VOLUME 22, NUMBER 3 APRIL/MAY 2014
Four very special days in Las Vegas help set the tone for a great year—for retailers and customers alike PG. 31
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE è FIRING LINE: Ruger has reintroduced its Red Label over/under. This made-in-the-USA version is now a very afordable option Pg. 24 è GOOD STUFF: A pair of vacuum sealers from FoodSaver and Oliso help ensure harvested game will taste great on the table Pg. 46
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National Shooting Sports Foundation®
BEST PROTECTION AVAILABLE “
For any retailer, large or
FOR FIREARMS RETAILERS
small, this membership is a no-brainer. Between the education materials, access to the best frearms
Introducing NSSF’s Premium Retailer Membership
attorneys and other premium
The protection you get when you need it most:
benefts, this membership is what many of us have been
Unlimited legal defense fund to protect your FFL
A complete compliance audit of your store
Joe Keffer, Owner, The Sportsman’s Shop, New Holland, Pa
Access to a 24-hour ATF Compliance Hotline A library of compliance resources and materials
NSSF is the trade association for America’s frearms industry. Our mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
Contact Bettyjane Swann (email@example.com) or Samantha Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Member Services, at 203-426-1320.
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S H O T B U S I N E S S ❚ ❚❚ A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 4 ❚ ❚❚ V O L . 2 2 , I S S U E 3
COVER PHOTO BY MITCH KEZAR/WINDIGO IMAGES
SHOT SHOW 2014 Once again, the SHOT Show reigned supreme for
four days in Las Vegas as the shooting industry’s premier trade show. And, once again, attendance by industry professionals set a new record. This special section, taken from the pages of SHOT Daily, is a look at the broad range of products and personalities that is the SHOT Show.
NSSF Update 16
FROM THE NSSF Why you
should attend the 2014 Industry Summit
RETAILER TOOLBOX Tips
GUN CONTROL TANKS Anti-
for increased store security
“DON’T LIE” MEDIA BLITZ
Straw purchases targeted in three cities
gun sentiment dropping
19 19 19 20 21
SUNDAY HUNTING Virginia Assembly repeals blue law NSSF COMPLIANCE TEAM
EDITOR’S NOTE Some
NEWS BRIEFS Mossberg debuts FLEX-22; Badlands marks 20 years; Remington expands in Alabama; Whitetail Properties founder honored
22 24 26
rules that successful businesses live by
FYI Selling green laser-
FIRING LINE Ruger’s new
and improved Red Label UNDERCOVER SHOPPER A hog hunter
gets the cold shoulder from Alabama retailers
GOOD STUFF Protecting
WHAT’S SELLING WHERE
your game with home vacuum sealers
Helle’s Sylvsteinen knife; Plinker Arms’ .22LR; Arc’teryx’s DryPack; Browning’s tiny trail cams
Two consultants added PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP
12-month wait eliminated NSSF DELIVERS VALUE YOU SHOULD KNOW 2014 SHOT Show breaks records
APRIL/MAY 2014❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚3
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Best Practices Five rules to live by
couple of months ago, Forbes.com ran an interesting article titled “20 Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way.” It was based on input from employees of ShortStack, a web firm that helps companies design and manage their Facebook pages. Some of the shared experiences should resonate deeply, so I’ve taken the liberty of adapting the five rules that seem to most apply to firearms retailers. Consider them to be “best practices” and act accordingly.
You can’t do everything on your own. Building a team is essential because there are only so many hours one person can devote to a business. Exactly when you reach that limit depends on your other obligations. If you’re a young, single person, you might be able to do everything for a year or two. But if you have a family, your dedication will eventually hurt those relationships. Build a team that can carry on when you’re not around.
Do one thing really well. Entrepreneurs try to be everything to everyone, but it’s hard to be the store that sells bait and baby toys and vintage Beatles albums. Specialize, and you can charge for what you do provide. That said, if there is a skill or service that would make your core product better, provide it. Undercharging is not sustainable. You think, “I don’t need to charge $150 an hour. I can charge $70 and make way more than I was making as an employee!” But you might find out a short time later that your “great”
rate is far too low. By the time you pay taxes, employees, business licenses, insurance, and so on, that $150 per hour is looking more realistic. Compete on quality, expertise, and your niche focus (see above) rather than price. If you’re competing on price alone, the clients who are price-shopping will always leave for the person or company that undercuts you. You’ll make more money being “wrong” than proving you are right. Rather than fighting with unhappy customers and saying, “You’re using it incorrectly,” just refund their money. In the long run, these people consume so much of the support team’s time and energy that it’s more costeffective this way. They’re not your ideal client, but that’s okay. If your company sells a variety of products, make sure you know how to operate every single one of them. It might sound like a tall order— depending on how many products your company carries—but learning to use what your company sells will help you look at things with fresh eyes. There are retailers out there that get all this. They’re the ones that rise to the top in every Undercover Shopper. Where do you stand?
Slaton L. White, Editor
SLATON L. WHITE, Editor
Margaret M. Nussey, Managing Editor David E. Petzal, Shooting Editor Maribel Martin, Senior Administrative Assistant James A. Walsh, Art Director Judith Weber, Production Manager CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Larry Ahlman, Barbara Baird, Scott Bestul, Philip Bourjaily, Chris Christian, Christopher Cogley, David Draper, Jock Elliott, William F. Kendy, Mark Kayser, Peter B. Mathiesen, Brian McCombie, Tom Mohrhauser, Robert Sadowski, Robert F. Staeger, Peter Suciu, Wayne Van Zwoll
ERIC ZINCZENKO, Executive Vice President ADVERTISING: 212-779-5316
Gregory D. Gatto, Publisher Paula Iwanski, National Sporting Goods Director Brian Peterson, West Katie Logan, Sporting Goods Sales John Driscoll, Vice President, Corporate Sales Elizabeth Burnham Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer Ingrid Reslmaier, Marketing Design Director
Tara Bisciello, Business Manager
Robert M. Cohn, Consumer Marketing Director Barbara Brooker, Fulfillment Manager
Laurel Kurnides, Group Production Director Stefanie La Bella, Associate Production Director
Chairman, Jonas Bonnier Chief Executive Officer, Dave Freygang Executive Vice President, Eric Zinczenko Chief Content Officer, David Ritchie Chief Financial Officer, Nancy Coalter Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Earlywine Chief Marketing Officer, Elizabeth Burnham Murphy Chief Human Resource Officer, Leslie Glenn Chief Brand Development Officer, Sean Holzman Vice President, Consumer Marketing, John Reese General Counsel, Jeremy Thompson
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 22, issue 3. Copyright © 2014 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation, production and advertising offices are located at 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695 (212-779-5000). Free to qualified subscribers; available to non-qualified subscribers for $25 per year. Single-copy issues are available for $5 each. Send check, payable to NSSF, to: SHOT Business, c/o NSSF, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359. SHOT Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All correspondence should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Requests for media kits and advertising information should be directed to Katy Marinaro, Bonnier Corporation, 625 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1270, Chicago, IL 60611. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA. For Customer Service and Subscription questions, such as Renewals, Address Changes, Email Preferences, Billing and Account Status, go to: shotbusiness .com/cs. You can also email shotbusiness@emailcustomer service.com, in the U.S. call toll-free 866-615-4345, outside the U.S. call 386-246-0188, 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 REPRINTS: E-mail email@example.com. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to SHOT Business, P.O. Box 422494, Palm Coast, FL 32142-2494.
4❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/11/14 6:03 PM
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3/6/14 12:10 PM
2/26/14 11:36 AM
Bits & Pieces
NEWS BRIEFS NEWS ❚
Your customers can get a free one-year membership in the National Rifle Association by purchasing any new Diamondback firearm at retail until December 31, 2014. Membership materials will come directly from the NRA, and there will be a limit of one membership per firearm purchase. For more information, go to diamondbackfirearms .com/2014FreeNRA.
Sports South has been named Taurus Holdings’ 2013 Distributor of the Year. The award recognizes a distributor who goes above and beyond in their efforts to market, sell, support, and promote the Taurus, Rossi, Heritage, and Diamondback Firearms product lines. “Sports South met and exceeded all of our requirements outlined to be our 2013 Distributor of the Year,” said director of sales Scott Rothenberg.
Big Rock Sports
Big Rock Sports donated more than $60,000 worth of merchandise to the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA) at the end of 2013, and followed that up with a silent auction at the Big Rock Sports West Dealer Show in January that brought in an additional $10,500. Exhibiting shooting sports vendors made donations to the auction. The YSSA introduces young people to shooting; the nonprofit group helps facilitate firearms training through organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Royal Rangers, and 4-H clubs.
With the FLEX-22, Mossberg is introducing two rimfires to its FLEX line. Both the 25-round model (top) and the 10-round Youth model can be customized without tools to accommodate FLEX-TLS accessory stocks and recoil pads.
Mossberg Rolls Out FLEX-22
ollowing the introductions of the new 20-gauge 500 FLEX and 500 JIC ( Just In Case) FLEX pump-action shotguns at the 2014 SHOT Show, Mossberg International is now bringing a rimfire rifle to the FLEX family of multi-platform, modular firearms. The FLEX-22 combines the versatility of the Mossberg FLEX TLS (Toolless Locking System) with a fun-to-shoot and cost-effective .22LR autoloading platform. Two models of the new rimfire are available: a six-position, adjustable tactical stock with a 25-round magazine, and an easy-to-handle Youth model with a compact stock and a 10-round magazine. Either model can be quickly reconfigured, without tools, for a custom-like fit with FLEX TLS accessory stocks and recoil pads. Based on the Mossberg International line of .22LR autoloaders (702 Plinkster/715T), FLEX-22 rifles come standard with free-floating barrels with a 1:16 twist rate, fully adjustable front and This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.
rear fiber-optic sights (adjustable for windage and elevation), durable synthetic stocks with stippled forends (allowing for a more positive grip), blue metal finishes, and a last-shot, hold-open design. In addition, the 25-round model features length-of-pull adjustments from 11 to 14 inches (controlled by the integrated lever), a shorter 16½-inch barrel with an A2-style muzzle brake for reduced muzzle jump, a top-mounted, removable Picatinny rail to make optics mounting simple, and a handy magazine loading cap. SRP: $275. The 10-round Youth version features the FLEX compact, fixed-LOP stock (12½ inches) as well as a compact (¾-inch) recoil pad and an 18-inch barrel. The dovetailed receiver accepts ⅜-inch scope mounts. SRP: $261. (mossberg.com) APRIL/MAY 2014❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚7
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Badlands Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation and Performance Badlands Gear is celebrating a milestone that few companies experience—a 20th birthday. Two decades of experience have transformed Badlands into an industry leader—not only of pack technology, but also of apparel and hunting accessories. “It all started in a storage shed with far more passion for the industry than funds,” says marketing director Blake VanTussenbrook. “But from day one we began exploring new and innovative ways to engineer gear.” VanTussenbrook says once the company had introduced new technology to the backpack world that garnered several awards, it began exploring the possibility of branching out to other areas. “Since we had already established a reputation for the best load-carrying packs available, the transition to the hunting world was a no-brainer,” he says. “Badlands’ quality, durability, and innovation were a perfect match for the tough demands of hunters.” After a move to an old furniture warehouse and adding new equipment, the Badlands crew resumed the development of its groundbreaking hunting packs. “To see a business grow from the ground up is astounding,” says founder Bill Crawley. “To see one grow from the
Badlands has expanded its product lineup while continuing to offer an unconditional lifetime warranty.
ground up and get bigger and better every single year is phenomenal. Our passion shows in everything we create, and we’re just glad the industry and those using the gear have noticed that and supported us. We are looking forward to another 20 years of creation for the hunting community.” Badlands now offers more than 70 products. (badlandspacks.com)
Remington to Expand in Alabama
Model: CW3833 Barrel: 2.58” Length OA: 4.96” Slide Width: .75”
Caliber: .380 ACP Capacity: 6+1 Height: 3.9” Weight: 10.2 oz
Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) will expand to the old Chrysler building in Huntsville, Alabama, where it will eventually create more than 2,000 new jobs within the next 10 years. “I am honored to welcome Remington to Alabama,” said Governor Robert Bentley regarding the move. “The Alabama workforce, our business climate, and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies. Remington will soon experience the same type of success that other companies in Alabama already have.” Remington’s move to Huntsville represents a statewide capital
investment of $110 million. “This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products,” says George Kollitides, chairman and CEO of Remington Outdoor Company. “Having watched our company grow from 2,400 employees in 2008 to 4,200 employees by the end of 2013, it is easy to see why we’re investing now.” Last year, ROC modernized its production facilities, refocused its research and development on customer requirements, and ensured consistent, high-quality manufacturing—advancements that demonstrate a commitment to meet customer demand.
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Whitetail Properties Co-Founder Receives Mainstream Media Accolade The annual St. Louis Business Journal’s 2014 “40 Under 40” class is mostly what one would expect: Global brands such as Anheuser-Busch, Enterprise, Boeing, and more are represented by young, talented business leaders. But among the bankers, lawyers, and CEOs, you’ll also find a real estate entrepreneur whose company is centered around—of all things—whitetail deer hunting. Paul Sawyer joins the other honorees in the 2014 class after spending the last seven years building the Whitetail Properties brand into a household name while helping expand operations into more than 20 states and counting. Sawyer is one of the founding
partners of Whitetail Properties Real Estate—an industry leader in hunting, ranch, and farm land. In his role as vice president of marketing, Sawyer spearheads the direction of the company’s national marketing efforts while building the local-level marketing strategy for more than 110 real estate agents across the country. “I’m humbled to represent Whitetail Properties among these great brands and talented leaders,” says Sawyer. “We’ve grown very quickly since our start in 2007. And this fast growth is a tribute to hard work by our headquarters staff and our nationwide team of land specialists.”
Whitetail Properties’ Paul Sawyer was honored by the St. Louis Business Journal.
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3/12/14 12:57 PM
On the Move Recent promotions and hirings in the industry
ArmaLite, Inc., has named Tommy Thacker president. Thacker brings nearly 20 years of toplevel management, sales, and firearms experience to the manufacturer. Most recently, Thacker was co-owner of Loudoun Guns.
Christopher J. Killoy
Christopher J. Killoy has been named president of Sturm, Ruger & Company. He will be responsible for sales, marketing, manufacturing, product management, and new product development.
Jim Duncan has joined The Safariland Group as vice president of domestic sales. He will lead The Safariland Groupâ€™s efforts to drive sales growth and increase its market share in the domestic sales channel.
Mark E. Thomas
Mark E. Thomas has joined FNH USA as director of marketing and communications. Prior to joining FNH, Thomas was the director of marketing for Walther and the managing director of marketing and communications for NSSF.
Liberty Ammunition has hired Russell Datson as director of sales. Datson will assume responsibility for all commercial and retail sales in the U.S., reporting directly to Matthew Phillips, vice president of sales and marketing.
