The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show has rapidly become one of the most influential national conferences in law enforcement. This year’s event in Las Vegas hosted more than 58,000 attendees, with strong growth once again in the law enforcement segment over the year prior.
The showroom floor at SHOT is something to behold—and it requires several dedicated days to do so. The law enforcement section alone was large enough to easily lose a day in. There were firearm, knife, uniform, thermal imager, night vision, and flashlight manufacturers, among others, available to talk shop.
Despite a lagging economy, manufacturers continue to innovate. Following, in alphabetical order, are 10 of the stand-out products we found at SHOT.
The OTIS17 is a thermal imaging monocular—a very small, lightweight thermal imaging monocular. It fits nicely in the user’s hand, but still provides an impressive array of options and feels solid.
The waterproof unit offers excellent image quality through darkness, fog, smoke and other visual obscurants. It features a 2x lens, a video/computer output, a weapon mount, and hard and soft carrying cases. It can also be mounted on a head assembly for hands-free use. Overall, it’s an impressive unit, especially given its size.
CAA Tactical's Roni
Officer Abner Miranda of the Signal Hill (Tenn.) PD gets credit for bringing this clever converter to our attention. CAA Tactical’s Roni allows users to convert a pistol into an assault rifle in a matter of minutes. It works with Glock 17–22, 31 and 32; several Sig models; and the Springfield XD and H&K USP9. According to Miranda, the unit is stable, features a picatinny rail system, can accommodate a silencer and an optic, and includes a detachable forearm grip.
The Israel-manufactured unit is not expected to be available in the U.S. for several months. Keep your eyes open for it.
EHP's Ranger Jr. Electronic Muffs
Electronic Hearing Protection’s (EHP) Ranger Jr. electronic muffs are for shooters requiring a smaller style muff to provide proper fit and maximum hearing protection for the user. They have two-channel digital circuitry using state-of-the-art technology providing sound quality and speech clarity. Ranger Jr. muffs increase the user’s hearing up to nine times, with 50 dB of power, and have a noise-reduction rating of 24 dB. They feature two volume controls and adjustable frequency tuning controls. Each ear cup offers two-channel digital circuitry computer chips utilizing digital signal processing. All EHP muffs are made with a space-age polymer plastic and have an adjustable headband. EHP will also offer adult Ranger HD model and a full line of junior and adult shooting muffs soon.
The Flir H-Series is a real game-changer for law enforcement. This is due to both the technology itself and its affordability (see December Law Officer, p. 50, for our review). The H-Series allows officers to unambiguously identify people, weapons, warm engines—anything radiating heat—in no-light conditions. Imagine the advantage this provides in a high-stress nighttime pursuit. The unit is rugged and easy to use, and it produces video and still images that will stand up in court.
What Flir unveiled at SHOT this year, the Scout, is marketed directly to hunters and outdoorsmen, but the technology is top-notch and the price is lower than the H-Series, with many of the same capabilities. Overall, the money agencies save with the Scout would probably not justify the features and ruggedness lost over the H-Series, but the Scout line does offer an affordable alternative for the avid outdoorsman or anyone else who wants to see in the dark.
FNH Tiberius F4
This less lethal rifle means business. The Tiberius F4 would be of great help in a prison or other riot situation. The unit is a daunting presence in a crowd. Made of ano-dized aluminum and composite polymer, it’s light enough to carry for a while without getting tired.
The Tiberius F4 features five less lethal options: indelible paint, pava powder, impact, washable paint and inert powder. This allows an officer to mark an offender with paint for later identification, disable a suspect or an area with rounds of pepper or simply to shoot for impact. These projectiles, the FN 303 series, are relatively inexpensive. Powered by a standard 12-gram CO2 cartridge, the Tiberius looks the part and delivers a less lethal round with useful options for a variety of situations.
Fulcrum Target System
It’s a truism that we should train for what we expect to encounter. This is especially important in the realm of firearms training, because when an officer draws their gun, lives are at risk. Thus, the need for realistic firearms training is real.
What does realistic firearms training look like? It doesn’t stand still—not very often anyway—and that’s what’s great about these targets (see Tactical Ops, p. 40). They are ruggedly constructed and powered by Makita power-tool batteries, so if you need a spare, it’s a simple trip to the hardware store. They move on a horizontal and vertical axis—and silently. Operation is inexpensive, requiring only 2-x-2s to prop up paper targets. In all, a nifty answer to a simple but difficult challenge to realistic training.
Fulcrum Target System
Magnum Tactical Gloves
The tactical gloves from Magnum are remarkable. Although many companies claim their products wear like a second skin, these gloves deliver. Extremely impressive is the increased dexterity in the trigger finger—it’s like no skin at all. Featuring ion-mask technology—which is itself nearly miraculous—and seamless design, the gloves wick away moisture immediately while remaining breathable. They feature rubberized guards on the fingers and padded palms to keep you safe and comfortable. They are constructed of 1,000-denier nylon and goat skin, guaranteed not to fade for six months.
The SR9C was a popular item on the showroom floor. Although it’s a couple of years old, the SR9C still stands out from the other compact pistols. It has a solid feel in the hand and offers ambidextrous safety engage/disengagement, as well as magazine release. The site is adjustable, and the SR9C offers 10 rounds, plus 17 rounds on the reload, of 9 mm power.
So much power in such a little pistol is itself a feat, but the soundness of the design and its solid feel are truly remarkable.
Women are on the front lines of law enforcement every day, and yet only recently have women been identified as an important market niche, deserving focused product development. This is a welcome change.
Because women are built differently than men, their ballistic armor must fit differently to be comfortable. Savvy, a division of Safariland, provides a line of comfortable, body armor specifically designed for women. Products feature Gore-Tex liners and anti-microbial technology, and they are available in several fits and models, including concealable, tactical and specialized.
Trikke Patrol Vehicle
There are several patrol scooters on the market, but the Trikke distinguishes itself in a few nifty ways. First, the stance is different. Rather than requiring officers to stand with feet toe to heel, the Trikke allows them to face forward, which seems more natural. It features a suspension system that adapts to the surface travelled. It’s electric—and therefore quiet—and runs up to 28 miles on a single charge. Finally, the unit is foldable so you can keep it in a trunk or in a storage unit conveniently until you need it.
The bottom line: There are several quiet and effective products on the market—including bicycles—for effectively policing events, neighborhoods and campuses. Make sure you include the Trikke in your evaluation of what will work best for your team.
Trikke Patrol Vehicle