. We intend for this year’s SHOT Show to embrace the positive energy the elections have produced while preparing for the future and staying vigilant in our mission to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.”

Even as Americans continue to purchase firearms in record numbers, Sanetti points out that fatal firearms accidents continued to decline, to less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents nationwide. The industry’s firearm safety education and free gun lock program, Project ChildSafe, and its “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” campaign will have high visibility at the show.

Tonight Sanetti will speak about industry challenges and opportunities at the annual State of the Industry Dinner. A sold-out crowd of more than 2,100 industry professionals is slated to attend this event, where in addition to the year-in-review presentation and several guest speakers, they’ll be entertained by Mike Rowe, host of the immensely popular television shows Dirty Jobs and Someone’s Gotta Do It, and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, “a 501(c)(3) public charity that rewards people with a passion to get trained for skilled jobs that actually exist.”

For the eighth year in a row, the SHOT Show will take place at the Sands Expo Center. The show is the largest event hosted at the Sands Expo Center and attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, hosting more than 1,600 exhibiting companies across show floor space that exceeds 630,000 net square feet-equivalent to more than 13 acres. Some 12.5 miles of aisles lead to displays of a wide spectrum of products, including firearms, ammunition, gun safes, locks and cases, optics, shooting range equipment, targets, training and safety equipment, hunting accessories, law enforcement equipment, hearing and eye protection, tree stands, scents and lures, cutlery, GPS systems, holsters, apparel, leather goods, game calls and decoys.

Major sponsors of the 2017 SHOT Show include Ram Truck Brand, Daniel Defense, United States Concealed Carry Association, Aguila Ammunition, Brownells, GunBroker.com, SIG Sauer, Carhartt, Smith & Wesson, Vista Outdoor and Winchester Ammunition.

Anyone with an interest in the show and new industry products can learn more www.shotshow.org or by following the show’s news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Viridian Announces New Gun Camera Units

Minneapolis, MN—January 16, 2017 — Viridian Weapon Technologies™ officially announced today at SHOT SHOW 2017 a revolutionary new product category that fills a crucial gap, not only within the firearms industry, but for society as a whole.  Introducing FACT™ weapon-mounted cameras for law enforcement, conceal and carry, and self-defense.

“No product introduction at SHOT SHOW 2017 is more relevant than FACT,” said Viridian® President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “FACT can reveal what really happened in situations when a firearm is involved.” Hedeen went on to say, “FACT is not a replacement for a body camera; but with it being uniquely positioned under the muzzle of a firearm, the high definition video and audio captured by a FACT camera may better tell the real story of what occurred. Who knows, the footage might even be powerful enough to stop a riot before it starts.”

FACT™ [Fast Access Camera Technology] is designed for law enforcement, private security and the legally armed citizen and incorporates Viridian’s proprietary INSTANT-ON® activation to ensure the HD video and audio capture automatically records every time the weapon is out of the holster.

Three different FACT models will be introduced in 2017.

    • Law enforcement, duty-grade model with HD camera, forward facing audio plus 500 lumen taclight for full size firearms. ADMIN data evidence integrity built-in.
    • Universal rail mounted model with HD camera, forward facing audio plus 140 lumen taclight for compact firearms.
    • Trigger guard mounted model with HD camera and forward facing audio for subcompact/pocket pistols.

Viridian Weapon Technologies will be launching FACT™ weapon-mounted cameras at SHOT SHOW 2017 at booth #653.

For more information, go to www.ViridianWeaponTech.com/FACT.