3/12/14 4:26 PM
BUCK KNIVES NAMES AGENCY AND SALES REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR At the recent 2014 SHOT Show, Buck Knives awarded its 2013 Sales Rep. Agency of the Year to ICOBA International. The knife manufacturer also named Jim Thompson, of J. Harding Associates, as its Sales Rep of the Year. Thompson, an industry veteran, represents the Idaho, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon regions. “Jim exhibits an unmatched level of commitment in all aspects of his role with Buck Knives,” said Chris Bourassa, national sales manager for Buck Knives. “We have seen a 50 percent increase in territory sales over the past two consecutive years. This type of growth is not only impressive,
At SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Buck Knives presented Jim Thompson of J. Harding Associates with its Sales Rep of the Year award for 2013.
it is essential given the economic changes we have witnessed over the last few years.” ICOBA manages international distribution and is controlled by Tom Ritter and Mike Silverberg. The agency exceeded its 2013 sales targets. “Our current sales force, as well as our dealers and distributors, have served as great catalysts for the growth of the company,” said Bob George, director of sales and marketing for Buck Knives. “Tom Ritter and Mike Silverberg fully understand the mechanisms of a global economy, and together they employ the flexibility necessary to continue Buck’s extraordinary growth outside of U.S. borders.”
3/12/14 4:26 PM
Beretta USA To Locate New Manufacturing Facility in Tennessee Beretta USA officials, along with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, announced recently the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin
Industrial Park. Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, will invest $45 million in a state-ofthe-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.
Beretta is the world’s oldest manufacturing dynasty, operating since 1526 in Italy. The company is privately owned and operated by members of the 15th and 16th generations of the Beretta family. Beretta supplies quality sporting and self-defense firearms to consumers worldwide. The company manufactures the U.S. Armed Forces M-9 pistol, the standard sidearm of U.S. soldiers since 1985. Beretta will make firearms at the new Gallatin plant from both their sporting and tactical product lines. “Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies, and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” said Governor Haslam. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the number-one location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. I want to thank the Beretta family for their substantial investment in Tennessee and the 300 jobs they’ll create in Sumner County.” “From the moment we started to consider a new location, Governor Haslam and his economic development team did an excellent job,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, executive vice president.
Umarex USA Announces 2013 Sales Awards Dunkin Lewis has been named 2013 Sales Rep Group of the Year for Umarex USA. “The aim of the award is to recognize the rep group who goes the extra mile for their customers,” says Neil Dickinson, Umarex USA national sales manager. “Dunkin Lewis is made up of individuals who are always doing their best for their clients, as well as Umarex.” Jonathan Ginsburg of Dunkin Lewis was named 2013 Dealer/Distributor Sales Rep of the Year. “Jonathan has a tremendous knowledge of the product line and provides outstanding service to his customers,” says Dickinson. “Sales numbers and new accounts are only a part of what this award represents. Jonathan looks to the long-term relationship of his accounts, and everyone appreciates and recognizes his work ethic and focus.” Kevin Roberson of Schooler & Associates was named Key Account Sales Rep of the Year for the second time in a row. Dickinson says, “Once again, Kevin maintains a strong, strategic, focused commitment to Umarex.”
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CTC Recognizes Marketing Partners During the recent SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crimson Trace recognized several business groups that have helped the company continue to grow the lasersighting industry while aiding in fulfilling the company’s high customer-service standards. These groups have received special thanks and plaques to recognize their important contribution to the business philosophy of Crimson Trace and its employees. Included in the recent recognition were: ➤ Elite Retailer of the Year: Midway USA ➤ Online Retailer of the Year: Optics Planet ➤ Regional Dealers of the Year: Bullseye Guns &
Lipsey’s was honored as Crimson Trace’s Distributor of the Year.
Ammo in Little Rock, AR; ATP Gunshop and Range in Summerfield, SC; Bill’s Gun Shop & Range in Robbinsdale, MN; Shooter’s Outpost in Hooksett, NH; Silver Bullet Firearms in Wyoming, MI; Metro Shooting Supplies in Bridgeton, MO; H&H Gun
Range in Oklahoma City, OK; Federal Way Discount Guns in Federal Way, WA; and Shedhorn Sports in Ennis, MT. ➤ Sporting Goods Retailer of the Year: Cabela’s ➤ Distributor of the Year: Lipsey’s “Crimson Trace is honored to work with these many businesses and to partner with them to better serve our customers and America’s gun owners,” said Jeff Goddard, Crimson Trace’s director of sales. “Every person behind the counter or on the phone within these businesses helps Crimson Trace continue as the leader in the laser sight industry.”
Traditions Lauds H&G Marketing
Traditions Performance Firearms has named H&G Marketing as its 2014 Rep Group of the year. The award was given in Las Vegas as part of the 2014 SHOT Show activities. Traditions president Tom Hall said during the presentation, “I am honored to present the Rep Group of the Year award to H&G Marketing for all their hard work and support of Traditions in 2014. H&G has been with Traditions since 1992, and over the years has helped to grow Traditions while providing excellent sales support for customers.”
3/12/14 12:58 PM
Crosman Announces Official Opening of European Distribution Crosman Corporation will open a new logistics facility in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of a strategic initiative to accelerate order fulfillment to the company’s growing customer base in Europe. The European distribution center (EDC) represents a part-
nership between Crosman Corporation, Crosman Europe, and DSV Denmark. According to Phil Dolci, Crosman president and CEO, the new partnership is intended to provide transcontinental logistics to the European market with an exten-
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Adjustable fber optic sights on rife barrels only. Cheek piece in photo included only with 3-barrel Trifecta models.
sive and compliant selection of products. “Fulfilling orders faster and customizing products to satisfy EU countries’ regulation requirements are the cornerstones of our expansion strategy,” says Dolci. “Enhancing that service to our European customers is a priority, and we expect this facility to be a significant contributor to our international growth efforts.” “Driven by the need to obtain longterm licenses that weren’t available in previous logistics arrangements, we made the decision to establish Crosman Europe as a legal entity in Denmark,” says Martin Stelling, general manager of Crosman Europe. “It’s the affiliation with DSV Denmark that really sets us apart, as DSV is one of the largest global transport and logistics companies in Europe. With DSV handling warehousing and outbound logistics to all EU customers, our capacity to react quickly and offer customized products is greatly enhanced. Crosman Europe enjoys an excellent position now that we are able to deliver at speeds the market requires. To my knowledge, we are the only foreign subsidiary in our industry that has invested the time and money to do this the correct way. I am proud to represent a company with such high standards of corporate governance.” The Crosman Europe headquarters are within 20 kilometers of the DSV Denmark EDC. Compared to shipping from the U.S. or China, the new EDC saves significant time and money. “Customers should expect deliveries within one week, while some destinations will enjoy deliveries in as little as one to two days,” says Dolci. “Our objective has been to deliver the best choice of products in the least amount of time.” Crosman’s European distribution will save customers time and money.
3/12/14 12:58 PM
HSS Introduces Contour Harness for Women The new Contour harness from Hunter Safety System (HSS) has been designed to look more like a fashionable garment than a harness, yet it meets or exceeds all safety standards set by the Treestand Manufacturers Association. The fashion-forward design of the Contour features HSS’s own Comfort Cool liner and breathable fabrics. A frontzipper design and three separate Right-Fit zone stretch panels allow the vest to fit comfortably over light or heavy layers while accenting the contour of the wearer. The Contour’s lightweight, brushed micro-tricot shell is quiet and weather resistant, and provides just the right amount of warmth when the temperature drops. With four magnetic closure pockets, the Contour provides plenty of space for items to be stored securely, yet with easy access when needed during the hunt. Two of the four pockets are lined with soft fleece to keep hands warm and comfortable on colder days. The new 1 ¼-inch waist buckle, side webbing, and tether make the Contour harness lightweight while maintaining all strength standards for safety. Power Lock buckles ensure that leg straps can be easily and securely locked throughout the hunt. The overall weight of the Contour vest is just 2.5 pounds. Available in Realtree Xtra with teal-blue piping that accentuates the design, the Contour has two sizes: S/M, which fits torso sizes from 28 to 39 inches and weights from 100 to 175 pounds, and M/L, which fits torso sizes from 37 to 53 inches and weights from 175 to 250 pounds. SRP: $139.95. (877-296-3528; huntersafetysystem.com)
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3/12/14 12:58 PM
U P D AT E
FROM THE NSSF
B Y S T E V E S A N E T T I , N S S F P R E S I D E N T/ C E O
FROM THE NSSF
All Aboard for the Industry Summit Your attendance is good for you, good for all
very other year for the past 18 years, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has convened an Industry Summit—except for 2013, when it was canceled due to the press of events surrounding the tragic shootings in Newtown and the ensuing legislative battles at the federal, state, and local levels. In 2014, we will reconvene for a thorough and introspective look into where we’ve been since the 2011 Summit—and where we are headed during the next two years—and you’re invited! It will be held from June 9 to 11 in Springfield, Massachusetts, home to America’s oldest small-arms arsenal, which has armed American servicemen and -women since the late 1700s. Prior participants will tell you that the free and open discussions and brainstorming sessions have produced many programs that have successfully helped increase hunting and shooting sports participation during the last two decades. First Shots, Families
their, ideas to make the hunting and the shooting sports attractive to an entirely new set of players. Our surveys show that newcomers are simply waiting to be asked to participate in affordable, accessible, attractive, and safe ways to begin. It’s up to all of us to furnish them the means to do this. We won’t have to re-invent the wheel or proceed in a haphazard fashion. We have assembled a highly distinguished lineup of speakers and expert panelists to help guide our thinking and planning, including: EMILY MILLER: Washington Times senior editor, award-winning journalist, and author of Emily Gets Her Gun
Surveys show that newcomers are simply waiting to be asked to participate in afordable, accessible, attractive, and safe ways to begin. It’s up to all of us to furnish them the means to do this. Afield, the Scholastic Clay Target Program, and many other examples of innovative ways to attract and retain participants in the activities we all love have emanated from NSSF Industry Summit meetings. However, the success of all the summits—including our upcoming one—depends heavily on participation by members of the shooting sports community and their constructively critical suggestions. Again, that means you! Here’s your chance to have industry members and representatives of groups involved with the entire spectrum of our industry take a critical look at your, and
JOHN ROBINSON: Distinguished speak-
er and author whose focus is introducing inner-city youth to outdoor recreation KATIE PAVLICH: Fox News contributor, news editor at TownHall.com, and awardwinning editor of Fast and Furious JEREMY GUTSCHE: Expert on innovation and new trends, award-winning author, and founder of the world’s number-one trendspotting website, TrendHunter.com JONAH BERGER: Best-selling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On They’ll be joined by a host of others throughout our industry and from organi-
zations specializing in our evolving demographic and social environment. A key topic will be attracting groups with little or no cultural experience with the responsible recreational use of privately owned firearms as a part of the American fabric. After all, most of our immigrant ancestors were denied such rights by oppressive governments back in “the old country.” Yet we have become part of the great American tradition of individual firearms ownership; the Summit will help us learn how to pass this on to the current wave of new Americans. We will showcase Models of Success for you to consider when formulating what can work for you in helping all of us achieve this worthy goal. I hope we’ve piqued your interest. Registration for the NSSF Industry Summit is now open to individuals representing hunting and shooting sports organizations, conservation groups, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, and the greater firearms and ammunition industry. We’re proud to sponsor it as your trade association, in furtherance of our mission to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Registration for qualified attendees can be done via the NSSF Industry Summit website, at nssf.org/industry/summit. We hope to see you in Springfield. (Tease: They have a fabulous firearms museum there!)
President and Chief Executive Officer, NSSF
16❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/11/14 6:10 PM
U P D AT E
B Y PAT R I C K S H AY, D I R E C T O R , R E TA I L D E V E L O P M E N T
R E TA I L E R T O O L B O X
Store Security Tips for peace of mind
pring is not just for the proverbial cleaning. It is also a good time to review your store’s security devices, procedures, and training. Start with the exterior of your store and take a few minutes to evaluate security from that outside perspective. Is there adequate lighting for all sides of your building? Have bushes or other materials grown up or been piled near windows, doors, or walls, giving would-be thieves a place to hide? If you have security cameras, are they facing critical entryways? Take a few minutes to check any bars on windows and doors for weakness or signs of tampering. If staff who had access to security codes or keys have left your business, have you changed the code or locks since they’ve departed?
Once inside, take a few minutes to review the coverage of your motion detectors. Do they cover the store’s exterior? If you share an interior wall with another store, do you have motion detectors to cover that wall? How about your ceiling? We’ve heard of numerous break-ins by thieves cutting through interior walls and even cutting holes in ceilings. Make sure those potential entryways are covered. Take a few minutes to test your store alarm. Test the backup alarm, too. Store security is a partnership among you, your systems, and your employees. Take time to review your store security procedures with your employees. Do they know the proper procedure to timely report a theft or loss to local law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)? Do you have a procedure in
Another facet of store security consists of building a strong relationship with local law enforcement agencies. Most police departments will conduct a security assessment of your retail location at no cost. place if your store is robbed while your employees are in the store? Do you allow your employees to carry firearms, and if so, what is the policy if the store is being robbed? All of this should be covered routinely with employees. You need to balance meeting your customers’ needs and granting them access to firearms. Some firearms thefts have involved customers pocketing handguns while the salesclerk is distracted. You can help reduce the risk of this happening by limiting the number of firearms that you allow your employees to have out of their display area at
one time. Do you have such a policy? The importance of taking inventory cannot be overstressed. An inventory will allow you to determine if any firearms are missing. It also lets your employees know that you are checking their work. Another facet of store security consists of building a strong relationship with local law enforcement agencies. Most police departments will conduct a security assessment of your retail location at no cost. Furthermore, the police will be able to keep you alerted to crimes in your area and advise you of the best tactics to defeat the
thieves’ efforts. Invite the police to use your parking lot to fill out their paperwork at night. If you have a password-protected Wi-Fi network, provide the code to the officers patrolling your neighborhood so that they have an extra incentive to park in your lot. Offer a discount to law enforcement officials so that they frequent your store. Word will likely get around that the police are often in your store, serving as an additional deterrent to would-be thieves. Review your procedure at closing. Do you lock up all the firearms in a more secure location, such as gun safes
or lockable cabinets, at night? Transferring those firearms after closing and before opening to your customers can be a cumbersome duty, but in the case of a break-in, such precautions dramatically reduce the chances that thieves will be able to get at them. Once you’ve done the final walk-through of your store and set the alarm, do you have procedures in place to determine who responds if the alarm is triggered? If you are on vacation, do you have someone designated to answer alarms, firearm trace requests, etc.? If a robbery or theft were to occur while you were gone, does this designated person have a solid understanding of your procedures and ATF’s reporting requirements? Hopefully your store will never be in this situation, but it’s always best that you, your staff, and your equipment are prepared. For more information on store security, please see ATF Publication 3317.2 “Safety and Security Information for Federal Firearms Licensees” and the NSSF website (nssf.org/retailers).
