VOLUME 20, NUMBER 4 JUNE/JULY 2012
SHOOTING, HUNTING & OUTDOOR TRADE
The latest in guns and gear, including optics, for the law enforcement community
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
No question, scenario shooting games are red hot. But are you ready for the hottest game of all? Pg. 38
FIRING LINE: Ruger’s new 1911 .45 ACP is a return to traditional steel-frame elegance Pg. 24
GOOD STUFF: Vanguard’s spotting scope and tripod are an unbeatable duo Pg. 44
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S H OT B U S I N ES S
J U N E /J U LY 2 0 1 2
VOL. 20, ISSUE 4
LAW ENFORCEMENT 2012 This is a
category that remains red hot, with no indications of slowing down.
EDITOR’S NOTE Entering
NEWS BRIEFS Sellmark opens new HQ; Norma’s African PH ammo for sale in U.S.; Nikon releases new Monarch binos
FYI Don’t waste time analyzing the zombie craze—make money on it
FIRING LINE The Ruger SR1911 is elegant in appearance and performance
UNDERCOVER SHOPPER Scouring the
a different world can revitalize your business
DC area for a waterfowl shotgun
BY CHRIS CHRISTIAN
DRAW OF THE DEAD The latest
shooting-scenario game is spreading like a pandemic. And the best thing about zombies is that they’re attracting a new, young audience. BY LARRY AHLMAN
NSSF Update 15
COVER: CLIFF VOLPE/TACTICALIMAGES.COM
FROM THE NSSF
Networking, new products: At the 2013 SHOT Show, you just can’t miss
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
Add the 2012 Gunvote link to your website REPORT UPDATES FIRST SHOTS’ EFFECTIVENESS
The results keep getting better and better
17 18 19 20
GOOD STUFF Vanguard
WHAT’S SELLING WHERE
NEW NSSF APP TELLS YOU WHERE2SHOOT NSSF DELIVERS VALUE YOU SHOULD KNOW
Ranges will get more attention at the 2013 Shooting Sports Summit
offers high-quality optics without the high price tag
NEW PRODUCTS Zeiss’
Victory HT binocular; Sims’ vibrationabsorbing Limbsaver sling; I.O. Inc. reintroducing improved Hellcat pistol
FROM MY SIDE OF THE COUNTER NSSF videos
enhance staff training
JUNE/JULY 2012 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 1
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eDitor’S note nSSf
Hearts & Minds Reaching out to youth shooters takes an imaginative turn
his month, in addition to our annual look at new LE gear, we’ve doubled-down on zombies. On page 38, you’ll find “Draw of the Dead,” by Larry Ahlman, proprietor of Ahlman’s Guns, which hosts (in conjunction with DPMS) the Outbreak Omega zombie shoot, now in its sixth year. You’ll also want to take a look at “Making Dollars Off the Undead,” on page 22. Our bet seems to have better odds than any of the blackjack tables in Las Vegas, mainly because the walking dead were the talk of the 2012 SHOT Show, and many manufacturers were scrambling to unleash zombie-themed products. Not everyone, however, is happy about the trend. One attendee I talked to said, “I don’t get it. This is just a passing fad, right? It’s ridiculous.” Though you may believe zombies are just a passing fancy, you can’t afford to dismiss what’s going on. In fact, you should embrace the undead, because the interest drummed up by this new form of scenario shooting will remain. Another key factor: This kind of shooting is drawing in a completely new customer, one who needs a lot of gear to compete. Adam Ballard, product manager for DPMS, who helped organize the first Outbreak Omega, has seen the event grow from fewer than 100 participants to almost 1,000—in just five years. “We didn’t set out to capitalize on zombiemania when we started this,” he says. “We just wanted to host an event where people could see our stuff, do some shooting, and have fun. One of our team brought up the zombie craze at the last minute, as an out-there idea when we were searching for a theme. And it just kind of went from there.” That’s the understatement of the year. Tenfold growth in five years? Some “out-there” idea.
With that kind of growth, it’s no wonder major manufacturers are getting in the game. John Trull, vice president of product management and marketing at Remington Arms, attended last year’s Outbreak and says the industry needs to welcome these new shooters. “We live in a different world,” he says, one where shooting-sports manufacturers are now competing with videogame manufacturers for the hearts and minds of the young. “The
shooting, hunting & outdoor trade
Slaton l. White, editor
Margaret M. nussey, Managing Editor David e. Petzal, Shooting Editor John Burgman, Assistant 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, Doug Howlett, William F. Kendy, Mark Kayser, Peter B. Mathiesen, Brian McCombie, Tom Mohrhauser, Robert Sadowski, Robert F. Staeger, Marilyn Stone, Wayne Van Zwoll
eriC ZinCZenko, Vice President, group Publisher aDVertiSing: 212-779-5316
gregory D. gatto, Advertising Director Paula iwanski, National Sporting Goods Director Brian Peterson, West Stephen Mitchell, Southeast elizabeth a. Burnham, Associate Publisher, Marketing & Online Services ingrid reslmaier, Marketing Design Director
tara Bisciello, Business Manager
robert M. Cohn, Consumer Marketing Director raymond Ward, Senior Planning Manager Barbara Brooker, Fulfillment Manager
laurel kurnides, Group Production Director Barbara taffuri, Production Director
Chairman, Jonas Bonnier Chief executive officer, Terry Snow Chief financial officer, Randall Koubek Vice President, Corporate Sales, John Driscoll Chief Brand Development officer, Sean Holzman Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Bruce Miller Vice President, Production, Lisa Earlywine Vice President, information technology, Shawn Larson Vice President, Corporate Communications, Dean Turcol Publishing Consultant, Martin S. Walker general Counsel, Jeremy Thompson
positive element is that many of these games have created a new awareness among young folks of the shooting sports and the products offered.” And, as Ahlman notes, “Zombie shoots tend to make a connection between these electronic, fantasybased games and an actual outdoor activity.” Shooting sports retailers should nurture that connection: It’s the pathway to a new generation of customers.
Slaton l. White, Editor
SHOT Business (ISSN 1081-8618) is published 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 20, issue 4. Copyright © 2012 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, selfaddressed 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. REPRINTS: Wrights Reprints, 877-652-5295. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to SHOT Business, P.O. Box 422494, Palm Coast, FL 32142-2494. 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 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
2 ❚ Shot BuSineSS ❚ JUNE/JULY 2012
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One Industry. One Voice.
National Shooting Sports Foundation®
or over 50 years, our mission has never wavered. Promote, protect and preserve our hunting and shooting sports. We are the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the ﬁrearms, ammunition and shooting industry. Whether it is in the ﬁeld, on the range, in Washington, D.C. or 50 state capitals, we stand proudly as your voice.
elp us make your voice louder and stronger where it counts. Now more than ever, it’s time to become a NSSF member. To join contact Bettyjane Swann at (203) 426-1320 or email@example.com.
The future of your business depends on it.
Scan this QR code with your Smartphone for to watch our membership video
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eDiTeD bY JOHn bUrGMAn
Bits & Pieces
H&G to Sell Down-N-Dirty Calls
Hunting call manufacturer Down-N-Dirty Outdoors recently announced that it has retained the services of H&G Marketing to sell its complete line of calls throughout the West, Midwest, Eastern, and Mountain Central regions of the country. With 20 sales associates, the H&G Marketing team will handle a 34-state sales territory for Down-N-Dirty. “H&G Marketing brings the distribution, knowledge, and experience that DND needs right now, especially with the recent launch of the Haint gobble call,” said Mark Coin, DownN-Dirty’s president. Simpson Sales Company will continue to handle the sales of Down-N-Dirty products in the Southern United States.
5.11 Tactical to Work with Outtech
5.11 Tactical recently joined forces with Outtech in a partnership that will enable 5.11 Tactical to continue improving its presence in outdoors channels. Tom Davin, CEO of 5.11 Tactical, said, “5.11 Tactical’s primary focus will always be to serve the most demanding law enforcement and military professionals. Outtech’s capabilities in the outdoors industry create the perfect synergy between 5.11 and its market demand.” Outtech’s president, Jay Scholes, said, “Outtech is dedicated to growing and expanding the 5.11 brand in the 30billion-dollar-per-year outdoors market. Our passion for the outdoors, combined with 5.11’s quality products and outdoor roots, will expand 5.11’s presence in our market.”
news briefs NEWS
Sellmark’s new HQ is outfitted to handle even more defenserelated items.
Sellmark Opens New Headquarters
ore than 150 visitors celebrated the grand opening of Sellmark Corporation’s new 33,000-square-foot headquarters on March 30, 2012, in Mansfield, Texas. The celebration included a ribbon cutting from the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce and featured an airgun shooting station, binocular and spotting scope viewing, and drawings for Sightmark, Firefield, Pulsar, and Yukon products, which Sellmark produces. “We had much to celebrate, finally combining our corporate office and the warehouse,” said Dianna Sellers, CEO of Sellmark Corporation. “It was good to see so many people in Mansfield supporting Sellmark’s efforts to grow a business here.” Reasons behind the move included a rapidly growing workforce, as Sellmark has doubled the number of its employees in just two years and plans to add another 20 percent within the next six months. Sellmark also plans to grow its law This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.
enforcement and military product range to include more Generation 3 nightvision, digital, and thermal systems. The new facility will be able to handle the increase in sensitive material and technology being produced. Growth in this area will lead to an increase of U.S. production of products, a high priority for the company. The new facility will also be ITARcompliant, allowing research and development, production, and distribution of defense-related articles. “We are happy to see our dream realized,” said Sellers. “In such difficult economic times, we are thankful to the city of Mansfield for working with us. We have worked well with Mansfield since 2003, and look forward to being part of this great city for a long time to come.” JUNE/JULY 2012 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 5
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Stealth Cam’s Smallest Ever
Stealth Cam recently card of up to 16 GB in launched its newest scoutsize. ing camera, the Core. The Core is ultra-comStealth Cam designed the pact, and its size makes it new Core with its exclueasily concealable and sive TRIAD technology, securable in the woods. which incorporates three The camera is equipped technologies—video, still with a 4-digit security imagery, and time lapse— code system. The oneinto one package. Other second trigger speed also Stealth Cam models like features a burst mode, The Core offers a number which captures 1 to 9 the Sniper Pro have of features in a handy, proved popular with images per triggering. easily concealable size. shooters, but the Core is The 40 IR (infrared) emitStealth Cam’s most underters, with a range of 50 sized camera yet. feet, provide pictures at night or at lowThe Core’s video setting is capable of light times of the day. 10, 20, 30, 60, or 90 seconds of video A time/date/moon phase/temperature recording with audio. The camera features stamp on video files gives the user informatwo resolution settings—3MP or 1.3MP— tion about the wildlife habits. The Core’s along with a time-lapse function. miniature package is protected in a weathThe camera features a low-battery erproof, 3-D digital camo housing for use in indicator, and a USB output for uploadvarious weather conditions. ing the footage to your computer. An SD The Core operates on 8 AA batteries. card slot in the Core accepts a memory The SRP is $119.99.
Big Rock Raises $10K For Youth Shooting
Big Rock Sports recently held a silent auction in Raleigh, North Carolina, that generated $10,000 in support of youth shooting sports. The auction, which took place at the Big Rock Sports East Dealer Show, was made possible with donations from several vendors in the shooting sports industry, and all proceeds from the event went to the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA), a nonprofit orga-
The $10,000 raised will go a long way toward youth shooting sports.
nization that helps facilitate firearms training for youths through qualifying organizations, such as Boy Scouts of America, 4-H units, JROTC units, and Royal Rangers. “We are thrilled with our partnership with Big Rock Sports,” said Steve Miller, executive director of the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance. “It’s a pleasure working with a company that shares our passion about recruiting and retaining youth in the shooting sports.” “Big Rock Sports has been a long-time supporter of the YSSA,” said Gary Zurn, senior vice president of marketing at Big Rock Sports. “Hunting and shooting are a passion for us at Big Rock Sports, and we want to help strengthen the industry and guide future generations into these sports.”
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Minox Partners With Mule Deer Foundation
Minox USA has a new objective: mule deer conservation. And to that end, the optics manufacturer recently announced a new binocular—the Limited Edition MDF BV II 10x42—to help wildlife conservation. For every binocular sold, Minox, in partnership with the Mule Deer
Foundation (MDF), will donate $25 to mule deer conservation. Minox is also a proud new MDF partner in conservation. “We at Minox believe very strongly in conserving our wildlife, their habitats, and our sporting traditions,” said Matt Suuck, sport optics manager for Minox. “We could not imagine a better partner to work with in achieving these goals than the Mule Deer Foundation. Our mule deer herds need all the help they can get, and we believe that the proceeds generated from this binocular will certainly help the efforts put forth by the Mule Deer Foundation.” According to MDF CEO Miles Moretti, “Minox understands the Emblazoned with the Mule Deer Foundation logo, every Minox MDF BV II helps mule deer conservation.
value of cause-related marketing. Teaming up with one of the most efficient conservation groups focused on an icon of the West is not only good for business, but it’s the right thing to do for wildlife and the future of hunting.” The MDF BV II 10x42 binocular boasts features associated with all Minox products, including: German-engineered precision optics with M* multi-coatings Full aluminum housing and protective rubber armoring for field durability German design and ergonomics Nitrogen-filled waterproofing down to 10 feet Minox Lifetime Total Coverage warranty The Minox Limited Edition Mule Deer Foundation BV II 10x42 binocular is now available for retailers with an SRP of $339.
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5/15/12 12:49 PM
Norma Unleashes New PH-Inspired Line of Ammo
Norma USA recently launched its American PH line of ammunition in 50 calibers. Also of note: Norma’s popular African PH ammo is now available to U.S. dealers as well.
