As I probably have mentioned (and probably will keep mentioning), I was not at SHOT Show this year, but that does not mean I was not keeping fairly close tabs on those who were. Here is a brief rundown of all the news and pictures that caught my eye.
Over the past almost-three-years now, I have been monitoring the "coming to America" story for the Israeli-made Tavor, all the way back when it was announced, through the updates, past the failed attempt at unveiling it at the 2010 SHOT Show, and, finally, to the doors closing on the company that owned the company that was going to import them.
Well, there might be some potentially good news on that front:
We saw a familiar face at SHOT today, and stopped off to talk with Michael Kassnar of the relaunched Charles Daly Defense. After a 2 year hiatus, CDD is back with shotguns, AR15s, and several different pistols. However, that isn’t what interested us most. Michael was kind enough to show us his newest project, which as you can see from the below picture, is the Tavor.
There are apparently a few kinks to work out (specifically barrel length), but I could totally see myself selling my AR-15 to snag one of these.
Oh, and the not-so-funny thing of this entire saga? The Tavor is for sale in Canada, and qualifies as "NON-RESTRICTED for hunting, target shooting". Yes. In Canada. One of the countries that freaks out about firearms in general. BATFE, you are well and truly broken.
On the other hand, this is a story that waddled its way past my sensors some time ago, but I never got around to posting about. I have always had a hankering for a Saiga shotgun – not out of any particular utility, but rather because a removable-magazine-fed shotgun seemed like an interesting idea, and it gives "gun control" extremists raging hissy fits – but how would you feel about an AR-15-pattern semi-automatic shotgun:
Do you like an AR-15 platform, but love your self a Shotgun just as much? Well, RAAC had their MKA 1919 12 Gauge on hand designed after the AR Design.
The MKA 1919 semi-automatic shotgun uses a conventional gas-operated action which is located around the support tube that runs below the barrel. The return spring is also located around the same support tube which is concealed by an enlarged polymer handguard.
The MKA 1919 comes with two 5-round metal detachable magazines and 3 internal chokes. The magazine release button mimics the M16 rifle location. The manual safety also duplicates the M16 style being located on the left side of the receiver above the pistol grip. The top of the receiver has a carrying handle and integral picatinny rail for mounting rear sights, or any optical accessories.
Unfortunately they are made over in Turkey, so 922(r) compliance is still somewhat important, they went with a one-piece polymer stock-and-lower which removes any chance of putting an adjustable stock on it (though the pictures at the first link show adjustable stocks, so I have no idea), and there are no indications of whether or not larger magazines will be forthcoming, or even possible, but if you really, really want to maintain your "manual of arms" commonality, this could give you that.
Finally, I like rails on my firearms. You know that, I know that, and it is ok. Looking back, with the experience I have from railfarming, I probably would have gone a different direction with my money/mass, but you never learn until you do, and here we are.
So with those credentials established, my reaction to this might somewhat surprise you:
Telescoping stock. Black synthetic furniture. Rails. This is the lever gun as designed by, well, me. There’s fancy muzzle breaks, too, which is pretty funny considering that two of the three models are .22LR.
No. Just… no. They had me vaguely nodding along with them, or at least humoring them in the name of catering to the "tactical" market, right up until that Gawd-awful, ripped-from-the-pages-of-a-Tapco-catalog grip. What the hell is that? Lever-action rifles are classy, classic designs, and then they go and bolt something like that to the back end of one? I mean, sure, the rails are already a travesty to the wood-and-blued-steel crowd, but they could have at least put the structural ridges on the inside, and then done some sort of MagPul/Glock-esque texturing on the outside. And why the hell did they put rails on the bottom and sides, but not the top? If you are going to go railfarm, go all the way.
I am not really in the market for a new caliber at the moment, but if I were, it would not be for something dressed up like that.
And that is all I have at the moment… One of these days I am going to make it to this show, though, speaking of, who all is going to the NRA Annual Meeting this year in St. Louis, 13-15APR? It is only a nine hour drive for me, and I could probably carpool…