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SHOOTING HUNTING OUTDOOR TRADE SHOW 1979–2017 DAY 2, JAN UARY 18, 2 017

NEW PRODUCT REPORTS SHOT Daily zeroes in on the latest in optics P. 14, aims at what’s new in ammo P. 26, and covers outerwear offerings P. 36.

FEATURES

NEWS

Benelli’s new over/under is a break from the past. SEE PAGE 58

manage across generational lines? Very carefully. SEE PAGE 102

RINGING ENDORSEMENT

POD PEOPLE

RADICAL DEPARTURE

BRIDGING THE GAP How do you

Podcasts are an efficient and entertaining way to reach your audience. SEE PAGE 68

MGM Target provides steel targets for a steal. SEE PAGE 90

T H E DA I LY N E WS O F T H E 2 0 17 L AS V EGAS S H OT S H OW B ROUG H T TO YOU BY T H E B O N N I E R CO R P O RAT I O N A N D T H E N SS F

Figuring out just what customers want when they’re in your store can be tricky because what they say may not necessarily be what they mean.

Voice, Activated

Henry Ford once remarked, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” It’s a good example of how customers are much more in touch with their needs (in this case, more speed) than they are with practical solutions for their problems. Gerry Katz, vice chairman of Applied Marketing Science, explored this dichotomy during Monday’s inaugural NSSF Executive Management Seminar session “Voice of the Customer: The Most Misunderstood Term in All of Marketing.” In a nutshell, the voice of the customer is not about listening to customers’ demands for features or technical specs, and it’s not about following industry thought leaders or reacting to anecdotes from your sales staff or tech support. Instead, Katz described a methodical process in which one-on-one interviews are conducted with current and potential customers, which are then transcribed and culled for key phrases about things the customers need. Next, those needs are grouped into categories and prioritized by those customers. It’s important to have customers involved in each step. Our industry is full of enthusiasts, and Katz warns against mistaking our own voices for the voice of the customer. We may share values and need many of the same things as our customers, but we often prioritize those needs differently, and use the wrong words to describe them. Those words matter—they carry the emotional freight of the needs, and help ensure that the solutions you arrive at are the ones your customers are asking for.  —Robert F. Staeger

Solving a Big Problem Law-enforcement agencies can be easily outgunned by those looking to do harm. Swiss firearms maker B&T has sought to swing the advantage back to the good guys with its 9x19mm Universal Service Weapon, which can fill the gap between a standard pistol, a submachine gun, and a police carbine. “The gun is meant for law-enforcement

WIN A FREE GUN! Crimson Trace will give away five guns to members of the media this afternoon at its booth. You can drop off a business card at any time during the day before the 4 p.m. drawing. Thirsty show attendees can stop by the booth and enjoy Happy Hour with a free beer at 4 p.m. Booth #16731. (crimson trace.com)

on the floor

officers who can only carry a pistol and do not have immediate access to a rifle or shotgun,” says Ralph Wilhelm, director of marketing at B&T AG. “The USW gives those officers a firearm the size of a pistol, but with the range and accuracy of a submachine gun.” Operators can engage targets out to 80 yards. Booth #3563. (bt-ag.ch) —Peter Suciu

SOUTHERN GRIND was founded by musician Zac Brown. One of the company’s most distinctive knife designs is the Jackal. To celebrate the company’s first year at SHOT, it is giving one away. Stop by Booth #3639 to enter the contest.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @SHOTBUSINESS 001_SHD02_NEWS_P1.indd 1

1/17/17 4:04 PM


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE X5/X5i.

YOU CAN FIND OUR PRODUCTS AT AUTHORIZED DEALERS AND ONLINE AT WWW.SWAROVSKIOPTIK.COM

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THE LONG-RANGE EXPERT Where no compromises are made. Where no distance is too far. SWAROVSKI OPTIK has redefined precision for the X5/X5i rifle scope. Let this long-range shooting expert take you to the limit. With absolute reliability, one shot after another.

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Come see us in booth #12120

12/9/16 9:37 AM


news

Polishing Our Image

“ yellow

boy ” auction

Boone and Crockett Club is seeking sponsors for its new fair chase initiative Industry leaders discuss fair chase ethics and the role of hunters in conservation.

I

n recent years, social media has facilitated a shift from an “antihunting” movement to an “anti-hunter” movement—a shift that targets individual hunters in a very public and easily shared environment. Most hunters are quick to say that nearly 80 percent of the public supports regulated hunting; what they don’t realize is that 65 percent also believe that many hunters are unsafe or knowingly violate hunting laws. With the public shaming of hunters on the rise, it is time to take a hard look at our own foundation of hunting ethics and to polish our image. The Boone and Crockett

Club is taking this issue head on, and they need the help of the industry. At a luncheon hosted by Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, B&C presented their new fair chase marketing initiative, “Hunt Right, Hunt Hard,” encouraging hunters to go back to the roots of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunter ethics. “In a society where urban ideologies are increasingly in the forefront, the hunting community must address the fact that today’s hunters are facing a more difficult future in terms of public acceptance,” noted B&C communications committee chair CJ Buck. “In response, the Boone and Crockett Club

will be leading a broad-based communications campaign to invigorate our commitment to the ethical pursuit of game and highlight the tradition of hunting as a mechanism for conservation.” This summer, Boone and Crockett will be launching the HuntFairChase.com website and releasing ads to encourage hunters to strengthen the tradition of fair chase. Corporate sponsors will help extend the reach of the campaign, sharing materials through their own platforms and social media channels. At the luncheon, executives from Buck Knives, Yeti, and Under Armour expressed their commitment to the vision. “I’m part of the millennial generation of hunters,” said Yeti’s Ben O’Brien. “We have to have a moral connection to hunting. We need to have an intellectual conversation with our peers about why we do what we do. Hunt Right, Hunt Hard will provide the tools to have that conversation.” —Jodi Stemler

SHOT BUSINESS HONORS INDUSTRY LEADERS At the Bonnier Outdoor Group SHOT Show breakfast yesterday morning, SHOT Business honored seven industry leaders through the presentation of the SHOT Business Awards. The honorees were Centennial Gun Club, Independent Retailer of the Year; Cabela’s, Chain Retailer of the Year; Granite State Indoor Range and Gun Shop, Range of the Year; Rick Insley of the RSR Group, Sales Rep of the Year; Lipsey’s, Distributor of the Year; Smith & Wesson, Company of the Year; and Lew Danielson, Person of the Year. Danielson (pictured far left), who recently announced his retirement, founded Crimson Trace Corporation in his garage in 1994 and built it into a global company with more than 250 laser-sighting and lighting products. He said, “It is with great pleasure that I accept this recognition on behalf of the Crimson Trace employees and the many customers who have purchased Crimson Trace laser sights.” “I take such pride in our team, and it’s magical to watch them accomplish their personal goals as well as our company goals each day. They know how to make things happen. This award means everything to us, and we appreciate the recognition very much,” said Laurie Lipsey Aronson, president and CEO of Lipsey’s.

4 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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In celebration of its 150th anniversary in 2016, Winchester set aside 10 preproduction rifles, chambered in .44-40, from the “One of Five Hundred” Model 1866 “Yellow Boy” commemorative rifle collection. This unique Model 1866 “1 of 10” will be sold through GunBroker.com (Booth #15147) to benefit the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe firearms safety program, through the Project ChildSafe Foundation. It’s the last of 10 pre-production Winchester Model 1866 “Yellow Boy” rifles, which will make it a highly sought-after item when it is put up for auction on GunBroker.com beginning the week of the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas. This chance-of-a-lifetime auction began the opening day of SHOT Show and will conclude on January 30. Ten pre-production rifles were sent to Baron Engraving for custom embellishments and identification, and include a box of special commemorative Winchester ammunition and the magnificent Winchester 150th collectible medallion. This is the last of the preproduction models to receive embellishments by Baron Engraving. The auction winner will not only have the satisfaction of owning this beautiful rifle, but also will be helping to support the nation’s largest firearms safety education effort. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program makes free firearms safety materials, including gun locks, available to any community in the country that requests them through a lawenforcement agency. Project ChildSafe’s goal is to help reduce firearms accidents, theft, and misuse. From 2006 to 2015, fatal firearms accidents declined by nearly 24 percent. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program will receive these funds through the Project ChildSafe Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Only online bids will be accepted. (gunbroker.com)

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1/17/17 4:42 PM


National Shooting Sports Foundation¨

one industry

one voice

12,000+ manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers making a direct impact on the future of our industry.

We’re one powerful voice for the industry.

JOIN US, AND MAKE US EVEN STRONGER! Apply online at nssf.org/join Visit us at booth L231

NSSF.ORG

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12/9/16 1:47 PM


GripSense

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LIGHT & LASER GUNSIGHTS Slaton L. White, Editor James A. Walsh, Art Director Margaret M. Nussey, Managing Editor David E. Petzal, Shooting Editor Paul Catalano, Assistant Art Director Judith Weber, Production Manager Hilary Ribons, Editorial Assistant

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

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

Gregory D. Gatto, Vice President, Publishing Director ADVERTISING: 212-779-5316

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Jeff Roberge, Advertising Director Brian Peterson, Western Sporting Goods Sales Katie Logan, Southern Sporting Goods Sales David Hawkey, Northeast Sporting Goods Sales Amanda Gastelum, Integrated Marketing Director Ingrid Reslmaier, Marketing Design Director

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Tara Bisciello, Business Manager

CONSUMER MARKETING

Robert M. Cohn, Consumer Marketing Director Stephanie Fry, Fulfillment & Planning Manager

1-800-LASER-03 ¥ lasermax.com

MANUFACTURING

© 2017 Lasermax, Inc. All rights reserved. Lasermax and the Lasermax logo are registered trademarks of Lasermax, Inc.

Alison Klein, Senior Production Manager

BONNIER

FIND US AT BOOTH 14570

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 25, issue 1. Copyright © 2017 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.

Quality Range systems with safety in mind backed by our outstanding customer service Call Us Toll Free: 800-370-0712

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Chairman, Tomas Franzén Head of Business Area, Magazines, Lars Dahmén Chief Executive Officer, Eric Zinczenko Chief Financial Officer, Joachim Jaginder 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 Operations, David Butler Vice President, Public Relations, Perri Dorset General Counsel, Jeremy Thompson

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 SBZcustserv@cdsfulfllment.com, 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

For editorial inquiries, visit Venetian Level 3, San Polo 3501, in the Sands Expo & Convention Center.

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1/5/17 1:48 PM


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11/28/16 2:40 PM


RANGE DAY 2017 HUDSON H9 PISTOL

The Cobalt B.A.M.F. rifle has a unique mechanism that releases the magazine when the last shot is fired.

Cobalt Kinetics B.A.M.F. Rifle ➤ Cobalt

Kinetics, a company that makes bold-looking AR-platform rifles for competition shooters, had their B.A.M.F. rifle on hand at Range Day, and the way it works is as innovative as its looks. Designed with 3-Gun shooters (and any other competitors who rely on lightning-­fast mag changes) in mind, the B.A.M.F. rifle features a Dual Drop multifunctional bolt release. Flip a small switch and it works like a regular AR. Flip it forward, and when a fresh magazine is inserted with the bolt locked open, the bolt automatically closes, chambering the first round. When the last round is fired and the bolt locks back, the empty magazine automatically drops free with no need to hit the mag-release button. This removes two entire steps from the reloading process, which could make a significant difference for competitors, for whom fractions of a second count. A prototype of the rifle was on display at last year’s SHOT Show, but a company representative says the gun will finally be going into production this year. Chambered in .223 Wylde, the B.A.M.F. has excellent all-around ergonomics, an extremely effective CK Pro muzzle brake, a wonderfully contoured M-Lok free-​­floating handguard, a beveled and extended magazine well, a lightweight, lowfriction bolt carrier group,

and a sturdy in-house stock that features the CK Pro buffer system. Combine that with its unique bolt system and you have what could be the future of competition ARs. Booth #2660. (cobalt​ kinetics.com)

Honor Defense ➤ Honor

Defense is a small gun company that makes only one line of handguns, the Honor Guard in 9mm. It’s a single-stack subcompact semiauto designed for concealed carry that feel a lot like the S&W M&P Shield. “We listened to people who carry every day, so there are features and benefits to our pistols that others don’t have, and it makes a huge difference,” says an Honor Defense rep. Some of those little differences include snag-free steel rear sights that are curved and smooth on the back, so they won’t catch on the draw. The dovetail sight cuts are

defense.com; lipseys.com)  —David Maccar

h o n o r d e f e n s e The Honor Guard in 9mm is a singlestack subcompact semi-auto handgun designed for concealed carry.

8 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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the same as on a Glock 42 or 43, which means owners can simply pick up new sights at their local gun shop. “We’re small, but we’re very proud of the fact that all the material—everything—is 100 percent made in America. In addition, every gun is assembled by a veteran,” says the rep. “It’s mandatory. And every gun is hand-assembled.” The Honor Guard comes in six configurations, including the Honor Guard FIST, the frame of which has a scalloped steel extension where a rail would be that extends past the muzzle. In a self-defense situation, if a semi-auto pistol is pressed against an attacker, it can push the slide out of battery and the gun won’t fire. This extension helps prevent that by impacting the attacker first, and the nasty jagged edge can also be used for a pistol strike if necessary. SRP: $499. Booth #11329. (honor​

A newcomer to the gun world, Hudson was on hand at Range Day to show off its much-anticipated H9 pistol to some enthusiastic shooters after three years of designs and prototypes. When early photos of the H9 hit the internet, the shape and lack of an external hammer had many calling it a strikerfired 1911, but that’s just not so. “The Hudson H9 has a straight-pull 1911-style trigger. What we mean by that is that the rotation has been moved to the sear. In a 1911, the sear is rotational, not the trigger. The H9 is not a 1911, and we’re not claiming it’s a 1911,” says a Hudson representative. The large protrusion beneath the barrel at first looks like it could be a weapon light. It gives the handgun a futuristic look, but it’s actually the key to the H9’s extremely low bore axis and exceptional handling. The slide sits right above the trigger guard, which doesn’t provide any room for a Browning-style camming system, whether linked or linkless. The camming system was therefore moved up to the front locking lug, which also functions as the takedown lever. That distinctive pistol nose also contains a full-length recoil spring. The shooter’s high hand position, combined with the straight pull of the 1911-style trigger with an integrated safety, allows for as little disruption as possible to the shot process and sight picture. The positioning also reduces felt recoil, as it sends most of the kick into the meat of the shooter’s hand. There is very little muzzle flip with the 9mm chambering. The H9’s all-steel construction doesn’t make for a light pistol; it weighs 34 ounces without its 15-round magazine. But the extra weight makes it even more solid and enjoyable to shoot. It also includes a Glock-style accessory rail for attaching a weapon light or laser sight. The H9 is expected to ship Q2 with three magazines, an optional manual safety, and a Hogue backstrap and VZ grips. SRP: $1,147. Booth #1118. (hudsonmfg.com)

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @SHOTBUSINESS

1/17/17 4:06 PM


RIMFIREREDEFINED

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NEW B17, B22 & B22 MAGNUM Savage gave the B Series bolt-action rimfires an all-new modern look, an ergonomically designed stock, higher comb, top tang safety and target-style, vertical pistol grip. Because the better a gun fits you the better you’ll shoot it.

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*Available in multiple configurations of 22 Long Rifle, 22 WMR and 17 HMR.

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Visit us at savagearms.com

12/14/16 5:06 PM


news

Benchmade Kicks Off 30th Anniversary

W

SAME SCIENCE, NEW COLORS

 en Les de Asis’ first knife company, Pacific Cutlery Corp., filed h for bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1987, he could have packed it up and gone home. Instead, de Asis took a good idea and figured out how to make it better. Benchmade was founded on that principle, and as the company prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, Benchmade is continuing to pay homage to that ideal. It’s probably no surprise that the ideal that Benchmade was founded on actually started with a single knife. It wasn’t just any knife, of course—it was one of the most useful and versatile types of knives that has ever been developed. Benchmade is rolling out two new knives, plus a redesigned booth at SHOT Show, to celebrate its anniversary.

“In the Philippines, the Bali-Songs—or butterfly knives—were used for everything from self-defense to the dinner table,” says Derrick Lau, Benchmade’s public relations and communications manager. “They were the original utilitarian knife because they were so practical and allowed you to access the blade quickly and easily with one hand.” The quality of these knives, however, was far from consistent. De Asis recognized the potential of the knives, however, and set out to create a Bali-Song knife that was every bit as reliable as it was versatile. That’s when the Model 68 was born. The idea, and the knife, eventually gave rise to a new company called Bench­made, where de Asis was determined to find innovative new ways to make the Model 68 even better. This meant controlling production to keep up with increasing consumer demand for the knives while also maintaining the improved quality that had made the Model 68 so popular. It was a delicate balance that de Asis achieved by creating a process in which Benchmade could produce precision parts and assemble them by hand to ensure a quality that was typically only found in custom knife shops. In the 30 years that followed, that process has helped Benchmade deliver some of the

highest quality knives on the market. At the same time, the company’s desire to find a better way to accomplish that goal has led Benchmade to consistently release some of the most innovative advancements in the industry. To celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, Benchmade is launching two new knives that honor both of those concepts and embody the very ideals the company was founded on. Not only does the Model 87 pay tribute to the year that Benchmade was officially established, it’s also the next natural progression of the Model 86 and the epitome of de Asis’ overriding desire to find a way to make the BaliSong better. Unlike the cast handle on the Model 86, the handle on the Model 87 is milled from a solid titanium billet using an innovative process that takes more than 40 minutes per handle to complete. “We are modernizing, but at the same time we are hearkening back to tradition this year,” Lau says. “The Model 87 shows where our company started, but it’s also a great example of the ­modern-​day machining that we’re using today.” Another example of that innovative technology is the new 781 that Benchmade is releasing in celebration of the 30th anniversary. Not only did Benchmade use the same milling process to create a handle for the everyday-carry folder that’s cut from a solid titanium billet, but it also figured out how to incorporate its iconic AXIS locking mechanism into that handle. “Figuring out the process was certainly a challenge, but it’s one that was important to us,” Lau says. “Our motto is, ‘Make it cool. Make it solid. Make it happen.’ And the 781 is definitely a tribute to that motto. It’s the motto the company was founded on, and one we still live by today. We’re constantly trying to push ourselves and figure out ways we can do it better. That’s who we are, and I have no doubt that that’s who we’ll always be.” In addition to the 781 and Model 87, Benchmade is also unveiling a new booth at SHOT Show. To help unveil the new designs and get the 30th celebration kicked off with style, Benchmade is hosting a 30th anniversary party this afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Booth #10357. (benchmade.com)  —Christopher Cogley

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First Lite Performance Hunting is launching an addition to the technical apparel brand’s arsenal of camouflage and solid color options. Using the scientific backbone of the popular Fusion pattern, Cipher offers a lighter color palette for hunters who understand Fusion’s effectiveness but want an option with lighter colors and tones. Launched in 2015, Fusion was warmly received by hunters because of its ability to provide a sense of depth almost anywhere in the field. The DNA of First Lite’s family of patterns is derived from the Golden Ratio, which is the recurrence of particular shapes and colors throughout nature. By adhering to this algorithm and incorporating the perfect ratio of light and dark colors, First Lite believes Fusion and Cipher promote the negative space created by large and smallscale breakup instead of creating the “blob effect” found in most patterns. “We see Cipher as the best possible complement to Fusion, one of the most effective patterns currently on the market,” says First Lite founder and co-CEO Kenton Carruth. “The key is the ability of the patterns to work at any distance. What we call ‘color blobbing’ has always been the biggest hurdle in traditional camouflage patterns. Most of these appear as a dark blob of color outside of 10 yards. But Cipher and Fusion incorporate enough visually disruptive qualities to give both bowhunters and rifle hunters an advantage both in close and at long range. We wanted to give the hunter a choice of proven, highly effective patterns, and we feel we’ve achieved that by offering Fusion, ASAT, and now Cipher.” Cipher will be available throughout the First Lite product line as a sister pattern to Fusion, beginning with existing product late next month. New 2017 styles will be available in Cipher and other options later in the spring. Booth #10053. (firstlite.com)

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @SHOTBUSINESS

1/17/17 2:59 PM


Leatherman Signal®: Made for adventure and ready for any challenge Mother Nature throws your way.

HAPPY HOUR + TOOL SALE | WEDNESDAY @ 4 p.m. | BOOTH 14512 Come to the booth for FREE BEER, or get a great deal on Leatherman tools, and we’ll donate a portion to Operation Homefront.

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1/3/17 1:15 PM


PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA BY AMERICAN WORKERS ©2017 REMINGTON ARMS COMPANY, LLC.

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12/27/16 1:53 PM


THE NEW REMINGTON SMOOTH, LIGHT & CRISP SINGLE-ACTION TRIGGER Consistent and smooth, with short reset OPTIMIZED GRIP ANGLE Reduces felt recoil and increases shootability

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ERGONOMIC POLYMER FRAME Fits 95% of all shooters

Maximum capacity. Complete control. This is shootability. Introducing the ultimate home security system. Combining one of the highest capacities available with super-slim, ergonomic grips, our new full-size handgun is the perfect fusion of defensive preparedness and easy-shooting comfort. #LiveReady Maximum capacity: 18+1 rounds of 9mm,

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12/27/16 1:53 PM


B A R S K A The Level 20–60x85mm spotting scope works

for hunters as well as bench shooters.

BUSHNELL ’ S DIGITAL SENTRY

||

OPTICS

LEUPOLD ’ S THERMAL OPTIC

||

THE HI - LUX PHENOM

||

FIRST - FOCAL - PLANES FROM KONUS

Crystal Clear

CARSON

The trend is easy to see. Glass for MSRs and longrange shooting continues to gain ground

O

The HookUpz 2.0 (SRP: $89) connects nearly any smartphone to an optic— binocular, monocular, spotting scope, riflescope—to digitally record and capture everything seen through the optical device. Booth #1210. (carson.com)

By Robert Sadowski

Barska ➤ Designed

for hunting or target shooting, the new Level Series of riflescopes debuts with a 3–12x50mm (SRP: $535.75) model equipped with a red-andgreen illuminated reticle that allows the user to select the optimal reticle and brightness for the

ptics for the MSR platform continue to cover the range from red-dots for close-up work to magnified optics for precision long-range shooting. If you sell MSRs, then having a range of optics choices is a must-have. The trend in long-range shooting optics is toward FFP (first-focal-plane) reticles, which have the ability to increase in size as the magnification is increased. This means the ranging capability of the reticle is easier to use. These scopes also are getting a bit smaller and more compact, so they have less of a footprint. This year you can expect some new spotters and some economical binocular models as well. Here’s the field to view. current environment lighting. The new 20–60x85mm Level spotting scope (SRP: $2,500) is great for both hunting and bench shooting, and offers good image quality with an apochromatic extra-low-dispersion objective lens and a BaK-4 prism. Other features include a tabletop tripod,

a hard travel case, and an allweather protective soft case. The Level ED 8x42mm binocular (SRP: $714.40) is an all-purpose binocular featuring extra-low-dispersion (ED) lenses that reduce chromatic aberration. Shockabsorbing rubber armor provides protection to the optics and creB U S H N E L L The compact

Elite Tactical DMR II-i 3.5–21x50mm is designed for long-range, precision shooting and features the new G3 illuminated reticle.

ates a non-slip ergonomic design. Booth #3257. (barska.com)

Bushnell ➤

The compact Elite Tactical DMR II-i 3.5–21x50mm (SRP: $1,932 to $1,999, depending on reticle) is designed for longrange, precision shooting and features the new G3 illuminated reticle, which provides precision holdovers at any range. It also allows shooters to more quickly to engage moving targets in any light. The Elite Tactical LRTSi in 3–12x44mm (SRP: $1,616 to $1,680) and 4.5–18x44mm (SRP: $1,813 to $1,867) are designed for precision shooting on MSR platforms. The Elite Tactical SMRS (SRP: $1,822) is designed for short- and mid-range shooting with an illuminated BTR-2 reticle and should appeal to 3-Gun participants. The AR Optics line has five new models. The Enrage Red Dot (SRP: $240) is equipped with a 2-MOA dot with eight brightness settings and a highrise mount. The Incinerate Red Dot (SRP: $240) features a tube design and a circle-dot reticle. The Engulf Micro Reflex Red Dot (SRP: $255) is super compact and compatible with MSRs and pistols. The 3X Magnifier (SRP: $259) mounts behind nearly any red-dot and flips into place when magnification is needed. The Digital Sentry Night Vision (SRP: $353) is a 2X monocular that can be hel-

14 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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1/5/17 2:20 PM


COME SEE THE

HOT NEW STYLES FOR 2017.

BOOTH 12740.

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11/30/16 2:00 PM


PRODUCTS

H I - L U X The PentaLux TAC-V 4–20x50mm FFP is a first-focal-plane scope with a 30mm tube, which makes it well suited for precision, longrange shooting on the MSR platform. The CW-1 reticle is an intuitive and fast MilRadian ranging reticle.

met- or firearm-mounted. Booth #14551. (bushnell.com)

Hi-Lux Optics ➤ The

Phenom 5–30x56mm (SRP: $950) features a 34mm tube and first-focal-plane reticle. The massive 56mm objective lens delivers enhanced clarity, and the CW-3 reticle offers a Christmas tree grid for precise shot placement. The PentaLux TAC-V

4–20x50mm FFP (SRP: $770) is also a first-focal-plane scope with a 30mm tube, and it’s well suited for long-range shooting on the MSR platform. The CW-1 reticle is an intuitive and fast MilRadian ranging reticle. Booth #1114.

2.5–10x50mm (SRP: $400) and 3–12x56mm (SRP: $430). Both feature an illuminated and engraved Duplex reticle, a 30mm tube, and a dual-locking system designed to maintain zero. Booth #1246. (konuspro.com)

(hi-luxoptics.com)

Konus ➤ The

new LZ30 series of riflescopes includes two models—

Leapers/UTG

➤ Long-range shooters will like the Accushot 4–16x56mm (SRP: $280), as it comes equipped with

a 30mm tube, a bubble leveler located at the 6 o’clock position to eliminate cant, and an etchedglass illuminated mil-dot reticle with dual red/green color. The BugBuster series of compact scopes now has a no-frills 3–12x32mm scope featuring a 1-inch tube, adjustable parallax, and a mil-dot reticle. Other features include premium zero lockable and resettable target turrets with ¼-MOA per click adjust-

CENTERPOINT The new value-priced Spectrum series riflescopes feature a first-focal-plane reticle. Models include a 1–4x24mm (SRP: $199) and two side-parallax-adjustment models—a 3–9x40mm (SRP: $219) and a 4–12x44mm (SRP: $249). Booth #13940. (crosman.com) C E N T E R P O I N T The

Spectrum benefits from a first-focal-plane reticle.

16 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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1/5/17 2:20 PM


THE POINT IS THE POINT

RDF BULLETS FEATURE THE SMALLEST MEPLAT OF ANY NON-TIPPED MATCH BULLET. Nosler knows what gives competitive shooters an edge, isn’t an edge at all. It’s a point. And we’ve worked hard to bring you the smallest one ever—creating the flattest shooting match bullet on the market. Make the switch to RDF and put yourself on the podium.