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Norma USA, a subsidiary of the Swedish ammo manufacturer Norma Precision, recently launched its new Norma USA American PH ammunition line worldwide. In addition, and of particular note to dealers, the company is making Norma African PH available within the United States. Norma’s American PH line is designed and engineered specifically for the demands of American sportsmen, according to the company. What, exactly, does that mean? The new lineup of precision-grade ammunition features bullet and powder combinations in 50 calibers, from .243 Win. to .340 Weatherby, as well as many calibers in between, making it appropriate for a number of different American game species and hunting situations. All Norma cases are carefully inspected to ensure proper bullet seating and primer pocket alignment. Included in the new American PH ammunition line are the popular Oryx and Kalahari bullets. The Oryx bullet expands rapidly upon impact without fragmentation, creating a large wound without damage to the surrounding meat. The Kalahari bullet can meet any challenge on the open ranges of the Midwest or in the mountains out West, where long shots are more common. Its design ensures high velocity within safe pressures to give a flat trajectory. The company notes that it also gives “the best possible ballistic coefficient and lowest winddrift achievable.” The bullet expansion upon impact is controlled and restricted, providing maximum wounding and deep penetration. The Norma African PH ammunition, designed for stopping a determined charge from one of Africa’s Big Five, is also now available through Norma USA and shipping from the U.S. warehouse to all major U.S. retailers. This lineup was developed to optimize traditional ballistic criteria, which, in turn, are responsible for perhaps the most important criterion of all when hunting African game—stopping power. The Norma African PH line up is made up of 23 combinations, from .375 Flanged Mag. Nitro Express to .505 Mag. Gibbs.
5/15/12 11:54 AM
Nikon Releases New Monarch Binoculars
ikon recently unveiled its newest binoculars suited for hunters and shooters, the Monarch 5 All-Terrain Binoculars. The binoculars are designed with a rugged
casing and incorporate Nikon’s exclusive Eco-Glass for all lens and prism elements. (The “Eco” is a reference to the fact that the glass is made without arsenic or lead.)
The full-rubber armored body is O-ring-sealed and nitrogen-purged for waterproof and fogproof reliability. The SRP for the Monarch 5 ranges from $279.95 to $359.95.
LAR-47 CAR A4 / AK1263
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NIKON’S MONARCH 5 BINOCULARS’ FEATURES AND OPTIONS INCLUDE:
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Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating to provide almost the same brightness as that perceived by the naked eye, and clear, high-contrast images that display accurate color reproduction. Fully multi-coated lenses for brightness and resolution. Lightweight, slim design for easy and extended carrying in the field. Smooth central focus knob Fast range-of-focus Multi-setting, click-stop eyecups for viewing with or without eyeglasses. Precision-aligned optics for extended viewing on a variety of terrains, and in a variety of visibility conditions. Available in a number of configurations, including 8x42 in Realtree camo, 10x42 in black, 10x42 in Realtree camo, 12x42 in black, and 12x42 in Realtree camo. Lead-free and arsenic-free EcoGlass prisms
7.62X39MM / 16 INCH, CHROME-LINED HBAR, 1:10 RH TWIST BARREL / PROPRIETARY FORGED A4 UPPER RECEIVER / PROPRIETARY FORGED LAR-47 LOWER RECEIVER / CHROMED 7.62X39MM BOLT CARRIER GROUP / A2 FLASH SUPPRESSOR / RRA TWO-STAGE TRIGGER GROUP / RRA LAR-47 WINTER TRIGGER GUARD / AMBIDEXTROUS MAGAZINE RELEASE / STANDARD SAFETY SELECTOR / RRA 6-POSITION TACTICAL CAR STOCK / A2 PISTOL GRIP / CAR HANDGUARD / APPROXIMATELY 7.1 POUNDS/36 INCHES / INCLUDES AK-47 MAGAZINE, CASE, MANUAL AND RRA LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
DELTA CARBINE MODEL (AK1291) WITH QUAD RAIL FOREND ALSO AVAILABLE
FIND OUT MORE AT www.rockriverarms.com Pre-production model pictured. All speciﬁcations and pricing subject to change without notice.
5/14/12 1:00 PM
The M4 and M4A1 carbines will be produced for the U.S. Army at Remington’s core rifle manufacturing facility in Ilion, New York.
The U.S. Army Taps Remington to Provide Thousands of M4 and M4A1 Carbines Remington, a member of the Freedom Group family of companies, announced the award of an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the procurement of a maximum of 120,000 M4 and M4A1 carbines by the United States Army Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan, this past April.
“It is a great honor to be awarded this contract from the United States Army,” said John Day, vice president, Remington Defense Division, and former Marine and Iraq War veteran. “Our workforce is extremely proud to be adding this combat-proven carbine to the Remington Defense family alongside our combat-
beyond usual expectations The Winning Edge Competition proven worldwide. Proven time and again at the Olympics and World Cup. And proven on trap and skeet felds, and sporting clays courses throughout the U.S. With over 3 Billion shotshells produced over a long and storied history, that’s experience you can count on. Each NobelSport competition shotshell is crafted from only the very best components, including NobelSport’s worldrenowned 209 primers. Very competitively priced, too. NobelSport gives you the winning edge . . . each shot, each and every time you step up to the line.
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proven sniper rifles, suppressors, and shotguns. We will produce these carbines with the same diligence, attention to detail, and quality that snipers and shooters worldwide expect from Remington.” The M4 and M4A1 carbines are the U.S. Army’s primary individual combat weapons, and will be produced by Remington to the U.S. Army’s M4 technical data package. The Army has initially ordered 24,000 M4A1 carbines from Remington; deliveries will start in September 2013. “The innovation, quality, and reliability of Remington rifles have made our company a leader in defense markets around the world,” said General Michael W. Hagee (USMC, Ret.), a Remington Arms board member and former commandant of the Marine Corps. “The chance to expand our strong military and defense presence producing M4s for the U.S. Army is a great opportunity,” added General George Joulwan (U.S. Army, Ret.), also a Remington board member and former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and head of NATO Forces. George Kollitides, chairman and chief executive officer of the Freedom Group and Remington Arms, commented on Remington’s multi-year interest in providing arms for the military. “Over the past four years, we have made a substantial investment in Remington’s ability to compete in the government small arms space by modernizing our production facilities. We see this award as proof that an American manufacturing company can still expand its product offerings and compete in this modern age to provide best-in-class weaponry to our troops.”
5/15/12 11:58 AM
New Concealed-Carry Group Formed Taurus and Rock River Arms recently announced their support for a newly formed organization known as the Armed Citizen’s Alliance (ACA). The ACA is expected to gain more backing as word of its formation spreads. It is a non-profit corporation aimed at providing an avenue for “ordinary” citizens to practice, train, and familiarize themselves with the use of concealedcarry handguns and other personal defense firearms in a safe and organized recreational context. “It is an honor, as well as our obligation, to become part of a pioneering organization taking the initiative to guide and educate responsible citizens to safely protect themselves and their families,” said Mark Kresser, president and CEO of Taurus International. “The insight expressed toward personal defense by the ACA is based upon professionals that believe self-reliance becomes a responsibility of the individual.” Chuck Larson, co-owner of Rock River Arms, said, “We are a huge supporter of any organization willing to offer an opportunity to the average firearms owner such as this. We support our Second Amendment rights and agree that we can all make a safer country by being responsible citizens.” As an ACA Sponsor Member, Rock River Arms will be a Stage Sponsor for the National Armed Citizen Challenge (NAC 2). This event is a “sports fair” for the armed citizen and the first event of its kind. It will host vendor displays, product demonstrations, and hands-on product usage opportunities offered by ACA sponsors, industry partners, and
supporting manufacturers. Much like other shooting and hunting organizations, the ACA has several objectives related to being a go-to resource for members of the shooting community, novice and veteran alike. The ACA will provide the overall concealed-carry and personal defense
community and industry with an organization to which personal-defense firearms customers can turn as their “firstcontact” channel for practice and familiarization. This will include the encouragement of constant and productive concealed-carry practice, preparation, and training.
As the concealed-carry market continues to boom, the ACA is quickly gaining support from members of the shooting community.
5/14/12 1:05 PM
On the Move New and noteworthy hirings and promotions in the industry
Vince Abrams has been named the new senior product manager for Bushnell Outdoor Accessories. Abrams has more than 15 years of product management experience, and a strong shooting industry background, most recently at GAMO.
Crosman has hired Kevin Farrelly for the newly created position of director of operations and supply chain. In his new position, Farrelly will oversee planning management, procurement, and warehousing for the firm. Farrelly joins Crosman from UTC Retail.
Robert DeRosier Michael Holley
Robert DeRosier, recently of Outdoor Hub, has been named marketing executive overseeing all of Vanguard’s Outdoor Division’s North American marketing activities. DeRosier has experience in advertising, content management, and social marketing.
Savage Arms has appointed Michael Holley as national sales manager, in charge of managing the national network of sales representatives, distributors, and retailers on a day-to-day basis. An avid hunter, Holley brings with him 28 years of sales experience.
With more than 17 years of marketing experience, Pete Angle has been hired as Mossberg’s director of marketing. Angle previously served as senior marketing manager for Under Armour; he now brings his extensive network of contacts to the Mossberg team.
Nikon Introduces “Next Generation” of Prostaff Laser Rangefinder
ikon recently released its new Prostaff 5 Laser Rangefinder, and with it, a promise that the compact product will “eliminate the guesswork” associated with taking a shot at any range. A lofty claim, as any hunter will attest. But the company has put a lot of thought into the Prostaff 5, from its glass to its aggressive styling and palm-sized ergonomics—which happen to make it 10 percent smaller than its predecessors. Internally, the new Prostaff ’s 6x21 multi-coated optical system boasts a large ocular lens and optimized viewfinder display to provide a wide field of view for immediate subject acquisition and maximum ranging speed. The Prostaff 5 is capable of ranging precision out to 600 yards, and has eye relief of 18.3mm.
The Nikon Prostaff 5 is 10 percent smaller than its predecessors, ergonomically fitting the user’s palm.
But a feature the company is touting above all the rest is the Prostaff ’s ability to enhance the display when needed. An easy-to-read LCD offers maximum contrast against the viewed image, while a switchable LED feature adds additional contrast as needed. What does this mean to sportsmen? The Prostaff 5 can range in virtually any light conditions—a claim that not many other rangefinders can make. Its waterproof/fogproof construction makes it wellsuited for a variety of hunts. Sportsmen will have to judge for themselves if the new Prostaff indeed lives up to its promise and eliminates all the guesswork. But it’s certainly a step up from previous models. A black version has an SRP of $229.95, while a Realtree APG model is suggested to run for $249.95.
12 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JUNE/JULY 2012
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from tHe nSSf
2013 SHOT Show: You Just Can’t Miss Networking, new products, education
he SHOT Show is the one place where firearms retailers can see everyone and everything they need to gain a competitive edge. You can meet the top executives and product designers from every major manufacturer in the industry, touch and feel all of the newest products, take advantage of deals that you will only find at the SHOT Show, and attend world-class education programs designed specifically for firearms retailers. “I go to three distributor shows to place my program orders, but I would never miss SHOT Show,” said Joe Keffer, owner of the Sportsman’s Shop in New Holland, Pennsylvania, and retailer representative on the NSSF Board of Governors. “The networking, face-to-face meetings and educational sessions are invaluable to our continued success in a very competitive market area. Where else can you get all of that?” The SHOT Show energizes the entire community, and many attendees leave feeling more positive about their industry. Though many retailers come to see what is new, they also come to see old friends, meet
will have real potential for my business.” Face-to-face interaction with manufacturers is commonly rated among the top reasons retailers attend the show. You get to talk directly with the decision-makers at a company about their products; the opportunity to do business face to face at the show is something you can’t find anywhere else. The SHOT Show is widely recognized as the official kickoff to the industry’s sales year. The show helps determine what products will be the top sellers in stores across the country for the coming year. Each year’s show generates a buzz for new prod-
You get to talk directly with the decisionmakers at a company about their products; the opportunity to do business face to face is something you can’t find anywhere else. knowledgeable or well-known industry professionals, or even get autographs from celebrities such as rocker/hunter Ted Nugent, Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, NASCAR’s Kerry Earnhardt, NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, country music star Zac Brown, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, and Gunnery Sgt./actor R. Lee Ermey. “What I especially like about the show are the contacts I make,” said Bill Powell, owner of World of Sports, a retailer in Florence, South Carolina. “Where else can you meet all of the CEOs and other executives from every manufacturer? I also can’t say enough about the New Product Center. It offers some tip-offs to new products that
ucts launched by major manufacturers and also exposes a number of new gems from smaller companies carving their way into the market. These lesser-known items can add significant margin dollars to a retailer’s bottom line. Another SHOT Show highlight is the retailer educational sessions, such as SHOT Show University, a full day of seminars held the day before the show opens. The packed agenda features some of the most respected voices in the business, firearms, information technology, and retail industries. Retailers who can’t make it to SHOT Show University can still go to four additional educational sessions on Wednesday
and four on Thursday. Sessions last just over an hour each, and cover a broad range of topics including ATF and NICS compliance, using social media to drive sales, firearms import/export, store security, media training, how to buy and sell used guns, and hiring for winning results. Larry Ahlman, owner of Ahlman’s Guns Inc., in New Ulm, Minnesota, says, “The best thing SHOT Show University does is recharge my batteries and get my motor running. At the end of the day, I’m anxious to get back to my store and try out some of the new things I’ve learned.” If all that weren’t enough, your participation in the 2013 SHOT Show also helps to secure a bright future for our sports and our industry. Revenue from the SHOT Show allows NSSF to guard your rights and business interests through an active government relations program, and supports our customer-recruitment campaigns such as Families Afield and First Shots, along with a myriad of retailer benefits. Meeting with industry movers and shakers, checking out new products from major manufacturers, discovering small manufacturers that you can keystone, and staying on the cutting edge of retailer education— when you add it all up, you just can’t miss at the 2013 SHOT Show, to be held Jan. 15–18 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Learn more at shotshow.org.
