Page 1


NEW PRODUCT REPORTS SHOT Daily scours the floor to find the latest in knives from the show P. 14. Also, see what’s new in accessories P. 28


GIVING BACK Winchester’s unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation in North America SEE PAGE 62



AIR IT OUT! Bigbore airguns are just the ticket for nuisance wildlife pest control SEE PAGE 54 FIT AS A FIDDLE

Under new leadership, 10X makes a remarkable comeback SEE PAGE 52

Manufacturers are reaching out to a new breed of hunters SEE PAGE 8


The Road Ahead


t the NSSF State of the Industry dinner on Tuesday night, NSSF President Steve Sanetti told the audience, “We meet tonight at the very beginning of a crucial election year—for our industry and our nation. After more than eight solid years of record numbers of good people from diverse backgrounds flocking to our industry to become new firearms owners, while crime with firearms and firearms accidents plunged by double digits to historic 44-year lows, our nation has unfortunately seen a spike in violence in a number of our cities, and a rise in fear because of highly publicized crimes. The reasons for this are, as always, a combination of many factors. But we have to face the fact that our industry is being blamed, and attacked, and pilloried unfairly by politicians, the media, and agenda-driven social engineers seeking a convenient scapegoat for the results of policies that, ironically, they themselves have championed.”

Sanetti then elucidated the many positive things the shooting sports industry has done to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms before noting the “false friends” who grossly misrepresent the industry and who seek to “destroy our livelihoods and avocations.” He called for members of the shooting sports community to be alert to this trend, but also to be “alert to the new, promising world of millions of law-abiding American citizens who are joining our ranks.” In closing, Sanetti said, “The road ahead will be arduous and costly. But the people are never fooled for long. They, and we, will prevail. In that sense, our future has never been brighter. Public opinion surveys show an unmistakable and dramatic shift toward us and away from the prophets of doom. And you have seen those eager new faces—more women, more diverse participants, and more of the next generations carrying on the time-honored tradition of personal safety and responsibility that is the hallmark of our firearms industry.”

REMINGTON CELEBRATES ITS BICENTENNIAL YEAR As Remington Arms heads into its bicentennial year, visitors to its SHOT Show booth will be treated to 200 years of American firearms history. The design of the booth includes the Remington Archive Museum, a 20x30-foot clear plexiglass area that will feature 43 firearms, along with historic photographs. Master engraver Jesse Kaufman will be onsite during the show to demonstrate his engraving skills. Several Remington Custom Shop rifles will be featured as well, along with the complete line of Remington Custom Bicentennial Collection guns, including the Model 700, Model 870, and R1 1911, which were hand-engraved by Kaufman. The booth will also display five Remington Bicentennial Limited Edition firearms—the Model 700, Model 7600, Model 870, Model 1100, and R1 1911. Booth #14229. —Barbara Baird

ON THE FLOOR WILDGAME INNOVATIONS The Duck Commander gang will be in the booth from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Booth #15527.

NSSF President Steve Sanetti told the audience at the State of the Industry dinner that the upcoming election will have a profound affect on Second Amendment issues.

OTIS TECHNOLOGIES Olympic champion Kim Rhode will demonstrate proper shotgun fit from 2 to 3 p.m. Booth #14213. BLADE-TECH INDUSTRIES Competitive shooting champion Taran Butler will meet and greet from 1 to 2 p.m. Booth #14205.



OL’s McKean Receives McRae Award


 e Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award was established by Bushnell h to honor the legendary writer and photojournalist for the vast contributions he has made to the optics and outdoors industry throughout his 50-year career. Introduced in 2011, the annual award was created to Andrew McKean (left) accepts the Bill McRae Award from Mark DeYoung.

recognize McRae and the journalists who have made a profound impact in the industry. The 2016 recipient is Andrew McKean, editorin-chief of Outdoor Life. As the leader of the magazine’s optics test team, McKean is regarded throughout the optics industry as both one of its toughest critics and one of its most outspoken champions. His evaluations of optics and ability to

explain their merits and shortcomings in plain language have earned him a reputation as a leading expert among his peers and millions of hunters. Under the tutelage of Bill McRae himself, McKean has developed a rigorous and unbiased testing protocol for riflescopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes. Year in and year out, Outdoor Life’s readers eagerly anticipate the

magazine’s annual Optics Test and use it to help them make informed decisions when purchasing new binoculars and scopes. McKean’s expertise is derived from a career that has circled the globe in pursuit of game. His journey to the helm of one of America’s most venerable outdoor publishing brands began on the Missouri farm where he was raised and learned to hunt, and included stops at smalltown weekly newspapers, regional outdoor magazines, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “I’m deeply humbled to receive this honor, and I hope that Bill’s immense contributions to our understanding of our world take root with the next generation of outdoor communicators,” said McKean. “Bill McRae is a very special person.”

Ron Spomer Honored


he Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) presented Ron Spomer with the POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award Tuesday night at the NSSF’s State of the Industry dinner. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements in communications in the areas of responsible firearms use, the shooting sports, and hunting. “POMA is excited to honor a journalist who has made such a vast contribution to the out-

door communications profession,” said Kevin L. Orthman, executive director of POMA. “The Grits Gresham Award is one of the highest awards POMA gives out each year, and Mr. Spomer is a great example of someone who has spent his career upholding traditional American sports.” “Grits Gresham set a high standard as an outdoor communicator with his commitment to craft and by celebrating our sporting lifestyle and ideals, and Ron Spomer has met that standard using traditional and new ways of communicating about hunting, shooting, and the outdoors,” said NSSF President Steve Sanetti. “He is most deserving of this award, and he joins a select group of honored media members who have earned the iconic Grits ‘Hat.’ We congratulate Ron wholeheartedly for his many achievements.” “I’ve known Ron Spomer for many years,” said Tom Gresham, son of Grits Gresham and himself a past recipient of this award, after the presentation. “Not only is he a skilled hunter, but he is also is a top communicator through his writing and photography.”


NSSF PAC RECEPTION On Monday night, the National Shooting Sports Foundation Political Action Committee (NSSF PAC) hosted its first reception of the year featuring Senator Chuck Grassley and Katie Pavlich. The first speaker of the night, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA, pictured below) has been in public service since 1959. In 1981, he was elected to the United States Senate. Senator Grassley currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Department of Justice, FBI, and BATFE. Larry Kean, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel said, “Chairman Grassley has been a steadfast supporter of the Second Amendment and of the firearms industry. In his role as Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Grassley authored a 2013 amendment to provide funding for NICS, reauthorize Project Exile, create and authorize a task force to prosecute violent criminals, as well as progun provisions such as allowing for the purchase of handguns across state lines and allowing FFLs to use NICS to do background checks on employees. The amendment was a commonsense alternative to the unworkable Manchin-Toomey universal background check amendment. More recently Senator Grassley spearheaded a letter signed by a majority of senators that pressured the ATF to stop its announced ban on M855 and SS109 .223 ammunition.” Senator Grassley spoke to NSSF PAC members about the importance of involvement in the 2016 election year, emphasizing, “You can see the importance of PACs when we’ve just had two votes on fundamental rights,” and saying, “The PAC is very important. You can’t take anything for granted in politics.” The second speaker of the night, Katie Pavlich, editor of, spoke passionately about the industry’s current firearms safety initiatives such as Project ChildSafe and “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.” She stressed how tough the year ahead is likely to be and the importance of continued industry involvement in the political process. The NSSF PAC is the firearms industry’s voice in Washington, where it supports pro-industry, pro–Second Amendment, and pro-sportsmen candidates seeking election or re-election to federal office.




Slaton L. White, Editor

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James A. Walsh, Art Director Margaret M. Nussey, Managing Editor David E. Petzal, Shooting Editor Paul Catalano, Assistant Art Director Judith Weber, Production Manager Maribel Martin, Senior Administrative Assistant


Larry Ahlman, Barbara Baird, Scott Bestul, Philip Bourjaily, Christopher Cogley, David Draper, Jock Elliott, William F. Kendy, Mark Kayser, David Maccar, Peter B. Mathiesen, Brian McCombie, Richard Mann, Tom Mohrhauser, Robert Sadowski, Robert F. Staeger, Peter Suciu, Wayne Van Zwoll

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Brian Peterson, Western Sporting Goods Sales Katie Logan, Southern Sporting Goods Sales David Hawkey, Northeast Sporting Goods Sales Elizabeth A. Burnham, Chief Marketing Officer Ingrid Reslmaier, Marketing Design Director


Tara Bisciello, Business Manager


Robert M. Cohn, Consumer Marketing Director Barbara Brooker, Fulfillment Manager


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BONNIER Chairman, Tomas Franzén Chief Executive Officer, Eric Zinczenko Chief Operating Officer, David Ritchie Chief Marketing Officer, Elizabeth Burnham Murphy Chief Digital Revenue Officer, Sean Holzman Vice President, Integrated Sales, John Graney Vice President, Consumer Marketing, John Reese Vice President, Digital Audience Development, Jennifer Anderson Vice President, Digital Operations, David Butler Vice President, Public Relations, Perri Dorset General Counsel, Jeremy Thompson





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SHOT Business (ISSN 1081-8618) is published 7 times a year in January, ­Feb­ruary/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/ November and December by Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695, and is the official publication of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Flintlock Ridge Office Center, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470 (203-426-1320). Volume 24, issue 1. Copyright © 2015 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation, production and advertising offices are located at 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695 (212-779-5000). Free to qualified subscribers; available to non-qualified subscribers for $25 per year. Single-copy issues are available for $5 each. Send check, payable to NSSF, to: SHOT Business, c/o NSSF, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359. SHOT Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All correspondence should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Requests for media kits and advertising information should be directed to Katy Marinaro, Bonnier Corporation, 625 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1270, Chicago, IL 60611. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA. For Customer Service and Subscription questions, such as Renewals, Address Changes, Email Preferences, Billing and Account Status, go to: shotbusiness .com/cs. You can also email, in the U.S. call toll-free 866-615-4345, outside the U.S. call 515-237-3697, or write to SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. For editorial inquiries, write to Slaton L. White, SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016

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Fit As a Fiddle Manufacturers of all stripes are now reaching out to a new breed of hunters


ave you ever stared up at a 1,200-vertical-foot climb and asked your guide if he was kidding? What about struggling to draw your 70-pound draw-weight bow? Or maybe you were chasing a ram and were so out of breath when you reached the perfect spot, you couldn’t even pull the trigger. You are not alone. But now you can take advantage of a developing trend in the outdoor world—getting into shape.

Typically when you talk about getting into shape, the goal is to walk a mile—every bit of it vertical—to chase sheep. But getting into shape is not just about developing those six-pack abs. It also means learning breath control during a 3-Gun Championship or eating cleaner so you are more alert in the treestand.

At the 2016 SHOT Show, you will see evidence of this trend, which ranges from supplements and fitness gear to clothing.

Backcountry to Battlefield ➤ One

of the newest companies helping to improve your hunting

Mtn Ops, a fitness and supplement company, uses outdoor celebrities such as (below, left to right) Daniel Lee Martin, Cameron Hanes, and Julie McQueen to help get its message out to sportsmen.

game with fitness and nutrition is Mtn Ops. Only a year old, this nutrition and supplement company has already attracted media names like Chris and Casey Keefer of Dropped and Rival Wild (Sportsman Channel), Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin of Brotherhood Outdoors (Sportsman Channel) and Till

Death Do Us Part. “I can’t tell you how many supplements I’ve seen come and go over the years. Most of them contain fillers, but Mtn Ops offers 100 percent label transparency,” says Martin. “My wife, Julie, and I lug around 50 pounds of gear when we film a hunt, so we needed something that would work for, not against, our bodies.” Mtn Ops (Booth #6103) cofounder and marketing guru, Jordan Harbertson, says the company addresses two types of athletes: sportsmen/sportswomen and military/tactical. “We built our product to perform from the backcountry to the battlefield. We are addressing a need for the outdoors or military athlete who needs a product to help them sustain performance for longer periods of time with no distractions. What’s currently in stores is mainly for people in the gym for an hour or so, but hunters who are out in the field chasing big game need something that lasts longer.” Unlike those of many companies that sell fitness, the ads Mtn Ops produces don’t feature flexed stomaches or shirtless torsos. “We want to help people live a more healthy and enjoyable life,” says Harbertson. “And since our target is hunters, we show folks in camo.”

Being Social ➤ The

growing influence of social media is also helping fuel this trend. Sharing online everything from what you wear to what you eat to your workout is just part of the norm these days for outdoors personalities. “I’ve always offered advice on getting fit for my fans because many ask me about my routines, what I eat, and how I prepare for my hunts,” says McQueen. “Sharing on social media your workout for the day and how you fuel up is just as common as taking a selfie these days. Whenever I post my gym pics or a pic of my shakes from Mtn Ops, I’m always asked questions.” Under Armour hunter-athlete Cameron Hanes is an ultra-runner (meaning he actually enjoys running 50 miles or more at one time), a Western big-game hunter, a speaker, an author, and an inspiration to 90,000 people on Instagram and nearly 200,000 on Facebook. “I’ve grown quickly on Instagram,” he says. “But it’s easy for me because it’s a passion, not a job. Some people follow me just for the fitness part, some just for




the hunting part, but most are there for both.” To Hanes, fitness and hunting go hand in hand. “I don’t hunt out of a treestand; I’m in the mountains. In order to compete effectively, I need to be mentally and physically at my best.” Hanes believes that staying strong boils down to what you have to face after a long day. “When your buddy asks you at the end of the day if you got something left, I never want to answer ‘no.’ I’ve worked hard to build physical strength, which builds character and mental fortitude. Up where I hunt, you will be given an opportunity for success. What you do with it depends on how prepared you are.” This attitude has emboldened companies such as Under Armour (Booth #6103), Realtree (Booth #10719), and Mossy Oak (Booth #2652) to create camouflage fitness lines for everything from the serious gym-goer to women sporting activewear as daily wear. Another company that has recognized this trend is Kryptek (Booth #3648), a camo company that was started with the Western game hunter and tactical/military market in mind. “Kryptek is the only civilian hunting camo that has been tested by the Department of Defense,” says CEO Butch Whiting. “But what I find really interesting is the number of professional athletes, CrossFit gurus, X Games participants, and MMA and UFC fighters who want camo clothing to wear in their profession.” Professional baseball players also wear Kryptek. “There are a bunch of guys in the baseball world who hunt,” he says. “Their season ends just as deer season opens. We have folks like Andy Pettitte who pitched in the major leagues for 18 years, who want our gear to wear everything from working out to being in the woods.” Garmin (Booth #3009) has embraced the hunting and outdoors world, too, with its line of GPS training watches, including the Fenix 3. Not only is it equipped with a GPS and a compass, but it also has wireless connectivity and will offer metrics on VO2 max (a measure of oxygen consumption), cadence (for running), and even a climb odometer. As a retailer, you should consider this fitness trend as a selling opportunity. And what better place to see the goods than at SHOT Show?

