The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

[SHOT 2017] VLTOR Puts the AR in Art

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

VLTOR has been a significant name in the black rifle world for a long time. They’ve built a reputation for reliability and durability, evidenced by their frequent use by law enforcement and government agencies. But for 2017 they’ve decided to take a sharp turn away from their duty gun roots. Thus they've spent the last several months building unique relationships with guncraft artisans around the country.

Many of these relationships are functional in nature. From the hundreds of firms making quality AR accessories, VLTOR has culled a small handful to work with. These include VZ Grips, TangoDown, Ballistic Advantage, Vortex, Riton and PSE Archery. Some of those partnerships are visible in these pictures. Others will be unveiled through future work with VLTOR.

They’ve also formed partnerships with custom coating and machining shops. These companies have taken VLTOR’s duty carbines and elevated them to works of functioning art. We’re going to look at several of these guns up close in all their glory.

SHOT Show 2017: VLTOR Puts the AR in Art

First up is the Lacey Lady rifle. This rifle was coated in-house at VLTOR and is a bold good-faith gesture that illustrates the direction they intend to start moving. It is, as the name implies, a lace-based pattern contrasted against a khaki-colored barrel and accessories. It’s elegant and perhaps vaguely feminine without being “girly”.


The second rifle we look at is their Thin Blue Line rifle, coated by Savage Cerakote. The entire rifle is finished in a subdued black-and-silver camouflage with a dramatic blue stripe that begins at the rubber butt pad on the stock and runs the entire length of the rifle’s 12 o’clock rail. It’s clean, low-key with a stark contrast stripe intended as a tribute to the law enforcement community VLTOR has served for decades.


Finally, there is the Apocalypse Rifle, done by Dark Alliance. This rifle goes way beyond a paint job, and includes extensive machining to the receiver, handguard and even the scope. We notice something different every time we look at it and, honestly, it may be one of the most intense themed rifles we’ve ever seen. The Apocalypse tells a narrative that is broken and incomplete – a single chapter torn from the middle of some yet-unwritten horror novel. But the inscriptions, which range in appearance from hand carved to artisan crafted, paint a disturbing picture of a world gone mad. Sitting alone with this gun, taking in every detail as we got our photos, was a little disturbing in itself.


These were three of perhaps 8 or 10 similarly detailed project guns on display at the VLTOR booth. They belie an edgy, aggressive new direction for the company and we can’t wait to see their future projects.

Watch this page for more of those.




This has been a special SHOT Show installment of Industry News. It is not a review nor an endorsement.

What is the NSSF SHOT Show?

The NSSF SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show) and Conference is an annual event held by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Typically attended by thousands of people from all 50 states and over a hundred countries, it is (quite rightfully) described as the “…world's premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services.

Imagine the Worlds' Fair, but packed with everything from mini-guns and every breed of body armor, bows and boots; from eye pro and ear pro to optics and ordnance, socks to swords…you get the idea. If you'd like to see a sampling of the companies who will be showing at this year's SHOT, there's a live map right here, though it doesn't reflect the organizations set up elsewhere, in hotel suites, etc

View imagery from our coverage of last year's SHOT Show here; 2015's is right here.

SHOT 2017 Schedule

January 15 — Special invite-only events; Veterans Training Fund/Wishes for Warriors at The Ranch, SIG Sauer Range Day, and others
January 16 — Media on the Range, Boulder City Rifle & Pistol Club
January 17 — 20, 2016

Sands Expo and Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tuesday, January 17 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 18 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 19 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, January 20 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free