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, NSSF june/july 2012 ❚ SHot BuSineSS ❚ 15
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U P D AT E
First Shots Big City Tour Rolls On
Dunn to Helm NSSF Marketing Comm. Team
Bill Dunn, a seven-year employee of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, has been named managing director, marketing communications. During his tenure at NSSF, Dunn has distinguished himself in the positions of public relations coordinator, manager of public relations and new media, and, most recently, director of emerging media. Dunn was named Digital Communicator of the Year in 2010 by PR News. Dunn will supervise all members of NSSF’s marketing communications team; he, in turn, will report to Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Bill brings diverse communication skills, having been a journalist, and is widely recognized for his knowledge and leadership,” said Dolnack. “His knowledge of both traditional and emerging media communications positions us to continue to move forward in expanding our initiatives to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” Dunn takes the reins from Mark Thomas, who assumed a position with Kimber Manufacturing.
After successful seminars at several shooting facilities in the Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin, areas on Nov. 5, 2011, brought more than 300 people to the range for the first time, the First Shots Big City Tour rolled in to the Miami and Sacramento environs on opposite ends of the continent on March 3, achieving similar results: hundreds of shooters gaining an education on firearms fundamentals and local gun ownership laws, while discovering the joy of shooting under the supervision of certified instructors. The seminars were open to men and women 21 years of age and older, as well as those 18 to 20 who were accompanied by a parent or guardian. “I am finding that people everywhere are eager to learn about gun ownership,” said First Shots manager Tisma Juett.
The First Shots Big City Tour has been traveling the country, introducing newcomers to the fun of the shooting sports under the guidance of certified instructors.
“And why shouldn’t they?” she added. “Target shooting is fun and can be enjoyed with friends. Owning a gun also provides security for individuals and their families.”
Next stop on the First Shots Big City Tour is the Washington, D.C., area on Saturday, Aug. 25. Ranges interested in participating may contact Juett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protect Your Rights: Add the Gunvote Link to Your Website The National Shooting Sports Foundation is encouraging its members and others to proactively use its #gunvote icon on their websites and other electronic communications. The goal is to remind hunters, shooters, and gun owners that together they can make a huge impact at the polls this Election Day. Clicking the icon will bring them to NSSF’s #gunvote website, where they can learn about candidates’ stances on hunting and guncontrol issues. The icon also serves as a reminder to individuals to share information they obtain about candidates on Twitter by
using the #gunvote hashtag. Please download and use the button, available at the NSSF home page at nssf.org. “An educated voter is a responsible voter,” said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of NSSF. “NSSF wishes to help voters become educated on the issues and the candidates regarding shooting sports and firearms freedoms.” The #gunvote campaign helps deliver NSSF’s message to register to vote, become educated on the candidates and the issues, and vote—and encourage friends, family, colleagues, and customers to do the same.
16 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JUNE/JULY 2012
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Report Shows Rise in Handgun and Rifle Imports
Over the past five years, handgun imports have increased 23 percent while rifle imports have risen 8 percent and shotgun imports have decreased 27 percent. This and a variety of other data are available from NSSF. “A great amount of data is available but being underutilized,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of industry research and analysis. For example, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is responsible for posting import statistics for thousands of products each month. The National Shooting Sports Foundation collects this monthly data and focuses on six import categories on which to review and report: handguns, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, cartridges, and shotshells. By reviewing
NSSF® Report U.S. U S International Trade Commission Annual Handgun Imports (in units) 2001 - 2011. .
2011 top three countries for import of Handguns: 1) Austria 2)) Brazil a 3) Germany
NSSF tracks indicators of the health of the shooting sports industry, including the rise in handgun and rifle imports over the past five years.
annual data and identifying historical trends, industry members can develop a hypothesis that may aid their business planning. Through other data available from ITC, NSSF can track from which countries and what products the United States is importing.
From ITC data, it is evident, for example, that Austria, Brazil, and Germany are the top countries exporting handguns into the United States. Additional import data and research can be found by NSSF members at nssf.org/ research.
New Report Updates First Shots’ Effectiveness The results keep getting better and better for NSSF member ranges hosting First Shots events. NSSF’s introductory shooting program has an impressive track record of recruiting new customers and members to host facilities. NSSF has updated the “First Shots Industry Intelligence Report” with the most recent figures from participant follow-up surveys. The report provides an overview of participant profiles and quantifies the value of developing new
target shooters. NSSF members who log in to the Members Only section of nssf.org may access this and other reports by clicking “NSSF Industry Research” and then “Industry Intelligence Reports.” Since the program’s inception in 2005, range operators across the country have embraced First Shots as a fresh approach to publicizing their services in their community. The program has brought remarkable results to many participating ranges.
New NSSF App Tells You Where2Shoot
NSSF has launched Where2Shoot, a mobile app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app—available for free in the iTunes App Store—puts North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the palm of your hand. It also includes safety information, news, and video tips for shooters. Where2Shoot lets users search for ranges near their current location, as well as by zip code and state. It provides specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered, accessibility, and contact info. The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot .org website, and is updated frequently with range information in every U.S. state and Canadian province. New tips are also added regularly. You can scan the accompanying QR code with your device to learn more and to download the app. If your shooting facility is not listed in the WhereToShoot database, or needs to be updated, go to wheretoshoot.org and enter your data so it can be included in updates.
© 2012 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.
JUNE/JULY 2012 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 17
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NSSF DELIVERS VALUE VOTER EDUCATION IS KEY #GunVote 2012 is at the heart of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s voter education campaign for the 2012 elections. NSSF’s goal is to get every eligible shooter and hunter to register, become educated on the candidates and the issues, and make sure their friends, family members, business associates, and customers do the same—and then vote. The #gunvote icon also serves as a reminder to individuals to share information they obtain about candidates on Twitter by using the #gunvote hashtag. NSSF urges everyone to download and use the button, available at the NSSF home page at nssf.org, and place it on your website.
ONE MEMBER’S EXPERIENCE Member: Richard D. Sprague, owner/president Business: Sprague’s Sports Inc. Yuma, Arizona Description of Business: “Sprague’s Sports Inc. was founded in 1956 by George W. Sprague. We are celebrating our 56th year in the shooting sports business here in southwest Arizona Richard D. Sprague on the very same piece of property. I purchased the business from my father in 1984, and in 2005 built a new facility with an indoor range and classroom. Sprague’s has 22 full-time employees.” On Voter Education: “#GunVote 2012 is going to be extremely important heading into this fall’s election. Those of us in the shooting sports business need to remind our staff and our customer base of the importance of knowing the issues and candidates, and being in a position of making our vote count. Seemingly little things are important, such as reminding people to be sure their voter registration is current, finding their polling place, and encouraging them to lead their families in this effort, too. You can find loads of valuable research information on NSSF’s website under “GunVote.” Direct your customers to this site by using nssf.org/gunvote in your advertising to further get the word out. Our customer base has never been larger, so let’s organize our strength for positive results at the polls this fall.” Value of NSSF Membership: “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is our front line—true industry professionals who work hard to create and educate, with so many great programs to grow our industry and ensure our future. Be sure to visit nssf.org often to keep abreast of all that is offered to all shooting sports professionals.”
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 7,000 companies and individuals who have already discovered that NSSF Delivers Value! To learn more, visit www.nssf.org/join or contact Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of member services, at 203-426-1320 or email@example.com.
WWW.NSSF.ORG 18 • SHOT BUSINESS • MONTH 2010
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B Y Z A C H S N O W, N S S F M A N A G E R , S H O O T I N G P R O M O T I O N S
u p d at E
Yo u S H o u l d K n o w
Summit Becomes More Inclusive Than Ever Ranges will get even more attention at the 2013 Shooting Sports Summit and Shooting Range Symposium
n June 2008, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hosted its Shooting Sports Summit in Colorado Springs. Its purpose was to bring the industry together to discuss the challenges we face and to identify ways to overcome them. Manufacturers, state agencies, shooting sports organizations, shooting ranges, and firearms retailers were among those in attendance.
There, we addressed a growing trend— the steady decline in participation, not just in the field, but at shooting ranges, too. Access and opportunity are two primary reasons for this decline. Because of this challenge, the summit produced a new goal for us as an industry: to increase hunting and shooting sports participation by 20 percent by 2014. Since 2008, NSSF has hosted two more Shooting Sports Summits, in June of 2009 and 2011. As we begin to prepare for our next Shooting Sports Summit, scheduled for June 2013, we plan to add new components to attract the shooting range audience. Its name—2013 Shooting Sports Summit and Shooting Range Symposium— should make that clear to the range industry. Who should attend? Everyone that plays a key role in the operations and management of their shooting- and huntingrelated business or organization. This includes range owners, managers, gun club representatives, and shooting instructors. You all will take something away from this special gathering. All of the valuable sessions and speakers offered in the past will lay the groundwork for the 2013 agenda. NSSF, however, also recognizes the importance of further educating shooting ranges, which is what we plan to do at the 2013 summit. The range symposium segment will provide valuable resources to help promote, protect, and preserve all types of shooting facilities. As a potential attendee, you might be asking yourself, “What will I, and my range, get out of my attending this event?” If you attended any of the
National Shooting Range Symposiums during the 1990s and in 2000, you probably realize this is one event you can’t miss. NSSF’s plan is to put together an agenda that will provide a variety of tools to help sustain and grow your business and your operation. A sampling of possible topics aimed at ranges might include marketing and promotions strategies, range improvement and maintenance techniques, environmental management, and community relations. If range owners left previous summits wanting more specifically for their aspect of the shooting sports, they will be pleased to learn they can gain knowledge from attending the 2013 Shooting Sports Summit and Shooting Range Symposium in the following ways. Educational opportunitiEs
Find out more about how to address noise and lead issues from professionals working with ranges. Effective lead-management programs and the implementation of environmental stewardship plans are just two keys to survival. Learn about how regulatory laws apply specifically to shooting ranges and how to deal with issues to protect yourself, your employees, and your range business. The more support, the stronger we stand. Discover new ways to build on your existing communityand public-relations efforts. Gather insight on how to improve your range to accommodate the dynamic shooting sports that are attracting new audiences and reactivating lapsed participants. Gain knowledge to build on your range’s marketing
strategies. Explore new angles of advertising to bring fresh traffic to your range. nEtworking Everyone within the shooting range community has faced obstacles and challenges needing prompt attention. Other ranges likely already have overcome the challenges your range is now facing. The Shooting Sports Summit and Shooting Range Symposium will provide you with opportunities to discuss your situation with other range owners, managers, and gun club representatives who can help you come up with solutions. By sharing our ideas and experiences, we are forming a stronger network— an alliance that brightens the future for all shooting ranges throughout the United States. casE studiEs You will learn of successful models that your range can adopt and modify to fit your needs; it is much easier than reinventing the wheel. Hear from range owners who have been successful with efforts covering all aspects of shooting range management, from advertising campaigns, recruitment and retention efforts, and successful programs geared toward specific audiences to best management practices. We are still mapping out the details to meet our goal of serving the shooting range community by providing you with resources to promote, protect, and preserve shooting facilities for generations to come. Stay tuned to all NSSF communication vehicles, including Bullet Points and NSSF Member News, for updated information. june/july 2012 ❚ SHot BuSineSS ❚ 19
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U P D AT E
BY RICHARD D. SPRAGUE, OWNER, SPRAGUE’S SPORTS, YUMA, AZ
FROM MY SIDE OF THE COUNTER
In-Store Training Video NSSF videos can enhance and refresh your staf meetings and training sessions
n-store training is one of the key elements in managing my employees, and I typically hold several sessions with my staff each week. Training sessions are usually held 15 to 20 minutes before the store opens for business, and those few minutes have become one of the most important tools in our business operation. The meetings typically used to be product-based. If a new product were launched by one of our vendors, we would introduce the product to our staff and go over its selling points and features to help familiarize everyone with the item so they could easily make the sale. For meetings that were not based around a new product, we would instead cover such topics as ads or competitor sales. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has several training videos that we are now utilizing for our meetings. The videos are tailored to the needs of the retailer, and they fit our schedule perfectly. Short and to the point, yet full of information, the videos leave our employees energized with new ideas and empower them to be confident in making selling decisions on the floor. The videos cover a variety of subjects. Some discuss selling techniques, while other videos provide instruction for a storeÕs operational issues. The NSSF videos have become a staple for our meetings, and we use them on a regular basis. For example, weÕve used the video titled ÒThe Benefits of Add-On SalesÓ several times in our store. As part of the training, I will focus the conversation on one item that I bring in from the sales floor, and weÕll talk about the added sales that could be made to complement
that one item. Imagine the possibilities of doing that with the merchandise mix in your store. The most recent meeting we held was in preparation for our upcoming turkey season. I brought in a new turkey gun and asked the employees to list the items that could be added to the purchase. You shouldÕve seen the long list we came up with! Now when a customer comes into our store to buy a turkey gun, heÕll leave having purchased much more than the firearm. NSSF has gone the extra mile in providing videos to help us in the operation of our business. One video, titled ÒTake StockÑIn Your Store and Firearms Inventory,Ó points out many different areas on which the retailers should focus, while emphasizing the importance of taking regular firearms inventories. It explains the reasons why stores should take consistent inventories.
Taking the time to hold short, regular meetings with your staf will pay big dividends in the long run. There are many ways to conduct a training session for your employees, but the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through its videos, has made this management task much easier.
As the video highlights, taking consistent firearms inventory in your store can make the owner or manager aware of many aspects of his operation. For example, it helps identify paperwork errors, bulges in inventory, and any theft problems. I have shown this video in our training meetings, and it has proven very useful for both new hires and seasoned employees alike. NSSF also includes a pair of videos on identifying and thwarting straw purchases, called ÒDonÕt Lie for the Other Guy.Ó These videos provide a variety of retail scenarios that your staff should be aware of in order to prevent the illegal straw purchase of firearms. Employee training sessions are an invaluable tool to help you operate your store more effectively. Taking the time to hold short, regular meetings with your staff will pay big dividends in the long run. There are many ways to conduct a training session for your employees, but the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through its videos, has made this management task much easier. You can familiarize yourself with NSSFÕs lineup of videos by visiting its website at nssf.org/retailers.
20 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JUNE/JULY 2012
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Making Dollars Off the Undead Don’t waste time analyzing the zombie craze—get busy and make money from it
ovie critics might point to the flick Zombieland. Television pundits will claim the surprise hit The Walking Dead. Truth is, none of us has a clue why Americans are so into zombies right now, or why shooting them (OK, targets representing them; none of us actually believes in the undead, right?) is one of our sport’s current crazes.
