It is the little things that count too (or why you should look beyond the firearms at SHOT Show)
Attendees naturally are drawn to the tens of thousands of firearms on display, but SHOT Show offers so much more
When attendees walk into SHOT Show for the first time, they naturally are drawn to the tens of thousands of firearms. But SHOT Show is more than that. In addition to firearms accessories, there are knives, bows and arrows, survival gear and plenty of products to help keep LEOs safe and healthy.
While there is one firearm covered in this article, you might not be thinking about the other gear covered – which is why I am drawn to it for you.
Aegix swift shield
I covered this shield when it was first introduced. After feedback from early adopters, several changes were made, the biggest was to reduce the number of high-density polyethylene panels from 10 to 4.
The NIJ Level IIIA folding shield comes in 2 sizes (9.2x15 and 11.5x18 inches stowed, 18x27 and 23x34 inches deployed) and the larger shield is available in a more robust Level III configuration, which also will stop AK-47 MSC projectiles.
A center strap was added for use by officers with formal shield training and a fabric overcovering prevents ricochets when the panel is hit.
The shield comes in a one-pull-to-deploy pouch, which can be slung over your shoulder and opened by a partner behind you or can be slid to your front so that you can deploy it yourself.
With the increase in vehicle ambushes, the 8.5 lb Aegix is a valuable addition to a patrol officer’s kit since it can be deployed inside in seconds and pressed to the glass closest to the direction of the projectiles.
Pitbull Tactical Universal Mag Carrier
Many concealed carriers are constantly looking for the perfect holster or spare mag carrier. The two-piece Pitbull Universal Mag Carrier is made in the USA and has spring steel tensioners on the inside and an elastomeric band outside. One piece slides within the other so that the depth is infinitely variable from the size of a single-stack 9mm to a double-stack .45 magazine, or anything in between.
It is available in black, FDE and OS green and can be worn IWB or OWB on a 1.5” belt. While not as low profile as many carriers I have used, the universal fit is a definite plus and at around $20 it won’t break the bank.
Most radio earpieces consist of a tiny speaker clipped to your collar, which drives a hollow tube held into your ear by a universal or custom mold. The problem with this is that the sound is muffled, much like someone talking to you through a garden hose. For those of us with hearing issues, important communications can be lost or need to be repeated.
N•ear takes a different approach, putting a micro speaker directly into your ear canal. The company's first-generation product used a stock hearing aid speaker on a short, stiff wire, spliced to the longer wire. While much better than the speaker-and-tube design, the spliced stiff wire might not have held the speaker in the correct location, either making it uncomfortable or slipping out of place at the most inopportune time.
The updated N•ear 360 uses a custom speaker on a softer wire that can be shaped, allowing better placement – and no more splice. It is available in single- or double-ear versions. Multiple ear tips allow for full, medium, or low ambient sound transmission.
Bollé Shooting Glasses
Founded in 1888 in France, the Bollé family launched the production of sunglasses and optical frames in 1936. Starting in 1960, the Bollé Safety division worked alongside the French Army, Navy and Aerospace to develop safety goggles. At SHOT Show 2022, Jade Struck introduced a set of eponymous shooting glasses.
Part of a complete line of ballistic glasses, the “Sentinel Struck” comes in a protective case with her signature copper-colored blue light filtering lenses with Bollé’s exclusive platinum anti-fog coating and a protective pouch. Bollé also sells multi-lens packages.
The Sentinel line is not designed to fit over prescription glasses, but Bollé has that segment covered with a line of ANSI-rated of RX safety glasses.
Smart Guns from Smartgunz
Smart guns are in the news again, and before you roll your eyes, Smartgunz, LLC has a couple of use cases that might change your mind.
Name two high-risk places where officers carry firearms. Time’s up. The answers are bulk prisoner transport and corrections. In both cases, LEO are close to a bunch of people who want access to their sidearm. If a prisoner were to seize a Smartgunz pistol, they could not fire it as long as the officer retains control of the low-profile RFID unlocking ring. If things really go south, the officer could throw or crush the ring to prevent misuse of their sidearm.
The 1911-design 9mm pistols have a power supply in the magazine, which means that if a battery fails, a mag swap brings the spare into place. Pricing is $2,195 with a $400 LE discount available.
A clean gun is a happy gun
Like reloading, some people cherish the time spent cleaning their firearms. Whether pleasure or chore, your firearm does need to be cleaned and serviced since your life may depend on it. The introduction of the flexible patented Hoppes Boresnake allowed proper cleaning of most firearms from breach to muzzle. Top-tier cleaning products manufacturers followed, and many kits now feature flexible “cleaning rods” which are pulled from the muzzle rather than pushed into the muzzle.
OTIS Technologies was showing off some of its latest products at SHOT Show. I use the Otis FG-1000 Elite Cleaning System, which comes in a zippered case. This made-in-the-USA system has everything a shooter needs to clean firearms from a .22 to 12-gauge shotgun. A round Velcro-attached mini-case (left side) can be popped out and put in your pocket. My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in a tackle box because I think it would take less time to put everything away when I am done. List price is $159.99.
The Otis LE Team Range box does come in a tackle box and contains ten sets of 8” and 30” Memory-Flex cables and the other tools, solvents and oil necessary to properly clean and maintain 5.56 patrol rifles and either 9mm, .40 or .45 with or without 12GA shotgun or 7.62. List price runs from $350-$415 depending on which of the seven versions is chosen.
Police1 still has much more to share from SHOT Show, so check back with us for additional coverage, including an LE-only article on how to choose and train personnel for your SWAT precision sniper position.