For many visitors, the Industry Day at the Range is what makes the SHOT Show what it is. There is hardly any other trade fair where you get the opportunity to actually try out many new products on the shooting range. Let alone spend a day letting off steam at real "long range" distances or clay pigeon shooting to get a real feel for the new products. So it's no wonder that once again this year crowds of trade visitors gathered in the Nevada desert at the crack of dawn. Despite the bad weather.
Nevada in January is sometimes just no fun weather-wise. Especially as it feels like the wind is always blowing hard in your face at the shooting range in Boulder City. But this time, the weather really didn't mean well for the participants and contributors at the Industry Day at the Range. Not only were the temperatures in the low single digits, but the rain started to fall steadily towards midday. But if, like our team, you are prepared for all eventualities, even something like that can't stop you from shooting your way through the entire arsenal of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns on display.
Let's move on to the highlights of the Industry Day at the Range 2024...
Beretta 30X Tomcat, the kitties are roaring
The venerable Tomcat series – featuring a tip-up barrel that eliminates the necessity to rack the slide to chamber the first round – has always been popular, especially in the U.S., for ultra-concealed carry and as back-up guns. In a wise move, Beretta has revamped the venerable Tomcat, introducing the new 30X series of semi-auto, hammer-fired pocket pistols chambered in .32 ACP (aka 7.65mm Browning).
The tip-up barrel system is now called the “Effortless Loading System” (ELS), and the new 30X Tomcats also feature interchangeable sights, increased capacity (8+1 rounds, 10+1 with extended magazine), a skeletonized Trident trigger and hammer for a 35% lighter pull, and repositioned controls for optimal accessibility: in particular, the magazine release is now near the bottom rear of the trigger guard and the gun uses a "latch" instead of lever to open the hinged barrel.
The 30X Tomcat is available in two versions for now, named “Just in Case” and “Get Home Bag” respectively. The “Just in Case”, the most compact model, has an overall length of just 5 inches, or 127 mm and sports the new proprietary “Helica” textured grips for added comfort.
The two-tone “Get Home Bag” model adds a threaded barrel and comes factory with post and notch blacked-out suppressor height sights. Both models have a price tag starting at $599.99 and will be offered only on the U.S. market.
New from Carl Walther at the SHOT Show 2024 Industry Day at the Range: Walther PDP Direct Optic Cut and PDP Steel Frame
For our editorial colleague Marijan Loch, as a die-hard handgun shooter, pistols are always particularly popular and, in addition to the Walther PDP with Direct Optic Cut, the Shadow Systems DR920 pistols were definitely among his personal highlights. Here is his first personal assessment:
"It would certainly be premature to choose a personal trade fair highlight on the first day. Especially as some well-known manufacturers were unfortunately not represented at the Industry Day at the Range. Springfield Armory was missing, for example, and I would have liked to get an impression of their new Echelon pistol model. Nevertheless, there were some interesting new products to see, touch and, above all, shoot. For me, these include the new Direct Optic Cut variants of the Walther PDP for the Aimpoint Acro. The optics interface is milled directly into the slide, which not only means fewer sources of error, but also a lower sight line. And speaking of Walther... it was also a welcome opportunity to test shoot the new Walther PDP Steel Frame in the medium-length 4.5" slide/barrel configuration, having already gained some experience with the 5" and 4" versions. Another highlight of the Industry Day at the Range for me was the particularly neat-looking GLOCK clones from Shadow Systems. With their various slide cuts, the spiral-fluted barrels, the double undercut trigger guard and aluminium trigger guard, they are not only pleasing to the eye, but were also very comfortable to shoot."
Franco Palamaro's favourite at the Industry Day at the Range 2024: the CZ 600 MDT in 6.5 Creedmoor for PRS disciplines
Franco Palamaro, who is particularly enthusiastic about long range shooting and PRS (Precision Rifle Shooting), was very taken with the brand new CZ 600 MDT in 6.5 mm Creedmoor and used it to make the steel targets at the CZ stand ring. Franco summarises his impressions for us as follows:
"I would have loved to shoot it at longer distances. Especially with the first-class MDT chassis and in this caliber, the bolt-action rifle is perfect for PRS competitions. The possibilities on this unfortunately only 50 m short shooting range do not do the rifle justice. You really ought to shoot it at 300, 500 or even 1,000 metres," was Franco's conclusion, who nevertheless insisted on taking shot after shot with the CZ 600 MDT. And if the range is just too short, you just use small stones as targets. So far, 200 guns of this type have been manufactured: 100 for the American market and 100 for the European market. But according to CZ, the production number will be increased as soon as possible.
