It's a well known fact that every January, it's SHOT Show time. And usually, M1911.ORG staff attends the largest gun-related show on earth. This year was no exception; actually, after many years, it was the first time that two of our management team traveled to Las Vegas to attend the Show and report back what they found. This year, it was the 40th Anniversary of the SHOT Show, so as it was expected, it was larger and more crowded than ever.

So here goes!

As usual, the day before the SHOT Show NSSF the Show organizers have what used to be called the Media Day at the Range, an event held out for members of the press to see first hand (and try out) what exhibitors are presenting. The event is held at the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club range, in the desert about 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas. This year, the event was renamed to "Industry Day at the Range," I guess because it's the industry that show off their products to us media professionals.

Industry Day at the Range

Here is a small video from the top of the range.

During the Industry Day, we got to try out several 1911 pistols. First stop was at Springfield's shooting range, where we tried out some of their Range Officer Elite pistols, as well as their new 911 pistols. The RO Elite is a whole family of pistols, in various grip and barrel lengths, with fixed or adjustable rear sights and with or without rails. The 911 is a new, little .380 ACP pistol, its design apparently being derived from Colt's Mustang (which, in turn, was derived from an earlier Spanish Star model). Springfield has squared off the profile somewhat, no doubt to hide the similarity to the Colt Mustang, but the resemblance is there. Here are some pictures of those pistols.

Range Officers Elite pistols.

911 Pistol.

Yours truly firing the 911 .380 ACP pistol.

We then moved on to the STI range, where we saw all their new models. Some pictures you can find below.

We then visited the Amrscor/Rock Island range, where we got to try out some of their .22 TCP pistols. Yours truly was quite rusty, after having several years to practice shooting.

An interesting thing we noticed in Rock Island's range, was an AR-15-style shotgun. We'll soon have it for T&E.

At that time, we called it a day and decided to return to our hotel. Being in airplanes and airports for more than 26 hours can create havoc with your system.

SHOT Show 2018

As always, first day is a zoo!


First day of the SHOT Show was Tuesday, January 23rd, and the first booth we stopped at was Remington, to chat with our friend, Travis Tomasie. Below, you can find some pictures of Remington's new models. By far, Remington seems to have the most complete range of 1911 pistols these days.

One important information for those of you who own Para Ordnance double-column 1911s is that Remington double-column magazines are interchangeable with the Para Ordnance ones. That means that if you need some magazines for your P15 etc, you can buy them from Remington. According to Travis Tomasie, the Remington double stack pistols are essentially exactly the same as ParaUSA pistols. The changes Remington made were mostly to the magazines, to increase capacity and to improve function and reliability.

Ed Brown

Next booth we visited, was Ed Brown's. John May, Ed Brown's new Commercial Director, was kind enough to present us all their new models.

Rock River Arms

We then moved on to an old name in the 1911 world, Rock River Arms, who have returned to 1911 production with several models. The most intriguing is their polymer frame 1911, shown below.

This was not the only polymer-frame 1911 we noticed in the SHOT Show, as you will see further down.

Kimber America

We then visited Kimber's booth, where we found their new, Micro 9 pistols, in various configurations. This pistol appears to be a slightly scaled-up variant of Kimber's previous Micro 380 pocket pistol, which is essentially a copy of the Colt Mustang Pocketlite. The Micro 9 is slightly larger and heavier than the Micro 380, and sports a barrel that is 3/8 of an inch longer.

The above is the Micro .380 ACP.

The above pictures show various Micro 9 models.

Christensen Arms

Another manufacturer we visited.

Cabot Guns

Our friends at Cabot surprised us nicely, by offering some very unpretentious pistols this year!

In Cabot's booth, we were also informed about a brand new make that Cabot has acquired, namely Alchemy Custom Weaponry. Their new web site was launched just a few days ago, and can be found at Here are some pictures of their 1911s.

Alchemy Custom Weaponry

Three models are currently offered by this new company.

