Shot Show typically gives me enough to do for a whole year with the deluge of new products and there’s always a tremendous amount of coverage.  Something that I had not seen addressed in Shot Show coverage are what the newest companies to Shot Show had on display.  So now that the dust has settled I wanted to show off Shot Show 1st time vendors.

The organizers of Shot Show typically have first time vendors set up a small display in the huge hallway outside the press room on the fifth floor.  While they are limited to a 2’ x 4’ countertop their potential impact is huge.  For the five years I’ve been attending Shot Show it isn’t uncommon to see a new vendor in the hallway blow up into a major mover and shaker on a ballroom floor the following years.  Here are the vendors that most impressed me and why.

Protectile:  A product that gives any firearm a less than lethal capability.  It consists of what looks like a hard foam tennis ball with a hollow peg one inserts into your barrel.  The foam ball encapsulates a bullet trap.  When one fires a conventional round, the bullet trap catches the round but propelling the foam ball forward creating a less than lethal projectile according to Protectile.  I was incredulous and haven’t physically tested the product but there’s some real potential if it works as advertised.  Yes, there are significant drawbacks to using a live/lethal round to power a less than lethal composite ball but this also allows anyone to turn their bullet launcher into a less than lethal tool.  I’m thinking military overseas.  The infantry typically only has two 40mm grenade launchers between 9 -13 men.  Equipping troops with Protectiles when a civil disturbance is envisioned provides options.  Hope to have more to share.

American Airsoft:  I’ve always been a fan of airsoft because its fun and does have some valid training value for the competitive or defensive shooter.  American Airsoft features an extremely rugged and professional training grade platform featuring full metal, blowback and even bluetooth enabled malfunctions to raise the realism in training.  Looking forward to putting one of these through its paces.

Muzlstik: A visual indicator one inserts into a firearm to visually display that a gun is loaded or unloaded.  I probably wouldn’t use the loaded gun indicator but I could see those wanting that extra level of reassurance employing it especially for muzzle loaded log guns which is why this product was initially created.  The unloaded gun indicator is ostentatiously obvious which is not a bad thing in a training environment, busy range or again for those wanting that higher level of visibility.  While some may think these are overkill I don’t as I’ve seen many a situation that would have been made better by having these large chamber and barrel flag indicators present.  Check them out here.

Firebird Targets: If you’ve been looking for an immediate feedback target that is largely range friendly I think its come to fruition.  Firebird targets are not a binary target but do provide an audible and visual signature to a hit from rifle AND pistol ammo.   While not as load as commercially available binary targets like Thundershot, this can be used at many ranges that don’t allow binary targets.  They are also safer and as long as the projectile is moving at 1000 fps will go off to a hit.  I hope to be able to take these to a nearby range and give you some first-person feedback.

 VaultekSafe: While a relative newcomer to the gun safe market they bring a lot of innovation and high tech.  Their safes feature solid construction with innovative features incorporating your phone, Bluetooth, biometric, __reader and even more technology for the user to quickly access their safe when one needs to.  They offer a wide and getting wider variety of safes.  I’m eager to share all the options they offer and how they may meet your security needs.

Tuffy: While one company may be new to the market another is an old and reliable hand.  I’ve used Tuffy’s products in a wide variety of ways to secure my firearms especially inside a vehicle.  Their products stand up to their name.  We hope to get several samples so we can explain how you can create safe storage spaces for your kit especially when you are on the road.

Spiritus Systems:  I saved the best and most exciting for last.  My prediction is Spiritus is going to be a huge mover and shaker in the protective vest and personal kit market.  The only thing that is going to limit them is their ability to meet growing demand.  Their gear is extremely well thought out and well put together.  I started to come across their name a couple of months before Shot and after meeting the husband and wife team that make up the core of this company I can see how and why they are able to put out such great kit.  I’m hoping we are going to be able to showcase their low profile and covert plate carrier solutions soon.  I can guarantee this company will be on the main floor in following years and their products will be highly sought after by those seeking the best kit.

I have requests out to all these companies to do some more evaluation on these exciting products.  In the meantime, let me know what interests you the most or questions you’d like answered and maybe I can address during the evaluation!

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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About The Author

Will Rodriguez is a 20+ year former Infantry officer with experience in both light and mechanized units as well as armor. His last assignment was serving in the Infantry school's battle lab doing DOTMLPF (doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities) assessment on weapon systems, equipment) assessment on weapons systems, equipment and technology to equip the Infantry for the next 10-20 years. Will also is the senior editor for GruntsandCo.com a website dedicated to issues of interest to the Infantrymen and those that support them. Will is a frequent contributor to Spotter up as well as an assistant editor. His work has also been published in SpecialOperations.com, SOFREP.com, the Loadout Room and Infantry Magazine. He is also a firearms instructor and holds a masters in Counseling and Leader Development.

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