APRIL/MAY 2014❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚17
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U P D AT E
Straw Purchases Targeted in Three Cities
s part of its ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reminded the public in and around the cities of Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit and Flint, Michigan, that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases. Billboard ads for the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program were purchased by NSSF in key locations in the Chicago, Detroit, and Flint markets, with the message, “Buy a gun for someone who can’t, and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Whatever you do… Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.” In addition, two
NSSF and ATF orchestrated a media blitz for the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program in three cities, advertising on billboards and radio.
radio ads ran in rotation more than 4,500 times in those markets. More than 32 million total media impressions were delivered in February and March via the public-education program. “Don’t Lie” was formed as a cooperative program between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and
ammunition industry. The program helps ATF to educate firearms dealers on how to better be able to identify and deter straw purchases. The effort was also developed to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the crime of purchasing a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so. The public campaign drives home the message that anyone attempting an illegal firearm pur-
chase faces a stiff federal felony penalty of up to 10 years in jail or up to $250,000 in fines. To legally purchase a firearm, a person must be able to pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check and fully comply with state and local laws. When a criminal knows he cannot pass this check, he may try to induce a friend or other person to make
the purchase on his behalf, which is known as a straw purchase and is a felony. “Federally licensed firearms retailers are on the front line every day working to prevent illegal purchases,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “This warning can help deter an illegal purchase long before a person steps into a store.” In the retailer segment of the “Don’t Lie” program, Federal Firearms Licensees are provided with a kit that contains a training video and brochure for storeowners and staff, as well as displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases. Learn more about the program at dontlie.org.
Poll, Report Show Gun-Control Sentiment and Violent Crimes Down Findings of a Gallup poll and FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate that the number of Americans who favor stricter gun laws has decreased, as has the number of violent crimes. The recent Gallup poll shows that the percentage of Americans favoring stricter gun laws fell seven points in 2014, from 38 to 31 percent. The country’s overall dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55 percent, a 4 percent rise from 2013 figures. That increase stemmed largely from the 16 percent of Americans who say that gun laws are too strict, more than triple the 5 percent recorded by Gallup last year. “Americans have become more
Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with our gun laws. The number of those who want less strict laws has tripled. dissatisfied with gun laws over the past year, but this is attributable to a greater percentage who say gun laws are too strict, rather than not being strict enough,” the poll concluded. “Americans’ changing views could set the course for future gun law debates and legislation.” Preliminary figures from the FBI
Uniform Crime Reports indicate that, as a whole, law-enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first six months of 2013, compared with figures reported for the same period in 2012.
18❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/12/14 10:49 AM
Sunday Hunting Legislation Passes in Virginia The National Shooting Sports Foundation hailed the bipartisan accomplishment of both houses of the Virginia General Assembly for passing legislation that will allow hunting on private property on Sundays in the Commonwealth. In the final step in the legislative process, the State Senate, by a 28-to-11 vote, passed the repeal of the old 19th century blue law preventing Sunday hunting. The House of Delegates passed the bill in January by a vote of 71 to 27. The bill was signed into law on March 5 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The legislation allows Sunday hunting on private land during designated hunting seasons by hunters who
have the written permission of landowners. “The Senate vote is a real accomplishment for sportsmen in Virginia, but it is equally a victory for the economy of the Commonwealth, which will see a more than $120 million annual direct economic benefit as the result of hunters going afield on Sundays,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We congratulate the legislators and we thank our partners from all the hunting and sportsmen’s organizations and those in the wildlife management organizations that worked to encourage citizens to contact their delegates and senators in support of this legislation.”
Two Added to NSSF’s FFL Compliance Consulting Team
wo experts in regulatory compliance have joined the team of NSSF FFL Compliance Consultants who are available to retailer members for training audits and constructive review and advice on any deficiencies they might uncover. Joining other former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) executives and managers on the consulting team is Audrey Stucko, who had 36 years of experience with ATF. She is a former deputy assistant director. “I look forward to working once again with the industry on maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements,” she said. “Education is the best road to a successful compliance program.” Also coming on board is William “Bill” Napier, LPC,
Bill Napier is the first nonATF member of NSSF’s FFL Compliance team.
the first non-ATF veteran to join the team. Napier, instead, for more than 18 years, served in the retail outdoor arena with responsibility for industry compliance with ATF requirements and firearms-related investigations. He has more than 30 years of experience in not only ATF compliance, but also in retail management
and loss prevention, serving as site manager, corporate manager, and director of compliance and loss prevention for small and growing retail chains as well as Fortune 1000 companies. “NSSF is extremely proud to offer the expertise and experience of Stucko and Napier to retail members,” said Patrick Shay, NSSF’s director of retail development. “Having another former ATF deputy assistant director join the consultant ranks is truly a testament to the commitment NSSF has to the retailing community. In addition, Napier’s expertise in loss prevention and security brings another dimension of value to the retailer’s membership.” To learn more about the FFL Compliance Consulting Program, visit nssf.org/
PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP, NO WAITING
In conversations during the past few months, an overwhelming majority of new NSSF retail members have asked NSSF about its Premium Retailer Membership, requesting the one-year NSSF membership eligibility requirement to participate in this program be removed. NSSF has listened to its members and has removed the 12-month waiting period. The Premium Retailer Membership is an enhanced membership that offers a number of exciting features, including several educational and instructive benefits; a training audit conducted by former ATF and industry officials; all of NSSF’s compliance training materials; a research pack; and access to a 24-hour ATF compliance hotline. Furthermore, in the event that ATF takes action against one’s license after becoming a Premium Retailer Member, an unlimited legal defense fund is available. The Premium Retailer Membership provides peace of mind in knowing that if you follow the training and use the support provided, your trade association will be there to defend your license and your livelihood. For more information on NSSF Premium Retailer Membership, visit nssf.org/ premium. To upgrade your existing membership to a Premium Retailer Membership or to join NSSF as a Premium Retailer Member, contact NSSF Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 203-426-1320.
© 2014 National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. SHOT Business®, SHOT Show® and all other trade names, trademarks and service marks of the National Shooting Sports Foundation appearing in this publication are the sole property of the Foundation and may not be used without the Foundation’s prior express written permission. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
APRIL/MAY 2014❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚19
3/12/14 10:50 AM
U P D AT E
NSSF Delivers Value
ONE MEMBER’S EXPERIENCE
Range Action Specialists
I RANGE ACTION SPECIALISTS
f your range is facing challenges that need immediate attention, if you wish to become more proactive with Best Management Practices, or if you’re seeking professional guidance on range design and improvements, NSSF’s team of Range Action Specialists is here to help.
Member: Duane Hesketh Jr. Club officer and member Organization: Salem Trap and Skeet Club Gervais, Oregon Ken Lewis
You can learn more at nssf.org/ranges/ras. Duane Hesketh Jr. is a spokesman for one club that capitalized on this exclusive NSSF member benefit.
Description of Business: “Salem Trap and Skeet Club is a nonprofit, publicbenefit organization that operates a shotgun shooting-sports facility. We provide a safe place to learn to shoot trap, skeet, sporting clays, and 5-Stand sporting clays on a recreational basis, as well as for competition.” Experience with NSSF Range Action Specialists Program:
“The club engaged one of the NSSF’s Range Action Specialists, Scott Kranz with URS Corporation of Portland, Oregon, to develop an Environmental Stewardship Plan for the club. The project was completed in a thorough and timely manner and has provided the club with a blueprint for the best practices required to ensure the sustainability of the facility into the future.”
Value of NSSF membership:
“Membership in NSSF has not only benefited the club by providing a reference to qualified personnel to help with our rangemanagement programs, but also in the financial support to offset some of the costs of the development of our Environmental Stewardship Plan. We would not have been able to execute this effort without the help of the NSSF! Furthermore, we use The Range Report as an information source for our facility, and we read Government Relations News, Bullet Points, NSSF Member News, and other NSSF electronic communications to keep informed. These are the best sources of information available on our shooting sports.”
Interested in NSSF Membership?
Promoting the great American tradition of hunting and shooting is what the National Shooting Sports Foundation is all about. For our members, it’s more than a sport; it’s a way of life. Join the more than 10,000 companies and individuals who have already discovered that NSSF Delivers Value! To learn more, visit nssf.org/join or call 203-426-1320 for Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of member services (email@example.com) or Samantha Hughes, NSSF member services coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
20❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/12/14 11:02 AM
BY CHRIS DOLNACK, NSSF SR. VP AND CMO
U P D AT E
YO U S H O U L D K N O W
2014 SHOT Show Was a Hit
Records were broken at the Las Vegas trade show
et the record show that the 2014 SHOT Show was the most successful in its 36-year history. And with an extended contract that it be housed at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show’s future promises continued success and satisfaction. The 2014 SHOT Show was another one for the record books—record attendance, record sales, and record industry unity. The show also registered record satisfaction with attendees and exhibitors alike, with 75 percent of exhibitors completely or very satisfied, and 96 percent of exhibitors extremely or very likely to exhibit in 2015, according to our post–SHOT Show survey. Exhibitor satisfaction is confirmed by the record 96 percent of exhibit space renewals put under deposit onsite, and the 98 percent renewal rate we have reached within a month of the show’s conclusion. Ditto for attendees, with 82 percent completely or very satisfied and 86 percent extremely or very likely to attend the 2015 SHOT Show. Total attendance increased 8 percent, to more than 67,000, in a year where we re-qualified attendees in the redbadge-buyer category, requiring documentation to verify purchasing authority. All in all, the 2014 SHOT Show was a testament to the passion and enthusiasm that retailers, exhibitors, and industry associates share for our industry and the SHOT Show. It’s rewarding to know that all of our time and effort paid off, and you can rest assured that we’re working on making the 2015 SHOT Show even better. The 2014 SHOT Show was very fortunate to have so many dedicated sponsors contribute to this record-setting year. For many of our sponsors, this is not the first time they have stepped up. Outdoor Channel marked its fourth consecutive year as the show’s Pinnacle Sponsor, the highest sponsorship level associated with the show. Outdoor Channel’s unprecedented support of the
2014 SHOT Show demonstrates the company’s unwavering commitment to the outdoors industry and all that the industry’s premier trade show stands for. Daniel Defense returned this year with some creative elements, including Venetian and Palazzo room key cards and pub-style tables near food vendors to facilitate quick meals and short meetings—not to mention the Daniel Defense–branded staircase in the main entry area to the Sands Expo. Thanks, too, to Caracal for providing the shuttle service between the neighboring hotels and the show, saving many the time and money associated with taxi lines. GunBroker.com continued to be an extraordinary partner of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the SHOT Show, sponsoring the NSSF Member Lounge and Business Center. GunBroker .com is a great example of an NSSF member that makes the extra effort to help grow hunting and the shooting sports. Also returning was ArmaLite as the title sponsor of the SHOT Show mobile app.
The 2014 SHOT Show was another one for the record books— record attendance, record sales, and record industry unity.
This show-navigation technology enriches the SHOT Show experience for buyers and attendees, and we greatly appreciate ArmaLite’s support in this effort. Ram Trucks returned as the official truck of SHOT Show for the third year running. Smith & Wesson provided generous support as the Platinum Level Education Sponsor for the industry’s largest professional development opportunity for firearms retailers—SHOT Show University. NSSF, owner and sponsor of the SHOT Show, extends its sincere thanks to all of our sponsors that contribute to its enduring success. We anticipate continued industry support in 2015. With the Sands being an ever-improving venue, NSSF has contracted to stage the show there through 2018, adding another year to its agreement. The Sands recently completed a $37 million renovation that significantly upgraded its facilities, including redesigning and remodeling the lobby and adding escalators, new carpeting, Wi-Fi hotspots, food outlets, digital signage, and other amenities that have enhanced the trade-show experience for exhibitors and attendees. The 2014 SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world. The show generates more than $73 million for the Las Vegas economy, and, more relevant to NSSF and its members, the SHOT Show provides your industry’s trade association with 80 percent of the revenue it directs during the year to promote, protect, and preserve that very industry. Next year’s show will be held Jan. 20–23. See you there. APRIL/MAY 2014❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚21
3/11/14 6:13 PM
BY SCOTT BESTUL
Selling laser sighting technology’s new wave n the current, frenetic firearms market, it can be a challenge to separate a legitimate hot-ticket item from the latest flash-in-the-pan. But even the biggest technophobe has to admit that laser sights belong in the first category. Pioneered (and proven) by the military and law-enforcement sectors, laser sights have shown their worth to a broad swath of shooters, and retailers smart enough to stock them have enjoyed solid—if not spectacular—sales.
Not yet riding the laser wave? Well, now is a perfect time to jump on, as Crimson Trace, a perennial leader in this category, has just introduced its first green laser sights. CTC’s Mike Faw offered the following selling points for retailers interested in maximizing sales in this exciting product line. RELIABLE TECHNOLOGY “Customers need to know that laser sights have had a solid history with military and law enforcement,” Faw says. “Sure, they look cool and have that Star Wars vibe, but they go far beyond that and can make shooters better. And the systems we offer are not only simple to operate, but they’re also very durable and reliable.” ➤
MAXIMUM ACCURACY ➤ Achieving accuracy is one thing at the target range, where shooters can maintain perfect form. It’s tougher in the
is the RailMaster Pro, a light/laser combination that fits on any Weaver base. It’s getting a lot of attention from MSR shooters. Our most popular sights are those for the Model 1911, the most popular handgun in history with American shooters. But we offer an extensive product line; our sights fit 150 different models.”
Crimson Trace offers an online training system for your staff.
high-adrenaline moments common in hunting or personaldefense situations. “Once the sight is set up and sighted-in, the bullet goes right where you point the laser,” Faw says. “It doesn’t matter how twisted up your body is or how strange the shot angle. Plus, many people simply find it more intuitive; focusing a dot on a target is easier for them than aligning a front and rear sight.” THE ULTIMATE TEACHING TOOL ➤ “One of the neatest
things about a laser sight is its ability to diagnose flaws in your shooting form,” Faw says. “If you see that laser jump off the target as you pull the trigger or respond to recoil, you can take the necessary steps to correct your form and shoot better. Lasers have the potential to simplify and shorten the learning curve, especially for new shooters.” GREEN IS GOOD As noted, laser sights have been around for a while, but virtually all commercially available models have thrown a ➤
red beam. “Some people simply see green better than red, especially in bright or sunny conditions,” Faw notes. “And offering the green laser allows retailers a chance to sell a new product to someone who already owns a red laser. Green is new, it’s exciting, and customers respond to that.” VERSATILITY Trace has been a leader in laser technology for many reasons, but Faw says one of the most important is its long product line. “Our newest model
USER-FRIENDLY most of us feel capable enough to operate a smartphone. But admit it: Technology is semi-scary, and won’t this stuff break? No worries, says Faw. “We offer an excellent online training program for employees so they know the basics of maintenance and installation. CTC lasers also feature ‘instinctive activation,’ which means as soon as your hand is on the grip, the laser comes on. That means no fumbling around for a switch in a tensionpacked moment.”
How Accurate Is “Accurate”?