As an outdoorsman who promotes physical fitness, Daniel Lee Martin understands the importance of hitting the gym to keep fit.

The Impossible Dream? Achieving brand loyalty is simpler than you think. Just ask Muck Boots By Christopher Cogley


n a culture where people pay top dollar for T-shirts and hats that advertise the products about which they’re passionate, brand loyalty might very well be the Holy Grail of success that every company in the outdoors industry is searching for. And yet, there are those companies that believe the ideal, like the celebrated Grail, is nothing more than a myth. Not Muck Boots. The Rhode Island–based manufacturer is proving that not only is the concept of brand loyalty very real, it’s also not nearly as impossible to attain as some people believe.

For Muck Boots, brand loyalty began with a fairly simple idea. “We started the company in 1999 by introducing a new construction into the market that combined rubber and neoprene to create a boot that was flexible and comfortable but 100 percent waterproof,” says Sean O’Brien, marketing director for Muck Boots. “Our whole premise was that we wanted people to have the freedom to be out all day, in any kind of weather, and not ever have to think about their feet.” That profoundly simple concept was embraced by everyone from hunters and farmers to the active outdoors market and everyday consumers. That in itself should not be so suprising; none of us— whether you live in the mountains of Alaska or a penthouse in New York—like cold, wet feet. What is surprising, however, is how Muck Boots was able to cater to such a diverse group of consumers and develop such strong brand loyalty among them. “Every Muck boot has the same unique construction at its core,” O’Brien says. “They are all going to deliver extreme comfort in a warm and waterproof package. That’s the promise we make to our customers.” And because Muck continues to deliver on that promise with each new type of boot it makes, its customers continue to turn to the brand they trust when they seek out new adventures and additional outdoor pursuits—a trend that O’Brien says is becoming a major driving force in the footwear industry. “More and more people are getting outdoors and getting active, and they’re looking for


All Muck Boots are designed to deliver both warmth and comfort in tough conditions.

new things to try, new activities to participate in,” he says. “As they become more active, consumers are turning to multiple boot purchases instead of trying to wear one boot for everything. If they have a great experience with a brand, they’re willing to try different kinds of boots from that brand.” Instead of developing a completely different kind of boot for every type of outdoor pursuit, Muck is taking its proven concept and adapting it to fit the specific needs of a wider range of outdoor activities and outdoors enthusiasts. “Our kids’ business is growing faster than the adult business,” O’Brien says. “It makes sense, because if kids are complaining that their feet are cold, no one in the family is going to be having any fun. And parents know that if they have had a great experience with a boot that keeps their feet warm and dry, their kids are going to have a great experience with that boot, too.” In order to ensure that its younger customers have that same great experience, Muck doesn’t simply take its same basic boot and resize it for smaller feet. “There are subtle differ-

ences in our boots for children and for women, but they’re important differences,” O’Brien says. “If a female buys our boot, they’ll be able to tell that it was made for a female foot. It’s the same thing with kids.” That commitment to quality across the entire line is what is helping Muck build brand loyalty among an even more diverse customer base, which, in turn, makes it easier for the company to bring new innovations to market. “Our consumers are incredibly passionate about their pursuits and their gear, and they always want newer, better, more innovative gear—as long as it maintains the core attributes that made them so passionate about that brand in the first place,” O’Brien says. “Anytime we set out to bring new innovations to market, we start by looking at the core attributes we’re known for and ask ourselves how we can make them better.” It was this philosophy that led to the development of the new Pursuit Shadow Pull-On boots that Muck is launching at SHOT Show this year. Featuring the same attributes that made the laced version such a popular choice for hunters, the Pull-On version adds the characteristic for which Muck Boots have become known—their ability to slide on and off quickly and easily. Like the Pursuit Shadow Pull-Ons, all of Muck’s new boots feature innovations that were developed for different pursuits, but each was also designed for one purpose. “Our number-one mission is to perform above our consumers’ expectations,” he says. Booth #10951. (muck



Out of Sight

Tactical Walls offers concealment and security


By Peter Suciu

ome objects—such as fine art and trophies—are meant to be openly displayed. And some items of value can even be hidden in plain sight. A firearm, on the other hand, really isn’t something that should be left lying around. But when it’s needed for home protection, it won’t do much good if it’s in a massive gun safe in the basement. A commonsense middle ground is a hidden compartment that can allow the firearm to be kept out of sight yet accessible.

Tim Matter, founded of Tactical Walls, wants to provide securityminded gun owners with an alternative to bulky safes and those alltoo-obvious black gun boxes. Under his direction, the company has developed a variety of concealment storage options that allow firearms to be easily accessible and even add a bit of flair to the room in the process. “We’re a family-owned and -operated company based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia,” Matter says. “All of our products are handcrafted utilizing U.S.sourced materials, including domestic hardwoods and highimpact ABS plastic.” These ensure that the firearm is secure but also protected in rugged yet fashionable cases. Matter notes

that the objective of Tactical Walls is to provide a solution for every budget and for firearms of various sizes. “The primary advantage of Tactical Walls is that firearms are concealed at strategic locations in the home and quickly available in the event of a break-in,” Matter says. “Most products, including all shelf units and bundle units, have magnetic locks that offer additional security but allow users to access the contents quickly when needed.” The key has been to provide security that ensures that a firearm can’t be easily found by a child or an intruder, but at the same time is accessible and doesn’t take up too much room. As such, the systems are designed

Tactical Walls lets owners safely store firearms out of sight yet keep them easily accessible.

to be space-saving as well as functional; options include shelves, mirrors, TV stands, and even wall clocks. Moreover, unlike tactical safes or other gun lockers, the company’s products allow firearms owners to store their weapons at strategic locations as desired, ensuring that the gun is available when needed. “Size is half the equation,” says Matter. “The Tactical Walls product line is an excellent option for those who live in smaller houses or apartments that do not offer adequate space for a fullsize gun safe.” Booth #4226. (

Visit Kahr Firearms Group booth,


DE50ASIMB .50 AE Mark XIX, 6” Barrel, Black Aluminum Frame, Stainless Steel Slide and Barrel with Black Appointments

DE357L5IMB .357 Magnum Lightweight, 5” Barrel, Black Aluminum Frame, Black Slide/Barrel with Integral Muzzle Brake, NY OKAY

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Boker The Plus Scoundrel features a solid titanium handle.

KNIVES totally sharp








totally cool

CRKT The blade of the Accurate drop-point is made with 8Cr13MoV steel. The knife also features full-tang construction with rubber over-mold handles.

Growing Market

As the market expands, the knife industry is responding with a huge assortment of knives for all purposes By Christopher Cogley


t seems the concept has finally caught on. There was a time when the only people who carried knives on a regular basis were military and service personnel or ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts. But more and more people in small towns and big cities across the country are beginning to see the benefit of carrying a quality, reliable knife with them everywhere they go. And the offering of new knives at this year’s SHOT Show proves that the knife industry is responding to that demand with an increased assortment of everyday-carry options that meet the needs of a wide range of consumers.

In addition to the new tactical and outdoors knives being launched this year at SHOT, nearly every major manufacturer is releasing at least one new folder with a 3.5-inch blade that seems to have become the go-to size for everyday-carry knives. And while the size might be relatively standard, there is definitely nothing uniform about the selection. From different handle materials and improved locking mechanisms to modern designs and new blade treatments, there are so many new features being released this year that it’s a safe bet that even those enthusiasts with the most complete collections will be

able to find a new reason to clip a knife into their pocket.

Boker USA

This year, Boker is adding three new elegant and effective folders to its collection of highquality knives. With a 2.55-inch blade and 6.75-inch overall length, the Davis Hunter II Backlock was designed by W.C. Davis to be a smaller version of the Davis Hunter, with a satinfinished CPM S-30V blade and a backlock mechanism copied from its big brother. SRP: $239. Boker is also releasing a smaller version of its Kwaiken Titan. The Boker

Plus Kwaiken Mini Titan features the same VG-10 blade and titanium handle wrapped in a sleek, modern package that has made the original such a popular everyday carry, but the Mini puts all that functional design into a knife with a 3-inch blade and 7.25-inch overall length. SRP: $189.95. For the more aggressive customer with a taste for titanium, Boker is releasing the Boker Plus Scoundrel, designed by American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Steve Kelly. With an SRP of $199.95, the Scoundrel features a solid titanium handle with a Hinderer lock stop that keeps the 3.18-inch VG-10 blade from overextending. Booth #13167. (bokerusa. com)


In 2016, Browning is adding more than 35 new knives to its hunting and Black Label Tactical lines. The new Overtime knives for hunters will include 3 3/8inch D2 high-carbon-steel fixed blades designed for skinning and caping. Both models will feature a handle with laminated G-10 scales and include a leather belt ➤

Browning Stacked Deck folding frame-lock knives will now be available in modified spear point and tactical Wharncliffe versions, with 3.5-inch stainless blades and sculpted matte titanium handles.


COAST The line of popular rubberizedhandled knives that Coast released at SHOT last year are getting a welcome addition this year with the introduction of the DX318. The everyday-­ carry folder features a 3.75-inch 7Cr17 stainlesssteel partially serrated blade housed in the trademark handle with a comfortable TPR grip. The DX318 has a new feature, however, in the double-lock mechanism that adds an additional level of safety and security. SRP: $25. Booth #15120. (coastportland. com)


LEATHERMAN At the SHOT Show this year, Leatherman is featuring its new Signal Multi-Tool, which is designed to provide an assortment of essential survival tools in one convenient package. The Signal includes the tools that fans have come to expect from a Leatherman, including a knife, a can opener, a saw, and a pair of durable pliers. But it also features tools that would be extremely useful in a survival situation, such as a ferrocerium fire starter and a signal whistle. The Signal also includes a diamond-­coated sharpener, a removable pocket clip, and a carabiner. The tools all have locking mechanisms, and are designed for one-handed operation. SRP: $120. Booth #14512. (

Buck The 550 Selector 2.0 uses three interchangeable blades (made of 420HC heat-treated steel) for maximum versatility.

sheath. SRP: $114.95. The Hell’s Canyon Speed has a 3.5inch fixed blade made of ATS stainless steel with a carbonfiber insert. With an overall length of 8.75 inches, the Hell’s Canyon features an aggressive, minimalist design with a droppoint blade and comes with a polymer belt sheath. SRP: $79.99. For tactical customers, Browning is expanding its Black Label collection with two new versions of the Stacked Deck folding frame-lock knives. Both the modified spear point and tactical Wharncliffe versions feature 3.5-inch VG-10 stainlesssteel blades and sculpted matte titanium handles. SRP: $179.99. Browning’s new Pandemonium Full Auto knife features a 3.5inch modified tanto-style blade made of 440 stainless steel with fully auto deployment. The U.S.-made Pandemonium features checkered black G-10 scales on the handle and has an overall length of 7.75 inches.

length of 9 7/8 inches. The throwing knives have an SRP of $95 and include a genuine leather sheath. Booth #14504. (buck


Ontario The Robeson Heirloom Series consists of both a drop-point and a trailing point. Both versions feature 4 1/8-inch blades made from D2 Tool Steel with a hardness of HRc-58-60. SRP: $309.99. Booth #12740. (

Buck ➤ The

much-requested interchangeable blade knife from Buck is finally back this year with the introduction of the 550 Selector 2.0. Originally launched in 1990, the Selector developed a huge fan base because of its practicality and ease of use. The Selector 2.0 is based on Buck’s Open Season hunting line and includes an interchangeable drop-point, a

partially serrated drop-point, and gutting blades that are all made from 420HC steel and heat-treated with Buck’s patented process. SRP: $125. Buck is also releasing a new set of throwing knives this year. The 073 Kinetic Series was originally created in 2005 at the request of Chuck Buck, but was never introduced into the market. Now, after extensive testing and a few refinements, these blades are finally available. Made from Buck’s signature 420HC steel, the knives are well-balanced for throwing and have an overall

➤ This year, Camillus will launch a new family of folding knives designed by legendary knife makers Grant and Gavin Hawk. All of the knives in the collection have glass-filled nylon handles with aluminum accents and feature blades made from carbonitride titanium, which is reported to be 10 times harder than untreated steel. The Heat has an overall length of 8 inches and an SRP of $49.99; the Wildfire is 7.25 inches long and has an SRP of $46.99; and the Sizzle is 6.5 inches long and has an SRP of $44.99. Camillus is also releasing the new M-13 machete that has a stylized 13-inch full-tang titanium blade complete with a gut hook. SRP: $39.99. Booth #15122. (camillus

Gerber Designed for the military, the Propel Downrange Auto has a 3.5-inch tanto-style blade made from S30V steel. The G-10 handle is available in tan or black and features a three-position adjustable belt clip to accommodate a variety of carry options.



Outdoor Edge The Divide (top) has a sleek design for tactical and everyday-carry use. The Conquer features a wider belly better suited for hunting and other outdoor duties.