Hornady is capitalizing on the zombie-action fun with a wide variety of greentipped Zombie Max rounds.
Adam Ballard and Larry Ahlman don’t question the trend; they’re too busy organizing the largest zombie shoot in the country. Ballard, product manager for DPMS, started the Outbreak Omega zombie shoot five years ago, and has watched it morph from an 83-shooter event to a festival that now hosts almost 1,000 zombie killers in a single day. Ahlman, owner of Ahlman’s Gun Shop in Morristown, Minnesota, just does his best to host the thing. “We didn’t set out to capitalize on zombie mania when we started this,” Ballard says. “We just wanted to host an event where people could see our stuff, do some
shooting, and have fun. One of our team brought up the zombie craze at the last minute, as an out-there idea when we were searching for a theme. And it just kind of went from there. I don’t pretend to understand why zombies are hot, but I believe some of the appeal is kind of an updated version of Cowboy Action Shooting. People are always interested in a survivalist, worst-case-scenario theme, and zombie shooting must plug into that.” A survivalist impulse is plausible, but Ballard says one of the keys to the success of the Outbreak Omega event is even simpler: It’s fun. “We don’t keep score,” he
stresses. “And that creates a friendly environment that immediately draws in more shooters. Competitive shooters are going to come no matter what, but a large percentage of folks who just want to get their feet wet will feel intimidated by a scored event. The word got out in a hurry that this was a fun way to spend a weekend, and the festive atmosphere is a big seller. How often can you tell people ‘I’m out shooting zombies!’ and be serious?!” Ballard isn’t kidding about the low-key appeal. Although the Outbreak Omega shoot is a 3-Gun affair (shotgun, sidearm, and MSR), a fair percentage of shooters show up without at least one of the categories’ guns. “It’s not unusual for someone to say, ‘I don’t have an MSR, can I do just two of the guns?’ And someone nearby will say, ‘Heck, buy yourself a box of ammo and you can shoot mine!’ I actually bring a few of my own guns along, just to share. It’s one of the most diverse demographics I’ve ever seen at a shoot. We’ve got ex-military and police officers—guys who really know their stuff—and people who are buying gear from vendors and ripping the price tags off as they head for the first station.” Did I mention the corollary activities? To keep up the carnival atmosphere, many shooters dress in costume—anything from fatigues to movie- or television-inspired getups—and gather afterward for a big banquet. “They top that off with a costume contest,” says Ahlman. “There are several different categories, but each contestant walks out on a catwalk, a pretty gal holds up an ‘Applause’ sign, and someone with a sound meter measures decibels. People get pretty into it.” And, Ahlman notes, more than a little currency changes hands that weekend. “All I know is, I gotta have plenty of ammo and guns on hand, and the vendors better be prepared,” he says. “When 1,000 people come here to have a good time in a weekend, it’s a good thing—whether zombies bring ’em or not.” (For a more detailed look at this phenomenon, see “Draw of the Dead,” page 38.)
thwarting navigational nightmares
Forget the undead creeps; hosting 1,000 zombie shooters in a single day is enough to give you nightmares. DPMS’s Adam Ballard says the Outbreak Omega shoot succeeds “first and foremost because Larry Ahlman knows how to plan, and he has a great group of range officers,” he says. “We also realized early on that creating enough stations— we’re up to 30 this year—helps spread shooters out. Finally, we’re striving for more pop-up/reactive and steel targets to shorten setup time. In our first years we attempted to create a storyline that unfolded at each target. Big mistake. Now we encourage people to start at different areas—sequential stations would be a disaster.” 22 ❚ Shot BuSineSS ❚ june/july 2012
5/7/12 4:06 PM
5/10/12 11:34 AM
BY CHRIS CHRISTIAN
The trigger for the Ruger 1911 is an extended, skeletonized aluminum model with a grooved front surface.
Ruger Goes 1911
The new Ruger SR1911 .45 ACP is elegant in appearance and performance
ecent years have seen Ruger depart from traditional steel-framed handguns and enter the polymer market with some innovative designs. But recently, the manufacturer did an 180-degree course reversal and introduced a classic steel-frame 1911. The Ruger SR1911 ($799) is a full-size 1911 .45 ACP with a 5-inch stainless-steel barrel, and features a stainlesssteel slide and frame with a bead-blasted soft matte finish. The front strap is uncheckered and the trigger guard is traditionally rounded. Slide markings are minimal and tastefully done.
The operating controls include a slide-release lever, single left-side extended combat thumb safety, single-side magazine-release button, checkered flat mainspring housing, and an extended Beavertail grip safety (with an effective speed bump) finished in matte black. Grip panels are walnut in the classic diamond pattern and secured with flushmounted Allen screws. A Ruger medallion is inletted on each side. The combination of soft matte stainless steel, matte black controls, and classic wood grip panels creates an elegant-looking handgun. Sights are Novak, in a threewhite-dot pattern. They are dovetailed front and rear, and the rear is adjustable. It’s obvious that Ruger’s engineers took a long look at the original John Moses Browning design and resisted the impulse to “improve” it. Instead, they just enhanced it where it was needed. The ejection port is oversized and flared. The original
internal extractor is intact. A small viewing port at the rear of the barrel hood allows visual confirmation of a loaded round. The plunger tube assembly is integral with the frame; it won’t come loose. Internally, the SR1911 uses the original Browning twopiece feed ramp system along with the short guide rod, fulllength recoil spring, and barrel bushing and plunger. The gun disassembles like Browning’s original. A barrel bushing wrench is supplied with the gun, but it’s not needed for those familiar with the original
1911 design—you can disassemble this gun with your fingers. The trigger-group assembly uses a titanium firing pin with a Series 70 design firing system. There are no internal firing pin blocks, and this fire-control system is much preferred by 1911 aficionados. The trigger is an extended, skeletonized aluminum model with a grooved front surface and an adjustable overtravel stop. From the box, the trigger exhibited a brief take-up, and a crisp break at 4.5 pounds with no detectable overtravel. I did the initial “get acquaint-
Closing the Sale
Price normally sells. Performance often sells. Sometimes, appearance sells. The SR1911 combines all three in a package that ships with one flush-fitting seven-round magazine, an extended eight-round magazine, a soft carrying case, a bushing wrench, and the obligatory Ruger padlock. Those features alone will sell to many. For 1911 aficionados, mention the Series 70 action and let them try the trigger. That will close the sale.
ed” shooting with a variety of bucket handloads. This included the wide-mouth Speer Gold Dot 230-grain, which can sometimes cause feed problems with the original Browning barrel ramp system. They produced a couple of failures to feed at first, but after the gun digested 50 or so rounds, there were no further malfunctions with any load used. The loads tested were the Federal Premium 185-grain Hydra-Shok +P, the Federal 185-grain Classic JHP, Federal’s 230-grain Hydra-Shok, Winchester’s 230-grain PDX1, Cor Bon’s 165-grain +P JHP, and my IDPA practice handload using a 230-grain Speer LRN at about 740 fps. Some 1911s require a lighter recoil spring to handle this reload, but the Ruger shot them perfectly. The SR1911 showed a preference for the 185-grain loads, and both grouped into 1.5 inches. When Ruger went 1911, they did it right. (203-2597843; ruger.com)
24 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JUNE/JULY 2012
5/8/12 4:21 PM
TOO GOOD TO MISS
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS for helping to make the 2012 SHOT Show the most successful in recent memory.
The 2012 SHOT Show was a record-breaking event on many accounts. Attendance topped 60,000 for the frst-time, exhibitors reported writing more orders with qualifed buyers, and more than 2,500 members of the media provided press coverage of the industryâ€™s biggest event. See you next year! JANUARY 15-18, 2013
SANDS EXPO & CONVENTION CENTER
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
5/11/12 11:49 AM
The Thrill of the Wild Goose Gun Chase
Scouring the Washington, D.C., area for a waterfowl shotgun
y assignment was to shop for a shotgun for goose hunting. Washington, D.C., heads the list of gun-hating cities, so in order to purchase a firearm you must go prospecting in either northern Virginia or Maryland. The often traffic-clogged Capitol Beltway, I-495, is the beginning of any gun quest. Branching out from there, I visited two stores in Virginia and two in Maryland, all within 30 minutes of the Beltway and each other. Luckily, I was seeking a shotgun, and despite Maryland’s draconian handgun-purchase laws, long guns can be purchased by citizens of any of the contiguous states.
of its recoil-reducing ComforTec stock, as well as the Kick-Off stock on the Beretta. I asked about the virtues of the 3½-inch magnum and he said, “They have a few extra pellets for long range.” He was no shotgun expert, but he knew the merchandise and didn’t push for a sale. But never at any time did he offer to take a shotgun from the locked rack for me to handle.
Store B This store obviously caters to “tactical” folks with racks of MSR-style rifles and
loads of handguns. It had a rack of used shotguns and about a dozen new ones, mostly Brownings. The only clerk on duty was very pleasant, and immediately showed me a Browning Maxus, which he safely handed to me with the chamber open and the barrel pointing ceilingward. He told me that the Maxus would shoot both 3- and 3½-inch shells. I inquired about the recoil; he said one of his buddies had one and the recoil wasn’t bad. I spied a Beretta Xtrema on the shelf. After hefting the Maxus, I had to ask about the Beretta. He opened the bolt and
I began my search in one of the area’s bigbox stores. Patrick, who was behind the counter, enthusiastically showed me the store’s full range of waterfowl shotguns, beginning with the lowest priced all the way through the high end. They had the Stoeger 2000 and 3500, Remington 11-87 Super Mag, Winchester Super X3, the Beretta Xtrema, and Benelli Super Black Eagle II (SBE II). He vaguely described the unique porting of Remington’s Versa Max, and mentioned its versatility. As for the Benelli SBE II, he mentioned the benefits
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undercover shopper handed it to me with the comment, “This is their latest waterfowl gun.” I pointed to the black chevron behind the pistol grip of the camoed stock. He replied that it was the Kick-Off, and showed me how it collapsed, softening felt recoil. He was fairly knowledgeable, and never pushed for a sale. Even though he was alone, he never rushed the discussion.
Store C It was early on a Saturday afternoon in this crowded mega outdoors store. Right from the start, my clerk Shane introduced himself as a waterfowler, and proved an experienced one. He asked my price range, and I said I wanted to see what would serve me best. He started at the top and, after retrieving the proper key to unlock the rack, handed me a Benelli SBE II, stating that he had owned one for more than five years and it never failed to perform. It was very clean-shooting, he said, “because the
shot and dirt is out of the muzzle before it opens.” He then showed me a Beretta Xtrema II, noting that it was heavier and also needed more frequent cleaning. Showing me a Benelli Vinci, he said it looked different but was equally reliable. Shane then showed me a Browning Maxus, saying one of his colleagues had one and really liked it, but that the Winchester Super X3 was virtually the same gun for less money. He stated that if I wanted a gun that would stand up to years of heavy loads, I should pick one of the higher-end options. Shane also discussed how a camo finish would protect a gun in severe conditions. I was never rushed, and was safely shown and able to handle every gun.
Store D This shop, which caters to waterfowlers, has been in business for decades. The young man who waited on me was very knowl-
edgeable and stated that while many guns were chambered for 3½-inch shells, 3-inch loads patterned better, with less recoil. He asked about my budget, and since I had none, started with the Benelli M2, a 3-inchchambered gun. “It will do everything you need,” he said. He then moved to the Benelli SBE II and finally the Vinci. He made the point that “you can field-strip the Vinci in no time,” and proceeded to break it down into its three parts, indicating how you could further remove the bolt and so on. After handling the Benellis, he gave me a Beretta Xtrema to handle, stating that it was more muzzle-heavy (and implying the Benelli was better balanced). Showing me the Winchester Super X3, he said it had “the best gas system,” and was a good buy. When I asked about it, he demonstrated the Kick-Off stock of the Xtreme. When quizzed about camo finishes, he related his own experience with dipped finishes, and that they were well worth the additional one or two hundred dollars.
how’d they Do? Customer Service
The salesperson quickly acknowledged me and listened to my questions.
seemed fairly well versed in general terms. Did not offer shotguns for me to handle.
had a good, broad selection of appropriate shotguns.
had to wait for the only salesperson. had to ask to see one of the shotguns.
Knew basics about the guns.
Very limited selection of shotguns.
The excellent, enthusiastic salesperson offered many options and steered me to good choices.
Knew from experience what worked, and offered guns that he thought would be a good fit for my purposes.
Displayed a good, broad selection of many in-stock guns, including lower-priced guns for a smaller budget than i implied.
The salesperson store was quick to respond, and drew on his own experience to guide me.
he had a good knowledge of guns for goose hunting, including from personal experience.
limited selection, partially because of a depleted stock.
SCorinG SySTem: Outstanding:
Choosing between stores C and D was a difficult, close call. The deciding factor was store C’s better in-stock selection. Bass Pro Shop 7000 Arundel Mills Circle hanover, MD 21076 410-689-2500 basspro.com
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This category has been red hot for the past couple of years, and there’s no indication of a slow down of any sort on the horizon By Chris Christian
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FIREARMS & AMMUNITION
AdvAnced TecHnoLoGY inTernATionAL Two new tactical shotgun accessories highlight ATI’s 2012 introductions. Designed to fit the Mossberg 500 and 590, the Halo Heatshield ($49.99) is a free-floating heat shield intended to prevent any metal-to-metal contact between the heat shield and the barrel. Constructed of high-strength steel with a matte black powder coating, the Heatshield slips over the barrel and is rigidly secured with high-temperatureresistant polymer clips and V-blocks to prevent slippage. Aluminum CNC-machined ghost ring sights are installed, and a dovetailed
Picatinny rail attachment is included (the rail is available as an accessory). The heat shield’s length is 16.25 inches (16.5 inches with the optional Picatinny rail installed). ATI notes it will fit shotguns with or without a magazine extension, but may not fit 18-inch barrels equipped with a muzzle stand-off device. The Tactical Evolution shotgun buttstock comprises the Triton Mount System, which allows stock-length adjustments and interchangeable sling mount locations for right- and left-handed shooters, and the Scorpion Recoil Buttpad and Pistol Grip, which absorbs the initial punch of recoil. It is constructed of military type III anodized 6061 T6 aluminum, and can be user-installed with no specialized tools. (800925-2522; atigunstocks.com)
Rock River Arms: Part of the new LEF-T series, the LAR15LH is designed especially for southpaws. Chambered for 5.56mm, it has a left-side ejection port and an ambidextrous magazine release and charging handle.
