At the range today, we had an opportunity to play with several new toys just hitting the streets. We’ll cover a few of them here today, but this article won’t encapsulate all the new products–just the ones we personally held and checked out. First off, for the Glock fans out there, Glock has introduced their “Gen 4” series of frames for the Glock 22 and Glock 17. There are a few nice changes to those models that will make the Glocks a lot more user-friendly. First, there is texturing on the grips for a mroe secure hold on the pistols. The magazine release is now oversized for easier mag changes, and it is reversible for left-handed shooters. Additionally, they have modular backstraps that can be changed out to modify the overall size of the grip. If you start with the smallest option, it makes the grip about 1/8 inch smaller than current models. One step up brings it to a similar size as current models, and for those with beefy hands, they have one other backstrap that will actually make it 1/8 inch thicker than current models. With those available options, you ought to be able to find the right size for you. I found that the first level, called the “zero strap” felt the best for me. Of the changes they made, I like the larger magazine release the best. There’s a little more surface area there and it doesn’t feel like you’re jamming your thumb with a sharp stick. I shot the Gen 4 G22 with the “Zero Strap” configuration and it was a sweet shooter. It felt really nice in the hands. The only bad thing about the Gen 4 changes is that they are for the G22 and G17 only right now. You won’t find them on the G19 or G23. I’d like to see them make the same changes to their compact lines as well.
Veridian Green Laser Sights
Speaking of Glock, we also had a chance to play with the new Olive Drab laser module for the Glock, manufactured by Veridian Green Laser Sights. One of the reasons you’re seeing more and more green laser pointers and laser sights hitting the market is that the human eye is more sensitive to the green spectrum than red, and they are able to make the green lasers more powerful–at least that’s what I’ve read. After using the laser module from Veridian, I’d have to say I’m on board with the concept. Standing at 25 yards, it was extremely easy to make out the green dot on the target downrange. I’ve played with a few of the red laser sights, and I’ve never had any of them be as easy to acquire as the one I played with today. I’m sold! I’ve already talked to them about the model I want and will be getting one for my Glock 19 (or 21SF) immediately.
Beretta was out in force today with several new products as well. The first of which is their new profile size for their PX4 pistols. This new line is sized between their duty models and the sub-compacts. Unfortunately, they only had a prototype with them today, so we didn’t have a chance to shoot on yet. But, they did have a shooter available for their new TX4 Storm 12 gauge Police Shotgun. This new shotgun is extremely light and is tricked out with all the right tactical goodies to make it have some mass appeal. With a Ghost Ring rear sight and protective ears on the front sight, it’s an attractive and functional package that was very easy to get on target and shoot well. Beretta also had their new carbine kit for their .22 on display for people to view and use. The carbine kit’s been out for a couple of months, but it’s the first time they’ve had it at the Shot Show. You can see pictures of it in the Media Day Pictures article.
Galco was represented at the booth as well with several new offerings. First, they had on hand the new Mossy Oak camoflauge DAO and SAO holsters. I guess if you’re going for an absolutely low profile, then maybe I understand that one. But, I guess I’m old school. I still like the looks of plain old brown and black leather holsters. But, I’m sure there are others out there that will snap these up in a heartbeat. One new holster they had on the table that I did like was their new Wheelgunner. It was designed for both IWB and OWB carry. You just flip the outside leather piece to make it work for which every carry option you want. Currently, they are offering it in S&W N Frame sizing, but I’ve already put my request in to have one for the new model Ruger Redhawk as well. We’ll see how long it takes them to get it for me.
One company I wanted to make sure to check out was Aimpoint. I’m looking for some optics for a few rifles that I have including the Sig 556 and the NRA Model Mini 14. The first sight that I played with was their Micro. While it’s not a new sight to the market, it was new to me and I appreciated the chance to use it. I shot with one on an AR-15 and also on a Ruger MKIII. Man, it was silly easy to pick up and hit the targets with that sight. It’s definitely moved to the top of the list of the ones I’m looking at for my own battery. But, their new model is their Hunter red dot sight. The Hunter has a 34mm tube with a nice open field of view. Of course there’s no magnification in play, so it’s designed for the game you’re going to be picking out within about 200 yards or less. Though it’s not 100% final yet, I was told that the Hunter will probably ship with 34mm Leupold Scope rings in the kit. If so, that’s a nice plus since it’s going to be a spendy package anyway. What amazed me is that it only takes a small 2032 battery to power it, and you can leave it on for five years before the battery will fizzle out on you. On top of the sight are green + and – buttons so you can increase/decrease the intensity of the red dot to your liking. While a fairly simply setup, it’s extremely robust and includes the same rugged technology incorporated into their military line of sights. If you’re looking to try something a bit different for your next hunt, you might give their new Hunter line a look.
We’ll post up more info on new products as they come along and as we sift through all the new press information they have on site.