BC_055940_SBDD217P.indd 1

Booth #13951

Nosler.com

12/8/16 11:28 AM


PRODUCTS

KO N U S The LZ30 series of riflescopes includes 2.5–10x50mm and

3–12x56mm models. Both use an illuminated and engraved Duplex reticle, a 30mm tube, and a dual-locking system.

ments plus a pair of medium-profile quick-detach MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rings. For MSR shooters, the 6.4-inch ITA red/green CQB T-Dot Sight (SRP: $63) offers economy along with a rugged 1X power red-dot sight. Other features include a red/ green illuminated T-Dot reticle, flip-up lens caps, and a QD mount base. UTG Steel Picatinny Ring sets are available in 1-inch, 30mm, and 34mm sizes, in various height profiles and snap-free contours. Need some height? The Super Slim 20 MOA Elevated

Picatinny Mount (SRP: $28) offers 20 MOA of height and a 13-slot Picatinny rail, so longrange shooters can get the most elevation out of their scope. Booth #2146. (leapers.com)

Leica ➤

The new open-bridge-design Noctivid binocular line offers superior performance with a rugged, compact body that provides comfortable ergonomics. Two models include 8x42mm (SRP: $2,599) and 10x42mm (SRP:

$2,699). The Geovid CRF2000-B (SRP: $799) is a compact laser rangefinder capable of measurements out to 2,000 yards. It has 7X magnification, weighs only 6.5 ounces, and fits in a shirt pocket. The Rangemaster CRF 1600-R (SRP: $599) laser rangefinder features accurate line-of-sight ranging to 1,600 yards, 7X magnification, and an auto-adjust brightness display. The Geovid HD-B Edition 2200 laser range-finding binocular comes in two models, 8x42mm (SRP: $2,549) and 10x42mm

(SRP: $2,599), both of which can range out to 2,200 yards. They also feature more precise ¼-MOA adjustment and a Micro-SD card slot that allows uploading the shooter’s custom ballistics data. Booth #12519. (us.leica-camera.com)

Leupold & Stevens ➤ The

LTO (Leupold Thermal Optic) Tracker (SRP: $879) is a handheld thermal observation and game-recovery tool that provides

CRIMSON TRACE The LinQ system (SRP: $649) is now available for AK-type rifles. This laser/light unit design uses Bluetooth-like technology to control a tactical light/laser module without cables or touch pads. The Master Series for 1911-style pistols goes green (SRP: $449) with new green-diode laser grips made of wood or G10 for full- and compact-size 1911s. The laser/holster packages now include a Blade-Tech Klipt Ambi IWB concealed-carry holster with a Crimson Trace laser sight for a Walther PPS Gen2 pistol (SRP: $229, red; $309, green). The latest Lasergrip in red is now available for the Kimber K6 revolver. SRP: $399. Booth #16731. (crimsontrace.com)

L E I C A The Geovid HD-B Edition 2200 laser rangefinding binocu-

lar comes in two models, 8x42mm and 10x42mm, both of which can range out to 2,200 yards.

18 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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1/4/17 2:28 PM


800Y

TURN A

LONG SHOT INTO A SURE THING TERMINAL LONG RANGE ACCURACY AND CONSISTENT, LETHAL EXPANSION FROM THE MUZZLE TO 800-PLUS YARDS

ALL-NEW EDGE TLR™

Ammunition built for whatever form your shot of a lifetime might take. The rest is up to you. High Ballistic Coefficient Flat trajectories and minimal wind drift

Slipstream™ Polymer Tip Ensures expansion at long range

AccuChannel™ Groove Technology Improves accuracy while reducing drag

Bonded Construction High weight retention and deep penetration at any range

Available in 308 Win., 30-06 Spring., 300 Win. Magnum and 300 Win. Short Magnum.

federalpremium.com

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12/14/16 5:03 PM


PRODUCTS

MEOPTA The MeoTac 3–12x50mm (SRP: $2,530) is designed for tactical use and features a 34mm tube and windage and elevation ranges of 100 MOA and 55 MOA, with click adjustments of 1∕3 MOA. In addition, the illuminated MilDot 3 RD reticle is located in the first focal plane. New BDC reticles (the illuminated red-dot BDC-2 and BDC-3) are available for the MeoStar R2 and MeoStar R1r scopes. Booth #10176. (meoptasportsoptics.com)

exceptional image quality, fast 30hz frame rates, and detection of heat sources out to 600 yards. It features 6X magnification and a sensor that is effective from -4 degrees F to 140 degrees F. The new VX-3i LRP (Long Range Precision) scopes (SRP: $1,065 to $1,250, depending on model) offer high-end features in an affordable riflescope. Built off the VX-3i line, the LRP is equipped with the Twilight Max light-management system and either first- or secondfocal-plane reticles. Reticle options include the MOA-based TS-32X1 and T-MOA, the mil-based TMR,

and the new CCH (Combat Competition Hunter) reticle. Models include 4.5–14x50mm, 6.5–20x50mm, and 8.5–25x50mm. The flagship VX-6 line has been improved and renamed the VX-6HD series (SRP: starts at $1,300), with models available in magnification ranges of 1–6x24mm, 2–12x42mm, 3–18x44mm, 3–18x50mm, and 4–24x52mm. All feature the Twilight Max Light Management System, a new automatic reticleleveling feature, and new Custom Dial System elevation adjustment. Booth #13023. (leupold.com)

NcSTAR

N C S TA R The VISM ADO is a

compact scope with an integrated reflex sight.

014_SHD02_PRD_OPT.indd 20

➤ The VISM ADO (Advanced Dual Optic) incorporates a primary 3–9x42mm compact scope and integrates a reflex sight into the top of the scope to create a streamline optic system. The reflex sight is spring-loaded and deploys with a push of a button. The next generation of the SRT Scope series features an all-new SRT V3 3–9x42mm compact scope. Designed for MSR platforms, the laser system has been

1/4/17 2:28 PM


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12/7/16 3:12 PM


PRODUCTS

N I G H T F O R C E The ATACR series

now includes the ATACR 7–35x56mm.

upgraded to a green laser integrated into the top of the objective lens bell housing. The Mark III Tactical V3 sight has been updated with a red-and-blue illuminated reticle powered by a AA battery. The top of the scope body is machined to accept an NcSTAR Micro Dot for a low-profile backup-sight option. Booth #805. (ncstar.com)

N I KO N The Monarch 7i VR

Laser Rangefinder features technology that reduces the effect of external vibrations.

Nightforce Optics ➤

The top-of-the-line ATACR series now includes the ATACR 7–35x56mm (SRP: $3,600), which comes in first-focal-plane

configuration and features a 34mm tube that allows 100 MOA/27 Mil-Radian of elevation adjustment and 60 MOA/17 MilRadian of windage adjustment. The ATACR 4–16x50mm (SRP: $2,400) scope is configured with a second-focal-plane reticle and designed specifically for hunters. The new fixed-power Competition SR Fixed 4.5x24mm riflescope (SRP: $1,950) is purpose-built to comply with 2016 Civilian Marksmanship Program and NRA service rifle match rules, which now allow use of riflescopes. Booth #20449. (nightforceoptics.com)

Nikon ➤

The Monarch 7i VR Laser Rangefinder (SRP: $400) features Nikon’s optical VR (Vibration Reduction) technology, which reduces the effect of external vibrations and makes it easier to steady the rangefinder to range objects at far distances. The 6X magnification allows users to range out to 1,000 yards. Booth #11221. (nikonsportoptics.

com)

27008 - SVSSED 1050X60TD

VISIT US A AT T BOOTH #10346

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1/4/17 2:28 PM


Z E I S S The Terra ED line is designed to be compact, light, and sturdy, and its fiberglass-reinforced, waterproof casing helps protect it from the elements. For 2017, they will be available in black, gray, green, and brown.

Sightmark ➤ The

new premium Pinnacle 3–18x44mm TMD riflescope (SRP: $1,560) features a rugged 34mm tube, a first-focal-plane reticle, and an oversize turret design with distinct .1-MRAD windage and elevation adjustments. The Tactical Mil-Dash (TMD) reticle is specifically designed for on-thefly rangefinding and quick target acquisition even at extreme distances. Booth #11924.

MEPROLIGHT The FT Bullseye sight (SRP: $199 to $209, depending on model) is a low-profile micro red-dot-style optic for pistols that combines fiber optics and tritium to provide the illumination needed under all lighting conditions. Available in red or green dot/circle for all Glock models, as well as the Springfield XD and XDM. Booth #15138. (themakogroup.com)

(sightmark.com)

SIG SAUER ➤ The

TANGO6 riflescope line now is equipped with LevelPlex, an anti-cant system, and new T120 turrets. A Dev-L holdover-style reticle is also now being offered. Most models have a shortened 34mm tube, so they are more compact. Models include 1–6x24mm (SRP: $1,680), 3–18x44mm (SRP: $2,400), 4–24x50mm (SRP: $2,520), and 5–30x56mm (SRP: $3,120). The Whiskey5 Gen2 line of scopes includes a 30mm tube and locking turrets. The Dev-L reticle will be available in Tango4 4–16x44mm and 6–24x50mm models. The fullsize ROMEO6 red-dot sights now feature a ballistic circle dot or plex reticle and a solar-power option. The KILO2400ABS laser rangefinder offers longer ranging and

features a built-in applied ballistics system that is app-based. The KILO2200MR laser rangefinder is the big brother to the KILO2000, offering longer ranging, a milling reticle, and reduced laser-beam divergence. Booth #12240. (sigsauer.com)

Swarovski

➤ The new Z8i riflescope series offers 8X zoom magnification with

a large field of view. Available models include Z8i 1–8x24mm, Z8i 1.7– 13.3x42mm P, Z8i 2–16x50mm P, and Z8i 2.3–18x56mm P. Z8i 1–8x24 and Z8i 1.7–13.3x42 P riflescopes also feature the Flexchange 4A-IF, which allows the user to switch the illuminated ring around the illuminated center dot on and off with the press of a button. Another option on the Z8i line is the ballistic turret flex (BTF), which can be configured separately using

L E U P O L D The flagship VX-6 line has been improved and renamed the VX-6HD series, with models avail-

able in magnification ranges of 1–6x24mm, 2–12x42mm, 3–18x44mm, 3–18x50mm, and 4–24x52mm. All feature the Twilight Max Light Management System.

U . S . O P T I C S The B-Series is now lighter, shorter, and more streamlined.

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PRODUCTS

TRIJICON The MGRS (Machine Gun Reflex Sight) was created to withstand the constant, violent battering of machine guns and features a large objective lens with a 3x2-inch viewing area and a 35 MOA segmented circle reticle. SRP: $4,999. Centered within the reticle is a 3 MOA dot for precise aiming at close combat as well as extended ranges. The unit is powered by a single CR123A battery that lasts for about 1,000 hours of continuous operation. Booth #12117. (trijicon.com)

S I G H T M A R K The Pinnacle 3–18x44mm TMD has a rugged 34mm

tube, a first-focal-plane reticle, and an oversize turret.

several different types of ballistic compensation correction. It can also be attached and removed at any time without tools. Booth #12120. (swarovskioptik.com)

Tasco ➤

The new Essentials line of value-priced binocular models offers multiple compact, roof-prism

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.

designs, some small enough to fit into a pocket. Models include 8x21mm, 10x25mm, 12x25mm, and 16x32mm (SRP: $14 to $37). A 10x25mm monocular (SRP: $12) is also being offered. Midsize porro-prism binoculars include 8–24x25mm, 10x25mm, 4x30mm, 7x35mm, 10x50mm, 10–30x50mm, 10x32mm, and 12x50mm (SRP: $12 to $132).

SHOW SPECIAL! TODAY STARTING AT 3:30, GET A FREE BEER IN A SOG STAINLESS STEEL TUMBLER WITH SUGGESTED DONATION OF $5 OR MORE TO

PLUS, SOG WILL MATCH ALL DONATIONS! OFFER GOOD 1/18/17 ONLY AT SHOW BOOTH #425, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.

INTRODUCING THE SYNC I & II Multi-tools designed to be easily worn as a belt buckle or simply clipped to a strap. See for yourself at booth #425

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1/4/17 2:28 PM


The new Focus Free series of mid- and full-size binoculars offer an instantly clear view with no focus necessary. Models include an 8x25mm, 7x35mm, and 8x32mm (SRP: $58 to $59). Booth #14551. (tasco.com)

U.S. Optics ➤

The design of the new B-Series was developed based upon requests from military, law enforcement, and competitive shooters. The B-10 (SRP: $2,450) and B-17 (SRP: $2,900) are lighter, shorter, and more streamlined. Features of this new line of scopes include a shorter scope to accommodate night vision, compact turret section for better compatibility with commonly used mounts, locking elevation and windage knobs, an elevation revolution counter, an elevation zero stop, and integrated parallax and illumination control. Booth #20031. (usoptics.com)

Zeiss ➤

The Victory SF binocular series now has new features avail-

014_SHD02_PRD_OPT.indd 25

able in 8x42mm (SRP: $2,850) and 10x42mm (SRP: $2,900) models that include a more precise focusing system and smoother handling. In addition, an extra click stop has been built into the rotating eyecup. The new Victory SF is also available with new black armoring. The Conquest Gavia 30–60x85mm angled spotting scope (SRP: $1,999) was specially developed for hunters and wildlife/nature observers. Powerful 60X magnification offers great detail. The spotter also is lightweight and compact for easy transport. The Victory V8 riflescope line now includes three rail-mount scopes in 1–8x32mm (SRP: $2,999), 1.8– 14x50mm (SRP: $3,666), and 2.8–20x56mm (SRP: $3,999). The 50mm and 56mm objective models include the ASV bulletdrop-compensator system. Terra ED binocular models are now available in black, gray, green, and brown. Model include 8x32mm (SRP: $370), 10x32mm (SRP: $400), 8x42mm (SRP: $400), and 10x42mm (SRP: $450). Booth #13913. (zeiss.

VORTEX The Razor AMG UH-1 (SRP: $700) is the first holographic sight to combine the durability, reliability, and energy efficiency of a red-dot, but with the sight picture, zero-distortion, and comprehensive reticle pattern of a holographic sight. Runs on a Micro USB rechargeable LFP 123A battery or CR123A battery. Booth #4150. (vortexoptics.com)

com)

1/4/17 2:28 PM


AMMO FEDERAL PREMIUM KICKS OFF THE YEAR WITH A BANG

||

H E V I - S H O T Triple Beard turkey loads are available in 20- and 12-gauge versions in Nos. 5, 6, and 7 lead-antimony pellets.

REMINGTON BEEFS UP ITS BUCKET LINE

||

I WINCHESTER GOES SUBSONIC

Getting Better All the Time Factory ammo is where the innovation is

W

By Richard Mann

ith the dawn of the new millennium, shooters might have suspected an unprecedented level of innovation with regard to firearms. That’s something we’ve yet to see. Not so with ammunition. A few short years ago, factory ammunition was a generalized offering; if shooters needed specialization, they had to handload. Today that’s hardly the case. Ammunition manufacturers have diversified their offerings more and more every year, and 2017 is no exception. Factory ammunition just keeps getting more varied and better.

F E D E R A L Gold Medal Grand loads are now more reliable.

FEDERAL PREMIUM The 40-grain HP Hunter Match .22 Long Rifle load (in a nickel-plated case) has been designed to provide true long-range accuracy and unmatched terminal performance out to 100 yards.

GBW CARTRIDGE Boutique ammunition companies continue to creep up and challenge major brands for innovation and variety. GBW Cartridge out of Venice, Florida, is an example. Their Legend Pro line includes high-performance loads for common defensive handgun cartridges and big bores like the .454 Casull and 460 and 500 S&W. All are loaded with expanding, all-copper bullets. GBW is also offering centerfire rifle cartridges in this line, and they too are loaded with all-copper expanding bullets. Offerings include loads for the .223 Remington, 300 Blackout, and .308 Winchester. Booth #N374. (gbwcartridge.com)

Barnes Bullets ➤

The VOR-TX line of ammunition has become very popular with hunters. For 2017, Barnes has added two new loads, and all of the loads/bullets are optimized for the cartridge. There’s a new .308 Winchester load with a 130-grain Barnes TTSX bullet at 3170 fps and a new .300 Winchester Magnum load with a 190-grain Barnes LRX bullet at 2,950 fps. Booth #15427.

(barnesbullets.com)

Browning ➤

Browning has added a host of shotshells to its ammunition line. First are the BDX Turkey Extra Distance loads, made up of six new 12-gauge offerings of the 3-

and 3 ½-inch variety, in three shot sizes—Nos. 4, 5, and 6. There’s also one new 3-inch 20-gauge load topped off with 1¼ ounces of No. 5 shot. For those who hunt deer with a shotgun, the BXS line has a new 12- and 20-gauge load. Both 2¾-inch loads utilize a solid copper heavyweight slug with a polymer tip. Also debuting this year is the BPT (Performance Target) 12-gauge. This is a 2¾-inch 1 1∕8ounce Handicap load of No. 7.5 high-antimony (hard) shot for improved patterns. Four new loads make up the BXV additions to the Browning centerfire lineup. All are loaded in nickel-plated cases, with flatshooting rapid-expanding polymer-tipped bullets, and are available in 35-grain .22 Hornet, 50-grain .243 Winchester and .22/250 Remington, and 56-grain .243 Winchester loads. The BXR big-game centerfire rifle line gets four new SKUs— .270 WSM, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, and 7mm Remington Magnum—for 2017. All are loaded in nickel-plated cases with a unique coppermatrix-tipped bullet with a nickel-plated jacket. Booth #12752. (browning.com)

26 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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1/5/17 2:23 PM


F E D E R A L P R E M I U M New 209

muzzleloading primers debut.

Federal Premium ➤ With

all the focus on compact semi-automatic pistols seemingly small enough to fit in a watch pocket, one of the most trusted and reliable defensive handguns seems to have been almost forgotten. But not by Federal. It has engineered a load, utilizing a 135grain HST bullet, for the .38 Special that is ideally adapted to the snubnose revolver. Federal has also applied its ballistic brilliance to another cartridge that has been somewhat neglected. The new 40-grain HP Hunter Match .22 Long Rifle load has been designed to provide true long-range accuracy and unmatched terminal performance out to 100 yards. With its nickelplated case to help with flawless extraction and corrosion resistance, this load is ideal for hunters. SRP: $7.95 for a 50-round box. Centerfire rifle shooters will also find a lot to like this year. Federal offers one of the industry’s widest arrays of hunting

NORMA Norma USA has added a new 6.5 Creedmoor load to its ammunition line. It is loaded with a 130-grain Swift Scirocco II bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,789 fps. SRP: $40.88 per box of 20. Booth #14279. (norma-usa.com)

H O R N A D Y The new Black Ammunition line is intended to provide high performance for high-volume shooters. Initially, 14 offerings will be available, including loads for the 5.45x39, .223 Remington, 5.56 NATO, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 300 Blackout, .308 Winchester, and 7.62x39.

DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ 27

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PRODUCTS

H O R N A D Y The custom line now offers a .218 Bee 45-grain hol-

lowpoint, a .250 Savage 100-grain Interlock, a .264 Win. Magnum 140-grain Interlock, and a .41 Magnum 210-grain XTP.

N O S L E R Nosler has been busy. Two new offerings include the 338

Nosler and 22 Nosler. In addition, the Trophy Grade line has been upgraded with Accubond bullets to enhance performance.

loads, and the line is now even more comprehensive with the limited-time reintroduction of several user-requested rounds. Loaded with premium bullets— such as the Trophy Bonded Tip, Nosler Ballistic Tip, and Nosler Partition, in nickel-plated brass cases, with Gold Medal match primers—hunters now have another factory ammunition option for the .270 Weatherby, .220 Swift, 6mm Remington, 7mm STW, 7mm Weatherby, .300 H&H, and .338 Remington Ultra Magnum. SRP: $29.95 to $69.95 per box of 20. Federal Premium Gold Medal rifle rounds have always been a top choice for long-range precision. Elite shooters now have even more accurate options with new Gold Medal Berger loads. These feature Berger bullets with high ballistic coefficients to provide flat trajectories, minimal wind drift, and surgical longrange accuracy. These new loads are available for four cartridges, including the .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, and .308 Winchester. SRP: $32.95 to $34.95 per box of 50. The bulk of the new and specialized loads, however, are for shotguns. For starters, there are the Nos. 5, 6, and 7.5 shotshell loads for the often-forgotten

28-gauge. For a decade, Black Cloud has reigned as the deadliest load for waterfowl hunting. Now it’s even better. Equipped with the new Flitecontrol Flex wad, it delivers improved pattern density and consistency through both ported chokes and standard tubes. The wad’s redesigned rear-deploying petals and side-mounted vents stimulate the payload for separation from the wad at the ideal moment for dense, deadly patterns. Eight new loads for the 20-, 12-, and 10-gauge are available in a variety of shot sizes, from Nos. 4 to BBB. SRP: $20.95 per box. For 2017, Federal has improved upon its industry-leading design with Gold Medal Grand. These new loads provide less felt recoil, more reliable ignition, improved shot hardness, and excellent reloadability, while still providing the same world-class performance shooters expect from Federal. Ten-and 12-gauge loads will be available in Nos. 7.5 and 8 shot, offering velocities from 1,100 to 1,245 fps. SRP: $10.95 per box. Federal has combined speed, hard-hitting pellets, and a specialized wad to create an all-new load that will fold the highest-flying doves, crows, and pigeons, as well as upland birds. The powerful Hi-Bird load’s two-piece wad fea-

28 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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National Shooting Sports Foundation¨

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA April 20-23, 2017 • April 23-26, 2017

SHOOTINGSPORTSFANTASYCAMP.COM

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PRODUCTS

POLYCASE Changing the way we look at ammunition continues to be the mission of Polycase. And for 2017, it has added a wide array of loads that utilize its copper-polymer injection-molded projectiles. Aficionados of the .357 Magnum now have an 86-grain ARX load at 1,650 fps that generates 520 foot-pounds of energy. If your idea of stopping stuff is to use a .45 Colt, Polycase has a 158-grain ARX load in its Preferred Hunting line for that old cowboy classic. Additional ARX Preferred Hunting loads are available for the .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. The new RNP Sport Utility line of ammo from Polycase features a round-nose (RN) bullet intended for pinpoint accuracy on steel targets. Offerings include loads for the .380, .38 Special, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto. Also of note are the Sport Utility Packs that include 100 rounds of RNP ammo and 20 or 25 rounds of ARX ammo, wrapped up in a neat little bundle. SRP: $57.99 to $79.99 per box. Booth #15323. (polycaseammo.com)

tures SoftCell technology to decrease perceived recoil and produce more consistent long-range patterns. In addition, its lead shot is engineered for the optimum blend of hardness and density. Five high-velocity 12-gauge loads are available in shot sizes ranging from Nos. 6 to 8. SRP: $10.95 to $12.95 per box. Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton knew that ignition was everything when it came to their muzzleloaders. Nothing has changed here, and the modern hunter who relies on the front stuffer has a new way to make his smokepole go bang. Federal has developed a new #209 muzzleloading primer to complement its line

of B.O.R. Lock MZ bullets. The formulation provides superior resistance to moisture, and more reliable and hotter ignition of both granulated powder and pellets, without causing excessive fouling in the breech area. SRP: $8.95 per 100-count pack. Booth #14551. (federalpremium.com)

Hevi Shot

➤ Always respected for the innovation it has brought to shotshells, Hevi Shot has new 20-gauge (3-inch) and 12-gauge (3- and 3 ½-inch) loads for turkey hunting for 2017. The all-lead turkey loads combine multiple technologies to deliver better performance. The Triple Beard version combines an equal mix of premium lead antimony pellets in Nos. 5, 6, and 7. Booth #2232. (hevishot.com)

Hornady ➤ The

H O R N A D Y Ruger commemora-

tive loads are a special run.

026_SHD02_PRD_AMM.indd 30

biggest announcement from Hornady for 2017 is the new line of Black Ammunition. Possibly best described as ammunition that has been tailored to firearms generally considered to

1/4/17 2:39 PM


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12/6/16 12:07 PM


PRODUCTS

be within the tactical arena, Black Ammunition departs from common specialized ammunition lines in that it is not bullet-specific; it is best described as platform-specific. The packaging is easily identifiable, and the loads are intended to provide high performance for high-volume shooters. Initially, 14 offerings will be available, including loads for the 5.45x39, .223 Remington, 5.56 NATO, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 300 Blackout, .308 Winchester, 7.62x39, .450 Bushmaster, and 12-gauge. In the custom line, Hornady has a few surprises that should appeal to old-time handloaders. Here, offerings include a .218 Bee 45-grain hollowpoint, .250 Savage 100-grain Interlock, .264 Winchester Magnum 140-grain Interlock, and .41 Magnum 210grain XTP load. SRP: $25 to $50 per box. The Precision Hunter line utilizes the new groundbreaking ELD-X bullet to ensure match accuracy, best-in-class aerodynamics, and reliable terminal performance at all practical ranges. For 2017, Hornady has added five new loads: 145-grain .270 Winchester,

SIG SAUER

R E M I N G T O N Two new 12-gauge

loads are offered in Remington’s home defense line.

150-grain 7mm Remington Magnum and 280 Remington, 200-grain .300 WSM, and .300 Weatherby Magnum. New additions to the wildly popular American Gunner and Whitetail lines include a 6.5 Creedmoor load that utilizes a 140-BTHP bullet and a reduced recoil 12-gauge slug. For deer hunters, there is also a 129-grain Interlock load for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Further proof that the specialization and diversity in factory ammunition mentioned at the outset is real can be seen in the new LEVERevolution loads from Hornady. For starters, you’ll see a

SIG SAUER has expanded its 9mm full-metal jacket (FMJ) Elite Performance Ammunition offerings with the addition of 124-grain and 147-grain loads. With these new rounds, customers now have three 9mm bullet weights—115-grain, 124-grain, and 147-grain— available in both the V-Crown JHP personal defense ammunition and FMJ target loads. SIG also has introduced a new .223 Remington load to its Match Grade Elite Performance Ammunition line. It’s loaded with a 77-grain Sierra open-tipped match (OTM) bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,750 fps. The HT hunting line of premium-grade rifle ammunition now includes .223 Remington and .308 Winchester offerings, both of which feature an all-copper bullet that delivers deep penetration and maximum terminal ballistic performance. The most exciting new load from SIG might be the subsonic 220-grain 300BLK V-Crown offering, which features the SIG V-Crown bullet, designed for reliable, controlled expansion, maximum weight retention, and superior penetration. Created for the AR15 platform, this load is also ideal for use with a silencer. Though intended for hunting, its tactical application cannot be denied. Booth #12240. (sigsauer.com)

NEW PRODUCTS www.kahr.com

Visit the Kahr Firearms Group Booth,

#15949

Tungsten Cerakote® finish, comes with white 3-dot sights, Pachmayr® Tactical Grip Glove™ and Pearce® finger rest magazine extension (9mm and .380 ACP models only)

TU3 T U N G S T E N

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C E R A K O T E

SLIM, LIGHT & CONCEALABLE

CM4543TU3

CM9093TU3

CT3833TU3

CW3833TU3

1/4/17 2:39 PM


LONG DISTANCE. COVERED.

