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10 Must-Haves from SHOT Show 2019

While RECOIL already named our collective picks for the best products of SHOT Show 2019, my shopping list for the coming year looked a bit different. These 10 products are all ones that I have full intentions to add to my inventory of gun stuff either because it is cool as hell, or fits a need that I have.

This isn't by any means an all-inclusive list, there are products that I missed initially that have come to my attention after the show like the Black Collar Arms Pork Sword Remington 700 Pistol Chassis and the Kel-Tec KS7 that I somehow didn't get a chance to put hands on while on the show floor.

The reality is that while SHOT is going on, there just isn't enough time in the day to visit every booth and sadly some things slip between the cracks. Thankfully, RECOIL had a superb team that covered just about every square inch of the show floor looking for the new and shiny.


See the rest of RECOIL's SHOT coverage


Author Note: The products below are in no particular order, I just want them all.

Geissele Super Duty Rifles

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The elusive Geissele rifle for consumers will be a reality very soon. Since Geissele gave their first rifle away at SHOT Show, the gun buying public (specifically Geissele fans) have been asking for a complete rifle. When I learned that very soon anyone who was willing to fork over the cash was going to be able to buy one– you bet I got excited.

Geissele has built a well-earned reputation for not doing anything halfway. Instead, they pride themselves in overbuilding just about everything they make so that even the most ape-like, crayon eating human isn't going to break it.

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The new Super Duty consumer rifles were on display both at the Geissele booth, but also in the Geissele lane during range day. I was able to spend some quality time with the rifle thanks to my friend Diego, El Jefe Bill, and the rest of the folks at Geissele. My initial impressions were nothing short of stellar after several mags downrange. The quality of the components was just as good as I expected with some fresh takes on normally overlooked parts of the rifle. I was also impressed with the attention to detail apparent in the assembly of the rifle down to the super clean staking on the end plate.

The result of my time with the Super Duty rifles at Range Day? I want one in my safe as soon as they are available to the public. Make sure to check the Geissele website for more information.


Victory First V43 Glock Upper

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With all the fuss over the new Glock 48, Victory First's newly announced V43 Glock uppers sadly didn't get the attention that it deserves. While the Glock 48 might be a fine solution for those content with buying a new pistol, folks like me that have a Glock 43 that they love, might be looking for a long slide upgrade.

With almost an extra inch of barrel length over the standard Glock 43 slide, the V43 will see increased velocities as well as a slightly softer recoil impulse due to the increased slide mass. In addition to the longer barrel, you also get an increased sight radius as well as red dot mounting options right out of the gate. The best part about the new slide? The inclusion of one of Matt Jacques' excellent Victory First barrels.

On top of all of that, the V43 has also had the slide serrations done by none other than Doug Holloway of ATEi. I have long been a fan of Doug's work and make it a point to carry a Dougified gun daily. The fact that I can get the aggressive top serrations on the V43, as well as some pretty rad looking side serrations, is a huge plus in my book.

Victory first has not released pricing yet, but they say that it will be competitively priced. Learn more about the entire Victory First lineup on the Victory First website.


Thunder Beast TBAC Bipod

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As someone who enjoys getting behind a well-built precision rifle, I am all about well-designed bipods. While I enjoy the current crop of bipods, the TBAC Bipod has some cool features like easily swappable feet and a build quality that feels dang near bomb proof that take things to the next level.

SHOT Show wasn't the first time I had talked with Thunder Beast about their bipod. I was lucky enough to talk with Ray, from Thunder Beast, at length about a year ago after shooting off a prototype unit that impressed me enough that I kept close tabs on the project. The result is a pretty cool bipod that I want on my rifle.

The TBAC Bipod carries a hefty MSRP of $395 but appears to be well worth it. Find more information on the Thunder Beast website.


Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame

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With all of the great pistols that I get the chance to shoot, it takes something that stands out from the crowd to get me really excited. I know that sounds a bit jaded, but if you pay attention to social media comments from gun owners it isn't hard to see that isn't an abnormal outlook. It seems that everyone is clamoring for a new product that some talking head on YouTube can be called “innovative” or different.

Walther gave us that this year with the Q5 Match Steel Frame, or at least I think so.

Since I have been focusing on shooting tiny groups at 25-yards in as little time as possible for the last several months, the Q5 Match Steel Frame appears to have the makings of an outstanding pistol for range use. Is it something that I would conceal carry? No, but it is something that I would absolutely enjoy spending some quality time on the range with.

If you are interested in the latest Walther pistol, MSRP says that it is going to set you back $1,650. You can find more information about the Q5 Match Steel Frame on the Walther website.


MantisX3

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Since my first exposure to the MantisX, I have been using it religiously in my dry fire practice. The feedback from the Mantis program offers invaluable insight into what the pistol is doing just prior to the sear breaking. I firmly believe the MantisX has played a huge role in my development as a handgun shooter, but there are some things about the original that I was never in love with.

The new MantisX3 that's slated to be released later this year is on my list because it addresses one of my largest complaints, the screw mounting system. I really like the inclusion of the lever and plunger attachment that totally removes the need for screws or tools when mounting the unit.

Additionally, the MantisX3 is about 60% smaller than the original allowing it to be used with a greater variety of pistols. Mantis Tech says that the new sensor should fit roughly 98% of Picatinny rails on the market without the need for tools.

The new MantisX3 will carry an MSRP of $179.99 and is expected to ship before the end of Q1 this year. Learn more about the Mantis Tech lineup on their website.


Surefire Stiletto Pro

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Ideally, carrying a great flashlight can be a huge benefit with everyday tasks but often the larger diameter lights that run on CR123A batteries are a bit bulky to stuff in a pocket of my everyday clothing.

That was until the introduction of the Surefire Stiletto with its slim design filled with Surefire goodness. The new Pro model expands the line with a new aluminum body version that boasts a max output of 1,000 lumens, a reversible pocket clip, and a higher output LED. Another killer feature of the Surefire Pro is the USB rechargeable battery making the Stiletto Pro even more viable as an EDC light. There are few things as annoying as feeding a high output light with expensive batteries.

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After hearing close friends rave about the original Stiletto and putting hands on the new Pro model, there is a pretty good chance that Surefire is going to get some of my money when the new light is released.

Currently, there is no MSRP for the Surefire Siletto Pro, but I am sure that it will be in line with the rest of their light lineup. Keep a close eye on the Surefire website for further details.


Surefire XR1 Weapon Light

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Yet another Surefire product that caught my attention was their new compact weapon light, the Surefire XR1. I have been a huge fan of compact lights for concealed carry since the introduction of the first Surefire XC1 back in 2015.

Unfortunately, the early compact lights suffered from a low output and reduced throw, making their usefulness over a handheld light questionable. Surefire took everything that end users were saying about the original XC1 as well as other options on the market and also launched an upgraded XC-1B in late 2017 that addressed some of the downsides of the original with improved switches and slightly higher 300-lumen output. It wasn't until the launch of the Streamlight TLR-7 at SHOT Show 2019 that a light was on the market that was close to what we have come to expect from a pistol light. Even then the TLR-7 had some downsides.

With the announcement of the rechargeable XR1 pistol light, there is no question that my current crop of TLR-7 lights will be replaced with XR1 lights. While this means I will be buying some new holsters from Henry Holster and PHLster, I feel that the upgrade to a 600-lumen light is well worth the expenditure. As mentioned previously, there are few things that annoy me more than feeding a power hungry light with expensive batteries making the XR1's magnetic charging port even more attractive.

