SHOT Daily 4 2015

Page 1


NEW PRODUCT REPORTS SHOT Daily hits the floor to find what’s new in the world of airguns P. 14. and airsoft P. 22



A piston-smooth small carbine from the Alps SEE PAGE 51

The outspoken former governor makes an appearance at SHOT SEE PAGE 8



A search for the perfect match bullet leads to something unexpected SEE PAGE 56

Weatherby’s Orion shotgun makes a stunning return SEE PAGE 59




A New Force Given the growth of participation by women in the shooting sports recently, it should come as no surprise that this group represents a lucrative new market for gun sales—and a study undertaken last year by NSSF confirms that belief. The study focused on women ages 18 to 65 who own at least one firearm. More than a third of women in the study were new gun owners, having purchased their first firearm within the last three years. “The women’s market is a force in our industry, and manufacturers, retailers, and shooting ranges are making changes to their products and services to satisfy women’s tastes and needs. This report will assist anyone interested in knowing more about women’s enthusiasm for and attitudes toward firearms,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of industry research and analysis, at a seminar at SHOT where these trends were discussed. Placing a premium on safety, women say the single most important reason they decided to purchase or own a firearm is protection—both personal and home protection. Learning to hunt and going shooting with friends and family were also cited. The report shows women are attracted to shooting activities such as practical pistol, clay target shooting, long-range shooting, and plinking. In NSSF’s Annual Retailer Survey, more than 74 percent of retailers reported an increase in women customers in their stores in 2013 over 2012.

Bushnell Makes Donation Founded by Major Dan Rooney in 2007, Folds of Honor provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of service members killed or disabled during U.S. military service. According to the foundation, more than 1.4 million dependents have been affected by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, with 85 percent of those not qualifying for federal educational assistance. Without the help of

civilian organizations like Folds of Honor, many of these families would not receive aid. Bushnell was an early supporter of Folds of Honor, and at the 2015 SHOT Show, the manufacturer presented a check for $364,500 to further the important work of the foundation. Since establishing a partnership in 2010, the optics leader has donated more than $1 million to Folds of Honor.

SUPPORT FOR FIRST SHOTS FMG Publications presented NSSF with a check for $281,000 during the SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. The money was raised during FMG’s Shooting Industry Masters and is designated to help fund NSSF’s First Shots Program. “We’re all aware of the vital role First Shots plays in ensuring new shooters get started correctly and safely, and fully understand the responsibility of owning a gun. First Shots also helps us infuse and grow our ranks and build our businesses,” said Randy Molde, FMG Publications vice president of business development. Steve Sanetti, president of NSSF, praised FMG Publications for its support of First Shots. “It’s safe to say no other group has invested as much capital to make First Shots the success it’s been over the last decade than FMG Publications.”



Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of research and analysis, led the discussion.

SHOT Show Educational Seminar


ith a keen interest in how to introduce the shooting sports to more diverse groups of new shooters, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) presented “Increase Your Sales to a Diverse Customer Base” to a receptive and willing-to-engage audience during its educational seminar program at the 2015 SHOT Show. Four panelists, who are leading by example, joined NSSF moderator Jim Curcuruto, in an hour-long discussion. Panelists included Donny Adair, president of the African American Hunting Club, Portland, Oregon; Mariley Haley, range manager of Shoot Smart Range in Grand Prairie, Texas; and Libby Gibbs and Frank Manuel, owners of Montgomery Indoor Shooting Complex, Montgomery, Alabama. Curcuruto added that it’s prudent for gun ranges and stores to check with the U.S. Census report for their locales to learn the breakdown of ethnic groups in the area. “It can be as simple as adding, ‘Se habla Español,” added Adair. Manuel described a new approach—the “10-410” promotion—that he recently employed at his range. “A new shooter can shoot 10 rounds of .22-caliber ammo out of rental gun at the range for $10,” he said. When one woman asked if she could bring 12 friends and shoot 12 rounds, he expanded the program.

Haley said that Groupon coupons have attracted many new customers to her range. Shoot Smart Range also offers Happy Hour, sans booze, from Mondays through Thursdays, from 2 to 4 p.m., for $5. Haley said the range now sees plenty of action during a formerly unused time of day. Gibbs and Haley emphasized the importance of understanding what your clientele wants to see at the range, such as women’s leagues, Boy Scout training, birthday parties, and social events that provide them opportunities to socialize while shooting.—Barbara Baird


Major Bill Barker was named 2015 Champion of Youth Winner by Crosman Corporation Wednesday night at the 2015 Crosman Corporation International Reception at SHOT Show. The annual award was created to recognize those who have enriched the shooting sports through their dedication to youth shooter education. Barker, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was raised by a Marine and served in the Marines until 1990. The steadfast determination developed during those years served him for the next 20 as he led teams of young men and women to more than 30 state and regional championships while becoming a leader in JROTC airgun competitions. “Major Barker’s leadership in youth marksmanship goes far beyond coaching kids in the skills and discipline necessary to win championships,” said Phil Dolci, CEO of Crosman. “He grew the program at La Cueva High School into a national title contender by teaching the value of perseverance and what it means to truly focus on a goal. And because Major Barker relies on the precept that ‘you don’t get better until someone else does’, he shared his knowledge with other programs and provided more young people an opportunity to excel.” During Barker’s 13 years of coaching his teams recorded 13 consecutive New Mexico State Sporter Class Championships.

Golden Moose Awards Presented


utdoor Channel announced the winners of its 15th Annual Golden Moose Awards (GMA) last night. Hosted by Michael Waddell, the ceremony included memorable performances by Ted Nugent, Nate Hosie, and Kari & Billy. Special presenters for the evening included Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and star of Sportsman Channel’s Amazing America With Sarah Palin, and Joe Mantegna of Outdoor Channel’s MidWayUSA’s 4 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 4, JANUARY 23, 2015

Gun Stories. A total of 17 GMAs were presented. Among the 17 is the Fan Favorite Award for Best Host/s, which was awarded to Ted Nugent. Outdoor Channel also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Harold Knight and David Hale for their unparalleled contributions to the outdoor community. Other winners included Crush With Lee and Tiffany, Drury’s Thirteen, and Driven With Pat and Nicole.



Slaton L. White, Editor James A. Walsh, Art Director Margaret M. Nussey, Managing Editor David E. Petzal, Shooting Editor Judith Weber, Production Manager Kurt Schulitz, Online Producer Maribel Martin, Senior Administrative Assistant


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

Eric Zinczenko, Executive Vice President ADVERTISING: 212-779-5316

Gregory D. Gatto, Publisher Brian Peterson, Western Sporting Goods Sales Katie Logan, Southern Sporting Goods Sales David Hawkey, Northeast Sporting Goods Sales Elizabeth A. Burnham, Chief Marketing Officer Ingrid Reslmaier, Marketing Design Director Alden Cates, IT Technician


Tara Bisciello, Business Manager


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


Laurel Kurnides, Group Production Director Stefanie La Bella, Associate Production Director BC_035663_SBDD415P.indd 1

12/3/14 1:24 PM

BONNIER Chairman, Tomas Franzén Chief Executive Officer, Dave Freygang Executive Vice President, Eric Zinczenko Chief Content Officer, David Ritchie Chief Financial Officer, Todd DeBoer Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Earlywine Chief Marketing Officer, Elizabeth Burnham Murphy Chief Digital Revenue Officer, Sean Holzman Vice President, Integrated Sales, John Graney Vice President, Consumer Marketing, John Reese Vice President, Public Relations, Perri Dorset General Counsel, Jeremy Thompson

SHOT Business (ISSN 1081-8618) is published 7 times a year in January, F­ eb­ruary/ 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 23, issue 1. Copyright © 2015 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation, production and advertising offices are located at 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695 (212-779-5000). Free to qualified subscribers; available to non-qualified subscribers for $25 per year. Singlecopy issues are available for $5 each. Send check, payable to NSSF, to: SHOT Business, c/o NSSF, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359. SHOT Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All correspondence should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Requests for media kits and advertising information should be directed to Katy Marinaro, Bonnier Corporation, 625 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1270, Chicago, IL 60611. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA. For Customer Service and Subscription questions, such as Renewals, Address Changes, Email Preferences, Billing and Account Status, go to: shotbusiness .com/cs. You can also email, in the U.S. call tollfree 866-615-4345, outside the U.S. call 515-237-3697, or write to SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. For editorial inquiries, write to Slaton L. White, SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016

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

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12/22/14 3:27 PM

Sarah Palin

Host of Amazing America with Sarah Palin

Simply Amazing Don’t mess with the Second Amendment


est known as the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, this former governor of Alaska is set to open the second season of the Sportsman Channel’s Amazing America with Sarah Palin.

Your political career, as Q well as being host of Sportsman Channel’s Amazing America with Sarah Palin, provides you with the rare opportunity to visit with outdoor enthusiasts from across the country. What would you say is the biggest misconception about gun owners today?

The mainstream media and A even our President would have you believe gun owners irresponsibly “cling to our guns” when in reality we proudly cling to our guns and our Constitution. Anti– Second Amendment ideologues should appreciate law-abiding gun owners as the most responsible among us because we take responsibility for protecting life and prop-

Palin says she likes to “live life vibrantly,” whether that involves being outside with her dogs, spending time with her family, or going on the road wherever her multi-faceted career takes her.

erty and don’t put the burden solely on others. These yahoos should realize we’d be the ones to feed a starving liberal out in the wilderness if forced to hunt for sustenance, and though it may be tempting to allow them their feasts of bark and mud puddles, we’d probably help them out with a meal that came wrapped in fur. When you wake up in Q the morning, what gets you excited about your life? Overall, it’s knowing we have

A the choice to live life vibrant-

ly. I love simple things like waking up to grab my coffee and take my Lab outside where it’s crisp and quiet, then heading inside to start the day with more dogs and kids and lots of chores in front of me. Because I travel a lot and am pretty busy with political issues in the public eye, it’s pure joy to just be home, putzing around the kitchen, baking too many sweet carbs, cleaning the house, bugging Todd in his shop, and chauffeuring kids around Wasilla. That’s an exciting agenda because it’s refreshing and energizing and private. It gets me ready to charge ahead with whatever next needs tackling. Describe your earliest Q memory of hunting with your father and the first time he taught you how to shoot. As a little girl, it was ptarmi-

A gan hunting on cross-country

skis on Sunday afternoons and early-­morning moose hunts just 3 miles from our house before getting ready for school. We grew up thinking all that was commonplace across the country, but I did question some 4 a.m. duck hunts once I hit high school. My dad was our high-school cross-country running coach, and he had us running two-a-days all fall. I’d sit there in the freezing cold canoe with Dad, peering through the fog, wondering how I’d squeeze in a run after paddling to shore and before the school bell rang. I would think, “Okay, now I’m not sure if this is a normal consideration of other high school runners.” What are you looking Q most forward to during Season Two of Amazing America with Sarah Palin on Sportsman Channel? 8 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 4, JANUARY 23, 2015

Getting out in the field.

A Hoping we’ll film in warm

locales, to be honest. You know what a luxury it is to hunt and fish and generally be active in warm temperatures? I pretty much don’t. I crave that and hope outdoorsmen in the Lower 48 don’t take abovefreezing temperatures for granted. Where is your favorite Q place to hunt? It’s secret and only accessible

A by our Cessna 185 on floats.

In fact, it’s so secret I don’t even know the game unit’s number off the top of my head. I just load up in the plane, snooze while Todd’s at the controls, wake up when we get through a mountainous pass that’s to our east, and pretend like I had a lot to do with getting there. What’s the most imporQ tant action the average citizen can take to support the Second Amendment? Never elect anti–Second

A Amendment politicians.

Never. They don’t get it. Their anti-gun stance reflects their distrust of the people, meaning these politicians think they know better than you do and that obviously applies to their thinking about our family decisions, our private property rights, the way we choose to run our businesses, and every Godgiven freedom Americans should enjoy under the protections of our Constitution. They mess with the Second Amendment and they mess with all our Charters of Liberty. Americans deserve better than that. What can the industry Q do to welcome more women into the fold? Show them not only how

A important gun safety is so we

can take responsibility for protecting ourselves, but also how much fun shooting sports are. From the competition with one’s self to the confidence built with every shot. I also like the connection shooting gives you with America’s bold pioneers who forged a nation out of the wilderness. For those concerned about such a thing, the apparel nowadays is flattering, comfortable, pro-­ outdoorsy woman chic. And really, the sport is a healthy, helpful distraction from a lot of crap going on in


Federal Premium’s new full-power 10mm Auto cartridge is now a legitimate big-game round.