X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Long Range

SEE IT FOR YOURSELF AT BOOTH 12740. BROWNING.COM

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11/30/16 2:41 PM


PRODUCTS

R E M I N G T O N The American Clays and Field line has 12 new offer-

ings, with loads for the .410, 28-, 20-, and 12-gauge. All use highantimony hard, lead shot, and the Power Piston wad.

new 190-grain FTX load for the .41 Magnum, but the real surprise is the 110-grain FTX load for the mostly forgotten, completely antique, and almost extinct .25/35 Winchester. Some grandpas and sentimental whitetail hunters will be really happy with the latter. In the also very popular ELD Match line of ammunition introduced last year, Hornady has added a bunch of new offerings. They include loads for the .223 Remington, 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and the .30/06. New Superformance loads include a 129-grain SST for the .260 Remington, a 165-grain GMX for the .300 WSM, and a 168-grain ELD Match load for the .308 Winchester. A pair of centerfire loads are being released to commemorate William B. Ruger. The limitededition ammo will be available in .204 and .480 Ruger. Both loads will be in specially marked boxes that clearly identify it as being commemorative ammo. The .204 Ruger load will use a 32-grain V-Max bullet at 4,225 fps. The .480 load will use a 325-grain XTP bullet rated at 1,350 fps. Booth #13145. (hornady.com)

Nosler ➤ To

ring the new year in with a bang, Nosler has two new cartridges. The first is the 338 Nosler, which shares the parent case of the .404 Jeffery, but will

push a 225-grain AccuBond to 3,025 fps. The other new cartridge is the .22 Nosler, which is intended to be the most powerful .22-caliber centerfire cartridge that will reliably function in the AR platform. It will propel a 55-grain bullet to 3,500 fps. In addition to some new bullet announcements, Nosler has added a variety of loads to its ammunition lines. The Trophy Grade line has one new AccuBond load for the .33 Nosler and three new AccuBond Long Range loads for the .308 Win., .30/06, and 33 Nosler. The Match Grade line has new loads for the 22 Nosler, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, and 33 Nosler. The Silver State Armory line gets a new 7.62x39 load, and the Varmageddon line benefits from a new .223 Remington load. In all, Nosler has added 12 new ammunition offerings. Booth #13951. (nosler.com)

Remington ➤ Remington

has expanded the American Clays and Field Sport shotgun ammunition line by 12 new products, with loads for the .410, 28-, 20-, and 12-gauge. All utilize high-antimony hard, round, lead shot and the Power Piston wad. Other features include the STS primer for consistent velocities and the STS unibody hull for optimum reloadability. They’re also affordably priced at between $7.49 and $10.49 per box. There are also several new

loads in the personal protection/ defense category, including a reduced-recoil 8-pellet and standard 9-pellet 00 Buck load for the 12-gauge. And, for 2017, the high-tech Golden Saber Black Belt bullet—originally only available for law enforcement—is going commercial. Four loads will be offered in 9mm Luger, 9mm Luger +P, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto. SRP: $26.87 per box of 20. For those who like to shoot a lot and spend a little, Remington has expanded its Range Bucket line of ammo to include the .380 Auto, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto cartridges. The .380 Range Bucket will contain 500 rounds (SRP: $202.99), the .40 S&W bucket contains 300 rounds ($113.43), and the .45 bucket holds 200 rounds ($92.54). There is also a new Freedom Bucket containing 180 rounds of 300 Blackout. SRP: $133.73. Booth #15427. (remington.com)

Speer

➤ SWAT teams, detectives, and patrol officers have trusted their lives to Speer Gold Dot ammunition for a long time. Starting in 2017, they can rely on it even more. Instead of a large hollowpoint, Speer Gold Dot 2 ammunition utilizes an elastomer insert. This circumvents the need for target material to enter the hollow point and drive expansion. It also uniforms terminal performance through the wide range of intermediate barriers specified by the FBI testing protocol. Offered to law enforcement only, Gold Dot 2 ammunition is available in a 147-grain 9mm, 180-grain .40 S&W, and a 230-grain .45 Auto. SRP: Prices range from $27.95 to $33.95 for a box of 50. Booth #14551. (speer-ammo.com)

Winchester ➤ Winchester

has added three high-performance subsonic loads to the Super X line. These include a 200-grain 300 Blackout load and a 185-grain .308 Winchester load at 1,060 fps. Both are designed for improved terminal performance at subsonic velocities and have a radical profile for enhanced expansion. There’s also a 45-grain .22 Magnum load at 1,060 fps. It has been engineered expressly for use in suppressed firearms for the ultimate in low-noise performance, but it will also produce less audible sound when fired through standard .22 Winchester Magnum firearms. Predator hunting continues to

grow in popularity, but so do the number of areas, particularly in the West, that limit traditional ammunition. For 2017, Winchester is introducing a lead-free option called Varmint X Lead Free. This stuff is built with similar zinc-core technology utilized in Winchester’s Super Clean pistol ammunition. It will be initially available for the .223 and .22/250 Remington, and the .243 Winchester. A .223 Remington load joins the Deer Season XP lineup. With more hunters owning and shooting MSR rifles chambered in .223 Remington, the new Deer Season XP offers a 64-grain bullet specifically designed for deer hunting. There’s also a new 6.5 Creedmoor Deer Season XP load utilizing a 125-grain bullet. Winchester continues to answer the demand for better performing, yet affordable ammunition options when it comes to training at the range. Enter the Super Clean line, which in 2017 will add a .45 ACP offering. Super Clean comes 50 rounds per box and is ideal for use on indoor ranges. Winchester rolled out the Expedition Big Game line last year. It was introduced in a range of popular big-game calibers, and this year the offerings expand with the introduction of six new loads that include the .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 WSM, .30/06, 7mm Remington Magnum, .270 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor. Well worth the wait, Winchester will now offer its groundbreaking Long Beard XR in 20-gauge. With improved shotshell technology that delivers more power and tighter loads in smaller-gauge shotguns, an increasing number of turkey hunters are opting for the 20-gauge shotgun. The new 20-gauge Long Beard XR will come in a 3-inch offering, loaded with either No. 5 or No. 6 shot. Booth #13129. (winchester.com)

R E M I N G T O N Those who

prefer to buy by the bucket will see more calibers.

34 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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1/4/17 2:39 PM


© 2017 O.F. Mossberg & Sons

FAST-MOVING BOGEYS ARE ENTERING YOUR AIRSPACE. DEFEND YOUR DECOYS WITH RUGGED WATERFOWL SHOTGUNS from Mossberg.® We are America’s oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer and have been building dependable, hardworking shotguns and rifles since 1919. American built. American strong. ARM YOURSELF WITH MOSSBERG.

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VISIT SHOT SHOW BOOTH NO. 12734

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Safety Tip: Unload, clean and secure your firearm immediately after use.

BC_055827_SBDD217P.indd 1

12/5/16 3:23 PM


OUTERWEAR browning revamps the hell ’ s canyon

||

ridge lets you pack heat with the packin ’ tee

||

sitka climbs high with ascent

Steady Growth

Hunting and tactical garments should see steady, but not spectacular, sales this year By Peter B. Mathiesen

T

he mild fall hunting season across most of the continent kept retail inventory slightly higher through midNovember, yet sales increased as the holidays drew closer. Consumers seemed less price-sensitive than they were last year, and dealers reported steady sales in both mid-range and premium clothing. On the manufacturing front, little expansion occurred in factories in the U.S. and Canada. Brazil, India, and Vietnam, however, experienced production increases. Manufacturing in China remained steady, but without growth, and upgrades in technical materials helped American companies drive down retail pricing and increase quality.

b r o w n i n g The Hell’s

Canyon BTU Men’s Parka is a two-layer, fully taped outer garment with Browning’s PreVent waterproof, breathable membrane and Advanced Scent Control.

With the exception of companies that have expanded into women’s and casual wear, the tactical clothing segment experienced flat sales in 2016. Most hunting-specific clothing companies held steady. Retailers bought cautiously for 2016, but finally emptied shelves at the end of the season. Next year’s forecast is for steady growth. Here’s a look at what’s new in apparel for 2017.

Arctic Shield

➤The Heat Echo Light Jacket and Pants combo keeps hunters on the stand longer with advanced materials and design, especially the company’s patent-pending ArcticShield Retain Active technology. Nano-sized metallic particles formulated into the laminate increase the retention of body heat by providing thermal insulation. The product is breathable,

a r c t i c s h i e l d The less-

bulky, breathable Heat Echo Pant is able to retain body heat.

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1/5/17 2:24 PM


FEEDS ON ALMOST ANYTHING WITH A RAIL. OVER 150 PISTOLS. ONE HOLSTER. You don’t need a different holster for every handgun. Omnivore locks on to virtually any handgun with an accessory rail—light-bearing or not. And releases on command with an intuitive thumb release. It’s the next generation of retention.

OMNIVORE

Multi-Fit with Level 2 Retention

BC_055970_SBDD217P.indd 1

Adjustable, 3-Position Thumb Release

Compatible with BLACKHAWK! Holster Mounting Platforms

Available in Light-Bearing Models

FEED IT.

BL ACK H AW K .COM

12/9/16 12:53 PM


products

f r o g g t o g g s Based on the three-layer fabric construction used on breathable waders, the Pilot II

jacket is windproof and waterproof. The zippers are water-resistant, and all seams are taped.

h a z a r d - 4 The Battle T is made of durable nylon and wicks away moisture.

include styles for women and children. The new Hell’s Canyon BTU Men’s Parka will feature a two-layer, fully taped outer garment with Browning’s Pre-Vent waterproof, breathable membrane and Advanced Scent Control. The parka is hunter-friendly, with an array of pockets, including handwarmer pockets, two large chest zipper pockets, two front dump pockets with SilentSnaps, and an internal drop pocket ideal for cell phones. Other features include harness-ready openings along with adjustable wrist closures. The insulated liner jacket features a water- and wind-resistant shell fabric with PrimaLoft Hi-Loft Silver 80-gram insulation. Offered in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country and Realtree Xtra camo patterns in sizes small to 3XL. SRP: $319.99. Booth #15538. (browning.com)

Frogg Toggs ➤

5.11 As part of an expanding line of women’s sporting and casual wear, 5.11 will introduce the Holster Cami for optimally discreet concealed carry or casual gym wear. The sporting garment comfortably stows and obscures a compact handgun with magazines. Using static tricot mesh, the obscured padded inside pocket supports a loaded handgun’s weight while eliminating sagging. Designed with moisture-wicking material and Ortholite odor control, the Cami holds its slimming shape and stretches comfortably with active movement. The soft material is woven with 78 percent poly, 22 percent Spandex construction. Available in white and black colors, sizes XS-XL. SRP: $84.99. Booth #13162. (511tactical.com)

wicks moisture away from the body, and is extremely thin, promoting ease of movement. The water-resistant and windproof garments have breathable, bonded-nylon exteriors and fleece interiors. The fleece interior utilizes bamboo charcoal fibers to minimize scent and improve heatreflective qualities.

The jacket has zippered front chest pockets, zippered side pockets, and a dovetail rear. The pants feature a padded waist area, reinforced knees, cargo pockets, an elastic waistband with belt loops, and a silicone band shirt keeper. Available in Realtree Xtra, in sizes medium to 3XL. SRP: $139.99, jacket; $119.99, pants.

Booth #1143. (arcticshield outdoor.com)

Browning ➤

Browning has totally revamped the Hell’s Canyon Big Game apparel lineup with improved fabrics, fit, and construction. The line will also be expanding to

Frogg Toggs’ new Pilot II shell jacket is a serious waterproof waterfowl- and deer-hunting garment. Based on the threelayer fabric construction used on breathable waders, this jacket is completely windproof and waterproof. The jacket even comes with a lifetime waterproof-performance warranty. The rugged construction uses the company’s microporous DriPore film. All three layers of submersible wader material have sealed and waterproof seams. The zippers are water-resistant, and the cuffs have internal adjustable neoprene to keep standing water out. The exterior sports a wealth of pockets, including two zippered chest storage pockets and a pair of cavernous, expandable handwarmer pockets. The waist uses a shock-cord adjustment to keep drafts and water at bay. Available in Mossy Oak Bottomland, sizes small to XXL. SRP: $189. Booth

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You used the patented Absolute Zero to sight in your rifle in record time and in just two shots. You’re dead on at 100 yards.

THERE HE IS. THE BUCK YOU’VE NAMED “BIG’N”. YOU’RE SPOT ON AT 100 YARDS. BUT HE’S AT 320. Sure, you can calculate and count the tick marks and hope your skills override your doubt… or you can use the innovative and patented Second Zero that gives you the accurate confidenc for the unexpected long shot…

ONE SCOPE. TWO ZEROES.

SEE THE INNOVATION ™

Booth 15062

A BRAND OF UMAREX USA, INC. FORT SMITH, AR U.S.A.

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12/14/16 4:20 PM


products

r i d g e Designed for versatility, comfort, and style, the Packin’ Tee allows men and women to readily access a firearm without the fit issues

and comfort restrictions seen with standard holsters. There is no need for a jacket or other heavy outerwear to conceal your firearm.

#10521. (froggtoggsraingear. com)

Hazard-4 ➤

The Battle T is a modernized redesign of the standard soldier’s T-shirt, making it far more comfortable for uniform wear in hot weather. Functional features include a wicking synthetic core and underarms for comfort, shrink reduction, and wrinkleresistance, and it’s fast drying. The durable nylon sleeves show prominently through body armor vests. The arms are trimmed in soft, stretchy ribbing and have Velcro panels for the ID and flag patches required by most agencies. A non-itch silk-screen size tag ensures comfort. Meanwhile, small, subdued external tags make for a professional presentation. Colors include black and desert tan in sizes extra small to XL. SRP: $34.99. Booth #32103.

(hazard4.com)

Huntworth ➤

The men’s Soft Shell Jacket is a full-length fleece that offers exceptional warmth for late-season hunting. Combined with other mid- and lightweight sweaters, it will create a warm system for any cold hunt. The 460-gram soft shell uses a triplelayer construction in which a heavily brushed tricot is bonded to a thick, Berber fleece. A waterproof, breathable film is inserted between the two layers. The garment stays flexible even at near-zero temperatures, and resists light snow and rain. Articulated arms deliver exten-

sive freedom of movement, and the longer hem in the back prevents cold spots. The hood narrows on the sides to deliver enhanced visibility. There are two large, side-zippered pockets for calls and accessories. An additional horizontal zippered chest pocket accommodates larger cell phones. The zipper has a pull-tab that can be used with gloves on, and the beard guard does not snag facial hair. Available in Huntsworth’s proprietary Oak Tree EVO Camo, sizes medium to 3XL. SRP: $49.99. Booth #10029. (huntworth.com)

Radwear ➤

Constructed to meet all standard jobsite safety requirements including Class 3 ANSI, the RW32 jacket offers tremendous value in waterproof high-visibility outerwear. Starting with 3M Scotchlite Reflective material laminated to a ripstop nylon base, this jacket is completely waterproof and breathable. Generously vented in the back and front panels, the garment has a large hood and a long tail for extra coverage. Other features include adjustable sleeve cuffs, mic tabs, and an array of pockets for a radio, phone, tools, and handwarmers. The jacket is generously cut to allow the wearer to add insulating clothing underneath. Sizes include medium to 5XL. SRP: $95. Booth #842. (radians.com)

Ridge ➤

Designed for versatility, com-

fort, and style, the Packin’ Tee allows men and women to readily access a firearm without the fit issues and comfort restrictions seen with standard holsters. There is no need for a jacket or other heavy outerwear to conceal your firearm. Everyday shirts and clothing can be worn over this specialty tee shirt, which features a snug, but not bulky, compression fit. The Packin’ Tee is universal, for use with either a right- or lefthanded holster. The heavy-duty Velcro attachment pads on both sides of the shirt offer the ability to use one side for the gun holster, the other for accessories. You can add a wallet accessory pouch for cell phones, passports, badges, or a magazine pouch for carrying an additional magazine. Choose from Crew or V-Neck, in black or white, for men and women. Sizes men’s small to 4XL, women’s small to large. SRP: $42. Booth #20021. (ridgeoutdoors.com)

Rocky

FILSON Designed for the colder days of the year, the Cascade Down Jacket for women is ideal when you’re up against rain and snow. This full-coverage bomber-length garment is sewn with a lightweight, water-repellent cotton shell, and features deerskin on the shoulders for long wear and protection. It is finished with a 100 percent shearling wool collar. Inside, the garment uses 550-fill goose down for lightweight warmth. The exterior shell repels water and is windproof. There is a vertical zippered pocket for keys or a cell phone. Made in Canada. Sizes include XS, S, M, L, and XL. SRP: $725. Booth #15324. (filson.com)

Rocky’s popular Stratum collection now features Venator camo and the new Venator black pattern. The jacket and pants are 100 percent waterproof, including pockets and zippers. Seams are taped and sealed. A DWR exterior coating is added for additional protection, along with Rocky ScentIQ Atomic scent control at the microbial level. Constructed from Rocky’s SilentHunter suede fabric, the items wick away moisture and offer complete silence in the woods. Available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, sizes small to

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products

3XL. SRP: $129.99–$139.99. Booth #11340. (rockyboots. com)

Sitka ➤

Please visit us at booth 20118

The Sniper’s Choice. Premium, Precision, Power. Reliability is the key. From trigger to terminal effect, this is the sniper’s choice for outstanding accuracy. Made in Switzerland.

RUAG Ammotec AG sales.ammotec@ruag.com RUAG SWISS P® is a registered trademark of RUAG Ammotec AG, a RUAG Group Company

036_SHD02_PRD_OUT.indd 42

The Ascent Series is the lightest and most performance-oriented system Sitka has ever offered in its biggame collection. Developed for the modern-day mountain athlete and built from lightweight yet durable nylon fabric, each piece is engineered to meet the particular demands of warm-weather and earlyseason hunting. The shirt and pants with wet-print nylon fabrics set a new benchmark for style and performance. Each product features an anti-stink Polygiene treatment to reduce body odor, mesh pockets for ventilation, and streamlined components for fast, unencumbered movement in the mountains. The Ascent Shirt is lightweight, breathable, and quick drying. Mesh underarm panels and chest pockets provide excellent ventilation. Formfitting sleeves provide ample string clearance. Two meshbacked, zippered chest pockets allow ventilation and won’t interfere with binoculars. There’s a thoughtful, flip-up collar for added sun protection. The Ascent Pant features mesh-backed pockets for ventilation and an internal mesh kneepad pocket for added protection. The pant uses a fourway stretch quick-dry Cordura nylon blend. Articulated patterning creates freedom of movement. The waist uses low-profile styling and has

r o c k y The Stratum collection now features Venator

camo. The jacket is 100 percent waterproof, including pockets and zippers. Seams are taped and sealed.

generous belt loops. Available sizes are small to 3XL. SRP: $169, shirt; $189, pant. Booth #10328. (sitkagear.com)

Wolverine ➤ The

flannel in the Bucksaw Bonded Shirt Jacket is bonded to soft, warm micro fleece. The unique DuraLock construction is designed to lock heat in and keep cold out. There’s an extended tail for extra coverage

and warmer sitting. Other features include rolled shoulders for superior fit, a three-piece hood with a metal-tipped draw cord, and a left chest pocket with a snap-flap closure. The cuffs also use an adjustable snap closure to reduce drafts. Colors include spice, black, dusk, maroon, hunter, and red, black, and white plaid. Sizes: medium to XXL. SRP: $60. Booth #10340. (wolverine bootsandshoes.com)

RIVER’S WEST The Outlaw Jacket now benefits from a new, Whisper Light fabrication. The Seattle-based company has improved its traditional, lightweight, waterproof fabrication, and the elimination of the taffeta lining with a quieter brushed, woven liner delivers improved interior comfort. This Whisper Light design incorporates a 5.2ounce micro-fleece exterior and a waterproof, breathable membrane with fully sealed seams. The result is a lightweight, packable, waterproof garment that is extremely quiet. The jacket weighs just 2.3 pounds, and it uses adjustable cuffs with an array of pockets. Available sizes are medium to 2XL. Camo options include Realtree Xtra, Max-5, Mossy Oak Country, and Shadowgrass Blades. SRP: $169.99. Booth #10742. (riverswest.com)

1/4/17 2:53 PM


T O

C H A S E

A L L

O F

Y O U R

D R E A M S.

T H E E N C O R E ® P R O H U N T E R ™ S Y S T E M I S T H E M O S T V E R S AT I L E P L AT F O R M E V E R CONCEIVED, WITH TWENTY DIFFERENT INTERCHANGEABLE CALIBER SELECTIONS FROM HANDGUN TO MUZZLELOADER TO RIFLE TO SHOTGUN.

www.TCARMS.com #TCEncoreProHunter facebook/tcarmsco

BC_055769_SBDD217P.indd 1

SEE US IN BOOTH #13729 twitter/tcarmsco

instagram/tcarmsco

youtube/tcarmsco

12/5/16 10:54 AM


FROMthe NSSF congressional

“ fly - in ” ||

the way forward

||

the pac helps tip the balance

||

information , please

|| meeting

of the minds

Air Power

NSSF’s Congressional Fly-In reaches out to lawmakers on firearms issues By Robert F. Staeger

O

nce a year, more than 50 firearms executives from all over the country fly to Washington, D.C., to meet with senators and congressional representatives to discuss issues and legislation affecting the shooting sports industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation calls this “the NSSF Congressional Fly-In.” Fans of the musical might know it by another name: “The Room Where It Happens.” It’s an annual event, held every spring, where industry leaders have the ear of many of the nation’s legislators from both parties. These are conversations in which government officials can learn in great detail how their decisions affect the firearms industry and about what issues are most important to its success. The 2017 Fly-In is scheduled for April.

The annual Congressional Fly-In has raised NSSF’s profile with crucial decision makers in Washington, D.C.

Since the Fly-In’s inception in 2008, it has significantly raised the NSSF’s profile on Capitol Hill. “We’ve been fortunate enough to have members of leadership address the participants,” says Lawrence Keane, NSSF’s senior vice president for government and public affairs and chief legal counsel, who leads NSSF government relations efforts. “Last year we had the top members of the House and the Senate, including the Senate Majority Leader [Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY], the House Majority Leader [Rep. Kevin

McCarthy, R-CA], and the Speaker of the House [Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI], all address us. It’s extremely rare to be able to have that level of a speaker year in and year out.” The Fly-In for 2016 was particularly fruitful, says Keane. “We discussed a number of topics, particularly the Senate’s Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. The House Version, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE Act), had already been passed by the House. There was significant progress on the bill shortly after the Fly-In.”

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act was included as an amendment to the energy bill, which recently proceeded to a joint House and Senate conference committee. The committee will reconcile the two differences between the bills and report back the version that includes major portions of both the SHARE Act and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Another major issue on the table was the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative, a regulatory reform NSSF supports. “Essentially, the Export Control Reform Initiative would result in a more business-friendly, streamlined process for exporting products, including commercial and sporting firearms and ammunition,” says Keane. “It would solve several issues for the industry, including the burdensome requirement for gunsmiths and small, non-exporting manufacturers to register with the State Department and pay an annual fee of $2,250, and allow U.S. companies to better compete for foreign contracts.” As a result of some of the FlyIn meetings, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) became heavily engaged with the Obama administration about the Export Control Reform Initiative. “He spoke directly with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to press the Obama administration to move forward with the export control reforms for our products, and we’ve got some movement on the Hill to really pressure the administration to do the job they were supposed to be doing all along. We’ve raised the profile of the issue considerably,” says Keane. All in all, 2016’s Fly-In was

extremely successful on a wide range of topics, and industry members were able to voice their concerns to a lot of legislative powerhouses, like Senate Majority Leader McConnell. “We met with members of Congress and senators from both sides of the aisle who sit on committees such as the Appropriations Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the National Resources Committee, and the Judiciary Committee,” says Keane. The Fly-In is also an opportunity to honor a legislator who’s gone above and beyond in his or her defense of the Second Amendment. The 2015 Legislator of the Year (announced at the 2016 Fly-In) was awarded to Congressman John Culberson of Texas’ 7th District. The Republican congressman is the chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. “He was very helpful when the ATF tried to rescind the exemption on the M855 and SS109 green tip ammunition,” says Keane. “Shortly after meeting with Rep. Culberson, where he drew ATF’s attention to our industry’s concerns, ATF withdrew the proposal.” Even though the next president is expected to be far less hostile to firearms and the shooting sports, the industry still needs a presence in Washington. “Previous Fly-Ins have scored high marks from industry participants who have seen firsthand how their participation can result in real progress and help advance the industry’s legislative and regulatory agenda,” says Keane. “The feedback we’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.”

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12/9/16 1:35 PM


from the nssf

The Way Forward

With a pro-gun House, Senate, and president in office, the NSSF looks to the future By Robert F. Staeger

P

undits everywhere had been predicting that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the presidency, so Donald Trump’s victory in November’s election came as a surprise to much of the country. The National Shooting Sports Foundation was no exception. “It was a surprise, certainly,” says Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president for government and public affairs and general counsel. “We were reading the polls like everybody else, though we had done some internal polling that turned out to be true. We saw that Iowa could’ve been in play, and we saw that Ohio was pretty solidly in the Trump category. We saw Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania were all tossups, but we didn’t expect all of those state to end up going for President-elect Trump. And Michigan and Wisconsin were never really on our radar and part of the discussion.”

Not only did Trump take Michigan and Wisconsin, Ron Johnson surged from behind and defeated former Senator Russ Feingold in a rematch from six years ago. Feingold was a candidate with tremendous name recognition. In the end, the Trump campaign’s “rust belt” strategy worked. All of that is preamble to the fact that, come the presidentelect’s inauguration on Friday morning, the U.S. will have progun majorities in both houses of Congress and a president who has pledged to respect and defend the Second Amendment. So what comes next? The first thing is outreach to new legislators. “We meet with every single freshman member of Congress and senator,” says Patrick Rothwell, NSSF’s managing director, government relations for federal affairs. “We try to be one of the first ones in the door to explain that NSSF is the trade association for America’s firearms, ammunition, hunting, and shooting sports industry. We begin the process of educating the freshmen members and senators and their staffs on the issues that are important to our industry members.” That interaction continues after the first weeks of the new congress. “We try to be frequent guests,” says Rothwell. “We want them to know that NSSF is a resource to them and their staff as they are learning the issues that Congress will address.” Those meetings will now have a more optimistic and pro-active outlook than what was expected. “We’re no longer worried about who Hillary Clinton would have sought to put on the Supreme Court, what a Clinton administration legislative agenda would involve, or what executive actions could be taken to further harass

Supporters of the Second Amendment can breathe a bit more easily now, but that doesn’t mean they can completely relax their guard. Protecting Americans’ gun freedoms is a never-ending job.

and burden the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition products,” says Rothwell. “Our focus has shifted to exploring opportunities to advance legislation, regulations, and policies that will have a positive impact on our industry and allow our members to grow their businesses and create more good paying jobs.” Still, Keane urges people to temper their expectations. “The election results don’t mean that pro-gun legislation is

going to sail through Congress and land on the president’s desk quickly,” he says. “Successfully passing legislation is still a long process, and the pro-gun majorities in both the Senate and the House are actually smaller than they were last year.” The Republican party’s Senate majority has shrunk to 52 seats, which means they’ll need to get eight Democrats to join in on any bills that can be filibustered. “It’s not going to be a cake-

walk,” says Rothwell. “In addition, I should point out that the new ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is Senator Diane Feinstein, who has been the biggest gun control advocate in the Senate for the last 20 years. So getting any pro-gun legislation through committee will be a challenge. She will do everything in her power to put up roadblocks.” Beyond legislation, there will be opportunities for regulatory changes, as President-elect Trump is expected to roll back some of the changes President Obama made while in office, while also making his own mark. One thing on NSSF’s wish list is approving sporting-purposes exemptions for alternative ammunition. “That issue has sat idle for five years,” says Keane. “And there are other certain things—access to federal land for hunters and target shooters, for example—that we’ve been trying to get done legislatively. There is now real opportunity there from a regulatory standpoint.” One big item the association will be working on is the export control reform initiative that NSSF has been trying to complete both through regulation and, more recently, legislation. “For purely anti-gun political reasons, the Obama Administration refused to transfer export licensing and regulatory oversight of sporting and commercial firearms and ammunition products to the Commerce Department from the State Department as part of its overall Export Control Reform Initiative. It was a clearly punitive move by the Obama administration not to move our products because it would have benefited our industry,” says Keane. “We are hopeful the Trump administration will address this issue by moving

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11/30/16 4:13 PM


FROM THE NSSF

Tipping the Balance

NSSF PAC helps support politicians who support sportsmen By Robert F. Staeger

Americans who hunt and shoot should find the next Congress and President more supportive.

export licensing and regulatory oversight of sporting and commercial firearms and ammunition to the Commerce Department, which would remove several burdensome regulatory problems, including requiring gunsmiths and small, non-exporting manufacturers to have to pay an annual $2,250 registration fee to the State Department.” Beyond that, says Keane, “We are hopeful the Trump administration will support doing more to improve ATF’s ability to provide better, more timely customer service to industry, like implementing an eForms system that truly meets the needs of industry and support legislation to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act.” Still, Keane warns against being too optimistic about completing everything on the NSSF’s wishlist. “I’d certainly suggest caution on the regulation side, too,” says Keane. “Every single industry in the country is going to present a wish list of items to the new administration. And there’s only so many things that it can do in the first 100 days, or, frankly, even in the first four years. So we need to go into this with realistic and prioritized expectations. But we’re optimistic that, moving forward, there will be a better regulatory environment for our industry, and NSSF will seek to reduce regulatory burdens on our industry that do not advance public safety.” Ultimately, all these laws and regulations are smaller than the elephant in the room: the makeup of the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land has had a vacancy for the past year, as the Republican majority in the Senate held back on considering President Obama’s nominee Judge Merrick Garland, preferring to let the American public through the election process have a voice and allow the new president fill the vacancy on the court. The average age of retirement for a Supreme Court justice is almost 79 years old. Justices Ginsberg and Breyer have already passed that average, and Justice Kennedy is right at the cusp. “President-elect Trump will have an opportunity to nominate at least one justice to the Supreme Court, and potentially as many as three over the next four to eight years,” says Keane. “This president, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, could shape the Supreme Court for a half-century.”

T

hree days after the inauguration of President Obama in 2008, then House Majority Whip Eric Cantor submitted a list of proposals for the upcoming economic stimulus bill. The President says he would consider the Republican proposals, but warned Cantor, “Elections have consequences.” He’d won, and he was planning to govern his way.

