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    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.

Saturday, May 17, 2008
 Card-carrying NRA member    [L]

I've been an NRA member for almost a year now, thanks to Taurus' free year deal. However, I actually had to carry my NRA card with me today because I went down to Louisville for the NRA's Annual Meeting. It was pretty nifty getting to see just about everything to do with guns, and being able to ask the company representatives questions about their upcoming products.

My notes:

Ruger: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Kel-Tec should be feeling very flattered by Ruger's LCP. The construction seems a lot nicer and the overall build quality better than the P-3AT, at an equal MSRP. The LCP also has a slide lock of dubious functionality, as it doesn't hold open on an empty mag. Kel-tec may be forced to refresh their P-3AT line to compete with Ruger (much like Springfield had to do with the XD after the S&W M&P).

Springfield: Their main feature this year was the new XD(m) line. Where the original XD borrowed heavily from the Glock design, the XD(m) borrows a bit from the S&W M&P and adds other improvements in. The XD(m) is both performance-enhanced as well as ergonomically-enhanced, kind of aiming at both the run-n-gun as well as the ccw crowd. It is performance-enhanced with a match-grade barrel, lessened trigger-reset, extended magazine release, and higher round capacity (16rds in 40 S&W). It is ergonomically-enhanced with a frame redesign, cut-down slide (very melted/rounded feel), interchangeable backstraps (a la M&P), melonite finish. It doesn't have an ambi-safety like the new XDs have, but i'm guessing they have it in the works. In handling it, my overall impression is that it felt halfway between a Glock and a Walther.

Magpul: Couldn't find them at first, but there was a Magpul rep at the Bushmaster booth. Magpul Masada is now the Bushmaster ACR. Magpul designed it, and they sold the rights to produce them to Bushmaster. Interestingly enough, the rep was actually a Masada designer - unfortunately Magpul was at another gov't/DoD exhibition across town. The ACR is nice in that it doesn't require any tools to field-strip, is very modular and can be easily adopted for multiple roles. Bushmaster is planning for Q1 2009, but the Magpul rep encouraged us to pester them in chances of getting it earlier, perhaps by November. Also unfortunately, the flip-out smg did not make an appearance.

Sig-Sauer: If I can't wait for the ACR, well then the Sig 556 is still nice.

DSArms: When I was first looking at battle rifles, I originally wanted a FAL from DSArms but after seeing them at the exhibition, I found them too heavy for my tastes.

Hornady: They had good reps there who sold me on their Lock-N-Load progressive press. I gotta say that they were very helpful and informative, unlike some of the other exhibitors at the show. I'll probably pick one up, $450 for the press, $50 for a shellplate & dies.

Crimson Trace: I talked with a rep about their new laser grip for the Kahr MK9, and if they had plans for a PM9 laser grip: good news, it's in development and we can expect it in 12-18 months.

Taurus: They introduced a new slimline pistol coming out in November. It's the PT709SS/709B, 8+1 capacity, 3" barrel, 6" OAL, very short SA trigger, manual safety, very slim and all the edges had a melted feel. My only concern is the manual safety and the hair-trigger, but otherwise it looks like it'd be a great gun for the ladies in our lives.

Vortex: if their Strikefire lives up to expectations, it will be awesome. It's 1x magnification (comes with a thread-on 2x lens), both red and green mildot, comes with mounting ring. Should be in stores in a month w/ a street price of ~$120. Much to my dismay, they didn't have a working demo model for me to play with, but i'm already sold on it.

Leupold: Holy crap, their scopes are BRIGHT and CLEAR. When I start looking into rifle scopes, I'll definitely start with them first.

NRA: there's an NRA WINE club?

Notable sightings:
Ted Nugent, Glenn Beck, Oliver North, Wayne LaPierre, Ronnie Barrett, Todd Jarrett, the guy from Midway USA who shows up on American Rifleman, and the host/editor of American Rifleman.


In what ways did Springfield have to change the XD after the M&P? I'd love it if they went full ambidextrous.

By Blogger Keith Walker, at 5/19/2008 12:55:00 AM      

I added my thoughts on Springfield's new XD(m) line.

As far as the XD line, they just added the ambi-safety as an option, ambi-mag-release has been there from the beginning, however they haven't done any ambi-slide-lock yet and I haven't heard of any plans to do so.

They went after the M&P in their new XD(m) line with the interchangeable backstraps. If they added an ambi-safety to their XD(m) line then it would be very much like the M&P.

By Blogger Chu, at 5/19/2008 09:09:00 AM      

Good post!


By Blogger James R. Rummel, at 5/20/2008 03:19:00 AM      

Thanks for adding your comments about the XD.

Hmm... If they are wanting to capture the M&P crowd, why not go full ambi like the M&P does?

As for the new safeties, I think they are worthless. The XD already has two external safeties, plus, If you follow the four rules....

By Blogger Keith Walker, at 5/21/2008 11:36:00 AM      

If the NRA has a wine club, I'm definitely joining.

By Blogger Joseph, at 8/04/2008 01:58:00 PM      

^^^ speak up ^^^