SHOT Show 2020 Recap

SHOT Show 2020 - Kel-Tec P17 CCI Mini Mag

Where else can you go and spend four days surrounded by 60,000 plus of your best friends and at least that many guns? Yes, that would be the wonderful chaos that is the NSSF SHOT Show 2020.

In order to get in, you must have press, buyer or exhibitor credentials. I happened to have two of the three this year and in years past, I was there on the work-a-holic exhibitor pass.

Let me tell you, walking the show is a whole lot more fun than working a booth. No matter how charming us booth bunnies look, it is tough work. Yeah, I know… cry you a river.

SHOT Show 2020 Overview

This year, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) held its 42nd SHOT show. Depending on how you count, it is either a four, five or six-day extravaganza. Before the show opens officially, is media range day.

This is where various manufacturers exhibit functional guns for members of the media to sample. Here’s a video of some highlights from range day:

The next four days are inside the exhibit hall, with thousands of neutered guns and their accessories.

For many, even after the show officially ends, the event continues at officially sponsored 3-Gun, Sporting Clay and other shooting events.

Much like last year, there really wasn’t a ton of buzz for new firearms introductions. That being said, many companies introduced evolutionary changes that make shooting that much better or more fun.

I always head over to the new exhibitor section, as there tends to be much more innovation there. This year was no different.

A company named Arche Protection Devices had a 12-gauge delivered taser, pepper spray and tear gas “non-lethal” option.

They claim full taser effectiveness out to 50 feet, with the added back up of the two gas options to assist in incapacitating an assailant. There may well be an article exploring this option in a few months.

2020 SHOT Show Las Vegas
This year’s show ran from Jan. 21-24 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. Click here to see more photos from the show.

The show covers five floors of exhibition space and companies display products geared towards the shooting community, law enforcement and various other aspects of outdoor recreation.

Many people assume the show is only for firearms and ammo.

In truth, there were companies displaying wild game cleaning systems, several dozen knife manufacturers, range equipment and safety products, as well as almost every type of hunting or firearm accessory.

There was even one company, Amidon Ballistic Concrete, that developed a version of concrete that can absorb in excess of 1,000 bullets in a 2×2′ area before the concrete fails.

Then a quick injection of their proprietary concrete into the failed area fixes it completely. There is no more downtime than it takes to prepare the concrete and for it to cure.

Many ranges were very excited about watching their demo videos. Anyway, on to the products that I thought were most interesting.

SHOT Show 2020 Standout Products

Some booths that I thought had cool things to see this year:

Smith & Wesson – M&P Shield EZ 9mm

SHOT Show 2020 - M&P Shield 9 EZ
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9 EZ at SHOT Show 2020.

Last year, S&W introduced the .380 Shield EZ. It was a great idea and works very well, especially for those with weak hand strength. This year, they have moved that idea up to the 9mm platform with a Shield EZ M&P 9mm.

I can report that although racking the slide on the 9mm platform is a bit more work than on the .380, it is still way easier than any other semi-auto I have tried.

This provides those with hand strength or grip issues the option to carry a large caliber without having to worry about not being able to rack or clear the gun should an ammunition issue happen.

(Read our full review of the M&P Shield EZ 9mm here.)

FN – 509 Compact

SHOT Show 2020 - FN 509 Compact
FN 509 Compact at SHOT Show 2020.

The 509 got a little brother this year. The 509 Compact is the scaled-down version of the 509.

The compact comes with one 12-round and one 15-round magazine for free-state buyer, or two 10-round magazines for limited-capacity states.

It can also use the 17- or 24-round options of its bigger brother. That makes for a lot of flexibility.

Ruger – PC Carbine Chassis

SHOT Show 2020 - Ruger PCC 9mm
Ruger PCC 9mm at SHOT Show 2020.

3-Gun in the PCC platform just got a little easier, as Ruger has launched a PC Carbine Chassis gun. They also gave us an AR-556 in 300 BLK.

It is always great to have a functional factory option in a great suppressor host, hog gun.