Semi-Auto Salvation The Alaska resident, who is all-too-familiar with the winters in her state, says that hunting in warm climates is a real luxury for her.

the world today. It’s better than lazing around on the couch eating bon-bons, whining, and worrying about what’s in the news. Pick up an exciting shooting sport, and we can eat bonbons in the truck on the way home. I do. Sincerely, it’s fun. My baby shower was held at Grouse Ridge Shooting Range. We had a blast. What should people know about Q you that they may not know? If I had to do it all over again, I’d have

A been a cowboy. I’ve always wanted a big

ranch in the warmest spot I could afford where I’d raise and consume the best beef in America. I’d have huge, fertile fields to grow something unique and marketable so I’d never be bored and could always employ my kids. Like grapes to rival Champagne, France. Yep, maybe I’d snowbird from Alaska down to our little sister state of Texas and I’d thaw out on my farm. Or ranch. Your social-media constituency Q constantly asks, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t: Will you make a run for the White House in 2016 or any time in the future? America would benefit from an unpre-

A tentious, down-to-earth, active outdoors­

woman who loves this country as much as life itself. Someone who knows how to utilize God-given natural resources for our nation’s prosperity and security, someone who would surround herself with common-sense conservatives who know how to fight to defend our Republic and won’t put up with crony capitalism and corruption, someone who doesn’t necessarily like politics or politicians but is willing to offer herself up in the name of service to this most exceptional nation, someone proudly clinging to her guns, our God, our Constitution. I’m patiently waiting for that willing and able American woman to step forward, and I’m running out of patience.

A new full-power load is resurrecting the 10mm Auto and transforming it into a potent big-game platform


hatever the target—deer, bear, or hogs—most handgun hunters have traditionally opted for stout revolvers chambered in .44 Rem. Magnum, .41 Rem. Magnum, .357 Magnum, and the like. Semi-automatic handgun options have been slim. But that’s changing with ammunition such as the new Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point in 10mm Auto. The accurate, powerful new round from Federal Premium gives hunters who have always wanted to use a semi-automatic handgun a serious big-game option.

Full-Power, Finally

As a cartridge, the 10mm Auto has experienced an unusual ride. When first developed, it was envisioned as a high-power round for law enforcement. In its original form, the cartridge delivered more foot-pounds of energy than most other available personal defense and law-enforcement cartridges. And yet, it didn’t really take off. “Although it performed well, unfortunately the FBI considered the recoil too heavy,” says ammunition product line manager Mike Holm. “In addition, some of the guns available at the time were not robust enough to handle the recoil, so most manufacturers watered down their 10mm Auto offerings in order to deliver ballistics nearly identical to the .40 S&W.” Which raises the question: If the 10mm Auto fell out of favor because of harsh recoil, why develop the new Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point load? “Because there’s a dedicated group of shooters who love the original, full-power 10mm Auto,” Holm says. “They know and accept the recoil. In fact, they want it because it means they’re using the platform to its full potential. The new VitalShok load takes complete advantage of the caliber’s true capability and offers the muscle needed for big game.” At the same time, Holm points out that the new load differs in key areas from the original offering. “Unlike its more recent predecessors, this is a full-power cartridge that takes complete advantage of the caliber’s true capability. The 180-grain bullet leaves the muzzle at 1,275 fps— compared to the usual 1,030 fps—with 650 foot-


pounds of energy. That’s an increase of more than 50 percent from typical commercial loads. This performance—which falls roughly between the .357 Magnum and .41 Magnum—is impressive, yet it’s still probably selling the load short, because these numbers were generated through testing with a 5-inch barrel. Handgun hunters using 6-inch barrels should experience better velocity and energy in real-world conditions.”

Better Ballistics, Better Bullet ➤ The

new Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Jacketed Soft Point bullet design makes the cartridge even more effective. “We basically took our Trophy Bonded Bear Claw rifle bullet design and converted the appropriate elements and features from it to a handgun equivalent,” says senior product development engineer John Swenson. “Its heavy jacket features a formed inner profile that preprograms and controls expansion to penetrate deep, open up consistently, and maximize its retained weight. When you combine that with the full-power ballistics, you get knockdown power that’s never been seen in 10mm Auto loads.” Though Federal Premium is emphasizing the round’s hunting performance, Holm notes that it is also a good choice for personal defense. “Although the penetration achieved with this round is on the high end of what is required for personal defense, its expansion and terminal performance would certainly do the job in a personal defense situation.” SRP: $39.95. Booth #14551. (


The Steyr Scout was made to Col. Jeff Cooper’s exacting demands, down to the bipod incorporated on the forend.

The Best for Less Col. Jeff Cooper’s Steyr Scout gets a makeover, and becomes more affordable in the bargain


By Richard Mann n 1966, Col. Jeff Cooper wrote an article for Guns & Ammo magazine titled “The Carbine Compromise.” That article laid the foundation for a rifle that would start a worldwide trend, the scout rifle. Cooper continued to experiment with various rifles, customized to his specifications, for the rest of his life. Ultimately, due to the popularity of his concept, Steyr collaborated with Cooper, and in 1997 the Steyr Scout was born.

Meeting Cooper’s specifications was not easy, and the proof is in the fact that no other manufacturer has been able to do it. What were those specifications? The magazine-fed bolt-action rifle could not be longer than 1 meter, with a fieldready weight of no more than 7.7 pounds. It should have a low-powered extended-eye-relief scope with reserve backup sights, and it should be rigged for a shooting sling. Cooper considered the .308 Winchester cartridge ideal and also liked the idea of a built-in bipod, a magazine cutoff, and the ability for the rifle to carry a second, fully loaded magazine. He stipulated an accuracy requirement of 2 MOA or less for three shots. Cooper envisioned the scout as a “…generalpurpose rifle [that] will do equally well for all but specialized hunting, as well as for fighting.” In essence, Cooper felt that if you really needed one rifle, then that rifle should be a Steyr Scout. Was he right? The more experience I gain, the more I realize how often Cooper was right. After finally giving the Steyr Scout an honest try, I learned it is incredibly handy and astoundingly accurate, providing near-MOA precision with most loads.

The extended eye-relief scope has its advantages, too; it makes target acquisition incredibly fast and doesn’t destroy your peripheral vision. The integral bipod is convenient in the field; so is the spare magazine housed in the buttstock. And, if you wish to change loads, the magazine cut-off lets you single-feed them right through the ejection port. Finally, the backup open sights, the ability to mount a conventional riflescope, and the multiple sling attachment points place the Steyr Scout in the unmatched category when it comes to versatility. Cooper once compared the Steyr Scout to a Porsche, saying that not everyone can afford the finer things. Steyr USA is working to change that. For 2015, the suggested retail of the Steyr Scout has been reduced by 15 percent, from $2,099 to $1,799. And it will be available with either a mud (tan), green, or black stock. (A gray stock will be available by special order.) Cooper’s idea of a general-purpose rifle is now less expensive and available with a new look. Nearly 50 years after its initial conception, it remains a great, and relevant, design. Booth #10246. (205417-8644;


A BIG STEP SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range is celebrating its 10th year of operation in 2015. Its purpose is to let members of the media sample a wide range of shooting-sports products the day before the SHOT Show officially opens. One of the hot topics in the shooting-sports world these days is the importance of social media. Increasingly, participants want to document every phase of their activities, and digital cameras, such as Go Pro, seem to be everywhere. The importance of these cameras is not lost to the folks at Winchester Repeating Arms, which took a big step forward at Range Day by setting aside an SXP shotgun for GoPro’s Ryan Chuckel. He used the opportunity to show off the company’s Sportsman Mount by attaching a Hero4 to the shotgun at the clay range. Since a GoPro setup is a significant financial investment, many shooters might worry about hooking it up to a bucking firearm, and for good reason. But they need not worry. The mount clamps to a gun barrel much like the company’s other mounts attach to mountain bike handlebars. However rough a bike ride can get in the wilderness, it’s not the same as the sharp, sudden forces exerted by shotgun recoil. Chuckel says they initially had some problems with the mount’s clamp sliding a little after several shots, especially on barrels with a pronounced taper, but a new locking mechanism has solved that problem. The mount is now also configured to stabilize the image. Shooting the gun with the GoPro attached presents no problems or awkwardness, as the mount and camera are extremely light. You can mount the camera facing the shooter, down the barrel, or mount two cameras in both directions. Chuckel says they recorded footage of every shooter with GoPro’s smartphone app, “so they can go shoot the gun and we can take their content and email it to them.” —David Maccar



Umarex When operating on full auto, the Legends M712 will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Brocock Ltd.


Benjamin (1) Golden Eagle (.22); (2) Bulldog (.357); and (3) Steel Eagle (.177). All three rifles are built in America.


The English airgun firm Brocock Ltd. was recently acquired by the Diana Group, owners of Daystate Ltd. The acquisition will provide Brocock with the latest in technology, and for 2015 the new Elite line of Brocock rifles and pistols will have high-definition valving, a 30mm air cylinder for increased shot count, and a pressure gauge (so the shooter can see the remaining pressure). In addition, LotharWalther barrels capable of match accuracy will now be included, and wood stocks are now made by the famous Italian firm Minnelli. Booth #13607. (480-4611113;


High Fun, Low Cost

Airguns are the unsung heroes of the shooting industry, offering high fun at low cost per shot By Jock Elliott Benjamin

➤ The Armada .22-caliber pre-

charged pneumatic rifle is the world’s premier MSR-compatible airgun and is officially licensed for the Magpul M-LOK modular accessory system. As such, it is the first commercially available PCP rifle that allows shooters the same breadth of modularity and user

configurability as enjoyed by the MSR community. By implementing the M-LOK interface system and designing the rifle to mil-spec dimensions for the grip and stock interfaces, the Armada ensures shooters will be able to use the same MSR parts and accessories they know and love. The Armada is built in the U.S.

Benjamin The .22-caliber Armada is the first commercially available PCP rifle that allows shooters to use MSR-compatible components. 14 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

and delivers velocities of 1,000 fps with 32 ft.-lb. of energy, making it an ideal small-game rifle and target shooter. It includes a 10-shot magazine, a bipod, and a CenterPoint 4–16x56mm scope, and it gets more than 30 shots per fill. The Magpul Special Edition features Magpul MOE grip, stock, and cheek riser for the ultimate tactical PCP. SRP: $800; $999, Magpul Special Edition. The Benjamin Bulldog .357 is an advanced, American-built big-bore air rifle designed for serious airgun hunting. It delivers velocities of 800 fps and a target-smashing 200 ft.-lb. of energy using the 145-grain ballistic-­tip bullet produced by Nosler. The Bulldog features a unique trapezoid barrel shroud for maximum sound suppression. The all-new five-shot magazine is easier

to load and has a color-coded empty-­chamber indicator. The rifle weighs less than 8 pounds (without optics) and has more than 30 inches of Picatinny rail for mounting a scope, camera, bipod, light, or other accessories. SRP: $999. The Jim Shockey Signature Series Steel Eagle with Nitro Piston 2 is a .22-caliber capable of up to 1,100 fps and 26 ft.-lb. of energy, putting it at the head of the class for small-game break-barrel airguns. It features advanced sound suppression in a unique one-piece K-style baffle system and includes a CenterPoint 3–9x32 mm scope that mounts to an integrated Picatinny rail. It also features a new grippy all-weather stock with soft-touch textured inserts, so it can be used to hunt small game in even the harshest conditions. Nitro Piston 2 rifles are 15 percent faster than standard gas-pistonpowered airguns and deliver 30 percent more downrange energy. Each comes with the Clean Break Trigger (CBT) for a predictable, smooth pull every time. The advantage of



Gamo (1) Mach 1 Pigman Edition is a gas-ram-powered break-barrel with an all-weather stock. (2) The Coyote is a PCP repeater with a hammer-forged rifled barrel and a two-stage trigger.

Nitro Piston 2 extends to cocking effort as well, as it takes 22 percent less effort to cock these powerful rifles. The Benjamin Steel Eagle is built in America. SRP: $249.95. The Eva Shockey Signature Series air rifle, the Benjamin Golden Eagle with Nitro Piston 2, makes it debut in 2015. The woodland texture of the soft-touch inserts sets this .177-­caliber rifle apart from other break barrels, and the blazing 1,400 fps performance of the Nitro Piston 2 powerplant delivers enough energy to successfully take squirrels, rabbits, and other critters. The Golden Eagle is built in America and will include a CenterPoint 4x32mm scope and the Clean Break Trigger. SRP: $199.95. The all-new P15B air pistol is the latest addition to Crosman’s lineup of CO2-powered handguns. This semi-automatic fires at 420 fps and delivers realistic blowback action. The magazine allows 18 shots before the shooter needs to to reload. The under-barrel Picatinny rail can accommodate an action cam, laser, or other accessory. SRP: $69.95. Booth #13940. (800-724-7486;

Daystate Ltd.