Columbia River Knife & Tool

➤ This year CRKT is releasing its new Ruger Collection of hunting, tactical, and everydaycarry knives. Included in the offering is the Go-N-Heavy tactical folder that’s available in a standard version, with a 5-inch blade, and a compact version, with a 3.5-inch blade. Both varieties feature an 8Cr13MoV blade and a stylized black hard-anodized aluminum handle. SRP: $99.99. The line will also include two versions of the Accurate fixed-blade knife, designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Both the drop-point blade and the rising-point blade versions are made with 8Cr13MoV and feature full-tang construction with rubber over-mold handles. SRP: $99.99. CRKT is also launching the Forged By War label of knives, which are designed to help combat veterans recover from personal challenges experienced during war by creating tools they wished they’d had in the field. CRKT will donate a portion of the proceeds for each tool purchased to the veteran’s charity of choice. Among the initial offerings in the new collection will be the Sangrador doubleedge knife designed by Darrin Sirois and the Clever Girl designed by Austin McGlaun. Both

knives feature SK5 black powder-coated blades with G-10 handles. Booth #10065. (

Gerber Legendary Blades

➤ There are some classics that simply beg for an upscale upgrade. That’s exactly what Gerber did with the Gator Premium Fixed Blade Drop Point. The blade that made Gerber a favorite of hunters around the world is now available in a premium version. The American-made knife has a full-tang 4-inch CPM-S30V steel blade with the signature Gator Grip handle, and features a polished cast-steel bolster and pommel. SRP: $146. Gerber is also featuring a pair of auto blades at this year’s show. By taking the popular Applegate combat folder and giving it a springloaded auto release, Gerber created the Covert Auto. The knife has an SRP of $175 and features a 3.78-inch stiletto-style tactical blade made from S30V steel that’s deployed from the aluminum handle at the push of a button. Designed for the military, the Propel Downrange Auto has a 3.5-inch tanto-style blade made from S30V steel. The G-10 handle is available in tan or black and features a three-position adjustable belt clip to accommodate a variety of carry

PUMA The SGB Nomad Stag from PUMA is a handmade fixed-blade knife that is made with German steel and assembled in China. The Nomad has a 6.3-inch 440A stainless-steel blade with a deep belly for skinning big game. With an overall length of 11.8 inches, the Nomad features full-tang construction with stag scales handles, and comes with a leather sheath. The Stag version has an SRP of $149.99, but PUMA is also releasing a version with a Micarta handle for $64.99. Booth #520. (


REMINGTON The R11039 Trapper features an Amber Jig Bone handle and includes a modified clip and a spey blade that are both 3.75 inches long and made from Damascus steel. Only 500 of the Trappers will be produced. SRP: $34.99. The R11040 has a Genuine Stag Horn handle. Both the main blade and the spey are 3.75 inches long and made from 440 stainless steel. The R11040 will be limited to 1,200 produced. SRP: $174.99. Booth #446. (

SOG The Quake assisted-opening folder features a solid aluminum handle with a VG-10 blade that shoots into action with the slightest pressure, thanks to SAT 2 (SOG Assisted Technology). Instead of a thumb stud, the blade is released with a lever that flicks open with the blade to act as a cross guard for the knife. options. SRP: $194. Booth #13614. (

Ontario Knife

Knife is adding to its collection of high-quality knives for outdoor enthusiasts with the new Robeson Heirloom Series. The collection features both a drop-point and trailing-point version of the knife. Both versions retail for $222.50 and feature 4 1/8inch blades made from D2 Tool Steel with a hardness of HRc-5860. The handles on the 9-inch

knives are made from stabilized burl maple, and each knife includes a DeSantis premium leather sheath. Booth #15722, #20305. (

➤ Ontario

Outdoor Edge

➤ Outdoor Edge is launching two new folders designed by custom knife maker Jerry Hossom. Both the Divide and Conquer have 3.5inch 8Cr13MoV stainless-steel blades that open on ball-bearing pivots. The Conquer features a wider belly better suited for hunt-

ing and outdoors applications, and has a satin-stone finish with a multi-colored G-10 handle. The Divide has a sleeker design for tactical and everyday-carry use and includes a Blackstone finish blade and a black G-10 handle. Outdoor Edge is also adding to its Razor-Lite series of replacement razor blade knives with the new Onyx EDC. The Onyx features a 3.5-inch blade with three replacement razors mounted on a sturdy blade support system with a onepiece Grivory handle. Booth #1220. (


Steel Will The Gekko Mini features an Italian-made 3.5-inch N690Co blade that opens with Steel Will’s signature smooth mechanism and reliable lockback. The Gekko Minis have an overall length of 7.78 inches and are available with three handle options: a black or green canvas G-10 handle and a maroon Micarta handle.

VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY The RangerWood 55 Damascus is based on the Delemont RangerWood collection and is limited to 5,000 pieces worldwide, 300 of which will be available in North America with an SRP of $101. The main blade is crafted from Damascus steel, and the handle is made from Swiss walnut. Victorinox also used its signature Cross & Shield inlaid in the handle as the safety release system for the locking mechanism. The Alox special edition collection includes an assortment of traditional Swiss Army knives with a ribbed blue alox handle. SRP: $24.99–$37.99. The Hunter Pro series now has the Hunter Pro Wood folder that features a handle made from Swiss walnut with a 4-inch stainlesssteel blade. SRP: $135. Booth #14202. (swiss

SOG ➤ This

year SOG is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it is releasing a pair of commemorative knives as well as several new specialty blades, tactical knives, and multi-tools. The Quake and Quake XL assisted-­opening folders feature solid aluminum handles with VG-10 blades that shoot into action with the slightest pressure, thanks to SAT 2 (SOG Assisted Technology). Instead of a thumb stud, the blades are released with a lever that flicks open with the blade to act as a cross guard for the knife. The Quake has a 3.5inch blade and an SRP of $191, while the Quake XL is an inch longer and has an SRP of $229. For a more discreet option, SOG is releasing the Cash Card knife, which features a 2.75-inch 8Cr13MoV blade housed in a stainless-steel handle that doubles as a money and credit card clip. SRP: $45. Among SOG’s expanded multitool offerings is the Reactor, which features a 2.5-inch stainless-­steel assisted blade that can be accessed without opening the entire tool. The Reactor also includes SOG’s Compound Leverage geared pliers along with seven other essential tools. SRP: $64. Booth #425. (sogknives.


Spyderco ➤ Spyderco

is continuing its long tradition of stylish and function-


al knives this year with the addition of the Mantra and Mantra 2 folders. The Mantra has a 3.16inch leaf-shaped blade, while the Mantra 2’s 3.2-inch blade features a thinner, sleeker design. Both blades are made from CPM M4 tool steel. The Mantras both feature solid titanium scale handles and include Spyderco’s signature round hole as well as an index-finger flipper to provide a choice of one-handed opening options. The Mantras both have an SRP of $279.95, and a portion of the sales will be donated to the National Parkinson Foundation. Spyderco is also releasing the

W.R. Case The Smooth Ebony Wood Sowbelly features a clip-point blade with Tony Bose’s signature.

new PITS Folder designed by British knife maker Mike Read and named after his forum name, “Pie in the Sky.” The PITS has a broad 3-inch blade made from Bohler-Uddeholm N690Co steel—a chromium steel enhanced with cobalt, molybdenum, and vanadium alloys. The non-locking folder features a slipjoint mechanism created by spring arms in the top of the blue color-anodized titanium handle that are connected to an internal pin that connects to the tang and stabilizes it when the blade is open. SRP: $399.95. Booth #13113. (


Taylor Brands Left to right: Smith & Wesson M&P clip folder; Schrade Frontier 5-inch fixed-blade; and Old Timer fixed blade with rosewood and ebony wood handle slabs.

Steel Will ➤ Steel

Will intends to provide more options for those people who like the style and reliability of the popular Gekko folders, but are looking for a more manageable size for everyday carry. The Gekko Mini features an Italianmade 3.5-inch N690Co blade that opens with Steel Will’s signature smooth mechanism and reliable lockback. The Gekko Minis have an overall length of 7.78 inches and are available with three handle options: a black or green canvas G-10 handle or, for the more modern user, a maroon Micarta handle. Each of the models has an SRP of $199.99. Booth #4050. (

Taylor Brands

➤ Taylor Brands is the umbrella company for Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Smith & Wesson knives. The Schrade Frontier series SCHF51 is a bushcraft-designed fixed-blade

produced with a 5-inch 1095 high-carbon blade and TPE handle. Overall length is 10.85 inches. The model comes equipped with a ferro rod and a diamonddust sharpening stone housed in a heavy-duty sheath. SRP: $53.33. The fixed-blade Old Timer 30OT has rosewood and ebony wood handle slabs and a 4-inch droppoint blade and is crafted of 8Cr13MoV high-carbon stainless steel. The 30OT comes standard with a premium-quality leather sheath. SRP: $62.50. The Uncle Henry UHCOM2CP encompasses a multi-option fixed-blade hunting set. The knives feature Staglon handles and utilize 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel, both housed in a premiumquality leather sheath. Use the 301UH Detail Skinner for dressing or other detail work, and the 182UH Elk Hunter for larger skinning or all-purpose tasks. SRP: $60. The Smith & Wesson M&P SWMP10G clip-folding knife is constructed with an alu-



White River Knife & Tool The Sendero Classic is modeled after Master Bladesmith Jerry Fisk’s design. The 4.5-inch-long CPM S30V stainless-steel blade features a sleek drop point design, and the Micarta handle is ergonomically shaped to make skinning and other outdoor tasks easier.

minum handle and 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel. This rescue knife features a built-in strap cutter as well as a ceramic glass breaker. SRP: $33.96. Booth #11023. (

White River Knife & Tool

White River Knife & Tool is releasing the Sendero Classic modeled after Master Bladesmith Jerry Fisk’s design. The 4.5-inch blade is made from CPM S30V stainless steel and features a sleek drop-point design. The Micarta handle is ergonomically

shaped to make skinning and other outdoor tasks easier, and it features a large hand guard to keep fingers out of harm’s way. The U.S.-made knife has an overall length of 9.15 inches and includes a leather sheath. SRP: $250. Booth #2253. (white

W.R. Case & Sons ➤ Case

is releasing a special knife that is a SHOT Show exclusive and can only be ordered onsite in Las Vegas. The Smooth Ebony Wood Sowbelly features a clippoint blade with legendary knife-

maker Tony Bose’s signature on it. The knife has an SRP of $105 and comes with a genuine suede pouch and certificate of authenticity. Case is also giving fans of its classic hunting knives a new blade to add to their packs this year with the Mushroom Cap Leather Hunter collection. Available in several versions, including Gut Hook, Drop Point, Swept Skinner, or Clip Point, the knives all feature a polished leather handle and a leather sheath. The Gut Hook version has an overall length of 8.5 inches and an SRP of $117.99. Booth #13905. (

Designed by custom knifemaker Jens Anso, Zero Tolerance’s new ZT 0220 everyday-carry folder has a sleek, modern look that’s only outshined by its intense functionality. The 3.5-inch blade is made from S35VN powdered metallurgy stainless steel, and has a stonewashed finish that adds a distinctive fashionable element to the knife. The handle is made from beadblasted titanium and features a titanium frame lock with hardened steel lockbar insert and an orange aluminum backspacer that adds a pop of color to the knife. SRP: $260. Booth #14223. (



got torque ?


tracking the big dog


power powder

ATI The AR-22 Pistol Stock System features a polymer receiver chassis and a T2 pistol grip, as well as a six-sided aluminum free-floating forend that sports an FS8 nose cone.

Groaning Board

From gun-cleaning components and fast-burning powders to serious coolers and concealed-carry holsters, there’s a lot to stock your shelves with this year By Peter B. Mathiesen


ike the food-laden tables seen at the banquet hall in the The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 2016 SHOT Show offers an overflowing array of tempting goodies, so much so that retailers may feel a bit overwhelmed at the task of figuring out what to stock in the coming year. To help out, we’re offering a sampler of some of the more interesting products from a vast and diverse assortment.

Advanced Technologies, Inc. Given the phenomenal growth of the AR-15 pistol market, aftermarket supplier ATI sees an opportunity to help users of the popular Ruger Charger get more enjoyment out of its use. The AR-22 Pistol Stock System features a polymer receiver chassis and a T2 pistol grip as well as a six-sided aluminum free-floating forend that sports an FS8 nose cone. The T2-style pistol grip lowers a shooter’s hand to align the finger with the trigger, and the sure-grip texture helps reduce recoil. In addition, the

stock also features a 16-inch aluminum Picatinny rail that runs the length of the receiver and forend for trouble-free optic and accessory mounting. SRP: $119.99. Booth #16727. (atigunstocks. com)

American Furniture Classics

Feel safe and secure at home or in your truck with the Field Armory security cabinet. This stainless-steel cabinet is

constructed of 2mm aluminum diamond plate and has secure storage for five long guns. The guns are secured during transport by hook-and-loop straps. Dual gas shocks provide stability when the lid is open, and the metal drawers feature rubber seals and ball-bearing glides to help make opening and closing easier. Sturdy stainless-steel side


Breakthrough Battle Born High-Purity Oil provides effective firearm lubrication and protection.

handles complete the package. The unit will fit under most tonneau covers. SRP: $999. Booth #16020. (americanfurniture

Bear Metal Clean

Employing green chemistry, odor-free G-Tip gun cleaning swabs offer an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based oils and solvents. The pointed tips easily work into tight areas inside receiver and trigger assemblies. The natural ingredients lubricate, clean, condition, and protect metal surfac-


AMMO UP Cleanup at the range is always a chore, but a clever device known as the Compact Ammo-Up makes it a bit easier and faster. With it, a shooter can collect spent brass and shotshells without bending over. The device will pick up a wide variety of casings, including .380, 9mm, 10mm, .40, .45 Auto, .38 Special, .308/7.62, and .223/5.56. A shotgun version picks up both shotgun shells and wads. SRP: $59.99. Booth #1028. (

es. The product uses Americanmade, biodegradable, bio-renewable, and bio-sustainable ingredients. The swab kits come in three sizes—small, medium, and large. SRP: starts at $27. Booth #N501. (

Breakthrough Clean Technologies

Battle Born High-Purity Oil is a blend of synthetic oils that includes extreme pressure additives, corrosion inhibitors, and anti-oxidant, anti-foam, and anti-wear additives. Its unique combination provides effective firearm lubrication and protection in extreme environmental conditions for extended service under high and low temperature conditions (from -90°F to 417°F). It’s safe to use on all metal, plastic, and polymer parts, and is water- and steamresistant. It reduces friction and wear, and is non-flammable, non-toxic, odorless, non-staining, and fully synthetic. SRP: $8.95. Booth #109.



Small, lightweight, and portable, the Fix-It Stick mini torque limiter fits into any standard ¼-inch driver. When paired with the portable Fix-It Stick’s T-Handle driver, the tool becomes a field torque wrench for tightening scope bases and rings. To keep users from stripping the heads off fasteners, the limiter is designed to “spin” when the proper torque is reached. Available in three versions: 65-, 25-, and 15-inchpounds. SRP: $36. Booth #13018.


Carbon Express

Combining the silence of hand-cocking with the speed and precision of a hand crank, Carbon Express has developed the Quiet Crank for crossbow shooters. Thanks to the antitorque mounting shaft, the Quiet Crank pulls more consistently than conventional methods and ensures equal pressure to each limb during the cocking cycle, which promotes a perfectly timed release during the shooting cycle. The result is superior downrange consistency and accuracy. The quiet-clutch design also eliminates the noisy clicking produced by most hand cranks,

Dogtra The 1900S remote dog-training system is a low- to highoutput e-collar that offers features such as more intense vibration and increased (¾-mile) range. It also benefits from a slimmer, more ergonomically shaped, low-profile receiver-collar and a transmitter that features checkered handgrips.


and the no-slip brake keeps the process safe. Compared to handcocking, the Quiet Crank reduces cocking effort by as much as 94 percent. An ambidextrous design with a quick-detach handle, the Quiet Crank is constructed of durable and reliable machined-aluminum construction and works with all Carbon Express crossbows. SRP: $99.99. Booth #411. (carbonexpress


➤ A replacement for the 1900NCP, the 1900S high-performance big-dog remote dogtraining system is a low- to high output e-collar that offers more intense vibration and increased (¾-mile) range. It also benefits from a slimmer, more ergonomically shaped, low-profile receiver-collar and a transmitter that features checkered handgrips for a better grip. Equipped to enhance the training experience on land and in the water, the 1900S utilizes specially designed contact points that maintain the same powerful performance regardless of training conditions. Recommended for dogs weighing more than 20 pounds. SRP: $239.99. Booth #1253.


