4 products that stood out from the crowd at Shot Show Industry Day at the Range

Checking out Snakestaff Systems' keychain-sized tourniquet, a better than ever Fisher Space Pen, the RIA 5.0 USA-made 9mm and Bryna's shoulder-launched less lethal system


Hello from SHOT Show 2023. Our Range Day was absolutely amazing! While I am sorting through the pages of notes I took on the range, four products stood out. There are plenty more, so enjoy our top picks, and look for more over the next few days of Police1's SHOT Show coverage.

The weather guessers predicted a miserable day, with high winds, bursts of rain and some lightning. What we got was a short window of pleasant weather that allowed us to see some “can’t miss” products. Just as my wife and I were getting into my car this afternoon, the sky opened up with hail, followed by heavy rain.

As a result, we were blessed with a great day, and I get to share my picks with you.

ETQ (Everyday Carry Tourniquet) Tourniquet from Snakestaff Systems

I carry a tourniquet almost everywhere I go. I’m going to ditch my old TQ for the everyday carry tourniquet (ETQ) from Snakestaff Systems, because it is a better product, by far.

The ETQ is a keychain-sized TQ, with a full-sized textured windlass. It occludes using a carabiner-style locking device. It is 65% smaller than a standard-sized TQ, making it small enough for a keychain. It also will close on a 1” limb, making it practical for kids and canines.

I was getting ready to step onto a range to shoot some guns when I saw this product, and I stepped out of line when I saw the ETQ. Get this: When the user applies this TQ in a normal fashion, they naturally break the capsule in the (included) chem light on the side of this TQ.

The ETQ (Everyday Carry Tourniquet) Tourniquet from Snakestaff Systems is a keychain-sized TQ with a full-sized textured windlass and a carabiner closure. The yellow item in the photo is an attached chemlight.
The ETQ (Everyday Carry Tourniquet) Tourniquet from Snakestaff Systems is a keychain-sized TQ with a full-sized textured windlass and a carabiner closure. The yellow item in the photo is an attached chemlight. (Photo/Gene Whisenand)

Folded, the ETQ is smaller than a magazine. Deployed, it will work with the smallest and largest limb sizes an officer will normally encounter in the field. This product belongs in the pocket of every officer on the street because the size and quality build almost guarantee they will have it when it is needed most.

Visit snakestaffsystems.com for more information. 

Fisher Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen is always there on Range Day. They are headquartered in Boulder City, down the street from the range, so getting to this show doesn’t entail a lot of heavy lifting. I stopped to talk to Joshua Skidmore of Fisher Space Pens just to show him my pen. It is 40 years old and has survived 20 years of part-time soldiering, recording the evidence of hundreds of drug arrests, and helped me take notes for several training schools and even a couple of degrees.

When I showed him my pen, he told me that they have a brand new version of it. It had a Tungsten Cerakote finish. It looked better and felt better in the hand. It still writes inverted, and in the rain, of which there was plenty on Range Day. It is, however, a much better pen than my original.

Fisher Space Pens introduced a new Tungsten Cerakote finish, making an almost indestructible pen more indestructible. Lindsey has had a Fasher Space Pen for 40 years. This one will last even longer.
Fisher Space Pens introduced a new Tungsten Cerakote finish, making an almost indestructible pen more indestructible. Lindsey has had a Fasher Space Pen for 40 years. This one will last even longer. (Photo/Karren Bertomen)

Visit Fisher Space Pen in booth 11877 at SHOT Show or click here for more information.

RIA (Rock Island Armory) 5.0

I shot the Rock Island Armory RIA 5.0, a USA-made 9mm, with an unusual non-barrel-tilting action, and it was outstanding.

The RIA 5.0 is another brilliant design by Fred Craig, Armscor/RIA’s innovator, and it answers a lot of “what ifs” in pistol design.

