The SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trades) Show is the annual firearms industry trade show, and I have attended it for several years. There is generally not very much there of direct relevance to the sort of historical firearms that we typically cover here, but it is an excellent opportunity to meet up with folks and there are sometimes a few interesting guns to see.
A few of the interesting items from this year…
The Polish FB Radom factory brought several different firearms which they would like to release on the American market. These include their Beryl AK, the BRS-99 submachine gun and PR-15 handgun, and their MSBS combat rifle. The MSBS is significant in being the first Polish military rifle actually designed in Poland in many decades – Poland’s army has used the AK and Mauser for most of a hundred years. The MSBS is a short stroke, rotating bolt design that looks pretty nice. It has the interesting feature of being configurable as either a standard rifle or a bullpen with the same receiver. The practical application for such a conversion is limited, but still interesting.
There are two different companies making new-production M1 Carbines right now, and I was able to speak with both of them (James River Armory and MKS Supply/Inland). I had a chance to do a bit of shooting with the Inland gun, and it seemed good (with the exception of some sketchy aftermarket magazines that caused problems). I should be getting review examples of both guns to do a bunch more shooting with, and some side by side comparison will be fun and interesting. Inland is offering a standard rifle and a paratrooper version, while James River has a slightly different standard gun (with the improved lever safety) and a T3 version with a scope mount.
And, of course, the most exciting product to me was the Sturmgewehr from HMG. Last year at the show I first spoke to Hill and Mac, and their claim of having the rifle ready in a year seemed really optimistic. But lo and behold, they arrived this year with 4 complete guns. The guns are not ready to shoot yet, as they are still in need of final tweaking and finalizing, but the progress is remarkable and the final product is definitely in sight. I stopped by their booth several times, and it usually several people deep in interested buyers. I think this rifle will be really successful. They are projecting a ship date of June, which will provide a few more months to get everything polished and finalized.
I was able to meet a lot of very cool folks who rear the web site and follow my YouTube and Full30 channels, and that was a real pleasure. Thanks to everyone who introduced themselves!