Edmonds Outdoors

Built for a dog, but designed to give the owner peace of mind, the heavy-duty G1 Intermediate dog crate, made of doublewalled rotomolded plastic, accommodates dogs up to 75 pounds. The wide base prevents rollovers, and the unit comes with secure stainless-steel tiedown pins. SRP: $499.99. Booth #N503. (

IMR Powders

Sitting between the IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 on the burn-rate chart, IMR 4955 is an ideal choice for many popular calibers such as the .270 Winchester, the .25/06 Remington, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Enduron Technology maintains accuracy over longer shooting sessions, thanks to a special additive that helps remove copper fouling as the rifle is fired. In addition, the powder’s small grain size helps it flow easily through a powder measure. SRP: $207.99 (per 8-pound keg). Booth #16738.



MAD Calls Unlike a conventional, rectangular CNC-shaped box call, the Billy Yargus Easy Touch Box is formed and glued with curved sideboards that are stretched around a canoeshaped frame. The curved walls (solid on one side and grooved on the other) create greater surface area contact with the lid, yielding a fuller, richer sound.

GALCO Previously available only for semi-auto pistols, the WalkAbout holster, part of Galco’s Carry Lite line, is now available for revolvers. The holster’s open top allows a fast draw while the reinforced mouth allows a smooth and easy return to the holster. A sturdy injection-molded nylon clip secures the holster on the belt. The holster carries the handgun in a vertical orientation, with no cant or angle, making it suitable for both traditional strong-side carry and the increasingly popular appendix position. Constructed of comfortable premium Center Cut Steerhide, the WalkAbout fits belts up to 1 ¾ inches wide. SRP: $39.95 Booth #12719. (galco

Knight & Hale

To diversify the sounds a box call can produce, Knight & Hale has integrated a patented simple-to-use quickrelease system into the new Switchblade box call. Featuring three different paddles made from three distinct types of wood, the call replicates the calls of three different hens. The box itself is a custom, one-piece design capable of producing loud tones that carry even on windy days, yet also can provide soft, ultra-realistic sounds to pull a wary tom in those final few yards. The lids can be removed without noisy Velcro or snaps for silent travel. SRP: $34.95. Booth #16123. (knightand

Levy’s Leathers

The handmade leather LTD/SN22D1 cobra-style sling is constructed of a vegetable-tanned leather top and soft suede backing. Decorative pattern stitching runs the length of the sling. It is adjustable from 28 to 36 inches and fits 1-inch swivels. SRP: $67.70. Booth #2938.


Mad Calls

Unlike a conventional, rectangular CNC-shaped box call, the Billy Yargus Easy Touch Box is formed and glued with curved sideboards

that are stretched around a canoe-shaped frame. The curved walls create greater surface area contact with the lid, which yields a fuller, richer sound. The curved sidewalls are solid on one side and grooved on the other, giving callers two different tone options to attract fickle gobblers. Made from glued mahogany with jatoba (Brazilian cherry). SRP: $49.99. Booth #14822. (

Pelican Products

Designed to traverse tough terrain with ease, the Pelican 80QT Elite Wheeled Cooler has heavy-duty 8-inch wheels with an extended pull handle. Additional adventure-friendly features include a built-in bottle opener, a lid-integrated fish scale, and raised antiskid feet. Certified bearresistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, it’s perfect for any hunter camping in the wilderness. All Pelican Elite Coolers are built to exacting military standards and are engineered with rugged polymer exterior walls that feature an industry-leading 2-inch polyurethane foam core, which ensures extreme ice retention. Additional advanced features include secure press and pull latches, a freezergrade O-ring seal, and dual molded-in handles for easy transport and tie-off. SRP:


CrossBreed Carry Holsters

MAYVILLE ENGINEERING The 100E portable clay target machine has a capacity of 135 targets and a throwing distance of 85 yards. Available in various models to match the desired discipline, including Skeet, ATA, and Sporting Clay, the 100E is ideal for recreational backyard shooting or for a small club. SRP: $995. Booth #16441. (


he late Mark Craighead was an avid shooter, reloader, and concealed-carry permit holder who was introduced to firearms at a young age. That ultimately led to a fascination with holsters. After collecting his proverbial “box of holsters,” Craighead decided to create a design of his own, incorporating the best features of other holsters and discarding the non-functional elements. In doing so, he managed to handcraft a new breed of holsters, which were marketed by the company he founded—CrossBreed Holsters. Within a couple of years, his hybrid holster design had achieved such popularity that the company gained national recognition as a leading manufacturer of some of the best and most functional concealment holsters available on the market. Each holster is handmade by craftsmen who were personally trained by Craighead, and these craftsmen continue to pass on the skills, traditions, and attention to detail to a new generation of craftsmen who have joined the company. For 2016, CrossBreed Holsters is introducing the latest in its line of handcrafted holsters, the Freedom Carry. The line was created in response to consumer demand for more versatile carrying tools. What sets this new holster apart from its predecessors is that it can be worn in several positions without sacrificing comfort. The holster also allows the user to carry larger firearms in the appendix position. The Freedom Carry is available for more than 300 different firearms, including those with lights, lasers, and micro red-dot sights (depending on model). Retailers should note that CrossBreed Holsters offers a twoweek, try-it-free guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty (on selected items). Booth #4459. (

$549.95. Booth #20221. (pelicanprogear. com)

Skull Hooker

The new Table Hooker is an elegant way to display a wide variety of small- to mediumsized game skulls on office desks or shelves. Appropriate species, to name a few, include cougar, bear, pronghorn, impala, and deer. SRP: $59.95 Booth #2609. (

Summit Treestands

Both the Pro and the Sport harnesses feature high-performance tethers, quick-release buckles, padded shoulder straps, and include a lineman’s climbing belt. In addition, each line features a Women’s Pro and Women’s Sport version to meet the needs and fit of female hunters. All harnesses have a maximum weight rating of 300 pounds, and the Pro Harness line includes a bungee tether line and a militaryinspired attachment system for complete accessory customization. Both harnesses meet industry standards recognized by Treestand

The Freedom Carry line was created in response to consumer requests for more versatile carry holsters.

Summit Treestands Both the Pro and the Sport harnesses feature high-­performance tethers, quick-release buckles, and padded shoulder straps.



Manufacturers Association. SRP: $99.99. Booth #16123. (

Swagger LLC

The Swagger bipod provides shooting agility with quick maneuvering in any terrain or situation. Swagger’s patented and adjustable Crazy Legs are flexible, which allows you to easily move forward or back, up or down, left or right as the shot dictates. With Swagger, you can shoot prone, sitting, or standing. Swagger also retracts into the chassis for easy, quiet transport. SRP: $219.99. Booth #N502.


vision and protection. The adjustable wire core rubberized nose bridge ensures comfort at all sight levels. Wiley X’s T-Shell scratch-resistant and Foil anti-fog-coated Selenite polycarbonate lenses deliver confidence of protection that meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 High Velocity, High Mass Impact Safety & Optical standards, as well as the military’s MIL-PRF-32432(GL) ballistic standards. Case, strap and cleaning cloth included. (Optional RX insert available.) SRP: starts at $95.99. Booth #32211. (


The Hopper 40 was designed to carry big food-and-beverage cargo with ease. It has a carrying capacity of up to 36 cans plus ice, but is still portable. The heavy-duty construction and HydroLok leakproof zipper make it anything but soft. Take it to the bonfire, on your next hunting trip, or use it any time you need to carry a large load. SRP: $399.99. Booth #2836.

Wiley X

Wiley X has a long tradition of providing absolute premium protection, and the new WX Rogue is no exception. Offered in two- or three-lens interchangeable kits, the WX Rogue has an understated matte black frame with strategically designed lenses that provides a clean line of sight for maximum peripheral


THERMACELL Unlike disposable air-activated handwarmer packets, which offer only one heat level and must be thrown away after each use, Thermacell’s pair of rechargeable heat packs provides users with three different temperature settings. Available in two different sizes, the warmers run up to six hours per charge (when set on low). The warmers have an easy pushbutton control to turn the unit on and off and to set the desired heat level. Recharge time is approximately four hours. SRP: $79.99, pocket warmer; $69.99, handwarmer. Booth #2350. (

FROMthe  NSSF piercing debate


premium perks


the . 22 seed


view from the summit

The Green Tip Imbroglio


NSSF wins a battle, but the war is far from over

By Brian McCombie

ast February, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) announced its intention to create and adopt a new regulatory framework that would ban popular M855 and SS109 “green tip” rifle ammunition in 5.56 and .223 calibers. The response from Second Amendment advocates and the shooting industry was fast, loud, and very much in the negative. ATF was flooded with more than 311,000 comments, including many from NSSF members and NSSF itself. Meanwhile, 299 Members of Congress—241 in the House of Representatives and 58 in the Senate—signed on to letters to ATF’s then-director B. Todd Jones urging him to rescind the proposal.

That condemnation got even louder in March, when the new ATF “Regulation Guide” was published and it showed that green tip ammunition was already listed as banned. ATF responded that this was simply a “publishing error,” but soon afterward withdrew its proposed framework altogether. That was the good news. The bad? ATF had argued that the green tip ammunition should be banned

because it fell under the “armor piercing” definition of ammunition under the 1986 Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA). Back in the mid-1980s, ATF exempted green tip ammo from the armor-piercing regulations. But ATF justified its attempt to remove this decades-old exemption by arguing that the introduction of certain MSR-platform handguns in recent years rendered obsolete the sporting purposes exemption for

the ammunition. ATF and the White House also claimed this ban would protect law enforcement, even though FBI data showed that a police officer had never been killed by armor-piercing ammunition fired from a handgun that penetrated an officer’s vest. Federal law contains a two-part test for determining whether something is “armor piercing ammunition.” First, is the bullet

made of certain materials, such as brass or steel? Second, if the answer to the previous question is yes, then the question is whether the ammunition “may be fired from a handgun.” If it can, then it is “armor-piercing” ammunition that can only be marketed and sold if ATF provides an exemption. That exemption is given when it is clear that the ammunition in question is primarily intended by the manufacturer for

FBI data shows no police officer has been killed by armor-piercing ammo fired from a handgun that penetrated a vest.


A Better Model NSSF pushes for export control reform


By David Draper

Because the larger issue is far from settled, NSSF will continue to be very proactive on this crucial Second Amendment issue.

a sporting use such hunting or target shooting. According to Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel, ATF has revised its interpretation of the second part of the test. If a projectile could be fired from a single handgun—no matter how obscure, uncommon, and commercially unavailable— the ammunition was now banned. As a result, many alternative rifle cartridges were now deemed by ATF to be illegal armor-piercing ammunition. Last March, in response to overwhelming grassroots and political pressure, ATF withdrew its ill-advised “framework” proposal even before the comment period closed. ATF said it would review the voluminous comments and develop an revised “framework” for evaluating whether certain alternative ammunition with projectiles made of certain metals would be classified as so-called “armor piercing” even if the ammunition is primarily intended for hunting game or other sporting uses. And in the interim? Then-ATF director Jones told Congress that ATF would not rule on any of the 34 petitions pending before the agency to have new rifle hunting ammunition made with brass projectiles exempted from the armor-piercing regulations. “We do not expect ATF to revisit this issue during the balance of this administration and unfortunately will not decide these long-­ pending petitions,” says Keane. “ATF has acknowledged that these 34 petitions, some of them four and a half years old, are for ammunition to be used in hunting rifles. But by putting a hold on all these petitions until it has reexamined its regulatory framework on the armor-piercing issue, ATF is hurting the industry’s ability to bring to market alternative hunting ammunition for places like California, which has banned all hunting with traditional lead ammunition.” Anti-gun Democrats in Congress have urged ATF to go forward with its original ammo-­ banning plans. So clearly, even if the ATF and the administration are going to essentially sit on these new hunting ammunition proposals, the larger issue is far from concluded. NSSF will continue to be proactive on this issue, to help safeguard the Second Amendment rights of individuals and our American shooting sports industry.

 e might think the U.S. government would support measures to n help American businesses compete overseas, but that’s just the opposite of what’s happening under current export regulations. An outdated, inefficient system, along with the quicksand of bureaucracy, puts undue restrictions on business in all sectors of the economy, but is especially restrictive to U.S. companies trading in firearms and ammunition. But there is hope that things will change. The administration has embarked on an ambitious initiative to modernize and reform our export control regime. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has joined with the entire business community in supporting the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative (

“The current export control regime is based on a Cold War model that no longer exists,” says Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The entire business community supports the ECR and has been asking for it for decades. To that end, the NSSF is participating in several federal advisory committees advising the state and commerce departments on export issues and is actively engaging a dialogue with the ECR inter-agency task force.” Under current export control rules, firearms manufacturers are subject to a Congressional notification requirement to export firearms shipments worth more than $1 million, which is an unfairly low threshold. U.S. companies are very often unable to even bid on foreign contracts because of delays occasioned by the Congressional notification requirement. If you can’t deliver because of government delays in obtaining a export license, you not only lose the business, but also give up an expensive bid bond. “Business can’t take that risk, so they don’t even bid on these lucrative contracts,” says Keane. “We know foreign competitors seek to put those provisions into contract proposals, giving them a distinct competitive advantage.” Expert controls also require costly and unnecessary registration fees, which would be eliminated under the proposed export control reform. License time periods would also be better and more flexible for U.S. businesses. Among the administration’s primary ECR

goals is to create a single licensing control list managed by a single agency using a single IT licensing platform with enforcement by a single agency. The NSSF hopes to the administration will “pull the trigger” on proposed regulations to modernize the export of firearms and ammunition products has been drafted and agreed to by the ECR interagency task force. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the driving force behind the ECR, has said the ECR’s goal was to “build a higher fence around a smaller yard.” Keane says, “Our industry supports his sentiment, that we should only impose the most stringent export controls on sensitive technology and defense articles that give our war fighters a tactical battlefield advantage. It makes no sense to restrict commercial or dual-use items that are available all over the world. A single-­shot .22 should not be held to the same controls as nuclear technology.” Keane further notes that NSSF has been supportive of the ECR initiative all along. “We remain hopeful that the administration will move forward with the reforms.” Although NSSF hopes the administration will move forward, it is not leaving it to chance and is actively engaging with Congressional leadership to urge and encourage the administration to publish the regulations.

Under current export control rules, firearms manufacturers are subject to a Congressional notification requirement in order to export firearms shipments worth more than $1 million. This unfairly low threshold ends up penalizing many U.S. ammo and firearms companies.


from the nssf

Added Value

NSSF’s Premium Range and Retail Memberships deliver the goods By Cathy Glazer


ccess to trusted industry experts, compliance assistance, a legal defense fund, and VIP SHOT Show perks along with all other member benefits makes NSSF’s Premium Membership one of the best investments a firearms retailer or range owner can make.

Premium Membership for retailers and ranges includes a wide variety of benefits that can help them stay in compliance with ATF FFL regulations.

