By Dan Shea
NRA Convention- a quick glimpse…
The 129th Annual NRA Convention was held in Charlotte, NC on May 19th through 22nd of the year 2000. SAR went South to cover it, and to see if we could bring you some highlights.
NRA President Charlton Heston hoisted a rifle into the air, and made a “From My Cold Dead Hands” challenge to US Vice President Al Gore. Thank you, Mr. Heston. The more that we stand tall, the more that everyone is liable to stand together with us in the November Presidential Election, so that we can turn around the extremist political agenda of “Clinton-Gore”. I only wish it had been an AR-15 in Heston’s hands. While the press would paint that as “Extremist”, the grass roots- the people who do the footwork to get out the vote, would have been even more energized. I believe it was enough for him to do what he did, and I think his personal character was suited to how he accomplished it. President Heston announced that he felt called to stick around to fight Al Gore and his cronies, and Heston was re-elected to do that job. God Bless, President Heston- let’s stand tall for freedom!
If the liberal media can call US Attorney General Janet Reno “General Reno”, then we can certainly refer to NRA President Charlton Heston as “President Heston”. It’s been too long since there was anyone I felt like calling “Mr. President”, anyway.
There was some political infighting at the Convention- but that was internal politics, I am here to say that it is staying internal as far as this writer is concerned. I am an advocacy journalist for a return to a safer, saner America, and that agenda will NOT be accomplished if the dirty laundry is all we talk about- that is how the anti-Second Amendment crowd tries to divide us so we lose sight of the big picture. Let’s talk about defeating our common enemies, and returning this country to greatness.
The promised protesters never really materialized- police had been prepared for problems, but none really appeared. Several times I was sent outside by booth-bound exhibitors to bring back some anti Second Amendment protesters, but each time I failed to find them. Jesse at the J&T Distributing booth had a standing order for “Two protesters with mustard”, but he had to settle for convention rations.
Scuttlebutt from many importers and other licensees was of Federal government agencies starting to be more “User friendly”, as in doing their jobs instead of marching to the distant drum of the Clintonista’s anti Constitutional agenda. Conjecture was made that there might be some people sniffing a sea change in the air- that 2001 might bring a release from being under the activist thumb of the anti-Second Amendment fellow travelers in Clinton’s State Department. Your faithful correspondent hopes this is true- I would very much like to see the loyal civil servants in the nation’s capitol unrestrained by the perverse political agenda of the Clinton-Gore cabal, and able once again to do their jobs as the elected Congress of the United States has directed.
Some highlights of the NRA convention- these are just items of note to those with an interest in military small arms- that is, SAR’s readers:
Soldier of Fortune had an awards ceremony on Friday morning, with Robert K. Brown presenting such notables as Val Forgette and Jeff Cooper with achievement awards, and numerous awards recognizing people for their courage against the anti-Second Amendment forces. The SOF Mystery Award went to Smith & Wesson for selling out the ideals of their founders and leading the Clinton Administration in their gun control efforts. The award was covered with a garbage bag, and consisted of a mounted, stuffed Boar’s Butt. The murmurs of approval in the crowd indicated that this award was well deserved. For a complete list of the awards go to www.sofmag.com
Armalite had the new AR-50 out but confided in us that they were coming out with a new AR-30 in .308. .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua, and possibly 30.06. The AR10-T should be available in 6.5-284 and 6.5/08 as well www.armalite.com 309-944-6939
Barrett Firearms reports that orders are rolling along, and the Army has adopted the Model 95 as the XM107, with an order to exceed 2000 pieces. The USMC designation 82-A3 is the Barrett adopted into the “Norwegian” configuration; flat rail, quick release bipod, set screw muzzle brake and rear monopod. www.barrettrifles.com 615-896-2938
Buffer Technologies had their new UMP/UMC carbine “Mag-Cinch” clamp- very light weight, inexpensive, and sturdy. It holds two mags together every bit as well as the heavier more expensive clamps I have seen, and even HK had one on the rifle at their booth! www.buffertech.com or 573-634-8529
Bushmaster was crowing (Expectedly so) about the new DCM program of subsidized DCM rifles they are involved with. Outstanding coup for Bushmaster, and well deserved in my view- for more info on this program, go to www.odcmp.com or www.bushmaster.com 1-800-998-SWAT. They also had a new 10 rd mag that was looking reliable and sturdy.
