I’d seen just about everything on Level 2 yesterday, including the main exhibit hall. Today I dropped down to Level 1 and the secondary exhibit hall.
The lower exhibit hall went substantially quicker than the upper one, largely because there wasn’t as many interesting things to see. This isn’t to say that there weren’t any good manufacturers down here, like Eberlestock, Timney Triggers, and Vortex optics, but they were more like diamonds in the rough. Lots of Chinese companies selling low quality knockoffs.
Vortex had a very nice booth. I spent some time looking at their binoculars, which seem to be good buys for the money. In partuclar, they make a nice set of binos with a mil reticle in them.
A company called Oakwood makes a target stand that has sensors that detect where on the target the bullet passed through and relays that info back to a computer or tablet running their software up to 2000 yards away (line of sight is required). They claim 2 millimeter accuracy on their higher end model. The only limitation is that the bullet still needs to be traveling at supersonic speeds (the sensors pick up the supersonic crack). Looks like an interesting option for calling shots at long range when you want more precision than steel provides.
Several states (South Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming) had booths aimed at attracting firearms manufacturers to relocate there. Wyoming was crowing a bit with a “Wyoming Welcomes Magpul” sign.
At the Timney triggers booth I tried their Tavor trigger today. It’s lighter and much crisper than the Geissele. Based just on the feel I’d definitely go with the Timney. I also tried some of their other triggers. Their AR trigger is single stage and very light, maybe too light. I don’t know if I’d want one in a fighting gun. The Remington 700 trigger is fantastic, and IMO much more appropriate for the role that sort of rifle would be used in.
I’ve noticed that a lot of booths have trucks in them. The truck almost never has anything to do with the product that booth is selling.
Another odd one, a company called FlashFog Security makes a product that dispenses thick smoke/fog that’s supposed to impede burglars.
I checked out the Eberlestock booth, and spent some time looking at their Cherry Bomb and Secret Weapon discreet cary packs. I also got a look at some of their chassis systems for Remington 700 rifles. Most bolt gun chassis systems I’ve handled have been heavy and often unbalanced. The Eberlestock system was not.
Having swept through the entire lower level, I went back to various booths that I wanted a second look at. I spent some time looking at various manufacturer’s optics, but that’s going to be a different post.
I also had a chance to stop and talk with MikeNV of DSM Safety Products, who I’ve known for a while online, but never met in person.
One interesting thing I ran across is an AR magazine loader from Battenfeld technologies. You dump a 50 round box of 223 into the loader, lock a mag into the loader, and load 5 rounds with each push of the plunger (swapping mags when necessary). Pretty neat.