“NSSF’s Premium Memberships for retailers and ranges offer unparalleled protection and benefits,” says Randy Clark, NSSF Managing Director, Business Development. “Members have responded very enthusiastically to these top-tier membership programs.”

The centerpiece of the Premium Retailer membership, which costs $750 annually, is access to an unlimited legal defense fund and a select referral list, available only through NSSF’s member services, of some of the industry’s top defense attorneys. NSSF will pay all related attorney fees in any ATF administrative action, including challenging an ATF license revocation. “It’s peace of mind,” says Patrick Shay, NSSF Director, Retail Development. “It’s knowing we’ve got your back so you can focus on your customers and business.” The Premium Membership includes a free on-site visit and audit by one of NSSF’s FFL Compliance Team consultants. Regular members pay $499 just for this benefit alone. Team members are former ATF supervisors and directors who have conducted thousands of FFL inspections. NSSF members also have access to a 24/7 Compliance Hotline. To help retailers and their employees be better prepared to spot and prevent illegal straw purchases, members receive NSSF’s “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” retailer kit, including a retailer guide and a number of display materials to help educate customers about the severe penalties for participating in such a purchase. Premium members also receive NSSF’s fivevolume set of guide books. Topics include financials, how to write a business plan, and guides to merchandising, employment, and advertising and marketing, all written specifically for firearms retailers.

Annual dues for the Premium Range Membership are $1,500 and include a number of high-value benefits, such as the development and implementation of health and safety programs required by OSHA, access to a 24/7 EPA/OSHA compliance hotline, and a legal defense fund. “Once a Premium Range member’s workplace safety and health compliance programs are approved and implemented, they can access up to $15,000 to defend against certain alleged violations imposed by OSHA or equivalent state agencies,” says Clark. To help shooting ranges with compliance, NSSF’s OSHA Compliance Team will perform an on-site mock audit to review the range’s existing health and safety plans. During the mock audit, the consultant will identify areas of concern while providing insight and guidance on how the programs can be improved to ensure compliance and best prepare the member for that unexpected OSHA inspection. Also included is access to a NSSF media consultant who can provide guidance on how to work with local media and how to respond to media inquiries. Both Premium Memberships include several SHOT Show benefits, including VIP access and one free ticket to the annual daylong—and always sold out—SHOT Show University, a $500 value. All NSSF members enjoy discounts on business services, from point-of-sale software and credit card processing to insurance and security systems, through the foundation’s affin-

ity partners. All members also have access to NSSF’s exclusive industry research, analysis, and market reports, as well as access to timely news they can use through NSSF’s various communications platforms. Membership in NSSF supports its over-arching goal of promoting and protecting hunting and target shooting, and our industry. “Your membership directly supports NSSF’s

The centerpiece of the Premium Retailer membership, which costs only $750 per year, is access to an unlimited legal fund. mission to promote, protect, and preserve our industry and our sports,” Clark says. “Through its innovative programs and its legislative efforts, NSSF works on your behalf every day.” For more about NSSF, its programs, and membership programs, visit To join today, stop by the NSSF booth (#L231) or contact Bettyjane Swann, director, member services. (

from the nssf

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Continues to Grow

Expanding program seeks additional sponsors and partners


By W. H. Gross f you’re a shooter, chances are the very first firearm you ever shot was a .22. With its low noise and minimal recoil, a .22 rifle or handgun has introduced millions of Americans to the shooting sports, and that tradition continues going strong even today. Several years ago, Sturm, Ruger & Company saw a need to attract new participants to the shooting sports, and thus began its Ruger Rimfire Challenge. Ruger handed off that successful program to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in 2014.

“The NSSF Rimfire Challenge is a .22 rifle and pistol program created to introduce new people to the shooting sports and provide a pathway to family-friendly competition,” says Zach Snow, NSSF Manager, Shooting Promotions.

“The Rimfire Challenge provides individuals and families with a fun, exciting, first-time shooting experience. An added benefit is that shooting ranges can utilize the concept as a second-round component to the NSSF’s First

Shots program.” The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun competition. Participants need only have a .22-caliber rimfire rifle and pistol, and eye and ear protection, and they are set to compete. “The idea is to keep the

program as simple as possible, safe, and fun for everyone,” says Snow. “By requiring only a minimum amount of shooting equipment, more people can compete and do so more economically.” Participants are also encouraged, but not required, to have five magazines for each firearm they bring. “It helps with the overall flow of the matches,” Snow says, “improving the shooter’s experience.” The program has seen solid industry support, but more companies are always welcome. Participating corporate sponsors in 2015 included Mossberg, Volquartsen Custom, Winchester Ammunition, WMD Guns, Joseph Chiarello & Co. Inc., Tandemkross, Walther, and Tactical Solutions. A total of 18 annual corporate sponsorship slots are available at four levels: Bronze, $2,500; Silver, $5,000; Gold, $7,500; and Platinum, $10,000. Considered partners are those companies that want to support the program at the local level, mainly by supplying product. For instance, Ruger provides promotional prize packages for all registered events, including a rifle and pistol. The products are displayed on prize tables throughout the day and awarded to participants during a random drawing at the end of the competition. “Both our industry partners and the shooting participants themselves seem to enjoy that format,” says Snow. “That way, everyone who participates during an event has a chance of winning something, not just the competition’s best shooters.” Snow goes on to say that often at Rimfire Challenge events, young shooters using a borrowed firearm The Rimfire Challenge provides individuals and families with a fun and exciting first-time shooting experience.


from the nssf

A Landmark Measure? NSSF keeps a watchful eye on a new international arms treaty By Bill Miller

When you see a youngster smile, you know you have helped create a shooter for life.

have walked away at the end of the day owning a new Ruger .22 rifle or handgun. “After seeing the broad smile on a boy or girl’s face, you know you’ve created a shooter for life,” he says. Gold Coast Armory provides ammunition for the events. “They purchase .22 ammo from our ammunition company partners and sell it to Rimfire Challenge host ranges at no cost to the NSSF,” says Snow. “In fact, the small profit from the sale of the ammunition is then donated to the Rimfire Challenge program.” Gold Coast Armory’s first donation, last April, amounted to $22,000. Nationally, some 65 shooting ranges and sportsmen’s clubs are involved in Rimfire Challenge events, and that number is growing. During 2014, nearly 200 events were held. The NSSF was gunning to increase that number by 10 percent in 2015. That goal was easily achieved and surpassed, as more than 300 Rimfire Challenge events were held last year. One component that helped us achieve such great program growth was the support provided by our partners at Action Target. Through the Rimfire Challenge Steel Target Grant Program, the company provided 12 sets of steel targets to 20 different ranges. Another participating target company was MGM Targets. “MGM donated enough steel so that we were able to set up more than 14 shooting stages at the World Championship last year,” says Snow. Some sportsmen’s clubs and shooting ranges are experiencing an unexpected benefit as a result of hosting Rimfire Challenge events. “A number of ranges and clubs are holding the events on a monthly basis and are starting to recognize that not only are the events a great way to build positive community relations, they are also helping grow membership numbers,” says Snow. Last but not least, Snow praises the volunteers at the local level who make the program work. “Without their participation, we wouldn’t have the vibrant, growing Rimfire Challenge program that we do,” he says. “Volunteers are the life blood of the program. Thanks to them all.” Full details of the NSSF Rimfire Challenge are available at For questions, including how to become a sponsor or partner, contact the Rimfire Challenge’s new administrator, Tisma Juett. (


ursuing an arms trade treaty for peace and security certainly sounds noble. Who among reasonable people would not want to block weapons to Third World thugs bent on war crimes or even genocide? To that end, the United Nations General Assembly approved the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in 2013. Secretary of State John Kerry signed it on behalf of the Obama Administration.

The ATT went into force in 2014. As of this writing, 130 countries have signed the treaty, but only 72 have ratified it. The United States is not among them. Ratifying a treaty is the job of the U.S. Senate, but in that house, there has been staunch bipartisan opposition to the ATT. Gun advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association and others, including a majority of the United States Senate, have said the treaty threatens Second Amendment rights in the United States. For the firearms industry, the ATT also presents an economic issue, says Lawrence Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “While we fully appreciate the Second Amendment concerns, from a business point of view we are also concerned with the ATT being implemented in other countries even if it is never ratified by the Senate. The implementation by other signatories to the treaty may have an effect on our industry’s ability to import and export product from and to those markets.” When the ATT went into force, U.N. officials called it a “landmark” measure aimed at regulating the international trade in conventional arms— from small arms and battle tanks to combat aircraft and warships. “This is a victory for the world’s people,” said Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary-general. He added that the ATT would be “a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law. And it will provide much-needed momentum for other global disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.” The Obama Administration has said this treaty wouldn’t


hurt firearms sales in the United States. But NSSF is concerned that the treaty is ambiguous and overly inclusive on the definition of “small arms” and does not distinguish between military weapons and legitimate sporting arms. For example, semi-automatic shotguns made in Europe or Asia may be intended for upland game or waterfowl hunting in North America,

ty. Opponents said this item is also vague because it seems to encompass everything from a cargo container on a freight ship to the gun case of a hunter traveling to safari. Keane says the Senate’s position is clear on the ATT, and he does not see that changing. He warns, however, that the Obama Administration still wants the United States to be under the

An ambiguously worded international arms treaty bears careful watching.

but they could also be classified as tools for violence under the ATT. Consequently, sales of imported shotguns could drop and put a dent in the domestic market. “The ATT itself is sort of loosey-goosey,” Keane says. “What we consider sporting firearms, others would consider implements of war.” Opponents are also concerned that the treaty might require imported guns to be accompanied by an “end-user” certificate. This rule is intended to prevent diversion of guns into illicit markets. Senators wrote President Obama, warning about the end-user provision. They said it “could be used to justify the imposition of controls with the U.S. that could pose a threat to the Second Amendment and infringe on the rights protected therein.” A third concern involves the “transit” provision in the trea-

treaty. That was clear, Keane says, during final treaty negotiations in 2013. The U.S. government went along with a deviation from long-established UN protocol that agreements like the ATT needed to be approved only through the “rule of consensus” among all the member states. Instead, the treaty was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly, the United States voting in favor of the ATT. Abstaining from that vote were Russia and China, two of the world’s largest producers of arms. “Which,” according to Keane, “makes you want to say, ‘What’s the point?’” Keane warns that there will be attempts to implement parts of the ATT in the United States through executive orders. If that happens, NSSF will be prompt to protest, Keane says.

from the nssf

NSSF Industry Summit Maintains Its Focus Changing demographics require a proactive approach


By Christopher Cogley he goal of the National Shooting Sports Foundation is to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. One of the most important ways to accomplish that mission is by getting more people—and more kinds of people—involved in hunting and shooting. It’s a concept that’s so critical to the future of our industry that not only was it the theme of the 2015 Industry Summit, but it remains the focus of the 2016 Summit. “The demographics in our country are changing, and as an industry, we need to change with them,” says Melissa Schilling, Director of Exhibitions & Conferences for NSSF. “We need to be proactive in our approach. That’s one of the main strategic goals of the NSSF, and the Industry Summit is a great way for us to accomplish that goal.”

The Industry Summit is an annual gathering that provides an opportunity for representatives from all areas of the hunting and shooting community to get together and discuss the topics and issues that affect the industry. “The whole purpose is to learn from each other and spark new ideas on how to adapt and grow as an industry,” Schilling says. “By having everyone together, we can make sure we’re all moving in the same direction and working toward the same goal.” The 2015 Industry Summit took place June 1–3 in Savannah, Georgia, and the focus was centered on how the face of the firearms industry is continuing to change and the importance of recognizing the more diverse customer base that is becoming the future of the shooting sports. The summit was sponsored by Georgia USA, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and many other organizations and included a keynote address from Mike Helton, vice chairman of NASCAR. There were also presentations from industry experts that covered topics such as the U.S. Hispanic Firearms Market, Driving Engagement Across the Generations, and the Impact of Ethnic Diversity on the U.S. Firearms Market. The summit also featured several break-out sessions that allowed participants to attend smaller presentations and engage in group discussions specific to their areas of business. “There was a great mix of topics and a great mix of people from all areas of the industry,” Schilling says. “For the most part, everyone recognizes the importance of expanding our target market and is on board with the concept, but I think the summit really helped to

solidify that idea in everyone’s mind.” The 2015 Summit broke all previous attendance records, and Schilling says she expects participation to continue to increase in 2016. And while the focus of the 2016 Summit will remain on the growing diversity of the industry, the emphasis will shift from the importance of recognizing the changing industry to exploring ways to engage the more diverse group of participants who are creating that changing market. “Last year we gave everyone a lot of really good information to chew on. This year, it’s time to talk about strategy and implementation.” says Samantha Pedder, NSSF’s manager of outreach & diversity. “We know things are changing, and we know how they’re changing. Now we need to focus on what we’re going to do about it. This summit is all about action and strategy.” The 2016 Industry Summit will take place June 6–8 in Pittsburgh. And though specific details of the summit are still being determined, Pedder says the event will once again feature a series of presentations, panel discussions, and break-out sessions where attendees can hear case studies, from within our industry and outside of it, on the best ways to reach out to the increasingly diverse group of people who are interested in participating in hunting and the shooting sports. “There’s a new customer at your doorstep, and we want to help you welcome The summit is an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and see what’s working for other people in the industry. It’s all about action and strategy.


them in,” Pedder says. “But for that to happen, it’s important to understand that different types of people are looking for different experiences when it comes to hunting and shooting. This summit is an opportunity to exchange ideas and see what’s working for other people in the industry so that you can not only learn how to get these different types of cus-

tomers through your door, but also understand how to better meet their needs once you do.” And it’s that ability—maybe more than anything else—that’s going to help promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports for generations to come. For more information on the NSSF’s Industry Summit, visit

f e at u r e s

Laser Practice


Necessity, not accessory

By Slaton L. White

he folks at Crimson Trace Corp., a leading manufacturer of laser-sighting devices, don’t believe laser sights are an accessory; they believe they are a necessity. And for a simple reason—not only do these sights help experienced shooters place accurate shots while on the move or from the offhand during competitive events, but these same sights help novice shooters gain command of their firearms.

