Surprised At This Years Gun Show
Words By: Wally F. Photos By: Wally F.
……….In amongst the World War I and World War II memorabilia of cap badges, medals, flashes, and patches, the junky 20-30 year old army surplus offerings, out of towners, political, and lobby organizations populating the 1000+ tables at this years Calgary Gun Show, I found a few stand outs definitely worth mentioning, especially if you’re a Canadian firearms owner.
……….Every year the Calgary Gun Show is held at the BMO Centre in the centre of the city. The BMO Centre has around 250,000 square feet of open show space. The Gun Show was in the Palomino Room which has roughly 12,000 square feet, all of which was occupied with everything a history buff, firearms enthusiast, political party recruiters, lobbyists, and gun range/shops could offer up. Here few highlights I thoughts were worth mentioning.
……….Dave and Buddy at Templar Tactical Solutions is a small outfit that does custom cerakoting, gun smithing, and milling. Milling specifically in titanium like this blade in burnt bronze cerakote. They also make edged weapons and tools as well. If you’re looking to get some work done give these gents a shout.
……….International Barrels Inc. is a company based out of Chilliwack, B.C. They manufacture barrels of all types and do it very well. Product Specialist Ryan Steacy, a Veteran, multiple competition winner in shooting in the military as well as on the circuit, he has an in depth knowledge and great love of what it takes to build a precision barrel from scratch.
……….With Service Rifle season starting up soon. IBI is in full swing producing barrels for competition shooters for their builds. They source all their steel themselves and builds barrels literally from the blocks of steel they select. Right now they are awaiting their 6mm and 7mm tooling to be shipped to their shop so they can begin working on more barrels.
……….Ryan knows that with the soon to be released SLR and BCL non-restricted lower receivers that people will be looking for quality built to spec barrels for their NR rifle builds. This is why he and IBI are concentrating on getting 18.5″+ AR barrels out to customers ASAP. IBI also recently acquired a cold hammer forge machine. It’s the same equipment that Colt Canada has, now IBI has the same gear as well. They will be spending the next year or so prepping the machinery, specs, and programming so they can begin building and CHF barrels into their line up.
……….Black Leaf Industries may or may not be the best kept secret in the firearms community, but out here in the west they are know for designing and sourcing the best materials and products for their boutique builds. In addition to being an Agency Arms dealer, they also carry Odin Works parts and accessories.
……….They’re flagship build right now is their BL9 Pistol Calibre Carbine. The receiver build is slick and sexy, and the balance and weight is just right. With hundreds of rounds already downrange on this Canadian designed and built PCC the BL9 is shaping up to be a sweet looking and shooting rifle. I’m looking forward to test firing this little gem very soon.
……….Range Warrior Accessories is a quiet company that manufactures shooting support accessories and parts. They have been working in conjunction with NoDak Spud and iRunGuns to debut their AR 180B Non-Restricted 5.56NATO rifle. The lower is produced by NoDak Spud and already has an NR listing in the RCMP FRT as I’m told. The upper is designed and manufactured by RWA with iRunGuns distributing the rifle.
……….This trinity of companies has been quietly working on this AR 180B build since December 2017. The unique design of the upper and fantastic fit and finish with the relatively short turn around from concept to production (talking about a few months) is a testament to hard work and good planning.
……….The left side of the upper actually has a modular plate system that you can swap out and replace as needed. It also presented a unique look at the custom designed last round hold open and bolt catch release lever. If you’re thinking that open side plate is a gimmick and must make that upper squishy you can look at their pressure test video of their upper easily withstanding well over 3000 PSI of pressure.
……….In addition to the upper design they offer 100% in house RMA on all internal parts, so if you break a take down pin, want a spring replacement, or shortly down the road when they manufacture upgraded parts, you can get them right from the OEM source at RWA. Running a 20″ spiral fluted barrel with a choice of 18″ or 12″ fully licensed MagPul MLOK free floating hand guards, you are getting a beautiful looking and functional NR Rifle. Based out of Calgary RWA is already taking orders of their AR 180B, shipping on or around June 1st from their last report on the show floor (could be subject to change).
……….Other notables from the Calgary Gun Show were Western Metal Inc just recently opened a turnkey state of the art indoor shooting range called Straight Shooters. If you live in the Calgary area it’s definitely worth a look at the their pro shop and facility.
……….As always Black Box Customs are the masters of Cerakote, custom milling, and specialty polymer gun gunsmith services and upgrading. Almost everyone I know that owns an M&P or Glock has had some type of work done with the gents at Black Box Customs.
……….Lastly Battle Rattle Tactical Supplies. They are a Veteran owned and operated retailer and carry a variety of products geared towards shooters and soldiers, the owner Richard was very pleasant to speak to and great with the customer service.
……….With all the doom and gloom of gun control Bill C-71 all the talk right now in Canada, not a single person I spoke to at the show was even thinking about it. 2018 is shaping up to be a decent business year for distributors and manufacturers. That will translate very well to every day consumer.
Reporting for TV-PressPass