➤ The new lightweight Bullpup is a

premier air rifle that includes an electronic computer-controlled firing system combined with a new advanced valve. Other features include a side lever that is fully


reversible for left-hand use, a builtin laser that is activated upon the bolt opening, and a standard adjustable trigger. The Bullpup is superquiet and short in length, and offers interchangeable panels in the stock and a Picatinny rail for accessories. Available in .177, .22, .25, and .30 caliber to satisfy any shooting requirements. Booth #13607. (480461-1113;

FX Airguns

➤ FX Airguns has been a leader in

airgun technology and manufacturing since Fredrick Axelsson, the factory owner, produced his first gun. With the introduction of the Bobcat, FX placed itself at the forefront of modern airgun manufacturing, and the new Bobcat Mk2 will include another groundbreaking innovation—an externally adjustable regulator. This feature allows the shooter endless possibilities for custom tuning the rifle to maximize the optimal velocity for a given application and pellet while at the same time increasing shots per air fill. A second pressure gauge allows complete control of the metering of air for each shot, a real bonus for target-grade accuracy. Available in .177, .22, .25, and .30 calibers. Booth #13607. (480-461-



➤ The Mach 1 Pigman Edition is a

gas-ram-powered break-barrel air

16 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

rifle that delivers 1,420 fps with PBA (alloy) ammunition in .177 caliber and 1,020 fps with PBA ammo in .22. It features Whisper Fusion dual-noise dampening technology, a fluted and rifled polymerjacketed steel barrel, an all-weather stock, rubberized grips, CAT (Custom Action Trigger), RRR (Recoil Reducing Rail), fiber-optic front and rear sights, SWA (Shock Wave Absorber) recoil pad, and a 3–9x40 scope. SRP: $369.95 The Gamo Coyote is a boltaction PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) repeater featuring a BSA hammer-­forged rifled barrel, volumetric silencer, checkered beechwood stock, 10-shot rotary magazine, manual safety, self-regulated valve, ventilated rubber buttpad, and BSA two-stage adjustable trigger. It can be charged up to 232 bar (3,365 psi) and delivers up to 1,200 fps with non-lead .177 ammunition and up to 1,100 FPS with .22 nonlead ammunition. SRP: $659.95. Booth #11053. (954-581-5822;

750 fps with lead pellets and 900 fps with alloy pellets. SRP: $229.98. The Tactical BB Pistol is powered by a 12-gram CO2 cartridge and will launch BBs up to 320 fps. Featuring all-metal construction, it includes an under-frame accessory rail, a skeleton trigger, smooth barrel, semi-auto blowback action, and an 18-shot magazine. It delivers approximately 40 shots per CO2 cartridge. SRP: $129.98. Remington Express Lead Pellets are a new line that includes .177 hollowpoint, round nose, pointed, and wadcutter designs. In .22, hollowpoint and round nose pellets are available. SRP: .177 500-pellet tins, $13.73; .22 250-pellet tins, $8.23. Remington BBs are available in 1,500-, 2,500-, and 6,000-count packages. SRP: $4.98, $7.48, and $16.98, respectively. Twelve-gram CO2 cartridges are available in 5-count, 15-count, and 25-count packages. SRP: $7.48, $17.48, and $29.98, respectively. Booth #15427.

(800-243-9700; remington. com)



Air Rifle is available in .177 and .22 caliber and is fitted with an adjustable synthetic stock, a 3–9x32 scope, a 16-inch accuracy-tuned barrel, a silencer, a rubber recoil pad, and a manual safety. In .177 caliber, it’s capable of launching lead pellets up to 1,000 fps and alloy pellets up to 1,200 fps. In .22, it can reach up to

ous recoil characteristic typical of high-velocity air rifles, the UTG TL-BP08S-A bipod provides a stable platform to shoot from in a matter of seconds, and does it without requiring a swivel stud or Picatinny rail for mounting. Instead, an adjustable clamp-on locking mechanism is used to

➤ The break-barrel Adjustable Stock

➤ Handling even the most tortur-


secure the bipod to the barrel. This makes mounting to or dismounting from multiple rifles easy without having to worry about attachment points and components. SRP: $34.97. With the wide variety of makes and models of airguns across the world comes the need for an ideal universal optics mount. The majority of these airguns sport dovetail bases ranging in length, width, and shape. This can be a headache for shooters looking for a scope mount that can fit a host of different guns. The MTU033AG Dovetail to

Picatinny rail adaptor solves many of these inconsistencies. It can fit both rounded and flat receiver dovetail 9mm to 11mm bases, which opens the compatibility door with shotgun and revolver barrel ribs. The Picatinny rail and ring is a modern design that can withstand the recoil of high-velocity airguns and airguns with violent bi-directional recoil patterns. This adaptor provides a 5.7inch 14-slot top rail to accommodate different-size optics. The bottom portion of the adaptor can accommodate airgun receivers that are shorter than the 5.7-inch length of

the adaptor. Secure installation onto the airgun receiver is accomplished via Allen screws as well as two vertical stop pin screws to complement those airguns equipped with stop pin recesses. Conquering the terrain has always been a challenge for shooters. The Leapers UTG multi-purpose extendable monopod is an essential tool for the shooter in adverse and unpredictable environments. Lightweight, yet durable in construction, the TL-MP150Q monopod extends from 20.5 inches to a 59-inch maximum height, allowing

shooting from a seated, crouched, or standing position. This monopod features three included quick-detachable mounting deck options: standalone QD Picatinny, QD V-Rest, and a QD twist-lock camera/spotting scope adaptor. Whether it’s an avid hunter, plinkster, or photographer, this monopod is designed to make those important shots count. SRP: $69.97. Booth #2246. (734-5421500;


➤ The Next Generation APX by

FX The Bobcat Mk2 uses an innovative, externally adjustable regulator that allows the user to custom-tune the rifle to maximize the optimal velocity for a given application and pellet.


Umarex (1) HK 45; (2) Colt Peacemaker; (3) Colt Python; (4) Beretta M92 A1. All four models are part of a complete line of replicas that will appeal to a wide variety of shooting enthusiasts.




Umarex redefines the standard of airguns designed for young and small-framed shooters by providing a multitude of modern-day features, including an automatic safety—a feature never before seen on a pneumatic rifle of this type. The dual-ammunition APX features a progressive stock design that’s ergonomic, modern, and impactresistant. The grip is designed with a narrow curve that’s comfortable in the hands of small-framed shooters, creating better control and a safer shooting environment. Its multi-pump action and easyload pellet ramp can be used by right- or left-handed shooters, and the rifle deploys projectiles up to a velocity of 800 feet per second at maximum air charge. The adjustable rear sight and fiber-optic front sight (protected by its sleek muzzle brake) allows a shooter to quickly zero in on the intended target when shooting either pellets or steel BBs. Mounting a scope to the APX is easy with its integrated Picatinnystyle scope mounting rail system— another first in youth air rifles in that it provides a positive lockdown to keep a scope on zero. Two SKUs are available. One model comes with a scope, one with the scope plus glasses, targets, pellets, and BBs. SRP: $69.99 to 79.99. Housing a traditional spring-­ piston powerplant, the Umarex Torq has a synthetic stock in dark earth brown that is accented by its black receiver and rubberized forend. The Torq is a hefty breakbarrel adult rifle with solid features that include a SilencAir noise dampener and the LockDown, an all-metal Picatinny rail that firmly grasps the receiver to prevent scope creep (inherent on today’s powerful


springers). This rifle slings standard lead pellets at 1,000 fps. SRP: $149.99. The Umarex Fuel was first introduced in 2014 chambered in .177 caliber. Its popularity, coupled with the growing demand of .22-caliber air rifles, led to the addition of a .22-caliber model that can propel a pellet at 850 fps. The ReAxis Gas Piston is the first gas strut to be turned 180 degrees in the receiver, hence its reversed axis. The Fuel is loaded with features, including the SilencAir noise dampener, the LockDown mount, a 3–9x32 scope, a two-stage adjustable trigger, fiber-optic sights, and an all-­ weather thumbhole stock equipped with magnetic bipod holders for its integrated tactical bipod. SRP: $199.99. The Walther LGV has been called the best-tuned break-barrel rifle out of the box, and the legacy continues with the introduction of the LGU—a fixed-barrel underlever. Available in both .177 and .22, the LGU sports a single-shot cocking mechanism that incorporates Walther’s Vibration Reduction and Super Silent Technology. This elegant and purposeful rifle has an adjustable match trigger and a beautiful beechwood stock with engraved checkering. SRP: $549.99. The new Walther Terrus is a single-­shot break-barrel pellet rifle available with either a great-­ looking beechwood stock or a high-impact synthetic stock. Both are masterfully sculpted with a Hi-Grip finish on the grip and forend. It’s rated at 1,050 fps in .177, 800 fps in .22. A two-stage adjustable trigger and Truglo fiberoptic sights round out a smooth rifle built for precise targeting.

20 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

SRP: $229.99. Made, designed, and built in Germany, the innovative new Walther Rotek R8 is a bolt-action PCP rifle crafted for super-­ accuracy and extreme efficiency. Its quality is visible in the elegantly contoured Minelli wood stock and beautiful checkering. The Rotek R8 has a Walther Lothar Barrel and an eight-round magazine. A 230 bar air bottle provides a very impressive 180 full-power shots before the air cylinder needs to be refilled, which is made convenient with an integrated filling adapter and manometer. Available in .177 or .22. A replica of the Heckler & Koch 45 in style, the HK 45 by Umarex is an air-powered action pistol modeled after the handgun constructed for the U.S. military. While the firearm may hold 10 rounds, the HK 45 by Umarex holds 20 rounds in a drop-free magazine. The backstrap flips open to reveal a cavity that houses a single 12-gram CO2 capsule. This semi-auto repeating pistol is true in physical dimensions right down to its Picatinny accessory rail, safety lever, and ambidextrous magazine release. SRP: $49.99. Who doesn’t like a full-auto? Likely an easy sell for independents, this full-auto Beretta Model 92A1 is a model that’s readily recognized from its numerous appearances on TV and in the movies. Not only is it full-auto, it’s made with a full-metal frame, and it also has a blowback slide—meaning the slide cycles with each round. With a 26-round magazine, you can punch a bunch of holes in full-auto mode before having to reload. Of course, you can shoot this one in semi-auto too, but why on earth

would you? SRP: $129.99. Now just about anyone with the desire to own a Colt Python can do so. The new wheel gun from Umarex this year is a polymerframed model that maintains the outward appearance of the 6-inch variant. Functionally, this air-­ powered revolver is a double-single action BB slinger that holds 10 rounds of .177 steel BBs, as opposed to the original .357’s six. Power is derived from one 12-gram CO2 capsule that hides under the gun’s grip. SRP: $49.99. Virtually unchanged in outward appearance since the late 1800s, the Colt Peacemaker is an iconic American symbol that was holstered by ranchers, lawmen, and outlaws alike. The Single Action Army revolver replica by Umarex holds six spherical steel rounds housed in full-size casings. True to function, this reproduction has to be half-cocked to remove or load casings, and the hammer must be manually cocked for each shot. It’s possible, however, to fire the Peacemaker rapidly by holding down the trigger and “fanning” the hammer with the other hand. SRP: $199.99. If you’ve ever seen the grin on a person’s face after shooting fullauto, you’ll know why the new Legends M712 from Umarex USA is a must-have. Its full-auto selector and full-functioning blowback bring this air-powered version of a legendary pistol to life. Despite its ability to empty its 18-round BB magazine in two blinks of an eye, shooters will find themselves wanting to give the trigger another squeeze. It’s a good thing that Umarex is offering extra magazines. The 712 both looks and feels the part with a metal frame, blowback action, broom-handle grip, and rear sight (adjustable for elevation). SRP: $119.99. The first Legends P.08 offered by Umarex USA was undoubtedly a success, given the addition of this year’s blowback version. The firearm it replicates is well known from its use by Germans during World War I and World War II. The new P.08 offered by Umarex USA is a full-metal single-action BB pistol that utilizes a jointed arm at the top rear of the pistol, as opposed to the slide actions of almost every other semi-auto pistol. It’s powered by a 12-gram CO2 capsule that is concealed by the grip, and the magazine drops free for effortless loading of 21 steel BBs. SRP: $119.99. Booth #15062. (479-646-4210;



The Three-Market Phenomenon

Airsoft products appeal to a diverse group of customers. Here’s what’s new for 2015 By Jock Elliott


irsoft replica firearms, which shoot 6mm plastic BBs, appeal to three disinct markets. Kids love them for backyard fun, pros use them for force-on-force training, and adults enjoy them for scenario play.


