Gear Review: MantisX

As a firearm instructor, I often run across gadgets that claim to improve your shooting skills. There’s usually a lot of hype to get you to buy, but then once you do, you realize you’d have been better off spending your money on a private lesson with a professional.

So I usually look at new products fairly skeptically, as I did when I received an email late last year, telling me that the new MantisX Firearms Training System would be debuting at the 2017 SHOT Show.

I visited the MantisX booth at the show, and found that it was certainly was one of the most innovative and interesting products I ran across there. I asked for a sample to test, and found that it truly is a game-changer.

Read the rest of my review here:

Range365 Gear Review: The MantisX

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My Five Biggest Regrets of SHOTShow 2015

by Annette Doerr

I am back. I am recovered. I had an amazing time hiking the miles and miles of trail that is SHOTShow. But I will admit… I have some regrets. In fact, I have five.

1.     I was honored and flattered to be one of the selected media outlets to be invited to attend NSSF Media Day at the Range. Media Day, if you have never been, is an amazing day at Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club in Boulder City Nevada, held the Monday before SHOTShow opens. Attendance is by invitation only. This was my second time at the event so I should have learned my lesson last year; but I never gave it a thought. I did not bring my own eye protection. Crosman was wonderful in supplying every attendant with a pair of safety glasses and I thank them for that. But shooting the Stoeger M3K directly into the sun about blinded me. I will never go to a range, near or far, without the addition of tinted sunglass-type protection. Ever.

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2.     As for my ears, I KNOW those little foam plugs don’t work well for me. I know this! Did I bring my ears with me? Sadly no. I spent half the time trying to get my foamies to do their job. I don’t know if I have some type of weird ear defect making the plugs not work right, but I will also never enter a range again without proper hearing protection. If I had been shooting .22lr all day, maybe the foamies might have been acceptable. But that Daniel Defense DDMK18 at full auto, and the Stoeger M3K 12-gauge, were no match for the little orange foam pieces. (Plus, with my hair up, they show in every.single.picture!)

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While I am thankful they were provided for us, I should have remembered from last year that they just do not work for me. Never again.

 3.   SHOTShow draws wonderful people in and out of the actual industry. The manufacturers, the attendants, media etc; the show floor is chock full of very cool and famous people. I regret not asking for a photo with some of the people I ran into. I scroll through other attendees Twitter feeds and Facebook pages and see their picture standing with someone famous that I also saw (or even spoke with) but didn’t ask for a picture. It comes down to shyness I guess. I didn’t want to bother them with fangirl photo’s. Do I regret this? Sure! Will I change this for next year? Not likely, it’s just not in my nature. (I would love to insert a photo here, but I don’t have any!)

 4.     Pictures, more pictures! I regret not taking more pictures on the show floor. Afterall, I had media credentials; I had the proper credentials to photograph on the show floor. Did I? Eh, I took a few, with my iPhone. I left the good camera back in the room. She came with me to Media Day at the Range, but after that she stayed back in the room. Why? I thought it was heavy and a pain to carry around. I regret this because while my iPhone is convenient and takes decent pictures, there is no substitute for a good camera while covering a trade show.

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5.     While I was honored to be invited again this year to the Women’s Outdoor and Shooting Industry Dinner (also know as GunGirlDinner), I once again did not network as much as I would have liked. Put me on the range with a group of guys and I’m happy and confident. Put me in a room full of women… #notsomch. If I had a few close girlfriends who were going, it may have been different. But for someone somewhat shy, I was painfully uncomfortable. I was lucky to buddy up with a wonderful women that I met early on that evening who was also attending solo, so we used the buddy system and networked together and enjoyed ourselves; right up until she left early. Should I have been uncomfortable? Heck no, this was a room full of my peers. Was I? You bet I was, and it was apparently obvious because I was rescued by a “WONderful” woman who saw I was alone and refused to let me linger on my own (and you know who you are! Thank you again for the rescue!).

Overall my four days at SHOTShow were wonderful. My husband and I had a terrific time. I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and met a few wonderful friends that I only knew online prior to finally linking up at SHOT.

Were there regrets, sure there were. Would I do it all over again? Of course, it’s SHOTShow after all! It is what you make of it. I just need to work on a few things before next year (and make a packing list so I don’t forget those eyes and ears!) But all in all, it was fantastic, and like the song says:

Regrets I’ve had a few
But then again too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Review: Bella Ballistica Women’s Shooting Glasses

WeShoot2’s SHOTShow Product Review

Product: Champion Bella Ballistica Women’s Shooting Glasses

Manufacturer: Champion Target (www.championtarget.com)

Thank you Champion Target for providing the women at SHOTShow Media Day at the Range with the new Bella Ballistica women’s shooting glasses. I had the pleasure of testing them out while on the range.

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Stylish tortuous shell frames make them look like designer sunglasses, but these optics meet ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements.

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It is always a nice touch when a product is designed specifically for a woman. These glasses hit the mark for not only function, but fashion as well.

Clear vision when looking through optics, while also providing 99.9% UVA/UVB protection.

Clear vision when looking through optics, while also providing 99.9% UVA/UVB protection.

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Comfortable and secure glasses, even while you’re adjusting your rifle!

Opinion: I loved them! I wore the Bella Ballistica glasses for several hours while at Media Day at the Range. Overall, they were extremely comfortable. The contoured fit made the glasses feel very secure whether I was shooting a pistol, rifle or a shotgun. They felt as though they offered my eyes great protection from the sun, as well as from hot brass flying from the person shooting next to me.

Stylish tortuous shell frames make them look like designer sunglasses, but these optics meet ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements. They also provide 99% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. A wining combination if you ask me!

I sometimes have a problem with my shooting glasses fogging up. That did not happen with these glasses, (although that could be due to lack of humidity in the desert). I have been unable to find MSRP data online, but believe they are reasonably priced (like most of Champion’s glasses).

From the manufacturer: The new Champion Bella Ballistica ballistic-grade shooting glasses passed MIL-PRF- 31013 ballistic resistance testing and meet ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with the same chic designer-label look found in fashion sunglasses around the world.

Features & Benefits: * Passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic resistance testing * Meets ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements * Full-frame women’s fashion glass * Hard-coated, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens * Tortoise-colored frames * Provides 99.9% UVA/UVB protection.

Amazing week at SHOT Show

Wow what an amazing week! I’m at the airport waiting for my flight back to cold, rainy New York! Will fill you all in on my trip and the amazing people I was able to connect with while I was at the show.

I shot full auto, threw knives for the first time, and had a wonderful time at the Women of the Outdoor & Shooting Industry Dinner.

Stay tuned for details! See ya next year Vegas!