In January, the firearms industry was occupied with SHOT Show 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where several companies took the opportunity to display their latest products.
After walking the showroom floor(s), here are some of the best guns and gear on display at SHOT Show 2024.
Smith & Wesson Model 1854 lever-action rifle. Smith & Wesson’s new Model 1854 series of rifles are built with 19¼-inch barrels, chambered in .44 Rem. Mag. and have a capacity of 9+1. The design blends the classic aesthetic of the American lever gun while incorporating modern enhancements. The Model 1854 has a paired synthetic black and stainless-steel finish across the stock, receiver, fore-end and barrel. Additional features include M-LOK slots in the fore-end, a 4¾-inch Picatinny base for mounting optics, a large loop lever and a flat-face trigger. In addition, these lever-action rifles incorporate a side loading gate, utilize side ejection and a removable mag tube for easier unloading.
Accompanying the base model is a limited-edition version that ditches the M-LOK fore-end for a classic high-grade satin walnut finish on both the stock and fore-end, along with a polished black PVD finish on the receiver and barrel. MSRP is $1,279 for the base model and $3,499 for the limited-edition, smith-wesson.com.
Beretta 92XI Squalo. “Squalo” means shark in Italian, and the oceanic predator served as an inspiration to Beretta’s design team while developing the company’s new 92XI Squalo single-action 9 mm pistol. Emulating the sleek and formidable nature of the shark, Beretta says this firearm is “designed to make you stand out in a sea of competition.” Building on the base 92X series, the optics-ready 92XI Sqaulo is built to race with a 4.7-inch barrel and 22-round capacity. It also includes a flat-faced trigger and performance DLC-coated trigger components, a lightweight skeletonized hammer, Toni System flared magazine well and a fiber-optic front sight. A highly textured grip designed for Beretta by Hogue to provide enhanced control, along with an extended takedown lever, ambidextrous safety and adjustable mag release round out the package and allow for customization. Three Mec-Gar 18+4 round magazines are included. Overall length is 8½ inches and weight (unloaded) is 33.3 ounces. MSRP starts at $1,299, beretta.com.
Colt blued Python. On display at the Colt booth during SHOT Show 2024 was a new six-inch Python that not only features upgrades improving on the original classic revolver, but also a forged carbon-steel frame with an eye-catching blued finish. Colt also redesigned the target rear sight and the new Python sports a recessed target crown, interchangeable ramp front sight and walnut grips adorned with the iconic Colt medallion in gold. Chambered for .357 Mag., this blued Python revolver can accommodate .38 Spl. cartridges as well. MSRP: $1,599, colt.com.
Browning X-Bolt 2 Target Competition Lite. This year Browning released the X-Bolt 2 that is an update of the original X-Bolt rifle. Of interest to long-range shooters is the X-Bolt 2 Target Competition Lite model, which includes a revised full-diameter target receiver, DLX target trigger set at the factory at 2½ pounds, spiral-fluted bolt, 20-MOA Picatinny rail, adjustable composite stock and a beefy competition muzzle brake that’s tunable. To help meet National Rifle League Production class weight requirements (12 pounds for rifle, optics and mounts), this rifle is fitted with a 24-inch stainless steel and carbon-fiber barrel from Preferred Barrels, giving the X-Bolt 2 Target Competition Lite an overall weight of seven pounds, 13 ounces. Available calibers are 6 mm Creedmoor, 6.5 mm Creedmoor and .308 Winchester. MSRP: $2,739.99, browning.com.
Kahles K328i 3.5-28X 50 mm riflescope. New from Kahles is the K328i 3.5-28X 50 mm optic, which has a 40 percent wider field of view when compared to the K525i at 25X magnification. A first-focal-plane riflescope, the reticles are illuminated with two options available—the SKMR+ and the SKMR4+. Maintube size is 36 mm. Windage adjustment is on the left (or right) with Kahles’ twist guard rotation protection, while parallax adjustment integrated in the top-mounted elevation turret. Look for the new K328i in March 2024. MSRP: $4,299, kahles.at.
Tristar Arms Cypher SP 12-gauge. Tristar’s new Cypher SP sporting over/under shotgun includes three-inch chambers and steel mono-block barrel construction. An adjustable comb, 30-inch ported barrels with target rib, fiber-optic front sight and auto ejectors round out this feature-rich 12-gauge scattergun, along with the barrel selector and safety that are located on the top tang. The handsome Turkish Walnut stock and fore-arm are oil-finished. Also included are five extended color-coded choke tubes and tools. Length of pull is 14¼ inches and weight is 7.2 pounds. Perhaps best of all, the Cypher SP 12-gauge is backed by Tristar’s five-year mechanical warranty. MSRP: $1,025, tristararms.com.
