Defender’s SHOT Show Favorites (So Far)

SHOT Show is an exciting adventure. Miles of walking, shoulder-to-shoulder foot traffic, bright lights, and more than one man can see in the few days of the trade show. We started early and have been making it out to the range to try out some of the fun stuff! So, here’s Team Defender’s SHOT Show favorites—so far—that we’ve seen this year.

Gemtech’s New Suppressors

Gemtech, hoping for the passage of the Hearing Protection Act, released a couple new suppressor options for 2017. The first is the interesting LUNAR-45 suppressor. Made for shooting .45 ACP or 9mm, the LUNAR-45 is machined out of 7075 aluminum with a black Cerakote finish. What makes this suppressor really cool is that it comes in two major pieces: a 6.9″ main body and a 1.4″ additional front cap for a combined length of 8.5″. When just the main body it used, it cuts a .45 ACP shot down to 137dB. But, screw on the front cap portion for a full-length suppressor, and the .45 ACP shot is reduced to just 129dB at the shooter’s ear. Gemtech claims that the LUNAR-45 is “Lightest, Quietest, Modular 45 caliber silencer” and is full-auto rated. The patented G-Core silencer can also be ran wet or dry.

Gemtech also released the Mist 22, an integrally suppressed Ruger 10/22 barrel. Clocking in at 17″ with a weight of 1 pound, 5 ounce, the Mist 22 utilizes Gemtech’s patented G-Core baffle system throughout most of the length of the .22 caliber barrel. The result is a very quiet 116 dB sound level at the shooter’s ear…without any added length to the barrel. And, the bull barrel design with black Isonite finish is sharp and durable.

Kel-Tec Brings 3 New Great Guns

Florida-based Kel-Tec is known for it’s innovation with new products every year at SHOT. Typically, guns like the PMR-30, KSG, and CMR-30 are fan favorites and in high demand, but seemingly impossible to find in the gun store for a few years after their release. This year, Kel-Tec showed off three cool new firearms: the KSG-25, the 6.5 Grendel RDB-C, and RDB Survival.

For fans of the KSG, a 14+1 pump action shotgun introduced back in 2011, here’s something to get you excited. Kel-Tec is releasing a select quantity of KSG-25 Shotguns. These new KSGs are similar to the original model: two magazine tubes, pump action and bull-pup configuration, downward ejecting ambidextrous design, and Picatinny rails for accessories. But, there’s also some major changes. Instead of the magazine tubes holding six 3″ shells or seven 2 3/4″ shells each, the KSG-25’s magazine tubes hold ten 3″ shells or twelve 2 3/4″ shells. (And, if you want to get technical, you can fit up to 41 Aguila mini-shells.) Yup, you can stack a whole box of shot shells into your shotgun, and it’s still shorter than your traditional home-defense shotgun. The KSG-25 comes standard with Magpul MBUS flip-up sights and a pump-rail-mounted vertical grip. MSRP is set at $1,400 and they are expected to hit shelves during the third quarter of 2017.


Kel-Tec also introduced two new versions of the RDB carbine. The first new model is the 6.5 Grendel chambering of the RDB-C. This compact version of the original RDB was announced last year in .223/5.56, but they’re expanding the line with a model in 6.5 Grendel. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Grendel’s ballistics, then you should definitely check out the new RDB-C. Building off the RDB line is the RDB Survival. Without a pistol grip but with a collapsible stock, this new .223/5.56 rifle is great for the backpack or bug-out bag. The bullpup design allowed for a regulation 16″ barrel to fit in a compact 26″ frame. The folding sights are extra tall for ease of sighting. The 10-round magazine fits flush with the rifle, but the mag well will accept any STANAG magazine.


