Matthew Cox


Daniel Defense showed off two new rifles at this year’s SHOT Show. The Black Creek, Ga.-based gun maker has an improved version of the MK12 precision rifle and the latest version of its V11 series rifle for three-gun competitions.

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LAS VEGAS — CamelBak Products LLC., unveiled a new pack design at SHOT Show 2015 that places the hydration bladder against the lower back.

The Rubicon is one of two backpacks with a special lumbar pocket that holds a three-liter reservoir.

“This is one of two packs we are launching this year with the lumbar reservoir,” Amanda Rodriguez, assistant product manager for CamelBak’s Government, Military and Industrial products, said at SHOT Show.

CamelBak engineers have used the lumbar-reservoir design on some of its recreation-style packs, she said. “This is where your body is meant to carry all the weight,” Rodriguez said.

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LAS VEGAS – Safariland LLC., has come up with a truly innovative holster that fits more than 125 modern handgun models.

The Pro Fit 578 Holster features a V-Block design and special locking mechanism that fits many of today’s polymer-framed pistols.

“We took a whole series of popular firearms and … took all the digital dimensions and overlaid them at the position where they would index into the V Block,” Safariland’s Bill Rogers said at SHOT Show 2015.

The designers looked at looked for similarities on parts such as take-down levers, safeties and magazine releases, Rogers said.

“What we found was there is a lot of commonality,” he said. “What this holster does is fit all the weapons that have a similar size trigger guard. ..It’s kind of a revolutionary design for us.”

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LAS VEGAS – Springfield Armory demonstrated its newest compact .45 caliber pistol at SHOT Show 2015.

The new XD MOD 2 .45 follows the introduction of the 9mm and .40 caliber versions of the pistol that were released a few months ago.

It has a redesigned back strap and trigger guard, said Rob Leatham, of Springfield Armory. The MOD 2 .45 also features a nine-round magazine and a fiber-optic front sight.

Designers also moved the serrations around to make it easier to rack the slide, he said.

I have to say it was very comfortable to shoot for a compact .45. The MOD 2 .45 will be available in about six weeks for $593.



LAS VEGAS – TOPS Knives will soon be selling a folder version of its popular Tex Creek fixed blade.

The Tex Creek is one of my favorite TOPS designs, but I have no need for a fixed blade. Leo Espinoza, vice president of TOPS Knives, has apparently heard this before.

“There are a lot of people that wanted the same style blade, but they didn’t want to carry it on their belt,” he said at SHOT Show 2015.

The Tex Creek folder prototype at the show is so new, it didn’t even have an edge on it yet. It has a four-inch, 1095 carbon steel blade and black linen Micarta handle.

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LAS VEGAS – Smith & Wesson showed off its new M&P Performance Center Ported CORE Model on the range at SHOT Show 2015.

CORE stands for Competition Optics Ready Equipment. It’s set up so the shooter can easily mount a red dot optic to the gun without the help of a gunsmith, according to Matt Rice of Smith & Wesson.

It’s still an M&P, but it has several new features. There is a new back-strap checkering for improved grip and a Performance Center trigger with quick, audible reset.

The Ported CORE model also has a ported slide at the end of the muzzle.

“This was a feature that a lot of competition shooters asked for, especially in the .40 calibers … it really helps reduce the muzzle flip,” Rice said.

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LAS VEGAS — We had the chance to check out Beretta USA’s new 1301 tactical shotgun at SHOT Show 2015 range day.

It is a sweet little package. The 1301 is a semi-auto 12 gauge specifically designed for military and law enforcement use.

Beretta’s gas-operating system sets the 1301 apart from similar models on the market, according to Earnest Langdon, a consultant for Beretta USA, who was working on the range Monday.

“It cycles and operates 37 percent faster than anything else on the market,” he said.

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