SIG Sauer – Ultra-Compact MPX Copperhead

SHOT Show 2020 - MPX Copperhead 9mm
The Ultra-Compact MPX Copperhead from SIG Sauer at SHOT Show 2020.

For those who like their AR-type pistols to have a tiny barrel, the Ultra-Compact MPX Copperhead is the go-to gun for you. Thankfully, SIG put a positive hand stop on the forend, as this barrel is only 3.5″ long.

This author likes the standard-length MPX better, but then again, my carry guns all have barrels longer than 3.5″, so I might be a little biased.

Note: This barrel is 0.20” shorter than the barrel on FN’s 509 Compact.


GLOCK G44 - SHOT Show 2020
Source: GLOCK.

For at least a dozen years, maybe more, there have been rumors of a GLOCK in .22 LR. This is the year that actually happens. GLOCK has kept with the confusing number pattern as well.

The 22 is a .40 S&W, the 40 is a long-slide gun and now the 44 is a .22 LR. The biggest break from GLOCK standard is the slide is polymer, which makes sense from the perspective of getting the .22 LR to cycle.

Now, we have the option of getting a factory .22 LR trainer for cheap familiarity and training new shooters.

Savage Arms – 6.5 PRC Rifles

Savage Arms 6.5 PRC Rifle - 2020 SHOT Show
Source: Savage Arms / YouTube

Those who have read my long-distance articles know of my new fascination with the new PRC rounds.

I have a lot more time behind the .300 PRC, but when I don’t need to anchor anything heavier than a paper target or a steel gong at 1,000 yards, a 6.5 PRC rifle is the most efficient way to go.

It will also do very well on CPX2 animals out to at least 600 yards, if the shooter is capable. Getting a factory option from Savage will be a great thing.

Here’s a demo from David at Savage Arms:

Franklin Armory – California-Approved AR Pistols

SHOT Show 2020 - Franklin Armory
California-approved AR pistols from Franklin Armory at SHOT Show 2020.

Stay tuned for a video; Brandon from Franklin Armory will tell you way more than I ever could.

What did you think of the products featured at SHOT Show 2020? Are there any you’d like us to explore further? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. Craig:

    I am indeed available and meet the legal qualifications, but I am not rich, so my chances of getting elected are slim and none…and I just saw slim leave the building. 🙂

  2. In regards to James.

    Nice to hear from a right-leaning middle of the road mind with high IQ and an educated vocabulary. You are correct in seeing the country drifting into fully opposite poles rather than nuances on our stance.

    A moderate RebliTARD (social conscience while supporting the Constitutions original intent) could be tolerated by most, as would a similar DemoCRAP supporting reasonable advances on social issues and resisting tax me $50 every time I make $20 at a garage sale.

  3. The CA legal AR pistol made me chuckle at first, but amusement quickly gave way to annoyance and disappointment, as it is a reminder of the sad state in which is our country. I love California, but I refuse to live there primarily because of their firearms legislation. I often think I should rethink my position, however, as the lax gun laws in my state do not make up for right-wing governance, rampant racism, condescending Christians, and in my city, a crime rate that is almost 3x the national average.

    I must say that I am constantly dismayed by the false dichotomy which holds that left-leaning folks must necessarily be in favor of more stringent gun control, and especially of bans, which never accomplish anything of value. The flip side, of course, is that people who support gun rights are perpetually hoodwinked into believing that we should stand against things like labor unions, social programs, universal health care, progressive tax systems, economic and social equality, and environmental responsibility, just to name a few. Our deep division is killing us, and I am convinced the gun issue is one of the greatest wedges causing this division. On the Franklin Armory website, it even says of their “Title 1” firearm that it was “created for our friends behind enemy lines.” Really? American citizens, our enemies?

    Really, folks…if we are ever going to make it out of this mess, we have ALL got to start opening our minds…

  4. I have always had business with cheaper than dirt and I love you! Thanks,been out touch for a while.thank you very very much. James l minnis

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