“It really all comes down to training,” says Kent Thomas, CTC’s director of marketing and product development. “First, you need to become completely familiar with all the features and controls on your handgun. Then, learn to use the iron sights. We call this Basic Firearms 101. That done, you can move on to the next step.” Trigger control is a key aspect of consistent accuracy, and Thomas believes laser sights can quickly help a new shooter achieve this goal. He

says the process of acquiring proper trigger control gives firearms retailers a teriffic selling opportunity. “A laser-sighting system can help the novice shooter improve trigger control in a surprisingly short time,” he says. “In just a few shots, you can literally ‘self-judge’ your form because you will see the laser move as you squeeze the trigger.” No one can hold the gun steady enough so that the laser will not move as you shoot, but if you see the laser dart quickly offtarget as you squeeze the

trigger, you know something is amiss. Let’s say you’re a right-handed shooter, and you notice that the shots are landing below and to the left of the aiming point. That’s a surefire sign of a flinch. To correct the fault, practice trigger control with an empty gun. Acquire the target while the laser is on and slowly squeeze the trigger. When you can shoot several times without a telltale “laser jump,” you’re ready to resume practice with live rounds. “If you help a new shooter become better,

he’ll see you as a valuable and trusted partner and will come back to your store for more advice—

and certainly more product,” he says. Booth #16731. (crimsontrace. com)

Crimson Trace laser sights are rightly promoted as important personal defense tools, but these sights can also help improve the accuracy of any shooter.

f e at u r e s

Former SEAL Ron Bellan with Axelson rifles. Top to bottom: Axelson Combat Series; the author shooting one of the Warrior Series rifles; the author and Jeff Axelson on a hunt.

Never Quit. Never Surrender Axelson Tactical was founded to honor the memory of a fallen warrior By Katie Ainsworth


en years ago, a team of four U.S. Navy SEALs was inserted into the Hindu Kush to put eyes on a known terrorist. Of those four men, three were killed, and one of those three was Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Matthew “Axe” Axelson. Axe fought valiantly—he was a true warrior, and he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his military brothers. In the wake of his death, his brother by birth, Jeff Axelson, grappled with a decision he’d hoped to never face: how best to honor his brother’s memory. In the end, it was simple, really. Jeff would turn one of his brother’s passions into something tangible, something everyone could participate in. And that’s how Axelson Tactical was born.

First came the commemorative AXE Special Purpose Rifle, chambered in .223 Remington and engraved with a trident. Only 100 AXE rifles were manufactured, and it wasn’t long before Jeff and his team—which is heavily staffed by military veterans—knew it was time for a complete line of firearms. Axelson Tactical has now opened production with a trifecta of rifles, one for each prong of Poseidon’s Trident: the Warrior, Signature, and Combat Series. Warrior Series Precision rifles are chambered in 5.56 NATO; Warrior Precision I and II rifles are chambered in .223 Wylde. All have a 16-inch barrel with a 1:8 twist, topped with muzzle brakes. The Precision gets the Axelson Tactical Talon muzzle brake, and the I and II are fitted with the BattleComp 1.0 muzzle brake. There are eight Cerakote options, ranging from Desert to Battleworn. SRP: starts at $1,949. Combat Series rifles come chambered in 5.56 NATO, .300 BLK, .308 Win., and 9mm. In addition to the rifles that come with a Faxon chrome-lined 16-inch barrel, this series also includes SBR and pistol options. Features on Combat guns include Axelson Tactical BCGs

and muzzle brakes. Cerakote options (10 in all) vary by rifle and include Kryptek Banshee and Multicam Black. SRP: starts at $1,249. The Signature Series currently consists of one rifle, the Reaper01 AR-10. This rifle is the creation of former SEAL and current professional hunter Ron Bellan. Bellan put serious thought into his rifle and calls it “a high-­ quality rifle that brings the best of the tactical world to the consumer.” The Reaper01 is chambered in .308 Win. and has a 16-inch Proof Research barrel with a 1:10 twist. It features a Geissele Automatics SSA-E trigger, an adjustable low-profile .825 gas block, and an

The Axelson Tactical Combat in .300 BLK poised for a coyote to move into range.


Axelson Tactical Talon muzzle brake. The Cerakote finish is Desert Camo. SRP: $3,849. Back when Axe was still in BUD/S, he had a rare weekend of leave and shared a beer with his brother. In a serious moment, he posed this question to Jeff: “Do you think you would have the courage to risk your life to save a friend?” Just a few short years later, Axe’s question became his reality, and the answer was a resounding “Yes.” Jeff Axelson believes that in the heat of battle, your thoughts should be focused on the fight ahead and protecting those around you, not on your gear. Trustworthy gear is absolutely vital. “Everything we do is focused on carrying on the legacy of Matt and his brothers,” Jeff says. “Creating weapons, running a company, living our lives—it all emulates the constant quest for perfection and dauntless courage my brother conquered life with, 100 percent in all the time. Never, never, never quit.” Never quit. Never surrender. Axelson Tactical is an up-and-coming company founded to honor the memory of a fallen warrior. With every squeeze of the trigger, Matt Axelson’s memory lives on. Never quit. Never surrender. Booth #30310. (

Crosman Changes The Game The PCP rifle market will never be the same By Jock Elliott


re-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles are usually regarded as the top rank of airgun technology because they are easy to shoot well and often astonishingly accurate. For that reason, all Olympic 10-meter match air rifles, arguably among the planet’s most accurate projectile launchers, are PCPs.

What distinguishes PCPs from other air rifles is they have an on-board high-pressure air reservoir that is charged from an external tank or pump. As a result, PCPs are more convenient than pump-up air rifles and easier to shoot accurately than break-barrel spring-piston air rifles with their whiplash recoil. It wasn’t long ago that you could expect to spend $500 to $1,000 (and some-

times much, much more) for a PCP air rifle. Then you add in the cost of a scope, mounts, and charging equipment. In recent years, however, the price has been dropping. With the introduction of the Benjamin Maximus (SRP: $199.99), Crosman Corporation has changed the game, bringing the cost of a PCP rifle into parity with garden-variety break-barrel springers.

The Maximus, built in America, will be available in .177 and .22 calibers. It has a maximum fill pressure of 2,000 psi, can be charged with a hand pump, and can deliver up to 30 shots per fill. Crosman says it will deliver velocities of up to 1,000 fps in .177 caliber and 900 fps in .22. Jennifer Lambert, Crosman’s vice president of marketing, says, “Many people find PCP a little

The new Benjamin Maximus PCP rifle (available in .177 and .22) is being built in America.

bit scary—they’re not sure how to use and maintain it. Our goal is to make PCP as accessible as possible. We have dealer-support programs, including displays, as well as all the information a consumer needs to know: how to choose, operate, maintain, and fill their PCP gun throughout its life cycle.” Lambert also says that Crosman will have a dealer pricing program. “This way, independent retailers

will be able to handle it, and further, the Maximus has been engineered for a very attractive margin. We think this gun will put a huge grin on the faces of both customers and dealers.” Booth #13940. (

f e at u r e s


Hitting the Target

10X aims for a bull’s-eye with consumers

By David Draper

or baby boomers, 10X was one of the premier brands in the hunting and outdoors space. Launched in 1934, the brand was well established by the time soldiers started to return from World War II. The company rode the wave of these customers and the generation of sportsmen that followed, until 1976, when 10X was acquired by Walls Clothing. A powerhouse in the workwear industry, Walls used 10X as entree to the outdoors space. In the process, it helped lay the groundwork for the camo craze in the 1980s, as the original exclusive apparel licensee of both Realtree and Mossy Oak. (Interesting sidenote: Walls was also one of eight founding companies of the original 1979 SHOT Show.)

Although 10X never officially disappeared, it did fade when an onslaught of companies invaded the apparel space about 15 years ago. In 2013, Walls was purchased by clothing giant Williamson-Dickie. One of the new owner’s first strategies was a renewed emphasis on hunters. And what better place to relaunch a heritage hunting brand than at the 2015 SHOT Show? Since then, the response has been “outstanding,” according to Alan Burks, director of marketing for Walls.

Brand Power ➤ “Our

retail customers realize the quality of fabrics, make, trim, and technology in these new 10X garments,” says Burks. “They realize the power of Realtree and Mossy Oak. They see the opportunity to grow the market with more reasonable price points. We keep innovating and meeting the needs of the active hunter, and we’ll see growth.” In that single quote, Burks outlines the four keys to 10X’s marketing strategy: quality, brand alignment, affordable product, and constant innovation. It’s the second piece of that marketing puzzle that harkens back to the Walls/10X legacy and aims to hit a place in a market that’s become home to one-off camo patterns. “We see white space in the premium hunting apparel segment for a brand partnered with Realtree and Mossy Oak rather than using a proprietary camo pattern,” says

Walls is re-launching the 10X brand, and the new hunting clothing will feature quality fabrics and modern technology at an affordable price.

Burks. “10X Gear was designed to master the backcountry elements, but quiet enough for the most cautious whitetail hunters to wear in the stand. We will position the product as matching or exceeding the highest performance standards of any brand in the industry at price points significantly lower than the perceived high-end brands, such as Sitka and Kuiu.” Entering into a space dominated by new and nimble apparel makers


may surprise retailers expecting a heritage brand like 10X to go after an older market, where the brand might have more resonance. According to Burks, the 10X target demographic is made up of male and female active hunters age 18 to 54 who primarily hunt whitetail deer and primarily live in the Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern regions of the U.S. In these folks, it’s apparent 10X has found a customer who aspires to

some of the high-end brands and the technical performance they offer, but who may not have the budget to get there or find the available camo too niche for their needs.

By Design ➤ “Consumers

that have seen the new 10X see it as superior in design to Under Armour, comparable to Sitka at much lower prices, and they love that this technical hunting

gear is available in Realtree and Mossy Oak patterns,” Burks says. Burks and his team have also done their research on how to reach this particular demographic. Starting in the second half of 2015, and going forward throughout the coming year, 10X has put forth a targeted campaign utilizing traditional media, including broadcast, print, and the internet. They’ve also started an aggressive social media campaign to capture the modern hunter where he (and she, as 10X has a modest women’s line) gets his information—via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just as notably, they’ve built an advisory staff made up of some wellknown industry talent who not only market 10X but also assist in design. “We have recruited an outstanding 10X Pro Staff who resonate well with our target audience,” says Burks. “Our professional hunters have given us invaluable input into the make, fit, and design of the product line.” The clothing company also has a 500-pound gorilla in its corner—the backing of WilliamsonDickie. The global apparel giant has a heritage of quality, innovation, technology, brand building, and customer service, all available to help 10X succeed. “We have state-of-theart development, manufacturing, testing, logistics, sales management, IT, and distribution capabilities,” says Burks. “We can and will compete effectively with anyone.” Booth #10125. (

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Fitted with an elevation-adjustable comb, integrated Picatinny rail, and a heavy-duty secure 11mm/22mm Weaver-style scope mount, the Hatsan Carnivore is a good choice for predator control.

Big Problem, Big Solution

Big-bore airguns are just the ticket for nuisance wildlife control


By Jock Elliott oming soon to a residential area near you: whitetails, coyotes, and hogs. Whether it is the woodchuck in the garden, the raccoon in the garbage can, the bear under the bird feeder, the deer and the coyotes almost everywhere, or the feral hogs exploding across the landscape, people are coming into collision with wildlife. Jim Sterba, author of Nature Wars, says, “The return of deer, geese, beavers, coyotes, turkeys, bears, and other wild creatures amounts to a huge 20th-century conservation success story worth celebrating. And yet, in the 21st century, instead of celebrating, we’re often fighting about whether we now have too much of a good thing and, if so, what to do—or not to do—about it.”

He points out that it is very likely that more people live in closer proximity to more wild animals and birds and trees today in the eastern third of the United States than anywhere on the planet at any time in history. “Some people say our conflicts with wildlife are our fault because we encroached on their habitat. That’s true. But that’s only half the story. As their populations multiply and spread, many wild creatures encroach right back.” The kicker, according to Sterba, is improved habitat. “Our habitat is better than theirs. We offer up plenty of food, water, shelter, edges, and protection. We plant grass, trees, shrubs, and gardens, put out birdseed, mulch and garbage, and fill up dumpsters. All this amounts to a giant buffet for all sorts of critters. It’s the reason that suburban sprawl’s biological carrying capacity—that is, the population limit the food and habitat can sustain—is far greater than an un-peopled forest.” When the interests of people and wildlife come into conflict, typically the next thing that happens is a phone call to state wildlife authorities or to a private contractor. Sometimes trapping/ tranquilizing and moving is the answer. Depending upon the jurisdiction and the species, however, it can be flatly illegal to relocate an animal. Sometimes there is a substantial breeding population in the area, so that relocating one individual animal becomes a symbolic, but ultimate-

ly useless act. And sometimes lethal removal of the wildlife is the only sensible answer. That’s where big-bore airguns—air rifles of .30- to .50-caliber—come in. Chip Hunnicutt, marketing manager for Crosman Corporation, says, “When it comes to lethal wildlife control in an urban or suburban environment, you want limited range, not a lot of noise, and—above all—sufficient accuracy and power to provide a humane kill. Big-bore airguns deliver all that in a package that is easy to shoot well.”

Big-bore airguns also present an opportunity for firearms dealers because they provide a solution for wildlife control in many venues where discharging firearms is forbidden. A number of states have approved, or are in the process of approving, the use of large-caliber airguns for harvesting deer. In addition, airguns often offer greater profit margins than firearms. Chuck Sykes, Alabama’s director of wildlife, says, “Large-bore airguns serve the purpose very well. You need to be proficient and know what range you are

This coyote was taken with a Benjamin Bulldog bolt-action .357 PCP airgun. A baffle-less SoundTrap shroud acts as a suppressor to lower noise levels. The rifle also has an easy-to-load five-shot magazine.


effective at, but you can kill a 180- to 250-pound deer at 100 yards with one. For nuisance wildlife control, anyone can afford them, anyone can use them, and it’s a lot cheaper to use an airgun than a firearm with all the hassle and expense of a suppressor.” Barry Stewart, a rancher with in-depth experience in wildlife control, says, “I use airguns for reduction of noise. If you are looking at a whole group of feral hogs, with a .223 you won’t get a second shot, but with an airgun you could. I get 1- to 1.25-inch accuracy at 100 yards with a Benjamin Bulldog, and it makes just as humane a kill as a firearm.” Hunnicutt attended the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Tucson last fall and found wildlife managers advocating the use of large-bore airguns for a number of applications. “There is a lot of potential in this market,” he says. The market has not gotten a lot of attention, and Crosman is supporting both wildlife managers and wildlife control professionals with performance data and information kits. Eric Arnold, editor of Wildlife Control Technology magazine, says, “In terms of legalities, the number-one issue with state laws is whether or not air rifles are authorized for taking the conflict animal.” His view is that when an air rifle is legal and alternative methods for control are not effective or too costly, then choosing a big bore (.30-caliber

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or larger) would be appropriate for wildlife that typically weighs from 15 to 80 pounds. This includes foxes, raccoons, coyotes, porcupines, and feral hogs. Larger big bores (.45- and .50-caliber) are more suited for larger wildlife that weighs from 80 to 250 pounds. This means whitetail deer, large feral hogs, and small black bears. He adds that a .30-caliber has more than enough energy for taking problem wildlife such as prairie dogs, rock chucks, ground hogs, skunks, raccoons, beavers, and foxes out to 100 yards and coyotes out to 75 yards, but can cause other problems if a miss occurs or the animal is too close and the projectile passes through. In short, shooters need to match the air rifle and pellet selection not only to the targeted wildlife, but also to the shooting conditions at hand. Three things are clear: the incidence of conflict between wildlife and people is likely to grow; big-bore airguns can play an important role in helping to deal with the problem; and large-caliber airguns present an opportunity for dealers to sell air rifles, ammunition, scopes, mounts, rangefinders, and other accessories.


