SHOT Show 2018 brought with it guns, gear, and another trip to Sin City. I have never had much interest in cards or dice, so as far as Las Vegas goes, the closest I get to gambling is passing a herd of semi trucks on Highway 93 between Kingman and Boulder City on my annual pilgrimage to SHOT (Shooting Hunting & Outdoor Trade). Also, “pilgrimage” might be slightly off base as a descriptor for my seven-hour drive from southern Arizona, as Vegas is not traditionally known for morals and spiritualness. But as we have been told, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

This year marked the 40th anniversary for SHOT Show. The National Shooting Sports Foundation-owned and operated event this year brought together around 1,700 of the industries leading manufactures with more than 60,000 buyers, sellers, and media in the sunny Nevada desert.

Being on the show floor itself can be a bit of an overload for new attendees. Its 645,000 square feet of guns, knives, tools, trucks, clothing, and gear surrounded by men and women with either an “I want that” gleam in their eyes, or a “please get out of my way I am trying to work” scowl on their faces. You also get the occasional “I need an adult” look of those poor souls who haven’t seen an exit or exterior wall in two days and are thinking about just giving up and crawling under the nearest meeting table to cry.

But I digress.

This piece is not meant to be a reflection on SHOT itself, rather, as the title suggests, a gathering of a few of the things I saw at this year’s show that stood out in some way or another. So without further ado:

SHOT Show 2018: FCU Fire Control Unit X01

I have to admit right out of the gate that this is a little bit of a gray area as far as this product being at SHOT. It technically was there, as I have photographic proof. However, the company itself, I believe, was not. I saw it at the Patriot Buyers Group booth, so I am calling it good.

Here is the gist from the website: “The EXO ONE (X01) is a patent-pending multi-caliber exoskeleton for the Sig Sauer P320 Fire Control Unit (FCU) and adjacent firearm components including barrel, slide assembly, and magazine release. This transformation happens in moments without tools and is fully reversible.”

As the SIG P320 trigger control group is the serialized part, the FCU X01 is still classified as a pistol. The slide is manipulated via a charging handle built into the upper receiver, which is hinged to the lower receiver and rotates up and forward to reveal the barrel and slide. The body injection-molded glass filled nylon, and has an integrated angled foregrip, reversible thumb rest and accessory rail, and upper rail for sights/optics.

The X01 is available for preorder at a discount through March 1.

MSRP on the X01 (module only) version is $399. The X01 PDW (with an arm brace) has an MRSP of $549. For even more info, please visit

SHOT Show 2018: Nighthawk Agent 2 and Boyd Lemons (AKA Hillbilly223)

Nighthawk Custom makes badass guns. Anyone who knows anything knows that. So it is not surprising that the new Agent 2 — the latest collaboration between Nighthawk, Agency Arms, Railscales, and Hillbilly223 Custom Coatings — is damn cool. Highlights include a lightened Recon Rail, faceted slide and slide windows, Agency front and rear cocking serrations, match grade barrel, one piece mainspring housing, Battle Worn Cerakote finish, fiber optic front sight, Railscale G10 Grips, custom trigger, and high cut front strap. The list honestly goes on and on.

Boyd Lemons from Hillybilly223 is the coating master working with Nighthawk. I’m very familiar with his work from previous projects with Ballistic Magazine. It was cool to finally meet him at SHOT, but the reason I brought him up here is he showed me one of his new coating styles. The style uses selected patterns on bare stainless, as seen on this Talon 2 in Gunfighter Camo, which I found to be moderately neato. I will take two, please.

MSRP on the Agent 2 is $4,495. For even more info, please visit or

SHOT Show 2018: Basically Everything From SIG, Especially the P365 Pistol

This year it looked like Sig Sauer built an apartment inside the Sands Expo center. The usually crowded main display table showed off the manfacturer’s big new pistol release: the SIG P365.

If you’ve been living under a rock, the P365 — which was the talk of SHOT Show 2018 — is a “high-capacity, micro compact” 9mm pistol, available with 10+1 flush, 10+1 extended, and 12+1 extended magazines. Looking at it makes you think there is some kind of magic going on to get all those rounds in that small frame. Dimensions are 5.8 inches long by 4.3 inches high and 1-inch wide.

The P365 has an MSRP of $599.

On top of that, SIG Electro-Optics released a laser sight and rail-mount flashlight designed specifically for the P365. The LIMA365,and FOXTROT365, respectively, were designed to “perfectly fuse into the grip module of the P365.” This gives buyers great laser/light options and makes this handgun a truly impressive everyday carry option.

