Blue August Gun Expo in Orlando: Day One (Picture Heavy)

Garrett, Bond Arms' top shot.

Garrett, Bond Arms' top shot.

Day One of the Blue August Expo in Orlando just wrapped up today.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Blue August Expo, it is an invitation-only mini-convention at the Orlando Gander Mountain Training Center, where smaller manufacturers can have, essentially, an hour long one-on-one with just the media, introducing their newest products and engaging in a Q&A session and a range session afterwards.

Some of the biggest announcements came from Aero and Spike’s Tactical, both of whom are introducing from-the-factory suppressed weapons.  Aero is collaborating with SilencerCo on their M4E1-SD upper – an all Aero-manufactured .300BLK 7.5″ SBR upper that comes complete with Aero’s KeyMod free-float upper and a SilencerCo Omega suppressor.  MSRP is $1599 – not a bad deal, considering the Omega costs $1100 alone.

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The Aero-SilencerCo Omega .300BLK M4E1SD upper.

Aero also had many other exciting reveals including limited edition upper-lower-rail combos that will be made in limited runs, never to be made again.  The newest will be a limited run of “battle worn” Duracoat by BlownDeadline Customs (of Boba Fett-pattern/Instagram fame).

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The BlownDeadline Customs Aero receiver set (matching handguard not pictured).

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Aero’s fire-hot lightweight aluminum optics mounts.

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Further, Aero is releasing complete ARs: the C-15, a mil-spec M4 that will MSRP at $699 complete, and the M5E1, a well-outfitted .308 accepting DPMS-pattern mags for $1300.  Aero is also going to expand their complete upper line to include .223 Wylde, .300BLK, and 7.62 NATO, starting at $300 for the most basic models.

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Aero also unveiled its new partnership with premium barrel manufacturer Ballistic Advantage, and discussed the upcoming integration of Ballistic Advantage’s barrels with the Aero AR line.

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Aero further introduced its partnership with VG6 Precision with its introduction of the extremely effective Epsilon brake system, which also includes the option for a muzzle-blast reducing blast cage – an innovative solution to the most common issue with brakes.

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Spike’s is introducing the Recluse, which is a 16″ integrally suppressed 9mm AR15 that shares a critical quality with the MP5SD: It will reduce supersonic rounds to subsonic speeds.  Accordingly, one can run 115gr 9mm through the Recluse, and still prevent the normally supersonic round from producing a sonic boom.  Because the Recluse is 16″ with the suppressor, it is a one-stamp gun. It will retails for $1999 MSRP, but Spike’s believes that the price may come down by the time it hits production in a few months.

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Spike’s rep with the Recluse.

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The Recluse.

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The integrally suppressed Recluse, which comes on a dedicated 9mm, Colt-mag accepting lower.

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The recluse below the “Pure Estrogen”, a $1300 hyper-light performance AR from Spike’s geared towards female shooters.

Eagle Imports also had a strong showing.  Eagle is importing the Slovakian Grand Power K100.  I got some range time with the K100 and the many variants Eagle brought to the expo, and I was extremely impressed with the trigger and uncommonly short trigger reset of a quarter inch.  The K100 uses a rotating barrel locking system like the Beretta Px4 Storm – the barrel and slide move backward together for about 3/8 of an inch while the barrel is rotated, causing a delay in rearward travel.  Eagle claims this reduces recoil significantly, and I tend to agree from my experience.  There were several models of the K100, from compact-concealables to tournament guns.

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The K100

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The American Classic in Hard Chrome.

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The American Classic fishscale hardwood grips were better than diamond grips seen on guns three to four times more expensive.

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Eagle brought the Classic American and MAC line of 1911s from the Philippines.  These 1911s will start at $499 MSRP for the Classic model (add $100 for the hard chrome – not nickel, not stainless, but hard chrome – versions of the gun), and the higher end MAC models will be much more expensive, but seem to offer a lot of bang for the buck.

Finally, one of the things I was most excited about was the opportunity to shoot the Bersa BP9cc, Bersa’s 8-shot single stack 9mm.  Many people look past this relatively obscure gun, but this is truly an oversight, as it has an excellent trigger and great feature set (including Glock-compatible sights) at a great price.  I must reinforce how good the trigger is with this gun.

