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Report from the SHOT show

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I have posted pics from the SHOT show on my website, at http://groups.msn.com/westtexasordnance
Click on SHOT show 2004 and they will be there.

There were lots of cool new items out, and I'm sure I didn't see them all, but here is a rundown of what I found:

For the M14: Both Troy industries and Sage industries were there, showing of their battle ready upgrades for the classic battle rifle. One of the most awesome things there was a weaver mounted M203 grenade launcher, attached to the SOPMOD M14. Knight's Armament was also there with a Rail interface system for the M14, which was mounted on a live Winchester M14 for the display. Another RIS was there for the M14, basically the same as Knight's, but with a full rail over the receiver. This one was called the striker-14, and the cost for it will be about $375. Springfield Armory had their new SOCOM 16 M1A on display, which is a very nice design.
One of the best things about going was getting a chance to visit with Bob Rizzi, from LRB Arms. I had assembled an M14 on an LRB receiver earlier and had some problems with it going together, and since then had not been very enthusiatic about building another one. However, after talking with Bob and seeing a batch of their new receivers, my uneasiness about them has been put to rest. Mr. Rizzi is a super nice guy, and knows his stuff. The new receivers with the stamped ID markings are sharp, and after looking them over I think they would be a very good platform to build a rifle on. Also, I got to see their prototype receiver, which should be in production by the end of this year. It has two 1913 std. scope mount pads, one in place of the stripper clip guide slot, and one up front. This will be one of the most solid mounting platforms ever, as the scope mounts are forged as an integral part of the receiver, and then machined to their final dimensions.
I went ahead and gave LRB a copy of my FFL, so that if anyone wants to have me build a rifle on an LRB receiver, I can order the receiver direct from them and save time.
Another new product was tritium night sights for the M14, by XS sight systems. I will be carrying these soon, as they are just the ticket for a scout rifle, and I believe I will use them on my M14 Urban Battle Rifle.
Something else worth mentioning was an M21 built by Tactical Rifles Inc. in .300 WSM. I tried to ask some technical questions about it, but the owners would not answer me, for the reason that it is a government contracted rifle. The one thing they did was that there were two of them in use in Iraq.

For the M16: the M4 carbine and rail interface system ruled the day. Most of it was all the same, although were some innovations. HK has started to make M16's now, with a piston driven gas system and heavier bolt. They claim that it will fire 20,000rds without malfunction, cleaning, or parts replacement. I think that is a little optimistic for any M16, but the piston system will help keep the fouling out.
Bushmaster unveiled their .308 competitor to the AR10, which take unmodified FAL mags and has ambidextrous mag release and bolt stop. It is a fine looking weapon, and if the AW ban sunsets, I will have one.
DSA is also making AR15's, and although I didn't see much in the way of innovations, it did look like a high quality rifle. If it anything like their FAL's, it should be great.

For the FAL: I didn't see a whole lot of FAL mfg. there, but DSA was there and I got a few pictures of their stuff. Their T48 replica is just amazing.

Pistols: I am a hardcore 1911 fan, so I honestly didn't pay attention to any other kind(sorry for my bias). On this note, their were three pistols that were noteworthy in my opinion. First was the Colt WW1 repro model, a beatiful handgun and a dead ringer for the original. Second was the High standard 1911 "Double action". It is not really a double action, but rather has a mechanism which allows it to be carried cocked and locked with the hammer down instead of up. When the safety is taken of, the hammer returns to up automatically, and is ready to fire. The trigger is light and crisp; I guessed it at around 3.5-4.5 lbs. Last but certainly not least was The Sigarms GSR. Sigarms is finally making a 1911, and it is outstanding. Has a flash light rail on the frame, and it is built from the ground up as a combat/defense pistol. According to the sales reps, they were getting accuracy of 2.5" at 50 yards(better than I can shoot!). Price is going to be somewhere around $1000, in the same range as Kimbers and Wilson Combat.

There were also lots of space guns, including FN's P90 and F2000 IWS(I'll post pics of them soon), as well as HK's UMP and XM8.