It’s a hard truth, but it’s a truth nonetheless. As much as politics is the art of the compromise, the upper hand is always had by the people in the majority. Those who win the election are more likely to win the ideological battles behind legislation, as well. That’s why the NSSF PAC is so important: If outreach and education efforts like NSSF’s annual Congressional Fly-In put pressure on the levers of power, the NSSF PAC helps determine the position of the fulcrum. The NSSF PAC is a nonpartisan, federal political action committee that exists to help candidates who are pro-industry, pro-Second Amendment, and prosportsmen. The NSSF PAC is a trade association PAC, which raises money from the personal funds of executives at member companies that can then be contributed directly to candidates’ campaign committees. It’s grown considerably since its formation in 2010. “In its first year, we raised only about $50,000,” says Lawrence Keane, NSSF’s senior vice president for goverment and public affairs and general counsel, and the PAC’s treasurer. “Since then, as awareness of the PAC has grown, support for the PAC has increased. By 2014, the PAC had raised over $500,000. Each year we see support for the PAC grow.” The 2014 elections were a tremendous success for the NSSF PAC. Of the 14 profirearm Senate candidates backed by the PAC, 13 of them were elected. In the House, 69 of 72 candidates supported by NSSF PAC

were elected. The result was a legislature that was pro-firearms industry. There was an even greater push in 2016. “Early on we had supported more candidates in the 2016 election cycle than we did in the all of the 2014 cycle,” says Keane. The PAC leadership carefully evaluates the position of candidates, in deciding who to support. “We take a look at all the members of Congress who are running for reelection. We examine their voting history and their position on issues of importance to our industry, including conservation and purely business issues that have nothing to do with gun control,” says Keane. “If they meet our criteria, we will consider supporting the candidate.” Federal election laws

allow PACs to contribute $5,000 per candidate, per election. “That means if someone’s running for reelection and they have a primary, we can give $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 in the general,” says Patrick Rothwell, NSSF managing director, government relations—federal affairs. “The limit resets every election cycle, so the PAC can donate to U.S. Representatives every two years; for Senators, who serve longer terms, it’s every six years.” The limits mean that the NSSF PAC is able to support more candidates. “A vibrant PAC is a critical part of any trade association’s overall government relations program, just like a well-attended Congressional Fly-In,” says Keane. If you’re interested in learning more about the NSSF PAC, visit nssfpac. org (where you can find the Year in Review reports) or contact NSSF PAC manager Natalie Oliver at noliver@ nssf.org.

The NSSF PAC helps support outreach and education efforts for the shooting sports industry.

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12/21/16 2:38 PM


from the nssf

Information, Please

NSSF reports provide invaluable data for ranges and retailers

T

By Christopher Cogley he shooting sports industry is constantly changing. Sometimes those changes are widespread and easily recognized, but, more often than not, they’re small and subtle. That doesn’t mean, however, they don’t have the potential to have dramatic impacts for gun store owners who fail to notice these slight shifts in the industry.

As part of its mission to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) routinely conducts studies and releases detailed reports that make it easier for ranges and retailers to stay in touch with a constantly changing industry and continue to meet the needs of their customers. If you haven’t yet picked up copies of the most recent reports published by NSSF, maybe it’s time to find out just how valuable they really are.

Annual Firearms Retailer Survey Report ➤ Because

firearms retailers are often the first businesses to notice emerging trends, each year NSSF surveys firearms retailers across the country for information about what’s happening on our industry’s front lines. The Firearms Retailer Survey Report outlines the findings of that annual study and provides detailed analysis of the state of the firearms industry and an accurate profile of its customers. The survey is conducted at the beginning of every year, and the report of the findings is released in the spring. The 2016 report contained trend data from 2012’15 and included some interesting, though not completely unexpected, statistics. “We’re still seeing that almost a quarter of the customers are firsttime gun buyers,” says Jim Curcuruto, director of industry research and analysis for the NSSF. “That’s been the trend for about the last four years.” While the trend itself might not necessarily be breaking news, the confirmation that this segment is still on the upswing does provide retailers with some added incentive to act on this trend if they haven’t already. “The job now is to turn that 25 percent of the customers into second- or third-time gun buyers,” Curcuruto says. “And the best way to do that is to start showing them the fun side of gun ownership.”

NSSF reports help ranges stay in touch with trends.

With that goal in mind, retailers can use the data in the Firearms Retailer Survey Report to focus their marketing and advertising promotions, adjust their inventory, and update their sales tactics to coincide with the subtle changes in the industry that will allow them to continually grow their business. Which is exactly the purpose of the report. “It’s designed so you can see what the data shows and identify areas where you’re doing well and areas where you can improve,” Curcuruto says. “When you sit down and map out your five- and 10-year plans, you can take the data and couple it with local conditions and decide what direction to take.” The annual report is available to NSSF business members for $120, but as a way to encourage participation, the association provides a complimentary copy of the report to any retailer who participates in the survey.

your profits. It’s with that goal in mind that NSSF released the Shooting Sports Industry Financial Benchmarking Report. The report is based on confidential surveys of 86 retailers across the country and prepared by Industry Insights, an independent research firm of certified public accountants. The report highlights detailed financial analyses, including financial ratios and sales mix data, then breaks out the information based on factors such as type of business, sales volume, retail square footage, geographic location, and size of the community so that retailers can find other businesses that closely match theirs and get an accurate picture of how they measure up financially. “This is something our members asked for,” Curcuruto says. “It’s a report card that lets you see how you stack up with your peers and where you might be able to make adjustments to be more profitable and grow your business.” The 2016 Financial Benchmarking Report was released last summer and contains financial data from 2011-’13, as well as 2015 sales figures. In addition to a wealth of financial data, the report also provides detailed information on how to analyze and interpret the data and how you can use the findings to make appropriate adjustments to your business model. The report is free to any retailer who participated in the survey and available to NSSF business members for $250.

National Range Report ➤ Although

Financial Benchmarking Report ➤ Business

success isn’t always about the bottom line. But sometimes understanding how your business measures up financially against your competitors can provide you valuable insight that will allow you to adjust your tactics, change your margins, and grow

all businesses in the shooting sports industry are connected, there are distinct differences between the business practices of ranges and those of retailers. To help provide shooting ranges with trend data specific to their business, the NSSF recently released its first annual National Range Report. “We wanted to make sure we have a report that outlines data that’s specific to ranges,”

Curcuruto says. “The information in this report will make it easy for them to get an idea of the trends specific to range operations and how those trends could impact their range.” Structured in a manner similar to the Firearms Retailer Survey Report, the National Range Report provides details on factors such as the demographic makeup of range users across the country. It also outlines participation trends, average range fees, total targets thrown annually, and other important data obtained from the ranges that participated in the survey, and provides insight into best practices such as the types of training ranges are offering their customers and how often those opportunities are taken advantage of by local shooters.

Customized Market Reports

➤ Whether you’re looking to open a new range or retail store or are considering expanding your current business, it’s always a good idea to get a clear picture of the market potential in your area, and that’s exactly what the NSSF Custom Market Reports provide. Each report is specific to the business that orders it and provides detailed information about the shooting sports market in a specified radius of your store or range. The Customized Market Report will map out all the ranges, shooting facilities, preserves, law-enforcement offices, and shooting-related business in the area. It will also provide a picture of the potential customer base that exists, including demographic information, buying income, and population trends. “These reports give you a good idea of your local market and the competition that’s there, as well as the opportunities that exist,” Curcuruto says. “They’re the best thing any business can do to get a better understanding of the market in their area.” The 80-page detailed reports are available to members for $625.

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12/9/16 4:53 PM


from the nssf

Meeting of the Minds

T

The 2016 NSSF Industry Summit was bigger, better, and more important than ever By Brian McCombie he shooting sports industry is a dynamic one, influenced and impacted by our ever-changing political, legal, and consumer landscapes. So how do we keep up with all these changes, while remaining true to our core values and practices, and, at the same time, do our part to keep participation in the shooting sports vital and growing? There’s no better way than by attending the 2017 NSSF Industry Summit. First held in 1996, the Summit provides attendees with the latest research related to the firearms and ammunition industry and the hunting and target shooting markets, while delivering cutting-edge information from experts in their fields. Multi-Cultural Target Shooting Audience.” Both speakers stressed that hunting and target shooting appeal to nearly all groups, but that understanding a group’s culture and needs will make introductions to the shooting sports much easier. Retailer marketing was a key Summit focus, too, with retailing guru and author Paco Underhill explaining “The Science of Shopping,” followed up by an explanation of current market research availThe Industry Summit provides attendees with the latest research and trends affecting the shooting sports.

The next Summit will be held June 5 to 7, 2017, at the Sheraton Austin Hotel At The Capitol in Austin, Texas. There is still time to register for this important event, and it is open to those in the shooting sports industry, NGOs, and state and federal wildlife agencies. “Our goal in organizing these summits is to bring together the top 250 to 300 industry leaders and provide them with new research findings and thoughtprovoking insights from subjectmatter experts,” says Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We engage participants in a conversation that concerns our whole industry. Then, these industry leaders return to their respective organizations and put this new information and the new partnerships they’ve formed into action.” Which is exactly what happened at the 2016 Industry Summit, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 2016 Summit provided valuable content for all segments of the industry—from manufacturers, retailers, and shooting ranges to natural resource agencies and hunting and conservation

groups—and continued a theme begun in 2015 on how to best engage with diverse audiences. That last factor is especially important, as NSSF research finds that many ethnic groups, including the large U.S. Hispanic population, have an interest in learning about firearms ownership and the shooting sports. The 2016 Summit kicked off with a welcome from NSSF president Steve Sanetti, followed by presenters Tara Jaye Frank on “Culture as a Pathway to Innovation,” and Gerry Loredo on “Engaging the

able to industry members provided by Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of industry research and analysis, and Rob Southwick of the research firm Southwick Associates. A high point of the Summit was a panel presentation on how to fight the culture war on hunting. The audience was very engaged in a spirited giveand-take on the many issues involved. The panel was moderated by National Deer Alliance president Nick Pinizzotto and featured Dan Forster, director of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division; Ryan Bronson, Vista Outdoor’s director of conservation and public policy; and Jeff Siegel, CEO of Media Lodge. Day two saw a packed house for a discussion on industry trends, insights, and concerns moderated by a panel of industry leaders: James Debney of Smith & Wesson, Steve Hornady of Hornady Manufacturing, Chris Killoy of Sturm Ruger, and Bruce Pettet of Leupold. “We feel the 2016 Summit set a new standard for offering compelling sessions that appealed to all segments of our industry,” Dolnack says. “The information shared motivated individuals and their companies and organizations to make changes that will help keep our industry and the shooting sports viable. And we are going to do our very best to hit another home run with the 2017 Summit.” The 2017 NSSF Industry Summit will work to share dynamic, replicable models of success that contribute toward a common industry goal: increasing participation in hunting and target shooting. For more information on the 2017 NSSF Industry Summit, go to nssf.org/ IndustrySummit.

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from the nssf

Selling Fun

NSSF study lays out the path from new gun owner to shooting sports fan By Cathy Glazer

T

here is no question that personal protection is a big driver of firearms sales. “About five years ago, we began to hear from retailers and ranges telling us that they were seeing an entirely different demographic,” says Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director, industry research. “These firsttime gun buyers were younger, more diverse, more urban, and included more women. Their main motivation for buying a gun was personal protection.” But shooting is also fun, and to discover what strategies might encourage a new gun owner to travel the path to becoming an active shooting sports fan, NSSF enlisted the help of InfoManiacs, Inc., a team of custom research and strategy consultants. Their findings are available in a new research publication, “ActionFan and the Path to Participation in the Shooting Sports,” from

NSSF’s industry research department. Researchers took an in-depth look at avid fans, interviewing nearly 3,000 hunters and shooting sports fans, ages 18 to 75. They used a proprietary methodology, ActionFan, to measure a variety of behavioral, attitudinal, and emotional characteristics. A model was developed that identified and defined the stages on the path to “Fandom,” as well as the key factors that influenced each stage. Some findings surprised the researchers. As InfoManiacs president Laura Kippen observed in the report, there was an expectation that participants might be motivated to participate in shooting sports for many reasons, but especially to enhance skills related to self-protection. She was surprised to find that those factors were not influential. “What

became evident was that the motivating factors for obtaining a firearm are very different from the factors driving participation in shooting sports,” she said. From her perspective, Kippen wrote, two factors stood out. First, at the outset, not everyone knows that shooting activities are fun and social. Second, the fun and social aspects are about the only things that really hook and motivate shooting sports participants to continue to participate and become fans. “It is not surprising that the shooting sports are social,” said Kippen. “What is surprising is just how important the social aspect of shooting sports truly is. The results of this study leave no doubt that shooting sports are fundamentally social activities.” What does all this mean for retailers and manufacturers? The study recommended that

Retailers should remember to point out the fun of shooting.

communication and imagery of hunting and shooting emphasize the fun and social aspects of the sport. Current imagery, the study found, could be less intimidating and more welcoming. “It is difficult to locate images of men smiling with a gun in their hands unless they are receiving an award. Most images portray men who look fierce,” the study observed. Or, as Curcuruto pointed out, there is something to be learned from “the Mouse”: “You never see a grim face in an ad for Disney World.”

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F E AT U R E S

One big selling point of the 828U is that a customer can change drop and cast with a shim kit.

Radical Departure

Best known for semi-autos, Benelli gambled that it could build an appealing over/under as well By Phil Bourjaily

L

ast summer I got to help put Benelli’s new over/under, the 828U O/U, to a different kind of test: three days of mixedbag shooting in Uruguay. The 828U performed in the duck blind, the uplands, and the dove field. It carried easily and handled quickly when we hunted perdiz over English setters; it shot in the marsh even after taking a serious mud bath; and it easily digested a couple of cases of shells on afternoon dove shoots without malfunctions.

The 828U is performing well on dealer’s shelves as well, following its introduction last year. The gun represents a radical departure for a company known for semiautos, and the gamble seems to be paying off. In Uruguay I asked Benelli product manager George Thompson why Benelli chose to make an O/U. “Benelli has a 40 to 45 percent segment of the semi-auto market,” he said. “It’s easy to grow from 5 percent to 10 percent, but hard to go from 40 to 45 percent to 45 to 50 percent.” However, Benelli had capacity in its factory to make more guns, Thompson told me, so they needed to increase production. Making more semi-autos wasn’t the answer. “We looked at centerfire rifles,” he said, “but the trend to cheaper rifles doesn’t fit with the Benelli brand. We knew we could make an O/U with unique features at a price that competes with Brownings and Berettas.”

In true Benelli fashion, the company’s designers and engineers made sure their O/U was different from any other. The result was the 828U. The gun has a distinctive Benelli look and the hallmarks of light weight and innovative design. The alloy receiver joins the stock in such a way that you can easily change the important stock dimensions of drop and cast with the included shim kit—a first in O/Us and a huge selling point. It took me about five minutes to change the cast on my gun from righthanded to left-handed. That alloy receiver, combined with a carbonfiber rib, shaves the weight of a 12-gauge 828U with 28-inch barrels to a mere 6½ pounds. The engineers addressed the downside of a lightweight 12-gauge, excessive recoil, by fitting Benelli’s Progressive Comfort recoil reducer into the stock. Progressive Recoil features a number of flexible interlocking fingers (think of the teeth of two

combs stuck together) that bend under recoil, dampening the shock and vibration. The system works, though nothing can repeal the laws of physics. “Our goal was to reduce recoil to the same level as the heavier guns made by our competitors,” said Thompson. Despite the lightweight receiver, the 828U action is strong because lockup is achieved with a steel plate that engages into the gun’s monoblock, a system found on some German single-shot rifles. It’s a very strong action, and the gun should last forever. The ejec-

tor system, though, is just plain strange. Tiny buttons protrude through holes in the chamber, and when the hull expands upon firing, the ejector trips. It works; at least the six guns in our group recorded no failures to eject nor any other kind of problem over the course of several thousand rounds in the field. As a bonus test, I fell in the mud with my gun broken open, clogging the action with muck. I wiped it out as best as I could and went right back to shooting ducks without a hitch. The 828U works, and though it’s priced slightly higher than an entry-level Browning or Beretta, features such as stock adjustability certainly make it competitive. It’s an O/U like no other, exactly as you’d expect from Benelli. The 828U is available with a plain black receiver ($2,499) or with an engraved silver receiver ($2,999). Both grades have AA walnut. Booth #13656. (benelliusa. com)

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F E AT U R E S

Back On Track

A revamped Remington is ready to roll By Slaton L. White

Y

ou’d have to be sitting in a bathysphere at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, searching for signs of the frilled shark, Pacific viperfish, or giant tube worm, to not know of the ordeals of the Remington Outdoor Company these past few years. It’s the kind of trouble that would sink most enterprises, but somehow this venerable institution has managed to stay afloat. And for those who have hung on, they now see a light and the end of the tunnel—and it’s not an oncoming train.

“Let’s start with the positive,” says John Fink, director of firearms product management. “We’ve launched, or are positioned to launch, 144 new products in all categories, and we have a strong distributor network. We have benefited from a substantial investment in capital from 2014 through 2016. We have also simplified the company’s footprint through the consolidation and elimination of 10 facilities, and we have centralized research and development, product management, and marketing. All of this will make us far more efficient and better able to respond to the needs of the marketplace.” And the negative? “We were very unstable in 2009 and 2010,” he says, “but now we have a renewed focus on stability and are far more focused on strategic long-term thinking. We believe we are well positioned for 2017.” A lot of the stability and long-term strategy are a result of Remington’s new CEO, James “Marco” Marcotuli, who has quickly moved to right the ship after a series of ill-advised moves.

Here, the original launch of the R51 comes readily to mind. By now, most Remington staffers are sick and tired of talking about the R51, but the company admitted it made a mistake by bringing the compact semi-auto pistol to market too soon. When it recognized the magnitude of the problem, it pulled the product and said it would make it right. The revised R51 is here at SHOT, and it seems this time around they got it right. “I think we did,” says Dillon Jennings, sales and business development manager of MSRs and handguns. “The re-launch is part of our new process for new products. Everybody is being held to a much higher standard. R&D doesn’t get the gun to me to launch unless Jim Marcotuli says ‘it’s absolutely ready.’ He signs off on every single step of the process, from mistake-proofing the line to continuity of supply.” Marcotuli does this through what is known internally as the “evidence book,” a compilation of all the product testing as well as plans for sales and distribution. The evidence book The low bore axis of the R51 helps tame recoil, and its snag-free profile makes it ideal for covert carry.

Remington altered its internal product development procedures to ensure their launch of the R51 would go off without a hitch.

for the R51 was 6 inches thick, and Jennings says Marcotuli went through every page before approving the launch. “The R51 re-launch was a year-long process of collecting marketing materials and planning sales and customer announcements,” Jennings says. “When we announced the R51 to sales and customers, we had already signed off on all testing and were well into production with a large quantity of guns in inventory. We gave our customers time to place orders and prepare their own plans on how they were going to sell it. Only then did we announce a hard retail date.” Under this new system, Jennings says, “new product won’t launch if it hasn’t been signed off by Marco. It won’t launch until we have a significant quantity in inventory. It won’t launch until we’ve had partnership conversations with every single one of our major customers. And, it won’t launch if the price isn’t right. We bring all of these things together, the entire company. The process involves everybody—and I mean everybody. In this way, everybody has buy in and everybody’s got a piece of the process.” Another key aspect of Remington’s re-set is repairing dealer relations. “You know how we deal with that?” Jennings says. “By coming out with products that are exactly what we say they are, exactly when we say we will. We need to build back some confidence, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.” Booth #15427. (remington.com)

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See the latest in innovation from FLIR, booth #248.

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MINUTES WITH…

Doug Flagg

Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CRKT

One Year Later Just how well is the CRKT–Ruger partnership working out?

W

By Christopher Cogley hen Columbia River Knife & Tool announced last year that it was releasing a new line of Ruger knives, the partnership seemed like a natural fit. Expectations were high that the line would bring together their respective brand advocates with a product line that showcased just how much the two companies had in common. Now, one year later, SHOT Daily wanted to find out if the initial rollout lived up to those lofty expectations, so we checked in with Doug Flagg, vice president of sales and marketing for CRKT, to see how the first year went and what retailers can expect for 2017 and beyond.

SHOT Daily: The partnership

takes time to build awareness and ultimately convert on sales, but all in all we’re pleased.

between CRKT and Ruger seems like a natural fit, but how did it actually come about?

SD: How was the selection

Doug Flagg: Our leadership

received by consumers?

group has had a relationship with the Ruger team for a long time. This particular partnership was a couple of years in the making, but the root of it all is based on years of respect and mutual admiration. We kicked off a licensing agreement to produce a unique set of knives that carry the pride, purpose, grit, and inspiration that both the CRKT and Ruger brands were built on.

DF: Feedback has been positive. Consumers expect quality and consistency with both CRKT and Ruger, and we’re hearing that we’re delivering.

SD: Did the first year of the partnership live up to your expectations?

DF: It was a solid first year, a

SD: What goals did you have in mind when you set out to develop the initial product offering?

DF: It’s pretty simple, really. We set out to bring rugged, reliable, and affordable knives to market that were worthy of both the CRKT and Ruger names. With those principals as our guide, we were driven to create quality, purpose-built knives that would excel in the environments where our customers expect them to perform.

SD: Did you feel as though you achieved that goal with the inaugural selection of knives you released last year?

DF: I think we did. The CRKT/ Ruger collection was carefully curated and includes designs that span tactical, survival, hunting, and everyday-carry uses. Through it all—as we always do at CRKT—we teamed with some of the best designers in the industry, and we feel we created a collec-

Doug Flagg, vice president of sales and marketing for CRKT, says the first year of the CRKT–Ruger partnership delivered solid results, with a good foundation upon which to build.

tion that honors both brands and ultimately our end consumers.

SD: Did you have a particular group or type of consumer in mind when you designed the initial assortment?

DF: Our designs are a reflection of our consumers. They’re nononsense knives that work hard, perform in all conditions, and deliver value day in and day out. We built the CRKT/Ruger collection for those people who roll up their sleeves, tackle the day’s challenges, and aren’t counting on any cavalry coming to the rescue. Along the way we honored the Ruger customer by building aesthetic details from the storied

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firearms into the designs of the knives, such as the classic checkering of the Follow-Through knife that was inspired by the American Pistol and the handle of the Go-N-Heavy knife that gives a nod to the Picatinny rail of the Ruger AR-556.

SD: How was the selection received by retailers?

DF: Sell in was strong as the partnership really seemed to make sense in the eyes of our retail partners. We’re hearing that the knives complement our retailers’ existing product lines, and we’re doing everything we can to help with sell through. It’s only a year in, and it

great start really, and I think we’ve got a foundation to build on as we move forward. We wanted to capture the attention of the marketplace, bring two storied brands together, and deliver a quality product. We can only achieve this through a concerted, coordinated effort between the brands, and we enjoy a good working relationship that we’ll continue to nurture and develop.

SD: Did you adjust your goals for the products after the first year?

DF: With any product launch or partnership there are key learnings along the way that you have to draw on to help things grow and flourish. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve, whether that’s in our designs, the way we communicate between organizations, or getting help to get boots on the ground in the retail environment. Our lofty goal to build rugged, reliable, and affordable knives remains, and we’re keeping our foot on the gas to get us there. Booth #414. (crkt.com)

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F E AT U R E S

Market Response

Though 5.11 remains committed to the tactical world, it is adding a more casual line By David Maccar

M

any professionals in various walks of life have been using and wearing 5.11 Tactical’s products for decades. But as the lines between tactical and everyday clothing continue to blur, the manufacturer is adapting to a changing marketplace that demands the versatility of tactical clothing with a look that doesn’t scream, “Hi, just a regular concealed carrier over here.” 5.11 started by making excellent tactical pants and shirts for police and SWAT team members. Today, the company’s commitment to police, firefighters, EMTs, and military members remains stalwart, but it’s expanding and adding to its product lines to cater to the everyday-carry crowd.

5.11’s more casual line has been designed for both men and women, and offers a wide variety of tailored shirts and tees as well as pants and shorts. Many of these garments are appropriate for concealed carry but help make it a good deal harder to be spotted as a “carrier.”

“Bottom line, we serve police, firefighters, EMTs, and military. That is our foundation. No matter what we do, we will always have that professional component,” says Michael Anderson, 5.11 Tactical’s senior public relations manager. “But what we’ve realized is that the equipment and gear we build for our first responders is rugged and functional, and there is a need for that on the consumer side.” An example of this strategy can be found in 5.11’s new Fast-Tac

Urban pants coming out this spring. The pants feature some of the favorite features of 5.11 customers, such as a flexible CCW-friendly waistband with seven belt loops, reinforced pockets, and Fast-Tac 4.7-ounce ripstop fabric. With no cargo pockets and clean lines, they don’t scream “tactical.” At the same time, customers also can choose a more tactical-looking version of the pants by going with the Fast-Tac Cargo Pant with cargo pockets and an extra

utility pocket. Both are available in various colors. The company has also listened to its customers and will be releasing a shorts version of its popular, stretchy Apex pants made from the company’s Canvas Flex-Tac mechanical stretch fabric. But it’s releasing some decidedly non-tacticallooking shorts—the Vaporlites and the Vandal 2.0 shorts come to mind—which are made more for comfort and summer fun. 5.11 is also aware that many of its customers spend a lot of their time in an office setting. “We’re going for a more covert appearance for a lot of our new apparel and new packs. We’re also expanding our women’s line,” Anderson says. “It’s getting to the point where you can kind of tell who is concealed-carry by a glance. People see tactical clothing, and they tie it to law enforcement. So we want to continue to give everybody the functional ruggedness and concealed-carry options and capabilities, but not make it so overt—in other words, make it a little more fashion forward.” The 5.11 Corporate S/S shirt looks like a comfortable shortsleeved button down that would go fine with dress slacks or jeans without looking sloppy. Plus, with the company’s Freedom Flex moisture-wicking mechanicalstretch fabric, dual pen pockets on both sleeves, and bartacked stress points, it can be just as rugged as it is handsome. It’s available in a cut for women and is embroideryand embellishment-friendly for those who wear a uniform to work. Along the same lines, but with a more casual look, are the Freedom Flex S/S Woven shirt in solid colors and the Slipstream S/S Shirt in plaid patterns. Both offer comfort, light weight, and plenty of pockets for storage. The Breaker S/S and Intrepid S/S add

to the company’s variety of casual, CCW-ready shirts. Early on, 5.11 realized its female customers wanted something more than sized-down men’s clothes. Women have a different body shape and require clothes that are cut differently than those for men. In 2017, the company will be building on its already extensive women’s line with the Wildcat pants with zippered leg gussets that let you change from straight to boot-cut instantly. The pants also come with AR-magazine pockets on the back yoke, utility pockets and back patch pockets, and a double-knee construction. Women will see the Triumph short, made for the range, patrol, or the outdoors. The inconspicuous shorts come with discreet AR-sized magazine pockets, a comfort waistband, and seven belt loops, plus double-needle top stitching. Ladies are also getting a bunch of new tops. The Spitfire Shirt and the WS Freedom Flex S/S shirt are on the tactical side. The Calypso Top, Willow Henley, Holster Cami, and Meridian Tank are clearly designed with fashion in mind, but with 5.11’s extra features like concealed-carry silhouettes, reinforced construction, and moisture-wicking, resilient fabrics. And, adding to its impressive line of concealed-carry purses and handbags, 5.11 has two more in

The CCW-ready Alice Saddle Bag has a slash-proof strap.

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F E AT U R E S

store next year. The Alice Saddle Bag has a slash-proof strap so it can’t be cut from someone’s shoulder. The bag also includes the TacTec System with a CCW compartment for a sub-compact handgun. Interior zippered pockets also keep you organized. Available in black and caramel. The Molly Shopper oversize bag is even more inconspicuous, with a large main compartment and roomy front pocket for overnight trips. Available in black or caramel. But, as Anderson says, 5.11’s tactical customers are certainly not being ignored. The company’s XPRT line represents its most functional clothing and accessories for people whose everyday duty dress includes body armor. The Women’s XPRT Shirt offers maximum protection and capability with a Kevlar-lined collar and ventilated Ortholite shoulder pads, along with no-melt, no-drip NYCO Tactical fabric. New in 2017 is the Women’s XPRT Rapid shirt, which is a quarter-zip high-collar Kevlarlined combat shirt that’s made with a lower body designed to keep the wearer cool and dry under body armor and gear. On the men’s side, 5.11 will be offering three of its XPRT products in the Multicam camo pattern currently being used by the U.S. Army, including the XPRT Multicam LS Shirt, XPRT Multicam Rapid shirt, and the XPRT Multicam Pants. The updated Rapid Assault Shirt 2.0 is designed as an ideal tactical base layer with a quarter-zip collar, zippered pockets on both sleeves, and four-way stretch fabric, plus reinforced elbow patches. The company is also offering a set of fireresistant Utility Shirts and Utility Stretch FR Pants in khaki and dark navy made from the company’s stretch FR fabric for a more comfortable duty uniform, with dual chest pockets, pen slots, external HRC-2 labeling, internal ASTM F 1506 and NFPA 2112 labeling, and Nomex Unsafe fire-retardant thread. No matter if you’re a concealed carrier, a cross-fit athlete, a police officer, an EMT, a hunter, or a range junkie, 5.11 will be making clothes and gear just for you for a long time to come. Booth #13162. (5.11tactical.com)

The Kryptek cap (top) and the 5.11 Boonie are both part of a casual style evolution for the tactical clothing manufacturer.

