The 2018 NRA-AM was full of guns, innovation and freedom loving patriots all surrounding themselves in a show of strength. There was so much to see and so many vendors on display that we couldn’t possibly show you everything there was to see. But Guns.com did take the show floor to take a look at some of the products we’re most excited about in 2018. Below is the list of booths that we stopped at and why we think they’re so great.
We decided to stop by Battle Arms Development to check out the much talked about “Paratrooper” SBR which they had on display. This rifle has a 7.5 inch barrel and sports an overall length of just 20.1 inches. This rifle is chambered in .300 BLK and is meant to serve as an homage to those who served in WWII sporting the same finish matching that of the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903A3, etc. Finally they finish it off the Grade A French Walnut handguard and pistol grip, which sets that gun apart from everything else out there and makes more of a work of art. But make no mistake, they intended for this rifle to work and to work well, the trigger break and reset is about as crisp and clean as you’re going to find on the market. Match all that with the enhanced pin set, bolt catcher, and ambidextrous safety, charging handle, and mag release, and this rifle is ready to do work while looking good too. They do have the same model of rifle available in pistol form if you want to go that route as well.
The guys from Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC) and Unity Tactical teamed up to bring you the new TAPS. This stands for Tactical Augmented Pressure Switch, and it’s designed to be a complete one point command and control system for all weapon-mounted electronics. This switch allows the user to mount lights and lasers where they see fit on their rifle but be able to access and operate those multiple units from a single point of reference. The switch can mount to M1913 Picatinny, KEYMOD, and M-LOK rail systems with little effort, and as a bonus you don’t need any third party rail adapters. This switch has a hardened case and can be submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Chase is a huge fan of Streamlight and has run the lights on his guns for years. This year Streamlight has introduced the new TLR-7 and TLR-8. These lights can fit securly on without the need for tools or putting your finger in front of the muzzle. Both models feature the super bright 500 lumen light, which can be programmed to strobe, while the gives an upgrade with the addition of a red laser as well. They both come with a CR123A battery which powers the light and can give the end user a total run time, with just the light, of 1.5 hours. Finally they both sport a low-profile ambidextrous on/off switch which gives the greatest flexibility to power on the light in a time of need.
We stopped by the Beretta booth and we were fortunate enough to be run through Beretta’s new line of pistols, the Centurion and Compact, by none other than John “Chappy” Chapman himself. At Beretta released the full size APX and here at NRAAM they were not going to sit quietly on the sidelines. Beretta released both the Centurion and Compact version of the APX family. What’s really cool about this platform is that the whole family uses a single trigger chassis, which is the serialized part on the gun. This means that you can have a single chassis and be able to fit it to a full size, mid-size (Centurion model), or Compact size gun. The Centurion model is their mid-size introduction which is meant to function as either a duty gun or a concealed carry gun while the Compact is meant to function solely as a CCW gun. Centurion and the Compact both sport the same length of slide so you’ll have the same sight radius on each gun. As Chappy told us Beretta is quickly approaching M4 territory where you can you can just buy a trigger chassis and then build the gun you want around it. The full size model packs 17 rounds while the Centurion and Compact hold 15 and 13 rounds respectively.
Lastly we stopped by the High Threat Concealment (HTC) booth to see what new holsters and mounting solutions could be found at this year’s show. The big release for HTC this year was their APS, or Adapt-a-Platform-Series, which allows you to mount a holster in a variety of locations and be versatile with the attachment hardware you use. You can use mounting hardware from Safariland, G-Code, and Blackhawk! to work with this series. Next HTC showed us their tried and true Spektre series of holsters, which includes their appendix carry wing which really pushes the gun back against the body for a deeper concealment of the pistol. The also showed us their Cobra tactical belt, which has a sticky inside, allowing the user pull the needed items off the belt without worry of the belt slipping free. This belt was also outfitted with a Vantage holster, a quick release med kit, and an M4 Mag Stacker which allows you to keep both pistol and rifle mags in a very compact space.