C-More Sights– after some discussion with owner Ira Kay, the “Stuff under the table” came out. He has an AR15 Carbine free floating rail system called the “Quadrail” which is outstanding- Picatinny on four sides, with a solid vibration resistant mount to the upper. Nice stuff. Every bit as interesting, and pertinent to the “M4 equation”, was C-More’s new Tactical Elite 1+5×24 30mm scope. At first I thought Ira was talking about an old Chicago song, but after viewing it I got the message- this scope replaces an ACOG, the mini-Reflex, and the Aimpoint from the M4 system, in one lightweight unit. Watch for a LOT more on this subject. www.cmore.com 703-361-2663
Cole Distributing USGI M14 mags- new for $41.95, used for $31.95, and he had collector mags- in the wrap! Pretty exciting, and he has a new line by Indep that includes 7.65 Arg, 7.5 Mas, 7.5 Swiss, and next year 7.7 Jap Arisaka and 6.5 Jap. www.cole-distributing.com 270-622-3569
Compasseco has a great airgun line, but they also have the new Air Force Talon in 22 cal air with 1000 fps. This was featured in the old Machine Gun News once, and the owner is now working on an integrally suppressed version! www.compasseco.com 1-800-726-1696
Dillon Precision was breaking out a new Super 1050 that will utilize up to 30.06 brass. This should be a real winner for Dillon- a good press to begin with, the 1050 having the capability of doing 308 will come in real handy for the shooters out there. www.dillonprecision.com 800-762-3845
Glock – yes, the Glock 36 was there. Yes, I took it apart. Yes, I am ordering one. 6+1 45 acp, slimmed down, real nice. Glock did some internal re-design, but I couldn’t nail all the changes down. Rest assured when it hits here, SAR will run it through the paces. My opinion- this model will make a difference.
GunGames is back! Looking pretty good, too. For those who missed it, or want more info, email Jocelyn@thebackup.com or call 800-771-3020
HK indicated that the new 4.6x30mm PDW will be available in about 18 months, and that their Fiftieth Anniversary Coin is now available on the HK Collectables website- and only there, until the end of this year. It’s about ten bucks, and looks impressive. www.hecklerkoch-usa.com
InterOrdnance of America LP was set up with some real interesting parts sets- HK21, MG42, MG3 Drums, Uzi, and Mpi69 were a few of the features. Real nice stuff. www.inter-ordnance.com 704-225-8843
J&T Distributing is one of the largest distributors of Knight’s Armament Co RAS systems, and had one for the HK G36 and SL8 rifles, as well as the new ATM sights they are selling. Nice product line at the show, very popular booth. www.jtdistributing.com or 1-888-736-7725 orders
Kahr Arms acquired the Auto-Ordnance name, and now has the 1927A1 semi automatic Thompson in full production, as well as an M1 version, and a “Commando” that is a 1927A1 with a black finish on the stock and forend. They have 10 rd politically correct drum mags as well. www.kahr.com 508-791-6375
Olympic Arms broke out their new titanium AR15 receivers- lots of interest there, watch SAR for a test run on this. They also had the new Durachrome finish for bolts and bores, as well as the Maxhard process finish on receivers and barrels. Very impressive. www.olyarms.com 360-459-7940
Second Amendment Foundation noted that their annual Gun Rights Policy Conference is in Washington DC on September 29,30 and Oct 1 of this year. Good timing. The theme is “Target Victory”. I like it already, and, it’s free, with a free lunch supplied. Go there. www.saf.org 1-800-426-4302
Shotgun News gave away an IMA mfg 1910 Russian Maxim non firing replica gun, to the thrill of the crowd. Nice piece, too. I did hear many members of the crowd call it a “Gatling Gun” but they have to be forgiven, not having SAR as a guide in their lives. I gave some SAR’s out to the “Gat” guys, and they were most appreciative- and will probably now speak with some authority on the wonderful “1910 Russian Maxim on Sokolov mount” they saw at the convention. Smiles all around!
Wilson Combat presented a new AR15 front sling/ flashlight mount that was user friendly- clamps on the front sight post. I liked this every bit as much as their other products- and it seemed to be a hit with all that looked it over. 1-800-955-4856
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V3N10 (July 2000)|