View Full Version : 2012 SHOT Show

16th January 2012, 21:56
It has become a routine now; every January M1911.ORG travels to wherever the SHOT Show is held and reports back to you with all the new pistols which appear in the 1911 world. So again, for 2012, I came to Las Vegas, NV, to see and report for our readers.

The SHOT Show traditionally starts with what is called the "Media Day at the Range." It's a special event (until last year, it was totally independent of the SHOT Show, which is organized by the NSSF) which takes place at a shooting range in the Nevada desert, near Boulder City.

The exhibitors of the Media Day at the Range (MDR for short) rent a part of the shooting range, where they make their products available to the media so that we can try them out. It's the only chance we get to fire the new models until we receive them for reviewing. Here is a picture for you to understand how the MDR is organized.


Everyone of the booths you see on the right side of the picture is rented by a company, which sets up a shooting range, where the various reporters can shoot the new guns presented.

I visited the MDR and here are the 1911s I saw there:

1. Rock Island Armory

Our friends at RIA surprised me nicely last year, with the RIA TCM pistol (Lisa, we still haven't received our review sample). This year, they had an even more interesting pistol.


This, dear readers, is a 1911 pistol chambered for the .22 Magnum cartridge. Don't ask me how RIA made it (to fit the .22 Magnum cartridge in the 1911 frame), they were a bit secretive about their new baby, but they sure made it and the pistol I shot worked like a charm. So it seems that a new caliber will be added to our 1911 world. Do not hold your breath however, because the .22 Magnum pistol is not immediately available, but I was told that it will probably be in the market within the year.

RIA has also created a factory in US, where all their ammo will be manufactured. Good news indeed!

Great work guys and gals!

2. Colt

Colt had two new 1911s on their tables in the MDR. The first one is a new version of the popular Gold Cup National Match.


No, the pistol doesn't have a long barrel in the picture above, it just had a chamber plug in it when I took the picture, and the slide is somewhat back from its in-battery position. I didn't shoot the Gold Cup because it has a standard GI grip safety with a spur hammer, a combination that always draws blood from my hand.

The second pistol was what Colt calls the "Special Combat Officers".


In reality, it is a Special Combat CCO, with a 4.25" barrel and a Commander slide mated to an Officers size frame. I did try this pistol and I loved it so much that the nice Colt folks had a hard time taking it away from me. The frame on the sample I shot was bead-blasted stainless steel, which contrasted beautifully with the blue slide. A lovely pistol, if you ask my personal opinion.

3. Cabot Guns

Our friends from Cabot Guns had three new pistols in their booth. You have already read about their "Lefty" (actually the serial number of the pistol was LEFTY0001) and it is a mirror clone of the standard 1911.



If I am not mistaken, it is the only 1911 in the market right now made specifically for the left-handed shooters.

Other models in Cabot's booth were their new stainless pistols, in both matte and polished stainless steel.





The polished one is a beautiful "barbeque" pistol, I am sure our Texans friends will love it.

Something I tried in Cabot's booth is a test I always wanted to do, since our editor Steve Clark visited their factory and talked about the interchangeability of their parts. Well, I took one 1911 frame and mounted 3-4 different slides on it. Amazingly, each and every slide fit the frame perfectly with the same exact precision.

4. Doublestar

A couple of nice blue pistols from this company.



There were some Turkish 1911 pistols in the MDR, from a company called Girsan. They'll be imported in the US by a company called SAMCO. The one I tried was a very rough sample, with a horrible trigger pull and a weird problem where the pistol couldn't be fired some times. I believe that the disconnector was not resetting properly, but I didn't have the chance to check it out, the person responsible was quick to take it away from me. If SAMCO sends us a review gun, we'll see how it works.

Talking about the SHOT Show, I would like to mention here, an organizational issue that is affecting a lot of the show visitors.

This year NSSF (the show organizer) decided to reduce the bus routes which were serving the show. As a result, those of us staying at the hotels towards the northern side of the Strip (Circus-Circus, Riviera, the Stratosphere, etc.) have no way to go to the show, unless we walk or take a taxi. I do not know where NSSF based their decision to cut those routes, but it definitely was NOT a wise one.

So these are the new 1911s I saw at the MDR. Tomorrow, the SHOT Show starts, and I am sure I'll have many more new pistols for you. Until then, stay tuned!

Discuss this report at: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=98226

17th January 2012, 22:58
Today, yours truly, together with Frank Ettin (Frank in our Forums) went through the SHOT Show floor, looking for new 1911s. Here is what we saw:

1. STI

Several new pistols in STI booth. They are shown below, but basically there were three families of pistols, in 3", 4" and 5", the Tactical, the Lawman and the Spartan.

Lawman 3

Lawman 4

Tactical 3

Tactical 4

Tactical 5

Spartan 3

Spartan 4

Spartan 5

2. Nowlin

It appears that the famous barrel maker, Nowlin, is now going to be offering complete pistols. They had a pair of beautiful 1911s in their booth.