The CZ Shadow Compact 2, which could also be shot at the Czech manufacturer's joint long and handgun stand at the Industry Day, is not entirely new, but is worth a mention. The compact pistol, based on the well-known Shadow 2, was primarily designed for use as a defence gun and for concealed carry. The CZ Shadow 2 Compact has the most important competition-proven features of its big sister, such as an optics-ready slide, flat aluminium grip panels, a skeletonised hammer and an enlarged magazine release.
Industry Day at the Range of the SHOT Show 2024 – Tanja Loch's highlight: the Savage 110 Ultralite Elite
And for our colleague Tanja Loch, the Savage 110 Ultralite Elite was clearly the highlight of this year's Industry Day at the Range. Here is her statement:
"The carbon fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrel from Proof Research and the MDT HNT26 carbon fiber folding stock make the Savage 110 Ultralite Elite a real visual highlight. And despite the extremely low weight of just 2.63 kg (without scope), the rifle in .308 Winchester caliber was very easy to control when shooting."
In addition to the new 110 Ultralite, the Savage Arms stand also featured the Savage 110 Klym. Like the Ultralite, the Klym model has a carbon fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrel from Proof Research and also a carbon fiber stock from FBT. And the participants at the Industry Day at the Range 2024 were also able to take a closer look at the new Savage Accucan silencer.
You must not miss this: curious and unusual things at the Industry Day at the Range 2024
Vegas wouldn't be Vegas, or rather a gun trade fair in the USA wouldn't be a gun trade fair in the USA ... if every year there weren't new guns or trigger systems that seem rather strange to European eyes, with which you can shoot as fast as with a fully automatic weapon without it actually being one. The first category includes the short-barrelled VRPF14 pump-action shotgun from Rock Island Armory. Promoted as the gun of choice for self-defence at home, this shotgun only has a rudimentary pistol grip and can therefore only be fired freehand. A rather difficult undertaking in 12-gauge, the shotgun is fed from a 5-round box magazine. And the second category undoubtedly includes the BFSIII AR-C1 Binary Trigger from Franklin Armory, in which the first shot is fired when the trigger is pulled back and a second shot breaks directly on release. This allows cadences to be achieved that come close to those of fully automatic weapons.
Not new, but certainly spectacular, are the various opportunities to shoot fully automatic weapons. We were able to shoot variously configured AR15s in .223 Remington, 9 mm Luger or .40 S&W at several stands. As such weapons will never be freely accessible to civilians in many places, we were all the more excited to be able to shoot one or two magazines there. You can see what fun we and others had trying out the weapons and other impressions of the Industry Day at the Range held in the run-up to the SHOT Show 2024 in our photo gallery below.
New products from GLOCK at the Industry Day at the Range 2024
An old acquaintance in a revised version was on show at GLOCK, or rather to be shot. This is because the GLOCK G19X is now available with an SD barrel and matching open sights. The G19X is a crossover pistol developed from the G19 MHS model, which was presented at the U.S. Army's Modular Handgun System tender and combines the full-size frame of the G17 with the compact slide of the G19. The Austrian manufacturer also brought along the new GLOCK models G49 Gen5 MOS in 9 mm Luger, G29 Gen5 in 10 mm Auto and G30 Gen5 in .45 Auto, which we already presented here on all4shooters.com for 2024.
Laugo Arms has the Alien Creator Limited Optics destined for USPSA at the Industry Day at the Range 2024
A pistol out of this world was on show at Laugo Arms: the Alien Creator Limited Optics . This is a new model of the exclusive Alien pistol, specially created for the USPSA (United States Practical Shooting) Limited Optics Division, with a large XL magwell, adjustable thumb rest, modified slide and 22-round magazines.
Despite the bitterly cold temperatures and the continuous rain that started at midday, the day at this marvellous outdoor shooting range unfortunately came to an end far too quickly. But on the other hand, the show is only just beginning and we can hardly wait to see what new and interesting products await us in the coming days. With this in mind ... SHOT Show 2024 here we come!