Gun Digest

SHOT Show 2022: Day 2 Roundup

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The second day of SHOT Show 2022 has come to a close, so we’re bringing you another quick look at what jumped out at us today.

SHOT Show 2022 goes on, though admittedly with less steam than previous years. The withdrawal of several large companies has resulted in an ample amount of new seating space, and stricter admission policies have reduced the density of the average crowd. Besides the fact that rows of chairs are less interesting than new products, the lower attendance has actually helped give those of us here more time to play with the guns and more time to talk with representatives. We’ve gotten to handle some pretty neat stuff so far and talk to some interesting people, so here’s our summary of SHOT Show 2022 day two:

Kel-Tec P15

When Kel-Tec released the first images of the P15, they really should have included some reference of scale. I’m sure I’m not the only one who initially assumed it was larger than it turned out to be, making me wonder what exactly the point of it was. After getting to handle a couple of different P15s on the floor today, it suddenly made more sense. The pistol is much smaller, slimmer and lighter than you’d expect, and it feels good in the hand. I’m not a very big fan of polymer-framed striker-fireds to begin with, so my positive reaction to the P15 came as quite a surprise.

Another surprise was that Kel-Tec decided to make an all-metal version of the P15 as well, and while it looks much classier and is more solid than the polymer version, it also weighs more than the polymer model's mere 14 ounces. The metal version also comes optics ready instead of having an accessory rail, and it will supposedly cost nearly double the MSRP of the polymer P15 ($425). Both models had fiber optic and tritium front sights and both had excellent triggers as well.

H&R/Nodak Spud Retro ARs

It came to light not too far back that JJE, the parent company that owns Palmetto State Armory, had acquired NoDak Spud as well as the rights to Harrington & Richardson, and the two are about to be slammed together like peanut butter and chocolate. For those who haven’t dived into the world of retro AR-15s, NoDak Spud has been the primary source for historically accurate AR-15 receivers and parts for many years. For anyone who was looking to build a clone of a military or police AR from the 60s through the 80s, NoDak was the place to go. H&R was also one of the original manufacturers of M16 rifles, and most of those used in Vietnam bore their mark. If you weren’t already aware, retro AR cloners can get quite obsessive about having the correct roll marks, and this has led to copyright controversies in the past. With this merging of NoDak Spud with the legally owned H&R brand name and JJE’s production capacities, it means that some very historically correct mass-produced retro ARs are about to become a reality.

PSA’s booth had a single H&R stamped M16A1, and it looked pretty damn close to the real thing to me. The NoDak/H&R rep who was there explained to me how the markings on this model had some slight inaccuracies that will be adjusted before they enter production, and that they will even have premium models that are properly roll-marked rather than engraved for those who are that pedantic about the fine details. The first complete guns they sell will be the classic M16A1, featuring furniture sourced from Brownells and the proper pencil-profile barrels. They will also be selling the carry handle upper receivers and other parts separately for those who want to build their own.

The H&R rep assured me that they will also eventually be expanding to produce almost all of NoDak Spud’s old catalog, including C7 uppers, M16A2-era parts and even some old, early prototype models. PSA will be selling the complete retro ARs as the family expands as well as the individual parts. What I’d like to see most out of this would be if PSA began selling the same extremely affordable AR pistol kits that they currently do, except with a C7 upper in place of a flat-top and skinny CAR-15 handguards rather than the fat M4 ones, essentially making it a Colt 733 clone in pistol form. Regardless, I’m very excited to see what’s to come.

KUSA “Khaos” 12-Gauge

Much like the Mossberg Shockwave, Kalashnikov USA’s latest 12-gauge weapon is technically classified as a “firearm” so it can have its 12.5-inch barrel while still being legal. This is essentially KUSA’s KS-12 Saiga clone in a new, smaller form factor. It functions the same and will take the same magazines as the KS-12 but can be much more easily wielded in compact spaces. For those who have wanted a small 12-gauge but prefer semis to pumps, this new space blunderbuss may be worth taking a look at.

Laugo Alien Pistols

I only had a passing awareness of the Laugo Alien from watching a few videos online, and despite not being very interested in fancy competition race guns I stopped by their booth to check it out. It felt very well made, which should be expected for its price tag, but it was the trigger that compelled me to share the experience.

I had heard it was nice, but it’s impossible to convey through words. I’ve never even been particularly concerned with trigger quality in the past as long as it was adequate, but the Laugo Alien felt almost like clicking with a crisp, mechanical computer mouse. It was extremely short and light yet very positive and predictable. If you ever run across one of these in the wild, be warned, dry-firing it once may be enough to convince yourself that you need one.

Franklin Armory G-S173 Binary Glock Trigger

Franklin Armory had one of these at range day, but unfortunately we missed it while we were there. Here’s a picture of a Glock with one installed to at least show what will soon be available. This example has also been SBR’d so it can have its stock, which is a very practical addition to this device that is otherwise mostly a novelty. The G-S173 is a whole conversion kit that includes a slide and some components as well as a trigger, essentially only requiring that one already has a Glock 17 Gen 3 frame and barrel to build it into a complete “select-fire”, binary Glock. Franklin currently only has the G-S173 model that functions with Gen 3 17s, but they suggested that more options will eventually be released in the future.

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