Walther PDP Match Steel Frame. Walther Arms has expanded its already sizeable pistol lineup with the new PDP Match steel-frame and polymer-frame full-size pistols. Regarding the PDP Match Steel Frame, it’s a full-size, semi-automatic striker-fired 9 mm pistol with a precision-machined steel frame. The barrel is five inches long with a 1:9-inch twist. Optics-ready, the Walther PDP Match Steel Frame’s ported slide also incorporates SuperTerrain serrations, an enhanced magazine well made of aluminum, dynamic performance trigger and an ambidextrous magazine release button. A heavy pistol, the PDP Match Steel Frame weighs 41 ounces without a magazine. The additional heft from the steel frame should prove to be beneficial for competitive shooters looking to mitigate felt recoil. Two 20-round magazines and one 18-round magazine are included. MSRP: $1,899, waltherarms.com.
SAR USA SAR9 SOCOM. The SAR9 SOCOM from SAR USA is a semi-automatic, single-action striker-fired 9 mm pistol. Equipped with a polymer grip module, the SAR9 also sports a threaded 5.2-inch barrel made from forged steel that’s threaded for use with suppressors. Channels on the slide allow the barrel to cool quickly. In addition, the slide is cut for optics, and suppressor-height tritium iron sights provide for low-light capability. The weight is 29.9 ounces. With 17+1 capacity, the SAR9 comes with two magazines, one 17-round and the other 21-round. MSRP: $499.99, sarusa.com.
Swarovski AX Visio smart binoculars. These smart binoculars powered by AI really wowed crowds at the Swarovski Optik booth. AX Visio binos will identify birds and mammals with only a few button presses. The company had pictures of ducks and other birds on display in its booth to showcase how this technology works, and for me the identification feature worked with 100-percent accuracy. A dial on the front of the binocular changes the mode, and the AX Visio can even take pictures.
While the binos I had my hands on at SHOT Show 2024 is a prototype, when I set it to “mammal” mode, the AX Visio was able to identify the horse in Winchester’s logo on a banner about 100 yards away, although it identified it in German instead of English. As for the glass, it’s the same legendary quality you can expect from Swarovski. The AX Visio pairs with an app for iOS and Android, and there are plans to add more functionality to the platform in the future, such as scoring deer antlers. Expect to be able to purchase these smart binoculars in February 2024. MSRP: $4,799, swarovskioptik.com.
Ace VR app and handset combo. If traditional dry-fire practice bores you, Ace has an exciting new virtual reality shooting app for Meta Quest 2 and 3 VR headsets that can help build shooting fundamentals and keep you sharp. Gaming meets dry-fire with the Ace VR app, which includes ranges, drills and mini-games, plus multiplayer and live competitions. The Ace VR app pairs with the company’s Arctus handset that mimics the size, weight, and trigger feel of a real handgun and fits the Meta Quest 2 or 3 controller. The handset’s trigger is realistic with a four-pound pull, and even has a magazine release button for in-game mag changes. After trying it out at Ace’s booth during SHOT Show 2024, it’s safe to say that this VR app lives up to the hype. A subscription-based service, joining the Ace Club gets you full access to the app and a free Arctus handset. Cost is $228 per year, acexr.com.
Real Avid Bore-Max Master Cleaning Kit and Mobile Workstation. This new firearm maintenance kit is priced less than $200 and is self-contained with a Master-series, O-ring sealed, clamshell workstation. Included are an assortment of tools and accessories within stacking sections for many firearms. Locking rubber gun-gripper yokes will cradle long guns, and Real Avid’s Smart-Assist Quick-Connect accessory system docks into one of the station’s four corners.
A flexible, rechargeable work light is also included for convenience. Additionally, there is a compression-lock three-piece speed cleaning rod, plus brushes, jags, steel picks, a bore guide and other tools that are also included. MSRP: $199, realavid.com.
Staccato Match 9 mm ammunition. While Serena Juchnowski included the new Match 9 mm ammo from 2011 pistol manufacturer Staccato in her SHOT Show 2024 competitive shooting roundup, this competition-ready 9 mm load is worth mentioning again. Staccato’s 9 mm Match ammunition is loaded in Staccato brass with a Hornady Action Pistol 125-grain bullet at 1,050 f.p.s. muzzle velocity. Staccato said that from a four-inch test barrel, the Match load is capable of making one-inch groups at 25 yards. MSRP: $29.95 for a 50-round box, staccato2011.com.