Smith & Wesson’s New M&P M2.0 Doesn’t Disappoint

Smith & Wesson re-released their popular M&P pistol late last year and we finally got our chance to pick one up. The M&P M2.0 is redesigned from the bottom-up, based on experiences from the Smith and Wesson community. The stainless steel frame was extended and the grip was raised up for a higher grip to bore-axis ratio. What this means is the gun has less felt-recoil, reduced muzzle rise, and faster aim recovery that leads to quicker follow-up shots. Additionally, the M&P M2.0 has a brand new trigger. This new trigger has a lighter pull, crisper break, less stacking, and has an audible and tensile reset. The old squishy trigger of the original M&P is done for and these new triggers are amazing! The grip area has a new aggressive texture that gives your hand as much non-slip purchase as you could imagine, while the deep serration on the front and back of the slide make it a cinch to rack. Add in the interchangeable palmswell backtraps, and this may be one of the most comfortable handguns you’ve ever shot. The M&P M2.0 is available in matte black or FDE and is chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

CMC Triggers Have Fixed the Glock Trigger

Glocks are one of the most popular firearms available on the market today. But, the triggers have always been sub-par or at least tolerable. CMC Triggers has found a remedy to Glock trigger woes. With CMC Triggers’ new drop-in trigger system, you can get a flat, straight trigger with a 5 pound break. We tried it out and there is substantially less stacking than with traditional Glock triggers. And, since it is just one simple drop-in system, it is a cinch to replace! We’re really looking forward for these things to hit the market.

Pepperbox Guns are Back

Ok, maybe the subtitle to this section is a little over blown, but so far we’ve seen two different pepper box guns here at SHOT Show, and so they must be a little popular. The first is the Iver Johnson Pocket Ace. Chambered in .22 LR, this four barreled pocket derringer is only about 4″ long. It’d be difficult to operate with big paws, but the small size makes it really concealable. No MSRP has been set yet, but I expect it’ll be around $300 to $400.

Next, Standard Manufacturing (the folks who brought you the DP-12 Shotgun) have a new product that is really interesting: The S333. The S333 is revolver-like pepperbox volley gun with six (6) barrels. The S333 is chambered in .25 ACP and fires two barrels with each trigger pull. (Something about multiple barrels and no automatic loading actually prevents this from being classified as an “automatic weapon.”) Now, I’m pretty sure two .25 caliber bullets don’t equal a .50 caliber one, but getting six shots off in the time it takes to pull the trigger three time sounds like pretty good idea. The gun is small and easy to conceal and even easier to operate. This isn’t a gun made for an extended shoot-out, but if you had someone closing in on you, six new holes would definitely make them reconsider their course of action. MSRP is expected to be below $300.

That Taurus Spectrum Looks Great

With so many on the market, it is hard to get excited about another pocket .380. It seems every firearm company that dabbles in handguns has some form of palm-sized .380 ACP conceal carry gun. Taurus has had quite a few in the past, but their newest offering is actually pretty exciting. There are three different decisions you make when customizing this handgun: First you have to decided between a matte stainless or black melonite slide. Then you have to choose if you want your frame to be white, black, or gray polymer. Then, you have to choose color of the “Accents” from a list that (so far) includes purple, teal, gray, black, cyan, red, burnt orange, mint, and FDE. Flush fit magazines hold 6 rounds of ammunition while the extended magazine (pictured below) holds an additional round of .380. Pocket pistols aren’t for everyone, but the amount of customization available makes me think these little shooters will catch on quick.

6 Comments On This Article

  1. nice article. I am looking forward to the glock triggers. I have tried some and have not been impressed. really holding out hope that this one really works well.
    and the Taurus Spectrum, lets say I’m curious. I like the style. but the pics I’ve seen so far, it seems thick. have to get my hands on one.

  2. I’m not a Glock fan. I’ve shot them and shoot well with them. I just don’t like them.

    That said, IMO, it boils down to Ford/Chevy/Dodge when it comes to Glock, S&W or Springfield for a polymer striker fired pistol. It’s whatever you like and prefer. Glock did a fanstastic job of introducing their pistol into the market and getting a major foothold of that market share initially. However, their triggers DO suck and with the CMC trigger, I’m sure a lot of people will be much happier if they’re able to afford the upgrade.

