09 February 2024

SHOT Show 2024 - Things I Found Interesting (Arm Chair Edition)

 Wow! What an interesting year. I still say that 2024 is the year of the lever actions with many folks jumping into the game newly but also, old players doing new things. Palmetto State Armory is on a roll. I figured I'd go over some of the interesting things I saw from people's Instagram and YouTube posts who got to go.

Beretta 30X

The 30X is an updated version of the old 3032 tip up barrel. Beretta beefed up the slide and updated the sights. They also added a flat trigger. I would like to have one but want really interests me is will they be updating the 21a? I have a 21a but the X models have updates that would really push the 21a into a better gun. 

Beretta officially dropped their 32 ACP tip up line, the 3032 but replaced it with an improved version they called the 30X. They said it started off as a fun side project that the Beretta team ended up really liking and figured they would offer it officially. I appreciate that they added things like a red dot and threaded barrel but the improvement in the build is what makes it a better option than the original. It's not meant to be too serious but apparently the updates make the gun a better shooter as the original guns reportedly had breakage issues with the slides. Beretta beefed up certain things. 

I don't have much need for a .32 ACP gun but I have been wondering how well it would suppress. That said, where I'm putting my hope in is that Beretta does similar magic to the 21a. I have a 21a Covert that's tons of fun to shoot but it still has tiny sights. It would be great to have the updated sights from the 30X so I'm hoping they make a 20X to replace the 21a.

Browning A5 Hunter 20 gauge

The Browning A5 is the OG semi-auto shotgun. It's the shotgun that proved the idea could be a commercial success. I would bet that most bird shotguns sold are semi-autos these days.

We don't have a 20 gauge shotgun in our inventory at the Little Farm and I had considered fixing that. 20 gauge is the smallest gauge we can use for whitetail here in Georgia and having a shotgun my kids can use would be great. The cartridge is also good for bird hunting which I enjoy, though don't do much these days. 

The Browning would be a great, classic shotgun to add to the inventory not just for it's aesthetic but the utility. Sadly, they are rather expensive and kids (and adults like me) tend to damage things. The A5 has an MSRP of $1979.99 and that's a lot of Republic Credits for this homesteader.

Flux 365 Raider

The P365XL has been my go to carry gun since I got it. In fact, it holds the number 1 slot of go-to guns I own. If I have to take one, my P365XL is probably it. I know that if I had to pick only two guns to keep, it's the SIG and my primary AR.

I also very much like the idea of having a small, packable firearm that's easier to run than a pistol. The Flux Raider kits have been interesting since they let you convert a given pistol over to a PDW style firearm. The P320 version is pretty accessible. The only version I have of the P320 is the subcompact version so I would need to buy a slide and everything else. I never chased the idea.

However, the P365 version of the Raider is much smaller. If I ever get around to building a backup P365XL, I can swap the grip module out for the Raider module. The dot can stay on the slide instead of being on the module like the P320 version. Other than the module, Flux did suggest using a longer 6 inch barrel with the thumb bridge. You can conversely, run a threaded barrel and a suppressor. 

What I was thinking was I would pick up a backup P365XL and the Raider kit with 6 inch barrel. Build out the unit into a super small PDW for off-body carry in my Dad-bag. Keep several spare 17 round magazines with it and we're set. I like the idea of having something easier to shoot accurately even with a brace but also having compatibility with my carry gun. 

HUXWRX Flow 22 Ti

I would like to add another .22 LR silencer to my inventory. HUXWRX is releasing what they call their quietest can yet. It's full-auto rated even for 5.7x28. Not that I have a full auto P90 to test that. 

I won't be needing the full-auto rating but what I like is the weight. 3.9 oz. is impressive. That's about the same as my El Camino at 4.3 oz. The price is good too. Silencer Shop has a pre-order up for $399. I paid $350 for the El Camino. 

My goal is to have an extra silencer for the .22's that I can put onto a gun that I hand to my kids when we go out into the woods to hunt squirrels and rabbits. 

Keystone Arms Mini-Milsurp 1903A3

Keystone Arms is known for their single shot .22 LR youth guns but a while back they came out with a miniature Mosin Nagant rifle. At SHOT '24, they announced other models. The one I'm most interested in is the mini M1903A Springfield rifle. Modeled after the old US rifle, they expect it to have a threaded barrel so you can add a suppressor. I really like the idea of handing one of these off to my kid for carrying around the Little Farm.

Add the HUXWRX Flow 22 Ti and I think we have a winner. 

Marlin 336 SBL and Trapper

Marlin dropped two new version of the 336. The SBL and Trapper versions already existed in the 1895 .45-70 version of the receiver so I see it as a no-brainer for Marlin to add to the line up. 

The Trapper is nice with the 16 inch barrel but the 19 inch SBL has me the most interested. It represents the closest version of what I want in my 336 build project in terms of terminal performance. The only thing wrong with it is the finish being stainless instead of blued steel.

That said, I said that about the CST years ago and settled on the CST anyway. I've been very happy with the stainless as it wears better than the high polish bluing. I tend to be rough with my tools. Maybe I should settle again and get the SBL. Just a thought.