BeneLLi usA The Benelli Performance Shop M2 3-Gun Edition is designed for serious 3-Gun competition shooting under intense pressure. It has to run fast, smoothly, and reliably; it also must reload quickly and shoot accurately. In other words, when things start, it has to finish them quickly. That’s the same “job description” a tactical shotgun must fill, and this upper-level Benelli (SRP: $2,199) is worth a look for those who stake their life on their equipment. The M2 is built on Benelli’s Inertia Driven operating system with Performance Shop fitting and smoothing. The trigger group has been handhoned and polished for a crisp and consistent let-off. It is chambered for 12-gauge with a 3-inch chamber, but it also handles all 2.75-inch shells as well. The M2 also features a
21-inch Crio-treated barrel and is supplied with five different Crio interchangeable choke tubes, from Cylinder to Full. The front sight is a Hi-Viz fiber optic with a .135inch bead for rapid low-light acquisition. A green FO pipe is installed, but extra interchangeable FO pipes in different colors are included. Custom parts from Nordic Components to enhance operation include a larger Speed Button bolt release and an extended tactical-style bolt-cocking handle. The loading port has been widened, with beveled edges, and the shell carrier has been modified to speed reloading. A heavy-duty Teflon-coated follower has been fitted to the magazine spring to smooth operation and prevent binding. The stock is synthetic with ComforTech panels, and the M2 is finished in a matte
PREVIOUS SPREAD: CLIFF VOLPE/TACTICALIMAGES.COM
his is an interesting year for tactical and law enforcement products. Among the many new items are duty loads from Federal and Hornady; tactical rifles from Rock River Arms, PTR, and Smith & Wesson; and a number of new scopes and reflex sights from Leupold, Trijicon, and Weaver. There’s also a new concealed holster line from Blackhawk. On the handgun scene, Rock River Arms is introducing a very interesting polymerframed 1911, and LaserMax has announced a new frame-mounted laser sight for compact semi-autos. Add new accessory optical mounting systems, cleaning kits, and a new line of women’s tactical clothing, and retailers will find more than a few items they’ll want to add to their inventory.
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law enforcement 2012 blue. Empty weight is 7.1 pounds, with an overall length of 42.5 inches. (800264-4962; benelliusa.com)
FederAL premium If you took a poll among veteran lawmen regarding their favorite patrol shotgun load, you would find a high percentage who state a preference for No. 1 buckshot, especially in the South. Not only does it provide 66 percent more pellets than the 00 buckshot load, but it is less prone to over-penetration in soft targets, while dealing well with automobile glass and other modest barricades. Unfortunately, No. 1 buck has been a difficult load to find in recent years. That changes in 2012. New to the Federal Premium Tactical Buckshot line is a No. 1 buck load in 12-gauge. The 2.75-inch 2.5dram load exits the muzzle at a modest pressure of 1,145 fps. It features 15 copperplated No. 1 buck pellets, sealed and crimped 202 primers, and a solid brass head. Used with the Flitecontrol wad, Federal claims patterns of less than 10 inches at 25 yards from open-choked guns, and less recoil than standard-pressure and magnum loads. (800-322-2342; federalpremium.com)
American Technology Network: The ThOR-320
Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight features digital technology.
HornAdY mAnuFAcTurinG New this year is the Critical Duty line of handgun ammunition, initially introduced in 9mm and .40 S&W. It uses Hornady’s Flexlock bullet, which incorporates the Flex Tip design to initiate consistent expansion while preventing clogging as the bullet negotiates barricades. Designed for urban barrier performance, it features a cannelure bullet with a crimped case to prevent bullet setback, an Interlock band to keep the core and jacket from separating, and a nickel-plated case for corrosion resistance while making the low-light chamber check easier. It will be available in a 135grain 9mm loading in standard pressure and +P, and in a 175-grain .40 S&W load. (308-382-1390; hornady.com)
pTr indusTries Formerly known as PTR-91, the maker of quality rollerlock HK-91-style rifles was reorganized as PTR Industries in January. It will continue to produce 91-type rifles, and for 2012 it has two new models that fit well into the tactical arena. The PTR-91 Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) is intended for sportsmen who want a semi-auto 7.62mm/ .308 Winchester chambering, but it will also serve well as a tactical patrol rifle. It is provided in a textured earthtone finish, with a lighter overall weight and slimmer profile than traditional 91-series rifles. It is an “A-4style” platform, with no iron sights and the ability to mount optics low to the bore with the welded scopemount rails, which accept all Picatinny and Weaver mount
systems. The 18-inch barrel is tapered and target crowned and is fully free-floated. A round, ventilated handguard is designed for rapid heat dispersion, and the MSR features an open H&K Navystyle trigger and trigger group. The stock is fixed and fitted with a cheekpiece riser to provide optimal eye relief with optics. Sling swivels are standard. The gun ships with one 5-round magazine, and accepts all G3 extendedcapacity magazines. SRP: $1,200 to $1,345. Those looking for maximum firepower in a minimal package will want to check out the new PTR-91 SBR (Short Barrel Rifle). Chambered for 7.62mm, it features an 8.75-inch barrel. H&K-style iron sights are included, as is a welded rail that accepts Picatinny/ Weaver optics mounts. Shooters have the option of a fully collapsible paratrooper stock (SBR-P) or a six-position M4 tactical stock (SRB-M4). The handguard is equipped with a 3-inch rail at the six o’clock position and is shipped with a detachable vertical foregrip. An H&K Navy-style polymer trigger group and a 20-round magazine are standard. SRP: $1,200 to $1,425. (860-676-1776; PtR91.com)
Smith & Wesson: Available in black and flat dark earth colors, the M&P15 MOE Mid is the result of a collaboration with Magpul and Viking Tactics. It ships with a 30-round PMAG magazine.
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Leupold: Leupold is offering four new riflescopes and a new tactical binocular this year. Among them are the Mark 4 1.5–5x20mm M/T (left) and the Mark 6 1–6x20mm M6C1 riflescopes, and the new BX-2 10x42 Tactical Binocular.
rock river Arms
Weaver: The G.E.T. tool
and scope-mounted Picatinny Rail Adaptor make scope mounting easier.
Two new rifles and two new pistols enter the RRA product line this year. The LAR-47 CAR A4 (SRP: $1,475) is a hybrid design that combines the versatility of the AR platform with the popularity of the AK-style rifle. Chambered for 7.62x39mm, it is a flattop design developed to accept all standard AK-47 magazines. It features a 16-inch chromelined HBAR with a 1:10 RH twist barrel, an A2 front-sight gas block, a chromed bolt carrier group, a Delta muzzle brake device, a two-stage RRA trigger group, an RRA LAR-47 trigger guard, an ambidextrous magazine release, an RRA star safety selector, a six-position Delta CAR buttstock and pistol grip, and a two-piece quad-rail handguard. Weighing 7.75 pounds and measuring 36.5 inches long, it ships with one 30-round magazine, a rifle case, a manual, and RRA’s limited lifetime warranty. The same platform is also available as the CAR Standard Model (SRP: $1,200) with an A2 flash suppresor, an RRA six-position tactical
CAR stock, a CAR handguard, and an A2 pistol grip. Southpaws will appreciate the new LEF-T Rifle series. The RRA LAR-15LH (SRP: $1,050) is an A4 flattop engineered for left-handed shooters. Chambered for 5.56mm, it features a left-side ejection port, a safety selector, an ambidextrous magazine release, and an ambidextrous charging handle. The 16-inch chrome-moly barrel features a 1:9 LH twist (which RRA claims provides better muzzle control for southpaws than traditional RH twist rifling) and uses the RRA Tactical Muzzle Brake ½-28 thread and the RRA Flip Front Sight gas-block assembly. The buttstock is the Operator CAR, with an ERGO pistol grip. Empty weight is 8 pounds; its length is 37 inches. The LEF-T Elite features the RRA Half Quad Free Float; the LEF-T Tactical uses the RRA CAR Quad Rail Free Float; and the LEF-T Entry uses the RRA CAR Wraparound Half Quad. Each configuration comes with three rail covers. The Rock River Arms
PDS Pistol is the first of a new generation of firearms employing RRA’s patentpending Piston Driven System. It utilizes a purposedesigned bolt carrier, an adjustable gas piston on the right side of the regulator housing, and an over-thebarrel spring and guide rod arrangement that eliminates gas blowback into the action. Chambered for 5.56mm NATO, the PDS Pistol weighs 5 pounds and is 17.5 inches long. A full-length top-mount rail runs from the rear of the receiver to the regulator housing. The folding ambidextrous non-reciprocating charging handles may be used independently or in unison. The trigger is a singlestage; the injection-molded handguard features an integral Operator Safety Flange to prevent support hand slippage. The 8-inch chromemoly barrel is a 1:9 twist. MS1913 rail points on the regulator housing and rear receiver adaptor permit sling mounting. A Hogue rubber pistol grip provides a secure hold. It ships with one magazine and an owner’s manual.
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law enforcement 2012
Trijicon: Trijicon’s new TARS 3–15x50mm riflescopes sport a front-focal-plane reticle and
adjustable LED reticle illumination. The SRS (upper right) is a sealed reflex sight, waterproof to 165 feet. The new 4x32 LED Battery ACOG brings LED illumination to the ACOG’s performance.
The new RRA 1911 Poly is a departure from RRA’s traditional all-steel handguns. This 1911 .45 ACP (SRP: $800) features a polymer frame body with optional interchangeable colors on the frame and mainspring housing, and rubber overmolded grips. The sub-assembly is a 4140 steel billet frame insert that mates with a 4140 steel billet slide with rear serrations. The 5-inch stainlesssteel barrel is a 1:16 LH twist. Other features include a beavertail grip safety, a commander hammer, and a polymer-shoed trigger with the pull set at 4.5 pounds. Empty weight is 2.04 pounds, and the pistol ships with one 7-round magazine. (309-7925780; rockriverarms.com)
smiTH & Wesson Two new 5.56mm models join S&W’s M&P15 rifle series, the result of collaborative efforts with Magpul and Viking Tactics. The M&P15 MOE Mid is available in black or flat dark earth colors. It uses a mid-length operating system that S&W claims produces lower recoil and faster
follow-up shots. A co-branded Magpul-designed forged lower receiver (available only from S&W) features a flared magazine well with serrations on the forward edge, an ambidextrous finger shelf, and a one-piece trigger guard. The 16-inch 4150 CMV steel barrel has 5R rifling and a 1:8 twist rate. A new flash hider design directs gas and sound forward and away from the shooter. The rifle barrel has a Melonite finish, and the bolt carrier and gas key are chrome-lined. Standard features on the stock include a MOE six-position collapsible buttstock and modular MOE mid-length handguard. For an improved grip, the rifle is set up with a MOE pistol grip and removable MVG vertical fore grip. A folding Magpul MBUS rear sight and a standard A2 front provide iron sights while allowing for optics. The new M&P15 VTAC II also uses the mid-length operating system, a 16-inch 4150 CMV steel 1:8 twist barrel with 5R rifling, and an enhanced flash hider. It is finished in Melonite. The
M&P15 VTAC II features a VTAC/Troy Extreme TRX Handguard that provides multiple accessory slots to allow flexible accessory mounting. Each rifle is supplied with two 2-inch adjustable Picatinny-style rails for convenient mounting on the forend. The buttstock is the VLTOR IMod six-position collapsible stock, which can adjust the overall length from 33.5 inches to 36.75 inches. A match-grade Geissele Super V Trigger is standard. Additional VTAC branded features that are shipped with the rifle include a wide, padded two-point tactical sling, a LPSM low-profile sling mount, and a VTAC light mount. A 30-round PMAG magazine is supplied. (800331-0852; smith-wesson.com)
SIGHTING SYSTEMS & OPTICS
AmericAn TecHnoLoGY neTWork The new ThOR-320 Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight (SRP:
starts at $5,699) is the most compact and lightest member of ATN’s ThOR series of thermal-imaging riflescopes. It is based on the same 320x240 high-resolution microbolometer core technology used by U.S. military and LE agencies. The ATN ThOR-320 is totally digital and available in four magnification ranges (1X, 2X, 3X, and 4.5X)—a built-in digital zoom will double each magnification. The all-digital operation provides users with a choice of aiming reticles, color modes, black/white polarity control, brightness adjustments, and precision digital windage and elevation adjustments. Featuring a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail quick-release mount, it can easily be converted to a hand-held thermal viewer by removing the mount and adding the included hand strap. All ThOR models are available in Fast Imaging (30hz) or Enhanced Imaging (60hz). Additional features include an aircraft-grade aluminum body with Class 3 hard-anodizing, memory recall to pre-
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serve operational settings, a power-off safety feature to prevent accidental shutdown, 12 color palettes to view thermal images, and five reticle patterns (duplex, post, post with dot, open crosshair, and standard crosshair), four reticle colors (green, white, red, and black), and a six-step brightness control. The ThOR’s quick-change battery compartment accommodates 3v lithium CR123A or four AA batteries, and its “one-torun” system is designed to run on one, two, or three batteries. Recoil rated up to .308-caliber. (800-910-2862;
Gunslick: The AR-Rifle Pull-Thru Cleaning Kit uses a pullthrough cable jag; it’s available for AR-15s and AR-10s.
