NOVEMBER 1, 2022

Editor’s Notebook: Wholesaler’s Show

Last week, we attended the expo given by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers during which manufacturers attempted to get the attention of distributors in the outdoors industry. While our publisher has ably covered the show here and here, I also acquired a bit of information that should be relevant to our readers.

First, I got to chat with old friend Mike Shovel, National Sales Manager of Cor-Bon Ammunition. Now located in Grafton, OH, the company is making and shipping ammunition. I’m glad to see the company is moving along.

As Jim pointed out in his feature, Mossberg isn’t standing still either. Their Patriot Predator is available chambered for the new 7mm PRC round. The standard long action rifle provides performance in accuracy, velocity and bullet weight, putting it ahead of other 7mm cartridges in the hunting field.

A discussion about pistol optics – the ‘hot ticket’ nowadays – led to a quotable moment from Pete Brownell. When I mentioned the advances in footprint, power supply availability and duration and fitting optics directly to a slide without a mounting plate, he noted the speed of innovation. I remarked that competition was the motive and he replied “competition drives innovation.”

Nothing new in the business world and not always the case – but, at least in this market segment, it surely does.

I chatted with more than one member of industry who indicated that all new pistol lines – and nearly all of the existing lines going forward, will be cut for pistol-mounted optics. I believe that’ll be the near-standard overall for the industry.

GLOCK photo.

Going to the most ‘legacy’ of the service-grade modern striker-fired auto pistols, GLOCK, they’re not moving into PMOs in a small way. It seems like the current generation guns all have “MOS” versions. In fact, they recently announced the “G45 Pistol Optics Packages … available for Agency purchase only.”

If you are an agency purchaser and the outfit has decided to go with a pistol-mounted optic for the troops, GLOCK has the G45 (essentially a G17-frame with a G19 “compact” upper) available from the factory with optics mounted.

According to a flyer from GT Distributors, the G45 MOS “Direct Cut” is available with (1) either Ameriglo Non-Tritium front/rear sights or (2) Ameriglo black outline tritium front with non-tritium rear sights. The optics available is one of the following: Aimpoint ACRO P2, Trijicon SRO or RM06, or the Holosun 508T or 509T. The guns aren’t available so configured for individual officer purchase – only for agencies.

I spoke with the folks at Shadow Systems as I’m working with their Foundation series of pistols. We discussed the guide rod issue (the box says “polymer” and the site says carbon steel – they are carbon steel) and they also explained their optic cut that allows many optics to fit without adapter plates – using spacers. I was particularly interested with how they dealt with the extractor depressor plunger assembly.

Speaking of Shadow Systems, they use sights from Night Fision Precision, not “suppressor height,” but higher than standard. They were showing the new “Ember Fobs,” from Glow Rhino. This is a glowing fob for zipper pulls, etc., and a glass breaker. Think “night sights” when the gun’s in the night stand and it’s “oh-dark-thirty.” The glowing vials display the orientation of the gun. A glowing fob helps you find your keys (or something else) in the dark.

As I mentioned, the sights from Night Fision are featured on the premium Shadow Systems line. There are no glowing front sights on the Foundation series guns – so I may have to source one for the MR- or XR samples.

I stopped by Alien Gear and saw the “Roswell” IWB holster – its simplicity is stunning. Not kydex but an injection molded unit, they offer an optional claw and pad to enhance AIWB wear. A Roswell OWB is also available. For guns wearing pistol-mounted optics, they have the MRDS “hood,” not just a cut-out. This keep debris off of the optic and prevents it from digging into the user’s body.

They also showed the “LVL 2 Slim Holster,” a belt rig with a thumb latch that activates the ejection port lock. The gun locks into the holster as it is seated and requires pressure on the thumb latch to release it.

Security is a good thing.

A company that’s new to me, Nextorch, offers lights and batons, as well as an interesting new duty belt. Some of the batons are configured for plainclothes use and use a mechanical lock; expandable by pulling the striking surface out from the handle as well as by flicking it open like a regular expandable baton, it stays locked – you can use it for jabs, armlocks – unless you press the button on the base of the stick.

Smart move.

There’s more to come as we get to the end of this year and into “show season, 2023.”

-- Rich Grassi