Battle Born Kryptek’s designs draw inspiration from the tours of duty of its founders By Justin Moore

C

omfort and concealment are important while hunting, no matter the game or location. For soldiers on battlefields all over the globe, those same two traits are important as well. They are also critical to survival. That difference in mindset is the rock upon which the founders of Kryptek based their company. Josh Cleghorn and Butch Whiting met while serving together piloting AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in the Middle East. Both are highly decorated and have been deployed to some of the worst locations imaginable, and it was on one such mission that both of them began discussing the need for hunting clothing that adheres to strict military standards. An idea for a new company was born, and with it a much needed escape to normalcy for two big-game hunters serving their country in hostile territory.

“The ability to fuse our military and combat experience with our passion for hunting has resulted in a superior line of gear for the hardcore backcountry hunter. Our motto ‘Battlefield to Backcountry’ is much more than a slogan; it is truly the essence of the Kryptek brand,” Whiting says. Five years after forming Kryptek Outdoor Group, the company now offers an entire outerwear system, starting with base layers and ending with extreme cold weather gear. The merino wool base layers are breathable and work as standalone components in warm weather, wicking away moisture and providing insulation when temperatures drop. The Aegis extreme weather outer layer is waterproof on the outside, but still breathable from within, keeping the hunter dry, even in places where you can experience rain, snow, sunshine, and sweat all in the same day. Kryptek has created a system for every environment and found a way to keep the hunter comfortable—and safe when necessary. This, again, reflects the military training and expertise of Cleghorn and Whiting. Being comfortable while hunting is important, but being invisible is invaluable. Enter Kryptek’s versatile line of camo patterns, tested by sportsmen and military alike. The design utilizes micro and macro layering inspired by military-grade camouflage netting, creating a 3D appearance on a 2D surface, effec-

Butch Whiting (left), co-founder and CEO, and Josh Cleghorn, co-founder and president, have used their extensive military experience to create high-performance camo hunting clothing.

tively producing depth where there may be none. Put simply, the Kryptek camouflage patterns make you very hard to see in a multitude of environments. The Highlander pattern offers the most diverse color scheme for mixed terrain that could vary from dry grasslands to shadowed timber to arctic tundra—and everything in-between. That’s why the majority of Kryptek outerwear is in Highlander, but it is far from the only choice, and no matter where you go on this planet there will be a Kryptek camouflage to match. I had the opportunity to put the Kryptek gear to the test in Alaska chasing Dall sheep. The days were about 20 hours long, and temperature varied drastically in a short amount of time. We went from sweating 10-mile

hikes up ridges to glassing during rainstorms over and over throughout the nine days that it took me to get my ram, even pushing through a freak snowstorm. Not once did the gear fail me, or make the hunt harder than it needed to be. It was light, it fit well, and it kept me dry from the inside and out. Everything a hunter needs their gear to do. Every year Kryptek has released new products at SHOT show and this year will be no different. It has already announced a new women’s line of hunting clothing, but Cleghorn promises that even more exciting products will be unveiled on the show floor. “Stop by to see what’s up our sleeves,” he says. Booth #3648. (kryptek.com)

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f e at u r e s

Pod People

It’s not science fiction, but an efficient and entertaining way to reach your audience By Michelle Schueremann

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odcasts are big business in 2017. Don’t believe us? Just ask the person sitting next to you what podcasts they listened to in the last week. From a splash some 10 years ago to mellowing out, to a recent resurgence, it seems everyone has a podcast. In fact, one in five people listened to podcasts in 2016—and five is the average number of podcasts most subscribe to, according to Edison Research. They also found monthly listenership has increased 75 percent since 2013. Where do people find all this time?

“Podcasts can be enjoyed at times that no other medium is available, while you’re mowing the lawn, driving to work, running on a treadmill, and so on, and they also provide a deep one-on-one connection between a content creator and an audience,” says Mark Kenyon, creator of the wildly popular and one of the first-to-the-scene podcasts, “Wired to Hunt.” And podcasting has massive, sexy appeal. “I feel a podcast gives you more of the truth of how people go about their business. And because you can capture this rich, deep content and redistribute it in an on-demand

format where listeners can have it anytime they want it, 24/7, it leads to dedicated loyal listeners that love to binge listen to your show. They will find you and listen to your entire back catalog,” says Jay Scott of “Big Buck Registry Podcast.” And if people don’t like it? Worry not, says Adam Janke of “Beyond the Kill.FM” podcast. “Podcasting has no set format to follow, no longstanding industry expectations or biases. It was (and still is) an avenue for pure creativity. You can literally do, say, and produce whatever you want. If people don’t like it, they won’t listen,

Clockwise from top: Mark Kenyon, Laura Eakin, Jay Scott (left) and Dusty Phillips—all produce popular podcasts.

but you have no other external pressures to work against.” Like Janke says, being able to say what you want, how you want, and when you want is the biggest appeal for podcasters. Both “MeatEater with Steven Rinella” and “Hunt Talk Radio with Randy Newberg, Unfiltered”—TV show hosts with shows on Sportsman Channel (part of Outdoor Sportsman Group, Booth #13923)—have said the reason they started podcasting was to shoot the bull with fellow hunters and friends. “I wanted to build a show that sounded just like that—basically, a group of your best friends discussing fascinating subjects,” says Rinella, who started his podcast in 2015. Newberg is also no-holdsbarred with his podcast that is just a year old, but already surpassing thousands of downloads a month. “There is a reason my podcast is titled ‘Unfiltered.’ Mainstream may not like what is coming out of my mouth, but my fans and fellow hunters do,” says Newberg. Newberg tackles controversial topics, such as long-range shooting, and he also hosts political figures on his show. One of the biggest concerns for those starting their own podcast is monetizing it. In other words, how to find advertisers. Edison Research shows advertising spending in 2015 was estimated around $34 million, a small drop in the bucket compared to other media sectors. Still, podcasts in the hunt/ shoot space are going after it. Newberg brings on Leupold & Stevens (Booth #11962), Gerber (Booth #13614), Legacy Sports International (Booth #3036), and others who also sponsor his TV show. Kenyon has Sitka Gear (Booth #10328) as a title sponsor of “Wired to Hunt” and a variety of episode-specific sponsors such as Ozonics

(Booth #1141) and more. “Having these advertisers allows us to continue innovating with our content and promotion, and with our creative ad formats, we’re able to provide tremendous value to both the advertiser and our listeners,” says Kenyon. In fact, Kenyon is quite unique with his advertising. For Sitka, they created a year-long series of mini-spots with a product developer, describing different lessons about technical hunting apparel, giving layering advice, sharing insight into product development, and much more. “The content was actually interesting and educational, rather than just another marketing promotion. Even though the spots ran two to three minutes, listeners actively engaged and consumed the content rather than turning the page or changing channels like they might on a different medium,” he says. Kenyon also says that the value in podcast advertising is substantial and growing exponentially every day. “Podcasts offer the chance for a customer to engage with media at a time that no other media is available. Would you rather have your ad play for a viewer who’s already seen 25 commercials in the last 20 minutes? Or would you like to be one of only two advertisements played over an hour?” A few new-to-the-scene podcasters recognize the fact that advertisers can be difficult to find. “I have a few people who sent me gear to test, but that is the extent of my sponsor/advertiser experience,” says Laura Eakin of “The Hunting Widow Podcast.” Eakin’s podcast started because her husband, who was going to host his own podcast in 2015, bought the equipment and never did anything with it. “I had toyed around with the idea of doing my own podcast, but

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didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she says. “That was when my husband and I came up with the idea of ‘The Hunting Widow Podcast.’ I was originally going to talk with other hunters’ wives, and we would discuss the struggles of having a hunting husband. Instead, the podcast has pivoted into what it is now. I talk with the hunting industries leading ladies, such as Melissa Bachman and Kristy Titus, about their first hunting memories and favorite stories as well as their struggles. These ladies teach women like me how they can get out in the woods and have their own amazing hunting experiences.” Speaking of experiences, every podcaster says that’s why they do what they do. “I am a hunting gear nut and felt that the hunting product information the consumers were receiving was being forced down their throat by the marketing companies and ‘hunting celebrities’ that might not have the customers best interest in mind. I wanted to get product information right from the source and

interview the engineers, product managers, and business owners that developed the products right from the beginning,” says Dan Johnson of “Nine Fingers Chronicles Podcast.” Products Johnson has reviewed on his podcast include Badland Hunting packs (Booth #10119), Kryptek (Booth #3648), Under Armour (Booth #6103), and Sitka.

Perhaps that’s the beauty of podcasting—it is fast-moving so podcasters can report on things such as the latest social media snafu, and there is no limit on time or content. “Podcasts are a unique format that doesn’t really exist in other forms in the digital world. It’s radio in a sense, but it caters to how our Netflix/ YouTube/Facebook society

consumes content daily, via streaming, mobile, and ondemand. It’s everywhere people are hanging out digitally,” says Scott, whose podcast started as a Facebook page of user-submitted trophy shots, which then morphed into a podcast telling those deer stories because someone told Scott back in 1997 that he has a voice for radio.

for more information

After reading all this, you decide (or your boss decides) a podcast is in order. Before you do anything else, consider the following advice. ● “What can you do uniquely to stand out from the crowd? Will you use a new format, focus on a very specific group, and approach a topic in a creative way? Figuring this out from the get-go is the first priority in my book.” —Mark Kenyon, Wired to Hunt ● “DO IT. If you’re not technical and don’t like (or don’t have the time) to sweat the details, then outsource things such as post-production, publishing, etc. This was my/our biggest hurdle in getting Beyond the Kill. FM off the ground. And probably most important is to be realistic and be consistent. A big part of building

trust with an audience is following through on expectations. We could likely go with a weekly podcast, and there are numerous business reasons to do so, but decided to go bi-weekly to keep the workload manageable and ensure we weren’t diluting our content.” —Adam Janke, Beyond the Kill.FM ● “Just start. Get a basic $50 mic and record into your computer. YouTube is your friend with lots of tutorials. Listen to the podcasters that talk about how to podcast like Dave Jackson, Cliff Ravenscraft, Elsie Escobar, and Rob Walsh. Upgrade your equipment as you can afford it, niche down the topic of your show (good for keyword searches and tribe building). Oh, and make mistakes. It’s the only way to learn.” —Jay Scott, Big Buck Registry

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reaching beyond what was ever thought possible, each elevating Leica’s own definition of sport optics “excellence.” See for yourself our new standards of sport optics excellence. Booth 12519.

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F E AT U R E S

Going Mainstream

Think suppressors are a fringe product? Think again

I

By Barbara Baird

n February 2016, the BATFE reported the number of registered silencers in the U.S. had exceeded the 900,000 mark. This statistic does not surprise Matt Ohlson, Remington’s director of consumer accessories. “Obviously, with our military contracts as well as growing civilian interest, it was a natural move for Remington to augment our firearms and ammunition lines with a silencer portfolio. That’s why we acquired Advanced Armament Corporation,” he said in an interview last September at Remington’s annual new-product seminar. “Silencers are not becoming mainstream; they are mainstream now, and once users realize the myriad benefits, they want to shoot everything suppressed.”

Ohlson also says that by SHOT Show 2017 he expects that well over one million silencers will be in consumer hands, boosted by hundreds of thousands of applications waiting to be approved for tax stamps in an effort to beat the ATF 41F July 13, 2016, enactment date. During previous years, tax stamp wait times stretched out to longer than one year. Last fall, though, approval time estimates fell to

between six months to a year. Ohlson noted that the majority of the silencers added to the record had been sold in the past five years, with double-digit increases year over year. Presently, 42 out of 50 states allow for silencer ownership, and 40 states allow for some form of hunting with them. Prospective owners have to fill out federal paperwork, undergo a background check, pay a $200 tax per item, con-

duct the transfer through an FFL/ SOT in their state, and wait for approval until they can take possession. This is in stark contrast to certain countries in Europe in which silencers, where legal, can be purchased relatively easily. “Wherever there’s a firearm, there’s a silencer benefit,” says Ohlson. “Target shooting, plinking, home defense, hunting, military, law enforcement—even patrol

officers. It really is an across-theboard benefit for any shooting discipline that you’re doing.” According to Ohlson, three trends are currently driving the suppressor market. TREND #1:

Choices, Choices, Choices ➤

Ohlson sees more companies coming into the market, new designs pushing the technical envelope, and prices dropping with increased competition. “Five to 10 years ago, suppressors were the realm of the specialist gun owner, someone who navigates all the legalese behind it and how to own it. What’s happened now is that suppressors are more mainstream. As a result, more everyday gun owners are jumping on the silencer bandwagon. As the market matures, there will be more product choices, and logically more price-point plays.”

TREND #2:

Do-It-All Silencers ➤

There is increasing interest in the one-can-to-do-it-all, aka the do-everything-can for pistol, centerfire, and rimfire firearms. For one tax stamp, you can own one silencer that can be used on multiple hosts and multiple calibers. “AAC offers suppressors that will cover multiple rifle calibers—such as .308 Win., 300 AAC Blackout, and 5.56 from a .30-caliber silencer—and pistol cans that shoot both centerfire pistol and rimfire cartridges. However, we don’t offer a do-it-all right now,” he says.

TREND #3:

Modular Silencers ➤

Top: The Ti-RANT 45M is a modular centerfire pistol can that gives the end-user added flexibility regarding length, weight, and sound reduction. Bottom: Other new accessories include flash hiders and subsonic pistons.

The modular silencer allows the user to switch the configuration from a full-size to a compact version by removing a module from the main tube. Again, for one tax stamp you can own one silencer that allows for some level of adjustment for different applica-

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ELITE SURVIVAL SYSTEMS BUILDS ON INNOVATION

Ballistic-nylon range bags from Elite Survival Systems have been selling very well.

AAC offers a wide variety of specialized accessories designed to improve the performance of both rifles and pistols.

tions or scenarios. “Our Ti-RANT 45M and our new Ti-RANT 9M are modular centerfire pistol cans that give our end-user the added flexibility to configure length, weight, and sound reduction to their specific needs,” Ohlson says. The Ti-RANT 9M is being launched at SHOT 2017. “That silencer is an extension of our legacy Ti-RANT 9 pistol silencer, which was, and still is, one of the quietest and softest shooting 9mm pistol cans in the market,” says Ohlson. “It was discontinued about 18 months ago when we introduced the Illusion 9 [an eccentric silencer]. The Ti-RANT 9M is a concentric can with all the features of the Ti-RANT 9, but now with the added modularity. We also include a standard ½-28 and a metric 13.5-1LH piston in the box.” AAC has also been busy with the launch of a variety of new accessories, including SquareDrop Handguards, a new take on KeyMod compatible MSR handguards; Glock 34 threaded barrels, ½-28 and M13.5-1LH options available; new flash hiders for AR9 pistols/carbines with ½-28 and ½-36 thread pitch, M14-1LH AKs, and MP5-style 9mm three-lug mounts; a new adapter that enables AAC’s Ti-RANT 45-series cans to shoot subsonic 300 AAC Blackout with a direct thread attachment to an MSR; and new fixed-barrel spacers, improved-design spacers for Evo-9/Eco-9/Ti-RANT 9/Illusion 9, and Ti-RANT 45 series silencers. “If people want to support expanding our freedom to use silencers, they need to get behind the HPA (Hearing Protection Act) and support organizations like the American Suppressor Association and the NFA Freedom Alliance,” says Ohlson. “The HPA would take silencers off the NFA list. Silencers are important from a human health perspective.” Finally, he offers this tip to help retailers sell suppressors. “I tell them to ‘be SHARP.’ That’s an acronym we use to instantly recall the key selling points. S is for safety, H is for hearing protection, A is for accuracy improvements, R is for recoil reduction, and P is for preservation of night vision.” Booth #14429.

In the sea of plain-vanilla and copycat nylon gear makers, Elite Survival Systems stands out. It is family-owned and -operated, innovative, and its record of growth is remarkable. For more than a decade, Elite Survival Systems has increased its sales year over year. This is no accident. The 2017 catalog has more than 1,100 SKUs, all backed by a lifetime guarantee. Most of the products are made in Missouri with the philosophy that the quality of each one should far surpass the purchase price. It’s one thing to say that and another to deliver on it, but for 30 years the Bogue family has been doing just that. Along with Assault Systems and Recon, Elite Survival Systems is one of three brands owned by Bryan Bogue. Bryan’s parents started Assault Systems in 1979. The company first attended the second SHOT Show—and every one since. Each piece produced by Elite Survival Systems is born from a uniquely allAmerican story. Bogue’s father had a motorcycle shop in the 1970s. The AR was just making its way to consumers, and accessories were few and far

between. With Bryan’s mother already sewing motorcycle bags in the back room, Bryan’s father and his partner devised a new 1000D nylon case with fitted magazine pouches. This was the first case specifically designed to hold an AR-platform rifle. Mrs. Bogue spent hours re-engineering and fighting the new nylon item with her sewing machine and was ultimately successful. As a result, the Assault Systems brand was born in 1979, and manufacturing moved to Fenton, Missouri, with four SKUs that sold primarily at trade shows. For some years the product line grew, and the company produced a full line of nylon bags, cases, holsters, belts, and accessories. Then the industry hit hard times, and the company struggled. With every family member working for the company, it was a tough call to sell it in 2003. Bryan had seen the sea change coming and had already started Elite Survival Systems to import tactical nylon gear. He purchased the Assault Systems name and associated intellectual property and started a sewing production operation once again. He still honors the

lifetime warranty from the old days. Elite Survival Systems today produces many of the Assault Systems designs and has moved on to produce innovative original products, such as the Range Roller Bag. Historically, Elite Survival Systems’ top sellers have been concealment holsters and rifle cases. Shooting belts and gear bags have been outselling projections for the last couple of years. A standout item has been the M4 Roller bag. It’s a behemoth of a bag designed to hold two assembled rifles and all the gear you could think to accompany them. At 35x16x12 inches, it holds more than some people can lift. With that in mind, it features a luggage style telescoping handle and large roller wheels. Today’s dealer-direct focus at Elite Survival Systems has really paid off. It currently has twice the number of accounts serviced a little more than a year ago. Its product line continues to grow as well. Five new products, including a three-day pack, are in the booth, so stop by and discover what all the excitement is about. Booth #10776. (elitesurvival. com) —Jonathan Owen

(remington.com)

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f e at u r e s

Not Business As Usual

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Online or in store, Palmetto State Armory has the new gun culture covered By Robert Sadowski

his story begins with parts, lot of parts. Jamin McCallum founded Palmetto State Armory (PSA) by selling AR parts out of his garage. He was an Iraq War veteran who filled occasional orders for buffer tubes, trigger springs, and the like, eventually expanding to all the parts needed to build an AR rifle. When he began, he did not realize the thirst consumers had for AR parts, but he soon realized he had a viable business at hand. As the business grew, he was able to move out of the garage and into a small 900-square-foot store in Columbia, South Carolina. More room allowed him to diversify the product line to include guns, ammunition, clothing, outdoor equipment, and more. To date, PSA has grown into six brick-and-mortar retail stores, some of which are as large as 50,000 square feet. It also has a massive online presence, with up to 150,000 unique visitors a month.

Palmetto State Armory thrives in a crowded world because it wants its dealers to succeed and its customers to be happy.

How did PSA achieve such extraordinary growth? According to chief marketing officer Adam Ruonala, it was because “PSA developed a very strong and loyal following among consumers and retailers by providing exceptional customer service and value.” There is a new gun culture out there, and two of the most active groups in this culture are women and millennials. There is also a third component—the do-it-your-

selfers who want to build an AR or AK. PSA’s brick-and-mortar stores cater to these newbies by being staffed with employees that speak to the consumer, not at the consumer. Incorporating shooting ranges into three of its six stores means consumers can try-and-buy firearms. PSA also offers concealed-carry classes and other types of training, such as womenonly classes. Doing so caters to the full cycle of the consumer

experience, from researching and purchasing products to training and range time. And that leads to regular sales of ammunition, accessories, and more firearms. The online presence is also designed for superior customer service, and a market segment it seems to have mastered is the DIY AR-build kits. “We have rifle-build kits that start at $399, and all you need for a complete rifle is a lower receiver,” Ruonala says. “We sell them online at times for as little as $49.99. That way, you can build a complete rifle, including shipping and taxes, for under $500.” PSA has also been smart about new product launches. Its KS47 is a hybrid AR15 and AK-47 that fires the 7.62x39mm round and features all AR components except for a lower modified to accept AK-47 magazines. “With the KS47, we made it all mil-spec and built it on an AR15 platform,” says Ruonala, “Other brands are built on the AR10 platform. Not only is ours lighter, it is also $500 cheaper.” Being built mil-spec means the KS47 can accept a multitude of AR15 aftermarket parts. Ruonala notes PSA is continually trying to

develop products that not only fit the new gun culture, but can be offered at a price point anyone can afford. “We are not looking to make a 100-point margin on every firearm,” he says. “We sell at a significantly lower margin, and we sell in volume quality products that we stand behind.” Over the past two years, PSA has developed a dealer sales team that incorporates some of PSA’s long-time employees. “These employees know how PSA works,” says Ruonala. “If a dealer needs a specific product, this team has the ability to get manufacturing involved to provide their dealer with whatever they might need.” PSA also has cultivated some 700 dealer relationships across the country. It sees the value in typical distribution channels and has good relations with them, but Ruonala says, “we really enjoy working directly with dealers. We see a bit of ourselves in here. PSA started small. We are still growing, and want our dealers to grow right alongside us.” In the end, it all comes down to parts. PSA wants to be part of a consumer’s experience, and they want to be part of a dealer’s business. Booth #2260. (palmettostatearmory.com)

AMERICAN ASSEMBLY PSA offers its own line of firearms, focusing on some of the most popular models like the AR10, AR15, AK-47, and 1911. In terms of production, it is now the thirdlargest AR manufacturer in the U.S. These PSA-built firearms are made of American parts and assembled by an American workforce. I have seen the armorers at work and can attest to their sense of pride in their work. And since I’ve also built their kit guns and put some hard miles on them, I can also attest to their overall quality. The limited supply of AK-47 surplus rifles has caused the price of these rifles to sky-

rocket. The demand has also driven up prices of AK components, even those of inferior quality and reliability. PSA saw an opening and took it. Its American-made AKs are well built, rugged, and live up to the AK’s reputation. As a result, PSA can’t produce enough AKs to keep them in stock. Given the build quality and number of available options—and an SRP of $699—that should come as no surprise. PSA also jumped into the 1911 market. PSA’s 1911 armorer is a second-generation 1911 armorer who honed his craft in the Marine Corps. —R.S.

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The Bushnell Elite Tactical family of scopes includes a number of popular tactical precision riflescopes, including the DMR and HDMR as well as various versions of the LRS, ERS, and XRS.

Team Effort

Bushnell aims to take the guesswork out of long-range precision shooting

T

he fastest-growing shooting sport today wasn’t conceived at a gun range. Born in the sniper hides of combat theaters, long-range (or precision) shooting is practiced by active and retired service members and law enforcement personnel as well as many others who claim residence in the ever-expanding world of tactical shooting. For proof of the sport’s surging popularity, look no further than the Precision Rifle Series, a competition circuit that started in 2012 with 164 members and which now boasts more than 650 shooters in its open division. Thousands more participate in local long-range competitions and on a purely recreational level.

Part of the appeal of longrange shooting to its devout practitioners is that it is very much a thinking shooter’s sport. Everything about it requires hyper-focused attention to detail. Carefully measured, handloaded ammunition is fired from marvelous custom rifles that can cost many thousands of dollars and are designed specifically to engage targets out to 1,000 yards and

beyond. When it comes time to pull the trigger, every environmental variable—temperature, wind speed, altitude, and more—must be taken into consideration in order to make the perfect shot time and again. As is customary in the shooting sports when a once-niche endeavor becomes a more mainstream pursuit, manufacturers have rushed to provide long-range shooters with a gal-

axy of gear designed to help them become more proficient. Some are up-and-coming brands owned by PRS shooters themselves while others are stalwart outdoor behemoths that have supplied hunters and shooters with equipment for decades. One such stalwart is Bushnell. Bushnell’s entry into the tactical optics market came in 2011 with the original DMR/

HDMR riflescope. Since then, it has produced a number of excellent scopes designed for the precision shooter. The scopes offer a variety of features demanded by these customers, two of the most prominent being milling reticles on first focal planes and locking turrets with zero stops. Now Bushnell has stepped up again with the introduction of the Elite 1-Mile CONX laser

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f e at u r e s

The Elite 1-Mile CONX laser rangefinder and the DMRII and DMRII-i riflescopes are designed to work together.

rangefinder and the DMRII and DMRII-i riflescopes. “What’s great about the CONX is that they didn’t try and reinvent the wheel,” says retired Army Sergeant First Class and Senior Sniper Instructor (7th Special Forces Group) and Team Bushnell Tactical member Bryan Sikes. “They just took two products that worked really great on their own and interfaced them to work really great together. “The fact that it’s not a complete reinvention of a product, but instead is an improvement of existing products makes a big difference from a user comfort and familiarity standpoint,” says Sikes. “It’s very simple to set up, especially if you’ve ever set up a rifle in a Kestrel before. But instead of having to have your nose buried in the Kestrel, you just pick up the LRF, hit the button, and it gives you the solution.”

Bluetooth, albeit without the ability to gather environmental data (see sidebar). For those unfamiliar with Kestrel devices, they are as essential to a long-ranger shooter as any piece of kit he might carry. The Sportsman model that comes with the CONX features an advanced built-in ballistics solver that accounts for variables spoken of only by precision shooters and atmospheric physicists—stuff like

aerodynamic jump, spin drift, and the Coriolis effect. The user can program up to three different rifle profiles into the unit’s software. When the device is engaged to determine holdover for one of those loads, a series of sensors measure altitude, barometric pressure, crosswind, density altitude, dew point temperature, wind direction and orientation, headwind/tailwind, heat stress index, relative humidity, station pressure,

RANGING BY BLUETOOTH Many newcomers to long-range shooting might not be ready to take the plunge with the Kestrel, but still want exact holdover values for specific distances based on ballistic data. For them, the Elite 1-Mile CONX works via Bluetooth with a brand-new iOS and Android app. The user is able to choose from 10 different ballistic profiles pre-loaded into the app or enter up to three custom profiles for specific rifles.

An Evolving Legacy ➤ As

one of the first companies to introduce hunters and shooters to the benefits of the laser rangefinder some 20 years ago, Bushnell has been at the forefront of the device’s innovation ever since. The CONX, however, takes the LRF’s technological capabilities to an entirely different level, whether used in tandem with a Kestrel or not. The company has simultaneously launched an intuitive mobile app that also works with the rangefinder via

temperature, wet bulb temperature, wind chill, and wind speed. All of that environmental data is instantly crunched and applied to the selected ballistic curve. With his CONX in hand, the shooter ranges the distance to his target and his holdover is presented on the readout inside the rangefinder, either in MILs, MOA, or inches. It’s egghead stuff, but exquisitely simplified. “Having the shooting solution presented in the display of the CONX rangefinder saves valuable time in a match,” says Tom Fuller, a former member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit who now shoots for Team Bushnell. “Once the target is ranged, it sets the target screen of the Kestrel to the actual target you just ranged and gives you the wind hold for that target without the need for manual entry.” The CONX’s applicability reaches far beyond the long-range course, however. Last August, Sikes accompanied Team Bushnell Tactical captain and founder of GA Precision Rifles, George Gardner, on a 21-day hunt in Alaska. “George killed a world-class ram, but we had to wait it out a long time,” says Sikes. “What was nice about having the CONX is that we were able to build a solid shooting position as we waited for the ram to move to a spot where we could shoot it. The Kestrel just sat there and did its thing, and we didn’t have to dig into it every time the ram moved 10 or

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The DMRII-i now has a side parallaxadjustment knob as well as a G3 reticle, both of which help achieve accurate shot placement.

The Scope You’ve Been Waiting For

12 yards and readjust. We’d just re-range him and get our data. There was no need to fumble with multiple devices. You just got the whole package in one button click. We ended up shooting that ram at 826 yards across a valley.” SRP: $819.95, Elite 1-Mile with CONX; $1,490, Elite 1-Mile with CONX Combo Kit (Kestrel Sportsman).