Of course, a laser looks sexy, and thanks to computer games and movies, astounding accuracy seems as simple as point-and-shoot. Crimson Trace’s Mike Faw says that the analogy is not far off target. “We sell lasers to fit anything up to, and including, the modern equivalent of a bazooka. Military testing proved that accuracy on in-range targets with that weapon went from 30 percent to 96 percent simply by installing a laser sight. So that’s another selling point: Who wouldn’t pay a couple hundred bucks to shrink their groups by 60 percent?” Looking sexy, of course, is still up to you. 22❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/11/14 6:06 PM
T H R E E P R E M I U M L I N E S . O N E L E G E N D A R Y B R A N D.
/// VICTORY // CONQUEST / TERRA
Now available in 50 mm.
MODELS 3-9x50 (PLEX AND RZ6) 4-12x50 (PLEX AND RZ8)
New 50 mm TERRA Riflescopes now available at your authorized dealer. TERRA riﬂescopes combine German design with the performance features you’ve come to expect from ZEISS. In addition to best-in-class image quality and clarity, comfortable ergonomics and robust construction, the four new 50 mm models increase light transmission and your hunting day. Your adventure begins at www.zeiss.com/sports. facebook.com/CarlZeissHuntingUS
3/10/14 11:45 AM
In the Red
Ruger’s new and improved Red Label
he Ruger Red Label over/under is back. Introduced in 1977, the O/U had a cult following among hunters until it disappeared from the Ruger catalog in 2011. The Red Label was a solid, American-made O/U, handsome in its unadorned way, and many hunters loved it. The new Red Labels have been redesigned and are better than ever. Just as important, they are still made in Ruger’s Newport, New Hampshire, factory. Your customers who insist on buying American will be eager to get their hands on the reborn Red Label.
Priced well below a Browning Citori, the Ruger Red Label is a very attractive choice for the price-sensitive customer who wants to step up to an over/under.
EOTech’s Holographic Weapon Sight is superior to red dots: • Large ring around the dot gets you on target faster • The smallest dot in the industry provides better accuracy • Square window offers the largest feld of view
transform your arsenal.
For more information, visit www.eotech-inc.com/products/sights/xps2
Communications Company © 2013, L-3 EOTech
3/11/14 6:04 PM
B Y P H I L B O U R J A I LY
Others will take more convincing, so here is the scoop on the gun. On the outside, the new Red Label looks almost identical to the old models, with a matte walnut stock and stainless receiver. The side ribs between the barrels are gone—they used to be owner-removable—but the biggest changes to the gun have taken place on the inside. Ruger engineers went over all the internal parts and simplified (or in some cases, eliminated) them, all with the goal of making the gun better, simpler, and less expensive to produce. For instance, the old receivers were made in two pieces and welded together; the new receiver is one piece, a change that both saves money and results in a more consistent finished product. One of the most important changes involved slimming the barrels. Whereas the old Rugers crossed the line from “solid” to “clunky” in terms of handling, the new guns have thinner, lighter barrels that make them noticeably livelier than the old guns. The new barrels are also overbored and have lengthened forcing cones to help patterns and reduce recoil somewhat. The new guns also have a soft Pachmayr recoil pad. They retain the mechanical trigger
and pivoting barrel-selector safety of the original Red Labels, and felt very familiar in my hands when I picked up the 12- and 20-gauge last fall. The 12, incidentally, debuted in October 2013, while the 20 will be available later this year. Despite their weight (almost 8 pounds in 12-gauge, 7 pounds in 20), the old Red Labels had a reputation for recoil. But these guns kicked no more than my Browning Cynergy, which I shot side by side with the 12-gauge for comparison purposes. Both Red Labels shot very flat, which is good for a field gun, and I had no trouble hitting with them. After a session at the skeet field, I took the 12 hunting and bagged a pair of wild roosters with it on my first outing. The Red Label has its flaws. It’s still a heavy gun, especially in 20-gauge. Fit and finish are not up to the level of a Browning or Beretta, but the gun no longer competes at the Browning/Beretta price point. The best news about the Red Label is this: Ruger has passed the cost savings along to the customer. The gun used to list for $1,800, yet even with the addition of a semi-soft fitted nylon case and Briley choke tubes, it now lists for just $1,399. (203-259-7843; ruger.com)
It’s Made in the USA— ’Nuff Said
Many shotgunners believe the Ruger action feels loose or sloppy. It’s not. Explain that the gun is designed to open easily. The action is very strong. Bill Ruger knew what he was doing when he designed a gun. Custom gunmakers have used the Red Label action as the basis for .375 H&H double rifles. Point out the mechanical trigger. Unlike Berettas and most Brownings, the Red Label has a mechanical trigger, so it doesn’t need recoil from the first shot to fire the second. That means in the event of a misfire, you can still shoot the second barrel. Compare this to the old Red Label. This new version is livelier, has a better recoil pad and chokes, and comes with a fitted case, yet it costs much less.
THE RISE OF A CHAMPION.
From ﬁrst-ever USPSA Female Grand Master to inﬂuential spokeswoman to inspirational role model, Jessie Duff is the industry’s most coveted shooter—and she’s just getting started.
3/11/14 6:04 PM
he population of feral hogs is growing in many parts of the U.S. So is interest in guns and calibers well suited for tougher hides and armor-like shoulders, and in unique hunting styles associated with popping hogs. I went looking for a good hog gun at stores near Birmingham, Alabama. I asked about models that chambered substantial rounds, were durable, and had compact barrels and iron sights—or were at least drilled for a scope. Not too much to ask, right?
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
➤ I was always told it was rude to take a call when you’re talking with someone. This clerk never learned that lesson. In fact, he took two, one for each ear. I was left in the middle waiting. Thankfully, he dispensed with them after a few minutes and was back to answering my
hog-gun questions. He did have relevant suggestions. He pointed me to a Savage Hog Hunter and rattled off a few features. I asked if it had iron sights, and he said no. Then he handed it to me, looked at the gun, and said, “Oh, actually it does.” He also suggested a Remington 700 SPS Tactical because it was a shortbarreled bolt-action
that chambered .308. “Remington’s answer to the Savage Hog Hunter,” he said.
➤ After a lengthy wait, I walked toward an idle clerk who reluctantly asked if I needed assistance. I described to him what I was after. “Just about any gun in .308 would
do,” he said, seemingly annoyed. He handed me a Ruger Scout and grabbed a phone call. A few minutes later he hung up. To my surprise, he didn’t come back to finish our conversation, but instead wandered off to talk with other customers. I lingered a bit but soon realized he wasn’t interested in seeing if I had any more questions. So I
wandered off myself.
SOUND OF SILENCE
➤ At this smaller maand-pa shop, a clerk came right over to me. I stated my business and she—standing before a wall of long guns—told me she didn’t know anything about hunting. She shouted over to anoth-
A hog hunter gets the “treatment” from Alabama retailers
26❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/11/14 6:15 PM
2/28/14 1:20 PM
UNDERCOVER SHOPPER er clerk about what gun she should recommend. Without looking up from a computer, the second clerk said, “Any 5.56 would do the job. Heck, I know some guys who kill tons with a .22 Mag.” I asked about bolt-actions specifically. He said, “Then a .223.” And then there was silence. I looked over his shoulder and
said, “Oh, you have a Savage Hog Hunter.” He grudgingly acknowledged this and said he had them in .223 and .308. The woman did her job and handed me the .308 version. I asked her about a tab on the gun, and she said it was a bolt release, which was correct. I handed the gun back, thanked her for her time, and decided
not to press my luck.
ON THE WALL
➤ I had to wait only a minute or two for help at this larger box store. I asked a young clerk about a good gun for hog shooting from blinds, while spottingand-stalking, and with dogs. He asked another clerk if .243 or .30/06
would be good. They agreed .30/06 was best. The kid showed me a Savage Trophy Hunter with a Nikon ProStaff scope, and said he recommended it because “it’s accurate and doesn’t cost much.” He handed me the gun in .243. I asked him if he had the .30/06 in stock, and he said, “Yeah, it’s on the wall.” But he didn’t bother to get it
for me. He said a .308 might also be good. I asked him about modern sporting rifles for hogs. I guess I didn’t look like I had any personal disposable income because he decided to show me what he called “the cheapest”—a $1,299 DPMS in .308. “But they’re real expensive and not as accurate as bolt guns,” he said.
How’d They Do? Customer Service
I understand everyone is busy, but the clerk took two calls while talking to me. Really?
The clerk seemed to have a grasp of what makes a good hog gun and a good hog load.
Had more than 300 guns, including two Savage Hog Hunters and two Remington SPC Tacticals, both models displayed in .223 and .308.
I had to flag down a clerk. He gave me an option, but then the phone rang and apparently my time was up.
The clerk didn’t give me much time to figure out if he knew much.
Plenty of guns here, but I only got my hands on one, through no fault of my own.
I was promptly served at this small, busy store. At least one clerk was friendly.
The first clerk said she knew nothing about hunting, even though the store had a wall of hunting long guns.
There were a lot of appropriate guns, although the clerk didn’t know which ones to show me.
The kid didn’t know much about hog hunting or good calibers.
The store had lots of guns. But at one point the clerk said he would have recommended a Remington 700, if they had any.
I was served promptly, and the clerk was friendly.
SCORING SYSTEM: Outstanding:
It’s a sad commentary that a store with a distracted clerk was the best of the bunch, but it was the least painful to visit among the four. Overlook the phone faux pas, and the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds ekes out a win. Although spread thin behind a longgun counter, the clerks knew hunting and had a lot of firearms on hand to talk about. Bass Pro Shops 5000 Bass Pro Shops Blvd. 205-702-7500 basspro.com
28❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
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CONTRIBUTORS: CHRISTOPHER COGLEY, DAVID DRAPER, DAVID MACCAR, PETER B. MATHIESEN, ROB STAEGER, PETER SUCIU, AND SLATON L. WHITE
april | may 2014
The 2014 SHOT Show was a roaring success—a complete sellout that attracted more than 67,000 industry professionals. SHOT Daily, produced by the editors of SHOT Business, set a new record for size—378 pages over four days. This special section, taken from the pages of SHOT Daily, is a brief look at the broad range of products and personalities that is the SHOT Show.
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AMK’S OUNCE OF PREVENTION
The new SIG Sauer P320 is designed to provide an enhanced level of safety not found on most modern service pistols.
april | may 2014
SIG SAUER DEBUTS NEW SERVICE PISTOL
SIG Sauer used the 2014 SHOT Show to introduce a new polymer-framed service pistol designed in conjunction with law enforcement professionals. The P320 provides an enhanced level of safety not found on most modern service pistols. Unlike its competitors, the P320 does not require the operator to pull the trigger nor use a special tool to take down the firearm for cleaning or routine maintenance. “One of the main points that kept coming up with trainers was the risk of accidental discharge inherent in today’s striker-fired service pistols,” says director of product management Jeff Creamer. “Unless they require a special takedown tool, other pistols require the operator to pull the trigger before disassembly. Classic SIG Sauer pistols have never needed this, and we made sure the P320 didn’t either.” Featuring a modular grip frame and removable fire-control assembly pioneered by SIG Sauer, the P320 is customizable to any hand size or duty
requirement, from full-size to concealed carry. Slide and barrel conversions allow the user to change calibers and barrel lengths as well. Moreover, the P320 will be immediately available in 9mm, .40, and .357SIG. The .45ACP will be available later in the year. With a partially pretensioned striker, the P320 has a crisp trigger pull with a quick, pronounced reset right out of the box. The P320 comes in two trigger variants—a standard trigger and a tabbed safety trigger for specific LE clients. Featuring SIG Sauer’s internal safety system, the P320 has no external safety or decocking lever to snag or hang up on the draw. A thumb safety version will be available for LE needs. SIGLITE night sights are standard, and the reversible magazine release makes the P320 completely ambidextrous. “Whatever the requirement— patrol duty, competition, time at the shooting range, or concealed carry— the P320 can handle it,” says Creamer. SRP: $713. (603-772-
Typically, the only people carrying medical kits on a hunt are medical professionals and people who’ve been hurt in the field before. But it’s a lesson that doesn’t have to be learned the hard way. “If you display outdoor first-aid equipment on the shelves, people can connect the dots pretty easily,” says Frank Meyer, cofounder and chief marketing officer at Adventure Medical Kits. “People realize that accidents can happen, and that medical help won’t be right around the corner.” Meyer says that it typically doesn’t take much for hunters and shooters to come to that realization. “You don’t have to carry a huge line, but if you display a few essentials, those products will
sell very well,” he says. One such essential is AMK’s new Advanced Clotting Gauze, impregnated with kaolin to help quickly stem the flow of blood from even a serious wound. It’s compact, lightweight, and designed to be easy to use. AMK debuted another survival essential at SHOT Show: the new SOL Sport Utility Blanket. The Sport Utility Blanket is made of a copper vacuum-metalized woven polyethylene, which reflects back 99 percent of body heat. It features a muted, discreet color so that hunters can use the blanket as a makeshift blind without worrying about a reflective surface alerting game. (800-3243517; adventure medicalkits.com)
3/12/14 2:03 PM
WOLVERINE RIDGE BOOT OFFERS INNOVATION AND COMFORT
SHOT BUSINESS HONORS INDUSTRY STALWARTS At the Bonnier Outdoor Group breakfast at the SHOT Show, SHOT Business honored industry leaders: Bass Pro Shops, Chain Retailer of the Year; SportsSouth, Distributor of the Year; CorBon/Glaser, Company of the Year; Game Masters of Quincy, Illinois, Independent Retailer of the Year; Colonial Shooting Academy, Richmond, Virginia, Range of the Year; Randell Pence of Sturm, Ruger, Sales Representative of the Year; and Mark Malkowski, president of Stag Arms, Person of the Year. In addition, the Bonnier Outdoor Group Special Achievement Award was given to NSSF president Steve Sanetti.
“The SHOT Business awards recognize and acknowledge leadership in the shootingsports industry. Simply put, the winners of these awards represent the best in this business,” said Slaton L. White, editor of SHOT Business. Mark Malkowski, president of Stag Arms, was awarded the Person of the Year award for vigorously defending the firearms and shooting industry in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut last year, but he gave most of the credit to the NSSF. “I wouldn’t have received this award if it hadn’t been for the NSSF. Those guys deserved to be up there with me,”
Malkowski said. “They were the ones that supported me tirelessly throughout the whole experience.” NSSF got special recognition of its own when White presented Sanetti with the Bonnier Outdoor Group Special Achievement Award. “All I did this year was to tell the truth about this great industry, and you all make that easy to do,” Sanetti said. “I’m just so proud and honored to be in the forefront, helping tell the story about the industry and get the word out. We represent a great bunch of Americans doing constitutionally protected things in a responsible way. And we’re going to keep on doing that.”
The new Ridge utilizes a unique support system.
april | may 2014
Bass Pro Shops won the Chain Retailer of the Year Award. Bass Pro Shops founder John L. Morris (center) accepted the award at the Bonnier Outdoor Group Industry Breakfast.