➤ Ergonomically

contoured for a confident hand grip, Leapers UTG’s anti-slip compact tactical hand-stop kit encourages and promotes muscle-memory supporthand placement, in line with the modern thumb-over-bore shooting posture. The main purpose of adding this kit to your rifle platform is to improve weapon control and handling and to obtain

better recoil management shot to shot. When installed in the forward position, the hand-stop kit may also serve to prevent a shooter’s hands from accidentally slipping in front of the muzzle, especially when it comes to shortbarreled firearms. Positioning the hand stop is as simple as sliding the hand stop onto a Picatinny rail and tightening up the cross bolt. One additional low-profile

rail cover is included, should you not have any on hand, and the kit comes in black and flat dark earth colors. SRP: $9.97. A compact and powerful 200lumen flashlight for both handheld and weapons-mounted applications, the UTG LT-EL138 COP 200 Single Battery LED Light is designed for, and inspired by, patrol officers. The light is a force multiplier, increasing the

effectiveness and readiness of the shooter, whether it is handheld or weapon-mounted. Momentary and constant-on modes come standard, along with a low-mass 45-degree offset Picatinny ring mount and cable pressure switch end cap. Cree T6 LED technology provides 60 minutes of continuous runtime off one CR123A battery. SRP: $63.97. When speed is of the essence, instant target acquisition is a must. The solution? A bright green expanding aperture laser sight. The SCP-LS289S expanding bulldot green laser is designed to expand up to 8 inches wide at 50 yards while diminishing in size the closer your target is to you. An expanded- and larger-size aperture combined with the natural movement of your muzzle with the laser mounted will register with your eyes and brain faster, increasing the speed of the proper reaction response. The green color of the laser is more suitable than red in



Umarex Among the 2015 offerings from Umarex are (1) The Heckler & Koch .45 Airsoft Black RS; (2) the H&K Universal Machine Pistol; (3) the H&K MP7 A1 Navy; and (4) the H&K USP Compact Tactical. The MP7 and the USP both feature a gas blowback recoil simulator.


22 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015



low-light conditions such as dimly lit indoor environments. Adjustable for both windage and elevation, compact in size, and offering an easy-to-activate pushbutton on and off, the SCPLS289S Green Bull Dot laser easily attaches to any Picatinny rail while keeping the overall bulk and weight down to a minimum. The output of Leapers’ popular combat LED flashlight is now increased to 400 lumens. Customers can enjoy more than twice the lumen output without a change in price and with no negative change in battery life. With the latest Cree LED technology as well as UTGproprietary reflector design, this new 400-lumen flashlight respectably holds more than three hours of constant operating time off of two standard lithium CR123A batteries. Its activating methods include twist on and off, pushbutton, and momentary pressure switch operation, to suit a variety of applications. Users can utilize the flashlight alone or install the included integral QD Picatinny mount on their go-to weapon. The light is precision machined from aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte-black anodized finish. SRP: $67.97. The Leapers UTG 5-Position

Foldable Foregrip, now in the popular flat dark earth color, combines the best features of a folding-style foregrip with the lightweight characteristic shooters look for. Weighing only 6.7 ounces, the ambidextrous foregrip is designed with practical features, including a waterproof battery storage compartment, pressure switch pad inlays and covers, and ergonomic finger grooves. The five different foregrip positions positively lock into place after actuating the locking release button with very little effort, and the grip neatly folds and tucks away right underneath the handguard. SRP: $21.97. Booth #2246. (734542-1500;

Umarex ➤A

CO2-powered replica of the Heckler & Koch 45, this airpowered airsoft pistol is modeled after the handgun constructed for the U.S. military. The 6mm HK 45 airsoft pistol utilizes a built-in hop-up system and holds 15 rounds in a drop-free magazine. The backstrap flips open to reveal a cavity that houses a single 12-gram CO2 capsule. This semiauto repeating pistol is true in physical dimensions right down to its Picatinny accessory rail, safety

lever, and ambidextrous magazine release. SRP: $49.99. The HK USP Compact is a popular side carry for tactical training and simulations. The USP offered by Umarex and marketed by Elite Force Airsoft in the U.S. has a two-tone frame in black and tan, tactical raised sights, and a metal-threaded outer barrel. Couple those features with its hard-kicking slide cycle for a handgun that can truly be called an “action pistol.” SRP: $149.99. Unlike previous models that have been on the market, the 6mm HK MP7 Gas Blowback Navy is an actual 1:1 scale reproduction. It has a three-sided rail and incorporates a gas-operated recoil system to provide shooters with a realistic feel during engagement. SRP: $299.99. The airsoft variant of the UMP45 is powered by green gas and provides a realistic blowback recoil action. The firearm model of the UMP, which stands for Universal Machine Pistol, was originally developed by Heckler & Koch as a lighter and less expensive successor to the MP5. The airsoft version is a 1-to-1 replica that fires 6mm airsoft BBs in semi- or full-auto. SRP: $299.99. Booth #15062. (479646-4210;

line debuts at SHOT Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc., is debuting its new Outdoor Specialty Tool and Survival Line at the 2015 SHOT Show. The new line features several durable products with both sharpening and survival features. The seven SKU product line ($8.99 to $49.99) will showcase Smith’s new branding and product color schemes. These products should appeal not only to avid hunters, but also to outdoorsmen looking for survival-­ related gear. Booth #12515. (smithoutdoor

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Why Can’t They Get It Right?


The mainstream media’s coverage of firearms is woefully inaccurate, but NSSF works diligently to correct the record By Brian McCombie t was the tweet heard ’round the world—’round the shooting-sports world, that is. In August, Huffington Post journalist Ryan Reilly, while covering the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, sent out this message on Twitter: “I believe these are rubber bullets, can anyone confirm?”

Mainstream reporting about gun issues usually gets facts wrong, because of unconscious and conscious biases.

The accompanying photo Reilly included showed three orange foam ear plugs lying on the cement. True, Ferguson police had used rubber bullets to disperse unruly crowds protesting the killing of a local young man by a police officer. But foam ear plugs being mistaken for rubber bullets? To be fair, Reilly soon sent out another Tweet correcting his erroneous original message. After, that is, a flood of mocking Twitter responses pointed out that Reilly was clueless about the subject at hand. In this case, firearms. Reilly is not alone. Again and again, mainstream journalists get it so very wrong when the topic or issue is firearms. From calling semiautomatic handguns “revolvers,” to not knowing the difference between “clips” and “magazines,” to calling modern sporting rifles (MSRs) “assault weapons,” you can pretty much guarantee that a good percentage of any mainstream media report on firearms will be incorrect. This ignorance, unfortunately, goes far beyond nomenclature. The media’s inability to distinguish a semi-automatic handgun from a revolver—or ear plugs from rubber bullets—reflects a much deeper anti-gun bias, a bias that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) fights daily. “Why does the Fourth Estate, which prides itself on getting past the hype and spin and getting the facts right, perpetually get it wrong about guns?” asks NSSF president and CEO Steve Sanetti. “Quite simply, it is the location of these media

people and their preconceived notions about firearms, their uses, and their users that blinds them.” As Sanetti notes, most of the bigger, national media outlets are not only based in large cities, but their staffs tend to be from these same urban areas. News reporting on guns, in urban America, is usually about people getting shot by violent criminals, and the larger message, repeated ad infinitum, is that guns are bad. Many reporters simply accept that “guns are bad” as a fact, without having truly looked at the issue in depth. To the extent that they aren’t actually bad, guns are seen by these same reporters as “country” and therefore “redneck.” “They also believe and are taught in journalism school that by attacking an institution that they perceive as evil and backward, they are carrying on the great traditions of the muckrakers and crusaders and advancing social change for the better,” says Sanetti. “They are also

26 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

of the school of thought that believes a good story needs a hero, a villain—and a cause.” And that cause? “To do something about gun violence,” Sanetti explains, “as if good intentions alone make for sound social policy and permit trampling upon the rights of the millions who have done, and will do, absolutely nothing wrong with their firearms.” Consider, for example, all the news stories about the “epidemic of gun violence.” As Sanetti notes, the term “epidemic” means a statistical increase. Yet, all the statistics reveal a tremendous decrease in the number of firearms used in violent crimes and homicides. Reporting like this has NSSF very busy—busy working to correct the mistakes, errors, and outright falsehoods so often reported as fact. To do this, NSSF staffers are frequently cited in the media, usually in an attempt to set the record straight. For example, last July, NSSF senior vice president and general

counsel Larry Keane wrote a letter to the editor in USA Today, correcting inaccuracies in an article that cited a study funded by antigunner Michael Bloomberg. Shortly afterward, Sanetti was quoted in a Washington Post article about school police in California being issued MSRs. Much of the article tried to demonize MSRs, but as Sanetti told the Post, “These rifles are sane, safe, reliable types of firearms used by millions of citizens for lawful purposes. They are not just killing machines.” In an article in Forbes that looked at another darling of the anti-gun movement, so-called “smart gun” technology, Keane explained what this technology truly is and is not; he also noted that the smart gun issue fits into the gun control agenda of trying to make firearms prohibitively expensive for average citizens. For NSSF members, the NSSF website ( provides numerous fact sheets and backgrounders on key firearms issues at play in the media. In addition, NSSF members can find and contact local and national media via the handy “Take Action” media guide at GovRel/takeAction.cfm?media.

Many reporters simply accept that “guns are bad” as a fact, without having truly looked at the issue in depth.

“Will the mainstream media ever stop their biased, uninformed reporting on firearms?” Sanetti asks. “Probably not. But we need to do all that we can, practice our Constitutional rights responsibly, and try to educate all who will listen to the facts. Above all, we in the gun community need to let our legislators know our views and vote!”

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Millennials are very concerned about safety and gun handling, and potential shooters often worry that they lack the skills and responsibility to own or operate a gun. They’re an information-rich group, but there’s only so much you can learn from the internet. Having an experienced shooter help them learn safe firearms handling puts their mind at ease.

Getting to Know the Next Generation


NSSF research sheds light on Millennials By David Draper

or many years, the gun community was viewed as a large, if not particularly diverse, group made up mostly of older white males. True or not, this is how we were viewed by the media and others outside of our immediate circle. A little more than a decade ago, that perception began to change, as more women entered the ranks of hunters, sport shooters, and gun owners. Marketing materials reflected that diversity, and now it’s not uncommon to open an enthusiast publication or manufacturer’s catalog and see a fair representation of both women and various ethnicities.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and its members believe the next great wave of new shooters to enter this circle will come from the Millennial generation. They’re not only coming in, but they’re also the group that has the potential to most affect gun legislation in the near future. For the firearm industry as a whole to continue to thrive, we must not only cater our marketing efforts to the Millennials, but also welcome them into the shooting-sports community. To further that understanding and secure our future, NSSF tackled the myths and realities sur-

rounding the Millennial generation and released its findings to NSSF business members in a comprehensive report: Millennials and the Shooting Sports—An In-Depth Exploration.

Who Are the Millennials?

➤ Sometimes called Generation Y,

the Millennials are a fluid group roughly defined as those people born between 1982 and 2004. Considered the largest, most diverse generation yet, they came of age in the digital era with ready access to computers and mobile devices.

28 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

They’ve never known a world without the internet and were shaped by both the events of September 11 and the recession of the late 2000s. Their upbringing, by so-called helicopter or peer parents, has given them a sense of entitlement and optimism. However, they’re still feeling the effects of the recession through high unemployment rates and student loan debt, and are likely to still be living with their parents well into their 20s. The NSSF focused its study on the 21- to 31-year-old segment, an age when Millennials are starting careers and forming opinions on topics such as politics and gun ownership.

Gauging the Millennials

➤ In surveys of its members, NSSF

discovered manufacturers, retailers, and ranges all had a high interest in Millennials and how to capture the attention and dollars of this diverse and widespread group. To better understand this important consumer segment and get a sense of their attitudes toward firearms, NSSF enlisted the help of YPulse, a leading youth-focused consumer research and marketing firm based in New York City. Early last year, a pop-up online community was set up to track conversations of 30 recruited partici-

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pants from 21 to 31 years old, with a balance of gender, age, race, and ethnicity. The group was assigned tasks relating to experiences, barriers, and knowledge. In addition, Millennials were invited to a private session at Smith & Wesson’s employee range to target shoot and provide feedback. A live panel discussion with Millennials was held at the 2014 NSSF Industry Summit in June, where it was determined this increasingly important segment needs some attention from our industry.

Millennials and the Media

➤ Considering the anti-gun

message that is so prevalent in the mainstream media, Millennials are surprisingly open-minded when it comes to shooting sports and firearms ownership. While they may be wary of firearms initially, they are open to new experiences and are willing to form their own opinions rather than rely on media to dictate their beliefs. “We all know when it comes to gun ownership, a lot of what the news reports is not positive,” says Jim Curcuruto, director of industry research and analysis for NSSF. “One interesting takeaway from this research is that Millennials don’t put 100 percent faith in the news. They use family, friends, the internet, and other sources to research and get information so they can form their own opinions. Millennials don’t like to be told what to think, so there is hope.”