Devil Dog Arms

Another new manufacturer we visited next. Namely Devil Dog Arms, which had several models to show.

Springfield Armory

In Springfield's booth, the new EMP4 in 9mm and .40S&W was the heart of the show, in bobtail and non-bobtail configurations.

Oriskany Arms Inc.

We found another new 1911 manufacturer, namely Oriskany Arms Inc.. They also had several models to show.

Ithaca Gun Company

Several models offered by Ithaca.

In the same booth, a pistol by Inland Manufacturing, was also shown. We didn't find anyone to comment on the relation of Ithaca and Inland.

Iver Johnson

Our good friends at Iver Johnson had some interesting models to show.

Eagle Imports Inc.

Many models were shown in Eagle Import's booth, from various manufacturers like MAC, American Classic, SPS (a Spanish clone of the STI pistols, well known in Europe), Llama, etc.

American Tactical

Another polymer frame 1911 was shown to us in American Tactical boot. We expect to have a sample for a review, soon.

So the 1911, a century-old design seems to be using modern day techology, in order to reduce its weight??? Interesting, to say the least!


Lyman is not a 1911 manufacturer, but they offer several accessories for our beloved pistol. One of them being their Pachmayr line of grips. New among them this year, was the Carbon Fiber grips.

While at Lyman booth, we also spotted this clever idea for the small frame revolvers.

A set of rubberized small grips, with a button. When pressed a finger extension dropped out from the bottom, allowing you better purchase of the gun. The best of both words, small size grip for concealment, larger one for shooting.

What's Trending

The show, as usual, was huge and we couldn’t hope to see more than a fraction of everything that was on display, but we couldn’t avoid noticing a few things we think are worth mentioning. The trends that were visible in this year's show:

