Most Elegant Award, SHOT Show: Cabot Guns

Classy and absolutely gorgeous. These displayed on rotating pedestals…



The LabRadar Radar Chronograph

The Labradar Chronograph

The Labradar Chronograph

Are optical chronographs dead?

One of the mind-blowing new products seen today at SHOT Show 2014 was the LabRadar Chronograph. This unit uses radar, not optics, to measure the speed of a bullet leaving the barrel. Not only that, it continues to measure velocity as the bullet travels down range – out to about 100 yards. So you’ll know muzzle velocity, velocity 25 yards down range, 50 yards and 100 yards.

The best part is that it doesn’t care about light conditions or the “shininess” of your bullet. You’ll get accurate readings no matter what. As I recall, the unit pulses 4,000 times per second to track velocity.

And you don’t have to worry about shooting it. Just set the LabRadar on the shooting bench BEHIND your muzzle and aim it at your target down range. Upon sound of the shot, the LabRadar starts to track your projectile as it flies. It knows when and where yours will be traveling, so you don’t need to worry about the person in the lane next to you.

Did I mention it’s bluetooth enabled? So bring an iPad and watch the results get recorded on your tablet. Neat-o.

It will be generally available in the April / May timeframe for a price somewhere around $500.

Wow. Love this.

Note the downrange velocities shown.

Note the downrange velocities shown.

Glock 42: Late To The Party? Or Worth The Wait?

The New Glock 42 .380 ACP

The New Glock 42 .380 ACP

I have to admit I was skeptical to get all lathered up about the new Glock 42. Most other gun companies launched a pocket-sized .380 ACP option years ago. But I decided to give it a shot (ha!) at SHOT Show Media Day at the Range.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a comfortable gun to shoot and it does an admirable job of soaking up whatever recoil a small .380 ACP has to offer.

There are no big innovations with this gun. It’s a ¾ size Glock, more or less. The most notable difference is that the frame is has much more rounded contours, which certainly contributes to its comfort.

It’s a single-stack design, so it’s thin, unlike the “Baby Glocks.” This limits capacity to 6 in the magazine and one in the chamber. If you’re in the market for a pocket .380, it’s worth a look.

Some New Furniture From Daniel Defense

These folks make awesome rifles. We’ve been working with one of their 300 AAC Blackout’s for our forthcoming book, The Rookie’s Guide to the AR-15, and the workmanship is outstanding.

New for 2014 on the accessory front are grips and stocks. These were spotted (and tested) at SHOT Show 2014 Media Day at the range…



The rubberized texture makes a huge difference. More later…

Fun Gun Of The Day: Walther PPQ .22LR With Threaded Barrel

Want a sweet shooting .22 that’s silencer ready?

Look at this.


New From Springfield Armory – 9mm Range Officer 1911

This is a sweet shooting gun. 9+1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Large enough to shoot easily under control and good capacity for a single stack design.

Swap the adjustable rear sight and you have a great carry gun.


New Self Defense Ammunition From Winchester – Train and Defend

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

So one of the neatest things at SHOT Show Media Day at the range was not even a gun! What???

High on my to-do list for the day was to actually shoot the new Winchester Ammunition Train & Defend ammunition. The idea is simple. Create matching loads where the bullet weight and recoil are virtually the same. Practice with the less expensive full metal jacket stuff, then load your gun with the hollow point version when carrying or using your gun for home defense.

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

The neatest thing about this ammo is that it’s designed to be low recoil for controllability. The hollow point projectile is designed to penetrate and expand at lower velocity, so it still works.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Unlike most ammo tests in front of large audiences, Rob Pincus and the Winchester Ammunition folks did it right. They used 4 layers of clothing per FBI testing protocol. It makes a big difference. Any bullet will expand in pure gelatin, but adding the clothing layers helps separate the men from the boys. As you can see by the photos, penetration was excellent and expansion perfect.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

I’m thinking this will be excellent ammunition for short barrel guns where velocity is a bit lower than standard. I’m anxious to try this out. More to follow.

New Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 Air Rifle


I had the opportunity to try Crosman’s newest air rifle at SHOT Show Media Day at the Range. It’s a break open, .22 caliber rifle so more speed yet an easier cocking mechanism.

The new piston system provides 15% more velocity and 35% more power, but with 10 pounds less force required for cocking.

Shooting it? Since energy is stored with a gas system and not a spring, it shoots like a dream. No sproinggggg!

Stay tuned, we’re working on a head to head test of this rifle against a .22 Long Rifle rimfire. Given the advances in air rifle power and velocity, the results should be interesting. I already know one benefit: you can shoot it in most any back yard.

SHOT Show 2014 Coverage!

SHOT Show, Image: NSSF

SHOT Show, Image: NSSF

As I write this, I’m en route to SHOT Show 2014 – the biggest, grandest and most chaotic gathering of gun nuts in the known universe. As always, it will be a week of catching up with industry friends, new product announcements, and really, really sore feet.

Throughout the week, I’ll be posting updates here, starting with Monday’s Media Day at the Range. We’ll get some first impressions from new guns and accessories. Tuesday through Friday, we’re back at the Sands Convention Center covering 12.5 miles of exhibitor booths.

You can also keep up with the latest on any of our social media sites:





Be sure to keep an eye on our Pinterest SHOT Show board for lotsa pictures!

A Light and Laser Combo For (Almost) Any Gun

The new Crimson Trace CMR-204 (green) light and laser combo.

The new Crimson Trace CMR-204 (green) light and laser combo.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a couple of “problem” guns in my safe at the moment.

Actually, the only “problem” is that they don’t lend themselves to integrated Lasergrip or trigger guard installations. My examples are the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40. Both are excellent guns and I really like them. The “problem” is putting integrated lasers and lights on them. Right now, I’ve got a Crimson Trace Rail Master light on the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40 sits naked and unlit.

Fortunately, Crimson Trace just announced a solution. While I’ve heard rumblings about the Crimson Trace CMR-204 and CMR-205 Rail Master Pros for a while, I had not yet seen a formal release. As part of the SHOT Show 2014 product announcement deluge, they’re here.

Both units are rail mounted units that contain both tactical light and laser. The difference between the CMR-204 and CMR-205 models are the color of laser light. The CMR-204 is green while the CMR-205 is red. Both models allow you to set the operating mode to laser and light, laser only, light only or strobe light and laser. Both units also feature a 100 lumen light – like the Crimson Trace Lightguard and operate for about 4 hours in a single CR2 battery.

An aluminum body provides strength and water resistance to one meter, so no worries about rain. Remember, if it ain’t raining’ you ain’t trainin’ right?

More to follow when I get my hands on one of these…

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