First, it uses a no-tilting barrel design that resembles the action of a blowback-style pistol, in that the barrel is “fixed” to the frame. Most handguns keep the chamber closed by a tilt barrel locking mechanism. I didn’t look under the hood of the 5.0, but my guess is it uses a valve system to close the chamber, where metered gases would control a lock somewhere around the trigger area.

The RIA 5.0 is the newest, and most innovative in the RIA line of handguns. It has a non-tilting locking system, modular, hammer-fired, fire control system and a tuned trigger.
The RIA 5.0 is the newest, and most innovative in the RIA line of handguns. It has a non-tilting locking system, modular, hammer-fired, fire control system and a tuned trigger. (Photo/Gene Whisenand)

The axis of the bore was so close to the web of the hand, and the slide operation was so smooth, that the 5.0 felt like a low-recoil short rifle.

The 5.0 has an alloy chassis, connected to a polymer grip, similar to other designs that favor this trend. This tends to reduce recoil as well because the moment of inertia (look this one up in your physics textbooks!) is controlled in the design where it can do the most good.

The 5.0 had a bladed trigger, which acted as the trigger safety. This design resembled dozens of other duty/carry gun designs, except for one feature: The distance from the meaty part of the trigger to the fulcrum was exaggerated. Because of this, it took little effort to operate, and it added to the smoothness of the feel of the gun. 

There was even a bigger surprise in store for Lindsey. It looks like it was designed around a modular fire control system. I would not be surprised if the 5.0 comes out in several different sizes and configurations in the coming year.

How did it shoot? The RIA 5.0 felt like a competition-ready “race gun” in a package that would be suitable for EDC. It is a product alone in its own category. No kidding. I would have to search far and wide to find a rival.

The RIA 5.0's frame is part alloy and part polymer, which takes advantage of recoil-reducing physics.
The RIA 5.0's frame is part alloy and part polymer, which takes advantage of recoil-reducing physics. (Photo/Gene Whisenand)

Visit RIA in booth 13444 at SHOT Show or click here for more information.  

BYRNA Less Lethal Launchers

I did not have less lethal on my radar today. By the time we got going on the range, there were huge gusts of wind, and I figured that CO2-powered less lethal would be only marginally accurate. I was wrong, and you need to see what Byrna has for us.

I started by shooting Bryna's shoulder-launched system. Apparently, Byrna acquired Tippman, a leader in .68 caliber launchers used by both law enforcement and sports enthusiasts. With this product, I center-punched several targets that are considered outside the range of most other less lethal launchers. Byrna got my attention.

I got to talking to Holly Schirard, an officer for the City of Galveston, Texas who told me the handheld Byrna launcher, the Byrna, is her duty LE tool. There are three configurations.

Holly Schirard is pictured with the Byrna SD, which fires .68 caliber projectiles in kinetic, inert and irritant configurations. The CO2 cartridge is pierced on the first trigger pull, making this an outstanding personal defense and LE tool.
Holly Schirard is pictured with the Byrna SD, which fires .68 caliber projectiles in kinetic, inert and irritant configurations. The CO2 cartridge is pierced on the first trigger pull, making this an outstanding personal defense and LE tool. (Photo/Karren Bertomen)

The Byrna SD is a 7-shot, .68 caliber launcher that can fire kinetic, inert, or irritant projectiles. It uses a detachable magazine. It uses 8-gram CO2 cylinders, which gives it an effective range of 60 feet. The Byrna LE is the law enforcement version, which uses 12-gram cartridges, has accuracy out to 80 feet, and better sights.

I was impressed with the quality of these launchers, as well as the ergonomics. Byrna also has other less lethal tools, including a fin-stabilized, 12 gauge launched projectile.

Bryna had some 12 gauge kinetic less lethal rounds at SHOT, which are fin stabilized.
Bryna had some 12 gauge kinetic less lethal rounds at SHOT, which are fin stabilized. (Photo/Lindsey Bertomen)

Visit byrna.com for more information.

What’s coming next

You better believe I shot a lot of guns, so stand by while fellow Police1 columnist Ron LaPedis and I share our range day experiences with you.

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