▶ The Ridge hunting boot combines performance and customizable comfort with Wolverine ICS+, an all-new integrated support system with multi-density layers. This combination works together to provide firm support when carrying a heavy load or protection from impact and bruises on rocky terrain while delivering a solid foundation for stability. Paired with the small, lightweight nitrogen-filled disc in the heel, the technology lets the wearer adjust to an ideal comfort setting by selecting from cushioned, firm, inner, or outer support. The Ridge also has a waterproof leather and 900-denier polyester upper that offers lasting durability and protection, keeping feet dry and comfortable. (800545-2425; wolverineboots andshoes.com)
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ZEISS GLASSES MAINSTREAM TERRITORY
april | may 2014
When industry veterans Mike Jensen and Todd Pearson arrived at Zeiss in 2011 (as president and vice president of sales and marketing, respectively), they were presented with a rare opportunity—transform the company. It was a challenge they both embraced wholeheartedly. “Zeiss traditionally has been a brand that consumers aspired to own. But, normally, most would place financial reality over aspirations and settle for a product in a realistic price range,” says Jensen. “There is nothing wrong with a serious optical user who wants the best and can afford to reach into his or her pocket and drop $2,500 for a Zeiss Victory HT binocular. But top-shelf products like this simply do not create a revenue stream large enough to support a retailer’s business.“Retailers
Zeiss Conquest (top) and Zeiss Victory (above) represent the pinnacle of the line, offering superb optics that command premium prices. need traffic flow,” he says. “Manufacturers carry the responsibility to drive consumers into the retail stores. At the same time, we have to give the retailers a product that is desirable to a broad range of consumers and provides a good margin. Mainstreaming a top-shelf product brand accomplishes this. Zeiss now offers retailers binoculars and riflescopes in three classes of products that range from $349 to $2,500.” The three distinct product lines are Terra, Conquest, and Victory. “Each has its own swagger,” Jensen says. “The Terra line is the
introduction to our premium line. With a 2–7x42, a 3–9x42, and a 4.5–14x42 offering, it is ideal for any hunter in the U.S. Starting at $359, the Terra features a 1-inch tube, extraordinary light transmission, and a multiple reticle option. The Conquest line is pure hunting. It offers five-times zoom in a sleek, 1-inch tube. The Victory line is the best of the best. Handcrafted in Germany, these scopes are each a work of art. They feature a 30mm tube design and offer the highest light transmission in the industry—more than 95 percent through
the entire scope.” Jensen notes that as the company developed its new portfolio, the decision was made to clean up the distribution model. As a result, Zeiss pulled all new Conquest products from distributors. Doing so offered selected retailers protection from over-distribution, which, in turn, protected their margins. “We split our products by customer groups,” he says. “Conquest and Victory are now dealer-only product lines. Terra is offered to all channels of trade and gives the independent retailer the opportunity to
offer a broader selection of products all wrapped up under a luxury brand. In essence, we are using Terra as the driver, and retailers can offer a full line of Zeiss Victory, Conquest, and Terra, a boutique selection of products, to a much larger consumer group. It’s working.” Ultimately, Jensen says, the long-term health of the industry revolves around the independent retailer. “We thrive within an industry where we are blessed to have a constitutional amendment that drives consumers into licensed retailers to transact
firearms,” he says. “No other industry has such a gift. My opinion is that it’s a moral obligation, a responsibility of all top industry executives that run top brands to support this bloodline. Consumers aspire to own a top-shelf brand. They enjoy showcasing their purchases to their friends, and they carry a sense of pride when they use the products. Retailers now have a boutique brand that has gone mainstream, and they are selling more product at all price points because of it.” (800-4413005; zeiss.com/ sports)
ROCKY INTRODUCES PRO HUNTER PARKA Rocky has expanded its Pro Hunter apparel collection to include the Pro Hunter Convertible Parka, a versatile vest/parka for fall 2014. The outer jacket features 200 grams of MicroPoly Tricot, an athletic-inspired performance material, and a Rocky Waterproof shell with a removable hood. The reversible vest includes 150 grams of Thermolite insulation and DWR rip-stop construction. Rocky SIQ technology in both parts of the garment controls odor at the microbial level. Together, the jacket/vest combination has a total of nine pockets for utility in the field. Available in Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak Infinity in sizes S to 3XL. SRP: starts at $229.99. (740-753-1951; rockyboots.com)
3/11/14 6:28 PM
RICOH SEES BEYOND THE FOG
The recent morphing of digital imaging and optics has produced landmark performance changes in the tactical, law enforcement, and outdoor sporting arenas. At the 2014 SHOT Show in January, Ricoh/ Pentax released a new generation of visual aids with a digital binocular that can literally see through fog. The NV-10A Enhanced Binocular allows the user to see video images in real time of objects immersed in heavy fog with clarity and detail. The live digital view looks more like a slightly grainy HD video with fine detail, yet there is none of the ghosting that’s often associated with night vision. Using digital Atmospheric Interference Reduction technology, the NV-10A takes an image through a complex set of algorithms with remarkable detail and depth. “This will be a game changer for marine transportation, security observation, wilderness rescue, and even the big-game hunter,” says David Bennett, channel manager, industrial optical systems, of Ricoh Americas Corp. SRP: Around $4,000. (pentaxsportsoptics.com)
Last summer, hunting pack manufacturer Badlands, based in Jordan, Utah, launched a redesigned website. The guiding idea for the new site, according to marketing director Blake VanTussenbrook, “was to make it user-friendly, visually pleasing, and basically the best thing since sliced bread—or internal-frame hunting packs.” VanTussenbrook believes the site is the best way Badlands can show the consumer that it is committed to providing firstclass products and customer service. “It is important for us to provide a seamless avenue for customers to order directly from the website,” he says. “We are continually improving the buying experience by adding
additional pictures, videos, user manuals—anything possible to educate the consumer about the product line. Visitors to the website will see icons throughout the site that will educate them about the cutting-edge technologies and topof-the-line materials we use in all of our products.” But the manufacturer’s efforts in this arena move past the company’s website to embrace all forms of social media. “The social media boat has been at sea for several years now, and if you aren’t on it, you are missing out on opportunities to not only be seen worldwide but also opportunities to educate, interact, and have fun in general. Badlands currently has solid followings on all the major social
media sites. We use our Facebook page as our main source of social media interaction, and it has been very fulfilling to have an avenue in which we can interact in almost real time with fans, customers, buyers, retailers, and potential consumers who are still shopping for the gear that will best work for them.” It’s no secret that many retailers
in the shooting sports/hunting industry are behind the curve when it comes to using social media to reach their customers. VanTussenbrook says that more retailers need to embrace it. “Social media involvement is only a must if your goal is to do everything in your power to succeed and grow,” he says. “Badlands
Badlands packs are prized for design quality, as well as their ability to withstand hard use.
makes a practice of doing a Facebook shout-out to all the new dealers we set up. I am continually amazed at the number of shops I try to link to in my shout-outs that don’t have a Facebook page. The wonderful thing about social media is that all it takes is an Internet connection, some time, and a little creativity. We run contests, post blogs, answer questions, post pictures, and link to other sites we enjoy or work with. The possibilities are endless. We are in an age of ‘link clicking’ because it is so convenient. Why not have your links out there in as many places as possible?” VanTussenbrook says that the company’s investment in social media has really paid off. “Badlands is coming into its 20th
year, and it is continually recognized as the leader in hunting pack technology,” he says. “How did we build that awareness? It started by continually producing the best product available and showing the consumers that we care about their well-being and their feedback. As the age of social media has progressed, it has opened up new opportunities for brand awareness.” “The key to social media is to have fun with it, tell people why you are the best at what you do, and enjoy the experience. Only when all of those items come together will you see an increase in customer loyalty. Take care of the customers and they will take care of you.” (800269-1875; bad landspacks.com)
april | may 2014
SPREADING THE WORD, DIGITALLY
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WIRELESS MADE SIMPLE
april | may 2014
Bushnell Outdoor Products has introduced a breakthrough in trail camera technology—the world’s first carrierapproved plug-and-play wireless trail camera. Available in June, the new Trophy Cam Wireless allows hunters to place the trail camera anywhere within reach of the AT&T network and within seconds receive thumbnail photos of game via e-mail or text. High-res images are saved to the web portal (wirelesstrophycam.com), where users can download images or change camera settings remotely. Darin Stephens, Bushnell senior product manager for hunting gear and accessory products, said, “Previously, because first-generation wireless trail cameras were not carrier-approved, implementation of them was like a tour through the suburbs of hell that involved purchasing a separate SIM card and wireless plan, as well interfacing the
36 SHB0514_SHO.indd 36
SIM card with both the camera and the wireless network. By contrast, Bushnell partnered with AT&T from the get-go to deliver unmatched convenience and ease of use.” Right out of the box, the Bushnell Trophy Cam Wireless is ready to use; a prepaid AT&T data plan provides users with unlimited thumbnail images for the first 30 days. Free smartphone apps are available for iPhone and Android devices, and Bushnell offers affordable data plans, including pay as you go, to complement a variety of scouting tactics. The Trophy Cam Wireless features an 8MP camera that offers .6-second trigger speed and 720p hidef video, as well as black, no-glow LEDs and an improved hyper-passive infrared sensor that captures game activity up to 50 feet away. Time-lapse technology records images or video at preset intervals, while simultaneously capturing live trigger events. The Trophy Cam Wireless is compatible with SD cards up to 32 GB. SRP: $599.99. (800-423-3537; bushnell.com)
Bushnell’s Trophy Cam Wireless is ready out of the box, including a prepaid AT&T data plan that offers unlimited thumbnail images for 30 days. Information stamps on every image include date, time, moon phase, and more.
FABARM EXPANDS SHOTGUN LINEUP Fabarm is fast becoming a familiar name to American shotgunners. Although the Brescia, Italy, gunmaker’s wares have been imported on and off to the U.S. for years, Fabarm never made its mark in the U.S. until Guerini USA bought the company in 2011. Guerini/ Fabarm is now Italy’s second-largest shotgun maker, behind Beretta, and the Fabarm line has grown to have its own separate space on the back side of the Guerini booth, where it displays its distinctive line of semi-autos and O/Us. Fabarm guns occupy a lower price point than do Guerinis. They have a contemporary European styling of their own, while sharing the excellent fit and finish and value that is a Guerini hallmark. The Velocity XLR 5 semi-auto, the “new” Fabarm’s first gun, is a good example. Stocked in attractive walnut with an engraved receiver and angular European lines, it has gained a foothold in the competition semi-auto market dominated by Beretta. A highend gun with a price tag of $2,500 and
up, it comes competition-ready out of the box, with a rib that adjusts for point of impact, adjustable comb and stock spacers, a trigger that adjusts for length of pull, and even weights to alter its balance. An oversize bolt handle and an enlarged bolt release button are standard as well. The internal parts of the Velocity are beautifully polished, which may partly explain its smooth operation and ability to cycle anything you put in it, down to reloads 7/8 ounce and lighter. It’s a soft shooter with any ammo as well. Last year Fabarm added the Axis and Elos over/ unders. The Axis is a 12-gauge target gun in trap and sporting clays configurations. I have shot the Sporting Clays gun and been impressed with its unconventional good looks and shootability. New for 2014 will be an Axis with a versatile rib design that lets it cross over from trap to skeet to sporting clays. The Elos is a hunting gun in 20and 28-gauge in both steel and lightweight alloy frame configurations in a Field and Deluxe grade. This year Elos will be available in a reduced-length model for smallerstature shooters. (410-901-1260; fabarmusa.com)
Fabarm’s Velocity XLR 5 semi-auto has an engraved receiver and an attractive walnut stock. An oversize bolt handle is standard, as well.
3/11/14 6:28 PM
Canaan Heard beams with pride when he speaks of his grandfather, legendary caller and call maker Paul “Dud” Dudley Faulk. Heard is determined to keep the family legacy alive, and he believes the modern market still has room for small American companies adhering to tradition. Over the years, Faulk’s, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has expanded its game calls beyond just waterfowl. The early calls were fashioned from cane by Heard’s great-grandfather, Clarence “Patin” Faulk, and hunters from all over south Louisiana would do whatever they could to get their hands on one. To this day, the inside of the main workshop looks like a museum dedicated to call making. The one concession to modernity? The company now produces waterfowl, deer, elk, turkey, small-game, and predator calls, all
A BIG MILESTONE
The Gerber 39 Series Pocket Knife is made of 420HC steel and features a sleek nickel-plated handle.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Gerber Legendary Blades, but don’t expect an overload of nostalgia and a big retrospective. “This year is an opportunity to showcase the rich heritage of our company, and we’re not going to spend it talking too much about the past,” says Joe Mattson, Gerber senior brand manager. “The foundation of Gerber is American-made innovation. What we’re thinking about today is what the next 75 years are going to look like. We’re also asking what we’re doing to honor our roots by continuing that tradition.” One thing Gerber is doing is releasing the new 39 Series of knives that are
In some ways, the Faulk workshop is a museum of call making. of which are still made by hand. “It means a lot to me to carry on my family legacy,” Heard says. “People around the world know us, and that means a whole lot, because we are just a small Louisiana company making calls in a traditional manner.” (337-436-9726; faulkcalls.com)
designed to pay tribute to 1939—the year Gerber was founded. The knives in the line carry a classic, elegant, nofrills look that gives them a distinctive 1939 feel, but they’re crafted with the materials and expertise that Gerber has spent 75 years developing. The 39 Series Sheath Folder and the 39 Series Pocket Knife are both made of 420HC steel with a nickel-plated zinc handle that’s smooth and sleek. The Sheath Folder has a 3-inch blade with dual thumbstuds and comes with a traditional leather sheath, while the Pocket Knife has a 2.8-inch blade with a classic nail nick for opening. “As we developed the 39 Series, we did so not as a single 75th anniversary set but as a greater collection that will evolve and build over time,” Mattson says. “Our vision is an array of timeless products that honor Gerber’s deep American-made heritage while pointing to our bright future ahead. “As an American brand and leader in the industry for 75 years now, we are incredibly proud of where we’ve come from, and ever-grateful to those who have been a part of this journey along the way,” Mattson says. “As we celebrate that heritage, our focus is on the future as we continue to evolve from a knife and tool company into a global gear manufacturer.” (800-950-6161; gerbergear.com)
WARMTH WITHOUT WEIGHT In the last two decades, PrimaLoft insulation has earned dedicated followers across the spectrum of performance outdoor enthusiasts. The company’s progress from a maker of specialty military clothing and insulation to a supplier of the mountaineering community has given it serious wilderness cred. The company’s primary product, a non-bulky synthetic-down insulation, has proved that it will keep hunters warm even when it gets wet. As a result, PrimaLoft has developed a fanatical following of backcountry hunters who don’t have the luxury of heading to the truck or the house to dry out at the end of the day.
In 2012, PrimaLoft separated from its large conglomerate parent, Albany International, to concentrate on its consumer marketing goals. For 2014, the company will bring major new product to market with fresh new looks to reach out to outdoor consumers and retailers. “We do a great job of communicating with manufacturers such as Sitka,” says Dave Newey, global marketing manager for PrimaLoft. “They understand our products and history. Consumers and even retailers, however, don’t always know that the products they have use our insulation.” This year’s array of new product includes three grades of waterproof down blends, base layers, and fleece fabrics. New marketing and social-media plans are afoot as well.
april | may 2014
AN ENDURING FAMILY LEGACY
Sitka’s new Blizzard Jacket uses PrimaLoft technology.
