This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
SHOT’s tough. Not only is it demanding of your time and patience, but it’s physically challenging, as the TFBTV cast is usually up at 7am every day to film video, and then they cut that day’s video until 2am or later. Wash, rinse, and repeat that process for the week so we can upload SHOT vids to YouTube and TFB within 12-24 hours of recording. It’s a grisly and fatiguing process, but we do it for TFB readers, TFBTV viewers, and just for the love of the Show so you guys can get hot and fresh coverage while SHOT is still happening in Vegas.
It’s also tough to figure out what you guys want to watch. Below, I’ve compiled a list (as of noon CST on Saturday, 2/3/2018) of the 10 most popular TFBTV YouTube videos.
Before I show you the list of videos, recall that TFB ran a pre-SHOT survey on what booths readers wanted to see most at SHOT. These were the top 10 results from that poll:
- Heckler & Koch
- Ruger Firearms
- SIG SAUER Inc.
- Franklin Armory
- Glock Inc
- IMI Defense
- Magpul Industries Corp.
- Vortex Optics
TFBTV visited almost all of those booths, however, only videos from two manufacturers from the reader survey (IMI/IWI and Franklin Armory) made it into the top 10 most popular videos list below.
So it’s interesting: Every year, we try to predict what topics and booths will be popular, and it’s quite often previously unheard of and/or small manufacturers with a unique product (like last year’s champ, the Hudson H9) or a big manufacturer with a SHOT Show bombshell (like the Maxim-9 or the Kel-Tec Survival from last year).
So what did you guys watch the most this year? Have a look:
FightLite SCR Raider and MCR Light Machine Gun
James has been following FightLite closely since he met the owner, Geoff, at The Blue August Show in 2016. He knew that Geoff had put together something viral with the Raider, a pistol gripped version of the SCR that has a lot of bang but almost no recoil whatsoever. Plus the MCR may be the nastiest LMG/SAW on the market today.
D3LLC’s domestic MP5SD
This was the SHOT Show of the MP5. No question. PTR is introducing an MP5 clone, so is PSA. Zenith is canning everything but roller guns and is introducing a .300BLK HK93 clone. HK reboot the MP5K/SP89 for the civilian market. We did videos on all of those HK homages, but the most popular was the gun made by previously-little-known D3 LLC – an MP5SD clone. Clever.
Desert Tech: The MDR Has LANDED!
The Desert Tech MDR has been teased since SHOT Show immemorial (maybe 2014 was the first appearance?) but this was the SHOT where the MDR was finally in production form at range day. That’s something to get excited about.
The IWI TAVOR 7: Israeli .308 Bullpup
IWI/IMI anything tends to be popular because it’s so damn cool. Not only is the Tavor 7 welcomed with open arms by .308 fans, but this video discusses a series of changes to the X95 that make it much more user friendly, and fully ambi without other parts or tools, unlike prior versions of the X95. Will these changes be implemented on the 5.56mm version? No comment (but likely).
Colt’s New “Flagship” Custom Competition 1911 and the Night Cobra Revolver
While Colt hasn’t really had anything new in decades, they really don’t need to, at least as far as views and sales are concerned. This year, Colt leans on the big deal from last year – the re-intro of Colt revolvers – and a new flagship $2,500 (!!$$!!) 1911. Colt definitely has its fans and its haters, but both of them watch the videos.
Excel Arms revives the .44 Automag!
A reboot of a cult favorite auto-loading big bore? Obviously, that’s a recipe for a popular video.
New from KRISS USA
Again, Kriss is one of those companies that will bring in views regardless of the content. Kriss makes such an unusual gun (and forms partnerships with unique companies like Sphinx), that the Kriss booth becomes a bit of a Rambo-meets-Tron freakshow that everyone wants to take a peek at.
Auto-Ordnance/Thompson “Tactical Tommy Gun” Concept
This is what makes SHOT awesome. It’s a collision of all the hallmarks of a popular SHOT video: It’s (1) A neat gun you’ve never heard of that wasn’t marketed like mad before SHOT; (2) A reboot or revision of a classically popular design; (3) Something so new that even the manufacturer doesn’t have the specs yet, and; (4) A product with over-tactical shock value. This is the “Tactical Tommy Gun,” a gun that has yet to be named but that will go into production eventually. James meets with its creator and discusses. Many of you were elated, some of you were disgusted. Enjoy.
IWI’s New Combat Bullpup Shotgun: The Tavor TS-12
“The Starship Trooper Gun.” That’s what everyone was calling it at SHOT – and can you blame them? The IWI TS12 Shotgun (also referred to as “The Tavor Shotgun”) was a huge hit, and James was the first journalist to shoot it on the Sunday before Monday Range Day. While we typically reserve judgment until we get our hands on a production, shelf gun, there’s a lot to be excited about here. The TS12 has a 16 round 12 gauge capacity
The Franklin Armory Reformation Videos
Presenters: Andrew and James
The most controversial gun of 2018 was also the biggest hit on TFBTV, as tends to be the case. Franklin shocked the gun industry with the Reformation. Teaser ads promised that you could have an 11.5″ barreled AR15 with a buttstock without it being classified by the ATF as an SBR. Theories were traded on gunforums across the web, but it wasn’t until floor day that Franklin let the secret slip. (Note that they brought the Reformation to Monday Range Day and let everyone try it out without telling them how they managed to get an 11.5″ AR15 past the ATF without a stamp.) That secret? The Reformation does not use spiral rifling, thus allegedly bringing it outside of the definition of a “rifle.” Accuracy loss is the clear tradeoff, but the video above sketches Franklin’s plan to use innovative ammo to regain the accuracy lost through the lack of spiral rifling. Stay tuned.
Anyways guys, it was a fantastic show. Thanks for watching TFBTV, and see you next year!