First Annual Gun Noob Awards of Awesomenicity
Ladies and Gentleman (and TJ), the 2013 SHOT Show has come and gone and it’s time for the highly coveted, First Annual Gun Noob Awards of Awesomenicity! These awards go to the products and people that stood out during my time at the show. I had planned a big musical number to open this awards show but neither Lady Gaga or Jimmy Buffett will return my calls so without further adieu, on to the first category!
Aside from popular belief, you can’t just let the guns do the talking. The attitudes and knowledge of the booth staff is almost more important than the booth or the products themselves. While most were welcoming, there were some what were incredibly awesome (High five to you Springfield, 5.11 Tactical, Walther and SIG for being awesome!). There were others, whom shall not be named, that took more of an attitude of “eww...bloggers...make sure we disinfect after they leave.” There was one company, however, that went so far above and beyond the call of duty to welcome us web geeks that, honestly, it brings a tear to my eye.
That booth was Taurus. The CEO and marketing/sales execs spent a great deal of time with us. They talked about strategies. They even asked for our input on a range of subjects. Without a doubt, Taurus deserves this award hands down. Thank you, Taurus, for your fantastic hospitality!
The XBox generation gets its own rifle! Ok, that joke really doesn’t do this thing justice. The boffins at TrackingPoint were presented with a problem and they tackled it using the best of today’s technology. It’s a long range rifle that makes ANYONE look like a pro. Even if you have never touched a gun before, you can make perfect 1000 yard shots starting with your first shot with this gun. It does this with a sophisticated digital optic and an electronic controlled trigger. You find your target, tag it with the optics. The rifle figures out the bullet drop and distance then adjusts the reticle accordingly. At that point, you hold the trigger down then line up a dot with the reticle and the gun does the rest.
The only problem is that it’s a bit expensive. At $20,000 or more, this gun falls into the “new car or new gun” territory. Remember, though, when they first came out the 40” flat screen TVs were also twenty grand. The first step is getting the technology out there. Once it’s out, it will only get cheaper and smaller.
This is an amazing piece of technology that, mark my words, will be VERY controversial as it becomes more accessible to the average person. In the meantime, congrats!
For this category, I asked myself “had I the cash on hand (and if they were actually selling individual guns at the show...which they weren't), which gun would I take home without even the slightest hesitation.
This was actually a tough one because, had I won the $200 million dollar Powerball before the show I’d be walking in saying “I’ll take everything from that wall on the left to the wall on the right”.
In all honesty, narrowing it down to one gun was impossible. I was able to get it down to two guns but at that point it would have been a coin toss and, frankly, that wouldn't have been fair to either. After handling the Springfield Armory XDs and the SIG P227, my thoughts have been on those guns ever since. I’ve checked nearly every week to see if they’ve come in stock at my local stores. I’ve read every article I could find about them. I’ve searched Gun Broker late at night for any sign of them in a halfway affordable price range. I’ve seen anthropomorphised versions of them dancing seductively in my dreams.
Maybe I shouldn’t have typed that last line...
The XDs isn’t a new gun. It was actually announced and shown off at the last SHOT Show. For this show, they've announced a 9mm version. Personally, I would still get the .45 as I've learned with this ammo crisis .45 seems to be easier to come by. Plus, you can’t argue with the power of that round. The fact that the universal opinion on the XDs seems to be “surprisingly light recoil, all things considered” is a major bonus.
Speaking of .45, the new SIG P227 was described to us as either a “P226 in .45” or a “double stack P220”. Either way, it looks and feels amazing. It holds 10+1 rounds, as opposed to the 8+1 of the P220 and a 14 round magazine is available.
With guns, much like in life, you can’t help who you fall in love with. Perhaps others would disagree with me. Perhaps there were more interesting guns at the show. I don’t care. These 2 are the ones that stuck with me.
There was one gun at the show that just made me say “that’s freaking sweet!” when I picked it up. That was the SIG MPX. This is the first new sub-machine gun design that has been released in a long time. According to SIG, it’s also the first SMG that “operates with a fully closed and locked rotating bolt system”. It allows you to change the barrel length, caliber and stock on the fly. It has the same exact controls and feel of an AR-15 so there isn't much need to relearn a platform. For us geeks, there’s tasty, tasty carbon fiber all over it as well.
The best part about it? The one with the model number “MPX-C”. That “C” stands for “Civilian”. There is a permanently installed flash hider that extends the barrel length to 16” so there’s no need for crazy paperwork. Yes, friends, you can actually purchase this gun for yourself! At an MSRP of $1800, you’re going to have to really consider your need for it.
If you do like to do paperwork, you freak, there’s another nice surprise with this gun. You see, that flash hider looks a bit odd, doesn’t it? There’s a reason for that. For an extra couple hundred bucks and a tax stamp from Uncle Sam, you can purchase an accessory that screws onto that flash hider turning it into an integral suppressor!
So if you happen to have a couple grand laying around, or your local store has a heck of a layaway plan, you won’t be disappointed.