Guns and Gear

SHOT Show Media Day 2024 Range Report

Another SHOT Show is now upon us, and firearms companies of all shapes and sizes are descending on the Sands Expo, I mean Venetian Congress Center to show off this year’s products. As always, certain trends showed up as multiple vendors came out with products that served the same market niche. Let’s take a look at those nices and see how they’re being filled. 

Send In The Clones

The patents on the Glock Gen 3 pistols have expired and as a result, a diverse range of companies are coming out with pistols which use those internals. Stoeger’s STR line is one of the better ones, with upgraded and improved triggers, different models which cover everything from full-sized duty pistols to micro-compact carry guns. Stoeger took this one step further this year and came out with the STR-45, a new full-size gun chambered in .45 ACP. 

Rost Martin is a new company that is also coming out with a new pistol based on Glock Gen3 internals, and their new RM1C pistol has some promising features, such as an optics-ready slide and a proprietary texturing for better grip.

Other companies in this space include “first movers” like Shadow Systems, Palmetto State Armory and Polymer 80, who are all turning out terrific guns by squeezing every last bit of performance out of the existing Glock mechanicals.

Bolt Out Of The Blue

I was first introduced to the sport of precision rifle in 2012. At the time, I was heavily into 3 Gun, and I saw precision rifle as an up and coming shooting sport with a different approach to tactics, equipment and stage design. The appeal of 3 Gun has faded a bit since then, while precision rifle has blossomed into something that has gun manufacturers churning out a new bolt-action rifle almost every week. 3 Gun is still popular, but precision rifle is where all the new product lies.

Established brands like Ruger, Savage and CZ are creating chassis rifles specifically aimed at precision rifle competition, and other manufacturers like Colt, Rock River Arms and Taurus are coming out with new ultra-accurate bolt action rifles for 2024. Due the expense of getting into the sport and the relative lack of 600+ yard ranges, I expected it’s popularity to peak a few years ago, and I was wrong. From looks of things, precision rile is here for the long run. 

Leveraged Buy-in 

I’ve been a fan of lever action rifles since the first time I shot one, an experience which mimics just about everyone else who’s ever shot one. Ruger’s purchase of Marlin seems to have kickstarted interest in this area of the gun world, and now established brands in this marketspace are really upping their game, creating products like the Rossi Triple Dark and forthcoming Henry’s box magazine-fed gun. Add in new guns from relative newcomers to this niche (but certainly not new to guns) like Smith & Wesson and Bond Arms, and it’s pretty clear to see that there’s a lever gun renaissance going on.

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