Desert Eagle creates new demand with exotic camo By Peter Suciu Camouflage has existed for decades as a way to help soldiers and hunters blend into their surroundings. But sometimes it can be used to make something stand out instead. This is the approach offered by Magnum Research (MRI), which has introduced new editions of the Desert Eagle handgun in .44 and .50 Action Express models with eye-catching new camouflage finishes. The iconic firearms

The flashier finishes are possible because the Desert Eagle is no longer primarily being produced in Israel by IWI, which largely was a military manufacturer. “Now that we’ve moved most of the Magnum Research to production to the United States. we have more control over manufacturing and control over the introduction of new models and finishes,” says Frank Harris, vice president of

big - bore airguns at shot show


Now that most of the Desert Eagle production has moved to the United States, the company has had the freedom to pursue more variations with huge consumer appeal.

already make quite a point visually, and the handgun has appeared in countless films, TV programs, and video games. But recently it was given a new finish that made it impossible to miss. MRI introduced a new hightemperature Cerakote coating dubbed Burnt Bronze, and it proved to be an instant hit with shooters. The company has now introduced several new patterns, including Orange & Black, Cheetah, Kryptek Highlander, Snakeskin, Kryptek Typhoon, and Zebra.


sales and marketing for all Kahr Firearms Group products, including those of MRI. “For IWI, the Desert Eagle was kind of a sideline product, and the guns were all black. All the custom finishes had to be done in the United States anyway.” Now with the production being done in the United States, MRI has opted to introduce a variety of finishes, and so far each one— from the titanium gold and 24-karat gold to tiger stripe—has been a top seller. “It was eye candy at the

gun counter,” says Harris. “These finishes grab people’s attention in a big way.” To date, the products have been limited editions, and as such have been selling out fast. However, Harris says that if demand is high for a particular finish, it could end up as a mass-production product. Retailer reaction has been strong as well, and gun sellers have noted that finishes have turned heads and helped sales. “With California’s Safe Handgun Roster, we have some limitations on what models we can offer to our customer base, so we were excited to see the potential of the Burnt Bronze model when added to our selection,” says Mike Etienne, vice president of purchasing and marketing at Turner’s Outdoorsman in Rancho Cucamonga. “We have stocked the Matte Black and Brushed Chrome models for some time and added the Burnt Bronze model as well.” Etienne adds that the limited-edition camouflage model sold nearly one for one to the basic Matte Black. For MRI, the finishes are both a way to attract new buyers to the line while at the same time creating demand for repeat customers. “Some shooters that already have a black version want another because they see the Kryptek and know it is a limited edition,” says Harris. The Cerakote coating, which is applied in a multistep process, results in a high-temperature ceramic coating that holds up well under normal use. Moreover, the new prints are resistant to gun cleaners and solvents “The process is actually very cost-effective on this handgun,” says Harris. “Because the gun is so big and the barrel is fixed, the print can be applied fairly easily. The Desert Eagle lends itself well to this process while also giving us an opportunity to get some added attention.” Booth #15949. (magnumresearch. com)

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Way More Than a Knife Company

Gerber prides itself on a wide-ranging product mix


By David Maccar

nyone who says Gerber is just a knife company simply doesn’t know Gerber. Its product mix is far more varied, which perhaps helps explain a far-reaching reputation that goes well beyond the knife world. There’s hardly anyone who can’t afford to own a Gerber product, and they are likely to own it for a while. That’s something the company prides itself on, but it also has made the company’s name synonymous with military multi-tools and rough, utilitarian folders.

Over the past few years, the company has continued to make knives for every conceivable purpose. It has a blade for everyone— from the person who carries a folder in his pocket for everyday use to an Army Ranger who keeps an 06 Auto with a tanto blade in a pouch on her MOLLE vest. For many in the military, saying, “Let me see your Gerber” means, “Hand me your multitool.” And there are many in the company’s lineup, from the mili-

tary-only models to a lineup of four new multipliers specifically meant for firearms users: the MP1-AR Weapons Multi-Tool, the Effect II, the Crew Served Weapons Tool, and the Short Stack, a wrench-based tool in three pieces that fits inside an MSR’s pistol grip. Add in 2015’s Ghostrike Punch Knife and the just-released fixedblade, drop-point Strongarm, and it’s all very hardcore. On the other side, Gerber’s Freescape line is all

about ergonomics and blades shaped for multi-use. It’s paired with gear that has nothing to do with blades. There’s stuff any camper or RV enthusiast might have, like quality lanterns and flashlights, axes and hatchets of various sizes, and camp-kitchen-specific knives and kits. Not to mention machetes and saws and pruners. For hunters, there are the Myth and Moment lines, and that doesn’t even hit their Bear Grylls survival line or their Span archery

and shotgun tools. Throw in a bunch of tools designed for industrial workers and, no, people can’t simply call Gerber a knife company anymore. “Yes, we are known as a knife company, but we’re really a gear brand,” says Andrew Gritzbaugh, the company’s marketing communications manager. “A look at the company history will show Gerber’s saturation in the military is unmatched. If you were a soldier going to Afghanistan or Iraq from

The MP1-AR multitool can even clean the smallest hard-toreach spots on an AR bolt face. It comes in a MOLLE sheath with a pocket for tool bits.


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The use of precision craftsmanship and top-notch materials allows Gerber to craft military-grade tools for hunters and shooters.

2007 to 2012, you were issued a Gerber MP600 [multi-plier]. So that comes with an incredible amount of credibility. As a result, a lot of our multi-tool breadth and line are things that serve military users for specialties like telecommunications, demolition and explosives, or rifle maintenance. Our tools are also desired for general utility.” Providing the military with rugged tools that are able to survive hostile environments pays off when the company applies what’s learned in this arena to its consumer products. “That’s why you’re seeing things that used to be designed for a soldier—gear that is lightweight, packable, and hardcore—that are

now tailored more to a tactical enthusiast with the same needs but not the same requirements or tools that serve the hunter in the field, like the Span archery tool,” he says. As it moves into 2016, Gritzbaugh says Gerber has two new products set to launch at the 2016 SHOT Show that just might overshadow the 2015 release of the Gator Premium fixed-blade knife with the company’s signature Gator Grip handle. Booth #13614. (gerbergear. com) The MP1-AR multi-tool was designed specifically to service and clean AR-platform firearms in the field and at the range.

Odor-control technology has come a long way from the days when hunters simply filled a boot with foot powder and hoped for the best. No more. Many footwear manufacturers now feature some sort of proprietary odor-control in their lines. Now Weinbrenner Shoe Company is partnering with 3M to bring permanent odor-control technology to its line of Wood N’ Stream hunting boots. According to Patrick Miner, president of Weinbrenner, the Wood N’ Stream line in 2016 will utilize this innovative odor-control technology, the first of its kind in the footwear industry. “The release of this groundbreaking technology in our full line of boots is a true testament to our focus on innovation while still staying true to the quality standards that we established more than 60 years ago,” he says. Both insulated and non-insulated models will feature linings made with 3M Thinsulate Platinum Insulation and an added layer of X-STATIC permanent odor-control technology. X-STATIC is an advanced textile fiber that has a layer of pure silver (well known for its natural antimicrobial properties) permanently bonded to its surface. Together, the two technologies provide warmth and odor control in one package. Boots that utilize these advanced technologies require no additional sprays or recharging to remain effective. Models that feature this new technology include the Instigator, Maniac, Gunner, Gunner X-TREAM, Survivor, Legacy, Mountain Ridge, Tundra Pac, and Wellingtons. Booth #20040. ( —Peter B. Mathiesen


m ossy oa k : o f f i c i a l ca m o o f t h e n w t f

Turkey hunting and camouflage go together like turkey and dressing. And just before the holiday season, the National Wild Turkey Federation announced a partnership with Mossy Oak that includes a feast of support for conservation and hunting. In the process, Mossy Oak became the official camo of the NWTF. The NWTF and Mossy Oak have enjoyed a long history of mutual support, and their commitment to hunting and wildlife conservation continues to grow. This new partnership will also include the announcement of a new, collaborative camouflage pattern, which was unveiled yesterday at the 2016 SHOT Show. “Turkey hunting is at the very core of what Mossy Oak is all about,” said Toxey Haas, founder and CEO of Mossy Oak. “From our very earliest days in the industry, we drew our inspiration from those magical spring mornings, and we are so very proud to now be the official camo of the NWTF. The NWTF has done an incredible job of galvanizing all the outdoorsmen and women who love wild turkeys, and has been instrumental in some of the country’s most successful conservation efforts. We are honored to elevate our partnership to this level.” The partnership also includes support of the NWTF Hunting Heritage Center and its national scholarship program, as well as continued support of its national initiatives, such as Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. “The NWTF was built on the turkey hunting tradition,” says NWTF CEO George Thornton. “Our goal is to expand that for future generations.” Booths #10735, #2520.

XD Mod.2 SubCompact in FDE


 e Springfield XD family has grown steadily over h the past decade, both in features and refinement— and now, in aesthetic options as well. The latest in the lineup is the XD Mod.2 Sub-Compact with a Flat Dark Earth polymer frame topped with a black Melonite slide. It’s a sexy color for a great sub-compact carry gun that shoots like a fullsize—especially when paired with the included matching grip-extending magazine.

The three new FDE Mod.2s include the same internal features as their predecessors, with some external modifications. The new models sport High-Hand cutouts on the back of the grip and behind the trigger that allow the shooter to more easily place his support hand near the bore line to help minimize muzzle flip. The small pistols also feature Springfield’s GripZone contours and texturing, designed to provide a great grip where the hand and fingers come in contact with the gun the most. All XD Mod.2 Sub-Compact

models include both a flush-fit magazine and an extended-grip magazine. Booth #10966. (spring —David Maccar

LOWA Mountain Hunting Boots Three Levels of Performance. One Uncompromising Standard of Excellence.

Tibet GTX® HI



Innox GTX® Mid CAMO – NEW

Our 2016 Hunting Collection covers the mountain: From the über-rugged heavyweight Tibet GTX® HI that’s designed for big mountain, above tree-line hunting to the mid-weight, versatile Z-8S GTX® to the new fast & light Innox GTX® Mid CAMO that’s ideal for do-it-in-a-day hunts. All made with our signature PU (polyurethane) midsole for outstanding support and patented lasted GORE-TEX® construction for durably waterproof/breathable protection – and of course, all starring LOWA’s acclaimed fit, premium materials and enduring handcrafted quality.

LOWA is the only outdoor footwear manufacturer to have earned ISO 9001 status for highest quality construction and process standards. GORE-TEX®, GTX®, GORE®, and GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® and design are registered trademarks of W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. VIBRAM®, the Octagon Logo, and the Yellow Octagon Logo and the color Canary Yellow are registered trademarks of Vibram S.p.A. ©2016 LOWA Boots, LLC.

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Giving Back

Winchester has long been a generous supporter of wildlife conservation and the shooting sports By David Draper

John M. Olin, who oversaw the purchase of Winchester by the Western Cartridge Company in 1931, was a shrewd businessman, an avid sportsman, and an ardent conservationist.


ich in history, heritage, and legendary excellence, Winchester is a brand with a 150-year story—one that includes baseball gloves and woodworking tools, trips to the White House, dramatic overseas battles, homeland security, and, of course, trophies, both hard-horned and intangible, earned in the field. For many people across the world, Winchester is a part of their everyday life. From sportsmen and women to dedicated law enforcement officials, retired and active military, and many more segments of the hunting and shooting world, the company has supported its customers’ passions, pastimes, and professions since the earliest days of its history.

“Without question, Winchester is a brand committed to the growth and sustainability of the shooting sports and hunting industry,” says Tom O’Keefe, president of Winchester Ammunition. “We have remained a leading supporter of all the major conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Boone & Crockett; industry

organizations like the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance; and charitable non-profits such as Kids & Clays, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance. Groups such as these do the heavy lifting when it comes to hosting youth events and managing habitat for wildlife, which

benefits sportsmen, women, and youths throughout the world.” In addition to funding and inkind support of these and other fine industry organizations, Winchester has never been afraid to get its proverbial boots muddy, thanks in no small part to John M. Olin, who oversaw the purchase of Winchester by the Western Cartridge Company in 1931. A shrewd businessman,

Olin was also an avid sportsman and ardent conservationist. During the 1930s, he served as the chairman of the SAAMI Committee on Restoration and Protection of Game, directing the industry group as it worked through the issue of declining game populations in the early half of the 20th century. Olin’s work during the 1930s on bobwhite quail restoration has since been

The Model 1886 (top) accompanied settlers all across America. It became the premier North American big-game rifle and was a favorite of a young Theodore Roosevelt when he was a working cattleman in the Dakotas. The Model 1892 is essentially a compact version of the Model 1886.