➤ If the CONX rangefinder represents a pleasant and welcome surprise for precision shooters, the all-new DMR-II and DMRII-i riflescopes will having them jumping for joy that a scope maker finally listened to their blue-inthe-face frustrations about every long-range

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scope that has come before. The Bushnell Elite Tactical family of scopes includes a number of popular tactical precision riflescopes, including the DMR and HDMR as well as various versions of the LRS, ERS, and XRS. The new DMR-II scopes build upon the success and popularity of the original DMR—same glass, same magnification range—but bring a bevy of features for which consumers and pro shooters alike have been clamoring. “It’s an evolutionary type of product,” says Tim Tanker, Bushnell’s senior product manager for riflescopes. “We were trying to improve upon the design we already had by listening to serious shooters and bringing features to the scope that they were asking for. The DMR and HDMR were the first scopes that Bushnell had in the marketplace that were taken seriously by competitive shooters as something that they would consider putting on a competition rifle. Now what we’ve done is featured this scope up, but without raising the price.” Among those new features are an integrated (and removable) magnification throw lever, low-profile elevation turret with 10 mils of travel per revolution and the ultra-simple RevLimiter zero-stop, a locking windage turret, illumination controls built into the side parallax adjustment knob (on the DMRII-i), and the all-new G3 reticle. The G3 is an evolutionary product in and of itself, as it takes the popular G2 reticle and adds mover holds at 1, 1.25, and 1.5 mils on the horizontal stadia line. “You’re not holding in space anymore. You’ve actually got a reference point, whether you’re holding to center or holding to the edge of the target,” says Sikes. For all of the scope’s advanced features, Sikes’ favorite addition might be the simplest. “Dumb little things like an arrow laser-etched onto the top of the elevation turret can be a nice little sanity check,” he says. “Having shot dozens of matches, I’ve seen people drop 10 spots in the standings because they went to the line and shot the stage without returning to zero.” With the arrow indicator, he says, it’s almost impossible to make that mistake.

Poised For Growth

➤ With an influx of consumer-friendly products from Bushnell and others, the industry is sure to see tremendous growth in precision shooting for years to come—whether those shooters choose to shoot competitively or simply for recreation. “I think there are a number of factors contributing to the growth in this segment,” says Tanker. “The equipment that’s become available is certainly part of the equation. People realize that there are products now that can help the average guy consistently make 500yard shots. Once you start hitting at 500, you just want to stretch your abilities as you get comfortable with longer and longer ranges. So there’s that challenge aspect. And given that hunting side of the market is flat, if not declining, I think there are more people now who are interested in shooting and shooting equipment who might not ever buy a hunting license.” SRP: $1,932, DMRII; $1,998.67, DMRIIi. Booth #14551. (bushnell.com)

Battenfeld Brands • Designed with Precision • Engineered for Excellence www.BTIBrands.com • 573.445.9200

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F E AT U R E S

Rich Appeal

You don’t have to be part of the landed gentry to enjoy a rifle that operates at a high level By Wayne Van Zwoll

A

fter the tide of surplus Mausers receded and the spawn of the slim 1903 Mannlicher-Schoenauer expired with the 1961 MCA, Europe’s gunmakers forfeited their standing stateside. By 1974 Browning’s Belgian FN plant had dropped its High-Power rifles. In Finland Sako Finnbear and Forester bolt-actions had yielded to the Model 74. The classic Swedish Husqvarna was gone. Austria had replaced Mannlicher-Schoenauers with its first Steyrs. Germany’s commercial 1898 Mauser had vanished decades back. In the U.S., riflemen still mourning Winchester’s old Model 70 wept and gnashed their teeth. Europe’s climb out of this dark hole has been glacial, marked by costly rifles with sloping combs, hooked wrists, fish-scale grips, and intricate set triggers. QD scope mounts of Teutonic complexity listed for more than box seats at the Super Bowl. Current rifles, however, brighten the horizon, and a fresh look to Europe is in order. But in order to sell these storied names effectively, you need to know who the players are and their rich history.

Ushering in a New Age ➤

Compared to Europe’s gun industry, firearms manufacture in the U.S. is a young enterprise. Our oldest manufacturer, Remington, just celebrated 200 years in business. Austria’s storied gunmaking enclave in Ferlach, though, dates to 1246. European bolt-actions of the late 19th century ushered in the smokeless age, and in 1889 Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN) emerged in Liege to produce Mauser rifles for Belgium’s government. FN owes its genesis to the Model 1889, which also confirmed Peter Paul Mauser as the continent’s ace rifle designer. His Model 1892 introduced the non-rotating extractor that grasped rising case heads as they rose, so it emptied the breech even if the shooter

short-cycled. No jams. Improvements on the 1892 produced the Model 1893 “Spanish” Mauser—whose deadly fire from San Juan Hill figured into the U.S. shift from the Krag to the Springfield. Mauser’s 1898, adopted by the German Army that year, improved on the 1893. Exported to many countries, it was built in many more. I wasn’t awed by the Walter Gehman short-throw rifle acquired by Mauser and announced as the Model 66 in 1965. And for many years therafter I thought the company’s products were similarly unispired. In 2003 Mauser introduced the very affordable M12, a fetching rifle with a straight-comb stock (walnut or synthetic). Its fulldiameter six-lug bolt (three pairs

of two) has two plunger ejectors, an extractor in a lug. There’s a three-position safety, an adjustable trigger. The detachable box fits flush and can be loaded in the rifle. The M12 in .270 I took on a chamois hunt was nimble, accurate, and well finished. Recently Mauser re-introduced a beautifully rendered 1898 sporting rifle, and a dangerousgame version on the famous square-bridge Magnum Mauser action. Both are costly but may be worth a divorce. The Magnum boasts pillar bedding, dual recoil lugs, and a three-leaf express sight. Barrel bands secure the front ramp and swivel stud. The walnut stock has point-pattern checkering, and a steel grip cap. The deep magazine holds four rounds in .375 H&H, four in .416 Rigby. Booth #15156.

Straight Pull ➤

Less than 70 years old, Blaser (Booth #12251) is gaining traction worldwide. Its straight-pull R93 and R8 (named for years of introduction), rank among Europe’s most innovative. I’ve used them in the States, Europe, and Africa, in timed target events and on hunts. No turn-bolt matches their speed or trumps their accuracy. Thanks to its telescoping, radial-head bolt, the Blaser action is about 2 inches shorter than that of a standard bolt rifle. Both the R93 and R8 lock with a bolt-head collet forced into a circumferential groove in the barrel shank. The newer R8 is strongest. It has endured pressures of 120,000 psi. A thumb-piece cocks the R8. Shove it forward, and you’re ready to fire. “You can carry a Blaser safely with a round chambered,” stresses Blaser’s Bernard

Sauer’s new 404 has a twopiece stock of synthetic or walnut. It got a field test in northern Scotland.

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The author took this chamois in Austria’s Alps with a Mauser M12. He thinks it a fine rifle—and a buy!

Knobel. The R8 also features interchangeable hammer-forged barrels. Plasma nitriding boosts surface hardness. Scope rings engage barrel notches so securely and precisely, you can remove the scope and replace it without losing zero. I’ve tested that claim at 600 yards and found it to be true. The R8 has a first-rate adjustable trigger. Its compact, aramid magazine/ trigger assembly is easily removed by hand. You can top-load a stack in the rifle. R8s come in a plethora of chamberings, to .338 Lapua, even the .500 Jeffery. Specialorder features include internal recoil-damping devices. More conventional and less costly is Sauer’s 101. Of eight versions, I favor the Forest, a walnutstocked carbine with iron sights on a 20-inch barrel. The Scandic is a twin, in laminate. Both point to the sights, high enough to nearly match the sightline of a scope. My Forest in 9.3x62 drills sub-minute groups. Last fall I met a new Sauer. The 404 has a cocking switch, not a safety. Thumb it forward to cock. In five sub-models with two-piece synthetic or walnut stocks cradling

an alloy receiver, the 404 has a sixlug bolt that locks into the barrel. Bolt head and barrel are easily changed (with a take-down wrench in the front swivel). Sauer lists 13 chamberings, .243 to .375 H&H. The 404’s Quattro trigger adjusts .3 inch for reach and down to 1.2 pounds. The Sauer Universal (saddle) Mount returns the scope reliably to zero. After securing a Leica scope atop a 404 in .300 Winchester, I benched that Sauer in wind and rain on the steeps of western Scotland. It fed without fail. Twin ejectors spilled cases briskly. It rang steel to 1,000 yards. The synthetic stock shrugged off afternoon sleet as we traipsed through sopping heather. When my stalker spied an aged stag in a distant swale, we splashed across an icy stream and scrambled to the ridgecrest beyond. The fury of the North Atlantic pummeled us. I bellied a few more yards, swabbed the front lens, and squeezed. My Hornady ELD-X bullet quartered to the off shoulder. One kill is no test of rifle, scope, or load. But my pals that trip got similar results with Sauer 404s. Booth #15155.

TAURUS® MAKES IT…POLYONE MAKES IT

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Butterknife ➤

No bolt rifle in the world is smoother than Austria’s Mannlicher-Schoenauers of yesteryear. The first appeared in 1900. The famous 1903 followed, in 6.5x54. Its “butterknife” bolt handle ran so eagerly through its split bridge that a downward flip of the muzzle would zip an open bolt forward and turn it into battery. Cartridges fed fluidly from the spool magazine. The 1903 begat a long series of M-S rifles, the last built 50 years ago. None were manufactured by Mannlicher or Schoenauer, who were designers, not company chiefs. But their genius fueled the Steyr works, in the Austrian city of that name. Bolt rifles from Steyr appeared at roughly two-year intervals until 1910. In 1918, as the company began producing vehicles, Josef died of pneumonia battling one of the town’s periodic floods. Steyr-Daimler-Puch resulted from a 1934 merger. That union dissolved in 1996, leaving firearms production alone under the Steyr shingle. Current twin-lug Steyr rifles have a Mauser-style

bridge and can endure pressures spiked by a factory load behind a bullet lodged mid-point in the bore. In profile and features the push-feed Steyr SM12 borrows from M-S rifles and its immediate predecessor, the SBS. A Classic in .338 RCM delivered half-minute accuracy for me. Hammer-forged barrels in 10 chamberings have a signature twist near the breech. Front sights adjust for elevation, rear for windage. The cocking switch moves easily, unlike some that don’t yield to weak or cold thumbs. The SM12’s trigger can be set for a 12-ounce pull. Booth #10246.

Checkered Past ➤

In 1936, the Czech government moved its arms factory to Uhersky Brod, 25 miles from Slovakia and as far as was practical from Germany. Hitler’s intentions were clear. The first CZ plant had sprung up in the 1920s farther west. In Strakonice it produced pistols to augment postWW I rifle output in the central Czech town of Brno, where

Zbrojovka Brno built rifles for the army. In 1921 it became Ceska Zbrojovka: “Czech armsmaker.” By 1939 the Uhersky Brod facility was a subsidiary of CZ Prague. Early structures had peaked roofs, so in bomb sights the factory would look like houses. At war’s end, Czechoslovakia Communists gained control during 1948. In 1955 the Uhersky Brod enterprise separated from Strakonice. Within a decade, the government further pared production at Brno and renovated the Uhersky Brod plant. As the Brno name had cachet, it appeared on ZKK, ZKM, and 527 rifles in the 1960s. All came from Uhersky Brod. In 1989 a revolution led by poet Vaclav Havel overthrew Communist rule. Two years later Czech industry was privatized. In 1993 the nation split. The Czech and Slovak Republics remain independent. Internal problems bankrupted Zbrojovka Brno in 2004. Two years later a resurrected Brno began building shotguns and sporting rifles under the CZ label.

“Sako’s Kodiak is onehole accurate. In all respects, it’s one of the best .375s you can buy,” says the author.

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Mooseland ➤

Though costly, the Blaser R8 has a faithful following. This Montana hunter found it weather-proof.

The petite 527 bolt-action is for the .223 and kin. The CZ 550, clearly Mauser in design, has served for cartridges from the .243 to the .505 Gibbs. Last year a new push-feed 557 action replaced the 550 for standard rounds. Bigger rounds merit the magnum-length 550 and its Mauser extractor. The modestly priced 557 boasts a receiver machined from a steel billet, its top dovetailed for CZ scope

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bases. Bottom metal, with hinged floorplate, is steel. The trigger adjusts for weight, take-up, and over-travel. Hammer-forged barrels are lapped. The walnut stock has a straight comb, machine-cut checkering. I’m partial to the 557 Carbine. Its 20½-inch barrel has iron sights. My .30/06 is nimble, but steadies quickly and routinely delivers sub-minute accuracy. Booth #11955.

Explored by Swedish missionaries as early as 1155, Finland remained Sweden’s protectorate until 1809, when it was surrendered to Russia. The Czar proclaimed it a Grand Duchy. Independence followed Finland’s 1917 break with Russia. Sako (Suojeluskuntain yliesikunnan asepaja) was established the first day of April, 1919. (By the way, it’s not “Sayko” or “Sacko.” It’s “Socko.”) Sako’s petite Vixen appeared near the close of World War II, first in .22 Hornet and .218 Bee. It reached the States via Stoeger. In 1957 Sako grew its rifle line with the L-57 Forester, sized for the then-new .308 and .243. The L-61 Finnbear came three years later, for the .30/06 and kin and belted magnums. In 1961 Sako unveiled its leveraction Finnwolf. It lasted a decade. On the heels of its successor came the bolt-action Model 74 to replace the Vixen, Forester, and Finnbear. Its three action lengths sold from 1974 to 1978, when they yielded to the AI, AII, and AIII series (short, medium and long). A

similar Hunter arrived in the mid1980s. By 1983 Sako’s Riihimaki plant was producing a Model 555 rifle for another Finnish firm, Tikka. The 555 venture led Sako to buy Tikka. By 1989 Tikkakoski Works production had moved to Riihimaki. In 1993 shooters welcomed Sako’s TRG rifle in .338 Lapua. Four years later the Model 75 came along for popular hunting rounds. Three locking lugs reduced bolt lift to 70 degrees. The subsequent 85, in six action sizes, is Sako’s current flagship, with a push-feed bolt that runs like a well-oiled piston. The twodetent sliding thumb safety has a tab that allows cycling with the safety on. Tapered dovetails accept Sako scope rings. In .375, the 85 Kodiak has a muscular 21-inch barrel with useful iron sights. The elevation-adjustable white bead is concave and won’t reflect light off-center. A shallow rear notch adjusts for windage. Crossbolts strengthen the stock around the flush-mounted fourshot steel box, which holds four magnum rounds. It can be loaded

1/5/17 11:47 AM


easily in the rifle. Its clever latch prevents accidental magazine drops afield. The Kodiak—and my 85 in .260—are stainless steel. The laminated stocks are comfortable, cleanly checkered, and closely inletted. Both rifles are supremely accurate; I’ve had same-hole hits even from the .375. I’m told that in Finland game is managed by 300 state-sanctioned associations comprising around 2,370 clubs with 140,000 members. Hunters needn’t join, but members get access to the best habitat in a country that puts 300,000 riflemen afield after moose. About 84 percent of the 22 million pounds of meat marketed annually in Finland is moose. Many of those animals fall to Tikka rifles. The Whitetail of the 1990s was not Tikka’s first rifle. The company dates to 1893 and is 26 years older than Sako. Tikka has long made gun parts; during WW II it built sewing machines as well as sub-machine guns. Later it designed other sporting arms. The Whitetail got a tepid reception stateside. Then in 2003 Tikka

announced the T3. It had many features of the costlier Sako 75 as well as improvements. Its two-lug bolt had the 70-degree lift of the three-lug 75’s and disassembled without tools into four components. The recessed face had a plunger ejector, Sako extractor. A steel stock insert served as recoil lug, engaging a receiver slot. Grooved for scope mounts, the T3 was drilled and tapped too. Early Tikka bolt rifles came in two action lengths, but the T3 was built on one. Bolt stops accommodated different cartridge lengths. The T3 was succeeded in 2016 by the T3X, with a modular synthetic stock. Interchangeable slabs let you customize the grip. A more robust recoil pad reduces the shock of hard-kicking loads; foam inserts in the buttstock muffle noise from the stock shell. The T3X’s ejection port is larger, for easier single-load feeding. A metal shroud caps the bolt’s tail. Additional mounting holes help anchor Picatinny rails. Tikka lists 19 configurations of the T3X, in chamberings from .204 Ruger. Both Sako and Tikka are now part of Beretta. Booth #13956.

Thanks to its telescoping, radial-head bolt, the Blaser action is about 2 inches shorter than that of a standard bolt-action rifle. The author found the R8 in .338 Lapua to be very accurate.

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Six experienced hunters weigh in on the controversial issue of pink hunting clothing for women Olivia Reeve says she loves pink. “As long as the clothing is legal, safe, comfortable, practical, and durable, I would sport it proudly.”

Are Hunters Seeing Red Over Blaze Pink?

Inclusive or insulting: Six famous female hunters weigh in

W

hat do Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Louisiana, and New York have in common? Blaze pink. In 2016, these five states approved measures that allow hunters to wear fluorescent pink as an alternative to the traditional hunter’s orange. Of course, the purpose of hunter’s orange and the newly minted pink option is safety. Hunters need to be visible to one other while afield. But, to deer, it’s just all shades of gray. Lawmakers also approved blaze pink in an effort to provide hunters with an added safe color selection—and with the hope of enticing more women to the lifestyle. The number of female hunters has “increased dramatically since the start of the new millennium,” according to the

National Shooting Sports Foundation. In fact, their participation levels nearly reached 20 percent in 2015. But, there are those who believe the pink wave is demeaning and cheapens the sport. Those very same critics feel the effort would have been better directed elsewhere, such as invest-

ing in women-centric outdoor programs. After all, when a woman chooses to hunt, she does so for food. And when she selects gear, the primary focus is on fit and function—not fashion. Or is it? SHOT Daily sat down with six hunters—Olivia Reeve of #Hunter (Sportsman Channel); Taylor

Drury of Drury’s THIRTEEN (Outdoor Channel); Eva Shockey of Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures (Outdoor Channel); Melissa Bachman of Winchester Deadly Passion (Sportsman Channel); Karin Holder of Raised Hunting (Outdoor Channel); and Vicki Cianciarulo of Archer’s Choice with

Ralph & Vicki (Outdoor Channel)—to find out if they find blaze pink to be inviting or insulting. Booth #13923. Do you approve of the Q new law in a few states that now allows hunters to wear solid or patterned flu-

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f e at u r e s

orescent pink attire in addition to fluorescent orange? OLIVIA REEVE: I absolutely

A agree with the new law. My

first concern is, of course, safety. TAYLOR DRURY: Absolutely, and it doesn’t have to be pink only. The point of this law is to keep hunters safe, so whatever colors accomplish that will have my support. Safety first! EVA SHOCKEY: Absolutely. These states aren’t telling men that they need to wear one color and women to wear the other. They are adding another option to the spectrum of hunting attire, and it’s offering people a choice of what to wear. Even if it just encourages one girl to start hunting because the color pink appeals to her, then in my mind the law has benefited the hunting community as a whole. MELISSA BACHMAN: I approve of the new laws that allow hunters to wear solid or patterned fluorescent pink attire. As hunters, we have to understand the importance of supporting one another and bringing new people into our sport. As long as it’s proven to be just as safe, I say let’s do everything we can to bring in new hunters. It may not work on everyone, but if we get a few new hunters involved because of it, I consider it a success.

KARIN HOLDER: Yes. First and foremost, it is just another layer of safety. The deer don’t care what color we are wearing. However, it is critical to keep all hunters safe and the fluorescent orange and pink do just that. VICKI CIANCIARULO: There has been a movement to add blaze pink in the woods for safety. Blaze orange has always been the color to wear when it comes to hunting safely. Adding blaze pink is a new option, so why not?

Do you think pink will Q attract the millennial generation, especially young women, to the great outdoors? OLIVIA REEVE: Growing

A up, I always wore my dad’s oversize orange vests. Now clothing companies will be able to create trendy blaze pink vests tailored specifically for women and girls. This will definitely make hunting more enjoyable and comfortable for young women. DRURY: When I first started hunting, I had to wear boy’s camo because there weren’t options for me as a young lady. It makes you feel a little out of place being a female hunter. Nowadays, when I walk into a Cabela’s and see full lines of women’s clothing with feminine touches (like pink mixed into the camo patterns), it nor-

malizes women’s participation in the outdoors—and that’s a game changer. SHOCKEY: I certainly don’t think it will hurt. The great thing about having two options is that if pink doesn’t appeal to hunters, then they can continue to wear blaze orange as they’ve always done. I’m a millennial, and while wearing orange never discouraged me from hunting in the past, I do like wearing pink. Now that it’s legal in some states, I would personally choose to wear it over blaze orange in a hunting situation if I had the chance. BACHMAN: I’m not so sure that the pink alone will necessarily attract tons of new hunters of any age, but I do believe it makes our hunting community seem more inviting by creating awareness. One of the most common things I hear is that young women are intimidated to get into hunting or shooting because they don’t feel welcome or invited. With the addition of new laws such as this, I believe it will make many feel like we are a community and we welcome new hunters with open arms. HOLDER: Yes, I do. The fluorescent pink will allow choice and help with inclusion. It is critical to attract more women and more people overall into the hunting industry in order for it to thrive. It will be fun for young daughters

to wear the pink if they choose to help them feel a part of the lifestyle. CIANCIARULO: I don’t believe the color change or addition of pink will make much difference in attracting any new people to the great outdoors. What piece of clothing Q would you welcome in blaze pink? REEVE: Personally, I love

A pink. Even my bow is pink. That said, I would love to see pink vests, jackets, hats, and gloves. As long as the clothing produced is legal, safe, comfortable, practical, and durable, I would sport it proudly. The new blaze pink law is going to open up many new avenues for hunting apparel, and I can’t wait to see what unravels. DRURY: Some of my deer hunting is done with a firearm, so in states where blaze pink is legal, my vest and hat will likely be pink. The great thing about this law is now each hunter in these states can make their own choice. SHOCKEY: The more items the better. I already own a lot of blaze orange items so I won’t necessarily replace those. But I’ve never been a fan of my orange hats, so I’d definitely buy a few pink hats to add to my hunting closet. BACHMAN: I would welcome

Left to right: Melissa Bachman, Eva Shockey, and Vicki Cianciarulo. Of the three, Bachman and Shockey don’t have any real issue with pink-accented hunting clothing. Cianciarulo, though, says she’s really not a fan. To her, fit and function are more important. “Manufacturers have stepped up and are making new items for women hunters. It’s not so much the color that makes the difference, but making products that fit us better.”

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f e at u r e s

any item in blaze pink that I’d wear in blaze orange. I don’t mind having pink accessories on my bow, guns, or clothing, and I believe it shows young girls that you can be a tough, aggressive, and a successful hard hunter and still have a few girly things, too. My goal has always been to teach young girls new ways to be strong, independent, and confident through hunting, and I believe that can be done a number of ways. If blaze pink helps a few ladies find that path, then we should all be proud of a job well done. The more people we can get involved in this lifestyle, the stronger our hunting community will become. HOLDER: I am a bowhunter first and foremost, so camouflage clothing is my preference. In many states, you do not have to wear blaze orange or pink during archery season. CIANCIARULO: I’m not a big fan of the color pink. I’m a tomboy at heart, and my favorite color is dark blue. Pink has just never been a favorite color of mine, so I’ll probably just keep wearing my blaze orange. In concept, what Q makes the new color option different from the colorful touches (pink, purple, etc.) added to clothing, guns, knives, bows, and other gear that are currently available to attract female buyers? REEVE: Colorful detailing

A on hunting clothing and equipment has been another topic debated among hunters for a while. The new law requires a certain percentage [for example, in Wisconsin, this applies to more than 50 percent above the waist] of the body to be covered in either blaze pink or blaze orange. This is required by all hunters during gun season, therefore wearing the color-clad clothing is not a luxury or solely for aesthetic appeal, but rather it is for safety purposes. DRURY: Those colorful touches to gear are encouraging to women’s participation in the outdoors. It means that product was designed just for us. In the case of apparel, blaze pink is a sign that clothing is being manufactured with us in mind, which means people are paying attention to our needs in the outdoors. SHOCKEY: When hunters are required to wear a bright color, it’s for safety reasons. So hunters have no choice but to follow the regu-

Olivia Reeve (above) and the pink bow used to take this whitetail in Saskatchewan. Taylor Drury says seeing full lines of women’s clothing “normalizes women’s participation—and that’s a game changer.”

lations and wear a blaze color while hunting in that designated region, so either they wear orange or they wear pink, but there are no exceptions. Alternately, the hunting items with colorful touches of pink and purple are not regulatory, so hunters can choose to purchase clothing and other gear without any accent colors if they want or they can choose to wear or use items that have color. Over the last handful of years, the hunting industry has grown significantly and adapted to the needs of hunters. The great thing about all of these changes is that it gives hunters the ability to pick and choose what they prefer and personalize their hunting experience. BACHMAN: It’s an option and a sign from our own community that, hey, we want all you ladies to feel welcome and comfortable. This doesn’t mean just because you’re a female you have to wear it, but I believe it shows that women are a growing part of the hunting world, and the industry is acknowledging and supporting it. HOLDER: I do not believe there is any difference. It is just marketing. CIANCIARULO: The manufacturers have definitely stepped it up and are making new items for women hunters. It’s not so much the color that makes the difference, but making products that fit us better. Whether it’s a new bow, gun, knife, or clothing, the manufacturers have really started pay-

ing attention to what women hunters want and need. When I first started hunting, there wasn’t much out there in the market for women hunters. I’m so glad that has changed. I know a bunch of women hunters that actually hate it when there is a “girl color” added to hunting gear, but everyone is different, and that’s what makes the world go around. When buying new gear, Q what’s your primary focus? REEVE: When I am looking

A to buy new gear, my main

focus is obviously safety/legality, but another one of my must-haves would be comfort. Even in today’s hunting world it is difficult to find clothing and gear that is fitted and tailored to a woman’s body. Style, durability, and practicality also play a huge part in any purchase decision. DRURY: Comfort. You should enjoy your time in the field and have gear that contributes to your success. My odds of harvesting a deer and providing meat for my family decrease if I’m freezing cold. I can’t get a good draw on my bow because my jacket doesn’t fit right. I can’t hike as far in as I need to because my boots are blistering my feet. It all comes down to comfort. SHOCKEY: Performance, function, and fit. I need the gear to perform at a high level every time

I use it. I need it to function exactly how it’s supposed to, especially in high-stress moments when the pressure is on. I also need it to fit my body so it’s comfortable for me to use and wear. BACHMAN: When buying new gear my primary focus is durability and function. I am hard on gear and find myself in some pretty extreme weather conditions for extended periods of time. I need gear that will hold up, keep me comfortable, and perform exactly as expected, regardless of the conditions. CIANCIARULO: I look for products that will make me a better hunter. I want to make sure that whatever product I’m looking to purchase fits me and works the way I need it to.

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F E AT U R E S

Changing the shape of the targets from circles to hexagons not only reduced waste, but gave shooters a larger target area (more than 10 percent) as well.

Steel for a Steal

MGM Targets give your shooting a ringing endorsement By Richard Mann

I

grew up at a time and place where shooting was an acceptable youth activity. Once proven safe, we shot unsupervised. Ammo was earned by working, but our imagination produced our targets. We shot everything from shotshell hulls and soda cans to apples and clothespins. Once, I even used an old commode seat as a long-range target. Only shooting clubs had steel targets, and the only steel I ever shot were railroad tie plates hanging on a rope.