    I personally carry an XD-S each day and am very happy with it. It’s not perfect. I liked the sights (vs plastic ones on Glocks) but, changed them out to Tru-Glo TFO sights so that I have sights that are functional for low light and night. I also put a rubberized Talon grip wrap on the extremely stippled handle once I figured out which back strap worked best for me.

    I do think it’s interesting that S&W M&P has basically added the stippling to their handle like in the XD Mod 2 line and the serrations on the front of the slide as is found in the XD line as well. Perhaps as consumers, that should tell the true tale of what the buying public has decided are the more important features that we look for.

    As for the Taurus: I think that the new look is sexy. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this is a pocket sized .380. I personally see a gun like that to be either a back up or, a beater for lack of better words. I live in South TX and the heat index will sometimes reach 120 F regularly in the summer. To put that in perspective, although I’m a huge fan of the 1911 platform, I’d never seriously consider carrying one daily just because I don’t like having to dress around my firearm and our weather isn’t permissive enough to do so with heavy clothing often enough.

    So for me, the Taurus is a gun that gets IWB with a small light holster or pocket carried. I use a DeSantis Pocket-Tuk for my TCP 738. It’s versatile, inexpensive, and fits the bill. However, my firearm needs to just work should I ever need it. I’ve learned from the range that my TCP can be quite fickle about hp ammo and I need to be cognizant of that. Therefore, sexy or not, I couldn’t care less. I want it to be reliable and to function should the situation, God forbid, ever arise that I need to use it to defend me or my family.

    I guess the overall message that I’m trying to convey here is that although I like reading about all of this and it brings me some enjoyment day dreaming about the different options out there and wishing or hoping that I could one day get this or get that, it comes down to price. I’m a family man and have bills to pay. I love fishing and hunting and really enjoy shooting as well. However, my love for these hobbies will never be allowed to impact my ability to provide for my family or pay a utility bill . So, as a rational human being, that’s why I don’t buy things like Glocks when, so many people “love them” and yet spend hundreds or thousands upgrading them. That’s why I don’t necessarily get a hard on over a Taurus that has a new look but is still a pocket .380 at the end of the day. I’m not going to carry 5 guns on my person going out into the world and 99% of the time, I don’t even carry a spare mag. It’s my situational awareness that ultimately will keep me safer than any amount of cartridges or money spent on upgrades. My firearm is my God given right to enjoy my life without fear of a bonehead trying to interrupt that enjoyment because they’ve succumbed to the influence of evil in their heart. So for me, if it functions and I know that tool that is by my side intimately, I’m prepared more so than the guy who may have 10 handguns in rotation but makes it to the range once or twice a year.

    Like I said….Just my 2 cents. Thanks for the SHOT Show updates. Cool to see that innovation is still happening.

    • I too do not like Glocks, but shoot them well !!
      I have a fleet of 9mm S&W’s: M&P9, M&P9c, M&P 9 Shield HOWEVER
      MY FAVORITE 9mm Striker Polymer Pistol is my Walther PPQ-M2 !!!
      I Think the PPQ-M2 is Perfection !! That’s Why I Have Two of Them !!!
      All Guns Mentioned Here Have Talon rubber grips added !!!

  3. Wow, Well Kel-Tec is out because you can never buy one till four years from now, I like them but they store them on a Ivory pillar somewhere.
    I have several CMC triggers for AR’s and I’m a buyer for my G29 and 33.
    I have all the pocket 380’s I need… but I like them so the new Taurus really interests me.
    I just bought a PT-111 G2 so Taurus is okay with me.
    The Iver Johnson Pepperbox is pretty cool to me.
    I am also a Talon fan but my XDS45 had the granulated (fine sandpaper) style as it gives me a all-weather grip the wife demanded the rubber version for the XDS9
    I now pocket carry a G33 primary and LCP II back up