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Green lasers are easier for the human eye to see, especially in bright daylight. CTC’s new green lasers now use less battery power.
april | may 2014
S&W’S SNUBBY .460
▶ There’s something comforting about holding a pistol that feels like you can use it to club a bear to death if necessary. The new snubby Smith & Wesson .460 XVR Performance Center revolver is a real hunk of steel—but it’s a very well-balanced and comfortableshooting hunk of steel. Lots of shooters shy away from large-caliber handguns for a variety reasons. Seeing a little 2.5-inch barrel on a handgun that previously sold as a long-barreled hunting handgun is a tad disconcerting at first. But, we must venture forward to learn our limits, so I stepped up to the range as others shook their heads and said, “No thanks.” This is the first short-barreled offering of the S&W X-Frame .460XVR with an unfluted cylinder, bringing the revolver out of the field and into the self-defense arena. The contoured synthetic grip is just plain comfy. More important, all the rounds I shot on NSSF’s Media Day were right on target. (smithwesson.com)
CRIMSON TRACE GOES GREEN It’s no secret—“new” sells. And no matter how good a product is, if the manufacturer can give it a new twist, it will appeal to a whole new consumer or revive interest in the product among consumers who have already purchased an earlier version. But what about when that new twist is more than just a marketing hook on which to build hype? What about when it actually delivers tangible benefits—benefits that could even make a life or death difference—and at the very least provides buyers with a true array of choices that will deliver what they promise? That’s exactly what Crimson Trace has done as it continues to expand its line of green laser sights to fit more firearms models and meet more shooters’ needs. The company came out with 13 new green laser sight models in 2013, and more are slated for 2014, according to Michael Faw, Crimson Trace’s media relations manager. So what’s the benefit?
BENEFITS OF SEEING GREEN Faw says besides being newer and more appealing from a retail standpoint, green lasers do offer tangible benefits to
the shooter. Most significant, they’re more visible in daylight than traditional red lasers. And because not every defensive situation will occur at night (nor, certainly, many training sessions on the range), that green laser can make it easier to acquire a target and fire accurately regardless of the lighting situation. Our eyes pick up green better than they do red, and for that reason it helps the shooter acquire the target that much faster. In situations where milliseconds count, this can be huge. And people who are color-blind—typically an inability to see either red or green—can now select a model they can see. Traditionally, green lasers have been more sensitive to extreme temperatures, particularly heat, because it takes a larger infrared laser diode that must be converted down to produce a 5-megawatt green light. Why 5 megawatts? Because the Food & Drug Administration limits the level of output a visible laser can deliver to 5 megawatts or less. So when a green laser, which requires a larger diode to produce the green color, is channeled down to 5 megawatts,
the excess energy is released as heat, and that heat can cause a laser to occasionally shut down.
A LONGER LIFE FOR MODERN GREEN This year, Crimson Trace is introducing a green laser that operates on four batteries and runs longer than other traditional green laser models. Thus, green laser technology is catching up to the more common red lasers and removing concerns that red laser purists may have had about making the switch. Whether talking green or red, however, Faw notes that because a laser allows for instant aiming ease and accuracy for new and even experienced shooters, a laser sight should be part of the discussion with every new handgun sale. And educating consumers about the benefits of lasers is a key component to increasing the average consumer handgun purchase. For that, Crimson Trace offers retailers a host of point-of-sale displays and tools so shoppers can actually test the benefits of a laser-sighting device in the store prior to purchase. (800-442-2406; crimson trace.com)
3/11/14 6:28 PM
BENCHMADE’S HUNT LINE DEBUTS AT SHOT For 25 years, Benchmade has been delivering knives to military, law enforcement, and emergency services personnel that consistently exceed expectations for quality and functionality. So naturally when the Oregon City, Oregon, company decided to create a new line of knives for hunters, it set its sights high. “We wanted these knives to be the ones that hunters would reach for every time they’re in the field,” says Matt Elliott, marketing manager at Benchmade. “We knew the only way to do that was to design these knives around the customers’ needs, not our own.” To find out exactly what those needs were, Benchmade surveyed more than 5,000 hunters from all areas of the country and all walks of life. Elliott says that the four things that nearly every one of them mentioned as the attributes that were most important to them in a hunting knife were edge retention, durability, ease of sharpening, and corrosion resistance. “When we started this
new line, we started with the goal of absolutely making sure we incorporated all of those attributes into every knife in the line,” he says. The solution they came up with for accomplishing that goal was to use CPMS30V steel. This steel is created through an extensive process that involves turning metal into a powder, then reforming it into useable steel through a specialized heattreatment process. Elliott says that while other hunting knives use the same kind of steel, every company’s heat-treatment process is different, and that the specific process used makes a huge difference in the quality of the finished product. “Our heat-treatment method meets the highest standards in the industry,” Elliott says. “By using the CPM steel and taking advantage of that heat-treatment method, we were able to create blades that provide the best blend of all of the things the hunters we talked to said they were looking for in their knives.” (800-8007427; benchmade.com)
learned that when you start from the beginning, with a completely new brand, you must concentrate on every detail. His concentration continues to be evident in all of his products. “Sportsmen of the past were forced to use heavy, rough-ittype gear. What we do for the sportsmen of today with the Browning Camping line is combine a nostalgic brand symbolizing quality and heritage with innovative, modern-day design principles. Browning Camping is performance-oriented for ease of use, durability, and, most importantly, customer satisfaction,” Leesmann says. The camping segment is a crowded one. Brune knows that in order to set the Browning brand apart, it will take consistent effort at raising the bar and bringing quality, functional products to market that the average sportsman can afford and count on for seasons to come. He plans to do just that. One major advantage Browning Camping has over other general camping equipment brands is Brune’s experience in the demanding mountaineering market. Gear failures at 14,000 feet and above can be life-threatening, so Brune is trained to produce gear that will never let you down. (800-344-2577; browningcamping.com)
april | may 2014
The new hunting knives use heattreated CPM-S30V steel to achieve edge retention and durability.
The iconic Browning Buckmark logo is one of the most recognizable symbols in the outdoor industry, and over the years, it has come to represent so much more than the firearms it first adorned. The Buckmark is a badge of honor for serious sportsmen. Browning Camping gear lives up to the high expectations the Buckmark has come to represent. Browning Camping is a rapidly expanding line of camping and hunting equipment that sportsmen will appreciate. The logo may spur initial attraction, but the technical attention to detail found in all Browning Camping equipment will keep customers coming back for more. The Browning name is licensed by ALPS, which stands for Active Lifestyle Products and Services. Dennis Brune founded ALPS Mountaineering in 1993. This family business has grown to include three additional brands—ALPS OutdoorZ, Cedar Ridge, and Browning Camping. All of the brands are built on the same guiding principle of producing quality products at fair prices. “Browning Camping is successfully gaining market share by supplying quality, affordable gear, and exceptional customer service after the sale. We pride ourselves on the products we produce and the service we provide for our customers. If we built it, we stand behind it,” says marketing manager Justin Leesmann. Prior to founding ALPS, Brune spent 15 years working with top mountaineering brands and learning how to market performance-oriented equipment. It wasn’t until he started his own business, though, that he completely understood what it meant to focus on producing affordable, quality gear. He
The Browning Phantom blind is a good example of the company’s build quality.
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THE FOOD GAME
Camp Chef’s pellet grill is new for 2014. The popular Smoke Vault boasts a wide temperature range.
Game cooking has never been more popular than it is now. The locavore movement has made game cooking hip, and TV shows like Meateater and Sporting Chef bring game cooking to a mass audience. These days, outdoor cookware sells—and not just to the car camper anymore. “We have seen a huge increase in sales and usage among the hunting and fishing crowds,” says Steve McGrath, marketing and public relations director of Camp Chef. Founded in 1990 in Logan, Utah, Camp Chef has become a leader in the outdoor cooking field. Its original product, the PRO 60 stove, won Consumer Digest’s Best Buy award, and the line has grown to include smokers, stoves, grills, pizza ovens, cast-iron cookware, and more, along with a full line of accessories. I had a chance to see the Camp Chef product line in action on a duck hunt in Utah in the fall. In the hands of a good cook, Camp Chef gear is capable of magic, even when you set up a mobile kitchen on a levee in a state WMA. We dined on breakfast pizza, biscuits, pastries, and smoked tri-tip, all cooked to perfection outdoors. New for 2014, Camp Chef enters the popular pellet grill category. Pellet grills use compressed sawdust pellets as fuel, allowing them to function as both ovens and smokers. It’s easy to regulate temperature, and the grills are safer than gas and charcoal models, as well. The new PG24 I saw in Utah has all-digital controls that maintain consistent cooking temperatures. Asked for a selling point, McGrath says, “The biggest difference between our grills and the competition is that ours are easier to clean. Most other grills have to be disassembled and cleaned of ash with a Shop-Vac. With ours, a simple pull of a lever dumps the ash into a removable cup.” (800-783-8347; campchef.com)
april | may 2014
LACROSSE EXPANDS AERO TECHNOLOGY
Last year LaCrosse came to market with new technology in neoprene footwear. The line featured a new last and notably different materials from those employed in the AlphaBurly line of the last decade. The investment in the patent-pending AeroForm technology boots paid off handsomely, as LaCrosse retailers responded positively to the new line. For 2014, the company is expanding the boots to a premium-priced wader line, as well as to an all-new workboot segment. The AeroForm technology uses
a liquid-polyurethane-over-neoprene construction. The procedure starts with a flexible, insulating neoprene sock that has a liquid rubber seal on the back seam to add durability and provide the flexibility needed to easily slide the boot on and off. In the final step, this liquid polyurethane is injected into a mold around the sock to form a highly durable but lightweight insulating shell that surrounds the foot up to the shin. “This is a perfect boot bottom to update and expand our waders,” says Ryan Cade, product
line manager for LaCrosse and Danner. “These bottoms are particularly flexible, yet they offer support
and protection from sticks and the cold.” The new AeroForm Wader has a
AeroForm technology uses a liquid-polyurethane-over-neoprene construction that helps create a durable but flexible boot bottom.
5-millimeter-thick neoprene upper constructed with a protective outer layer that resists thickets, sticks, and other sharp objects. Designed with cold-weather hunting in mind, the AeroForm wader boot-foot bottoms will sport 7-millimeter thickness for warmth. In the workrelated category, two new black boots with yellow trim—called the AeroGuard—will incorporate the same basic design while adding workplace safety specs, with the choice of 3.5-millimeter or 7-millimeter thicknesses for cool or
cold conditions. The boots will come in two heights—12 and 16 inches. An adjustable ankle gusset allows for larger calves, and the integrated shank adds support for workers who spend long periods of time on ladders. “For many of the same reasons the new line works as a wader, it’s also fantastic for worksite wear,” Cade says. “Think of it as a light supportive glove that keeps your foot dry and safe.” SRP: $350, AeroForm waders; $139.95, AeroGuards. (800-323-2668; lacrossefootwear .com)
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SHOT Daily: Why was the acquisition of PocketToolX so important to the future of Leatherman? BR: PocketToolX was the seed that grew into an innovation tree for our company. Through that small acquisition, we were able to justify an investment in a flexible manufacturing cell that we are now calling the “Custom Cell.” That cell is built around the philosophy that we can profitably make products or features for products in runs as small as 1,000 pieces. This really opens the door for us in trying new things for our core products that can take us into smaller niches. As we gain experience and success through the small runs, we can, and will, scale the success up with less risk. The barrier for innovation just got a lot lower.
GAVIN HARVEY, CEO, SPORTSMAN CHANNEL
SHOT Daily: Your role as CEO at Sportsman Channel provides you with a unique perspective on the shootingsports industry as a whole. What would you say is the current state of the industry? GH: The passion for shooting and hunting is very deeply held, and our industry leaders are oxygenating growth by recruiting the next generation, eliminating barriers to entry, launching awesome new products, fighting unfair legislation, and utilizing smart media to motivate consumers. What concerns me, as a shooting enthusiast and someone who has spent a career in television, is the relentless blitz of negative disinformation, demonization, and propaganda that is hurled at this lifestyle and the good people who safely and responsibly practice it.
LANE TOBIASSEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CRIMSON TRACE CORP.
SHOT Daily: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry in the next five years? LT: Fighting misdirected guncontrol legislation will always be a challenge because anti-gun forces will never give up on their mission of restricting gun ownership. Fostering positive public perceptions about gun ownership and the role of guns in American life is something I think about a lot. We can’t let negative messages about guns stand unchallenged. If we do, guns will be stigmatized as something out of the mainstream. I also think about the aging demographic of the “typical” gun owner. While we have seen more younger customers (and women) enter the market, we will need to continue attracting younger customers.
ADAM BLALOCK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, WALTHER ARMS INC.
SHOT Daily: When you wake up in the morning, what gets you excited about your business? AB: Aside from the opportunity to be part of a company and a brand that is nearly 130 years old, I love the culture of our industry. This includes work, family, customers, press, and competitors. In the population we call “the gun industry,” you find an extraordinary number of solid people with strong values and fabric. They express deeply held beliefs about family, faith, and work ethics. They are patriots and defenders of freedom. I’m humbled to be a part of that.
MIKE GALLOWAY, VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING, HARD CORE BRANDS
SHOT Daily: Your website seems to take a lot of pains to show the people behind the brand are die-hard outdoorsmen. How important is that image to the success of the company? MG: It’s very important. I want our customers to know that our products weren’t developed by someone who has no idea how they will be used in real hunting applications. Our products are developed by hard-core hunters who are out there using the products. If you believe in something you sell, it comes across to those who are buying the product. We believe in everything we sell because we rely on it to have success on our own hunts. We go to great lengths to develop features that separate us from our competitors.