We’re not done at the SIG complex. SIG Electro-Optics also released its Bravo Battle Sights, a illuminated fixed-power optic in 5x and 3x. Still not done. Sig Electro-Optics also unveiled the JULIET3 and JULIET6 to the line of magnifiers, as well as the new ZULU9 Binoculars.

They have definitely been busy. For even more info, please visit

SHOT Show 2018: Nikon P-Tactical SPUR Reflex Sight

There are more than a couple companies that make reflex sights these days. However, the new P-Tactical SPUR impressed me for a few reasons: It is a compact (1.8” x 1.1” x 1”) and lightweight (1.1-ounce aluminum chassis), with a 5,000 estimated battery life. It’s also NV compatible, shockproof, waterproof (IPX7), and has Nikon’s proprietary True Color coating, eliminating the bluish tint common to reflex sights.

None of this is jaw-dropping as far as reflex sights go, but at an MSRP of $219.95, I am totally in. I have been shooting Nikon cameras for more than a decade, so I might have a little bias, but it has proven to me that they make quality products.

This year Nikon also released a 4,000-yard capable rangefinder for less than $500 in the BLACK RANGEX 4K. Then there’s Nikon’s FFP, Zero Stop scope for less than $1,000 in the BLACK FX1000. Both are definitely worth checking out for long distance shooters.

For even more info, please visit

SHOT Show 2018: Dead Air Silencers/KNS Precision, Inc. Switchsight for Glock

The Switchsight is a problem solver for Glock shooters who don’t always run their suppressors. Without the suppressor, the sights lay down in a standard position, but quickly can be flipped up to get a proper sight picture when shooting suppressed.

Made from 17-4 stainless with a Black Nitride finish, the Switchsight will be available in target configuration or with Tritium inserts.

I was impressed with this product because I am always happy to see someone solving problems with simple “duh” solutions. Yes, there are potential issues with flip-up style sights that do not lock into position, as they could potentially be flipped down accidently in the heat of battle. However, for recreational shooters that don’t like the look of taller sights on their pistols, this is a great solution.

Also, some standard Glock holsters might not accommodate a taller sight, an issue this would solve.

MSRP on the Switchsight is still TBD. Check out for updates on price and availability.

SHOT Show 2018: Adaptive Tactical, LLC. 590M Takedown Kit

Makers of the Sidewinder Venon mag-fed shotgun systems, Adaptive Tactical is continuing its symbiotic relationship with Mossberg by offering a takedown kit for the new mag-fed Mossberg 590M.

This patented system will initially be available as an aftermarket upgrade for 590M owners. The key component of the kit is the replacement magazine tube and threaded quick disconnect device. Simply remove the stock magazine tube from the 590M and thread in Adaptive Tactical’s quick disconnect, which provides a solid base for the replacement tube. This is a quick conversion that requires no gunsmithing and is completely reversible. The 590M Takedown Kit is targeted to law enforcement, military, and backcountry hikers and hunters looking for more compact storage.

The estimated launch is May 2018 and Adaptive Tactical plans to also offer a Takedown backpack, as well as a hard case. Estimated MSRP is $149.99

For even more info, please visit

SHOT Show 2018: Franklin Armory Reformation NRS Firearm

This is just too damn interesting not to mention. The Reformation line of firearms has Franklin Armory’s NRS barrel technology. NRS stands for “Not a Rifle or Shotgun.”

Because the barrel has straight cut lans and grooves, it does not meet the definition of “rifling,” meaning no NFA, no tax stamp, and no SBR or SBS classification. The downside? With standard ammunition they claimed around 4 MOA at 100 yards.

Introduced in .300 Blackout, Franklin released an accompanying 1 MOA “fin and flare” projectile that was described to me as looking like one of those NERF footballs with fins that whistle when you throw them. However, upon seeing it, I was immediately reminded of the old “cap bomb” toys from my youth.

The Reformation is definitely new, and definitely different. All models currently come with an 11.5-inch barrel, and are available in the billet Libertas model, as well with Franklin’s BFSIII Binary Firing System.

MSRPs are as follows:

  • Franklin Reformation NRS: $1,034.99
  • Reformation Libertas NRS: $1,679.99
  • Reformation BFSIII Equipped Libertas NRS: $2,094.99

For even more info, please visit

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