  1. AR-15s were everywhere. There were more AR-15-style rifles that I care to remember. Too many of them, too many variations, and in multiple calibers from 5.56x45 (.223 Remington) to 7.62x39 to .300 Blackout, and several others. The "black rifle" is clearly in general use and extremely popular, regardless of what the anti-gun forces try to claim.
  2. The mania for AR-15s extends to shotguns as well. Several manufacturers showed AR-15-style shotguns. Shotguns configured with protruding pistol grips, like the AR-15 rifle, aren’t new but they appear to be increasing in popularity, with more manufacturers offering such firearms than ever before. The trend hasn’t escaped the notice of Armscor, maker of Rock Island Armory brand 1911s. Armscor showed a series of AR-pattern shotguns in their lineup this year, and we expect to receive a sample for review in our e-zine in the near future. Stay tuned.
  3. Not many 1911 manufacturers have offered fully competition-ready pistols in the past. Sure, you could get one from any number of custom makers, but very few offered complete race guns as off-the-shelf, catalog items. One that did was (and still is) STI but, beyond that, there weren’t a lot more. That seems to be changing. For example, Remington has revived the double stack pistols they discontinued not long after their acquisition of ParaUSA. In their lineup of double stack 1911s they have a couple with magazine chutes big enough to drive a dump truck into, headlined by the 1911 R1 Tomasie Custom model. The Tomasie Custom, of course, is named for Travis Tomasie, Captain of Remington’s competition shooting team and former member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Even Eagle Imports, not previously known as a source for race guns, has entered that side of the market in a big way, displaying not one but two pistols clearly aimed at competition. Several are by Metro Arms, a brand already well-known in the U.S.: the MAC 3011 (intended for practical shooting competition), the MAC Rapido, and the MAC 1911 Bulleye (intended, obviously, for bullseye competition). In fact, the Eagle Imports web site showcases a number of MAC pistols they say are ready for competiton. In addition to the MAC pistols, Eagle Imports this year also showed a series of race guns by Spanish maker SPS, including the race-ready Vista models (offered in both 9mm and .38 Super).
  4. The 10mm is coming back. 2018 may turn out to be the year of the 10mm cartridge, and not just in the 1911 universe. A few years ago the 10mm had largely been written off as a failed experiment, and relegated to niche cartridge status. All of a sudden (at least so it seems) everyone seems to be offering pistols in 10mm. Look through our photo coverage of the show and you’ll see photos of 10mm models from many of the manufacturers we visited. Nobody we spoke with could explain the relatively sudden resurgence of interest in the 10mm cartridge, but the interest is clearly there. Almost every manufacturer had a 10mm pistol to show and there were several carbines in that caliber.
  5. More and more 1911s are chambered in 9mm. With the proliferation of good ammo for personal defense as well as the fact that a lot of IPSC shooters are now preferring the 9mm round, it's only natural that manufacturers will oblige. All STI pistols for example, are now available in 9mm and another caliber (either .45 ACP or .40 S&W).
  6. Several pistols were offered with optical sights mounted behind the ejection port. That must have something to do with a new IPSC category, Production Optics, which starts in 2018.
  7. The 1911 platform is now 107 years young and skeptics continue to declare it “obsolete,” yet more new 1911 manufacturers join the market every year. Walking the aisles of the SHOT Show this year we encountered yet more new manufacturers of 1911s that we had never heard of before. Among them were Devil Dog Arms, Alchemy and Oriskany Arms. More innovations for the old workhorse? At least two companies (Rock River Arms and American Tactical) showed polymer-based frames for the old slabsides!
  8. We don't pretend to know what (if anything) it means, but we found it interesting that old names from the industry are being revived. In previous years, we have seen the names High Standard and Iver Johnson revived by companies making 1911s (among other offerings). The Ithaca brand continued after World War 2 as a maker of high quality shotguns, but they weren't a player in the handgun market. Several years ago Ithaca flirted with a high-end 1911 (which was reviewed in the on-line magazine), and then seemingly dropped the idea. Now Ithaca is back in the 1911 market. Another well-known name that disappeared was the Llama brand. Llama pistols were made in Spain and were famous/infamous for being perhaps 90% compatible with mil-spec 1911s insofar as parts interchange. The company fell on hard times and went bankrupt in 1993. The company was rescued by an employee buyout and restructuring, soldiered on for a few more years, and finally went out of business for good in 2005. Eagle Imports owned the rights to the Llama name in the United States, and Eagle has now teamed up with Metro Arms in the Philippines (makers of the Metro Arms, American Classic, and MAC brands) to revive the Llama brand. Eagle showed several pistols wearing the Llama brand name and named for the old, classic Llama models at the SHOT Show this year.
  9. Another trend we observed was that a number of manufacturers this year were showing 1911 models in the "longslide" configuration. The term "longslide" historically has applied to any 1911 with a slide and barrel longer than the USGI 5-inch size, but in commercial marketing it appears to have become more or less standardized as a 6-inch slide and barrel configuration. Remington displayed a couple of longslide "Hunter" models. Eagle Imports showed the MAC 1911 Bullseye. STI has a 6-inch version of their Eagle model. Rock Island Armory offers the Pro Match Ultra. Dan Wesson brought the Mayhem Elite model, with an innovative, lightened slide carrying a 6-inch bull barrel. Kimber also displayed a 6-inch longslide pistol. Iver Johnson had two models, one with a ported and one with an unported barrel/slide. There are probably others; even after spending three long days on the show floor, we couldn't see everything.
  10. Finally, another trend we noticed in the SHOT Show floor was that of small pistols, chambered for the venerable .380 ACP cartridge. Springfield 911, Armscor Baby Rock (we tested that one in our previous issue, Kimber Micro 380 (which is now produced in 9mm Para, as well), the Llama Micromax reintroduced by Eagle Imports, Colt's Mustang (in PocketLite and Lite versions), Sig Sauer P238 pistol, Browning 1911-380 etc. It is only natural that the production of better self-defense ammo in 9mm and .380 ACP will allow manufacturers to introduce small pistols chambered for these rounds.

This wraps up our coverage if the 2018 SHOT Show.

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