The rise of IPSC and Cowboy Action competitions changed the range. Because they’re impervious to weather and faster to score than cardboard or paper, steel became the match standard. And, too, instructors and recreational shooters learned that the immediate auditory and visual feedback they provide is both educational and satisfying. Steel targets are nothing new, but thanks to a visionary like Mike Gibson, they might be the freshest and hottest trend in shooting. Mike Gibson founded MGM Targets in 1992. Gibson was a steel fabricator by trade and an

accomplished competitive shooter. He noticed the need for morereliable steel targets and began making them in his garage. Twenty-five years later, MGM Targets is the leading innovator in hardened steel-target design. MGM offers an extensive product line of American-made steel targets. The offerings include stationary, moving, gravity-activated, electronic, and even elite tactical training systems and structures. While many shooters might think high-quality steel targets are made exclusively for gun clubs and payto-play ranges, MGM has not just changed the range; the company

has made targets more affordable and highly portable. Some of MGM’s Steel Challenge targets cost less than $200 apiece. Each comes with a target base, hanger, and plate system that utilizes a wooden 2x4 for support. It will fit in the trunk of your car, is light enough your teenager can carry it, and it can be set up almost anywhere. The MGM Sportsman Long Range Target Kit (SRP: $98 to $140) is an ingeniously designed 4- to 12-inch swinging plate system that can be set up in a field, on a hillside, or anywhere else you can think of. The contraption is supported by sections of five-

inch rebar you can pick up at your local hardware store. It is an ideal portable target for use out in the pasture or to set up at hunting camp. Plate racks are one of the most enjoyable to shoot and most challenging steel targets. The problem with common plate rack systems is they cost more than a new AR and several cases of ammunition. Like their Steel Challenge single plate targets, the MGM Steel Challenge Plate Rack is a six-target system that mounts on a wooden 2x4 frame. It retails for less than $300, and with some spare lumber it will last the rest of your life. The innovation at MGM is impressive. The Attack Target mounts on rails and will charge you from 21 feet, covering the distance in 1.5 seconds. The Flash Targets give a bright orange visual indication of a hit at extended range. And the Recon Target is a compressed-air-driven, resettable 12x24-inch popper-style target, which weighs only 81 pounds. It will reset itself more than 400 times before it needs to be refilled. But MGM’s ingenuity is not all directed at building steel targets that are exciting to shoot and resettable. For 2017, Gibson and his team have figured out a way to make steel targets even more affordable. MGM did not do this by sacrificing quality; all MGM steel targets are manufactured from AR 500 steel. What MGM realized is that by changing the shape of the targets from circles to hexagons, there was much less waste. And, a hexagon target provides the shooter with 13 percent more target area when compared to a circular steel target of the same diameter. Now that’s value. And these steel targets beat the hell out of shooting toilet seats! Booth #1905. (mgmtargets.com)

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Filling the Void

Tom Hudson had a vision, and when he acted on it, his community benefited By Slaton L. White

A

t one point in his life, Tom Hudson sold tractors to farmers. He also spent time as a media/ad executive at Meredith Corporation, a Des Moines, Iowa, media giant, best known as the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. But he was also a shooter, one who was amazed to learn that this 600,000-person community had no indoor shooting range. “I grew up in Wyoming. Guns were part of my lifestyle,” he says. So, he put together a team that included seven investors and explored the idea of filling that void.

Sheena Green and Tom Hudson (on left) of CrossRoads Shooting Sports receive the Premium Range Award from CTC representatives Donald Wright and Casey Hauan (on right).

“I researched for 18 months, visiting ranges all over the country,” he says. “I looked at every one through the lens of what kind of operation my community would support.” Hudson wanted a place that had the feeling of a local mom-andpop shop—that all-important sense of community—but it also needed to be a facility with the feel of a national brand. That meant it had to be clean, well lighted, and well organized, with

a friendly yet knowledge and approachable staff.

The Model? Apple ➤ “The

store itself needed to be warm and welcoming, and my staff needed to be able to connect with people in a positive way,” he says. Early on he decided against hiring the all-too-common irascible gun expert. “I can’t teach soft skills,” he says. “And being able

to work with people, some of whom may have very little experience with firearms, is vital to our success.” CrossRoads Shooting Sports opened in February 2015, in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston. The store, which I visited recently, is everything Hudson envisioned. There are three shooting bays, two of which have windows so customers can watch the action. The third bay, used by law enforcement for practice and cer-

tification, has no windows in order to ensure privacy. Rather than the usual long rows of shelving, CrossRoads features a series of shorter shelves, many of which are placed at angles to create a more inviting, less overwhelming shopping experience. The low-rise gun case/countertops use soft-glow interior lighting similar to what is found in high-end jewelry and watch stores. Those display cases, which Hudson admits “cost me a lot,” are also theft-prevention units with roll-down security covers. Off the selling floor, Hudson has created a conference/training room for the various types of instruction that CrossRoads offers, including permit renewals and concealedcarry courses. Another room contains a state-of-the-art simulator that also can be used to help shooters develop critical skills. Sixty percent of his customers are new shooters, and 45 percent are women, half of whom come in alone. That may be why nearly half the staff is female, including range program manager Sheena Green. Green, an accomplished shooter, says, “The number-one rule for selling to women is, ‘Revolvers are great, but with all the other handguns out there, they shouldn’t always be the first option presented to a woman.’” Her experience behind the counter and on the line has yielded three other tips that can help retailers connect to women shooters. “First, you need to develop the right approach,” she says. “Be the salesperson who asks questions and really listens to the reason why she’s in your store. You may discover additional ways your business can provide service or training beyond a gun purchase. If you’re the one doing all the talking, you’ll never find those things out. “Second, give her your attention. If a couple is in the store looking at guns, but the gun will be for her, direct all your questions to her. Buying a new gun and learning how to shoot can be an empowering experience, and your sales staff should take pride in being a part of that process. “Third, keep a woman’s perspective. If you have female staff, chances are they have opinions about gear and guns. Find out what they are so you can use their experiences as examples when talking about different products. This is true when the products are designed for women. For example, I wrote up a list of talking points so our sales staff could have conversations with customers about

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CrossRoads specializes in personal and home defense, and concealed carry. It has a rental program that allows customers to try out firearms and calibers before they make a purchase.

the Can Can Holster line [concealed-carry holsters specifically designed for women] without me having to be there all the time.” CrossRoads specializes in personal and home defense, and concealed carry. It has a rental program that allows customers to try out firearms and calibers before they buy, which is all part of Hudson’s mission to create “total value to the customer rather than just a transaction. We should be seen as a community resource.” And though the business model is firmly rooted in personal protection, Hudson hasn’t forgotten the fun of shooting. The range offers several ongoing and popular thematic shoots, such as Friday Date Nights, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween. “We even have a Silent Night shoot, one that features suppressors,” he says. CrossRoads was quickly recognized by NSSF as an exemplary facility, and it proudly posts its Five Star Range certificate prominently on the wall. It has also been honored with another award—the Crimson Trace Premium Range Award. In fact, it is the first range in the country to be so honored. It earned this distinction by participating in a retailer education program Crimson Trace (Booth #16731) calls the Crimson Trace

Classroom, the object of which is to educate retailers about the benefits of laser-sight systems. The program includes a 50-round course of fire designed to give the participating sales staff the kind of hands-on experience that can help them thoroughly explain what a laser sight is and how it works. Crimson Trace believes such training is vital to its continued success. That’s why it has also established the Crimson Trace Premium Range Award. “Crimson Trace has again raised the bar on customer service by establishing our Premium Range Program and working closely with top-tier firearms retailers,” says Lane Tobiassen, Crimson Trace president. “This new range-centered program focuses on training and offering a product experience that will help customers make better personal-protection decisions.” Casey Hauan, Crimson Trace’s regional sales rep, presented the award to Hudson during my visit. “CrossRoads was easy to partner with because the range and shop are a symbiotic relationship,” he told me after the presentation. “They feed off each other.” Indeed they do. And given that this operation is at the intersection of customer and community service, it is also very well named.

We’re out to create total value to the customer. We should be seen as a community resource.

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1/5/17 11:59 AM


F E AT U R E S

The Benjamin Airbow uses compressed air, rather than a string, to launch an arrow. Velocities can reach 450 feet per second.

Air Power

The Benjamin Pioneer Airbow is a game changer By David Maccar

S

ometimes originality shakes up the world order so much, people don’t quite know what to make of it. There was a time when GPS was viewed to be about as useful as teats on a bull. When it debuted last year, the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow was seen in much the same light. A device that uses a compressed-air arrow? Are you kidding me?

But the Airbow is, in fact, the real deal. And though it doesn’t work like other hunting implements, it is actually quite easy to operate. The big issue was whether states would allow its use in hunting. Its particular design is a game changer, and it doesn’t fit neatly into the established category of approved hunting implements, which is always a challenge for any bureaucracy. Several states have now addressed the Airbow, and some have given it a place in existing hunting seasons. As more people get a chance to use it and discover its advantages, more acceptance should follow. Right now, there has been relatively good progress made with predators and coyotes, but big game lags behind.

How It Works ➤ Bows

of all kinds—long, compound, cross—have one aspect in common: They push an arrow with a string. The arrow—or, in the case of crossbows, the bolt—is engaged by the string at the nock on the rear of the arrow, propelling it forward. The Airbow changes all that. It uses special, full-size 375-grain 26-inch hollow arrows that have a small cuff where the nock would normally be. They can be fitted with any type of field points or full-weight broadheads, just like regular arrows. The hollow arrow slides over a thin aluminum tube

that serves as the barrel until the cuff locks in at the back of the gun, creating a seal. Pressurized air is channeled through the tube from a bolt mechanism when the Airbow is fired, impacting the arrow behind the arrowhead, essentially pulling the shaft of the arrow behind it. And as anyone who has used a flatbed trolly knows, pulling something is a lot easier than pushing, and it subjects the arrow shaft to fewer detrimental forces when leaving the bow. This makes for extremely speedy, accurate arrows. The average recurve bow will fire arrows at about 230 fps. Arrows from modern compound bows travel at about 300 to 400 fps. Crossbows send arrows at anywhere from 300 fps to 375 fps. The Airbow propels its arrows at 450 fps. All that speed makes for a balanced trajectory and remarkable accuracy. It’s also far easier and faster to load than a crossbow.

Operating the Air

➤ The highly pressurized air that makes the Airbow work is stored in a slender tank beneath the barrel. The configuration is basically a bullpup design with the cocking/firing mechanism located in the stock behind the trigger. There are two ways to fill the Airbow’s onboard tank, located beneath the barrel tube: with a high-pressure hand pump and 200 to 350 pumps, which is a bit of work, or with a separate reservoir

tank, which if you buy it from Benjamin, is a 15-inch steel-andcarbon-fiber air tank that comes with a filling valve and takes the hose attachment that comes with the airbow. Benjamin calls it the PCP Charging System. You also could use a larger compressed-air tank to fill the Airbow, but it has to be able to fill to 3,000 psi, which is miles beyond the compressors in your average garage or auto shop, which usually max out at 200 psi. If you go with the reservoir tank option, your best bet for getting it filled (unless you want to drop a few grand on a high-pressure compressor) is a diving shop that fills SCUBA tanks or a paintball shop. Most paintball stores these days also specialize in airguns, since they have a lot of common ground. I got my 4500 PSI PCP Charging System from Benjamin filled for $6, and that will let you fully fill the Airbow seven times. From each fill, the company says, you get eight full-power shots plus two powerful shots before the speed drops off, for a total of 10. When shooting it, I was squeezing

12 shots out of a fill, with only the last arrow seeming like it lost some speed, hitting a bit lower. If you happen to have a larger high-pressure air tank, you can certainly fill it from that for longer shooting sessions. But for hunting purposes, the Charging System tank should be more than adequate. Filling the bow is fairly simple. You attach an included hose from the 4500 PSI tank to a small adapter that you then insert in the hole at the front of the gun’s tank behind the pressure gauge until it seats. Then slowly open the valve on the tank and watch the gauge on the bow. Fill it until it reaches 3,000 PSI and close it off. Bleed the line, and pop it out. That’s it. You’re good for at least 10 shots.

Loading the Airbow

➤ The Airbow is extremely simple to operate. Once the tank is filled, the process goes as follows. First, make sure the safety is on. Then slide an arrow over the barrel tube with the green fletching facing up until it seats. Second, lift the cocking lever on top of the stock. It takes about 2 pounds of force, and you hear and feel a good solid click when it’s fully cocked. Third, aim, disengage the safety, and fire. There’s nothing more to it than that, and perhaps more important, it’s just as easy and safe to decock. Crossbows have the disadvantage of not being very easy to unload, if you can at all. Many modern crossbows have anti-dryfire mechanisms that prevent the string from being released if there isn’t a bolt on the flight rail. To unload these, you have to bring along a spare bolt with a field tip and fire it into a small bag target designed for such a task or into another suitably safe object. On the Airbow, if it’s loaded, cocked, and ready to fire, you simply lift up on the cocking handle all the way and hold it, pull the trigger with your other hand,

The author during his test found the Airbow to be very accurate, and says that his arrows rarely strayed outside a 3-inch circle.

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F E AT U R E S

Heading in a New Direction Gear Aid opts for light and power

Because the Airbow will be unfamiliar to prospective customers, retailers need to be able to succinctly explain its unique features.

and slowly lower the cocking handle before putting the safety on. Since the Airbow uses the compressed air in its tank to work a bolt like a piston, which in turn propels the arrow, there’s no need to release or waste air if you de-cock the bow. The bolt is disengaged. Then simply remove the arrow from the barrel tube and the Airbow is unloaded and safe. As far as maintenance goes, there are only two things you have to do. First, lubricate the bolt every 200 shots by lifting the cocking lever and putting moly grease on the bolt and receiver and around it. Second, inspect the arrows before each use for cracks.

K

nown for years as an outdoor equipment care-and-repair brand, Gear Aid is launching a series of task lights and power stations for 2017, the brand’s first real foray into the tool category of outdoor products. “Our roots have always been in making practical, purposeful products that help people save their gear and stay outside longer,” says chief operating officer Liz Mathias. “This new direction sets the stage for the future of Gear Aid.”

Gear Aid is branching out with a line of task lights and power stations.

Accuracy ➤ The

Airbow is freakishly accurate inside 50 yards. That was the maximum range I shot it because that’s my maximum range for bowhunting. It comes with a custom 6x40mm scope made just for the bow with a simple mildot-like reticle. I sighted it in at 20 yards, and at that range, it was almost too accurate. I had to retrieve arrows after each shot because I was doing a Robin Hood, meaning that the shafts were hitting each other. I did most of my shooting prone and seated at 40 yards, and I was getting very tight groups, with a hit rarely straying outside the 3-inch center circle on a fresh bag target. Sighting it in was the most difficult part. I used the included 20 MOA raised rail platform—which is a riser that attaches to the Airbow’s top rail to give the scope more height—at the company’s insistence, and put the first couple of arrows in the dirt. After cranking the scope down quite a bit, it was just minor adjustments.

Selling It ➤ Given

its originality, in order to sell the Airbow, you will have to understand the operating system. If you can’t explain—simply and quickly—how to charge the system, load the arrow, and fire it, you’ll never convince a customer to take it home. You’ll also have to overcome the price barrier associated with a brandnew product. The Airbow lists for $1,000. With that you get the bow, nine arrows with field tips, an on-board quiver, the scope, and a sling, plus a kit of RealTree camo stickers that can be applied to the bow’s factory-black body. A six-pack of arrows (only specially designed Benjamin arrows can be used) lists for $100. The 4500 PSI PCP Charging System goes for around $430. Your best bet here is the customer who likes to be known as a “early adopter,” the one his buddies turn to for advice on the newest gear on the market. Booth #13940. (crosman.com)

By W. H. Gross

The ARC and FLUX are new hands-free light and portable power stations of different sizes. Built with ultra-bright LEDs, high-speed charging capabilities, and plenty of battery power, the ARC and FLUX provide light and power for days. Each can weather any weather and even transform into a lantern. Both units charge cell phones, tablets, speakers, cameras, and more. They also feature three color “temperatures” and fully adjustable brightness. An SOS setting is a valuable safety feature, while a metal kickstand adds versatility and convenience. The ARC and FLUX

come with a storage bag/light diffuser and hang hook that turns their bright light into a soft lantern glow. The ARC is smaller than the FLUX yet still a workhorse, featuring a 10,400 mAh lithium-ion battery with a runtime of 8 to 96 hours, depending on the mode of operation. It delivers up to 320 lumens via 60 LED bulbs and charges a cell phone up to five times before needing a recharge itself. Weight is 16 ounces. SRP: $99.95. The FLUX is the ARC’s big brother, a powerhouse with twice the battery power and charging capacity. It fea-

tures a 20,800 mAh lithiumion battery with a runtime of 13 to 192 hours, will charge a cell phone up to 10 times, and delivers up to 640 lumens. SRP: $149.95. “The ARC and FLUX are unique in the marketplace,” says Sean Fields, Gear Aid’s vice president of creative. “The ability to light up a vehicle, campsite, or any other task at hand, while charging gadgets via a highspeed USB port, means consumers can have light and power anywhere and everywhere they need it.” In 2017, Gear Aid also is introducing its new SPARK LED Light, rechargeable from any USB, including power packs, computers, and solar panels. Smaller than a wallet and lighter than a cell phone, the SPARK delivers 160 lumens of white LED light that’s both dimmable and water-resistant. The SPARK can be mounted, hung, or angled to illuminate nearly any task. It’s compatible with tripods, Gear Aid mounts, RAM mounts, and GoPro mounts with an adaptor. SRP: $49.95. Gear Aid, a sister brand to McNett Tactical, has 100 products made to fix, repair, and maintain the life of outdoor equipment and outerwear. It boasts it “takes care of the gear that takes care of you.” Booth #20238. (gearaid.com)

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F E AT U R E S

Too Good to Be True?

The CZ Drake provides a lot of gun for not a lot of money

C

By Phil Bourjaily

Z’s Drake over/under shotgun exemplifies what the company’s product line is about: good guns at too-good-to-be-true prices. Made by Huglu, one of Turkey’s most respected gunmakers, the Drake comes in 12- and 20-gauge versions, both with a 28-inch barrel. It’s a no-frills, working O/U with extractors in place of ejectors, plain walnut, and minimal decoration, but it’s also a well-made and well-finished gun that should provide many years of faithful service.

My sample gun was the 20-gauge, and it weighed in at just 6 pounds 1 ounce. It had a slightly barrel-heavy balance, which made it disciplined and easy to shoot for such a light gun. Appearancewise, you’d have to call it “restrained.” The gun has trim, no-nonsense lines: a pistol-grip stock with a thin rubber pad and small, neatly cut panels of checkering on the stock and forend. The receiver has some perfunctory engraving, and the barrels lack a side rib. The metal wears a black-chrome finish. The triggers are

mechanical, and the barrel selector is incorporated into the manual safety. Wood-to-metal fit is very good, as is often the case with Turkish shotguns. It’s a great gun for customers who want to move up to an O/U without spending a lot of money. It’s a good choice, too, as a backup and rainy-day gun for those who already own a lot of guns. The Drake comes with five choke tubes and a hard case, and all that lists for just $629. That’s one of the best values you’ll find in a break-action shotgun. CZ has been importing

The CZ Drake is a no-frills, but well-made gun. It’s a great choice for customers who want to move up to an O/U without having to spend a lot of money.

guns since 1997. Over that time, their guns have established a great track record for reliability. If something does go wrong, CZ has a service center in Kansas City. There has been a flood of inexpensive imported shotguns of varying quality in recent years. The problem with inexpensive guns is that

some work, some don’t, and a customer might buy a lemon and blame you. As a retailer, you want to recommend a good gun to your customers. The Drake is a gun you can recommend without reservation. CZ has an excellent reputation, good customer service, and a track

record of reliability and success. And, as for value, it’s second to none in the over/under category. The Drake is a perfect example of the kind of value CZ packs into every shotgun it sells. It may be the best example, because it’s almost too good to be true. Booth #11955. (cz-usa.com)

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1/4/17 6:56 PM


NEWS

By partnering with Sciessant, Walls Outdoors is able to offer hunters anti-microbial and odor-adsorption clothing.

Scent Solutions

Walls Outdoor Gear clothing takes advantage of odor-control science By David Draper

H

unt with the wind at your nose and sun at your back, as the wise woodsman’s words go. For years, odor control in the woods meant playing the wind, but with the advent of scent-controlling technology, a new generation of hunters learned that with the right clothing they could, if not beat the wind, at least cheat it a little bit in their favor. Over the years, methods for controlling hunter’s odor have evolved and adapted, from the original, bulky charcoalfilled suits to battery-operated odor blockers. To tap into the most advanced scent-controlling technology available, hunting-wear manufacturer Walls partnered with Massachusetts-based Sciessent, a worldwide leader in antimicrobial and odor-adsorption solutions. Originally, this partnership involved the Walls’ 10X brand, but last fall Walls merged 10X and Walls Outdoor Goods into a new entity now known as Walls Pro Series.

“Scent control is a must-have for hunting apparel, and we wanted the best,” says Alan Burks, marketing director for Walls Pro Series. “We looked closely at many options available from our competitors and discovered Agion Active XL from Sciessent, which is used in many medical applications. It features a state-of-the-art silver anti-microbial combined with Lava XL, a new mineral-based odor adsorber. We found the product just worked better than anything else out there. We have taken this powerful odor-control technology and are branding it as Scentrex.” Unlike many of the companies popping up in the scent-control sector of the hunting world,

Sciessent is no newcomer. Through years of research and development, the company has established a strong reputation in the medical and textile fields. Their specialty is anti-microbial technology, which is at the very root of what causes hunters, and their clothing, to stink. “The partnership between Walls Pro Series and Sciessent was a natural fit for both sides,” says Steven Cunningham, director of marketing for Sciessent. “Our Agion Active XL advanced scentcontrol product is the leading technology used in the hunting space. The Walls Pro Series line of hunting gear encompasses high quality and reliability. With scent

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control being critical in hunting, our two companies collaborated, resulting in a great product for hunters.” The new hunting clothing branded under Walls Pro Series’ Scentrex line controls scent in two ways by combining Sciessent’s Agion anti-microbial product and Lava XL odor adsorber. The antimicrobial fights the growth of odor-causing bacteria, thus preventing the garment from becoming a platform for bacteria growth, and ultimately odor generation. The odor adsorber controls human scent, which your body can give off in odor vapors. As these odor vapors pass through the garment, Sciessent’s technolo-

gy captures them. One of Scentrex’s unique features is its ability for the technology to self-regenerate. Standard odor adsorbers currently on the market capture odor compounds, but eventually reach a capacity. At that point, the garment needs to be washed to free up the capacity to capture more odor. Sciessent’s Agion Active XL not only captures odor, but also degrades these odor compounds, which regenerates the capacity to capture more odor compounds in between washes. The ability to free up odor-adsorbing space is a real boon on a multi-day hunting trip. After a long day of hunting, hunters can hang up their Scentrex layer treated with Agion Active XL. In the morning, the technology would have freed up enough capacity to capture odor for a second day. While eventually hunters will still need to wash the treated garment, the technology allows them to go longer between washes while still performing at a high level. “Hunters know the value of scent control and have experienced the difference it can make in the field,” says Burks. “Those that have tried Sciessent technologies can attest to its effectiveness. The Walls Pro Series brand is new to many hunters, and we have received great feedback from consumers who have had our products in the field.” It’s that in-the-field experience that Walls Pro Series is relying on to spread the word about Scentrex. Although there are a number of well-established names in the world of odor-controlling hunting clothing, Walls believes there is room for another. Sciessent may be a new player in the hunting market, but its technology is well established and through word-of-mouth from hunters who have experienced its benefits, the technology is gaining recognition with each passing hunting season. “A partnership like this proves that a quality hunting brand trusts one of the most critical features of their gear to our technology,” says Cunningham. “We continue to get positive feedback from the field, that hunters are seeing a difference in using gear treated with Sciessent technology. We have taken the approach that the performance of our technology in the field is what will build our reputation among hunters versus an advertisement, and so far that is exactly what is happening.” Booth #10240. (wallsoutdoorgear.com)

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DAY TO NIGHT IN ONE SIGHT?

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Precision As a Way of Life A retired Navy SEAL wanted a very special rifle By Katie Ainsworth

P

recision” isn’t just a word to retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell; it’s a way of life. So when it came time to design a rifle, Luttrell took measures to ensure it would deliver not only precision, but reliability and functionality. It isn’t designed solely for battle, but this combat veteran turned his experience into 6 pounds 11 ounces of versatility and tenacity. It’s called the Team Never Quit (TNQ) MK12CF SPR.

Luttrell’s standards are understandably high. He wanted the man behind the build to match his drive to excel, so he joined forces with former SEAL teammate Garrett Golden. Golden has a goal of his own: He says he doesn’t necessarily want to compete with the big gun companies, he just wants to “bring the right guns, builds, and components” into the industry. What makes guns right? According to Golden, the critical components are weight, accuracy, and a match-grade trigger. After that, it’s about creativity and utilizing the kind of hard-won skills and knowledge few in the industry possess. These are the skills you gain surviving—and winning—firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chambered in .223 Wylde, the TNQ MK12CF SPR is meant to be what results when you strip away all nonessential components; in other words, it’s all function, no flash. At 6 pounds 11 ounces, it’s significantly lighter than the military’s Mk12 Mod-1 SPR. To keep it light while also delivering accuracy, it has an 18-inch Proof Research carbon-fiber-reinforced 416R stainless-steel free-floating barrel with five grooves and a 1:8 RH twist. The final item in Golden’s critical components trifecta is a CMC match-grade two-stage curved trigger. (The two stages are 2- and 3-pound pull weights.) Other components—the titanium compensator, nickel-boron-coated bolt-carrier group, and 15-inch Recce M-Lok 6061-T6 aluminum handguard—are being manufactured by G2 Precision,

the company Golden founded in January 2016. Plans are for a run of just 500 rifles. Though it’s a gun made for tactics, that doesn’t mean it’s restricted to precision shooting at the range. Because it handles so naturally, the TNQ MK12CF SPR is ideal for everything from home defense to hunting. The rifle I tested mounted smoothly and snugly to my shoulder. Thanks to the carbon-fiber barrel, it’s well balanced, and the Magpul STR stock facilitates a close cheek weld. Controls are ambidextrous, which allows for both strong and weak-hand use. In a fight for your life, whether within the walls of your own home or overseas, the ability to shoulder your rifle on either side isn’t just convenient—it’s a must. Signs of the combined experience of Luttrell and Golden are found throughout the rifle. There are no large voids or sharp edges, no wasted space or protrusions begging to snag on material or branches. It’s slim and low-profile, meaning it’s easier to maneuver in tight spaces and more comfortable to carry on a long spotand-stalk. It’s accurate, too, as long as the shooter’s skills are up to the challenge of a rifle that routinely delivers sub-MOA groups. It eats what you feed it; the test rifles reliably cycled a large variety of ammunition. Initially, the TNQ MK12CF SPR had my curiosity. After shooting it, it now has my attention. It should have yours as well. SRP: $2,899. Booth #16129. (proofresearch.com)

SEE IT AT BOOTH #16351

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1/5/17 12:03 PM


news

SUPPLIER SHOWCASE DEBUTS The NSSF debuted its first Supplier Showcase the day before the opening of the 2017 SHOT Show. Created for manufacturers who supply the shooting industry, the one-day event included more than 265 vendors. Booths varied widely, from plastics manufacturers and engineering and software firms to specialty machining companies and more. “SHOT Show has had a tradition of manufacturing suppliers who diligently walk the floor servicing their displaying clientele. As the scope of the show grows, it’s exponentially more challenging for these firms to meet their clients while looking for new business. With the Supplier Showcase, new customers come to them,” says Bill Dunn, managing director of marketing communications for NSSF. One vendor closed a large order from a new customer during the first hour of the showcase. “A large CNC company that displays at SHOT came by to find out if we could deliver a brass order to the show floor. This is just the kind of

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YOUR SHARPENING SOURCE FOR THE OUTDOORS opportunity we hoped the one-day event would deliver,” says Steve Warner of EMJ, a metals supply company. The showcase also provides an ideal opportunity to see the “supply side” of the industry, as it allows companies to display the latest advances in the supply sector. “This has been an efficient use of our time, and the compact oneday experience allows our company to see new customers and technologies in a small space. We love the idea of being on the ground floor of this event, and we will return,” says Doug Forys of Alexandria Industries, a firm that specializes in short-lead-time engineered products. For 2017, the Supplier Showcase booths have small companies, startups, and massive corporations all separated by a single curtain. “This event levels the playing field for the smaller businesses,” says Dave Lawrence, president of Masterpac Packaging. The showcase was so successful that by noon, vendors were asking about returning for 2018.  —Peter B. Mathiesen

Camping

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Hunting

Fishing

With 130 years of experience in the sharpening business, Smith’s® is your source for the outdoors no matter what your outdoor activity may be. Look for Smith’s® sharpeners and other specialty tools in multiple departments at Sporting Goods retailers nationwide or via online and mail-order catalogs.

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1/17/17 1:15 PM


news

Managing Across Generations

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e’re at a remarkable point in history. The primary generations in the U.S. workforce—baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials—have achieved a brief parity, at around 50 million apiece. It’s a situation that creates management challenges, as the three groups have vastly different worldviews because of different parenting styles and events during their childhood and when they came of age. And those worldviews result in different career goals and approaches to work.

Dan Coates, president of the youth marketing and research group YPulse, laid out the differences in “Managing Multiple Generations to Get the Most Out of Your Staff,” a session of Monday’s inaugural NSSF Executive Management Seminar. Boomers, for instance, came of age in an environment that encouraged “us vs. them” thinking. Coates warns that when managing boomers, it’s best to disengage from battle: “Don’t be their ‘them.’” Instead, stay focused on the mission and service to the customer, keep your promises to them (they place a high premium on integrity), and put important communication in writing (yes, on paper). Gen Xers, on the other hand, approach everything with a sense of pragmatism and skepticism.