ArmALite inc. A new one-piece scope mount that appears to be ideally suited for mounting a scope on an A4 flattop MSR marks a new ArmaLite product. Available for 1-inch or 30mm tubes, the black-matte mount places the scope reticle 1.45 inches above the receiver to the center of the mount and should provide clearance for scopes with up to a 44mm objective lens. (800-336-0184; armalite.com)
LAsermAx LaserMax’s new CenterFire laser series can be mounted to the frames of compact semi-autos without special tools or alterations to the frame. Using a 5mW laser, the CenterFire series places the laser beam just under the bore axis, which prevents the user from inadvertently blocking the beam, which is activated by a toggle accessible to both right- and lefthanded shooters. Powered by a single 1/3N lithium battery, LaserMax’s CenterFire laser boasts more than four hours of continuous runtime. The sights are pre-aligned at the factory, but are also user-adjustable for windage
and elevation. The new series is available for the Ruger LCP and LC9; additional models are planned for the future. (800-5273703; lasermax.com)
LeupoLd Four new riflescopes and a new tactical binocular highlight Leupold’s new offerings for 2012. The new Mark 4 1.5–5x20mm MR/T is a compact carbine scope that allows rapid close-range target acquisition, while a quick turn of the magnification dial provides enough precision for 500-yard shots. It features an illuminated front-focal-plane reticle with seven brightnessintensity settings. An off/null position between each numbered illumination setting can be used to extend battery life while allowing the user to quickly move to the desired brightness. The front-focal-plane reticle provides range calibration marks for the recently introduced .300 Blackout round (in both subsonic and supersonic loadings). The MR/T features a 30mm main tube, the Twin Bias Spring Erector System, .5 MOA click M2 adjustable turrets, a lockable fast-focus
eyepiece, and a tethered cap. The new Mark 6 1–6x20mm M6C1 riflescope sports a black matte-finished 34mm main tube to provide a generous field of view at 1X (105.8 feet at 100 yards), with 6X magnification for longer shots. The 10.3-inch length and 17-ounce weight add little bulk to a rifle or carbine. It features an illuminated front focal-plane reticle; reticle options include the CMR-W 7.62 and CMR-W 5.56 ballisticcompensating reticles for those loads. Seven illuminated brightness settings (with null stops between each) extend battery life. The Mark 6 1x6x20 uses the new M6C1 adjustment system with 0.2 mil-per-click adjustments. Compatible with nightvision devices, the scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. The new Mark 6 3–18x44mm M5B2 riflescope is 11.9 inches long and weighs 23 ounces. The 3X magnification range allows for rapid close-target acquisition, with a 36.8-foot field of view at 100 yards. The scope also offers up to 18X magnification for precision longrange shots, with a 6.3-foot
field of view at 100 yards. Finished in black matte, it features a 34mm main tube and is argon/krypton gasfilled, making it waterproof. It uses the new M5 adjustment system that produces 0.1 mil adjustment per click in windage and elevation. Available reticle options include the bullet-dropcompensating CMR-W and the Horus H-58. Additional features include Leupold’s Xtended Twilight Lens System, DiamondCoat 2 lens coating, quick-change Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) rings that allow the scope to be matched to virtually any load, a locking fast-focus eyepiece, and auto-locking pinch and turn adjustment turrets to prevent accidental movement in the field. The new 3.5–25x56mm M5B2 riflescope provides 3.5X magnification for close range, and up to 25X for long range, with a massive light-gathering objective lens. An illuminated frontfocal-plane reticle (mil-dot and Horus Vision H58 reticles are available) features seven illumination settings, with a null stop between each. The 35mm main tube provides more than 25 milliradians of total elevation adjustment and features the M5 adjustment system, which delivers 0.1 mil-perclick adjustments. The Xtended Twilight Lens System is night-visioncompatible, and quickchange BDC rings let the scope match virtually any long-range load. In order to hit a target, you must first locate it—and then determine the range. The new Leupold BX-2 10x42mm Tactical Binocular uses the Mil-L rotating reticle for accurate range estimation. It features fully multicoated lenses and phase-coated BAK4
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law enforcement 2012 prisms. Measuring 5.5 inches in length and weighing 23.1 ounces, it is shipped with a Berry-compliant molle carrying case, a quick-detachable neoprene strap, ocular lens covers, and tethered objective lens covers. The bino is built with a lightweight aluminum body with rubber armor coating in a black matte finish. (800-538-7653; leupold.com)
Trijicon Two new reflex sights and a high-tech riflescope enter the Trijicon line this year. The new Trijicon SRS is a sealed reflex sight that is waterproof down to 165 feet (50 meters). The compact sight features a 28mm objective lens and a 1.75-inch aiming dot small enough for precision shooting but large enough for fast target acquisition at closer ranges. Operating on one AA battery (standard or lithium), it features a solar cell assist to extend battery life. Additional
features include manually adjusted brightness controls, a military-grade aluminum body, and a multi-layered broadband anti-reflective lens coating. It will be available in a Colt-style flattop mount (SRP: $990) or a quick release flattop mount (SRP: $1,075). The new 4x32 LED Battery ACOG (SRP: $1,433) combines the features of the Trijicon ACOG sights with a battery-illuminated LED (single AA battery) .223 Ballistic Reticle and a TA51 mount system. Six manually adjustable brightness settings, with a null setting between each, allows operators to quickly adjust the sight brightness. Waterproof to 500 feet, it is internally adjustable for windage and elevation. The new Trijicon TARS 3–15x50mm variable-power scopes (SRP: $3,990) provide a front-focal-plane reticle, an LED reticle illumination with 10 brightness settings, and locking external adjust-
ers. Powered by one CR2032 battery, the scopes are waterproof, constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, and feature a constant eye relief, fully multicoated lenses, and side focus parallax adjustments. Four reticle styles with an illuminated center dot are available, and include mil-dot, MOA, and duplex. (800338-0563; trijicon.com)
WeAver Weaver’s new KASPA riflescope line (SRP: $120.95 to $324.95) features 12 models that cover the spectrum of big-game hunting, varmints, competition, and tactical usage. All models feature a one-piece tube construction, a black matte finish, fully multicoated lenses, nitrogenpurged interiors, and precise ¼-inch MOA adjustments. All are covered by Weaver’s limited lifetime guarantee. Within that line are four models specifically designed
for tactical applications. The Model 849813 (SRP: $282.95) is a 1.5–6x32mm scope designed for tactical carbines that features an illuminated TBX reticle. Model 849814 (SRP: $314.95) is a 2.5– 10x44mm scope with an illuminated Tactical Mil-Dot reticle. Model 849815 (SRP: $319.99) is a 2.5–10x50mm; this larger objective scope also uses an illuminated Tactical Mil-Dot reticle. Model 849820 (SRP: $324.95) features 3–12x44 magnification and provides an illuminated Tactical Ballistic X reticle. The new Weaver laser rangefinder (SRP: $375.49) uses an 8x28mm optical system and can range deer-type targets to 600 yards and reflective targets to 1,000 yards. It operates on one standard CR2 battery, is IPX3 waterproof, features a SCAN mode for moving targets, and can be programmed for feet, yards, or meters. A popular, and very effec-
Weaver: The new KASPA
riflescopes include several for tactical use, including (from top) a 1.5–6x32, a 3–12x44, and a 2.5–10x50.
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tive, sighting system on many AR-15 tactical rifles is a variable scope mounted low to the bore on an A4 flattop upper and a red-dot or reflex sight mounted on or near the scope. The scope allows an operator to take a solid cheek weld and deliver accurate shots at intermediate to long ranges, while the reflex sight lets him take a “heads-up” posture (with full peripheral vision) in situations where things happen close and quick. The new Weaver
Scope Mounted Picatinny Rail Adaptor (SRP: $58.99) simplifies the mounting of the reflex sight. The rail adaptor is crafted from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy with a Type-III hardcoat finish and mounts directly on the scope tube. Secured with four Allen screws, it provides a five-slot section of Picatinny rail that can be placed at virtually any angle for the placement of the red-dot or reflex sight. It is available for 1-inch and 30mm tubes.
Experienced long-range shooters know that their barrel, stock bedding, load, and trigger are critical for success. They also know that the fit of the scope in the rings is equally critical. A scope that is not perfectly lapped into the rings for a solid fit can shift in the mounts, destroying accuracy. The new Weaver 30mm Lapping Tool Kit (SRP: $60.95) provides everything a shooter needs to precisely lap a 30mm scope tube into any available 30mm rings.
With the right tool, a loose screw or a similar maintenance issue is only a minor annoyance instead of a mission failure. The new Weaver G.E.T. (Gunsmithing Everyday Tool; SRP: $21.49) is the answer. The compact folding tool tucks into any kit bag but provides an array of screwdriver and Allen bits that can handle virtually any scope-mount problem. (800635-7656; weaveroptics.com)
Blackhawk: This Remington 870 has been outfitted with the Blackhawk Knoxx Spec Ops Stock Gen II, which reduces shotgun recoil by up to 85 percent. It’s also available for Mossberg models.
New knives, holsters, recoilreducing buttstocks, and bipods highlight Blackhawk’s 2012 products. The new Gideon fixed-blade knife line is constructed from AUS-8A stainless steel with black Ti-Nitride coating. The han-
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Law EnforcEmEnt 2012 dle is constructed from CNCmachined textured G-10. The 5-inch Gideon Drop Point features an additional finger groove in front of the quillon, allowing a firmer hold for precision work. The Gideon Tanto also features a 5-inch blade in a modified Tanto design. Both models (SRP: $129.99) feature two holes in the blade flat for easy tethering, and are supplied with an injection-molded nylon sheath with mounting plates for easy mounting to any harness or belt. The new open-top Blackhawk Sportster Standard Holster is made of a non-SERPA hard-molded synthetic material and features an adjustable detentretention system, which lets the shooter adjust the amount of retention pressure. The retention system locks around the trigger guard for maximum security. Available in right- or left-
hand models, it will initially be offered for the Glock 17/22, G19/23/32/36, 1911 models without a rail, H&K USP Compact, Springfield XD series, SIG 228/229, and Beretta 92/96. Each holster comes with belt loops and a paddle platform. SRP: $21.99. The new Sportster Bipod line will be available in several models with four sizes of adjustment, from 6 inches to 29.5 inches (SRP: $45.99 to $54.99), and will attach quickly to sling swivel studs. The Sportster Pivot line (SRP: $54.99 to $95.99) offers the same height adjustments, but features a rapid-adjust lever and pivoting base that eliminates cant if the bipod is on an uneven surface. The Sportster TraverseTrack series (SRP: $69.99 to $71.99) is available in three heightadjustment models: 6 to 9 inches, 9 to 13 inches, and 13.5 to 23 inches. This model offers the ability to horizon-
tally track the target while providing a pivot action to adjust the legs for uneven terrain. The Blackhawk Knoxx Spec Ops Stock Gen II with forend is claimed to reduce shotgun recoil by up to 85 percent while also greatly reducing muzzle rise. Made from lightweight polymer and alloy materials, the pistolgrip stock adjusts to seven buttstock lengths and features an integrated ambidextrous single-point sling plate and quick-detach sling swivel. It is available for Remington 870 and Mossberg models 500, 535, 590, 835, and 88 in either matte black or Next G1 Camo. SRP: $134.99 to $159.99. Available for the same models and colors as the Gen II, the Blackhawk Knoxx Talon Thumbhole Stock uses the patented Knoxx recoilreducing system, but has a non-adjustable 13.75-inch
length of pull and features an ambidextrous thumbhole stock with a traditional comb. The grip features interchangeable inserts. (800-694-5263; blackhawk.com)
Gunslick The new AR-Rifle Pull Thru Cleaning Kit (SRP: $50.95) is designed to provide a compact, yet complete, kit for the proper cleaning of AR-15 and AR-10 rifles. It features a Pull-Thru cable jag system, aluminum rods and chamber brush, a scraper, a punch and pick, appropriate brushes, a 1.25-ounce bottle of Ultra-Care cleaning chemical, and a bore checker that doubles as a chamber flag. Available in AR-15 (which includes a chamber guide to align the cleaning rod with the bore) and AR-10, it is packed in a soft case with a belt loop. (800-635-7656; gunslick.com)
5/14/12 1:23 PM
SHOOTING-SCENARIO GAMES ARE YEARS, ZOMBIE ACTION HAS BEEN
What’s a zombie? If you think it’s the creepy undead seen in horror movies walking disjointedly in search of a meal of fresh living flesh, well…you’re right, sort of. But you’d also be right on target if you believe zombies are the basis of one of the fastestgrowing shooting sports since Gertrude Hurlbutt invented skeet. Alternate and scenario shooting games such as Cowboy Action and 3-Gun are gaining shooters across the country at an incredibly fast clip. Of particular note, these games tend to attract young
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GROWING FAST, BUT IN RECENT SPREADING LIKE A PANDEMIC
ILLUSTRATION BY SZYMON KUNDRANSKI
BY LARRY AHLMAN
shooters who find Five Stand, Skeet, and Trap far too sedentary. These shooters like the fast pace and action of 3-Gun or the ability to wear period dress and assume a character of the Old West in Cowboy Action. Zombie shooters are no different. The good news for retailers is that the typical zombie shooter tends to be between 20 and 40 years old. And though the sport is dominated by men, a lot of women are entering the ranks. This is a huge new audience that deserves your attention. One of the manufacturers spearheading the sport is Minnesota-based DPMS Firearms. “A few years
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DPMS Firearms began hosting its “Outbreak Omega” zombie shoot a few years ago. It incorporates various shooting scenarios, a costume contest, and more. As it grows in popularity, it has begun drawing a younger crowd more familiar with video games than traditional shooting.
ago, we wanted to hold a fun shoot for our local fans,” says DPMS product manager Adam Ballard. “We decided to incorporate zombies and named the event ‘Outbreak Omega.’ Just under 100 shooters and a handful of spectators showed up that first year. But it’s grown quickly. By the third year, attendance was nearly 600. Now we’re seeing about 1,000 shooters. It’s unbelievable.”
