Industry Day at the Range this year held some interesting new experiences for me. Unlike last year, where there were new products that I had heard "buzz" about ahead of time; this year, I had no preconceptions, and just wandered about to see what I could see. I got a little better this year at just stepping up and asking "So, what are we shooting today?", and not hanging back and letting the tactical beards push in front of me with their buddy-cams. But still, part of my style/personality is to hang out and observe first before deciding if I want to jump in or no, so I still hafta be "me" :-)
My first stop was the Glock booth, where "Gunny" was explaining the features on the new .40 cal long slide model, equipped with a red dot via the MOS - Modular Optic System. Since I was among the first in line for the day, I had the advantage of shooting a freshly painted steel, so I could actually see my hits.
The red dot was an interesting experience just so I could say I tried it, but it was not something that I "enjoyed" per se. Although I got pretty good head shots once I warmed up on the body, I'm used to almost immediately reacquiring my front sight, and that didn't happen with the red dot. I had to "look" for it every time - it wasn't a "natural point of aim" thing for me. Maybe that's not surprising and is something that requires practice, but although I liked how the gun itself shot, I was not a fan of the red dot. The Glock booth staff was still getting organized and didn't have promotional materials available yet, so I don't have much more to tell you about that right now. I'm usually a wild fan of Glock, but this year seems kind of "meh". I suppose it's impossible to "wow" people every single year LOL.
My next stop was the Smith & Wesson booth. I asked to shoot both the M&P .40 Shield with integral Crimson Trace Laser, and the Carbon Fiber Finish M&P 9c, both of which are new this year. I have abundant experience with my M&P 9, as that is my primary match gun, so I do at least have a basis for comparison. I thought the .40 Shield was a little snappy, but acceptable. I just wasn't a fan of the laser - probably for the same reasons that I didn't like the red dot on the Glock - I didn't like taking my eyes off the front sight. I'm sure there are people who love lasers, but I'm thinking this is not my personal preference. To each her own.
On the other hand, I really liked the 9c Carbon Fiber. Not only did the new finish make the gun look pretty, it also made the whole frame somewhat "grippier" - which for me, on a smaller gun, is never a bad thing. If I could conceal a double stack pistol, I think I would take the 9c Carbon Fiber over, say, a Glock 26 for that reason. I still love my G42, but it's an apples and oranges kind of thing. If I wanted to go a tad larger, I think I would take this one over even the Shield 9.
An aimless wander through the vendor tents led me to Action Target, whose reactive steel IDPA practice target caught my eye. I shoot 9mm in IDPA (though this year I'm going to give .38 special a whirl), and sometimes my older eyes have trouble seeing my hits on cardboard. This target would be quite spiffy for giving immediate feedback. I also liked that the swinging bits simply drop in without any tools. (No tools? - I know, I'm talking like a girl now - LOL)
While I was busy in the vendor tents, a fellow tried to entice me with his novel self-defense rounds, but ended up hooking me in with this.
Yes folks, these are "pre-seasoned" game rounds - I laughed out loud!
The fellow assured me that though they are meant as gag gifts, that they do actually work, and invited me to "taste" some sample pellets LOL! I have my doubts, but it was my best laugh of the day.
I've given you a "taste" (LOL) of some of what I saw at Range Day, but there is much more than can be fit in one post, so stay tuned for part 2 either tonight or tomorrow for more guns and more fun.