The Surefire XR1 uses a dual MaxVision LED assembly that throws those 600-lumens to a distance of 80 meters (that is roughly 260 feet or 87 yards in freedom units) with a runtime of slightly less than an hour. The best part is that the light will be compatible with just about every rail on the market and the light shares the same footprint as the XC2 light ensuring that holsters should be available right around the time XR1 lights are shipping to retailers.

The XR1 should be available for purchase sometime around early summer 2019. Unfortunately, there is no pricing information available at this time. Make sure to check Surefire's website for more information as it is available.


Aimpoint ACRO

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The Aimpoint ACRO has been hotly debated by gun nerds on the internet since its announcement. Many of the comments have revolved around the perceived size of the optic, many commenting that when compared to the Trijicon RMR the ACRO is too big. While in reality, the ACRO is ever so slightly larger than the RMR when rough measurements are used for comparison there are some benefits that haven't been realized by some.

Photo courtesy of Victory First

Photo courtesy of Victory First

The largest benefit that hasn't been realized is the ability to mount the ACRO lower than the Trijicon RMR due to the type of mount used. The low mounting height should help new dot shooters transition from irons since the center of the housing is right about where you would be looking for standard irons. Another upside to sinking the dot into the slide like this is that you can use standard height iron sights as seen above with the Victory First ACRO ready slide.

So what other benefits does the ACRO offer? How about a fully enclosed design that should be ideal for action shooting competitors and MIL or LEOs using a red dot for duty? While the open-backed design of the RMR and other similar styles of RDS sights are great for concealed carry, there is the possibility for debris to obstruct the window. Not the case with the ACRO, giving it a slight advantage when concealment isn't a concern.

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Personally, I wasn't sold on the ACRO until I shot a Glock 17 with the new red dot mounted to the slide during Industry Day at the Range. The optical clarity that Aimpoint has become known for made the ACRO very pleasant to shoot when paired with a 3.5 MOA dot. Tracking the dot under recoil, as well as acquiring the dot during the presentation of the gun, was also improved by the tube style design that Aimpoint does so well.

The Aimpoint ACRO is going to set me back $660 if I pay MSRP when it is released for sale, but I speculate street price will likely be around $500. While that may seem steep, consider the adjustable LED Trijicon RMRs carry an MSRP of $700 even though they can be found for well under that. Check the Aimpoint website for more information.


Brownells Match Precision 5-25 x 56mm Scope

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Since getting into precision rifle shooting a few years ago, my interest in great optics has increased dramatically. With Brownells introducing their own line of first focal plane scopes with their own reticle, it should be expected that the new line caught my attention. It wasn't until I was told that the scope will be priced at under $1,000 MSRP that it made my list of must-haves for the coming year.

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Brownells designed their own reticle for the Match Precision Optic line they have dubbed the N-OMR reticle that photos just don't do justice. The idea behind the new reticle is to provide all the information that a shooter might want without obscuring the target. They accomplished this by using two thin lines to make up the crosshair portion of the reticle. They did this so that you can clearly make out the lines when dialed back to minimum magnification while retaining the ability to see the target clearly when zoomed in to maximum magnification. As a fan of the “Christmas tree” style reticles, I was really impressed with what Brownells came up with.

Other features of the scope like the zero stop and quality of glass also had a large part in landing it on my list of wants. Brownells did mention that the scopes they displayed during Range Day were pre-production units that still had a couple of small changes coming such as firming up the dial clicks. Even with the weak adjustment clicks, I really dug the direction they are going with the Match Precision Optic.

As mentioned previously, MSRP is just under $1,000 by a dollar. If you want to get on the list for one of the Brownells Match Precision Optic 5-25 x 56mm scopes, head over to the product page on Brownell's website.


Brownells BRN-180 Upper Receiver

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The star of the show for me was the interesting BRN-180 upper receiver. The modern take on the AR-180 melds the operating system of the AR-180 with the ability to mate it to an AR-15 lower receiver. Why would they do such a thing? The biggest reason is because it's freakin' cool. Brownells also had been flooded with requests to offer new production AR-180 rifles but found it to be cost prohibitive for the average consumer.

