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 — Smart rifle-maker TrackingPoint Inc. has teamed with Recon Instruments to sync imagery from its high-tech scope system directly into protective glasses, an official said.

The Austin, Texas-based company showed off the product on Monday at a range north of Las Vegas as part of the opening day of SHOT Show, the biggest small arms show in the world.

“This year, we’ve partnered with Recon and we’re introducing wearable technology,” Anson Gordon, marketing lead for TrackingPoint, said during an interview with “It actually streams the heads-up display screen from the system into these wearable glasses. It allows the shooter to shoot around a berm without exposing yourself to oncoming fire.” [click to continue…]



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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I sat down with the new commander of Program Executive Soldier, Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings recently. It was a refreshing change since the last two heads of the organization responsible for soldier equipment were shy about talking to the press.

Cummings assumed command of PEO Soldier in October. One of his top priorities will be to launch a new focus on the weight of soldier equipment.

“I would like to take that one on,” Cummings said Tuesday.

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ACCOKEEK, Md. —’s Brendan McGarry and I got a chance to shoot Beretta’s newest version of the M9 9mm pistol Monday during our visit to Beretta USA.

In December, the company submitted the new M9A3 as an engineering change proposal to the U.S. Army‘s existing M9 contract. The move was intended as an alternative to the service’s Modular Handgun System program — an effort that could result in a the selection of a new service pistol for the Army and potentially the entire U.S. Military.

Beretta USA also plans to offer the new pistol to the civilian market.

The M9A3 is a new attempt to address the alleged complaints from the field that have surfaced over the years against the M9 design, company officials maintain.

Whether you love the M9 design or despise it, you have to acknowledge that the M9A3 sports plenty of new features.

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ACCOKEEK, Md. — KitUp visited Beretta USA on Monday for a closer look at the new Beretta M9A3.

We received a detailed briefing on the engineering change proposal to the U.S. Army’s existing contract for M9 9mm pistols. We also had the chance to shoot the new pistol at Beretta USA’s on-site firing range.

I wrote a Jan. 9 story that described how Army weapons officials have decided not to evaluate the new M9A3 as an alternative to launching the Modular Handgun System competition. If successful, the effort would replace all Army M9s and potentially become the new sidearm of the entire U.S. Military.

In late December, the Army’s Configuration Control Board decided not to accept the M9A3 ECP, according to a source familiar with the decision. [click to continue…]


Beretta2-M9A3-600x400Army officials will not consider Beretta USA’s M9A3 for its Modular Handgun System program, has learned from sources close to the program.

Beretta USA released the M9A3 in December with promises to release a commercial version at  the NSSF Shot Show this month. The upgraded M9 was part of the contract Beretta has with the Army under the Engineering Change Proposal.

However, Beretta officials had hoped the Army would consider the M9A3 for its Modular Handgun System program. reporter Matthew Cox spoke with Army sources who said that will not be the case. He wrote a longer story on explaining the Army’s problems with the M9 and Beretta’s reaction. [click to continue…]