Winchester has long supported conservation efforts to maintain wildlife populations. It also dedicates resources to recreational shooting programs.

hailed as some of the most important to the conservation of gamebirds and development of game preserves in the U.S. Winchester’s dedication to conservation is further evidenced by its model hunting and shooting facility, Nilo Farms, located near Alton, Illinois. Another pet project of Olin, Nilo Farms was originally designed as a hunting preserve where conservationists could test game management best practices. According to Olin biographer and longtime Winchester director of conservation Edward L Kozicky, “Nilo Farms [carried] out John Olin’s most cherished crusade: the education of sportsmen and game management agencies to the potentials of wildlife preserves in a diminishing outdoors.” Established in 1952, Nilo Farms has since become a model for both game management and the shooting sports. For Winchester, giving back is not just limited to hunting and

Made by

Cold hammer-forged barrel provides top accuracy

Two-stage trigger

Fully-jeweled bolt & knurled handle

5-round detachable, flush-fit metal magazine

Pillar-bedded, Italian walnut wood stock w/ cheek weld

Nikko Stirling® Panamax™ 3-9x40 scope

Come see it at booth #3036 775-828-0555 |


wildlife conservation. The company understands much of its customer base is passionate about shooting sports as well, from trap shooting to recreational plinking. During the course of its 150-year history, the company has dedicated significant resources to not only supporting these endeavors, but also promoting them to the general public through a longstanding campaign of information and education. To do this, over the years Winchester has enlisted the help of celebrities such as John Wayne; presidents of the United States, including Theodore Roosevelt; and highprofile athletes like five-time clays shooting Olympic medalist Kim Rhode and legendary shooting showman Herb Parsons. With such a strong heritage as its foundation, Winchester is well positioned to reach new shooters and hunters with innovative products and a brand that remains relevant in our fast-paced world. “It is very humbling to know that Winchester, The American Legend, is a brand that helped write the history of the shooting

Theodore Roosevelt, who used Winchester products, was a strong supporter of conservation.

sports and hunting heritage,” says O’Keefe. “With so many reputable companies in this industry today, we are fortunate to have such a rich history, a legacy that we can speak to with our customers, our families, and those who appreciate our contributions. It’s also very important to our company that we do not rest on our laurels. We recognize that in order to be around for another 150 years, we need to be wise stewards of our brand and constantly thinking about the growth and sustainability of our business.” Booth #13334. (winchester. com)


Expanding Universe Known primarily for quality firearms, SIG SAUER is adding complementary lines to bolster the brand By Slaton L. White


hen most retailers and consumers think about SIG SAUER, they think about firearms. The P320 and P226 come readily to mind, as do the SIG MPX and the SIG MCX. They might even be aware of the SIG name on ammo, a complementary line launched last year. But optics? No. Silencers? No. Airguns? Certainly not. And yet these last three product lines are now firmly in the SIG SAUER firmament, thanks to the vision of one man. And that man is CEO Ron Cohen, who has gone after top talent in the shooting sports industry to broaden the company’s offerings. In addition to Tom Taylor, who recently came over from O.F. Mossberg to be chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales, SIG has hired Dan Powers, former CEO of RUAG Ammotec USA, to run the ammunition division; Kevin Brittingham, founder of Advanced Armament Corp, to run the silencer division; and Andy York of Leupold, to run the new electro-optics division. “SIG is not, and will not be, a ‘me too’ compa-

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The new Kilo 2000 rangefinder is already earning accolades for its performance.

ny,” says Cohen. “To cite just one example, we intend to deliver a seamless marriage between gun and optic that will change the transaction at the store for dealers and SIG.” More than that, the complementary businesses are all part of a system designed to help promote the SIG brand and help retailers protect margins at the same time. “The gun is the center of this system,” he says as he draws a large circle on a piece of paper. In the center he writes “guns.” Then, he draws four smaller circles that intersect the larger circle, each labeled “optics,” “ammo,” “airguns,” and “silencers.” The new airgun division will build exact replicas of the firearms line, both for enthusiasts and for professionals who need airguns for training. But given the company’s reputation for innovation, don’t expect to see the same old thing. “Who really wants to shoot break-barrel pump airguns as they are today? It’s exhausting. And PCP guns? You have to live near a dive tank.” Cohen says SIG will be introducing its own break-barrel and PCP airguns, but each will feature technology that will make them far more user-friendly. “We’re going to bring innovation and retailer engagement to this section.” The introductory models include the SIG MPX, SIG MCX, P226, and P250. Each will feature a similar weight and trigger pull to the centerfire versions and will fit in holsters made for their centerfire counterparts. Silencers are a hot item these days. Now legal

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in 42 states (37 for hunting), SIG’s silencers, like the airguns, will appeal to both enthusiasts and professionals, but at the proper price point. “The silencer should not cost more than the gun,” he says. “We intend to disrupt the price.” One of the keys to creating this expanded SIG universe is what Taylor calls organic growth. “There are companies that, in order to grow, outsource aspects of their products,” Taylor says. “We didn’t want to go that route. Simply put, we want to grow it here—and have our name on it. It is important to control product development and engineering. Everything starts with quality and innovation, and it’s hard to have quality and innovation when you’re sourcing it out to a factory overseas or to other suppliers.” They’ve already hit a home run with the new line of electro-optics, two of which won coveted Field & Stream Best of the Best awards. The pair honored are the Whiskey 5 2–10x42mm riflescope and the Kilo 2000 rangefinder. Taylor also says that this organic growth includes firearms as well. And so he pulls out a piece of paper and draws a pyramid, dividing it into three sections. “This is the product pyramid: good, better, and best—good being the broad base, better being the large middle ground, and best being the much smaller top. SIG, for the most part, has played in the top part of this pyramid. Products like the P226 and SIG MCX sit at the pinnacle. These are more expensive higherquality products, but a fairly small piece of the

Products such as the SIG MCX sit at the pinnacle of SIG’s product pyramid, but retailers can expect the company to start rolling out more models designed to appeal to a much broader consumer base.

consumer base. And yet, we’ve always been able to sell quite a bit of this kind of product because of the quality for which we are known.” He moves his pen down a notch. “And then you have the broader middle section. We’ve rarely played in this middle tier, but the P320 sits right in there, where it competes against products like the Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, the Springfield XD, and Ruger.” “Polymer striker-fired guns are at the heart of this middle ground. But until we introduced the P320, we didn’t play there. The P250 was still a hammer-fired gun, and it never established a strong foothold in the middle market. We think a product like the P320 is going to really entrench us in this area.” Cohen is bullish on the P320 as well. “We built it to serve the world,” he says, “and its greatest assets are its modularity and safety.”

The heart of the P320 is a serialized stainlesssteel frame. Slide assemblies and grip modules are available in full-size, compact, and subcompact, and the user can even change the caliber as well. “This allows the user to get a specific fit, not a generic fit,” Cohen says. He obviously believes that what is good for the consumer will be good for the retailer as well, as long as the latter realizes that customers need to get it in their hands. Cohen also says retailers and customers can expect the company to roll out “a lot of new product” in the future, much of it aimed at that middle tier. Taylor agrees. “We’re looking at some product lines down the road that will probably play a little more in the middle ground,” he says. “In order to grow the way we want, we have to expand in this area with quality product that appeals to our customers at a competitive price.” Booth #12240. (



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Desert Tech’s new MDR is a bullpup design that boasts improved ergonomics and trigger performance.

Shared Vision

When designer and manufacturer see eye to eye, great things can happen By Peter Suciu


t might be said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but a seasoned gun designer can still learn a trick or two when it comes to firearms design, even one as advanced as a modern bullpup. At the 2014 SHOT Show, Desert Tech announced that it was working on a new line of modular semi-automatic bullpup rifles and promised that the MDR would be one of the most modern rifle designs ever introduced. The company, which was founded in May 2007 and is now based in Salt Lake City, has established itself in the tactical longrange rifle market by focusing on military and law enforcement.

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In 2015, in part to ensure that the MDR would reach the market in 2016, the company hired SIG SAUER designer Cory Newman, who joined the company as vice president of engineering. He immediately went to work helping transition the MDR from the prototype stage to a production model. Newman says he was fortunate to find a company that had the same vision for future firearms as he did, and together he and Desert Tech were able to make it a seamless transition. But with the big move did come some big changes for the firearms designer. “SIG is a big name,” Newman is quick to admit, adding, “but what I saw at Desert Tech was different from other manufacturers. They weren’t building just any guns. They were building rifles to advance the industry. I immediately saw the potential of the MDR, and that gave me the validation to come to Desert Tech. I was that excited.” Newman was a big catch for Desert Tech as well, as he had contributed to the designs of the updated 556xi and had worked on the MCX project and 716 family of rifles at SIG as its principal rifle design engineer. Beyond this solid resume of firearms, Desert Tech reportedly liked that Newman had a long track record of meeting deadlines—something that remains a make or break for the industry. Working on a new rifle design comes with challenges, but Newman’s experience also goes back even further than what he brought to SIG

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SAUER. While working at Christensen Arms, he helped design that company’s carbon-fiber AR-15, and at Butler Arms he helped design the RAS 12, a 12-gauge magazine-fed shotgun, before it was sold to Remington. During his time at SIG, working on the 556xi, MCX, and 716DRM, he learned rapid development. This process involves taking a rifle and shooting some 30,000 rounds a day, and then critically examining every detail as if lives depended on it. “Before I ever release a gun, I make sure that it is 100 percent safe. It also has to be robust enough to accomplish what it is meant to do and be absolutely reliable,” he says. “I came to Desert Tech to first finish the MDR and make it the best rifle that I possibly could—and that’s exactly what we’re doing.” It helped that Newman understood right out of the gate that the MDR was conceived to be the next technological advancement in rifle manufacturing. Like other Desert Tech rifles, it was built on a bullpup platform, which makes it more compact for today’s field requirements without sacrificing any accuracy. The other benefit the design brings is that it is highly adaptable. “It is also multi-caliber, meaning that the same chassis can convert to various calibers— such as 5.56, 7.62x51, and others—very easily and on the run with only one tool,” Newman says. “We also designed the MDR to be a forward-ejecting rifle to keep the brass out of the operator’s working space while also designing the unit to be ambidextrous so the rifle is truly a

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right- or left-handed tool.” He also believes Desert Tech has created a rifle that could really make people change their view of bullpups. “Up to this point, there have been three obstacles that have prevented the American market from fully accepting the bullpup platform—trigger performance, ergonomics, and chamber safety,” he says. He expects the MDR to solve all three problems. Although the MDR is fully ambidextrous, the design team kept such key features as the magazine release and safety selector in the same locations as they were in earlier rifle platforms. “While we designed the MDR to be cuttingedge, we also realized operators wouldn’t want to have to relearn how to run their rifle,” he says.” The new MDR offers a compact rifle that has its weight and center of gravity forward, which allows the shooter to better manage weight, recoil, and ergonomics. Maneuverability and concealability are thus increased without sacrificing firepower accuracy. Ultimately, Desert Tech will have four models for the civilian market: MDR (16-inch barrel), MDR Echo for competition shooters, MDR Compliant for heavily regulated markets, and MDR CQC (11-inch barrel). The initial release will be the MDR in 5.56 and 7.62x51. Later in the year, Desert Tech will release the MDR CQC in 5.56 and 7.62x51. In addition, both the MDR and MDR CQC will be available in 300 BLK. Booth #31502. (

J O H N N Y MO R R I S NA M E D N H F DAY H O N O R A RY C H A I R National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day) has named leading national conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris to serve as the honorary chair for NHF Day 2016. “America’s sportsmen and women are among our nation’s most active conservationists, and it’s important we recognize and celebrate everything they do to protect outdoor habitat and ensure thriving populations of wildlife,” said Morris. “NHF Day is continually looking for folks that have a true passion for the outdoors,” said Misty Mitchell, NHF national coordinator. “Johnny Morris is leading the charge in all facets of conservation. We are extremely happy to have him serve as our national chair.” Booth #2418. (

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NEW PRODUCTS trimmed with Nappa goatskin in Photo Camouflage. SRP: $112.70. Booth #3544.

Lowa’s GTX Mid hiker boot is now available in digital camo. The boot also features an NXT sole and a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner.


Delorme ➤ The

Lowa ➤ Lowa’s

popular Innox GTX Mid hiker boot is now available in digital camo, making the boot the company’s first camouflage product for U.S. distribution. The lightweight hiker is ideal for stalking and early-season hunts. A featherlight synthetic upper provides supportive comfort while Lowa’s injected PU sole technology and Monowrap construction deliver outstanding support and stability. A waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining keeps feet cool and dry. The NXT sole is sticky enough for rocks and metal grates, even when it’s wet. SRP:

$220. Booth #10232. (lowa

Holik International ➤ Constructed

for cold conditions, the Evelyn Open hunting glove uses meticulous detail and design to fit perfectly. The gloves, available in five sizes, feature a trigger finger that flips open but is secured by a magnetic disc. Cold is kept at bay with a generous combination of PrimaLoft and neoprene fill. The lining uses PES Thermolite with X-Static, and the nylon exterior is

DMC/REALTREE Sewn from premium 12-ounce cotton duck fabric with triplestitching, this classic canvas cover wears like iron. The Realtree-logoed brown Duck Dog Canvas Bed is chewresistant, easy to clean, and comes in two sizes. The exterior is treated with a DWR finish that allows stains to be wiped up quickly. A baffled liner is filled with chipped memory foam, while the sidewalls are fiber-filled to provide support and warmth for older dogs. SRP: $79.95. Booth #11030. (

Earthmate Hunt app packages everything you need in a mobile device to scout, map, and track, with or without cell service. The mobile GPS app comes with unlimited access to cacheable hunting maps and DeLorme topographic data. There is also online hunt planning with routes and waypoints, all with unlimited cloud storage. The GPS mapping includes state wildlife and game management units, private and public land ownership, high-detail topographic maps, and USGS Quad—all with color aerial imagery. The app is designed for iOS (7.0 and later) and Android (4.0 and later) mobile devices. The app subscription lasts one year. SRP: $39.95. Booth #11214. (delorme.


Lethal Lace

Made from high-quality stretch lace, the universal Lethal Lace holster is a versatile concealed-carry solution for women who wear outfits that would otherwise be ill-suited for carry. The holster pocket can be placed anywhere on the body (the ankle, calf, thigh, hips, waist, chest, or underarm), and then the fabric is pulled around several times to secure and conceal the firearm—each wrap pressing the handgun comfortably and securely closer to the body. It fits both large and small handguns, and also includes an extra pocket for other items, such as a permit, an ID, a knife, or keys. Lethal Lace is also introducing Lethal-Ace, a holster for men that functions the same way but is made of spandex instead of lace. One size fits most, up to a 43-inch waist. SRP: $57.99. Booth #1329. (


It’s important to have security where you need it. That’s what makes an innovative product like the SnapSafe modular gun vault so useful. Many gun safes are too large and heavy to haul up the stairs of a home, and so they are put on the first floor or in the


Evelyn Open hunting gloves from Holik International feature a trigger finger that flips open.

garage. SnapSafe’s modular vaults break down into component parts that can be transferred and reassembled in otherwise hardto-reach places. The pieces are securely bolted together from the inside so that the safe can’t be disassembled without access to the interior. The safes have 9-gauge 2-ply steel exterior walls, 2,300-degree F one-hour Fire Shield protection, a sledgehammer- and pry-bar-resistant solidsteel door, and a lifetime warranty. The safes come in four models: The Titan (holding 12 long guns), Super Titan (24 long guns), Super Titan XL (36 long guns), and Super Titan XXL (56 long guns). Safes are available with either a mechanical or electronic lock, except for the Super Titan XXL, which has an Extreme EMP electronic lock. SRP: from $1,148. Booth #2119. (

BCB International ➤ IEDs

in war zones can inflict life-changing and even lifethreatening groin injuries. But BCB’s Blast Boxers are designed to protect the wearer from perineal and femoral injuries by incorporating two layers of comfortable Kevlar fabric into the crotch and inner thighs of the briefs. A low-cut leg protects the femoral artery. External seams maximize comfort, and mesh in non-vital areas helps keep the wearer cool. Available in S, M, L, and XL. SRP: $149. Booth #6606. (


Profile for National Shooting Sports Foundation

SHOT Daily — Day 3 — 2016 SHOT Show  

SHOT Daily — Day 3 — 2016 SHOT Show

SHOT Daily — Day 3 — 2016 SHOT Show  

SHOT Daily — Day 3 — 2016 SHOT Show