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In order to get the operating system to work in the length allowed by the AR-15 lower they needed to shorten the carrier a touch. Brownells also ensured that the dual recoil spring similar to the AR-180 style, that means that the upper functions with a stock folded, unlike the AR-15.

While I can't come up with a great reason for wanting the BRN-180 beyond the cool factor, one of these super cool uppers will likely make its way into my safe sometime in 2019.

Pre-orders are open now with an MSRP of $799 on the Brownells website.


Honorable Mention: Unknown FN 509 Variant

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When the original FN 509 was released, I was impressed with the 509 design right out of the box. Mid-2018 FN doubled down with the introduction of the FN 509 Tactical, a pistol that has quickly become a favorite of mine when hitting the range. Then at the start of 2019 just prior to SHOT, FN announced the excellent FN 509 Midsize. The only reason that the unknown FN pistol didn't make my list of wants is that it isn't a thing yet.

FN 509 Tactical - RECOIL

While I have quite enjoyed the Tactical, the midsize frame with the 509 Tactical slide has quickly become my preferred configuration. The Franken509 has been the pistol I generally gravitate towards when choosing what pistol to conceal for the day when paired with the new Henry Holsters AIWB holster for the FN 509 / Streamlight TLR-7 combo.

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Could the @fn_america 509 Midsize replace the Glock 19 that I have carried for years? There is a damn good chance it will with performance like this! 100/100 B8 🔫 • Component list: @henryholsters 509 / TLR7 holster @discreetcarryconcepts Mod 4 clips @fn_america 509 Midsize frame @fn_america 509 Tactical slide @fn_america 509 Midsize barrel @apextactical Flatty Trigger @streamlightinc TLR7 @trijicon RMR RM06 Type 2 @federalpremium 124-Grain +P HST #fnapexd #henryholsters #aiwb #apendixcarry #appendixcarry #glock #glock19 #fn509 #fn509midsize #fn509tactical #9mm #igmilitia #edc #carrygun #discreetcarryconceptsgearclips #modwing #federalhst #b8life #amigetting #murderyaschuck #dowork #rmr #rmrallthethings #reddotsight #gunporn #thismightbetoomanyhashtags #ohwell #stillawesome #perfectscore

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So why did I get so excited about the back of the 2019 FN catalog? Because it was hiding a sneak peek at the next pistol in the 509 ecosystem. Even though I don't know for sure what the new pistol is going to look like, I suspect that we will see a 10 to 12 round capacity subcompact sized pistol that will likely be dubbed the “509 Compact” when announced. I also suspect that an optics ready 509 Midsize will be launched around the same time given FN's recent release history.

When is FN going to tell us about the new gun and how much it is going to cost me? No idea, but if I were to wager a guess, it might be around the NRA Annual Meetings or sometime this summer.

Check out the rest of the FN 509 lineup on the FN America website.


With a passion for pistols, precision rifles, and quality gear, Patrick Roberts focuses on cutting through marketing fluff to provide information that an enthusiast can rely on. In the quest for more knowledge, Roberts spends most of his time on the range improving his skill with a firearm with drills and classes in an effort to suck less. Roberts also runs FirearmRack.com with the same passion for quality information that is the centerpiece of all content he creates. You can also find him on Instagram at @thepatrickroberts or the YouTube channel Firearm Rack.

With a passion for pistols, precision rifles, and quality gear, Patrick Roberts focuses on cutting through marketing fluff to provide information that an enthusiast can rely on. In the quest for more knowledge, Roberts spends most of his time on the range improving his skill with a firearm with drills and classes in an effort to suck less. Roberts also runs FirearmRack.com with the same passion for quality information that is the centerpiece of all content he creates. You can also find him on Instagram at @thepatrickroberts or the YouTube channel Firearm Rack.


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