SHOT Show 2022 | "A Dream Come True"
Nearly two years ago, at an "overly priced breakfast place" as Mike likes to remind me, we sat at a table planning the future of what Hunt Fish Shoot would be. Joe was playing with his new Sony mirrorless camera the A7iii, which would later be proven to be the toughest camera on the market. With my iPad Pro in hand I captured every note from that morning, which to this day we still use for reference. Much of that meeting focused on the short term: video backlogs, filming locations, ammo, etc... But we couldn't help but dream about what the future would be. One thing that stuck in our heads for the next year and a half was Mikes dream of going to SHOT Show. Low and behold months and months of hard work would make it a dream come true.
I'm the only one of us who's really ever been to Las Vegas. Mike and Joe were there as young kids, but never really saw the true Vegas scene so it was my job to show them around. A few margaritas later we found ourselves in the Flamingo lobby at 4am on the hunt for water. Yes water. For some odd reason our bathroom sinks were only capable of producing scolding hot water... remind us to never do that ever again!
Waking up only a couple hours later to what would be one of the most memorable days in our YouTube careers still has me humbled. Industry Day at the Range. For those of you who are unaware of what this fairy tale like event is, let me give you the run down. It's a private event held specifically for the media to see all the new offerings across the industry. When I say "see" I actually mean "shoot a bunch of really freaking cool guns at no expense"... but let's take a step back. They bussed us out nearly an hour into the desert, only to walk off the bus to hear a mini-gun singing in the near distance. Only in Vegas....
Now to the fun part. As "media", and I use this term loosely, we were able to walk around the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club somewhat free range, shoot guns, interview industry representatives, and capture it all on film... so thats what we did.
First stop the Franklin Armory booth... home of the binary triggers. They had a gamut of offerings at their booth, all of which had binary triggers. From AR-15's, to Glock pistols, to Ruger 10/22. This was the first time that any of us have ever experienced a binary trigger, and for me I think its going to result in a new Ruger 10/22! I think quite a few people from TikTok would agree, as our 5 second video has over a quarter of a million views. I will admit it took a moment to get use to, but once you got a rhythm you could really sling some lead. The Glock that you see in the picture had a brace, to help keep the recoil under control. I wonder what it would've been like without it?
Coincidentally many of the booths were shared between a couple exhibitors, and the Franklin Armory range was also used by Bushmaster. It's been a while since we've seen Bushmaster in the media, but there was definitely a little buzz going around their new offering. The Bushmaster BA30. A new modular rifle that utilizes their XM-10 style furniture. Offered in .308 and 6.5 creedmoor, this straight pull bolt rifle definitely has something intriguing to offer. Being the first straight-pull bolt that I've ever shot, I will say that it took a few rounds to get acquainted with the motion of the bolt. I will say that I was very impressed!
Everyone knows that Gen 2 is always going to be better than Gen 1, but what if Gen 1 was the Walther PDP? We reviewed the Walther PDP almost a year ago and from first impressions it was one of the best releases in the industry in 2021. Here we are a year later at SHOT Show 2022 and Walther has taken a great pistol and made it even better with the new Walther PDP Pro SD! Featuring: Full-Sized Frame with 4.5” slide, 5.1” Threaded Barrel, Dynamic Performance Trigger, Aluminum Magwell, and 3x 18 Round Magazines with Aluminum Base Pads. We were lucky enough to interview Cody Osborn and Chris Long from Walther... as well as put a few rounds down range with this awesome new offering from Walther. First thing that I noticed was that
memorable Walther PDP feel, which is arguably one of the most ergonomic factory pistol grips on the market. Take that, the already great platform, and add all these update and you've got one hell of an offering for any situation that may come. Check out our interview and first shots in this video.
Speaking of notable pistols, Shadow Systems always has something exciting to offer. After reviewing the Shadow Systems MR920 Elite as well as the Shadow Systems DR920, both of which Mike owns, I am nothing but impressed. Walking up to the long line of media at the Shadow Systems booth at Industry Day at the Range 2022 told us something good was in there. Chad from Shadow Systems was nice enough to give us a run down of their new offerings. Coming in March 2022 the Shadow Systems CR920. Similar look, feel, and style to the other Shadow Systems pistols, this new micro-compact 9mm is ready to conceal! The CR stands for Covert Role and has an industry competitive 13+1 capacity. First shots left me speechless. Historically micro-compacts are known for their "snappiness", but this CR920 hits different. I felt like I had much more control than any similar micro-compact on the market.
Now the CR920 was not the only spotlight for Shadow Systems in 2022. The Shadow Systems DR920P. The DR920P takes the already proven platform of the Shadow Systems DR920 and adds an integrated compensator! The way that they added the comp makes it appear as if the slide and compensator are one piece. Then they took the front sight and mounted it directly on the compensator for faster shot-to-shot tracking. First impressions on the range... REMARKABLE! Shooting from 25 yards felt like 5. On the follow-up shot, this DR920P is arguably the best performing pistol on the market. Hands down. We at Hunt Fish Shoot are extremely excited for both of these releases!
There were quite a few other memorable products at Industry Day at the Range, but out of respect for you, let's get to the actual SHOW!
Talking with the Christensen Arms team at the range, they highly suggested that we head over to their booth first thing in the morning as they were revealing something remarkable. Jeff was a pretty convincing guy so hey... why not? Queue the Christensen Arms Modern Hunting Rifle (MHR). An all new modular rifle that allows a shooter to customize pretty much every aspect of the rifle. From grips, to stocks, to
butt-stocks, to magazines, this rifle is probably the most customizable on the market. Using their chopped carbon fiber technology they are able to reduce production time, reduce waste, all while making a lighter and stronger final product. I could go on and on, but Jeff Bradley from Christensen Arms can tell it better! Check it out here!
Being the firearms expert of the group, Mike seemed to guide us around Shot Show to make sure that we stopped and talked with the right companies which lead us to Staccato. Now I'm going to be honest, I was skeptical when Mike bought a Staccato C2 a year ago. Mentally I have always known pistols to be in that $600-1000 range with the exception of a few. Yeah I know 1911's are a different beast, but like I said I was skeptical... then I shot the Staccato C2 and knew exactly why it was priced over $2000. You could feel the craftsmanship and quality the second you picked it up. Probably one the nicest pistols that I'll ever shoot. So here we are at the Staccato booth and low and behold, they recognize Mike. That in and of itself is a pretty surreal feeling. To know that in an expo with 30,000 other people, your work is recognized. Just like the first time I shot the C2, Staccato didn't disappoint! They hooked us up with an interview with Heather Miller of Staccato where she took us for an in-depth tour of the Staccato C and the Staccato P!
Look we visited a remarkable number of booths at SHOT Show 2022 and not once were we disappointed. The experience itself was surreal, the people we met, the welcomeness that we felt, and the relationships that we built are something that we will hold near and dear for years to come. We left Las Vegas on a redeye with just a little over 11,000 subscribers, and we will be back next year.... with 100,000! Stay thirsty my friends, but stay away from those margaritas....
- Andrew Bower
Hunt Fish Shoot