3. Wicked Grips

The two guys that make Wicked Grips (and they are really making some really wicked grips) had their first 1911 shown in their booth. And boy, was it a wicked pistol.


The front strap was machined in a very interesting scheme, all the way to the magazine well.


Wicked to say the least.

4. Iver Johnson

Some interesting, new pistols in Iver Johnson's booth for 2012.

First there were two Officers-size pistols, in stainless steel and blue.



Then they had some very interesting full-size pistols, shown below:



4. Kimber

Kimber had some very nice 1911 models in their booth, including a .380ACP one. OK, that was more like a Colt Mustang pistol, not a real 1911, but anyway, it was very nice.


Then they had some standard 1911s.



This sapphire blue pistol was very beatiful.


And this is a more conventional pistol, with round butt.

5. Nighthawk Custom

Here are the new-for-2012 NHC pistols.

Heinie Signature Series Compact

Heinie Signature Series Recon (available in 9mm and .45 ACP)

Heinie Signature Series Competition Model (again available in 9mm and .45 ACP)

Longslide with Recon Light Rail, available in 10mm and .45 ACP

The T3 Thin

That's it for today folks, more new 1911s tomorrow.

You may discuss our coverage of the 2012 SHOT Show here: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=98226

18th January 2012, 22:15
Today, we continued our visit to the 2012 SHOT Show. Here is what we found for you:

1. Ithaca

Two new models for 2012.


A highly polished one, with jeweled barrel and magazine.


And a flat-black one.

2. Cylinder and Slide

Here is the No 001 pistol, from Bill Laughridge's masterpiece.



3. Remington

One new model from Remington, their stainless steel 1911 R1.


4. Umarex

This is the 4" Tactical version of the Umarex-Regent 1911.

5. Dan Wesson

Two new models from Dan Wesson.

Dan Wesson Eco

Dan Wesson Specialist

6. Colt

In Colt's booth I also spotted their new, stainless steel Delta Elite.


That's it from me for tonight, Frank has some more pictures in his camera, which he will post as soon as he gets the time.

Discuss this report at: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=98226

19th January 2012, 23:48
Today was my last day at the SHOT Show, so I visited the last companies in my list, to see what new they had to offer.

1. American Tactical Imports

Here are the new models from ATI.

ATI Fatboy LW, a high-capacity Officers-size pistol with a lightweight frame

ATI Titan Lightweight, an Officers-size pistol with aluminum frame

ATI Titan Lightweight, in stainless steel finish

ATI GSG-9, a .22LR pistol with a barrel extender (not a silencer)

ATI GI-AP, a polymer frame, single column 1911

ATI FX9, a 9mm Commander!

ATI Thunderbolt in stainless steel

ATI Thunderbolt in blue steel, with ported barrel

Ports shown here

2. Para-USA

Here is Para's new models for 2012.

Para Black Ops

Para Black Ops Limited

Para Stealth

Para Black Ops Hi-capacity

With the above, we conclude our report from the 2012 SHOT Show. Frank will also add some more photos in here, but for the time being, you can see how hard he was working in the Show.


Here he is with Andra Olson, Colt's Cowboy shooter.

Andra participates in some weird (but very demanding) sort of shooting, where the shooter rides a horse in an obstacle course, while at the same time shooting at some targets. Colt had some videos from such shooting events and it was amazing to see the dexterity of those riders and the accuracy of their shooting. Andra was a very friendly gal, always smiling and ready to explain the peculiarities of this shooting discipline to the uninitiated.

And just for those who can not believe how tiresome SHOT Show is, here is a proof.


:p :D :)

Frank Ettin
21st January 2012, 21:45
It's now Saturday, and I've spent the day convalescing from the SHOT Show. I'm starting to feel almost human (you all may keep your comments to yourself), so let me add a few photos to what John has already posted.

1. Wicked Grips

Ed Strange of Wicked Grips was showing some novel 1911 recoil spring plugs.


2. Christensen

This is a company that is new to me. They are making a small line of 1911s using Caspian titanium frames and Caspian slides.



Including a Damascus number


3. Ithaca

Ithaca's interest in the 1911 appears to be renewed. They showed several with the usual semi-custom features and priced in semi-custom territory.



4. Springfield

A couple of Custom Shop numbers



5. Colt

While not a 1911, I thought you'd like to see the resurrected Mustang.


6. Some Custom 1911s

I'm always interested in what the custom 1911 pistolsmiths are doing.

Here's a nice one from Stan Chen.


And one from CT Brian.



And a nice custom Delta Elite by Ned Christensen.



Let there be no mistake. As interesting as the SHOT Show is, it is hard work. It's physically demanding; we walked miles and miles. And we must always be sure to foster good relationships with the manufactures. So I'll close with an illustration of El Commandante's heroic efforts to foster a good relationship between M1911.Org and the folks at Colt.


Discuss this report at: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=98226