Let's Unpack This Part 2... (2019 Great American Outdoor Show)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by js8588, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. js8588

    js8588 Member

    Mar 15, 2013
    (Part 1 can be found here)

    Thanks for the kind words on Part 1 of this write-up. I'm not a professional by any stretch (though I used to be a paid political blogger), just a civilian 2nd Amendment enthusiast. Now, with that out of the way, let's get on with the rest of my experience at the Great American Outdoor Show...

    I've never purchased an optic. Yep. I'm a hipsterish millennial who has only ever shot with the stone age technology of iron sights. It isn't for lack of interest, I just suffer from an acute case of paralysis by analysis. On paper, Trijicon scopes seem to offer a heck of a feature set for the $, but I've never had a chance to look through one in person (outside of an ACOG on a buddy's rifle). The Trijicon booth offered just such an opportunity. Obviously glass quality is subjective, but the more expensive 1-8 Accupower seemed cloudy compared to some of the cheaper Leupold and Nikon stuff I've look through at other venues. A couple of the Accupoints likewise seemed a bit on the foggy side. One scope I was very impressed with was the 3-9 Accupoint. Even with the smaller 1 inch tube, the glass looked much clearer. Specs on a chart aren't everything...

    Conversely, I didn't expect to much care for the new MRO with a green dot. There are a lot of woods in my part of the commonwealth, and mentally I just kept thinking a green dot would be easy to lose. -insert Trump "wrong" meme here- Darn thing was bright enough to singe the retinas, so much so that my wife said she was convinced it would give her a migraine. She preferred the classic red dot reticle. Good information to have. I was able to compare the older MRO with the newer versions by a bit of happenstance. One of the other vendors (I think it was FN. More on them shortly...) had an old MRO on display with one of their rifles. The old iteration definitely had the infamous blue tinge. I noted none of that on the new models.

    At the FN station, I was a veritable kid in a candy store. I was able to handle the new SCAR 20s. Heavy, but the stock fits me better than the good old boot design on previous models and the trigger is awesome. Yeah, I want one. The FN 509 is just another polymer striker fired handgun that wasn't good enough for Uncle Sam to adopt, right? That's what I thought going into the show. Now I need 2 of them. The Plaza Azteca (Southeastern Pennsylvania denizens will know what I'm talking about) decor grip texture looks weird, but feels just right in hand. It's neither too aggressive (S&W M&P 2.0, I'm looking at you) nor inadequate for overcoming such common adverse conditions as sweaty palms. The balance and pointability of both the Tactical (I'll take one in black, please) and newly released midsize were excellent. The trigger was just "meh" but felt far better than the weirdness I experienced in Beretta's M17 trial offering.

    As I was fondling their Wonder 9s, an FN rep came over and started explaining the multiple red dot mounting plate options. When I finished his sentence with "and has the o-ring tensioning design" he quipped "a well informed consumer...we don't get too many of those at these shows." I teased back "a knowledgeable product Representative...they don't have too many of those at this show." We both chuckled.

    The wife and I stopped by the Geissele booth, mostly just to get a look at their new iron sights. They're light, compact, and offer a great sight picture. Now I need a set for a build I haven't even fully thought through yet. Weird how that works. I prefer LaRue's MBT (or Triggertech when I'm feeling spendy). My wife prefers the carrot-like break on the Geissele offerings. The whole Geissele team was exceptionally friendly.

    Oh, Remington...I keep rooting for someone to Make Big Green Great Again. I've handled a few Marlin lever guns at various shops and shows. They're feeling pretty slick and smooth these days, right up there with Henry. 20190204_172904.jpg

    I first took a look at the green and black 45-70. Yep, smooth as I could ask for. Everything felt solid and well made. Things were looking up! Then, I put it down and noticed something odd on the stainless carbine right underneath it... 20190204_172948.jpg 20190204_172950.jpg

    The rear sight spun freely when touched. Not a great look for a company that has had a high number of complaints about canted sights. Unfortunately no company rep was on station to inform about this particular flaw. Maybe that's how it happened in the first place? Mishandling by a show attendee while the Remington folks were out on a smoke break? No way to know.

    They had some of Remington's 2011s (double stack 1911s) out for inspection. For all the complaints about the company, I hear very few negatives about their 1911-ish offerings. After racking the slide, dry firing the trigger, and being surprised how thin a grip holding 15 rounds of 45 auto can feel, I will be rolling the dice on an R1 tactical...if I can ever find one in stock!

    HiPoint was on hand. I was hoping they had brought along their Tacticool prototype they unveiled at SHOT, but no such luck. I advised their booth attendant to embrace the memes and dub their latest creation "the Problem Solver". He seemed unamused. They did bring along their 10mm carbine. For ~$300, I kind of thought I wanted one. After seeing the finish wear around the charging handle and feeling how gawdawful HiPoint triggers truly are, I think I'll just keep hoping for a 10mm Ruger PC Carbine.

    The final booth of note was Nighthawk Custom. They had just north of a half dozen of their guns unceremoniously placed out for display on a small table. I handled, dry-fired, and put down 3 or 4 of them (while being entirely ignored by their staff). For $3,000+, none of them tripped my trigger. They were nice, but not sufficienty better than a number of guns I've owned or handled at thousand$ less. The balance of their revolvers in particular seemed nose heavy. Maybe for thee, but not for me.

    So ended the firearms related portion of the afternoon at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg's PA Farm Show Complex. My wife and I both greatly enjoyed the outing and we're looking for more such open-to-the-great-unwashed venues to check out in the future. I might just have to start gun-blogging part time...or maybe not. Nothing ruins passion like turning a hobby into a job.
  2. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    The,sort of, Free state
    Good write up. The "spinning" rear sight on that was most likely the set screw on the Skinner sight not being tightened up.
    chicharrones, qwert65 and js8588 like this.
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    Up State New York
    thanks for the write up, the trijicons are nice i don't know why they are not more used, tho the added light is not needed for guy like me in ny, where we can't shoot until sun rise and not after sun set. but state where you can shoot 30 minutes before the scopes would add a big advantage.
    js8588 likes this.
  4. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Communist state of nj
    Love my skinner sights! nice write up:thumbup::thumbup:
  5. Red-5

    Red-5 Member

    Nov 11, 2018
    It does look like the set screw is out a little bit, so my guess, you are correct.
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007

    Good follow-up to Part 1! Like your writing style!
    js8588 likes this.
  7. Gridley

    Gridley Member

    May 24, 2018
    Washington State
    I hear you on the M&P 2.0 - first time I picked one up I thought "did they use 40 grit sandpaper as their model?" Can't say I found the trigger much improved over my "old fashioned" M&P either.
    js8588 likes this.
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