Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

SHOT Show 2018 Day 2

Well, yesterday we put over 9 miles on our shoes at the SHOT Show, and today just a little less than that – because we had a couple of meetings and a press conference to go to. But it's so much fun seeing all the great products that we really don't mind all the walking. Of course, SHOT Show has tons of guns, and that means that there are also tons of accessories designed to help you shoot better.

Up on the third floor of SHOT is an area called NEXT, where the companies who didn't make it into the actual show get to set up a small booth and just let people see what they do and get to know them. One of the cool things up there is called Simple Sights. Simple Sights helps you shoot a pistol better because instead of having to line up the top of the front sight and the top of the back sights, then center the front sight in the opening, all you do with a Simple sight is complete a couple of circles. You look down the gun, and when you see two complete circles side by side, you're all lined up and ready to pull the trigger. The inventor put a laser on a dummy pistol and handed it to me to try. I deliberately aimed at a small fire sprinkler a ways down the hall. I completed the circle, then pulled the trigger to activate the laser – and I was dead on! They are made by Mansfield Munitions and they're just starting out, but hopefully we'll be able to give you a website soon.

Another great set of sights we saw was by Night Fision. Their tritium night sights are the brightest in the world. In fact, they told us theirs are 30% brighter than the competition. You may wonder why on earth you would even want night sights, but if you've ever been to an indoor range, you know how dim it can be in there, plus tritium sights are easier to see even in daylight. So yes, if you want to shoot better and faster, put some night sights on your gun. I priced them out on the website for a set for my Glock 19, and it came to $108. Find them at nightfision.com. They really are pretty awesome.

Another thing we found in the NEXT section is a safety product for AR's called the Gun Guardian TS-1. It's a hand grip with a sliding shell on the outside. Flip it up, slide the cover back, and it covers the trigger and locks the safety in place. Slide it back out, flip it down, and it's a hand grip again. This thing was getting a lot of attention. The company also makes trigger shields for pistols. Go to gunguardian.us to see their products.

A lot of people prefer to carry less lethal means of self defense, and SHOT Show has plenty of those. A company called Guard Dog has a variety of products. New for this year is AccuFire, a pepper spray with a laser that shows you right where the spray will go. Their InstaFire hand sleeve keeps your pepper spray ready to hand at all times – great for joggers or for walking to your car in a dark parking garage. They also have the Harm and Hammer model which combines pepper spray with glass breaker so you can escape your car if it goes into the water. For college kids or travelers, there's the Dorm and Away set that combines a 128 dB door stop alarm and a hard case pepper spray. Their prices are extremely reasonable – almost everything is $12 to $25, and you can get them at various retailers or online at guarddog-security.com. (that's guarddog-security.com)

Victorinox, the Swiss Army Knife people, have lots of amazing stuff in their booth this year. Of course they have the full range of MacGyver Swiss Army Knives, but they also have a lot of incredibly good kitchen knives that all come with a lifetime warranty. They're very reasonably priced too, especially for such quality. An 8-inch chef knife is around $44. They have recently acquired Epicurean cutting boards, and they are the best cutting boards I've seen. The company was actually started by some guys who built skate parks and had a lot of material left over that they hated to see wasted so they started making cutting boards out of it. The boards are a lot cleaner to use than wood or plastic, because they have no memory so they don't get those skinny little scratches in them where bacteria like to hide. They come in a huge variety of shapes (like animals and states) and sizes, and they are heat resistant to 350 degrees and dishwasher safe. They even have tailgate models and one designed to fit over a bucket so you can clean fish and sweep the waste through a hole into the bucket. You're going to love these. Also new is a slick new black blade color for their Swiss Army knives. Go to victorinox.com to see all of their great products. You may be very surprised at the variety of products they have.

Sometimes the simplest and smallest things make a big difference, and that's the case with Bino Bandits. This is a simple shade that you slip onto your binoculars or spotting scope, and then flip it toward you once you've got the optics to your eyes. Once it's flipped toward you it blocks out your vision from the sides, as well as eliminating any glare or distraction from your peripheral vision. We tried them out and they really did make a big difference. For avid Coues hunters like us, these are a must-have item. The good news? They're only $20. You can get them at alpineproducts.com.

We've been going to SHOT Show for almost 30 years now, and it has changed immensely. One good thing is that there are now so many young people there. Another huge change is the incredible growth of the tactical market. I remember when we first started going, the tactical stuff was a smallish area in the back of the convention center. Now tactical weapons, clothing, and accessories are everywhere. One thing that hasn't changed is the people – everyone we meet at SHOT Show is fun to talk to, happy to help, and passionate about their business. We can't wait to share more of their stuff with you tomorrow.


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