Millennials and Guns

➤ Due to their open-minded-

ness, Millennials don’t have an inherently negative view of firearms, though they are wary of them. Mostly, guns and the shooting sports aren’t on their radar, which is cluttered with information coming from all directions. Although they do have a basic understanding of the Second Amendment and may have had exposure to a firearm from a parent or grandparent, they require positive support from peers and family members to make the leap to gun ownership and the shooting sports. Of the different disciplines surrounding the shooting sports, target shooting is seen as the most appealing. Learning the skills and thrills of firearm control and accuracy is viewed as both useful and empowering,

but rarely do Millennials discuss firearms in terms of selfprotection. Instead, shooting is considered a fun activity that can be done as a group. It’s worth noting that this generation raised on social media rarely does anything alone, so capturing just one new shooter often leads to their whole tribe wanting to participate. The group expresses great concern about safety and gun handling, often worrying that they lack the skills and responsibility to own or operate a gun. Having an experienced shooter nearby greatly reduces their fear.

Teaching, Not Preaching

➤ Like every younger genera-

tion, Millennials believe they have a greater comprehension of the world than the generation before them, and their ability to access troves of information from their phones and mobile devices nearly validates this. Talk down to them or exclude them from the conversation and you’ve lost them forever. Instead, make information available for them to access at their leisure. This generation is used to having the world at their fingertips, so give it to them with an easy-tonavigate website and solid

social-media strategy. “Education is going to have to be a big part of the outreach to Millennials,” says Curcuruto. “Firearms info—both good and bad—is out there and it’s part of how they form their belief systems. Provide them with positive reinforcement and do more things to make the education easier. If you educate and train them, you’ll get a higher return. Keep in contact with them. Let them know what’s out there.” This messaging shouldn’t be limited to individual organizations. Instead, the firearms industry as a whole needs to adapt to be more welcoming to the next generation. Most important, don’t forget about them. Manufacturers, retailers, and ranges need to incorporate Millennials into their marketing or risk becoming irrelevant. “Millennials may look and act different, but they are important to the future of gun ownership in America, whether as participants or a political force,” says Curcuruto. “Understand how important and influential they are and start doing something to reach out to them. If everybody does that, the industry will have a better chance of thriving.” To access the NSSF report, visit

Millennials use family, friends, the internet, and other sources to research and get information so they can form their own opinions.”

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Spotting the Trends

NSSF Industry Intelligence Reports are too valuable to pass up By Bill Miller


hey take aim at paper, steel, clay birds, silhouettes, and zombies. Some of these shooters wear khakis, ball caps, and shades; others sport wide-brimmed hats, boots, and spurs. That’s because they’re into lots of shooting sports—3-Gun, cowboy action, long-range, trap, skeet, sporting clays, zombie targets, and defensive pistol, to name a few. Many of them also hunt. And, new data confirms, a growing number of them are women.

Together, they continue to spend millions of dollars each year on guns, ammo, accessories, and range fees, according to Industry Intelligence Reports released in 2014 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The reports provide up-to-date data to help NSSF members stay on top of industry trends. Having the information is one of many benefits of belonging to the NSSF, says Jim Curcuruto, director of industry research and analysis.

Big Market

➤ For example, one report, Profile of International

Defensive Pistol Association Shooters, showed that IDPA members spend $30 million on shooting equipment and competitions. The IDPA holds events that challenge shooters’ skills in defensive scenarios. The group worked with NSSF on the report with data from a survey of IDPA members. Curcuruto says the information could prompt manufacturers to start making specialized defensive shooting gear, and range owners may see economic benefits to sponsoring IDPA leagues. “Retailers,” he adds, “might decide to carry IDPA gear, now that they realize how big a market it is.” According to the report, the average amount spent by IDPA members on shooting gear in 2013 was $1,580.83. Seven of 10 respondents said they bought gear online; five of 10 confirmed they shopped at an “independent gun store.” In addition, 91 percent of those surveyed held concealed-carry permits, and 14 percent were concealed-carry instructors. “Competitive shooters represent one of the most active purchasers when it comes to firearms and related gear,” says Joyce Wilson, IDPA’s executive director. “This new Industry Intelligence Report from NSSF bears that out.”

Surprisingly Affordable

➤ A second report, Hunting in the 50 States,

looked at regulations, license fees, species, and methods of take around the country. It showed that pursuing wild game in the U.S. is very affordable and less expensive than other popular sporting or recreational activities. NSSF intern Nick Miner, a student of mathematics and statistics at the University of Connec­ ticut, downloaded and reviewed hunting regulation guides from each state. Next, NSSF researchers compared license and tag fees to the costs of Major League Baseball games, going to the movies, and

golf. They learned that the average cost to see 10 movies is $184.60 for tickets, popcorn, and sodas; 10 MLB games cost about $574 for tickets, parking, and refreshments. And it costs about $725.40 for green fees and balls to play 10 rounds of golf. But researchers determined that the average cost to hunt turkeys for 10 days in the U.S. is about $37.50. That includes $26.55 for license and tag and $10.99 for shotgun ammo. The comparison could make a powerful marketing statement for manufacturers of guns and gear and the retailers who sell them, Curcuruto says. “This report dispels the myth that hunting is very expensive,” he adds. “Once you have that stuff, the point is, it’s not all that expensive. So, go get your license and take advantage of it.” The report confirmed that the whitetail deer is the most popular game animal in the U.S., but also gives good reason for marketing teams to focus on other species. For example, according to the report, there are 31 species to hunt in Texas, including feral hogs. Curcuruto notes that manufacturers are already responding with guns and ammo specifically designed to handle the proliferating pigs. “It’s in its infancy,” he says, “but this looks like a market that’s going to expand.”

Women on the Move

➤ NSSF also collaborated with the National

Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) on a study that gauged the popularity of shooting sports. Hunting and Target Shooting Participation looked at trend data over 13 years (2001–2013). The report confirmed that women are a growing segment of the shooting-sports world. It also showed that from 2006 to 2013, the total number of shooters in the U.S.—including hunters and shotgun, rifle, and handgun target shooters— grew by 8.8 percent. Specifically, there were 28,452,000 shooters in 2006, and 30,964,000 were counted in 2013. But participation by women rose 42 percent during that period. For example, there were 5,350,000 women recorded among all shooters (about 18.8 percent) in 2006. By 2013, women amounted to 7,597,000 shooters, or 24.5 percent. No wonder the color pink is showing up in shooting accessory catalogs. “Everybody has made a conscious effort to start promoting to women,” Curcuruto says. “And this data shows those efforts are paying off.” For more on the reports, visit

“Competitive shooters represent one of the most active purchasers when it comes to firearms and related gear,” says Joyce Wilson, IDPA’s executive director. “This new Industry Intelligence Report from NSSF bears that out.” 32 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

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Quick Reads NSSF infographics inform at a glance


By Cathy Glazer n today’s information-saturated world, getting a message across, getting it noticed, and, most important, getting it read can be a challenge. When a 140-character tweet isn’t enough and a magazine-style article is too much, there’s an alternative— the infographic.

Ever since somebody realized a picture was worth a thousand words, graphics have played a big role in communicating all sorts of messages. Infographics combine eye-catching graphics with short bursts of eye-popping facts and statistics in a small amount of space. To share information on a variety of subjects of interest to the general public as well as gun owners and those in the firearms industry, in 2013 the National Shooting Sports Foundation began featuring infographics on its website. “We have a lot of information to convey throughout the year, and some of our issues are complicated and challenging to communicate,” says Bill Brassard, NSSF senior director of communications. “Some information is much more digestible in the infographic format.” For example, a subject such as how excise taxes on firearms and ammunition are collected and how they benefit conservation can be complicated to explain, but NSSF’s infographic de-mystifies the process. One of the most eye-catching is titled “Gun Crimes Plummet While Gun Sales Rise,” with statistics that show gun crimes and accidental firearms deaths are down dramatically since the 1990s. The infographic helps dispel the myth that gun crimes are up, something that 56 percent of Americans believe. Other infographic subjects include how much Americans spend on target shooting, the impact hunters have on the economy, and statistics on NSSF’s Project ChildSafe. “They’re information-rich and quick to read. In a glance the reader can grasp the idea and be motivated to share it with others,” says Brassard. And that’s the other really beautiful thing about infographics—they can be shared with hundreds of your closest friends in a couple of clicks. “Infographics can be easily shared on your Facebook page, included in a blog or website, and used in videos. We’re finding that people like and respond to them,” says Brassard. “Infographics also liven up articles with facts and color. The Washington Post ran an NSSF infographic showing causes of bird mortality that far exceed lead ingestion. The writer called it his favorite graph of the year.” The plan is to release six to eight infographics a year. “There are so many topics we could address with this format, but we don’t want to overdo it,” says Brassard. To view all of NSSF’s infographics, go to 36 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

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NSSF Brochures Are Required Reading With a 50-year tradition of promoting firearms safety, NSSF is well-equipped to meet an increasing demand for educational materials By Cathy Glazer


t’s had a few facelifts since its debut about half a century ago, but the message of that old National Shooting Sports Foundation brochure is as relevant today as it ever was: “Firearms Safety Depends on You.” A review of the 10 cardinal rules of firearms safety that every shooter should know and practice, firearms manufacturers have for decades purchased it by the thousands to include with their products.

NSSF distributed more than 4.7 million firearms-safety brochures and DVDs since January 2013, meeting the high demand since the Sandy Hook shootings.

The message is still reaching an audience of new shooters— now via electronic media as well as in its original paper form—and demand for it and other NSSF publications has never been higher. Driven by record gun sales and a renewed focus on gun owners’ responsibilities following the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, orders for NSSF’s firearms-safety and education materials from industry, state agencies, retailers, shooting ranges, firearms instructors, and individual gun owners spiked dramatically in 2013. From January 2013 through August 2014, NSSF distributed more than 4.7 million firearmssafety brochures and DVDs, representing a substantial spike in demand compared to prior years. Included in that figure are more than 2.2 million copies of “Firearms Safety Depends on You.” Requests for another perennial favorite, “Firearms Responsibility in the Home,” exceeded 1.1 million by late summer 2014. The publication addresses safe and responsible firearms handling and storage. Orders for NSSF’s Firearms Safety DVD spiked in January 2013, the month after the Sandy Hook tragedy, with the majority of the orders placed by

educators and child-care professionals. Included in the set is “McGruff the Crime Dog on Gun Safety,” for elementary students, and “It’s Your Call: Playing it Safe Around Guns” for older students. Both teach children the proper response if a firearm is encountered in an unsupervised situation—Stop, Don’t Touch, Leave the Area, and Tell an Adult About It. Promoting firearms safety is nothing new to the firearms industry’s trade association. Since its creation in 1961, NSSF has produced educational materials addressing the safe handling and storage of firearms. Starting with a handful of brochures, NSSF responded to the public’s need to educate themselves and their children on responsible gun ownership and related issues, such as range etiquette and the role of the hunter in conservation efforts, by producing a library of materials available in a variety of media. “Firearms-safety and conservation literature and videos have for decades been central to NSSF’s educational efforts,” says Bill Brassard, NSSF senior director of communications. Brassard points out that recently some anti-gun groups have attempted to recast themselves as “gun safety” organiza-

tions. For example, the group formerly known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns joined with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, rebranding itself Everytown for Gun Safety. Financially supported by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the group is actually a $50 million lobbying machine that favors gun control. A number of mayors opted out of the group when they realized its real agenda. “People see through the falseflag name,” Brassard says. “It’s gratifying to know that when people seek firearms-safety information, they turn to the NSSF. We’re not new to promoting firearms safety. We’ve been doing this successfully for a long time, and gun accidents are at an all-time low.” Most of NSSF’s safety materials, including videos, can be viewed online at or on NSSF’s YouTube channel, you NSSF’s most popular brochure titles are available free (plus shipping) in quantities of 100 each annually, when requested by a volunteer hunter education or firearms safety instructor. Materials are bulk-priced for state agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and other groups. Special pricing is available to NSSF members.

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Show Your Support


NSSF members save at SHOT Show and beyond By Cathy Glazer o, who really owns the SHOT Show? If you are a member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), you do. Who benefits from the proceeds from the show? If you make your living in the firearms industry, whether you are a mom-and-pop gun store or a major manufacturer, you benefit—whether or not you’re an NSSF member.