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Bond Arms brought almost its entire fleet of double barrel pistols (they don’t like to call them Derringers because of the connotation associated with these antiquated weapons) in 9mm, .45, .410, .38, and so on.  These are surprisingly mild shooters in a variety of configurations, and the entire crew was outstanding, including their trick-shooter, Garrett, a three-time Derringer shooting World Champ.  Bond also has a line of holsters for their guns that are highly praised in the community.

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The Bond Bus

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Gordon Bond, A.K.A. The Man. Very chill Texan right here.

Finally, American Manufacturer’s Group brought many new and interesting components to the expo, including the “Glock, Stock, and Barrel”, a conversion kit that turns the Glock into a reliable 16″, M4-stock accepting rifle for only $249; the KynShot Marksman, an AR pneumatic recoil buffer in the $100-$150 range (that really, really works); a kit that will allow shooters to reload .22 ammo by mixing their own primer (really targeted towards you preppers); and LeadOff hygiene products, which are the only CDC/US Government-sanctioned products approved for removing lead and other heavy metals after shooting (in fact, LeadOff is issued to the military and used in the Gander Mountain Training Academy).

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The Glock, Stock, and Barrel.

That’s all for today, I’ll brief you guys on the rest tomorrow!



James Reeves

James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, a graduate of Front Sight, the Shooter Performance Institute, and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed-qualified Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for distributor/importer, Interstate Arms Company. He is a coverage litigation attorney by day. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys creating content for TFBTV. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • I’ll take two each of the suppressed AR uppers!

  • Anonymoose

    That Glock conversion looks interesting. Stick a 9″ barrel in it (register it first of course) and one of those ALG red dot mounts on it and you could have a very interesting little CQB setup.

    • James

      Seems like a cool idea but looks too easy to get burnt with the barrel having no protection.

      1600 for an integrally suppressed ar seems amazing though.

      • Anonymoose

        If it’s SBR’d you can put a foregrip on it…

      • James R.

        Even if it isn’t SBR’d, you could put a VFG on the pic rail of the Gen3/4 Glocks.

    • A.WChuck

      I’d say get a Gen 2 Sub-2000 instead, but they only exist in a parallel universe.

    • BattleshipGrey

      I’d have to keep it at 16″, no NFA where I’m at 🙁 Otherwise I like it. Great idea to add the ALG mount.

  • Joe

    BP9CC, probably a typo.
    The trigger has an initial take-up that acts as the safety, maybe 1/4″ with very little resistance.
    The remainder of the pull is roughly another 1/4″, about 5 lbs with noticeable creep (which subsides over time).
    Reset is extremely short, 1/8″ or so.
    The trigger reach is one of the shortest available, 2.53″ if I remember correctly.
    Coupled with the single-stack magazine, it’s a wonderful mid-size pistol for those with small hands (or in my case, stubby fingers).
    I’d like to see a .22 conversion and an alloy grip assembly, but I can wait.

    • A.WChuck

      This sounds interesting. I may have to take a look at one of these.

  • DekNgo

    “the KynShot Marksman, an AR pneumatic recoil buffer in the $100-$150 range (that really, really works)”

    Is this a new product that’s pneumatic or the same hydraulic buffer they’ve had for years?

    • James R.

      I know it is a variation of the hydraulic buffer that has been around.

  • A.WChuck

    And by Orlando, you mean Lake Mary where the Gander Mountain Academy is actually located. Roughly 30 minutes north and east of Orlando.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Amazing, a suppressed SBR for $1600.
    And those Boba Fett customs are the shiite. One of the few “theme” guns I would actually buy.

  • Shawn

    Gotta love the bottle of jack daniels in the backround of the Bond Arms pic. Surely it will be used as a reactive target. Just like hickock45 😉

    • James R.

      Haha was wondering if anyone would notice that.

  • iksnilol

    That Glock thingy looks like a ripoff of EveryDayNoDaysOff’s stock adapter.

    • Stan Darsh

      I immediately thought of that, too. ENDO’s stock looks much nicer IMHO.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, smoother lines and whatnot. This looks like somebody took a plastic picture frame and bolted an AR stock on it.