Palmetto State Armory bolt action, 5.7 and others

PSA apparently has gone nuts. They have chucked money into just about everything someone can think of short of a lever action rifle or single shot .22. Development over profit. I like that.

First is their bolt action rifle. I'm interested in the bolt action because it uses a Remington 700 foot print and PSA likes to piece meal things. If I can order just the receiver instead of a full rifle, it will help me with the original Pork Sword build. I am working on replacing the current chassis stock with a wood stock but I still want to build out the short rifle with the 13.9 inch barrel. If I can get the PSA receiver and order a custom barrel, I can permanently attach a muzzle device for a 16 inch barrel. That barreled assembly would go into the Pork Sword chassis and complete the idea. I'm hoping these receivers aren't super expensive. If they are more than $500 then I would just go with a PTG receiver. 

The X5.7 or "MP7 at home" idea is great. Basically, PSA is working toward a pistol very much like an H&K MP7. Thankfully, they were smart and are offering it in 5.7 instead of 4.6. I know you can get 4.8x30 but 5.7x28 has a better market plus the AAC in-house ammo brand is making 5.7 currently. 

Going back to the PDW idea, this would make for a smaller travel gun than I am currently using. My only down side is this is larger than the Raider 365 and uses a caliber I don't currently purchase. Diversifying can be helpful but standardizing keeps things cheaper and more accessible.

Stag Arms / Aero Precision lever actions

Some time ago, Aero Precision acquired the Stag Arms brand. What I found interesting is the brands announced a prototype lever action rifle based on the 336. Folks really are going after Marlin these days.

The rifles are basically the same but the companies delineated the versions as a "tactical" model and a hunting model. Stag Arms would produce the "hunting" model with wood furniture while Aero Precision would offer the "tactical" model with a modern handguard and stock. Both versions are expected to be offered in .30-30 and .45-70. I'm trying to find out the barrel lengths but both rifles are prototypes and aren't available. The representative noted that if the do make it official, it wouldn't be until 2025 at the soonest. 

I like the idea of the Stag Arms version personally. I'll sit tight on the 336 built idea I had for a few years now to see what happens.

I also liked the idea of the Thumper 37mm launcher but I have ideas that probably wouldn't work. Could I buy the launcher then Form 1 it and buy a 40mm barrel later? That would be cool. If I'm stuck with a 37mm barrel, then I don't have much use. I'd be better to save up for an LMT receiver and build my own M203. Not that I have a "need" for a 40mm launcher.

Smith and Wesson new J Frames and 1854

A lot of people are unhappy about the Smith and Wesson 1854. The reasoning is wildly differing and I get their reasons but from a product standpoint, I can understand why they did what they did. I'll leave it at pistol caliber, all weather with a threaded barrel. No one did that combo until S&W did it. Maybe it will light a fire under Henry to add threaded barrel options. To all their stainless guns. I would buy one of the new 1854 rifles in stainless as a working gun. Preferably in .357 Magnum but I've started toying with the idea of having one in .45 Colt. I don't know why they didn't do .357 Mag out of the gate. There just aren't a lot of options on the market. If you're trying to offer a rifle to the modern lever action crowd who like to suppress all the things, .38 Special is way easier to work with than .44 Special in terms of availability.  What I don't like is they just used the Henry design with some internal changes but that sort of thing seems that's going around a lot. 

Another happy surprise was the release of a few Lipsey's distributor specials. The S&W J-frame is a classic carry gun but they've made some much needed updates. First is the sights, which are replaceable for both the front and rear. Now you can adjust for zeroing with new ammo. Second is the ILS hole. Many S&W fans do not like the internal hammer safety as it puts an ugly hole on the side of the frame. I agree. Well, the new versions do not have that hole. I'm hoping that this is a sign of coming times. Maybe all the vintage Classic guns will do away with the Hilary Hole. 

The thing I'm most excited about with the new J-frame is the return of a .32 H&R Magnum option. The idea of a capable round in a smaller revolver but with 1 extra round was interesting. The new .32 versions hold 6 rounds to the traditional .38 Special 5 round options. The MSPR under $800 is great as well. 

These are very much a gun I would consider for use in a more casual way. First is as having a hunting companion. This works for personal defense but also as a put-down gun for a wounded animal. It's smaller than the .38 Special and reduces chance of wasted meat. I have been toying the idea of pairing the stainless version of the .32 cal, the 632UC, with the new Marlin 336 SBL.

Taurus 327 Defender 

Taurus has had a .327 Fed Mag for a while with a 2 inch barrel. They aren't all that expensive but I liked the idea of having a 3 inch barrel if I was going to have a more dedicated defensive revolver for better velocity. Taurus announced a version of the 327 with a 3 inch barrel but also is red dot capable. It's been TOROed. Not a bad idea for someone who wants a revolver as a carry gun but wants the lighter recoil. The red dot is optional. 

Well that pretty much covers everything. I can't afford to buy everything I found interesting or even any of them at the moment but I sure got some ideas on if there is anything I would like to chase over the next few years. 

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