SHOT Show proceeds and NSSF membership dues fund the variety of NSSF programs aimed at preserving and protecting the shooting sports and the firearms industry. They include First Shots, a program to encourage and support new shooters, many firearms safety initiatives, and retailer and range support programs. Overarching these efforts is NSSF’s legal and legislative watchdog role as a strong advocate for the industry and Second Amendment rights. To reward retail members for their ongoing support and to encourage non-members to join, this year NSSF instituted two-tier pricing for attendee tickets. NSSF retail, range, and qualifying wholesale representatives pay $35 per person for a four-day pass; it’s $70 for non-members. That makes joining up a very cost-effective move, says Bettyjane Swann, NSSF member services director. “Buyers can get a one-year membership for $75, which includes one free four-day ticket to the SHOT Show. So if you need two tickets, that’s $75 plus $35, which is $110, compared to $140 for two non-member tickets.” After years of holding the ticket price to $25, last year NSSF decided on the increase. “We were overdue for it,” says Swann. “At the same

SHOT Show proceeds go toward funding NSSF’s goal of preserving and protecting the shooting sports and firearms industry, via programs like First Shots and its goverment relations efforts.

time, we wanted to acknowledge our members for their dedication and support. We have to put our members first.” Join now and start enjoying exclusive member

benefits today at the show, including access to the NSSF member lounge and the business center, and discounts from affinity partners. “The member lounge is a great place to get off the show floor for a break, eat a good, reasonably priced lunch, and charge your electronic devices,” says Swann. “It’s also a good place for a meeting.” Also for members, NSSF offers a number of affinity programs with vendors whose products include insurance, point-of-sale software, customized website design, video surveillance, display cases, and more. Many of these partners have booths at the show. For a list of their booth numbers, visit NSSF’s member booth, L221. Finally, to have any hope at all of scoring a ticket to next year’s State of the Industry dinner featuring top-name entertainment, you need to be a member. But beyond the perks and discounts, you’ll know you are supporting efforts that promote, protect, and preserve your sports and your business. For information about NSSF’s mission, programs, and membership, visit To contact member services, call 203-426-1320 ext. 209 or email

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Knowledge Is Power

NSSF Customized Market Reports help existing businesses expand By Christopher Cogley


e knew it wouldn’t last forever. The combination of factors that came together to make the past few years so successful for many shooting ranges and firearms retailers seem to be slowly dissipating, and sales are once again starting to level off. But just because new customers might not be standing in line waiting for the doors of their local gun store to open every morning doesn’t mean that those customers aren’t still out there. It just means that ranges and retailers might have to find a way to reach out to potential customers instead of relying on the people who walk through the front door. Fortunately, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has a tool that provides valuable information about the population and potential market in any given area and makes the prospect of connecting with them much easier to manage. NSSF’s Customized Market Reports are a detailed, in-depth analysis of the firearms market—and its potential for growth—in a business’s local area.

“We’re hearing from some of our members asking what they can do to help keep sales up, and the first thing I always suggest is a Customized Market Report,” says Jim Curcuruto, director, industry research and analysis for NSSF. As the name implies, the NSSF’s Customized Market Reports are tailored for individual clients and provide an in-depth analysis of the shooting and firearms market in a specific area. The report features a wealth of information, including detailed maps that pinpoint ranges, gun stores, shooting facilities, and other firearms-related businesses in up to a 30-mile radius. More important, however, it also provides a picture of the potential customers that could be right around the corner. From a snapshot of the demographics and the effective buying income in a specific area to past, current, and projected economic trends of local households, the Customized Market Report provides an accurate picture of the overall market. By combining that picture with historical NSSF-adjusted NICS data for your state, the report provides invaluable insight into a retailer’s potential customer base—insight that could be the key to helping drive sales back up. “Most people who have ordered one of these reports are looking to open a new store or range,” Curcuruto says. “But the reports are also incredibly useful for existing businesses who are looking for ways to increase their customer base.” Which is exactly what Jeff Felts, owner of Center Mass Inc., did when he was ready to take his busi-

ness to the next level. “We wanted to expand and move from serving just military and law enforcement customers to also serving the civilian market,” Felts says. “To do that, we knew we needed to learn more about the civilian market in our area. The report from the NSSF provided vast amounts of research at a really reasonable price.” For Felts, the information contained in the report not only helped solidify his decision to expand by showing him the potential customers— and possible revenue opportunities—in his area, but it also helped convince the banks that it was a worthwhile business venture. “When potential lenders saw how detailed this report was, they could tell how serious we were about making our business successful,” Felts says. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this report helped us close our loan deal.” Even if a business’s market expansion plans don’t include a loan, a Customized Market Report can still be an extremely useful tool to help get new customers in the door. “This is one of the easiest things that retailers can use to better understand their local demographics and what they can do to reach them,” Curcuruto says. “The more you know about your customer base, the more successful you’re going to be at tapping into that market.” To help create even more opportunities to reach potential customers, the Customized Market Reports now includes an additional page that outlines recommended programs that businesses can implement to increase awareness of their store and expand their customer base. “These are tried-and-true promotions that have proven to be effective, and they provide a great opportunity for ranges and retailers to copy what other businesses have done as a way generate additional revenue,” Curcuruto says. “Some of the programs are a little unconventional, but when things are slowing down, sometimes it’s the unconventional approaches that bring more business through the door.” With those programs, and the other valuable information provided in the Customized Market Reports, ranges and retailers can help make sure that their success isn’t tied so tightly to those factors that no one has any control over. “Even years later, we still pull the report out and look at it whenever we want to find new ways to reach out to customers in our area,” Felts says. “It’s an invaluable resource.” For more information on ordering a Customized Market Report, visit

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Getting Old Dogs to Learn New Tricks

NSSF SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy provides a nice return on your investment By Bill Miller


al Forgett III knows it’s a good SHOT Show when people at his booth are so excited about his replica lever-action rifles, they’re already on their smartphones or tablets placing orders. To make that happen, Forgett educated himself on social media marketing strategies for the show. He praised the first SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy, held last June in Las Vegas, for helping him get ready for this year’s event. The show’s owner, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, sponsored the academy.

Forgett, president of the replica firearms firm Navy Arms Company, thought he understood how the SHOT Show helped the business, started by his father, Val Forgett Jr., in the 1950s. Turns out, the academy proved there was plenty he didn’t know, especially about new media, blogging, and using smartphone apps at the show. Other topics included better ways to set up booths and developing a show budget. At the end of the two-day event, Forgett joked with Chris Dolnack, NSSF’s chief marketing officer, that the academy should be renamed, “You Don’t Know SHOT!” “We’re an old-dog kind of company, but we learned some new tricks,” says Forgett, who has been going to the SHOT Show for 30 years. “I still benefit from old-line media, getting products reviewed in major publications. But in the modern age, if you’re not spreading your message across all these social media channels, you’re missing an opportunity, possibly something that might skew to the younger generations.”

Return On Investment

Undivided Attention

Academy, held June 24 to 26, 2014, was attended by 103 participants at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which has been the show’s venue for the past five years. Dolnack says the show’s new management partner, ConvExx, suggested the academy when it made its presentation in 2013. ConvExx officials said they could teach exhibitors better ways to maximize their returns on investments for attending the show. According to Dolnack, the educational program delivered. He notes that 97 percent of the academy’s participants said they’d recommend it. Forgett, for example, says he was excited to learn how the New Products Section is linked to the SHOT Show’s mobile app. This feature, Dolnack explains, “allows buyers to add the exhibitor of a featured item to their show planner schedule and map, so the buyer can get more information from booth staff. It’s a great time-saver for buyers and drives booth traffic.”

of public and medial relations for CorBon/Glaser Ammunition, agrees that the social media tips were extremely helpful. But he also appreciated the academy’s cost-saving recommendations. That’s key, he says, considering CorBon has spent “substantial money” to attend the show for the past 25 years. “What I learned the most was how to save money,” he says. “That’s huge. Like setting up a booth—there are different options available that aren’t as costly. We also learned different ways to optimize freight handling, whether shipping to a warehouse or to the dock.” Shovel praises the session that gave attendees access to “everybody who has anything to do with the show.” Included were representatives of Sands Expo, Century Security, ConvExx, and NSSF, to name a few. This session is where Shovel got his freight questions answered. “I had separate oneon-one meetings with people that I would not have been able to have before because I didn’t know who they were,” he says. “This allowed me to get their undivided attention.” Shovel says there is so much information to absorb that he plans to send an additional person to the second academy. The event will be held once a year, Dolnack says. “We encourage exhibitors to join us and learn how to make the most of their SHOT Show experience. To learn more about the next academy, keep an eye out on the SHOT Show Blog and your email inbox.” (shotshow

➤ The first SHOT Show

➤ Mike Shovel, vice president

.org/exhibitor-academy) SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy teaches how to maximize your SHOT Show presence...and save money doing it.

46 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

Get a Grip with Rio Grande There is no shortage of 1911-style semi-autos on the market today. To the casual observer, one firearm may look like another, but Rio Grande Custom Grips can ensure that firearms have a distinct look. “We believe our grips are a great way for consumers to individualize a handgun,” says Bryan Chambers, vice president of engineering and product development at Rio Grande. “Whether they collect guns, shoot regularly, or just want to personalize their handgun, we have something that will fit their personality.” Among the products that will make any 1911 platform stand out are the 3 Percenter grips, which the company introduced to honor those who fought in the American Revolution. The “3 Percenters” were among the small group of the populace who took up arms to win independence for the United States. The 3 Percenter grips are available for the compact-frame 1911 as well as for a variety of popular revolvers and full-size 1911-type semi-autos. These are just one of more than 100 illustrated handgun grips for revolvers and pistols that are produced utilizing a proprietary patented process that can put almost any image, illustration, or verbiage on the grip. Rio Grande also can produce grips with custom images from photographs or original artwork. “Rio Grande offers the largest selection of custom handgun grip images in the market,” says Dale Ayars, Rio Grande’s vice president of marketing. “Whether stock or special order, we can make it happen.” The grips, molded from highstrength specialized polymer, are tough and durable. They are also resistant to salt, oil, solvents, water, and abrasion. The new 3 Percenter grips are available for $64.95 for a single pair, $54.95 for two to five pairs. Volume pricing is available for individuals, clubs, and organizations. Booth #15754. (riograndecustom —Peter Suciu

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B-Square Black Unleashed


Brand extension focuses on MSR accessories by Robert Sadowski or more than 50 years, B-Square has offered shooters a full line of quality mounts, accessories, and specialty tools. Their mounting systems are non-destructive to firearms. (In other words, no gunsmithing—or drilling or tapping—is required.) This unique design concept allows customers to return a firearm to its original condition at any time.

The new B-Square Black line of MSR accessories was developed to give novice-to-expert shooters the ability to optimize the performance of their modern sporting rifles and carbines with easy-to-install accessories. While the demand for MSRs has slowed, those who have purchased these firearms want to customize them. The problem, however, is a plethora of accessories that can confuse owner and retailer alike. That’s why B-Square limited the line to 17 products. The line is diverse enough to fill just about any need of the MSR owner, but manageable enough for a retailer to inventory. The focus of the B-Square Black line is the Rogers Signature Collection of forend rail kits, grip adapters, magazine doublers, and adjustable stocks. A variety of rails and mounts are also available. The Rogers Signature Collection models, all of which are made in the USA, have been designed by leg-

B-Square Black is a new line of modern sporting rifle accessories that lets shooters improve the performance of their rifles.

endary shooting expert and inventor Bill Rogers, known for developing innovative law enforcement and firearms accessory products that can be utilized by novice and

expert shooters. The SS-M4 Stock (SRP: $98) is easy to install on commercial or milspec tubes and collapses and expands to fit most statures. An integrated

sling loop and quick-detach mounting point provides a wide variety of harness and sling options. The stock can be quickly locked down to virtually eliminate any movement. The RK-M4 Forend Rail Kit (SRP: $240) locks securely over an M4 handguard and allows for quick attachment of three rails for accessories such as tactical lights, vertical grips, laser sights, and more. The RK-M4 is lightweight and built to take abuse. The finish is matte black. An AR bolt-cleaning tool (SRP: $4.99) quickly removes carbon buildup quickly, an AR magazine coupler (SRP: $180) gives shooters the ability to quickly reload with a second magazine with a minimum of movement, and a polymer magazine-well grip adapter (SRP: $19.99) helps provide greater shooting control and improved non-shooting hand placement. Booth #12762. (800-347-1200;

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Big Green Goes Long

The Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader is designed to reach way out there By Brian McCombie


have to say I was skeptical when Remington Arms Company announced the Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader several months ago. What had caught my attention—and no doubt that of many other hunters—was the claim that this was a true 300-yard deer and big-game rifle. I also was intrigued by the unique ignition system and the fact that this inline muzzleloader incorporated the Remington 700 bolt action. All good. But, come on,

The Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader uses a sealed-off ignition system that results in greater bullet propulsion...and therefore longer shots.

