Although I did not get to venture through the halls of splendor and witness the new hotness of every gun, gear and gadget, I did have the opportunity to look at a few items that piqued my interest.
I like clever and ingenious. When someone looks at the mousetrap and says “I can do it better” that excites me. I had the pleasure to sit down with some of these designers and take the opportunity to learn more about their nifty new thing.
First off, the Leupold D-EVO (Dual-Enhanced View Optic) http://www.leupold.com/tactical/scopes/d-evo
Now Leupold did not sign the 80s band who sang “Whip It” but they definitely came up with a catchy name and even better scope. What is the most common problem with fixed powered scopes on carbines? The lack of fast transitions to close targets. To solve this issue, some manufactures place a 1x red dot on top of the scope (having an atrocious height over bore) or they recommend an offset to the side. In the past, I have chosen the offset which allows for the scope to dominate the rail and the backup sights rolled to the side. This is somewhat fast. The D-EVO is faster.
Instead of moving the gun and acquiring the sight, the D-EVO works by shifting your gaze. It took me a couple of tries to get it, but once I started my eye transition I couldn’t believe how fast and natural it seemed. The fixed 6x sits in front of any red dot and while you’d think it blocks the view, oh no my friends, it’s actually taking the view from the side of the rail. Huh? The optic has a system that reflects the image in front of the the red dot just below it. This allows the end user to look 6x and then immediately shift focus up to the red dot immediately when necessary. It protrudes slightly to the right side of the rail but it’s not a deal breaker.
Along the same lines (no pun) of the D-EVO sight was a new mount developed by UM Tactical (http://www.umtactical.com). The UM3 Mount allows the shooter to place the mount and the MRDS (mini red dot sight) of choice on any handgun with a rail attachment point with no tools. What?…
The UM3 looks, well, strange but it is no doubt a super easy way to add a red dot to your firearm without having to either buy a milled slide or send your existing slide to be fitted. Both options cost a lot of money and is permanent. UM3 also allows for the use of your current iron sights. Again, this is huge considering most MRDS require suppressor sights which..well are not my favorite. Like the UM3 simply clamps on and locks with a lever. The shooter can use both sights simply by shifting focus (a la D-EVO). Also, there is no zero shift each time you take it off. The only issue is having a holster to use with the mount/optic combo but guess what? They have a really cool kydex holster that works with all major manufactures and the mount. Ingenious.
Finally, since I mentioned suppressor sights, so lets talk about suppressors – the Advanced Armament Corp. Illusion for 9mm (http://www.advanced-armament.com). Again, the better mousetrap. The Illusion name comes from the fact that the silencer is built to use your standard sights on your pistol. Cool. Instead of having to get the big honking suppressor sights (again) the Illusion rotates down and clears the way for your normal sight picture. At last. Also, to clean the Illusion, it breaks down and the baffles come out for cleaning. Once finished, you put them back in and the end cap screws on until there is a small pop when they are properly aligned. Even better is the price..$800.
So there you have my mini SHOT reviews. I truly appreciate the creative process shown this year. It proves that the firearms industry is thriving and there is still talent involved in the manufacturing.
2015 will be a good year…