MARK DE YOUNG, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ATK
SHOT Daily: You have said the shooting sports have gotten a boost from the continuing surge in firearms sales. This surge has also brought new participants into our world, especially women. Will ATK be doing any special marketing to women, and other new shooters? MD: The presence of new consumers in our industry is unprecedented. We want to make sure we serve these new customers. Regardless of why they got here, we want to do our best to welcome them, teach them, listen to them, and help them pursue their respective areas of interest. So, yes, you’ll see some non-traditional marketing and communication efforts that are directed toward new shooters— women included. The diversity of the new arrivals to our industry is great.
april | may 2014
BEN RIVERA, PRESIDENT, LEATHERMAN TOOLS
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april | may 2014
FROM HUNGER GAMES TO TREESTAND
If anyone in America hasn’t ly good for kids who see that Katniss yet heard of Katniss is going out and hunting and bringEverdeen, it’s a safe bet ing food home for the family. The they’re in the minority. The fictional books and movies do a great job of star of the best-selling The Hunger showing that she’s able to provide for Games novels and subsequent blockher family during a tough time, but buster movies has made a lasting they also show that when she’s out in impression on worldwide audiences. the woods, it’s her time to get out She’s also done something very powand relax and reflect. And that really erful for the shooting, hunting, and portrays what hunting, and bowhuntoutdoor industry. ing, is all about.” “There has definitely been a huge Cianciarulo, Lakosky, and many boom in the number of girls and other female hunters have been prowomen who are interested in viding that accurate portrayal of archery,” says Tiffany Lakosky, star hunting through their television of the Outdoor Channel’s Crush shows for years; they are now beginwith Lee & Tiffany. “And it’s really ning to see their hard work pay off as neat to see.” women across the country are really The large number of women and starting to realize that hunting isn’t girls who read about and see the just for men. female hero character excel with a “The misconception is that bowbow and arrow is helping change hunting is so hard, but the reality is mindsets across the country. It’s a powthat it isn’t as scary as most women erful phenomenon that presents a and girls might think it is,” Lakosky unique opportunity not says. “I think we’re just for the archery showing so many girls industry, but for every how much fun we’re The large number retailer and manufachaving hunting, and of women and turer in the shooting, they’re realizing how girls who read hunting, and outdoor much fun they could about and see trade who has been have, too.” the female working hard to get That realization is hero in the more women and girls what’s helping get Hunger Games engaged in hunting and more women and girls is changing the shooting sports. into gun shops and mindsets across “I think the entire archery stores to the country. industry is really doing explore their newly a good job of getting acquired interest, and women involved,” once there, it’s up to Lakosky says. “It really feels like the retailers to turn that budding everyone has recognized that women interest into a lifelong pursuit. are a huge part of the future of this “Have bows set up and ready for industry.” women and girls and kids to try out Which is exactly what Lakosky and so that they know right away that the Vicki Cianciarulo, star of the Outdoor bows aren’t scary. And train your Channel’s Archer’s Choice and The staff on how to help women and kids Choice with Ralph & Vicki, have been find a bow that’s comfortable for telling audiences for years. For both of them so they enjoy using it,” these torchbearers of women’s huntCianciarulo says. “It’s also important ing, the increased interest in archery to have the equipment for all differspurred on by The Hunger Games has ent levels so that when they’re ready been extremely rewarding. to take the next step, you’ll be able to “It’s a great thing to see,” help them get there.” Cianciarulo says. “I think it’s especialAlthough it’s hard to tell exactly
The popularity of The Hunger Games books and films has led to greater enthusiasm for archery and bowhunting among women of all ages.
how far this current craze that’s been fueled by Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games will go, one thing is certain—it isn’t likely to die down anytime soon. “We as an industry need to grab hold of this and keep the wave going,” Cianciarulo says. “We need to keep taking it out into the general public and make sure it isn’t just in our industry. Archery isn’t a scary subject, and we need to make sure we keep going out and showing people that.” Because while the current rage might be focused on archery, it is the broader benefit that Cianciarulo said we all need to focus on. “Guns can be intimidating. Archery is much more intimate, and because of that, it’s a great way to introduce women and youth to hunting and the shooting sports,” she says. “The more we can do that, the more the entire industry is going to benefit.” And when that happens, Katniss won’t be the only one that all of us will have to thank. (909-770-5750; outdoorchannel.com)
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HOLD THAT MARGIN!
With women accounting for more than 35 percent of new customers entering the shooting sports, they represent the single fastestgrowing category in the industry. Women want different products than men, and that doesn’t mean just the same thing in pink. A communicative and friendly staff, plenty of product accessories for discerning consumers, and a clean restroom can go a long way in making a gun shop more appealing to female customers and families. These were among the top tips offered during an NSSF panel discussion on marketing to women. “When a woman enters a store, it is very much like she’s heading to the mall,” said Barbara Baird, SHOT Business contributing editor. “She wants to see bright lights, some displays, and, most important, a clean restroom.” Kate Krueger, host of Talking Guns with Kate, told a tale of a female customer who went to three different stores. Clerks in the first two shops ignored her, and those in the third answered only a few questions before asking if she was in fact a serious customer. “Those are the sorts of things you don’t want to be known for.” The gun store experience should be no different from other shopping experiences, added professional sports shooter Randi Rogers. “Women want to spend some time there, they want to handle the products, and they want to look around. Make your store inviting, with a place to sit, and make it comfortable,” Rogers suggested. “Women like creature comforts.” What is also important is not to ignore female customers, and to treat them no differently than the male customers. That also means not assuming that women are only looking for the most affordable firearm or only interested in smaller calibers. Those assumptions can result in lost sales. Gun shops also should not apply a onesize-fits-all strategy when marketing to women. And while it isn’t possible to stock every option, letting female customers know that items can be ordered can go a long way in instilling customer loyalty. At the same time, don’t push products just to make a sale. Finally, it’s crticial to know that not all women appreciate “pink” products.
Cyndi Flannigan, Walther’s vice president of sales and marketing, spent many years at Leupold & Stevens. When she made the move to Walther last year, she immediately saw one crucial difference between the optics and firearms industries. “In the optics world, distributors have a minimum transaction price, and they pretty much stick to that. But that’s not the case with firearms. Nobody has a unilateral pricing policy.” As a result, retailers may feel pressure to discount heavily to get the sale, which, obviously, lowers their margins. Flannigan says that Walther retailers experience this to a lesser degree because “Walther is in such high demand. We understand the price pressure that some retailers may feel, but we also encourage them to keep margins high by reminding them of the demand for the product, especially when supplies are tight.” Walther supports the retailer in other ways, as well. “We’ve done trade advertising to tell the retailer about ‘the
The iconic Walther PPK remains a popular firearm, one with a nice margin. The German manufacturer regularly invests in retailer support to help maintain and protect that margin. new Walther,’ and our independent reps are also on the road to explain the new company structure and how it will benefit the retailer,” Flannigan says. Flannigan says that Walther will be creating a special retailer website where “they can not only check on their orders, but also access a library with how-to videos that tell you how to break down a firearm as well as instructional howto-sell videos. It’s really important that a retailer know how to merchandise Walther products.” In addition, the reps are working on profiling Walther retailers. “This will give us an idea on how to market to them, whether it’s a larger, more sophisticated operation
or the more traditional independent mom-and-pop.” Retailer support efforts also mean getting Walther personnel behind the counter. “We need to get behind the counter,” she says. “And we intend to bring in retailers for product and sales roundtables as well. It’s all part of an effort to create better partnerships.” Flannigan understands the value of floor traffic, and the value of retailer flyers with “sale guns” to drive that traffic. At the same time, she says Walther isn’t interested in becoming a loss leader. “We hope other companies get to be the loss leader, and when people come in they’ll see the value and performance of a Walther,”
she says. “Given the quality and performance of our guns, the retailer will be able to protect his margin.” That’s good for him, and good for Walther. But even so, Walther understands how price sensitive the customer is these days. That’s why the manufacturer introduced a new price-point PPX (that sells for under $500) earlier this year. “This was new ground for us,” she says. “It’s been very successful, both in numbers sold and the margins reaped by the retailers. It’s an entry-level tool, but we worked hard to keep the quality for which Walther is known.” (479-2428500; walther arms.com)
april | may 2014
MARKETING TO WOMEN
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GETTING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
april | may 2014
SOG MAXIMIZES ITS PRESENCE IN THE OUTDOORS MARKET
SOG is significantly expanding its presence in the outdoors market with new knives and tools designed for various outdoor pursuits, from hiking and hunting to fishing and camping. Among the knives in the new outdoor offering is the new BladeLight line, which includes a hunting, camping, tactical, and two separate fillet knife options. All feature three LEDs on each side of the blade to provide focused illumination when performing outdoor tasks at night. SRP: $105 to $115. Staying true to its tactical roots, SOG is also introducing a selection of assisted-opening knives that feature SOG’s new Flat Spring Assisted Technology. The Zoom line has AUS 8 stainless-steel blades and aluminum handles and includes seven models that range in price from $115 to $145. SOG is also releasing a Flashback Mini for 2014 that’s a smaller version of the knife that SOG calls its Fastest Assisted Opening Knife. SRP: $80 to $90. (888-405-6433; sogknives.com)
The big news from DPMS at this year’s SHOT Show? The next generation LR-308 rifles, known as DPMS GII. DPMS has made considerable changes and upgrades to this rifle line, which has six variations on the GII theme, as part of a three-year R&D project to make this the best allaround .308 MSR possible. If you have used a LR-308 in the past, the first thing you’ll notice about GII is that it is lighter—considerably so. DPMS has shaved off nearly a pound, much of it due to redesigned upper and lower receivers. Improved machining operations on the receivers, paired with a 7075 forging, allows the GII’s upper receiver to be smaller and lighter yet stronger than the current LR-308 design. DPMS also improved the bolt geometry
to relieve stress lines, crafting an 8620 forged monolithic impingement carrier with a Carpenter 158 bolt. The standard GII Carbine weighs in at a nifty 7.25 pounds. Recoil is surprisingly less than the heavier LR-308. That might seem counterintuitive, but as Adam Ballard, product manager for Freedom Group’s MSR lines, explains, the lighter boltreceiver configuration means less weight being driven back at the shooter, reducing the felt recoil. Other GII features include an identical length rear of the mag well to a standard AR15, a significantly reduced profile to the current LR-308 receiver, a steel feed ramp, an improved extractor, a titanium firing pin, an M4 commercial six-position stock, an A2 pistol grip, and a DPMS Glacier Guard hand
guard that is compatible with aftermarket furniture. I recently shot the GII in the 16-inch barrel Carbine and Recon models, as well as the 18-inch SASS and 24-inch Bull models. Retailers might consider promoting the carbine length models as great truck and ranch guns, given their light weight and maneuverability. They would also be a good choice for home-defense consumers who want a nifty rifle that provides .30-caliber punch. The longbarreled SASS and Bull models were long-range accurate and should have many applications in bench and silhouette shooting. “We’ve shot hundreds of thousands of rounds through these rifles,” says Ballard. “We purposely tried to break parts, and we did. We then went back to the drawing board and made those parts better. We’ve made this the best rifle we could.” SRP: $1,499. (800-578-3767; dpmsinc.com)
ATK HONORS BLACK SHEEP SPORTING GOODS Black Sheep Sporting Goods, based in Coeur advertising efforts and its practice of warehousd’Alene, Idaho, added to its long list of accomplishing products to ensure availability have grown its ments when it was named 2013 Overall Dealer of already-strong sales for ammunition and reloadthe Year by ATK Sporting Group. Owner Dave Knoll ing equipment. Meanwhile, the retailer has drafounded the business in 1975 and built it into a fullmatically expanded its accessory offerings, includline outdoors sports retailer that offers firearms, ing Weaver Optics, Outers gun-care equipment, ammunition, reloading supplies, shooting accessoBlackhawk clothing and leather holsters, and ries, apparel, archery gear, knives, Champion ear and eye protection optics, gun safes, and more. and targets. Today, Black Sheep operates a Through these efforts, Black store in Lewiston, Idaho, as well Sheep has shown sales increases as the 65,000-square-foot Coeur in excess of 350 percent for ATK d’Alene location. In addition to products. the 2013 Dealer of the Year title, “These kinds of numbers—and it has been voted “Best Sporting the strategy and hard work that Goods Store” by the Spokane led to them—are exemplary,” Journal of Business for six straight Bruno says. “Black Sheep’s peryears. formance and its dedication to According to Jim Bruno, ATK Black Sheep Sporting our family of brands make it more Goods owner Dave Knoll, than deserving of the Dealer of Sporting Group vice president ATK’s Dealer of the Year. of sales—east, Black Sheep’s the Year title.”
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BENCHMADE GOES INTO GROWTH MODE Benchmade now has an organized law-enforcement division to consolidate its tactical and LE marketing efforts. enforcement and tactical departments into one cohesive Law Enforcement Division. “We’ve been making products specifically for law enforcement and tactical customers for years, but we’ve never had an organized law-enforcement division,” says Lau. As part of the new division, Brian Montgomery will focus on new business development for federal LE sales, and Troy Corum will concentrate on commercial LE business development. Lau says that Benchmade’s goal is to make sure that its customers don’t notice the transition but feel its positive impacts. “So much of this is just taking our existing efforts and consolidating them,” he says. “By creating this division, we can increase the
communication between departments and make it easier to share assets, which is going to ultimately help the customer by getting them what they need more efficiently.” Lau also says that consolidating the lawenforcement and tactical departments into one division will also benefit customers because the new division can more effectively bridge the gap between the needs of the customers and Benchmade’s product development team. And with the growth of that segment of the industry showing no signs of slowing down, it’s a safe bet that Benchmade’s Law Enforcement Division will have plenty of ideas to explore in the coming years. (800800-7427; benchmade.com)
april | may 2014
In case you haven’t noticed, the tactical and law-enforcement segment of the shooting, hunting, and outdoors industry is growing. Rapidly. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the expanding floor space that this section of the industry accounts for at the SHOT Show. One of the companies that has noticed this trend, and is making strategic business adaptations in response to it, is Benchmade Knife Company. “Tactical and law-enforcement sales have always been a big part of our business,” says Derrick Lau, public relations and communications manager for Benchmade. “But it’s definitely grown in recent years, not just for professionals, but also in the private sector with the increasing number of tactical enthusiasts.” To better serve the needs of both the private and public sectors of this growing segment, Benchmade has streamlined its sales and marketing efforts, and combined its law
s Magpul Governor Welcome g Industries to Wyomin HiViz Shootin g Systems mov ing operations to Wyoming #1 in Tax d e k n a R g Wyomin ankings R 4 1 0 2 ’s n Foundatio
Ammunition manufacturer plans to open plant in Wyoming The manufacturing facility will be known as Maverick Ammunition. It will employ more than 50 people and expects to produce 1.8 million rounds a week by the
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3/12/14 2:04 PM
In The Bag
Vacuum sealers help ensure harvested game will taste great on the table
unting and fishing began as quests for food by our distant forebears. And even in the modern age, where we can avail ourselves of processed industrial food by the ton, many of us still prefer to hunt to put food on the table some of the time. A venison steak or elk stew just seems to taste better when you’ve harvested the game yourself.