300 yards? Maybe if you angled it like a mortar, but not in actual hunting conditions. Then I had to chance to shoot the Ultimate Muzzleloader, at the range and during 3 ½ days of deer hunting in South Texas. I came away from the experience knowing that Remington had produced a solid, dependable, and extremely accurate muzzleloader—and one fully capable of taking down a deer at 300 yards. The field test came via a cull deer hunt with Mellon Creek Outfitters, in Refugio, Texas, where we took out dozens of does from a toolarge herd as well as bucks with substandard antlers. In all, I took 10 deer on that hunt, all with the Ultimate Muzzleloader, in a variety of hunting scenarios—using shooting sticks, off-hand, and bracing myself and my rifle against the side of the guide’s pickup. Weather varied from high 80s and breezy to upper 60s and rain. I also missed a few shots. But even those misses told me I was using an extremely capable big-game rifle. My Ultimate Muzzleloader was topped with a Trijicon AccuPoint 3–9x40 scope. I used Remington’s preferred load the whole time, at the range and while hunting: 200 grains of Triple Seven pellets matched with Barnes’ Spit-Fire T-EZTM 250-grain muzzleloader bullets. After every shot, I ran a pre-treated cleaning patch through the bore. At the range, it took less than 10 shots before I was grouping the bullets within an inch at 100 yards. I then zeroed the rifle for 150 yards, per the ballistic instructions. The factory-set trigger was nice and crisp, and the Remington 700 bolt system worked positively, locking up securely. As noted, I ran a patch through the barrel after every shot, and I was sur-

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prised at how clean the patches were, given the 200 grains—four pellets’ worth—of powder. That clean bore gets to the heart of the Ultimate Muzzleloader—namely, the ignition system. “We spent a good deal of time, thought, and work getting the ignition system right,” says John Fink, Remington’s director of rifle product management. “What we have is a sealed-off system that keeps any gasses from escaping out the sides or through the flash hole. That means we are able to harness all the energy in the powder load. The result is clean burning and extended ranges.” The unique brass primer case holds a Remington 9 ½ Large Magnum rifle primer. The bolt action push-feeds the primer case into the breech plug, creating a seal over the flash hole. I found the primed brass easier to handle in the field compared to the small 209 shotshell primers I’ve used before. Three spare primed cases can be stored conveniently in a compartment below the receiver, too. Fink notes that the recommended powder load and bullet, plus the brass primer, will push that 250-grain bullet an impressive 2,400 feet per second out of the barrel. Recoil? Even with the rifle’s substantial weight (9.5 pounds without a scope) and a sturdy recoil pad type, I would rate the recoil as significant: closer to a 12-gauge firing a field load than a 20-gauge. My best shot was a 220-yard poke off shooting sticks at a small South Texas doe; she ran 40 yards before dropping. I tried a shot at 320 yards, too. My guide, watching through binoculars, said my bullet struck about 6 inches low, hitting dirt below and slightly behind the doe, which was standing on an incline. According to the ballistics Remington provided, at 300 yards, using the rec-

Spec Box Model: 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader Caliber: .50 cal. Barrel: 26-inch stainless steel, fluted Barrel Twist: 1 in 26 inches Trigger: X-Mark Pro, externally adjustable, 2.5–5 pounds Length: 47 inches Weight: 9.5 pounds

ommended power load and bullet and a 150-yard zero, the bullet will drop approximately 24 inches and deliver just over 1,000 foot-pounds of energy. So my holdover estimation needed some work. Yet that shot told me that with some more distance practice, a 300-yard hit on deer-sized game is very doable with this rifle.

Stock, Synthetic Model: Bell and Carlson Medalist M40 Stock (no sight) Stock, Wood Model: Laminate (comes with Williams peep sight) SHips in: Hard case with 24 pieces of primed brass and 24 Remington Premier AccuTip 250-gr. saboted bullets SRP: $999.99 synthetic; $949.99 laminate

For retailers, the rifles will arrive with trigger tags that highlight various features. There will be a training module set up so dealers can educate staff on the rifles. Remington has also set up a dedicated website, ultimate Booth #15427. (800-2439700;

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Leupold Goes Global

Though the United States remains the core market, the optics manufacturer looks abroad for more growth By Christopher Cogley


eupold & Stevens is unquestionably one of the most recognized optic brands in the shooting and sporting industry. But, like any industry-leading company, Leupold also recognizes that there’s always room for growth and improvement. “As we look to build the brand, we’re definitely looking at expansion into various international markets,” says Rob Morrison, vice president of global marketing. “The U.S. is our core market, and that’s first and foremost for us, but there are also opportunities for us around the world—especially in Europe, Canada, and Australia.” Left to right: Mike Slack, Pat Mundy, and Tim O’Connor. As part of Leupold’s efforts to bolster global sales, all three have moved into strategic leadership roles.

To help tap into those international markets, while simultaneously increasing its commitment to U.S. customers, Leupold is increasing its marketing efforts and strengthening its global marketing team. The first step toward accomplishing that goal was to take some of the people who helped Leupold become an industry leader and promote them to strategic leadership roles. “These changes acknowledge the significant accomplishments of some key individuals on our marketing team,” Morrison says. “We are incredibly fortunate to have so many world-class marketing and brand experts in-house at Leupold & Stevens.” Among those people is Mike Slack, who has been at Leupold for 33 years. Slack has been promoted to brand creative director and will lead the creative development and manage the overall Leupold brand experience. “I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with so many great people, and with such a great company for so long,” Slack says. “With these changes, we’ve really positioned the company for the future, and I’m very excited about that.” Pat Mundy, who has worked for Leupold in marketing and public relations for more than 10 years, has been promoted to director of brand communications where he will be in charge of overall communications that will include everything from merchandising and marketing ser-

vices to advertising, media relations, and celebrity endorsements. “We really do a ton of different things here from a marketing perspective, and it’s critical that you have everything coordinated,” Mundy says. “I really feel like we have the right people in the right places now, and it’s going to allow us to do a lot of really cool things.” As a way to help keep its marketing efforts even more coordinated, Leupold has consolidated its marketing department into one cohesive team that includes a group focused on the company’s trade marketing efforts and another group dedicated specifically to consumer marketing. “This change will allow us to be even more attentive to the needs of our retailers and be able to respond to those needs faster,” Morrison says. “It also allows us to get to

know our end users better.” Shane Meisel will head up Leupold’s trade marketing group and Steve Krajczynski will be in charge of the consumer marketing program. Meisel and Krajczynski are both brand management veterans and will report to Mundy as part of the brand communications team. “There are so many opportunities for trade and consumer marketing to cross over and work together, and this will allow us to be in a better position to take advantage of those opportunities,” Mundy says. “We’ve rebuilt our team around the core goals of the company, and that’s customer service. It pervades every aspect of this company. It’s what we’re known for, and it’s really exciting to get back to that core.” Another part of Leupold’s marketing rebuild with a focus on cus-

We’ve positioned the company for the future. It will allow us to be even more attentive to the needs of our retailers and be able to respond to those needs faster.”

50 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

tomer service was the establishment of a new consumer product services team led by Tim O’Connor, who has been with Leupold for nearly 15 years. The consumer product services team will consolidate four key departments that represent the consumer-facing aspects of Leupold’s marketing department. By bringing together the technical services, product services/warranty, and product training departments and combining them with the Leupold Custom Shop, the company hopes to not only make the marketing efforts of these four groups more efficient, but also create a more effective way to gain insight from consumers. “Since this team deals with current Leupold customers on a daily basis, it provides our marketing department a unique opportunity to connect and speak with customers on a variety of product and service issues,” Morrison says. “In many instances, these are our most loyal customers who are often willing to provide valuable insights about product usage, the features they like most, and ways we can improve our product.” The consumer product services team isn’t just a way to bring these groups together, Morrison says, it’s a way for Leupold to bring a better experience to its customers. “We are putting significant resources behind this team to provide quick, accurate service to our best customers,” he says. “We take great pride in being able to have our technical experts speak directly to customers. Leupold’s legendary customer service is only going to get better.” With that kind of dedication to improvement, and a renewed focus on its global marketing efforts, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be long before people around the world learn what so many American sportsmen already know—that Leupold & Stevens’ legendary reputation is definitely well-deserved. Booth #11962. (

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Steyr’s roots lie near Austria’s Alps. The SM 12 follows the company’s highly touted line of mountain rifles.

European Elegance


Austria’s lithe ’03 carbines have evolved, and they’re better than ever By Wayne van Zwoll

rguably the slickest turn-bolt rifle action ever is the Mannlicher-Schoenauer, the first of which appeared in 1900. The famous 1903 followed, in 6.5x54. Its flat “butterknife” bolt handle ran so smoothly through its split bridge that a downward flip of the muzzle would zip the drawn bolt forward, and the momentum created would, in turn, lock the lugs. The rifle almost cycled itself, and cartridges fed fluidly from a spool magazine. The full-stocked carbine was seductively trim, its curves as artfully understated and fetching as on a Hollywood princess modeling lingerie.

The 1903 begat a long series of M-S rifles, the last built 50 years ago. Oddly enough, none were manufactured by Mannlicher or Schoenauer, who were designers, not industry tycoons. Their genius bore fruit at the Steyr factory, in the Austrian city of that name. Established at the confluence of the Steyr and Enns Rivers in the 13th century, the community grew on the shoulders of workers producing small arms and, beginning in 1918, bicycles, trucks, tractors, and automobiles. Leopold Werndl had founded the Steyr firm in 1821 for the sole purpose of making gun parts. He died of cholera in 1855, leaving the business to his son, Josef. Rifles became a Steyr product in the 1860s, when Josef returned from a stint in the U.S. working at Remington and Colt. He quickly applied what he had learned.

Then, as legend has it, an idea with real promise came to Josef in church. That rifle action, aptly named “tabernacle breech,” appealed to the Austrian Army.

Military contracts fueled a boom at the Steyr plant. Near the close of the century, the Werndls had 10,000 workers on their payroll. Josef proved not only a talented

Over the years Steyr has produced a wide range of rifles for other countries on their patterns, including the Norwegian Krag and the Mauser 1898. This pair of Mausers in “Waffensaal” date to the 1940s.

engineer and manager, but a visionary. In 1883, he brought hydropower to the city, making it the first in Europe with electric lights. Unlike some barons of the day, Werndl went to great lengths to meet the needs of his workers, and much of the housing he provided still stands. Early Steyr rifles were built for blackpowder cartridges converted to smokeless. New bolt-action models appeared at roughly twoyear intervals until 1910. Steyr also built rifles for other nations on their patterns, including the Norwegian Krag and the Mauser 1898. In 1912 the gun-making shop moved a few miles to a new facility. Six years later, as the company began manufacturing vehicles, Josef succumbed to pneumonia while battling one of the town’s periodic floods. He was only 58. Following the Great War, Steyr

day 4, January 23, 2015 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ 51

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added cartridges to its evolving rifle stable. Steyr-Daimler-Puch resulted from a 1934 merger. That union dissolved in 1996, leaving firearms production alone under the Steyr shingle. Current Steyr rifles differ from the classic M-S design, and while traditionalists still mourn prewar carbines, the new Steyrs are stronger. The twin-lug action, with the Mauser-style bridge, is stout enough to endure test-firing with a factory load behind a bullet lodged at mid-point in the bore. Accuracy? A Classic Steyr in .270 WSM printed .8-inch groups for me. Another in .338 RCM put three shots into a ragged triangle half an inch across. The full-stocked Classic in my battery shoots into a minute of angle. On a hunt in Austria, this smooth 9.3x62 tumbled three driven boars in quick succession. Recently, during my second visit to Steyr Mannlicher (the company’s current label), I met again with Oliver Bauer, who handles military sales for the firm. “The AUG assault rifle was developed in the late 1960s,” he told me. “In 1977 the Austrian Army adopted it as the AUG A1.” The AUG A2 and A3 retain the Bullpup design and space-gun profile. Steyr also makes SSG bolt rifles, an HS .50 M1, and a series of autoloading pistols. Bauer had already indulged my lust for walnut-stocked hunting rifles by showing me Steyr’s newest, the SM 12.

A Worthy Successor

Slim and carnivorous in profile, the SM 12 brought to mind elegant pre-war M-S sporters.

Oliver Bauer handles military sales for Mannlicher Steyr. Here, he bears down with a sporting rifle.

No, the bolt handle doesn’t hug the stock, and the bridge isn’t split. But the rifle hopped eagerly to my cheek and found its target instantly. “Feels old, but works better,” said Bauer. I would wholeheartedly agree. Steyr’s SM 12 borrows from its immediate predecessor, the SBS. I’d carried one of these piston-­smooth carbines on a hike up an Austrian mountain and spied a chamois at some distance.

