Words By : Wally F / Photos By: Wally F. And Various
It’s a rainy Sunday and the final day for TACCOM 2022. Despite the current atmosphere of the firearms industry, the show was popping all three days. I witnessed attendees still lingering at booths well after show closing, which to me shows the interest of owning fires isn’t waning and the dedication of the businesses in Canada helping to service, support, promote, and engaging in the community as whole.
I large portion of this last day was actually interacting with the folks on the floor and a surprising amount of industry professionals in attendance that didn’t have booths at TACCOM, a clear example of the overall support of each other in the firearms community. Witnessing booth vendors at other booth vendors, talking, collaborating, catching-up with one another a gave me an overall positive sense for our industry.
I spent a lot more time talking and not so much taking photos, and not for a lack of interesting products because there was plenty to see, just more folks to speak with. That’s really the point, having the conversations and discussions. This was done formally on stage on all three days, with an excellent line up all walks of the industry from with different points of view. Advocacy groups, associations, and individual speakers were all given a literal platform to discuss our common passions and maybe enlighten and inform attendees of what we all hold near and dear. Everything from self defence demos, Veteran support, and our continuing battle for the fair treatment of firearms owners as a whole were all discussed.
My highlights from the show beyond the people in general were as follows in no particular order:
Black Creek Labs – There new TRX Bronco compact bolt action build in .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor was a stand out for me, one the compact nature of a 30 calibre bolt gun that is light weight and tiny would have Jeff Cooper smiling if he was still alive today.
Confections Carcajou – This company puts out great field products, has an excellent and friendly team, and understand end user needs. I was complaining about my current chest rig setup for the army and they literally pulled and ad hoc solution for me right there on the spot and more or less solved my problem. If you’re not following these folks and getting their products, why not?
Crusader Arms – Their Templar semi-auto rifle is the first AR180 based design that genuinely had me legitimately intrigued and wanted to shoot and handle one down range. Full disclosure, I am not fan of AR180B rifles at all the team at Crusader Arms spent the time to really explain and breakdown the design, improvements and innovations that went into their build and I’m telling you the juice will be worth the squeeze.
My personal favourites from new and old are below:
Mad Hatter Industries – Corey took time out to have a good conversation on the whole philosophy and what drives him in his company. It goes very much beyond a clothing company. Veteran advocacy and support is a real passion for him and it showed in the way he spoke to me, what he’s already done, and how he carries himself and the company. He put on an excellent presentation on the official stage from the feedback I got from folks at the show.
Gray Fox Strategic – If you’ve spent anytime carrying a pistol for work, training, competition, or casually at the range; You already know these folks. Almost every shooter I know has something from Gray Fox Strategic whether its a complete holster, mag pouch, OWB, IWB, AIWB, and so on. Their products are in use constantly and have been use in theatre overseas. These folks should be your go to for a holster solution that’s made in Canada.
Code of Arms TV – Like myself they spent a lot of time and effort to create the content, build the awareness, and reporting on the firearms industry. You don’t know what you don’t know, and Code of Arms does an excellent job of getting the word with their shows on WildTV or in print with High Capacity Magazine, as well as some excellent content on their YouTube channel of which you can lose a whole night to watching their videos online. It’s always nice knowing that content creators like Code of Arms is out there doing their thing all the time. It warms this reporter’s heart.
A couple sleepers you should really keep an eye out for in the near future:
Innovation Armoury – They are first and foremost engineers. Their passion for firearms is very apparent in their designs and they know what they are talking about. Their unique take on how they product develop, manufacture, support their customers as they explained it to me was a very refreshing take on how they would like to support the firearms industry, keep the paperwork down, and allow the client to benefit the most from they have to offer. Check them out and see what they have cooking on the stove right now.
NUTSOF – They’re so underground that they didn’t even have a booth at the show. But I got referred to them by Gabriel from Confections Carcajou, because again I was complaining how awful the existing CAF setup is for scrim for the issued helmets. We had a great conversation about it and of course I was again surprise that they a had turnkey solution for what I was looking for right there onsite. I feel like this company is producing some of the best you’ve never thought of yet. I feel like folks need to get in on the ground floor with NUTSOF. I’m looking forward to seeing what they dream up next to make my life in the field easier to bear.
Overall despite the current situation in the firearms industry, recovery from Covid, the economic downturn, and everything else that is being thrown at all of us, TACCOM this year did very well. When I see lines up at almost every booth for the almost the whole duration of the show tells me the community and culture is very much alive and thriving despite it all. I look forward to what businesses in the industry has to offer but also what the community will be like in 2023. I can’t wait to see everyone again next year!
Reporting for TV-PressPass