Author: Ron LaPedis
SHOT Show is the largest tradeshow in the world for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. Held in Las Vegas, SHOT Show features 1,600 vendors covering an area equivalent to 11 football fields, showcasing the latest firearms, protective equipment and tactical accessories for law enforcement, SWAT and private security.
In addition to the main exhibition areas, some of the most innovative products can be seen during Industry Day at the Range and in the NEXT Pavilion.
Below I review three products, one from each of these locations.
1. Folding active muffs – small and easy to carry, but with some pretty cool technology
The Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector is just full of tricks. Introduced to me during the 2018 Industry Day at the Range, I finally got hold of mine several months later.
The first thing you notice is that the muffs fold down into a fairly small package and fit into a custom drawstring pouch, making them easy to carry. See the photo to compare them to my first-generation active muffs with the nearly impossible-to-replace batteries.
The 500 takes two AA batteries, which are replaced by popping off a tethered door on the left ear cup. No more digging off pads with fingernails to get to batteries hidden under the speakers.
The 26 db NRR Tactical 500 can connect to either hard-wired or Bluetooth sources, such as a personal music player, cell phone or radio – and some newer agency radios offer Bluetooth capability – let that sink in for a moment!
Of course it is your responsibility to use this feature safely so that you continue to be aware of your surroundings when plinking to your favorite boogie music. On the other hand, who hasn’t missed an important call or text at the range or has struggled to hear a timer or drill app on their phone?
With the 500s you lose that excuse when the spouse calls. Not only can you hear the phone ring inside your muffs, you actually can answer a phone call by pushing the center of the right ear cup. Because of the dual microphones in the headset, people can actually hear you talk, although they can certainly figure out you’re at the range.
Anyone who has used a rifle with muffs knows it’s a fight between proper cheek weld and not lifting your muffs. The 500s have little hollows cut out at the bottom that snuggle nicely on top of my patrol rifle’s butt when shooting.
The computer on board the 500s can detect voices, background noise and impulse noise and treats them differently. The adaptive suppression feature measures the energy in a gunshot and sets the suppression time accordingly. Bigger bang = longer suppression. Surround sound filtering or clear voice tracking can tell the difference between background noises and voices and takes action to eliminate some environmental noise, like those fans recirculating the air every 45 seconds in my local indoor range. And most important for me, the 500s automatically turn off after two hours if they haven’t heard a gunshot.
If the 500s defaults aren’t to your liking, many of the features such as the filtering modes or auto-off time are programmable from the right ear cup. If you are a fan of rechargeable batteries, 3M sells one that is charged via a USB connector in the right cup.
My only complaint is that as a baldie, the headband is pretty spare and it leaves a mark on my skull for a few hours after wearing it if I don’t remember to wear a hat.
The Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector sells for around $100 from multiple vendors. For more PoliceOne headset coverage, visit our category page here.
2. Surefire Stiletto shipping – released at SHOT Show 2018, this rechargeable EDC light is now shipping
When I reported on the Surefire Stiletto at the beginning of this year, I said that it was, “about the same size and shape as an EDC foldable knife.” And here it is, sitting on top of my Benchmade Barrage.
Like my Barrage, the Stiletto easily slips into the knife pocket of my uniform pants and clips to the pocket of my off-duty pants – although it will live on my support side.
The Stiletto is well-designed and has a tapered body with small rounded “tail fins” on the back to keep it from slipping forward if you squeeze it tightly. While it fits comfortably in my hand with great balance, it could use a bit more “tooth” molded in to make it more secure when wet.
It has three buttons on it; two near the head and one on the tail cap. The large primary switch on the body is on/off and with quick successive presses will activate a wide high-power 650-lumen, a medium 250-lumen or a dialed-down 5-lumen beam. The endcap tactical switch momentarily activates a high output steady beam or with three quick presses gives you a high-frequency strobe. The smaller programming switch allows you to change what the primary and tactical switches do, or it can be used to set a medium-output slow strobe when held down. A small LED changes from green to yellow to red to let you know when your light needs to be recharged – it will run approximately 1.75 hours on high, 2 hours on medium, or 30 hours on low.
The 2.8 ounce Stiletto has a polymer body and hard anodized aluminum head assembly that also acts as a heatsink (it says “Hot Surface” on it) and the spring steel pocket clip is designed for bezel up carry. It is IPX7 water tested to one meter for 30 minutes, recharges from a USB port, and lists for $109.
Like all of Surefire’s other lights, the Stiletto is designed, machined, tested and assembled in the U.S. For more information, click here.
3. UltiClip XL – a multi-tool belt clip built for LE needs
I first saw the spring steel UltiClip in the NEXT Pavilion at SHOT Show 2016 and every year since they have upped their game.
In a nutshell, the UltiClip is a pressure-based clip that is attached to anything with holes, such as a knife sheath, holster, spare mag holder or a cell phone or radio case so that the item can be clipped onto your waistband, a backpack or purse. The clip slips over almost anything up to ¼-inch thick (approximately 7 layers of denim material) and then snaps closed to hold the attached item in place up to 70 pounds of force.
In addition to clipping to a purse or backpack, the first two generations of UltiClip were designed to hide behind your carry belt rather than go around it like competing products. But customers kept asking for an over-belt solution and UltiClip answered with the UltiClip XL.
The key to the UltiClip is the snap-over cover that puts enough pressure on the clip to make it nearly impossible to pull off. Without removing your up to 1.5” belt, the UltiClip XL slips over it while open then the cover is closed to lock around it. The cover can go on the outside or inside of your belt allowing for IWB or OWB carry.
The XL is not just a belt clip, it is a multi-tool belt clip. As seen in this video, the cover of the clip can be removed and used as a wrench and flat blade screwdriver. You can even use the cover to move the UltiClip XL from one piece of gear to another.
Some manufacturers, such as Crossbreed and Remora, are shipping holsters that use UltiClip as original equipment. These American-made clips are available from selected retailers and from https://ulticlip.com/.
PoliceOne at SHOT Show
PoliceOne will be attending SHOT this year, so look for near real-time coverage on our SHOT Show page. If you are going to SHOT Show, please drop by the PoliceOne booth 6601 to say hello, learn how we’ve secured over $150 million for departments through our Grant Assistance Program, and pick up some P1 swag.