SHOT Show Highlights: Part 1

  • Jack Collins

It’s the most wonderful time of the year if you’re a firearms enthusiast. The Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show for short) just wrapped up its 42nd entry. The SHOT Show took its first year off since 1979 in 2021 for reasons you can probably assume, making 2022 one of the biggest events yet. Manufacturers from around the world gathered in Las Vegas to show off their newest offerings.

And boy did they ever. We’re going to look at some of our top SHOT Show highlights in this post.

My Personal Favorite SHOT Show Reveal: Kalashnikov USA KR-105

I’m the one writing our SHOT show reviews, so I get to decide where we start. And that’s with Kalashnikov USA (KUSA) revealing that they plan to release an AK-105 clone sometime in 2022. HERE WE GO BOYS!

This is a huge deal for any true fan of the AK platform. The AK-105 is a short-barreled version of the AK-74, making them technically a pistol. That means they’re chambered in the infamous 5.45 caliber. And while some doom-and-gloom naysayers want to call 5.45 a “dead caliber” after last year’s Russian ammo ban, I have faith that the free market is going to fill that void.

AK-74 When?

If you haven’t been scouring the internet looking for a new AK-74 variant for less than $3,000 like I have, you may not understand the significance of the KR-105. Affordable AK-74 variants are literally impossible to find.

Take Atlantic Firearms, who builds AK-74 variants like the Romanian AIMS-74 and Polish Tantal from imported kits. Currently, they’re totally sold out of all AK-74 variants in their online store. When I reached out to Atlantic and asked when they were going to restock, they answered that  they had no idea. Thanks to supply chain problems, Atlantic can’t get the parts kits they need to build AK-74s.

Hopefully, KUSA can remedy this severe shortage of guns chambered in 5.45. The company was fairly vague about when they’re actually going to release the firearm. However, they have said it would be sometime in 2022.

Honorable Mention (For Me): KR-101

The K-105 wasn’t even the biggest part of SHOT Show for KUSA. They focused on showcasing their new KR-101 rifle. The KR-101 is a modern take on the AK platform, chambered in 5.56×45. It’s definitely going to be a contender for one of the most popular AKs in the US upon its release, competing with industry mainstays like Zastava.

The AK community has been clamoring for KUSA to release a 5.56 offering for ages, and now the company is delivering. If you’re not familiar with KUSA, you need to get hip right now. In my opinion, they’re one of the best American companies making AKs right now (although competition like Century Arms doesn’t set a very high bar).

KUSA said that we should also expect the KR-101 sometime in 2022. This appears to be the company’s main focus right now, so I’d be surprised if this gun wasn’t on shelves in the next few months.

That’s all for this entry of our SHOT Show Highlights. Stay tuned for more entries coming up! 

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