Gun Digest

SHOT Show 2022: Range Day Highlights

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A small spread of what we got to play with at the SHOT Show 2022 Industry Day At The Range.

After so many events having been cancelled last year, the return of SHOT Show in 2022 was nice to see. Like always, this year’s show started the week off with their Industry Day At The Range, a chance for those in the gun world to come together and get some trigger time on the newest and hottest items.

Not everything had returned to normal with this year’s range day, however, as several big names were notably lacking from the list of exhibitors. Neither Smith & Wesson nor Savage were in attendance, despite each having a new pistol that many surely would have enjoyed trying out. Other brands like Sig and Beretta were missing as well, but their decisions to pull out of this year’s show entirely were already known. That being said, Industry Day At The Range 2022 still had plenty of exhibitors to visit and guns to shoot, so here’s a look at a few of our highlights:

30 Super Carry

We finally got the chance to go hands-on with Federal’s new dedicated carry cartridge. While there’s only so much information you can gather from firing a mag or so worth of ammo, we were able to walk away with some initial impressions. Firstly, neither anyone on the Gun Digest team nor anyone we saw firing it while we were waiting experienced any malfunctions.

S&W Shield Plus in 30 Super Carry.

A cartridge built for concealed carry needs to be reliable, and from what we saw today it has no issues with feeding or extracting. Federal had two S&W Shield Pluses available for testing, one chambered for 30 Super Carry and the other for 9mm to get a direct, side-by-side comparison. As expected, 30 Super Carry had noticeably less recoil and was easier to handle than the 9mm version of the same gun. The heft of the Nighthawk also helped to absorb recoil and made for a very soft-shooting pistol.

30 Super Carry (left) vs. 9mm (right).

Aero Precision Suppressors

Aero had teased their intention to begin making suppressors a few years ago, but they hadn’t said anything more about them since until today. Aero Precision’s first line of suppressors will be called the Lahar 30 line and are slated to come out later this year.

Competitively priced, the new cans will be offered in three lengths and will all have .30 caliber bores. The examples they brought out to Industry Day At The Range were still in the white, but the final products will feature a black finish. We got to try them on both a .300 BLK and a 5.56 AR, and while the .300 BLK was unsurprisingly quiet the 5.56 version hushed-up better than expected.

Aero Lahar 30 suppressors.

PSA AK-105

Palmetto State Armory brought out their new PSAK-105 today, a 5.45x39mm AK pistol inspired by the Russian AK-105 carbine. The gun definitely looked the part, and it was one of the softest-shooting AKs I’ve had the pleasure of handling. It will ship as a pistol with a side-folding pistol brace for legal simplicity, but it has the proper rear trunnion for installing a stock if one chooses to register it.

I hope that PSA continues to help grow the American AK industry, and I do appreciate their ambition and innovation, but I still feel like their AKs have some room for improvement. The PSAK-105’s brace did not fold as smoothly or as easily for me as it should have, and the magazine release was rather stiff as well. Little issues like these all take away from the general feeling of “solidness” that AKs are known for, and if PSA wants to compete with imported models they’ll need to iron those details out. It was still a very fun gun to shoot and didn’t malfunction seriously in any way, I just have very high standards when it comes to Kalashnikovs.

The PSAK-105 in 5.45x39mm (bottom).

Byrna Technologies Non-Lethal Defense Products

A wildcard on this list isn’t technically a firearm at all, just firearm-shaped. Byrna Technologies makes non-lethal defense tools marketed towards both law enforcement and civilians, and they have some new options for both on the way this year. CO2-powered, Byrna’s products fire .68 caliber balls that can either act as deterrents through kinetic force or with chemical irritants. The Byrna SD pistol was already available, but new carbine-style options are on their way now as well. They provided surprisingly decent range and accuracy, especially when the CO2 canister was fresh, and the ability to mount optics on the new models made them very easy to score hits with.

Byrna Technologies' new carbine-style launchers.

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