One of the interesting things I came across in my travels around SHOT Show last month was that some classic Central European arms makers are still in the business of making classic European arms.
Over at Mauser’s booth, besides offerings in their classic M98 line for $10K+ safari rifles (!) there was the new M18, a $699 bolt-action billed as the “People’s rifle” (Volkswaffe) or “People’s repeater” (Volksrepetierer) by the German rifle maker. It’s a pretty sweet design, complete with a detachable mag, hidden cleaning kit in the butt (hey, it’s a Mauser) and a wide offering of calibers.
More about that over in my column at Guns.com
As for Steyr, which of course continues to market modern polymer framed pistols, precision rifles to include the giant HS-50 and their iconic AUG line of bullpups, they are bringing back the Zephyr. Now I had a chance to get my hands on a Zephyr .22 that belonged to my great-uncle as a kid and absolutely loved it. The reboot includes a traditional Bavarian cheek piece and fish scale checkering on a walnut stock, and an action so smooth it will make you cry.
More on that after the jump.
In the above video shot by my homie Ben Philippi, Sig’s Rich Morovitz talked to us at SHOT Show about the U.S. Army’s new M17 sidearm and points out some of the differences between the military’s variant and winner of the landmark Modular Handgun System contract and the standard Sig Sauer P320. Besides the manual safety– an Army requirement– Morovitz also goes into detail on the removable top plate for a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro sight, which is a big move for a MIL-STD handgun meant for the common Soldier in the field.
More info if you are curious here.
Made it back alive (though the flight back from Vegas was full of walking wounded) so you neither have to avenge me nor get the opportunity to split up my gear.
Here are some of the more interesting developments, though I will circle back around later in the week with a couple of tales of interesting people I met on the way.
So I got to check out the Reformation by Franklin Armory, and like I called it, it uses a non-rifled barrel (straight lands and grooves) with rifle ammo (.300BLK/5.56mm) to give you a non-NFA short barreled rifle (because, duh, it’s not legally a rifle!). I made contact on the range with it at close distances and it shot well but is billed with an accuracy of just 4 MOA at 100 yards, which is better than the old Brown Bess– or your typical SKS for that matter– but sill is generating a lot of hate as something as a Stormtrooper rifle. More on that in my column at Guns.com here.
Then there was the new Tavor TS12 shotgun, which looks like low-effort Starship Troopers cosplay but brings 15 shells of 12 to the party in a bullpup design that is just 29-inches overall (and 10 high!). Recoil impulse was…different. Meh, bullpups. More here.
The surprise of the party was Mossberg’s HUGE double stack 12 gauge mags for a dedicated series of 590 shotguns. Sure they are expensive ($100) and giant (like a loaf of french bread for the 20-rounder big) but they are still smaller than comparable single stacks from Remington and Black Aces while being similar in price to Saiga mags. More on that here.
Found this on the range and, despite it’s odd recoil impulse and sometimes confusing weapon manipulation, is very interesting in a 1960s High Standard HS10 kinda way. I give you the IWI Tavor TS12, a bullpup semi-auto shotgun with a 15-shot capacity.
The Israeli shotgun uses a trio of 5-shot (using 2.75-inch shells) tubular magazines that automatically loads the next round in the 3-inch chamber when the mag is rotated into place. When using 3-inch shells, the capacity drops by one shell in each mag. The 18.5-inch barrel is threaded for Benelli or Beretta chokes and one is included. Weight empty is advertised as being 8 pounds. The shotgun includes a one-piece Picatinny top rail and M-Lok slots on the forward handguard. The ambi design allows the user to swap out for left or right controls and ejection.
And there is also this thing, which shoots very well, but they still aren’t letting on how it is done. I am still on record that it uses a form of rifling that isn’t considered such by BATFE. We shall see.
Also, no Warship Wednesday tomorrow. Sorry gang. Will rejoin WW already in progress next week. The past two weeks have been swamped. If I don’t make it back alive, you know the drill: avenge my death.
Nevada-based Franklin Armory said last week they are debuting their no-stamp-required Reformation “firearm” that includes both a Magpul MOE SL carbine stock and an 11.5-inch shorty barrel. The Reformation is a non-rifle that, according to Franklin Armory President Jay Jacobson, has recently been approved by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to be compliant with National Firearms Act regs.
Since they say it is neither rifle nor shotgun, I am guessing the way they are keeping north of the NFA is by using a funky way to stabilize the bullet rather than traditional rifling, perhaps something akin to the Lancaster oval-bore Colindian non-rifled rifles of the 19th Century. Either way, I think this will be my first stop at Media Day on the Range next Monday at SHOT Show. Watch this space!
More in my column at Guns.com.