TriggrCon 2017 is a relatively new trade show held in Tacoma, Washington. John Hwang of Defense Marketing Group has assembled some of the best firearms and accessory manufacturers that the Northwest United States has to offer, as well as others from across the country. The show kicked off on Thursday with a industry only range day at a secluded location away from any possible protests (this is western Washington). Friday the show opened at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center for industry members only. Saturday and Sunday are open to the public. While many in the general public take offense to the “industry only” days, it offers a great opportunity for networking and allows media better access to bring coverage to shooters who are not able to physically attend the show.
While walking the isles I heard many exhibitors and attendees comment on how the show has grown from last year. Judging by the turnout this year, I expect that this show will continue to grow and possibly help fill the gap between each SHOT Show (typically held in January). There was a great assortment of innovation with a handful of the odd thrown in. There were even some glimpses of products that won’t be released publicly until the SHOT Show in January. Below is just a handful of the products we encountered.
The “Folding Glock”
I will kick off our coverage with one of the strangest things that we saw at the show. Full Conceal was demonstrating a prototype that they are calling the M3. The M3 is a Glock 19 that has had the grip and trigger guard cut off and a hinge/triggerguard system installed.
The design of the M3 shows some thought and an interesting approach to solving the problems around making a Glock 19 fold in half. Novelty aside, where the concept meets a roadblock is when you attempt to find a use case for it. Try as I might, I could not really see where this concept would be preferable to a standard compact pistol.
Readers may remember years back when Magpul showed their folding flashlight/glock stock prototype. While that product never came to market, it at least let you hide your weapon in plain sight. The M3 still looks like a firearm when folded.
Full Conceal stated that their goal with the M3 is to be able to deploy it as fast as you can draw a conventional handgun. I would consider that a very lofty goal. The design does not allow for the M3 to be carried in the open, so it will still need to be removed from a pouch/holster or container. Then it will need to be unfolded, locked, magazine inserted and round chambered before it is ready for use. I believe even a novice armed citizen would be able to draw a handgun from under a cover garment in less time than the M3 will require.
The M3 on display was very obviously a prototype, so I cannot comment on durability or longevity of the system. I dislike dismissing innovation based on preconceived notions, so I will hold my final opinion on the concept until I have seen and worked with the finished product.
The “Ghost Glock”
Now we switch gears to a Glock that isn’t a Glock. In fact, it isn’t a “firearm” at all. Polymer 80 was showing their PF940v2 “80 percent” pistol frame. The PF940v2 is a G17 sized version of their PF940c. The PF940v2 is a great option for shooters who want to build a full sized “custom” Glock Pattern pistol. At this time the PF940v2 is compatible with Generation 3 Glock parts. Polymer 80 was also displaying their own branded slide. Often, building your own “custom” from these components will result in a more expensive finished pistol, but you will have a package with unique features. The added advantage of the Polymer 80 frames are that they do not require shipping to a FFL. You can have the Polymer 80 shipped to your door and finish it out with a drill press (or Dremel, in a pinch). The PF940v2 will be available in the fall.
Killer Innovations/Velocity Arms
Killer Innovations was on hand with their “Orias” Chassis for the Remington 700 and clones. The Orias has been out for some time now and is coming due for a revision. We covered the Orias when it was originally released at the SHOT Show several years ago in the Mega Arms booth. The Orias uses a Patented recoil lug bedding system that pivots to account for misalignment in the recoil lug and the front of the receiver. This should be of primary interest to shooters with factory Remington 700 rifles that may not have a “trued” front receiver face.
Continuing the Glock pattern, Killer Innovations was displaying a Glock compatible barrel. We have seen several companies offering replacement barrels for the Glock pattern of pistols. Many are made by the same company and just rebranded. The Velocity Arms barrel is constructed in-house with one single machine. The entire barrel is machined without ever being touched by human hands. The details in the barrel make this an absolutely stunning piece. The rifling will allow you to shoot standard lead ammunition in your Glock and the barrel will be offered with a threaded muzzle for those who want to attach compensators or suppressors.
MantisX Firearms Training System
Before we ventured west to TriggerCon, MantisX contacted us to review their Firearms Training System. The MantisX is a very interesting system that uses an accelerometer unit attached to the accessory rail on your firearm. The accelerometer communicates with an app on your smartphone or tablet. The system combines to track the motion of the firearm before, during and after your trigger press. It is capable of dry fire and live fire tracking. Mantis stated that they are constantly updating their free app with training programs and features. I am extremely excited to see how useful this will be for precision rifle use as well as pistol and carbine.
Holosun 507 Pistol Red Dot
Holosun had their current lineup on display in their booth. The star of the show is their new 507 pistol red dot sight. The optic is sized to fit RMR cutouts and pulls power from the battery or solar cell mounted to the hood. The 507 also features a selectable reticle. You can run a standard dot, circle dot or just the circle. Expect to see them in the wild soon.
