I spent a few hours in the exhibit hall, as I always do. As I always am, I was impressed by the selection of items. Most of which are firearms related in some fashion. Even the Kubota display, which was mostly what I’d call farm equipment (small farm), had some ATVs that presumably could be used for hunting or firing range maintenance. Yamaha had generators and ATVs.
There were also a few people selling jewelry. I can’t help but think that even the women, and there are many, who are here aren’t all that interested in jewelry. It’s likely the husbands like me whose wives let them come down here without any complaints or demands. Mrs. EMS Artifact has her gun license, but not all that much interest in shooting. She does have interest in jewelry though, and Mother’s Day is coming up. Pretty smart of those sellers.
As in the past, I’m astonished by the number of 1911 and AR pattern firearms that are offered for sale. As well as the number of accessories and upgrades for those who already own them. Both are well established and respected platforms and I admit to being an oddity among gun owners by not wanting to own a 1911 pattern pistol. I’ve shot a few different ones and they shoot well. One custom built 3.5 inch version was very accurate and had a trigger pull so light that I’d swear if you looked at it, it would fire. Still, it’s just not for me.
I have two AR 15s, one of which I built from scratch just to see if I could. I’ve never fired it as I haven’t taken the time to bring it to gunsmith to have the headspacing checked. I expect to sell it once that has been done.
I also chuckle at the number of parts, including frames and slides, available for Glocks. Why chuckle? Because their marketing motto is “Perfection.”
There are some firearms that I have some interest in, and will likely buy at some point. One is the Springfield Armory XD-E. Built for Springfield in Croatia, it’s a Tradition Double Action (TDA), also known as a Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA) pistol. In that mode, the first shot is usually Double action with a long trigger pull, and the follow up shots are single action, with a much shorter trigger pull. Smith & Wesson made semi autos using this pattern from the late 1950s until just a few years ago.
I held an XD-E at the Springfield display, two of them in fact. One was in .45ACP and the other in 9mm. It’s hard to evaluate the feel of a gun when it doesn’t have ammunition in it. The balance and weight are not like it would be under normal carry conditions. Plus, these are display models and have been worked hard, apparently without any cleaning and lubrication.
Taking all of that into consideration, I observed what published reviews have noted. The double action pull is lonnnnng. I’m used to a longer pull since I do a lot of shooting with my S&W semi autos. Still, the XD-E is even longer. Also, the “Grip Zone” which is Springfields term for the stippled areas on the grip, isn’t really as grippy as one would think.
All of that aside, I’ll probably pick one up. I think that there are some newer shooters who will like the DA/SA action, but won’t be interested in buying older guns that while reliable, might be hard do have repaired if anything breaks.
The other firearm I looked at was the IWI Tavor X95. An Israeli designed bullpup style rifle, it uses readily available AR15 magazines for the 5.56 model. They also just introduced one in 7.62 NATO, and have a shotgun, and 9mm version as well. Not cheap, but well made. It’s on the list for a potential future purchase.
Continuing on, there were knife makers, and while I consider any knife as a purely utilitarian tool. Others consider them works of art, and I appreciate that. Then there were a number of different holster and ammunition manufacturers.
Just about anything that a gun owner could want, and some things that they probably don’t, are on display there. I never even got to the row of hunting lodge outfits, but there are more than a few.
I’ll make another round or two tomorrow and try to get some pictures.