They’ve got a lot of respect for high-risk/high-reward propositions, and mavericks like Steve Jobs are among their business idols. To manage them effectively, says Coates, let them know how your plans affect them, and back up your assertions with proof. Focus on their skill development to motivate them, and keep your directions concise. Older generations often criticize the millennial work ethic, says Coates, but that’s a misunderstanding. “I can get more than 40 hours of productivity from them,” says Coates. “I just can’t get it at the times that I want it.” Millennials prefer to arrive later than other generations, but will stick around after the others leave for the night. They respond to visual information—videos, infographics, and

Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials have vastly different worldviews, resulting in different approaches to work.

such—and are incredibly team-­ oriented, preferring to crowdsource and get a consensus before moving forward. Manage them using peer influence when possible, rather than dictating their actions from the top down. For millennials, also, keep an eye on your corporate mission. Most millennials want to do some good in the world, so mission statements that emphasize service over profit are more inspiring to them. “It’s possible to understand, motivate, and inspire other generations,” says Coates. “You just need to get in their head.”  —Robert F. Staeger

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The top-of-the-line Ledlenser X21.2 delivers 1,500 lumens out to 600 meters, as well as a runtime of nearly 100 hours. It operates on four D-cell batteries.

Spreading the Gospel Ledlenser’s mission is to demonstrate the value of buying a better flashlight By Bill Miller

O

ne doesn’t have to be an industry analyst to know the market for flashlights is flooded. Do a random search for them on any online shopping site and the results are overwhelming. Options for the sportsman start at just a few dollars and then can run up to as much as $500, the going rate for the Ledlenser X21.2 (which radiates a massive 1,500 lumens). There are lots of highly rated flashlights for $50 or less. Why pay 10 times more? And how can a retailer feel good about stocking high-end lights if they believe their regulars will pass?

“For some customers, $40 is a lot of money for a flashlight,” admits Shannon Jidas, associate brand manager for Ledlenser. Still, pricey gear is a worthy investment if it’s built to take lots of abuse, she says. These are the pieces that consistently deliver at critical moments—not just this season, but year after year. “You are paying for durability,” Jidas says. “You can get a run-of-the-mill 10-to-100-lumen light, but you can break it in six months. You want something that survives being run over by a pickup truck, dropped out of a tree blind, or spilled out of a blind bag and into a marsh.” Executives at Leatherman Tool Group believe they partnered with great flashlights and headlamps when they acquired Ledlenser a few years ago. Leatherman, the pioneering Portland-based multi-tool maker, struck the deal in 2011 with Ledlenser’s founders, twin brothers Harald and Rainer Opolka of Solingen, Germany.

beam with one hand,” Jidas says. “There’s no twisting, just pushing the bezel backward and forward with your thumb. You can put those lumens where you want them, how you want them.” Coatings include hard-anodized or “Frozen Black” textured surfaces. Some models have titanium parts. Headlamps are made with user-friendly controls like switches that accommodate gloved hands and scroll wheels to control brightness. “They have the highest power and focusing,” says Leatherman CEO Ben Rivera. “But it’s not just the amount of light output, but also the usability of the light that matters. It’s so clean and concentrated on the spot where you need it. The products also exhibit such attention to detail and design quality that they are almost like works of art. We appreciate that.”

Covering the Market ➤ The

Superior Technology ➤ Ledlenser

claims its superior technology—such as lenses, patented reflectors, and the new CREE LED chips— helps produce more powerful spot beams that enhance long-range illumination. Programmable controls adjust light levels for different tasks. “What really differentiates our lights from others is the ability to focus a

The T2 offers Ledlenser performance at a lower price point.

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aforementioned X21.2, with its $500 price tag, delivers 1,500 lumens more than 600 meters. Want to double the lumens? Pay another $50 for the X21R.2 ($550), which has a rechargeable battery and, according to Ledlenser, “puts most car headlamps to shame” with 3,000 lumens. Given the realities of the market, Ledsenser understands that the X21.2 and X21R.2 aren’t for everybody. That’s why it also offers a number of models at lower price points. For example, the models below this top level start at

around $300, and drop from there. And for the customer who can’t see paying more than $50 for a flashlight, Ledlenser offers the T2, one of its bestsellers, which throws 240 lumens for $44. The least expensive model is the K2, a $10 keychain light that casts 25 lumens. “Ledlenser lights really extend your capabilities,” Rivera says. “If you are an outdoors enthusiast, they extend your day, making it possible to leave home or camp earlier and stay later. What is the value of extending your day on an expensive adventure by even one hour?” Priceless. Now it’s just a matter of getting buyers to agree. “The challenge is getting customers to think through their flashlight and headlamp purchases,” Jidas says. “And at the retail level, we’re training the guy behind the counter. I have done a lot of visits, from mom-and-pop stores to bigbox fixtures, assessing their challenges. It’s such an over-saturated market that it is intimidating for the retailer and consumer to figure out the best options.” Jidas meets this challenge with more hands-on training for sales staffs, either at stores or through online webinars. At the same time, Ledlenser constantly reinforces the concept that though superior lights cost more, they ensure reliability and performance year after year. “Buy low quality, and one faces having to make multiple purchases,” she says. “But buy high quality, and you only pay once.” Booth #14512. (ledlenserusa.com)

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T

Quantum Leap

Ruger’s new Mark IV is a big step forward

The Takedown Problem ➤ One

he Ruger Mark series of .22 pistols is one of the stalwarts of the company, having been in production in one form or another since the manufacturer was founded in 1949. Though Ruger dominates this market, the Mark III, introduced in 2002, has been looking a bit dated and lately has faced some serious competition, especially from the recently introduced Smith & Wesson Victory 22, a gun that looks as if the Ruger MK III had a baby with a Browning Buckmark. It was time to meet the competition head on, and the new Mark IV semi-auto rimfire pistol intends to reaffirm the company’s position in the target-pistol market. The Mark IV represents a quantum leap over the previous model, changing the way the gun is built and assembled as well as refining the internal mechanism for better feeding and reliability. It is now also far easier to disassemble and clean.

constant throughout all the iterations of the Mark series has been the takedown problem. A shooter needed tools and a whole lot of patience to disassemble and clean the pistol. The official how-to video from Ruger says you need a non-marring hammer, a non-marring dowel, a paper clip, and the internal lock key (MK III). Given how often .22 pistols are shot—and the cheap ammo often fed them—this can be a real nuisance. Disassembling the Mark IV, however, is a snap. Make sure the pistol is unloaded. Remove the magazine and cock the hammer by working the bolt. (The hammer must be cocked for disassembly.) If there is an empty magazine in the pistol, the bolt will lock back; if there isn’t, the bolt will simply cycle. The MK IV can be taken apart with or without a mag inserted. Engage the manual safety. Then, press the black takedown button located below the bolt at the rear of the pistol. When the button is fully depressed, the tube-like upper receiver with the barrel attached can be lifted off the frame. Remove the bolt carrier assembly. That’s it. The Mark IV is now in three pieces and ready for cleaning. Putting it back together is just as simple. Reinsert the bolt into the receiver, and then fit the indent on the underside of the receiver at the base of the barrel onto the small matching bar on the frame. It’s remarkably similar to reassembling

a break-action shotgun. Then, swing the receiver down, lining up the hole in the receiver and bolt so the bolt-stop pin passes through, and press until it all clicks together. The takedown isn’t the only new thing about the Mark IV. In fact, in order to facilitate the new procedure, much of the gun’s internals had to be redesigned a bit.

Refinements and New Controls ➤ Changes

to the pistol’s controls include a new ergonomic bolt stop that’s easier to operate and an ambidextrous lever-style safety that replaces the button safety of the Mark III. Both the bull-barrel Target models and the fluted-­ barrel Hunter models of the MK IV have a push-button magazine release on the left side of the frame. And when it releases a magazine, it really releases it. A small spring at the base of the grip is put under tension when a magazine is inserted, and it aids in kicking the mag out of the mag well when it’s ejected. The relocation of the magazine release on the Mark III made it more compatible for competition shooters than the heel release on the Mark II, but empty mags on a MK III have a tendency to not fall free from the gun, requiring an extra step and another hand to unload—unacceptable when fractions of a second count. Because of the new spring, a shooter can hold the pistol upside down when operating the Mark IV and the magazine will still pop

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By David Maccar

free, making it a solid option for competition shooters. Because of the new configuration, the grip frame is now one piece of CNC-machined stainless steel or aluminum on the Hunter version. The loaded-chamber indicator from the Mark III has been mercifully jettisoned along with the internal locking safety. Internally, the magazine disconnect safety has been redesigned and changes have been made to the hammer, sear, bolt, and firing pin for smoother, more reliable feeding. The one-piece barrel and receiver with its internal cylindrical bolt remain the same and provide a permanent sight-to-barrel alignment and greater accuracy potential than a pistol with a moving slide and tilting barrel. When it comes to the aftermarket world, the Mark IV is compatible with most Mark III accessories, such as sights, scope bases, and, most important, magazines. But because of the new controls, Mark III grips will not fit a MK IV pistol. At the moment, there don’t seem to be any companies producing grips for the MK IV.

At the Range ➤I

tested a stainless Target version of the MK IV. The pistol performed as expected during three range sessions. There were no misfires or failures to feed even though I used a variety of ammo. To evaluate accuracy, I shot 5-shot groups from an unweighted rest at 20 yards with iron sights and five types of .22LR ammunition.

I decided the included all-black front blade sight was a bit too difficult for me to pick up, especially in the somewhat dim light of my indoor range, so I replaced it with a Mark III green fiber-optic front sight from TruGlo. The Hunter model of the Mark IV comes with a fiber-optic front sight standard. My 5-shot groups ranged from .75 inch to 1.5 inches. A few groups were extremely tight, one coming in at .25 inch, with one flyer making it a .5-inch group. These groups may seem a bit large for a target pistol at that range, but remember: They were produced from a lightweight rest using iron sights with the factory trigger, and they were shot at a range with an old-school cabletarget system, which often has a tiny bit of sway. In addition, none of the ammunition tested was premium-grade match ammo. The 5-shot groups were consistent from set to set among all ammo types. A weighted rest and a magnified optic would tighten those individual groups up considerably. While the MK IV greedily ate everything I fed it, it produced the best groups with higher-velocity ammo like CCI Stingers and Mini-Mags. Of the calmer loads, the best groups came from Blazer High Velocity and Federal Match ammo, while the worst came from American Eagle 38-grain loads. All in all, the Mark IV is a solid update to Ruger’s long-lived pistol series that will carry it into the next decade. SRP: $529, Target; $769, Hunter. Booth #11940. (ruger.com)

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Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin volunteers at a Salvation Army shelter.

Giving Back and Paying Forward

Hunt.Fish.Feed. has helped the hungry for 10 years

I

n 2007, Sportsman Channel owners Michael Cooley and Todd Hansen questioned how they could donate their harvested game to people in need outside of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. And that didn’t just mean venison, because the Sportsman Channel corporate offices did sit on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country where salmon is abundant.

Since the network had a national platform and distribution base, the owners wondered if they could create an initiative to spread the word to hunters and anglers everywhere about donating their harvests to help feed those less fortunate across the country. The first Hunt.Fish. Feed. event was held in Washington, D.C., in July 2007 at Central Union Mission (a shelter the network would visit twice more over the years). Chef Scott Leysath, host of The Sporting Chef show airing on Sportsman Channel, was tapped as the executive chef for Hunt.Fish. Feed. Some 60 cities later, Leysath hasn’t missed an event. His meal plans always include the fundamentals of protein, starch, vegetable, fruit, dessert, milk, and juice. It just

so happens this particular source of protein is nearly always venison. One deer can produce approximately 70 pounds of meat. Most chefs assume a half pound of meat per person, which calculates to roughly one deer feeding nearly 150 people. Just. One. Deer. Venison meat is also lower in fat and higher in protein than beef. “Venison is naturally organic and a sustainable food source— information we always share when feeding venison to those less fortunate in various cities across the country,” says Leysath. “The words ‘locavore’ and ‘organic’ are buzzwords thrown around today, but we’ve been using them in the outdoor industry for many years.” In 2007, America was in the first

stage of what would become “The Great Recession,” and media coverage focused on high rates of unemployment and long lines at food shelters. Concurrently, chari-

table donations plunged. Protein is expensive, which makes it the first to get cut from the grocery bill. “I remember shelter chefs telling me back then they would receive only a little bit of hamburger and would have to make a thin spaghetti sauce or chili to spread it out,” Leysath says. “They were thrilled, to say the least, when we dropped 100 to 200 pounds of venison at their door.” In addition to providing meat (or fish), Sportsman Channel also tapped into its roster of television personalities in support of Hunt. Fish.Feed. events. Randy Newberg, Melissa Bachman, Mike Schoby, Brian “Pigman” Quaca, and more have all been known to lend a hand when meals were being served. Sports celebrities, such as Colorado Rockies All-Star Todd Helton and former NFL running back John Riggins have stopped by as well. Finding shelters to work with and volunteers to prep and serve the meals was the easy part; gathering the meat was the more difficult task. The marketing and communications teams at Sportsman Channel found longtime partners Mule Deer Foundation and its president Miles Moretti up to the challenge. For several years MDF reached out to its local chapters wherever Hunt.Fish.Feed. events were held and gathered venison for donations. MDF even installed a small freezer in Sportsman Channel’s offices in Milwaukee to accommodate donations from employees and area hunters. Over the past 10 years of Hunt. Fish.Feed., more than 1,300 volunteers have prepped and served nearly 13,000 pounds of venison and fish into nearly 30,000 meals. Most shelters are small and can feed only 100 to 200 guests at a

A typical deer can produce approximately 70 pounds of meat. Assuming a half pound per person, that’s enough to feed 150 people.

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Social media is increasingly important to retailers, and Instagram is a vital part of the equation.

Chef Scott Leysath, who is the executive chef for Hunt.Fish.Feed., has served meals in more than 60 cities during the past 10 years.

time. But some urban shelters can handle as many 2,000 at a time. “It’s really not that much different feeding 200 people or 2,000,” says Leysath. “These shelter kitchens are run like well-oiled machines, and the head chefs have a culinary background that beats cookbook authors or show hosts.” Although some shelters had near state-ofthe-art kitchen appliances, others were just scraping by. “Many times the network or our partners at the events would write a check above and beyond what we did for that meal at that one point in time,” says former Sportsman Channel staffer Michelle Scheuermann. “We would buy restaurantquality meat grinders so shelters were set up to receive any kind of meat donation from food banks or meat lockers. They were so appreciative of anything we could do.” Hunt.Fish.Feed. is now a part of Outdoor Sportsman Group and the trio of networks— Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and World Fishing Network (Booth #13923). The group hopes to continue the process of hosting an annual “Hunt.Fish.Feed. Tour” in a dozen or more cities. “When we acquired Sportsman Channel in 2013, one of the first programs we knew we would continue unabashedly was Hunt.Fish.Feed.,” says Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks CEO and president Jim Liberatore. “The Hunt.Fish.Feed. program is— without a doubt—one of the most worthwhile initiatives we, as sportsmen and women, can look at and use to explain why we love doing what we do.” Leysath continues to spread the word at every event, making sure volunteers are dicing the onions correctly, properly stirring the vats of venison chili. He also wants to ensure that those same volunteers understand the importance of the mission. To learn more about donating venison to a local shelter, visit nssf.org and click on “Share Your Harvest.”

What Is All the Rage in Social Media?

I

s Twitter dead? Should businesses pay more attention to Instagram and Facebook? And how can YouTube help increase exposure in a crowded marketplace? The latest in social media strategies for the firearms retailer was laid out on Monday during a SHOT Show University seminar with Michelle Scheuermann of BulletProof Communications, LLC, during her presentation, “Advanced Social Media Strategies.” In the seminar, Scheuer­ mann focused on three platforms she says deserve the most attention: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. “Ignore the popular line of thinking that Twitter is the place to be. There are too many trolls, making the experience unpleasant and providing little to no value,” said Scheuermann. “The only time I find it useful is during events, such as SHOT Show, where users can leverage the show hashtag to learn what’s happening in real time.” Scheuermann also stressed that retailers should only take on what they can comfortably handle and do well. “You aren’t giving your business any further service by halfway focusing on something,” she said. And if, as an owner, you find you can’t do it all, you can hire a specialist or find a trusted employee to manage the task. Scheuermann said she’s hav-

ing the most success with Instagram at the moment, even though it is owned by Facebook and they are starting to tweak the algorithms. Her tips for the photo-driven platform are to post often, use 5 to 10 hashtags per post mixed between unique and popular tags, and switch your personal account to a business account. “The business account offers insights, such as when people are viewing your account, engagement rates, and some demographic breakdowns,” said Scheuermann. “You don’t have to pay an online service for this information, as it’s free on Instagram, but you must already have a business or company account on Facebook.” Most retailers questioned Scheuermann on Facebook— from boosting posts to getting ads placed, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them. Her solution? Don’t play the Facebook game; find other routes. “Facebook continually offers new ways to reach customers, and retailers need to try these methods. If the old way wasn’t working, why are you banging your head against the wall? Be nimble and try something else,” she said. She encourages businesses to use the new Facebook pixel to place ads. When the pixel is placed on their website, it offers a tracking mechanisms not only for ads, but also to drive customers to sign-ups,

events, and more. “The pixel is amazing for retailers, You can track your highest users and target them and convert them to a customer, if they aren’t one already,” she added. Finally, Scheuermann discussed YouTube strategies for increasing views on branded channels. Of all the platforms, YouTube is the easiest for making simple changes resulting in big gains. “YouTube is very specific in their method of tracking videos and making them available to users. They need to see you post often and use very specific keywords in your title, description, and tags,” she said. YouTube users should use keywords that the audience is already searching for. “Another tricky thing about keywords is, if you are targeting novice shooters or hunters, think how they would search for terms. For example, I learned ‘bow and arrow’ is searched for more often than ‘bowhunter’ via Google Trends,” she said. No matter which platform retailers focus on, Scheuermann stressed they have fun with it. “Above all, you need to show the personality of your store, and create a tribe of your own online. User-generated content is probably your best friend, so find those people who are zealots for your brand and cater to them, comment on their posts, and start generating a relationship.”

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Pro Audio From Silynx

W

hile the long-term effects of loud noises on one’s hearing have been understood for decades, the all-toocommon approach has been bulky headphones or foam plugs. These devices certainly lower the volume, but by doing so they also make it difficult or nearly impossible to communicate with anyone to receive instruction or guidance. At the same time, an entire cottage industry has been built around noise-canceling headphones for audiophiles and for those who simply want to block out the daily noise of the world, yet still have the ability when necessary to hear those around them. Until recently there has been little effort to provide these benefits to those who prefer the “works” of John Browning and Samuel Colt to those of James Taylor. What efforts have been made haven’t always been appreciated either. “Shooters invest thousands of dollars in their gun, their optics, their eyewear, and their ammo, then they insert two cents’ worth of foam in their ears,” says Matthew Hemez, vice president of sales and marketing at Silynx. “This doesn’t make sense. Hearing loss is a real thing. Shooters should invest in quality hearing protection that is comfortable and made for all-day wear.” Silynx hopes to offer shooters a way to protect their hearing by utilizing the same technol-

The Clarus Pro and Clarus Lite from Silynx offer superior in-ear noise protection.

ogy that been appreciated by music buffs for decades. To that end the company has developed a line of tactical in-ear headsets for military and law enforcement, and it has recently expanded with two new products aimed at outdoorsmen and recreational shooters. The Clarus Pro and Clarus Lite (SRP: $249) each provide electronic hearing protection and noise cancellation in a ruggedized combat-­ proven package that can stand up to much more

than the daily commute. These also promise to be as comfortable as any of the in-ear headsets that users might use while commuting or working out. These in-ear headsets further defy the convention that electronic hearing protection must be big and bulky or small and fragile, and instead offer a low-profile design that can withstand dirt, mud, water, vibration, and shock. They offer active protection (NRR 25) along with hearthrough capability for situational awareness along with mobile-phone-audio connectivity. “The Clarus Pro and Clarus Lite are designed to be worn all day,” says Hemez. “Whether the shooter is actually on the firing line, in the pro shop grabbing a bottle of water, or needing to take a phone call from home, the Clarus Pro and Lite never have to be removed.” According to Hemez, an added bonus of the design is that shooters wearing either Clarus model in hot weather won’t have to suffer like those wearing ear muffs. “Until the development of the Clarus Pro and Clarus Lite, electronic hearing protection was large, bulky, and uncomfortable or small and very expensive,” he says. “No more. The Clarus Pro and Lite offer extremely lightweight and comfortable electronic hearing protection and an enhancement solution that is affordable. Being military-grade, they are very durable and well worth the investment over cheap foam plugs.” Booth #7310. (silynxcom.com) —Peter Suciu

WARM UP. RECHARGE. ILLUMINATE. ENDURE. Adventure calls you into some pretty challenging conditions. Whether for work or play, you need tools that help you go beyond your limits in order to stay focused. Feel the power of these HOT products in the palm of your hand.

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ThermoCharge 10 2-in-1 Hand warmer and power bank

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ThermoTorch 10 3-in-1 300 Lumen flashlight, Hand warmer and Power bank

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OUTBACK

MSRP

Celerant’s Retail Management System allows fast and accurate tracking of firearms.

99

24

$

Style 145 Tuckable™ 360

The Software Solution

W

hen a gun falls into the wrong hands and tragedy ensues, there’s plenty of blame to be passed around. In recent years, gun-related crimes have led to a number of lawsuits targeting not only criminals, but also firearms and ammunition manufacturers and the stores that sell their products. Although federal laws already dictate strict record keeping on the part of firearms dealers, recent tragedies such as the Sandy Hook school and Aurora theater shootings have resulted in renewed scrutiny of the regulation of firearms sales. The threat of further legislation is causing the more than 129,800 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States to take a second look at the POS controls that they currently have in place. Louisiana-based Barneys Police Supply is one such dealer. As the name implies, Barneys supplies firearms, ammunition, and tactical supplies to police departments throughout the South. It also serves the needs of civilian shooting sports and firearms enthusiasts. Like thousands of other responsible firearms dealers, the retailer has found a very limited selection of POS software solutions that enable “baked-in” measures for firearms reporting. When the ATF comes calling without notice, associates at any one of the five locations Barneys operates must be able to aggregate and pro-

duce various pieces of data that show granular detail on a specific firearm’s receipt and sale, including serial number and detailed information on the buyer and time of transaction. In the past, these records had to be kept in what’s known as an ATF “Bound Book,” but the Bureau now allows firearms dealers to maintain electronic records. While many dealers use stand-alone software applications to maintain these records, a lack of integration with POS systems makes the tight tracking of firearms receipts, inventory, and sales cumbersome and inefficient. Such was the case at Barneys. “To maintain our records, we had to do a lot of manual importing and exporting of data between the POS, inventory, and reporting programs,” says Charles Boudreaux, who manages inventory control and software services for Barneys. “This was not only inefficient, but it also opened up too much opportunity for error.” So, 10 years ago Barneys implemented Celerant Technology’s Retail Management System to track and manage all firearms sales. Celerant RMS manages inventory and tracking of firearms and enables customized reporting in line with the strict requirements expected of ATFcompliant firearms retailers. When Barneys conducts a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

(NICS), that number is entered into the Celerant POS system, eliminating the need to enter it into a separate firearms transaction tracking program. “Now, when we get a call from an ATF agent who’s conducting a trace on a firearm’s serial number, the agent already knows when the gun was shipped to us and where it was received,” says Boudreaux. “Celerant guides us to the rest of the details—whether we transferred the firearm or sold it, when, and to whom—which, in turn, allows us to demonstrate compliance with firearms transaction protocols such as mandatory background checks.” Individuals must be over 21 to purchase handgun ammunition, and over 18 to purchase ammunition for long guns such as shotguns and rifles. The sale of restricted items such as these requires diligence on the part of the retailer, which is why Barneys is now planning to implement driver’s license scanning with the release of Celerant’s version 6.4. He says the feature will do more than ensure regulatory compliance, though. “When we gather customer information manually for CRM and mailing list purposes, we often end up with duplicates in the list,” he says. “Driver’s license scanning will not only verify the customer’s age, it also will verify their customer details, eliminating redundancy.” Booth #3003. (celerant.com)

• OWB/IWB leather holster • Clip allows unlimited positioning as an IWB • Twin-slotted pancake style OWB keeps gun close & tight • 2 sizes fit almost all concealable handguns

Visit Us at Our Shot Show Booth #10962

800-GUNHIDE 631-841-6300 Dept #SD17 431 Bayview Avenue Amityville, NY 11701

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NEW PRODUCTS The Kimber Subalpine boasts a reinforced carbon-fiber stock. It also features a threaded stainless-steel fluted barrel, and a Mauser-style extractor for controlled-round feeding.

Kimber ➤ The

new Kimber Subalpine just might be the ultimate elk and mule deer rifle. It has a reinforced carbon-fiber stock that utilizes a new soft-touch Gore Optifade Subalpine stock treatment and weighs only 4 pounds 13 ounces. The rifle also features a threaded stainless-steel fluted barrel, a three-position wing safety, a Mauser-style extractor for controlled-­round feeding, and a match-grade chamber and barrel. It will be offered in .308 Win., .280 Ack. Imp., .30/06 Sprg., and .300 WSM and .300 Win. Mag. And like all Kimber mountain rifles, the Subalpine is built to the Kimber sub-MOA accuracy standard, which states that each rifle will shoot a three-shot group measuring 1 inch at 100 yards with premium factory ammunition. SRP: $1,701. Booth #11762.

(kimberamerica.com)

Mustang Survival ➤ Weighing

roughly 4 pounds, the Sentinel Series Lightweight Special Operations Dry Suit is the lightest and most breathable surface-­operations dry suit on the market. Keeping the operator both safe and dry, the suit’s sophisticated technology and design features mean the wearer does not have to sacrifice movement or mobility for safety. The suit is ideal for users engaged in maritime special operations requiring splash and/or immersed hypothermia protection that won’t hinder primary mission objectives. Like other dry suits in the Mustang Survival line, the Lightweight Special Operations Dry Suit features Mobility Based Sizing, which offers users a semi-custom fit that reduces bulk and increases mobility without the custom price tag, and Rapid Repair Technology, which allows quick field repair in

less than an hour for socks, necks, and wrist seals. Booth #12762. (safariland.com)

Camp Chef ➤ The

Camp Chef SmokePro XXL is designed to forever change the way you smoke. Instead of choosing between the convenience of a pellet grill and the cooking capacity of a smoke vault, Camp Chef has brought both together in one wood pellet smoker. With 1,950 square inches of cooking surface area, four meat racks, two jerky racks, and a sausage rack with 12 hooks, this smoker boasts some serious cooking space. It’s perfect for smoking jerky, sausage, pork shoulders, and many other foods that might not fit well in a pellet grill. And with digital temperature control and an automatic wood pellet auger, you don’t need to monitor cooking temperatures all day. SRP: $899. Booth #15543.

(campchef.com)

W.R. CASE

m u s ta n g s u r v i va l A

new dry suit keeps operators safe and dry in hostile environments.

Reebok ➤ Warson

The Medium Congress folder—known for featuring coping, sheepsfoot, spear, and pen blades—is back for a limited time. It will be available in four models, each featuring a different handle: Standard Jigged Chestnut Bone, Case 6.5 BoneStag, Pocket Worn Corn Cob Jigged Old Red Bone, and Ocean Blue Bone. All of the knives are made in America and will be available only in 2017. Booth #13905. (wrcase.com)

Brands, official licensee of Reebok for duty and uniform footwear, is introducing the new Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical line of tactical footwear designed for law-enforcement and firstresponder professionals. The Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical incorporates Sublite foam midsole technology to maximize cushioning while minimizing weight. The Sublite dual-density foam midsole provides lightweight cushioning for comfort and responsiveness. Deep flex grooves in the midsole allow for natural movement, letting feet bend and balance naturally. At the heel and toe are rubber pads for stopping power and takeoff propulsion. The Sublite Cushion Tactical also features a MemoryTech Massage footbed that adapts to the unique contours of the wearer’s foot and a slip-resistant outsole that grips in slippery conditions. Booth #0179. (reebok

Camp Chef’s SmokePro XXL combines a pellet grill with a smoke vault.

work.com)

110 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 2, JANUARY 18, 2017

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SHOT Daily — Day 2 — 2017 SHOT Show  

SHOT Daily — Day 2 — 2017 SHOT Show

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