DrIVIng FactorS What’s driving this market? Movies are one element. Remember what Dirty Harry did for .44 Magnum handgun sales? Well, films such as Zombieland, Zombie Apocalypse, and Dawn of the Dead, and the surprising success of the cable TV show The Walking Dead, have spurred a huge interest in the undead—and the firearms needed to keep them under control. Noticeably
absent from these films are big stars like Clint Eastwood, but what these movies lack in star power is offset by the sheer volume of releases. A recent search of Netflix showed more than 60 full-length zombie movies available for streaming or rental. Adding to the popularity is that the violence seen in zombie movies doesn’t seem to offend viewers. When it comes to shooting targets
that feature “people,” you’ll always find a few purists who take offense. Some even object to Bin Laden and Hitler targets. But it seems most folks have a tough time finding a compassionate place in their heart for zombies. The prevailing attitude seems to be, “Shoot ’em all. They’re dead anyway.” Another element pushing the popularity is family participation. Early events
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THE FULLY EQUIPPED ZOMBIE HUNTER On that day when the hungry dead rise from their graves, only one sound will be heard above their ghastly, inhuman moans: the ringing of cash registers in shooting sports stores across the country. But even before the zombie apocalypse overtakes us, there are plenty of fun-seekers who’ll want to equip themselves for the next zombie shoot or Outbreak Omega costume contest. Guns, knives, scopes, and utility items are all in high demand among those brave souls who keep us from being overrun by a wave of ravenous brain-eaters. And many zombie shooters are newcomers, so they’ll have a lot of room in their gear closet.
Zombie shooting enthusiasts often dress like survivors in an apocalyptic wasteland, taking precautions to prevent infection by the walking dead.
had few participants under the age of 18, but that’s changing. “Our first Outbreak Omega didn’t have any shooters under the age of 18,” says Ballard. “But this year, the ‘Best Dressed’ award went to a junior, a future shooter all decked out in his Nerf gear!” Any activity that involves the family should not only be taken seriously, but seriously encouraged. And any activity that draws in younger shooters should be welcomed with open arms. “We live in a different world today,” says John Trull, vice president of product management and marketing at Remington Arms. “Kids have so many options to pursue in their spare time. Like it or not, video games are a real element we deal with in terms of competing for their time. The positive element here is that many of these games have
Columbia River Knives Hisshou Sword: Zombie hunting can be swift, sharp work. SRP: $375. crkt.com
Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E. Elite Vest. Keep your essential gear close at hand. SRP: $165. blackhawk.com
DPMS .308 MK12 with Troy Industries accessories. Even the dead will notice. SRP: $1,759. dpmsinc.com
UTG single-point sling. Keep your firearm handy while your hands are busy. SRP: $20. leapers.com
Glock 17 Gen 4 in 9x19mm. For the perfect doubletap: Gotta be sure. SRP: $549. us.glock.com
Condor shotgun ammo pouch. Don’t let up before the undead does. SRP: $26. condoroutdoor.com
EOTEC 512 holographic sight. In the zombie apocalypse, accuracy is key. SRP: $439. eotech-inc.com
United Cutlery M48 Tactical Tomahawk. When zombies bite, bite back. SRP: $60. unitedcutlery.com
Condor roll-up pouch. The difference between the quick and the undead. SRP: $13. condoroutdoor.com
UTG multi-functional sling. A non-slip grip for those sticky situations. SRP: $15. leapers.com
Mossberg 500 Tactical with breacher package. For a quick escape. SRP: $670. mossberg.com
NC Star tactical scope. Smart zombie hunters keep their distance. SRP: $159. ncstar.com
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Ranges can get creative in setting up zombie shooting scenarios; shooters, meanwhile, take their pick of firearms to dispatch their shambling, inhuman foes.
unintentionally created a new awareness among young folks of the shooting sports and the products offered.” Zombie shooting events tend to make the connection between these electronic, fantasy-based games and an actual outdoor activity. Ballard agrees. “It’s a great way for folks to experience shooting without the pressure to compete,” he says. “One of the things about Outbreak Omega that
amazes people is that we don’t keep score. Can you imagine attending a baseball or football game or a trap or rifle shoot where no one kept score? It’s unheard of, but that’s exactly what we do, and hardly anyone complains. There’s no pressure to excel. People come simply for the pure joy of shooting.” That sentiment is echoed by Trull. “I believe people are drawn to a zombie event first and foremost because
it’s fun. And it’s also an environment where they can participate in 3-Gun-type activity without the risk of feeling inferior in a competitive setting. I sincerely believe that these types of fun shoots will serve as a big draw for sanctioned 3-Gun events as more folks get a taste for the sport and want to take it to the next level. Zombie could evolve into one of the larger organized shooting events within our market space.”
coUrSE oF actIon Because the various stages used in zombie shoots require some degree of imagination, one could call it scenario shooting. Much like Cowboy Action, participants dress the part and act out the scenes using real guns. The major difference is that zombie hunters tend to dress military-style, and their firearms of choice are handguns, shotguns, and modern sporting rifles (MSRs).
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In all honesty, the scenarios acted out can be a bit bizarre to the uninitiated. Imagine getting locked in a zombie jail cell, your handgun just out of reach on a distant counter. When the range officer yells, “Go,” you reach through the bars and grab a broom, which is used to hook the key ring on the wall. The keys slide down the handle, and once in your hands you’re able to unlock the cell door, grab your gun, and take on the zombies. Now imagine shooting pop-up targets that are inside an abandoned car (Auto of the Undead) or attacking a zombie-infested island while floating in a johnboat. As with other scenario shooting, the more realism a range operator can add, the more shooters will enjoy it. They’re also getting lots of help from the target makers. Using movie-quality photography, Champion Targets recently introduced Visi-color technology to make their zombie targets incredibly lifelike. Birchwood Casey recently unveiled a complete new line of full-color splattering zombie targets that retailers said simply flew off the shelves. And more and more manufacturers are joining the fun. Brownell’s, the giant shooting-sports-parts supplier, recently got into the game when it launched “The Center for Zombie Awareness” on its website. Hosted by two employees, the site features entertaining “zombie update” videos as well as information on the products needed to combat an outbreak.
thE Z Factor
The Ka-Bar is a traditional design, and many buyers grab it to feel a connection to the users of the past, particularly the tough customers who were members of the United States Marine Corps. But LaserLyte has come up with a new wrinkle—the PB-3Zk pistol bayonet (SRP: $19.95). Zombies beware! (928-649-3201; laserlyte.com)
What to Stock Typically, zombie shooters, like 3-Gun participants, end up with three firearms—an MSR, a semi-auto pistol, and a semi-auto tactical shotgun. The popularity of the MSR is no surprise to Trull. “More men and women today, through their military experience and service to our country, are trained to the AR/MSR platform,” says Trull. “As those folks fold recreational shooting and hunting into their free time, they are naturally going to gravitate to the rifle platforms they are familiar with. Just as lever-action rifles grew in popularity in the early 1900s, and traditionally styled semi-autos were adapted to hunting purposes after World War II, so will the modern sporting rifle grow in popularity in the early 21st century.” In addition to the proper assortment of firearms, a retailer should also have a good supply of extra magazines, extended shotgun tubes, and other add-ons, such as holsters, tactical gloves and kneepads, knives, and lights. Zombie shooters go through a lot of ammo, so make sure to maintain a large stock at good prices to
keep them coming back. Hornady, for example, is offering cleverly conceived and packaged Zombie Max rifle and handgun ammo. And don’t forget targets. Some customers find the new zombie targets so attractive that they buy them just to hang them up in their den.
caSh In on clothIng If you go to an Oakland Raiders game, you’ll see fans dressed up like pirates. In Green Bay, you’ll see “Cheeseheads” walking around with a block of cheese on their head. Ever been to a Star Wars convention? Tons of people are in character, whether it’s Darth Vader, Leia, or Chewbacca. Zombie hunters don’t get quite that carried away, but they do like to identify with their sport. Shooter clothing runs the gamut from street clothes to actual zombie costumes. The most popular look seems to be military style, decked out with a wide array of gadgets and accessories. Seeking a more improvised feel than the standard military look, participants add swords, bayonets, tomahawks, and any-
thing else that looks cool and will fend off the ravenous, brain-hungry undead. While a few participants get a bit crazy with their outfits, most zombie hunters are serious about their choice of gear. They know what they want and talk it up online, telling fellow shooters where they found it. Correct zombie-hunting attire has become important enough that an after-hours fashion show has become one of the highlights of Outbreak Omega. Competing for prizes, contestants walk a runway much like at a Miss America pageant, except they’re decked out in full undeadapocalypse couture. The intensity of audience applause, measured by sound meter, determines the winners. The other winners, of course, are the dealers that stock and sell this gear. It stands to reason that savvy retailers who attend the shoots, keep pace with the latest in equipment and gear, and learn the language of zombie hunters will soon find their store becoming the “in” place for consumers eager to spend their (un) dead presidents.
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B Y S L AT O N L . W H I T E
Vanguard’s Endeavor 82S spotting scope delivers clear images in low light. Pair it with the rugged 263AGH tripod.
Vanguard’s Big Move
High-value optics without the high price tag create a handsome dividend
n 1986, an entrepreneur by the name of Anna Lee hit upon the notion of creating a company, Vanguard, that would supply camera buffs with highquality tripods. She secured a manufacturing facility in China and then watched as consumers accepted the product. Buoyed by this success, two years later Vanguard added camera bags and hard cases to the lineup. By 1992, the company had established an office in the United States and had expanded the line to include monopods and ball heads. So how did this photo-video accessory manufacturer end up in the hunting business? Because it was willing to listen. In 1997, an American rep who was an avid hunter (and an admirer of the quality of the manufacturer’s tripods) suggested that Vanguard get into the
Make sure to point out the center focus wheel that lets the user get on target fast. You should also let the customer try out the tripod. A truly annoying part of shooting multiple targets at a range is the amount of effort it takes to reposition the scope. Once your prospect swivels the scope on the ball head, he’ll instantly see that problem has been solved.
outdoors industry. The following year Vanguard began marketing private-label shooting sticks, tripods, and hard cases. Within two years, Vanguard led the bow and firearms case market, and it increased its footprint in this niche when it introduced Winchester-branded cases. It had also created brand loyalty among hunters who were using Vanguard pivot bipods and slings as well. Then, brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, the manufacturer sensed another opportunity—sporting optics. So, Vanguard invested in a state-of-the-art optical design facility and brought in an expert optical-engineering design team. But the most important move was to gather a sales team of North American hunters and get them involved in product development. Since the team knows what the demand is, it can help Vanguard create what’s needed to satisfy that demand.
The design team also understood that Vanguard’s long-term success rested on its hard-won reputation for quality. The last thing the manufacturer wanted was to be perceived as just another low-cost, low-quality Asian import. The products needed to perform well in low light, and they needed to perform well in foul weather. Which they do. The other challenge was to make the product affordable for the average hunter. Which they are. I’ve spent the past few months using the top-of-the-line Endeavor 82S spotting scope, which is designed to deliver clear, high-contrast images, even in low light. The 20– 62x82mm scope has a light but durable magnesium tube and is waterproof and fogproof. A dual-focus wheel system enables fast focus as well as fine-tuning focus adjustment. All for $599.
But the eye-opener is the tripod—in this case the 263AGH with the GH-100 pistol-grip ball head (SRP: $219.99). The ball head delivers 360 degrees of rotation, and moves up, down, and sideways with a minimum of fuss. In addition, the duallock shoe quickly (but securely) locks the scope in place. To sum up: For less than $1,000 (roughly $1,500 less than the price of some import spotting scopes), your customer can enjoy a good scope and a very robust tripod—equipment designed to withstand hard, knockabout outdoor use. I call that a bargain. One other plus: A big concern of independent retailers is the delivery lag (as much as 120 days) for imports. But because Vanguard stocks many of its products in its Michigan office, delivery typically can be done in 60 days. (800-875-3322; vanguardworld.com)
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THE STRENGTH OF SIG IN A DURABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME. The SP2022® delivers all the performance and reliability you expect from SIG in a hard-use polymer package. Classic hammerﬁre design, 4-point safety system, and MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for accessory attachment. Comes with two grip shells for a custom ﬁt. Available in 9mm, .357SIG, and .40 caliber. No wonder it’s becoming the standard choice among elite military and LE forces worldwide.
Find out more at sigsauer.com/SP2022.
5/9/12 3:05 PM
W H AT ’ S S E L L I N G W H E R E
B Y P E T E R B . M AT H I E S E N
Sporting UTAl’s Goods, Logan
Squeezing an average of 900 firearms into 1,900 square feet, this retailer uses every inch of display space. Handgun sales are up from last year by nearly 15 percent, and the shop forecasts a strong summer. “The election is keeping our sales of pistols and MSRs on the rise. We look to see an increase in pricing on MSRs by July, but we also hear that .223 and 9mm ammo could be in short supply,” says counter salesperson Lee Western. Glock 19s lead the sales charts, and Smith & Wesson K-frame revolvers are on the rise. MSRs are seeing consistent turns. Leading the pack are Bushmaster, DPMS, and Stag in .223. Pricing is already higher for these rifles, and Western says he expects to see more increases if availability becomes limited.
Gun IDBoise Company, Boise
This store specializes in hunting and home-defense firearms, keeping nearly 4,000 guns in stock. Led by a large number of Kimbers in .308 and .270 for fall mountain-hunting season, bolt-action rifles are just starting to move. Ruger’s new AllAmerican in .30/06 and Remington’s 700 CDL in .270 are on the board. MSR sales are climbing quickly, with Rock Rivers and S&W M&Ps attracting the most attention. Handgun sales are climbing, mainly due to high demand for the SIG 938 and Smith Bodyguards. Glock 20s and Ruger LCRs are also crossing the counter steadily. “We did a great deal of pre-planning this year. Without long-standing advance orders, our inventory would not be meeting the present high demand,” says owner Gary Hopper.
Cabin Fever MN Sporting Goods, Victoria
Located in western suburban Minneapolis, this 6,000-square-foot storefront stocks bait, tackle, and more than 600 firearms. It stays open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anything small-caliber is red hot for summer break. “Our customers are getting ready to go to their cabins, and are buying .22s for their kids. June is a monster sales time for rimfire turns,” says owner Jeff Byrne. Ruger .22s are flying off the shelf, including 10/22s and Target pistols. Savage Mark IIs also are in demand in .22 and .17HMR. New trap guns, like the Browning BT-99, are selling well, as are other used single-barrel guns. Handguns are slowing slightly, but backordered 1911 Rugers and Glocks are seeing an increase over last year’s
highest seller, Springfield’s XD and XDM. MSRs are steady, with Bushmaster, Rock River, and DPMS all selling well.
