New Guns and Gear: SHOT Show 2018 Day 2
Laser sights, suppressors, a rifle for the people, and lots more from the second day of the show.
AMTAC Mantis Suppressor
I met the folks from AMTAC at SHOT Show one or two years ago. They machine suppressors out of huge hunks of steel instead of casting and welding pieces. Not only are they tough, but they also use a space-saving design twist. The over-barrel design of most of their suppressors means that much of the internal volume is behind the muzzle.
That’s right, when you screw the suppressor onto the muzzle, about four inches of the suppressor body covers the last four inches of the barrel. That’s important because you’re only adding three inches or so of overall length to the rifle instead of the normal seven to nine. The best part is that you also get good sound reduction.
The hollow space between the suppressor exterior body and rifle barrel helps capture hot, high-velocity gas, thereby reducing noise. There is an internal sleeve around the barrel so all that gunk doesn’t mess up your rifle.
Their newest model will be available in three configurations, each optimized for their respective caliber ranges. The Mantis will ship in .30 caliber, 6.5mm, and optimized 300 Blackout versions.
The .30 caliber version is rated for magnum loads while the 300 Blackout suppressor can handle both sub and supersonic 300 Blackout loads. All use the AMTAC over-barrel direct thread mount for consistency. You’ll be able to order them in gray, flat dark earth, or black. MSRP: $999 —Tom McHale
ArmaLaser TR Laser Sights
If you’re looking for a pistol laser sight option, ArmaLaser’s TR series might be just right.
Their lasers attach to a pistol’s trigger guard, or accessory rail for certain models. What makes them unique is the True-Touch Activation sensor that turns on the laser when you naturally grip the gun, rather than using a button-type switch. Both red and green lasers are available. MSRP: $118.75 for red, $$178.75 for green. —Stacy Bright
Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 686 with Speed Release
New for this year, Smith & Wesson has updated it’s popular Model 686 revolver, replacing the typical cylinder release with a large lever with a checkered thumbpiece that sits just to the left of the hammer. It allows the shooter to release the cylinder without shifting their grip at all, making for speedy tactical reloads. With it’s large orange front blade sight, the new 686 is a natural for competition shooters, and would make for a formidable night stand gun as well.
The .357 Magnum / .38 Special +P revolver comes in two configurations, the PC Model 686 with a 4-inch barrel and a 6-round cylinder, and the PC Model 686 Plus, which has a 6-inch barrel and a slightly larger frame that houses a 7-round cylinder. MSRP: $966 —Dave Maccar
Mauser M18 Volkswaffe Rifle
The Mauser name has quite a reputation. That iconic German gunmaker’s name is behind one of the most notable battle rifles of all time, the Karabiner 98k, used by the majority of German soldiers in World War II. The Mauser action design was strong and reliable. Since, the basic design has been used in all sorts of rifles around the world.
The new M18 Volkswaffe, or People’s Rifle, is designed for hard use, even in harsh hunting environments. Its synthetic stock isn’t affected by the elements, and the tree-position safety makes it suitable for carrying in the field with a round in the chamber—ready for sudden opportunities. The stock has areas of soft inserts for better grip and control and features a five-round magazine. The M18 is currently available in .243 Win., .308 Win., .270 Win., .30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag. with 6.5 Creedmoor soon to follow.
“Being able to produce a rifle this good at such an affordable price means more sportsmen than ever before can realize their dream of owning a Mauser,” said Christian Socher, CEO of Blaser USA, Mauser’s North American distributor. “The value of the M18 lies not only in its price but also in its ultimate reliability, durability, and accuracy. This is a rifle for the everyday hunter, incorporating features they rely on, and it will get the job done time after time. That’s why we’re calling it ‘Volkswaffe’—‘the people’s rifle’.” MSRP: $699
Crimson Trace Tactical Lights
Crimson Trace has made a few products for long guns over the years including the MVF-515 light and laser vertical grip for AR-15-type rifles and the new wireless LinQ system which allows buttons on the AR-15, AK-47, and some Springfield Armory M1A models to control a forward tactical light and laser module.
This year they’re launching five new tactical lights for long guns. Four of the new products are rail-mounted lights for rifles, and the fifth is new Rail Master CMR-208 for rail-equipped firearms.
The new tactical lights are dual use, designed for standalone use or attachment to a long gun using either M-LOK or Keymod accessory slots. The lights feature traditional tailcoat switches for hand-held operation and can also be configured with remote touch pad switches when mounted on a rifle. All have high beam, low beam, strobe and momentary output options.
The CWL-200/201 lights offer a blinding 900 lumens of LED light output and have a low-beam setting of 90 lumens. The two lights in the CWL-100 group offer 500 and 50 lumens on high and low settings respectively. The CMR-208 Rail Master outputs 450 and 110 lumens. MSRPs: CWL 200/201: Approximately $80; CWL 100/101: $59.99; CMR-208: $99.99.
Silencer BT – High-Performance Digital Ear Buds
It’s a “must” to use proper hearing protection every time you shoot. Without protection, each and every shot, even from a .22 rimfire, will cause permanent hearing damage. The good news is that electronic hearing protection is getting better every year.
Electronic over-the-ear muffs that allow you to hear normal conversation while protecting against muzzle blast are surprisingly affordable now. The only problem is that they can get in the way when shooting rifles or shotguns and in hot summer months, your ears get sweaty.
The Silencer BT are in-ear buds that offer the same advantages as electronic over-the-ear designs, but they’re discreet and out of the way of glasses and stocks. Like other in-ear buds, these pass safe sound levels, like a conversation, through but attenuate loud noises. However, these have a few twists.
They’re Bluetooth enabled and connect to a free smartphone app that you use to control them. With the app, you can put the buds to sleep to save battery power, adjust volume, or select one of four different operating modes. For example, one mode allows you to optimize voice conversation while another provides extra low-sound amplification. Oh, one more thing—the case is actually a USB charging station, so you can recharge the ear buds in the field or at the range. Most in-ear models use disposable hearing aid batteries. MSRP: $299.99 —TM
FLIR Breach PTQ136 Multifunctional Thermal Monocular
Thermal vision is the bomb for spotting and finding things. With night vision, you get amplified vision in darker conditions, but it’s still up to you to spot whatever you’re looking for amongst all the other clutter out there whether that be woods, buildings, or whatever.
With thermal, since it looks at heat signatures, any living thing will pop into view like a flare, so no matter how obscured by trees, brush, or other environmental junk, it helps you find what you’re looking for. And it’s not limited to organic live objects. Everything has a heat signature. Good thermal gear can even see footprints after the feet are long gone due to the heat transfer to the ground or floor.
FLIR is launching a new super-light and insanely portable unit: the Breach. Designed for hand use or to be mounted on a helmet, it uses a 320×240 thermal monocular. You can record video as you go or capture up to 1,000 still images for later download. It’s great for outdoor activities as it includes an internal compass and inclinometer. MSRP: TBD —TM