Battle Arms Development 308 Receiver Set
Battle Arms Development had a .308 AR on display. We had a chance to put rounds downrange with it Thursday. The receivers and handguard resemble their AR15 versions. B.A.D. told us that there will be some “tweaks” to the design before it is ready for market.
S3F Solutions had several of their Glock compatible barrels on display. S3F makes their barrels in-house. They also had their “Carry Comp” collaboration with Mayhem Syndicate on display. This is an awesome little compensator that was designed specifically for concealment.
Inforce makes several top-quality illumination tools here in the US. Recently we reviewed their APLc Glock weapon light. This light was specifically designed to fit the Glock rail and was intended to compliment the Glock 19. As soon as the APLc was released, customers were screaming for a Picatinny Rail compatible version. Inforce listened and we got to fondle one at the show. Soon you will be able to install a Inforce APLc on whatever flavor of handgun rail you desire.
Aero Precision is a long-time manufacturer of AR15 components. You would be amazed to hear how many other brands Aero manufactures components for. Aero Precision also manufactures their own line of AR15 receivers and components. Previous Aero hand guards were a fairly large diameter. They were great for “tucking” a silencer, but some shooters prefer a smaller diameter. Soon Aero Precision will be releasing a seriously slimmed down, minimalist hand guard.
The ATLAS (Aero Tension Lock Attachment System) hand guard will be available in a variety of lengths and uses a very novel system and a proprietary barrel nut to attach to a standard style AR15 upper receiver.
Aero has also taken the leap into the Glock game. In a collaboration with Grey Ghost, Aero Precision is producing slides (stripped or complete) for Glock compatible pistols. These are some really slick looking slides and may be the perfect companion for a Polymer 80 or Lone Wolf frame.
Initially I almost walked right by the Trifecta Tactical booth. Their banner claimed “The Worlds Most Advanced Weaponlight”. This was a claim that I had to see. As a longtime user of Surefire and Streamlight as well as a satisfied Inforce customer, I just had to see what warranted the claim of “most advanced.” Trifecta was happy to give us a demo that satisfied my curiosity.
The Trifecta Tactical weapon light uses an accelerometer to activate the light. This is the same gizmo that is in your smartphone to detect orientation and motion. The Trifecta Tactical weapon light senses when you bring the weapon on target and activates the light. When you lower your weapon the light switches off. If you elevate the muzzle above the sight line (magazine change or malfunction clearing) the light switches off. This makes using a weapon light an automatic proposition. If you want to override the program, there is a switch on the tailcap that will allow for activation or deactivation. This allows for sighting down stairs or up to rooftops, etc.
Many professional shooters want full control of their weapon light. I know I do. However I also have many years of training with weapon lights. This product is aimed straight at the home defender who wants/needs a weapon light for target ID, but is not going to take the time to do low-light training.
I spent a few minutes handling the Trifecta Tactical weaponlight and I was impressed. It seems to deliver on its claims. I am really looking forward to trying one out in the real world.
While walking the show floor, people kept approaching me with tales of a lightweight 308 AR. When I managed to work my way over to 2A Armament, I was not disappointed. 2A had several rifles and receivers on display. Their XLR-18 .308 weights in at 6.75 lbs. They also had their XLR-20 6.5 Creedmoor on display with a dry weight of 6.85 lbs.
2A Armament also makes some bantam weight AR15s. You may see one of their receiver sets appear on a build in the future.
Danger Close Armament
Glock compatible parts seemed to be the theme at many of the booths we cruised through at TriggrCon, but what if you have a whole Glock that could use some sprucing up? What if your Glock isn’t actually a Glock at all? Danger Close Armament has you covered. Danger Close specializes in customizing the pistol you already own to a high degree. The work that Danger Close Armament was showing goes head to head with those larger companies with a potentially shorter wait time. Danger Close Armament can also transform your M&P into a head turner that functions as well as it looks.
Hudson Mfg. brought their innovative H9 pistol to TriggrCon. This was our second chance to shoot the H9 and again, I feel that this design has some serious merit. It blends the ergonomics of the 1911 with the operating system of a striker fired polymer pistol. The H9 accomplishes all that it promises. The one place that the H9 seems to garner criticism is in the recoil system. In order to place the bore as low to the hand as possible, Hudson moved the operating spring and dust cover lower in front of the trigger guard. This not only gives the handgun a very unique look, but it also pushes the accessory rail lower. This can cause training and technical issues when mounting a weapon light. Cy Hudson (CEO), told us that he is working with weapon light manufacturers to bring out a solution that utilizes the H9’s frame geometry to place the activation switches where experienced shooters expect them. The H9 shoots like a dream and the models that were on display are very close to the production versions. I have experience shooting both 1911 and Glock pistols and the H9 was intuitive and enjoyable to shoot. I am keeping a close eye on this one.
TriggrCon was a great overall experience. There were many more manufacturers present than we could cover. Many will be appearing in reviews and builds later in the year. If you are in the vicinity, TriggrCon 2018 should be on your “must see” list for the year. I already have it on the calendar and expect to see an even larger turnout in years to come.