Little Joe’s KS Pawn & Gun East, Kansas City
Keeping about 200 guns in stock, this familyrun pawn and gun shop specializes in used rifles and handguns. Glock Model 26s and 17s are holding the top spot for both new and used guns. The Smith Sigma series in 9mm is also moving quickly. Traditional hunting rifles are keeping the register warm with Remington 700 Varmint specials and a few .270 BDLs. “Our boltaction sales and trade-ins are good. It may be because of our large used rifle selection, but MSRs don’t sell well in our shop,” says manager Sean Boyd.
HIKilimanjaro Rifles, Honolulu
This manufacturer, operating a small retail shop in downtown Honolulu, specializes in supplying islanders with high-grade boltaction rifles and antique replicas. This year, traditional calibers such as .30/06 and .375 H&H are seeing the most action in the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro model rifles. A few Artemis riles have also sold in improved Sako 85 actions. This shop is seeing an increase in antique re-creations. “We are continually getting requests for highgrade flintlocks and blunderbusses. It’s a privilege to see these rifles come to life and put them into a customer’s hands,” says president Erik Eike. The majority of the store’s sales are for travelers to Africa and New Zealand; locally, many islanders use the rifles for wild boar.
County MOOsage Guns, Belle
Located in mid-Missouri 60 miles north of Fort Leonard Wood, this retailer keeps more than 3,000 guns on the floor. SIG Sauer holds the commanding lead, with the 1911 series at the top of the list. Kimber and Springfield 1911s hold second and third place, respectively. “Our handgun business is up 25 percent from this time last year, and we don’t anticipate any slowdown until next year,” says owner Edward Pepper. Rifle sales are holding steady at about the same pace as last year. SIG M400 MSRs have taken the high sales slot, and ArmaLites are seeing a few turns. Ammo stock is strong, but prices are inching up due to increasing delivery costs. Sales of general handgun accessories remain high.
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Preventative Medicine The benefits of Being an NSSF Retail Member National Shooting Sports Foundation®
irearms and ammunition retailers have it tougher than ever and their issues vary. Unfriendly laws. Aggressive competition. But retailers have a partner in the business. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the voice of the ﬁrearms industry and a trusted resource for outdoor sporting goods retailers. By becoming an NSSF member, you are never alone. Some key beneﬁts designed speciﬁcally for retailers include: • Comprehensive materials and guidance to maintain ATF/legal compliance with everything from a 4473 overlay to a new legal hotline just for retailers. • Discounts to help retailers grow from national brands such as Federal Express® and Staples® to cost savings for services such as credit card processing, employee background checks and telecommunications offerings. • Customized services and amenities at the industry’s leading trade event, the SHOT Show®. • Programs and partnerships to help recruit new customers such as First Shots®, Hunting Heritage Partnership® and the NSSF Range Grant Program. • Discounts on the industry’s benchmark research that gives retailers a competitive edge.
During this year when our industry will be challenged more than ever, your NSSF membership helps you grow your business and adds one more strong voice to our chorus. Contact Bettyjane Swann at (203) 426-1320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
5/11/12 12:27 PM
W H AT ’ S S E L L I N G W H E R E
Castronova’s NJ Gun Garage, Freehold
This small-town central New Jersey dealer keeps 150 to 200 guns in stock. Handguns are steady, with Ruger Mark 111s topping the list, and Smith .375 Stainless K-Frames in second. “Handguns are good, but I’m already having trouble ordering in many models. I wish I would have pre-ordered more,” says owner Dominic Castronova. Benelli Nova Pumps are seeing a few turns, as are used trap guns from Browning and Ithaca. Rimfires, in particular, are selling well; Henrys are back-ordered and Ruger 10/22s are garnering admirers. Ammo stocks are good at this time.
Enck’s Gun PA Barn, Newmanstown
Located only 24 miles from Cabela’s, this store
Autrey’s GA Armory, Fayetteville
Keeping a total of 15 employees, this tactical homedefense retailer is located in the southern suburban Atlanta area and features 12 indoor rifle and pistol shooting lanes. Handgun sales increased by nearly 20 percent this year. Model 19 and 20 Glocks lead the counter, but Smith J-Frame Model 642s are selling well. “Who knows if our sales increase is from high crime or the election, but inventories are good and it will be a challenge to keep them high,” says manager Mark Poole. Another surprise this season was the high demand for the Charter Arms Lady Chic pink revolver. It has completely sold out. MSR sales are up, turning daily. Rock River Arms offerings top the list, and Smith M&P Sporters are
keeps a carefully chosen inventory that its competitors do not. Owner Bob Enck says handgun sales are up more than 25 percent compared to last year. Glock Models 17 and 19 hold the top slot. Rimfire .22s are also red hot. Ruger Mark IIIs and Beretta Neos sell exceptionally well. MSRs are extremely strong, with daily turns on Windhams as they arrive. Bushmasters are performing well because of availability. Mossberg 930SPX tactical shotguns are also in high demand. “We are in a heightened state of inventory awareness and availability to maximize our profits. Our Web presence and receiving guns from other sales are all part of our strategy to increase our profits,” says Enck, who notes that when a gun is entered into the logbook, it’s automatically added to the store’s gun online inventory page. Customers
selling almost as fast as they reach the racks.
Gun TXMcClelland Shop, Dallas
Family owned since 1972, this 8,000-square-foot retailer averages 1,000 guns in inventory and employs five gunsmiths. Handguns are the fast movers for June; the highest numbers are Springfield 1911s and Ruger LC9s. “We’re doing pretty well keeping up with our customers’ demands. We bought for the election period, but we’re still dealing with ‘allocations’ from our distributors,” says owner Ron Rutledge. Shotgun sales are warming in anticipation of dove season. Beretta A400s and the Browning Maxus are moving. Rutledge says he expects to see increased sales throughout the summer.
come in daily, asking for specific firearms from the list.
Interlaken NY Guns, Interlaken
Located in the Finger Lakes region, this retailer has an active home-defense and hunting firearms business. Handgun sales are off the charts, led by Glocks in 9mm and .40, followed by Smith J-Frames and M&Ps. There’s also a growing demand for large-frame revolvers, such as Smith 500s and Ruger .454s. “We saw this coming and planned our orders accordingly,” says manager Mark Wroobel. For MSRs, Rock Rivers and Colts hold the top slots. Ammo inventory is good, but Wroobel expects price hikes over the summer. He says that maintaining relationships with distributors and manufacturers is key when demand is high.
MSRs are selling daily, predominately Bushmaster optics-ready models. Plenty of MSR customshop hog guns are on order.
Mitchell’s TN Country Store, Jackson
Located in the western third of the state, this small general store sells groceries, hardware, and sporting goods and keeps an average of 75 guns in stock at any time. Handguns rule the counter, with Springfield XDs and Glock 19s holding the high ground. “I could sell a lot more, but I’ve been waiting for some guns from Ruger for more than a year. I do realize I’m a small shop, but it’s really difficult to get inventory,” says owner Roy Mitchell. Sporting-gun sales are down to a crawl, but Mossberg 500 homedefense guns are selling. Rock Rivers also are turning every week.
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SLIM, CONCEALABLE POWER IN 9MM & .40 S&W Everything superior about M&P now comes in a lightweight carry size. Choose 9mm or .40 S&W for protection slim enough to conceal yet big enough to shoot comfortably. End to end, the striker-ﬁred M&P SHIELD features true M&P advantages from ergonomic design to simple operation, durability and a lifetime service policy. Anywhere, anytime – M&P SHIELD keeps you ready. SMITH-WESSON.COM/MPSHIELD TM
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5/9/12 2:50 PM
new products (Continued from page 52)
Sims’ Limbsaver Kodiak-Lite Sling is made of nonslip material designed to absorb vibration; it works with both rifles and crossbows.
Other features include a large focus wheel strategically placed toward the center of the binocular to remove strain on the focus finger and improve balance. The result is a relaxed, comfortable grip, even when the user is wearing thick gloves. The forward placement of the focus knob also eliminates interference from the brim or bill of a hunter’s hat. For enhanced durability, Zeiss has also created a high-grade magnesium Double-Link Bridge that not only protects the focus wheel, but facilitates a natural and almost effortless setting of the diopter control. Intentionally separating focus and diopter controls also provides a smoother, more precise focus. Available this fall. SRP: Victory 8x42 HT, $2,444; Victory 10x42 HT, $2,499. (800441-3005; zeiss.com/sports)
Sims Vibration Laboratories The Limbsaver Kodiak-Lite Sling, made Frankford Arsenal’s EZ Sonic Cleaner uses ultrasonic technology to clean brass. A larger version is also available.
from the proprietary NAVCOM (Noise and Vibration Control Material), which has been designed to absorb the transmission of vibration, features a lightweight contour design. The nonslip sling can be used on rifles and crossbows (with standard or quick-release swivel attachments) as well as compound bows (using specially designed buckles and webbing). Available in black and camo. SRP: $24.99. (877257-2761; limbsaver.com)
Frankford Arsenal Frankford Arsenal’s Ultrasonic Cleaners combine high quality with affordability to deliver state-of-the-art cleaning power for brass and other parts. High-frequency ultrasonic agitation quickly and quietly cleans the exterior and interior of brass without a mess; the process will even break down stubborn carbon buildup found in primer pockets. The cleaners are available in two models: the EZ Sonic Cleaner and the Extreme Sonic Cleaner. The EZ Sonic Cleaner is a 30-watt unit at 42KHz and has a tank size of 5.8 by 4.8 by 1.9 inches, giving it a capacity of .75 liter. It is capable of cleaning approximately 125 pieces of .223 brass per batch. SRP: $49.99. The Extreme Sonic Cleaner is a 100-watt unit at 42KHz. Tank size is 7.7 by 6.5 by 2.6 inches, giving it a capacity of 2 liters. It is capable of cleaning approximately 350 pieces of .223 brass per batch. This model provides added cleaning power with a heating function. It also offers a digital display and time controls. SRP: $99.99 Both models include removable baskets for convenient draining. Two specialized cleaning solutions are available; one has been designed specifically for brass, the
other for miscellaneous parts such as pistol barrels, gas pistons, and trigger groups. (573-445-9200; battenfeld technologies.com)
Royal Purple Best known for high-performance synthetic lubricants designed for the automotive industry, Royal Purple is branching out to the firearms industry with a new gun oil. Royal Purple Gun Oil uses a proprietary additive (Synerlec) designed to enhance the base oil’s ability to protect firearms from metal-to-metal contact under heavy loads. This reduces fouling and improves performance. Royal Purple Gun Oil’s synthetic solvency lightly cleans firearms as well, so owners can use one product as opposed to buying a cleaner and a separate lubricant. It works in varying temperatures, and will not thicken in cold weather. SRP: $10.23, 4-ounce can. (281-3548600; royalpurple.com)
I.O. Inc. I.O. Inc. is reintroducing the Hellcat pistol with improvements and adjustments designed to make it better appeal to the concealed-carry market. The new Hellcat features stronger slides for enhanced performance and reliability as well as highvisibility sights to help the user focus faster and fire more accurately. The Hellcat is chambered in .380 Auto and has an overall length of 5.16 inches. Width is less than 1 inch and the height is 3.6 inches. The 2.75-inch steel alloy barrel has six grooves and 1:16 twist. Designed with both male and female shooters in mind, the Hellcat weighs only 9.4 ounces empty, and ships with a six-round stainless-
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I.O.’s reintroduced Hellcat pistol improves on the original design, and features stronger slides, high-visibility sights, and enhanced performance and reliability. It weighs only 9.4 ounces empty, and ships with a six-round magazine.
Go to: www.ShotBusiness.com for free info.
steel magazine and a custom pocket pouch. SRP: $249.95. (845-652-8535; ioinc.us)
Hawke Sport Optics Constructed with a one-piece monotube chassis, the new 1X scope from Hawke Sport Optics was originally designed with the crossbow user in mind, for use in states that restrict magnification. Its dual-cross six-aim-point reticle (calibrated at 315 fps) delivers extreme accuracy without magnification. But the scope also benefits turkey hunters. Rather than a red dot, which can be hard to see in bright sunlight, the scope’s illuminated reticle is always visible. Also, the top cross in the reticle represents 4 inches at 40 yards. Just place the cross on the tom’s head and pull the trigger. The fast-growing tactical and CQB segment will also find use for this compact low-profile scope. Weighing just over 9 ounces, the scope allows for quick target acquisition courtesy of its generous eye relief and parallax-free image reproduction. The illuminated cross aim points are easy to use, and are ideal for use in close-quarter settings. The scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and covered by the Hawke Worldwide Warranty. SRP: $99.99. (877429-5347; hawkeoptics.com)
Pulsar is the global leader in generation 3, digital and thermal night vision systems. The advanced models are designed for harsh environments, long distance observation and video recording. Hands-free and riﬂe-mounted operations are available. US manufactured models are export prohibited and some versions are restricted to ofﬁcial US Military and police use only.
To request a Pulsar catalog or to request an Authorized Dealer Application, call 817-225-1704. www.pulsarnv.com |
5/14/12 12:43 PM
photo by justin appenzeller
Zeiss claims its new Victory HT binocular gives hunters an unparalleled advantage in the field, with nearly 95 percent light transmission. Designed to let hunters observe game in low light and in deep cover, the new binocular takes advantage of several new Zeiss features, most notably proprietary Schott High Transmission (HT) glass, a super-efficient Abbe-Koenig prism, and newly enhanced proprietary Zeiss T* multi-layer coating. (Continued on page 50)
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MODEL 700 BDL 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION CHAMBERED IN 7MM REMINGTON MAGNUM
MODEL 700 XCR II AVAILABLE IN A WIDE RANGE OF CHAMBERINGS
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