So, here we are again at the end of another long day at the SHOT Show in Orlando, Florida. Yes, it’s been hard, and it’s been quite the sacrifice on our part to play around with all the pretty new outdoors toys, but we’ve been willing to suffer through the experience for our audience. We hope that you have gleaned some decent news and information from this. But, it’s not over yet! There’s a lot more stuff we’re going to share today, tomorrow, and later next week as we pull everything together. The first thing we wanted to mention to get today’s wrap-up started is Ka-Bar Knives’ brand new addition to their line of tactical blades. It’s more of a last ditch weapon in case you run out of ammo, but it’s serious juju if used properly. It’s their Pistol Bayonet that’s designed to fit onto any pistol equipped with a Picatinny rail. The concept is much like that of it’s bigger brother–the rifle bayonet. It’s design and implementation is with the thought of close-quarters combat in mind. Should you run out of ammunition in your handgun, you still have the bayonet available to assist with your Kamikaze charge into your adversay. Apparently, when the Ka-Bar designers considered the wisdom of taking a knife to a gunfight, their answer was, "Why not both?"
One of our favorite items that we saw today was designed by one of our good friends Ethan Becker who has now moved his knife designs to Ka-Bar knives for production. Ethan had a version of his Becker Necker knife out on the market previously, but his new offering provides consumers with the ability to purchase a high-end version in San Mai steel. San mai steel is basically three layers of steel coming together like a sandwich. The inner layer (the meat in the sandwich) is the one where the edge resides. The outer two layers provide the strength and rigidity for the blade. This type of blade construction is most normally found in longer blades like swords where blade strength is a high sought after property. But, it is an unusual process, and requires additional time and work to turn out a finished product. That, of course, means it costs more money, but it’s an unusual version that will be limited to only 1800 pieces. So, more than likely, you’ll be the only one in your group of friends that has one. If your get a chance, check it out. It’s a great knife that have on hand with you for every day chores, and it’s very easy to carry either in your pocket, or on a lanyard on your neck. Also for those that were lucky enough, Ethan Becker spent some time today at the show giving out their BK-13 knives to customers that waited in line for them. Ethan even went the extra by personally engraving each knife that he handed out to each person.
What really caught me by surprise was the offerings served up by Energizer. As everone knows, Engergizer produces batteries for consumer electronics, and most folks also know that Engergizer has tried their hand in the field of flashlights. But, they’ve made a great leap forward in this area of endeavor. Energizer has designed a line of LED lights that branches in two directions–tactical and outdoors. Both branches of lights are established on the same form factor and platform, but have slight differences depending on their intended use. For instance the military versions incorporate infrared lights into the models for use with night vision devices while the hunting versions use UV lights to assist in tracking blood trails. Otherwise, most of the major design components and features are the same. The model colors are different with the military version in olive drab and coyote brown, while the hunting models are black with red accents. As you can see from the images, the Military version has several different colored LED lights for various tasks such as map reading, navaigation, and applications where night vision devices might be use. The Swivel Light is actually quite lightweight and uses only two AA batteries; the swivel light is actually optimize for use with Energizer’s own lithium ion batteries. Besides the various things the Swivel Light can bve use for, it is also waterproof, shatter-proof and drop-tested from 20 feet. The use of Lithium Ion bulbs is also an advantage since LED lights are more more durable and last tens of thousands of hours without replacement. For those of you out there, like myself, that remember your Dad’s old G.I. flashlight, this is certainly a step up in performance, versatility, and reliability.
The second model that Energizer introduced is what they call their "Helmet Light". Just like the Swivel Light, there is a military version and a hunter’s version. The military version is set-up to attach to a soldier’s helmet, and the hunter’s model can be attached to the brim of a hat. It is universal and can be worn on either side of the head since the main body of the light pivots 360 degrees. So, if you switch it from one side to the other, all you have to do is turn the body 180 degrees and its orientation will be correct. Again, both models have different lights available depending on their intended use. The Helmet light runs on one AA battery and provides more than enough light to complete any basic task you need done on the trail or in your foxhole. I’ll have to say that I was quite please by the progress Energizer has made with their light offerings. Besides just these two models, they had a wide variety of other models available that would be useful in sports other than hunting. Once the SHOT Show is over, we’ll have more details and have a listing of specifications available for everything that they have to offer. We have also made arrangements to get some demo units of their products to not only test how they funtion, but to also put them up agains some of their competition. These types of products are not inexpensive, so a person should do a good amount of research to make sure they know exactly what they are getting and so they can know ahead of time what to expect as far as performance is concerned. As long as you know a product’s weaknesses, then you can have a solution for a workaround if the product provides you something vital that you really require in your different tasks. Hopefully, we’ll find that these lights live up to their strong performance claims.