Well, some of the time. I can remember (not fondly) meals in deer camp, trying to gnaw my way through a tough bit of venison or opening the freezer at home and realizing the meat I had stored months ago was now hopelessly freezer burned. The animals you take deserve better than that, and using a vacuum sealer to store game (and fish) helps ensure that the meals you prepare will please your taste buds. For the past year, I’ve been using a pair of such products: the FoodSaver GameSaver Silver G500
the basic idea is to draw out air and then seal the package. The process inhibits the growth of bacteria that can spoil food, giving it a much longer shelf life. The other benefit is that the stored provisions take up far less space in your freezer—or in a cooler, if you’re headed to camp. Both machines do a good job, but each excels in its own way. The Oliso boasts presized, reusable Vac-Snap bags. To use, press excess air out of the bag before zipping it shut with a device
called a Zip Disc. Select Dry or Moist (a steak or a stew with sauce), then line up an unused circle (for instance, the onegallon bag has 12 circles along the edge, meaning it can be used a dozen times) on the drip tray. Slide the bag forward. The Pro will begin the sealer process automatically, and an indicator light tells you when the process is complete. If you go this way, you’ll need to make sure to line up the sealing plugs on the bags with the sealer (which can take a bit of finesse,
depending on what’s in the bag). In general, the system works fine, though it can get a bit messy when you’re trying to seal stews. You also need to make sure the bag is completely free of food before using it again. The bags are dishwasher safe. Just turn them inside out and place in the washer. Though the GameSaver bags are designed for one-time use, the device lets you customize the size of the bag, if you choose to install a FoodSaver roll rather than a presized bag. I preferred
(SRP: $200; foodsaver.com) and the Oliso Pro VS97A (SRP: $190; oliso.com).
The first thing I learned about these devices is that if you intend to store a quartered elk, neither is up to the task. They’re simply not designed for such “industrial” processing. For that, step up to the FoodSaver GameSaver Titanium model, which can continuously seal 100 bags without overheating. But within the limited confines of my kitchen, the Silver G500 and Oliso Pro work wonders. The concept of vacuum packing isn’t new;
FoodSaver’s GameSaver Silver G500 vacuum sealer allows you to customize the size of the storage bag, if you opt for a FoodSaver roll. Simply size the bag with the built-in cutter and insert the food.
the roll. Here, just pull out the desired length and cut to fit using the machine’s built-in cutter. Seal one end, and you’re good to go. Once the bag is locked in place, a push of a button begins the vacuum process. FoodSaver says the GameSaver Sealing Rolls and Bags have been constructed to resist punctures and tearing. The bags also have a built-in liquidblocking strip, which makes them great receptacles for marinated foods or stews. Which to recommend to your customer? The smaller Oliso is very portable but would not be the choice for big jobs requiring a lot of seals in a short time. Here, the edge goes to the desktop-printersized GameSaver Silver, which can process 25 bags in a row before requiring a cool-down period. As mentioned earlier, if the customer is looking to put a lot of meat in a freezer, you should steer him to the heavy-duty GameSaver FoodSaver Titanium ($450). If he’s looking at smaller tasks, such as grouse, pheasants, and smaller sizes of venison and elk, then the Oliso Pro or the FoodSaver GameSaver Silver will do just fine.
46❚❚❚SHOT BUSINESS❚❚❚APRIL/MAY 2014
3/12/14 12:44 PM
Premium ®.410 personal defense ® Federal Premium ® has shotshell .410 handgun offerings with special features for the best self defense performance. The wad houses all four pellets in our 2-1/2” 000 Buck offering for the best patterns. And with an additional 2-1/2” #4 load, as well as two 3” options (000 Buck and 4 Buck) — Federal has your back. Call for Dealer Information. 800-379-1732
2/28/14 1:27 PM
W H AT ’ S S E L L I N G W H E R E
Hell’s Canyon ID Firearms, Lewiston
This small mountainstate retailer goes to SHOT Show to cement relationships, look for new product, and find niche items that could be hot for internet sales. “I visit all the typical handgun and MSR booths, but it’s the meetings with my assigned distributor reps that can really make my year. This season, I was able to secure multiple SKUs that would have been impossible to obtain unless I was at SHOT in person,” said owner Brian Goodman. Kel-Tec received heavy attention for the new KSG shotgun and KMR30 pistol. Orders were also given to Glock for the new Model 42s. As for long guns, Seekins Precision and Saiga shotguns were
B Y P E T E R B . M AT H I E S E N
added to the inventory.
Guns, AZ Havasu Lake Havasu
Resting near the California state line, and only a two-hour drive to SHOT, this general gun and archery shop keeps 200 firearms in stock. “It’s easy for our staff to go to the show, and we were able to get so much done,” said manager Leo Hunter. Hunter said he spent a lot of time in the Kel-Tec, Ruger, and Glock booths. Rock River and HK also were on his list. Finding ammo on the show floor was also a priority. “One of the reasons we do a better job than other local retailers when it comes ammo is because we use the show to maintain our relationships while staying on the
Midwest Rivers Precision, IL 3Mascoutah
Located a few miles east of St. Louis, this store specializes in contract lawenforcement supplies. It markets nearly 80 percent of sales through a direct internet store. The show was attended by two staff members. Putting a face on manufacturers and looking for new product are the goals in Las Vegas. “We’re a new kind of retailer, and many of our distributors and factories are just getting used to our kind of selling. It’s so important for us to shake a hand and have a quick meeting,” said owner Brian Luncinski. This retailer split its time between handgun suppliers and optics. Optics is a business that is really growing, said Luncinski. While at SHOT, 3 Rivers added new products such as Vortex’s StrikeFire II and its new Red Dot line. Handgun manufacturers also received large orders, especially SIG, Glock, and Smith.
One of the most exciting products found at the show was the Hornady new-technology RAPiD safe. “We sell a ton of safety products online, and we predict this unit will be a big mover for us in 2014,” Luncinski said.
Acme Sports, Seymour Residing
just south of Indianapolis, this shop keeps 700 guns in stock. It sells a mix of Class III, hunting, and lawenforcement inventory. This year, one person attended the show. “For our company, SHOT is actually a buying show. Our purchasing has slowly become more dealerdirect,” said owner Joe Hardesty. LWRC was the big stop this year, with commitments made for new short-barrel SKUs. Other stops included Browning, Kimber, and SIG. The latter was given a large order for the new MPXs and 320s. Now that Indiana has relaxed suppressor ownership, “we are selling plenty of
cutting edge of what’s available,” said Hunter.
Arms NV Maccabe LTD, Reno
Specializing in tactical and lawenforcement retail, this store keeps more than 600 firearms in stock. They offer extensive law-enforcement training and sent two employees to SHOT this year. “We use SHOT as a buying show,” said owner Sharon Oren. “The information gained in meetings with suppliers can be critical to what we’ll stock, and the event keeps us on top of industry trends.” Significant orders were placed with SIG Sauer for the 320 Series and MPXs. Other buys included Tac-Con Triggers, Bullet Safe Armour, and safes from GunVault.
suppressors to people who are concerned about their long-term hearing,” Hardesty said.
Defensor MO Tactical, Valley Park
Located in eastern Missouri, this retailer mixes sales between tactical retail and a custom manufacturing shop. The retailer also has four shooting lanes. “Because we are builders and retailers, the SHOT Show is a can’tmiss event. We are looking for parts, finished goods, and even range supplies,” said owner Joel Fields. This year’s SHOT Show strategy was a mix of hunting new optics and parts for this builder-store. Mag Tactical uppers and lowers received orders, as did Sightmark digital night-vision scopes. Fields spent a lot of time at SIG and ordered MPXs and P80s. Additional buys went to Saiga for 20- and 30-round shotgun drums.
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Atlantic PA Tactical, New Cumberland
Shopping for five locations situated from Boston to New York City, this retailer specializing in law enforcement took eight employees to the SHOT Show. And yet, said owner Sean Conville, “we can never get it all done. We choose our meetings carefully and find there’s always more stops to make than we have time for.” Conville finds the show irreplaceable. “Our time is split between new-product research and strengthening relationships. No distributor show can replicate what SHOT accomplishes for us.” SIG impressed this retailer with new products such as the P320. Glock also received orders for the new Model 42, and Safariland received plenty of attention for the new GLS Series holster. Meanwhile,
Straight, FL Shoot Apopka
With eight retail and range locations throughout Florida, this company sends seven employees to SHOT. “We go with a comprehensive plan and pre-book almost all our key meetings,” said Scott Patrick, law-enforcement manager. Going from meeting to meeting takes a considerable amount of time, so the store uses two employees to pick up catalogs and hunt for new products. Although dealer-direct buys were the norm for suppliers such as Smith and SIG, distributors were also seen. New lines from ATN Night Vision were added, as well as accessory products like FrogLube. “Our time at the show is hectic, however it’s a critical part of how we stock new product,” said Patrick. “It’s also the time when we
staff members spent lots of time hunting for more accessible .22 rimfire ammo. Conville’s retail chain looks to store managers and specialty employees to help find and select new product. Then a procurement specialist actually makes the buy after the show.
Sports, NY Target Glenville
Buying for 3,200 square feet of new retail space, this Albany-area storeowner finds that SHOT is the only place that he can cut deals with new factories. “We are a newer store, so we need new buying programs,” said owner Steve Borst. “I look for factories that are eager for new dealers, and have product that’s New York State compliant. SIG was particularly interesting, and we look for-
can connect with and resolve any issues with our manufacturers. It’s a very important four days.”
TX Jackson Armory, Dallas
Packing 1,800 firearms into 1,100 square feet, this shop turns a mix of historic collectible guns in addition to MSRs and other modern handguns. “We work dealer-direct with several manufacturers. These meetings can make our year, and we would never consider missing them,” said Kevin Topham, tactical sales manager. The Vegas Antique Arms show also serves as a draw, so the company combines both shows for greater efficiency. Orders were placed at SIG for the SB15 Arm Brace as well as the Desert Tactical 556. Other deals were inked at Les Baer and HK.
ward to seriously expanding our inventory with them.” Searching for ammo took up plenty of floor time. However, it was a big year for this dealer to expand its medium and high-end shotgun inventories with direct accounts from Beretta and Fabarms. The new lines were added after they were unable to ink a deal as a Full Line Browning Dealer. Another challenge for Borst was getting distributors to ship units that the shop then modifies to make them New York compliant. “Many distributors will not ship us product, but in the case of Sports South, they have gone way beyond just servicing our account,” said Borst. “Clearly, they see the importance of a healthy retail business in New York State while we fight this difficult battle.”
Outdoors, LA TP Monroe
With two locations, this hardware/sporting goods retailer splits its inventory roughly 50-50, turning nearly 5,000 firearms a year. The big gun booths were all visited, and the emphasis was on dealer-direct factories. “Our goal is to find what’s new and press the flesh,” said owner Bill Petrus. “Our buying group is really where the sales happen. That said, SHOT is where we make all the decisions.” Some of the new product that attracted the attention of this store were the Browning Citori Crossover target over/unders and the UTAS stacked shotgun. One of the tricks this buyer will use is following the crowds. “We look for big groups of retailers,” said Petrus. “And when we find them, there’s almost always a great new item.”
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PLINKER ARMS New uppers from Plinker Arms convert 5.56 MSR lowers into .22LR rifles with no modifications.
(Continued from page 54)
Plinker Arms ➤
Plinker Arms is introducing a new line of .22LR complete upper conversion units that are adaptable to standard MSR lower receivers, which allow shooters to convert their
Go to: www.ShotBusiness.com for free info.
ARC’TERYX The DryPack 70 is built from 725D ACT MultiCam Cordura coated on both sides with urethane, making it completely waterproof.
rifles to a .22LR without any modifications. These uppers are designed to fit, function, and feel like a 5.56 MSR, and each unit includes a 25-round magazine and load-assist tool. The units include an SBR (Short Barrel Rifle) Upper Conversion revised bolt and gas-operation system with a 12.5-inch barrel and standard threaded flash suppressor; an M4 Upper Conversion, which fits the standard length of an M4 with a 16.25-inch barrel, also with a flash suppressor; and a Bull Barrel Upper Conversion that is hand-built and accuracy-tested, with a 16.25-inch match-grade stainless barrel with custom match-grade crown and barrel taper. All three upper conversions are available in a black finish. (704-895-6645; plinkerarms.com)
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Arc’teryx ➤ After years of special team testing and design evolution, Arc’teryx LEAF debuts its new DryPack 70—a specialized bag that will function as a pack and keep all of its contents dry for maritime operations. Manufactured using Advanced Composite Construction (AC2), the DryPack is built from 725D ACT MultiCam Cordura coated on both sides with urethane. The result is a completely waterproof piece of load-carriage equipment for over-the-beach maritime special operations, search and seizure, and small boat operations. Offering a full backpack carrying system that is completely removable (greatly aiding the user’s land mobility), the DryPack 70 is fully taped and seam-sealed, and incorporates a roll-down top with full-width RF-welded TIZIP Master Seal waterproof zipper. Haul it, tow it, tether it, carry it in water or over land—and never jeopardize the contents of the bag. (604-960-3001;
Thermacell ➤ Thermacell heated
remote-control insoles are champs at keeping hunters comfortable in cold weather—the only issue
3/12/14 12:42 PM
being when the charge runs out while a hunter is still on stand. But the new ProFLEX heated insoles go a long way toward solving that problem. These heated insoles retain the benefits of the original but add a key feature—a rechargeable, removable battery that can be pulled out and replaced with a fully charged spare for extended operation. In addition, the battery cover is made from Poron, an anti-microbial shock-absorbing cushion, and the waterresistant insoles use a more flexible material for easier insertion into a variety of hunting boots. Thermacell has also revised the charging system by including a wall-charger and a USB port. (866753-3837; thermacell .com)
BROWNING TRAIL CAMERAS Strike Force and Dark Ops trail cameras are virtually undetectable by game animals.
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single battery charge. And when it comes to infrared images, the auto-adjusting illumination feature prevents overexposed images in nighttime photos and videos; the extended illumination feature brightens the field of view and eliminates dark edges. (888-618-
➤ The new Strike Force and
Dark Ops Trail Cameras measure only 4.3x3.8x2.4 inches, making them so small they are virtually undetectable by animal or human eyes. Each camera is conveniently powered by six AA batteries, sets up easily, and features time, date, temperature, moon phase, and camera ID on the data strip of every image. Trigger speeds of .67 second, recovery times of 2.1 seconds, and increased power efficiency allow the cameras to capture more than 10,000 images on a
4496; browning trailcameras.com)
CMMG ➤ Available in four calibers—5.56x45 NATO, .300 AAC Blackout, 9mm, and .22 long rifle—and two barrel types, the Mk4T lineup has something for
everyone. The 5.56mm and .300 BLK models are offered with either a 416 stainless or a nitrided 4140 CrMo steel barrel in a medium taper profile, while the 9mm and .22 LR versions come standard with the nitrided 4140 CrMo M4 profile barrel. The Mk4T includes an RKM11 KeyMod freefloating handguard with a 1913 Picatinny rail. The KeyMod slots are found at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and offer shooters a low-profile mounting alternative to the M1913 Picatinny rail. SRP: $899.95 to $1,049.95. (cmmginc.com)
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CMMG The Mk4T is available in four calibers. It also offers two barrel options—416 stainless steel or a nitrided 4140 CrMo steel.
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PHOTO BY LUKE NILSSEN
Designed for big-game hunters, the Sylvsteinen offers exceptional edge holding and sharpness for field-dressing or skinning game. Every detail is meticulously constructed for lifelong, rugged outdoor use. The knife features a 4.3inch hardwood birch handle with brass fittings and a stag horn insert as well as Helle’s unique, razor-sharp triple-laminated steel in the 5.3-inch drop-point blade. SRP: $169. (helle.no) (Continued on page 52)
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Published on Mar 24, 2014