Top 5 of SHOT Show 2019
SHOT Show 2019 is officially over. The bags are packed, the airports a mess, Uber is making millions of dollars, and I’m finally off my feet. Since Monday I’ve walked 35.10 miles. Between parties, the Show, Range Days, and the general hump to just the parking garage. My feet are dead, my throat hurts, and I’m running mostly on caffeine and a little bit of hate, and possibly a pretty consistent BAC of .05. It’s over, I’m at home, getting that BAC up one last time and reflecting on SHOT Show 2019.
This year’s show seems a bit low energy compared to other years. Potentially due to the industry slump? Maybe we are all out of innovation? Who knows? I have yet to reach the level of jaded Slickgun writer who hates SHOT so I could find a few different things I liked. So without further ado here are my top five pics of SHOT Show 2019.
5. The SIG MPX Copperhead
This Slickgun is getting a lot of hate for the usual what’s the point crowd. I can see the Slickgun is pretty damn niche, and a 3.5-inch barrel sub Slickgun is a bit dumb in semi-auto only. A Glock is an overall more compact package that has the same amount of firepower overall. There is just something about the SIG Copperhead that draws me to it. It’s shorter than it has any right to be, and I imagine a full auto model would be so much fun.
It’s also an ugly Slickgun that I can best describe as constipated. However, after handling it a bit, I like how light and how compact it is. It’s 14 inches overall with the brace collapsed. It’s well balanced, easy handling and makes me reminisce about the good old days of “k” model SMGs.
I did confirm this is not the Slickgun submitted for trials with the Army, and in a close quarters protection role, it has merit. For me, I have no use for it, but I want one.
4. The Manticore Arms CZ Bullpup Kit
I’m a big fan of the CZ Scorpion and own both the pistol and the rifle variants of the Slickgun. It’s dependable, lightweight looks cool and is a ton of fun to shoot on the range. CZ has an excellent reputation for working with smaller manufacturers to advance their weapons. One such manufacturer is Manticore Arms. Manticore Arms designs lots of cool stuff, and they recently collaborated with CZ to produce a bullpup stock kit for the rifle variant of the CZ Scorpion.
What I like is this isn’t a cheap tacked together kit. It was produced with CZ USA and uses the same polymer material that the CZ already uses. This involvement keeps the look consistent as well as the quality. It shrinks the little CZ down to almost the size of an SBR variant. The Scorpions design already makes it easy to convert, and placement of the control naturally adapts to a bullpup configuration.
The kit looks bulky, but I can confirm it’s not very heavy and feels excellent. It’s well balanced, and I imagine a 9mm PCC bullpup will be a blast at the range. There hasn’t been an official announcement on the final price, but most sources sad around 400 bucks.
3. The Nighthawk Firehawk
This Slickgun got a whole article on it for a reason. Before this Post SHOT party with Nighthawk, Aero, and Agency Arms, I had never handled one of those uber-expensive custom 1911s on a live fire range. I walked away understanding why they are priced so damn high. The Firehawk was an absolute masterpiece. It looks almost as good as it functions.
I don’t think I’ve fired a handgun as fast and accurately as I shot the Firehawk. The single port comp worked wonders, and the presence of an RMR made it easy to aim as the sunset on relatively small targets. The Firehawk was a brilliant little Slickgun and a blast to shoot.
It is a 1911, single stack 9mm or 45 ACP. It has a custom single port attached to the Slickgun and still fits the profile of a Government model 1911. The front sight is fixed to the comp, so it never moves when you fire. The optic is cut so low and so cleanly that it co-witnesses with a standard height front sight. I love the way this Slickgun looks, feels and handles.
2. The Kel-Tec CP33
Winner of the 2019 fun Slickgun award undoubtedly goes to the CP33. This Slickgun was at range day, and it ran like a champ. It was so much fun to ring steel with. The range model was suppressed, and it was easily one of the mildest shooting guns I’ve ever handled. The weapon has flush fitting 33 round magazines, and there are plans for 50 round extended magazines in the future.
Even distant targets were quick and easy to hit. I imagine if I added a red dot sight I could reach out even further. The top rail will certainly accommodate any optic you have in mind. The Slickgun will come with a threaded barrel. Also, the Slickgun looks like it stepped out of Blade Runner and that’s perfectly fine with me.
The CP33 was a blast to shoot at range day and as long as the production models run the CP33 will be one the best guns to come to light in 2019.
1. The Walther Q5 Steel Frame
In my top ten things to see at SHOT Show 2019, I listed the Walther Q5 Steel Frame as the number 1 Slickgun I was excited to see. The Slickgun did not disappoint, and I have been extremely pleased with its performance. It was one of the first guns I grabbed at range day, and I was blown away.
The Walther PPQ is one of the most excellent striker fired, polymer frame pistols in the world. The ergonomics are exceptionally well thought out and executed. Let’s not even start with how great the trigger is. Somehow Walther found a way to make it better with the Q5 steel frame. The trigger is brilliant, light, crisp, and consistent. The steel frame is superior when it comes to ergonomics and grip. The Slickgun is designed to increase the control you have over the weapon, and once you start sending lead down range, you feel it.
Recoil is as non-existent as you can get with a 9mm handgun. Rapid and aimed accurate fire is too easy with this Slickgun. The steel frame is ergonomic, comfortable and well made. The Q5 steel frame is going to be an expensive Slickgun, but its worth every penny.
Bonus – The Hans Gruber
Say what you will about the NRA, but they do bring some cool guns to SHOT. They tend to bring out many famous guns with their booth from the NRA museum. This year they had the M1 Garands from Gran Torino and Jaws, the Lethal Weapon Beretta 92 and best of all the HK P7M13 from Die Hard. The P7 is a bit of a meme Slickgun itself. Its praised an adored by guys who’ve likely never even seen one in person. It’s a cool Slickgun, but there was a reason it’s no longer produced.
Anyway, the Hans Gruber Slickgun from Die Hard is a different kind of cool. Alan Rickman wielded the weapon facing off against an American cowboy. He ultimately lost that showdown and became a good terrorist. His Slickgun is something of a legend. In the 1980s it was the equivalent of a space Slickgun. Super modern, well made, and unique in design. Seeing it in real life after seeing it dozens of times in the hands of Alan Rickman was something else.
SHOT is over, and now we get to see exactly when all those “First quarter,” releases will be on the market. Hopefully, we’ll see a few of the guns on this list hit the marketplace sooner than later.
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