The sharp-eyed creature had seen me, though, precluding a sneak. At 300 yards the Kahles optic quivered against its ribs. When the .270 clapped, the chamois pitched off the cliff, bounced, rolled, and lay still. The hammer-forged barrel of the SM 12 has the post-M-S barbershop twist near the breech and open sights almost (and properly) at scope level. The front adjusts for elevation, the rear for

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The SM 12’s polymer box feeds smoothly and must be loaded out of the rifle. The trigger is a single set.

windage. Of course, the receiver welcomes a scope. I installed Swarovski’s 3½–10x42 Z3 on a test rifle. The European comb put my eye on the optical axis. Checkering has been replaced on the open-grained walnut by scaled patterns at the wrist and forend. It’s functional, although not, to my eye, as attractive. Two pairs of opposing lugs bracket a recessed bolt face with a plunger ejector. The tang safety

is really a cocking switch. A couple of other European firms have applied this device to double rifles and straight-pull bolt guns. “But their strong springs won’t yield to weak or cold hands,” said Bauer. “Steyr’s switch moves like a safety.” Decocking is easy too: just press forward and down. The mechanism lets you safely carry an SM 12 loaded. The rifle isn’t cocked until you

thumb that catch. At just over 2 pounds, the SM 12’s clean-breaking trigger should delight any hunter. But if you nudge it forward, it sets for a 12-ounce pull. Unveiled in 10 chamberings, the SM 12 features a detachable box magazine and staggered-­column feed. You can specify the standard polymer magazine or stamped steel. I like the polymer; it’s lightweight and quiet. Like many boxes now, it’s meant to be loaded when outside the rifle. Evidently Steyr assumes you’ll pocket a loaded magazine or two. At the range, my SM 12 in .308 fed cartridges almost as smoothly as would a pre-war Mannlicher-Schoenauer—and just as reliably. Remington 180-grain Core-Lokts punched a .9-inch group at 100 yards. Sierra 175-grain MatchKings boxed by Federal came in at about an inch, as did SetPoint-loaded 175s. There were no functioning hiccups. The small ejection port that keeps the receiver stiff also bars entry of dust and debris and provides generous bolt support during manipulation, for smooth cycling. On the other hand, you can’t handily single-feed the rifle. All things considered, I don’t think that’s a bad trade-off by any means. The Steyr Mannlicher SM 12 comes in two configurations, both half-stock. The standard version—in .243, 6.5x55, .270, 7mm-08, 7x64, .308, .30/06, 8x57, and 9.3x62— has a 22-inch barrel and four-round magazine. The magnum­—in 7mm Rem., .300 Win., .300 Wby. Mag., and 8x68 S—has two additional inches of barrel and holds one less cartridge. Booth #10246. (205-417-8644;

minutes with…

Leonard Puzzuoli

CEO, Otis Technology

The Next Level


Exceeding the expectations of the customer is job one at Otis Technology By Slaton L. White eonard Puzzuoli was appointed chief executive officer January 1, 2014, succeeding company founder Doreen Garrett. Prior to becoming CEO, Puzzuoli served as the manufacturer’s chief financial officer, where he displayed an obvious command of financial leadership and strategic planning, strengths needed to take Otis Technology to the next level. He has expressed a belief that the company always needs to continue to exceed customers’ needs and expectations.

SHOT Daily: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry in the next five years?

customers will be instrumental in maintaining Otis’ leadership position in the marketplace.

Leonard Puzzuoli: I feel the greatest challenge in the firearms industry is legislation restricting Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Specifically, I encourage all of us to support our collective right to exercise our passion in the hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense areas. We strongly support and thank the NSSF, NRA, and USSA for their efforts. In addition, as a nation we need to lead from the front and keep our commitment to a strong national defense. We must continue to provide our servicemen and servicewomen with the resources that allow them to be successful.

SD: Your factory in Lyons Falls, New York, totally embraces the concept of “lean manufacturing.” Why is that so important to the company’s success?

SD: When you wake up in the morning, what gets you excited about your business?

SD: For a company that specializes in gun-cleaning products, you seem to invest heavily in research and development, even building a special facility solely for this purpose. Why is it important for Otis to do this?

LP: Lean manufacturing has allowed Otis to

provide superior value to our customers by eliminating inefficiencies and freeing up resources for deployment to product development. Continual improvement and product development is the lifeblood of a company. Lean principles have also allowed our employees to become more engaged and empowered to make impactful contributions to Otis operations.

LP: Our organization is centered around inno-

vative firearms accessories for the shooter, hunter, and warfighter. We operate in a competitive and dynamic environment. Otis’ steady stream of innovative new products will greatly enhance the shooting sports experience. This is what defines Otis and excites me about our business. In addition, it is a pleasure to be involved with the many high-caliber individuals affiliated with the shooting sports industry.

SD: What does Otis Technology need to do in the future to maintain its leadership position? LP: Otis will continue to develop new products

LP: My experience tells me that Research and Otis CEO Leonard Puzzuoli says, “Continual improvement is the lifeblood of a company.” Product development is also critical to success.

that make firearms maintenance quicker, easier, and more effective. The Ripcord and B.O.N.E. Tool are our newest products that have done just that. We have seen strong adoption of these products and have received tremendous feedback from our customers on their ease of use and effectiveness. Continuing to drive new innovations like the Ripcord to meet the needs of our

Development can take a backseat to day-to-day operations when located in the same facility as manufacturing. By giving the R&D Engineers their own space, they have the opportunity to stretch boundaries with new ideas, methods, and technologies. They are our forward thinkers and drive innovation for our company. OTIS stands for Outstanding, Technology, Innovation, Service. We count on the interaction between our marketing, sales, operations, and R&D teams to continue to innovate with products like the B.O.N.E. Tool, Otis Ripcord, and maintenance chemicals.

Hatch to Unveil Task-Specific Gloves Operators can only perform as well as they can manipulate their gear. Hatch has been providing top-notch protective performance gloves since 1967. The brand offers an extensive line of cut-resistant, cold weather, hard-knuckle protection, and touchscreen-capable gloves. For 2015, Hatch is unveiling a new line of task-specific gloves with SRPs starting at $25. These new glove models include functional features for tactical operators and are designed for durability and comfort. Alongside its Classic line of gloves, Hatch offers an array of tactical

54 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 4, January 23, 2015

gloves designed for the task at hand. For wearers seeking touchscreen capabilities, the Hatch ATS (Advanced Touchscreen System) line consists of four models with enhanced touchscreen technology. The Patrolman Touchscreen Duty TDG-100 (SRP: $64), Patrolman with CoolMax Touchscreen TWG-100 ($60), Technician Touchscreen Utility TUG-100 ($46) and Contact Touchscreen Flight with NOMEX IIIA EFG100/200/300/400/500 ($88–$107) gloves are all available. Booth #12762. (800-347-1200; —Robert Sadowski

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Traditions’ Pursuit G4 (top) and two .50-cal Vortek StrikerFire models: Full Realtree Xtra with 3–9x40 scope (center), and with Realtree Xtra and CeraKote (bottom).

Striking It Big Traditions builds on the success of the Vortek StrikerFire By Robert F. Staeger


raditions president Tom Hall isn’t kidding when he says it’s turned out to be a very good year. The company’s Vortek StrikerFire rifle, introduced in 2013, was awarded a Golden Bullseye by the NRA and recognized as the Best of the Best by Field and Stream magazine. Hunters of all sorts—including Lee and Tiffany of TV’s The Crush—have been using the muzzleloader in the field, and taking all kinds of game. “Being recognized for our new innovation and things that we’re doing right now is truly an honor.”

Sales have also been very strong, says Hall. “The new technology and our marketing is helping us to really build our brand,” he says. “Consumers are going into the dealer’s stores and asking for Traditions—not only by brand, but by product, which tells us that all our efforts are paying off.” A few innovations have made the StrikerFire so successful. Foremost is the firing system it’s named for, an innovation that puts the gun’s hammer inside the gun. Instead, decocking the gun just takes a push of a button. The loss of the hammer allows a couple of other changes. It allows a quicker, quieter lock time, for one. It also permits mounting a scope more in line with the bore. “You don’t have to raise your head off the stock when you aim,” says Hall. “You can get more comfortable, and it helps to make it more accurate.” Accuracy is also enhanced by the chromoly steel barrel. Traditions has had success with it on a few other guns, so it was incorporated into the StrikerFire’s design. “It makes the muzzleloader more balanced than a heavier steel gun, stainless steel, or other materials

being used out there. The accuracy we’re getting out of this barrel has been tremendous.” The other major innovation is the StrikerFire’s TAC2 trigger. “It’s a two-stage trigger,” explains Hall. “Once you cock the gun, you pull back on it and the trigger stops, and then it breaks clean. So you know exactly when the trigger’s going to break. It takes a little getting used to, but anybody who shoots it just loves it.” Between the StrikerFire system and the TAC2 trigger, the pull is down to an easy 2 ½ pounds. “And then you incorporate that with the new stock design and the balance with that barrel is nice and lightweight. Even though you can get a 28-inch barrel—or our LDR, which is a 30-inch barrel—they’re still lighter than some of the 20-inch barrels on the market. And if you’re going to shoot the magnum loads, you need the 28-inch or 30-inch barrel to burn all that powder inside the barrel. So all that is really driving the StrikerFire to get the recognition it’s had.” It’s these innovations that put Traditions in a leadership role. “We’ve been working on this

design for a few years,” says Hall. “We’ve had it in the can, waiting for the right opportunity to bring it out, and fortunately people are looking for something new and different in the blackpowder market.” But beyond the modern muzzleloaders Tradition offers—its Pursuit, Vortek, and Buckstopper lines, among others—there’s also its line of classic guns. “They’re for the purists, or the enthusiasts that want a sidelock or a flintlock percussion gun to hunt in that ‘primitive’ season,” says Hall. “We try to leave those as authentic as possible. You use a musket nickel or a No. 11 percussion cap on the gun itself. We don’t try to refine that much, because that’s just how they want it to be. “But we’re always looking for new technology to drive the other side. Whatever’s going to make it easier for the consumers to use,” says Hall. “We’re always looking for new ideas to challenge the market and give the consumer a better product.” One thing that brings new thinking is a desire to reach new customers—and with the recent growth of the female firearms market, Hall expects more women to turn to

muzzleloaders, as well. “I think with what’s happening in the firearms industry with the female market, whether it’s handguns, rifles, or whatever—all of that is going to come over to the blackpowder and muzzleloading side at some point,” says Hall. The outreach effort is headed up by Traditions’ Brenna Wells. “She talks to a bunch of different industry women out at the shows, and tries to determine what are the features they like in a gun, what are some of the camo patterns that the female market will accept, without trying to stereotype it at all. She’s had a lot of success these past few years.” This year will see more variation on the StrikerFire model, says Hall. “Just recently we’ve teamed up with Drury Outdoors, and Mark and Terry’s team are out using a special Mossy Oak Treestand edition that we’re going to be offering for 2015,” he says. “We’ve teamed up with Realtree and Mossy Oak, trying to promote the different StrikerFires in those markets.” Examples of those models will be available at the Traditions booth. Also at the booth will be a new muzzleloader, the Pursuit G4. “It’s got the same chromoly barrel as the old Pursuit, but it’s got a new look and new feel that we’re introducing for 2015,” says Hall. “We’ve been to one other show just recently and it was accepted very well. I think most people will like it.” Another newcomer you can see at the Traditions booth is the new Crack Shot 22 break-action. “It’s a .22-caliber short gun, a break-action we’re introducing in a full-size and a youth model,” says Hall. And that might not be all. But Hall says for that, you’ll have to stop by the booth. Booth #16532. (860-3884656;

day 4, January 23, 2015 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ 55


Walt Berger’s tireless efforts to achieve the perfect match-grade load built Berger Bullets—a company that unexpectedly changed what hunting rounds could be.


The Bullet Man

Walt Berger’s quest for match-grade perfection revolutionized big-game hunting By Richard Mann few years ago, back before folks realized that Berger’s VLD bullet was suitable for hunting, Walt Berger gave me a tour of the Berger Bullets factory. Then we flew to New Zealand to hunt. During those 10 days he told me his story. Walt’s story is legendary, but it’s not one of fighting demons or overcoming all odds. Rather, it’s the story of a shooter’s quest for perfection, the story of a hunter crossing new mountains. It’s the story of a man realizing the American dream.

Walt was born in Easton, Ohio, in 1928. He was one year old when the stock market crashed. Times were tough, but when he was five he scrounged up a BB gun and, like Roosevelt, it promised a “New Deal.” Walt’s dad liked to hunt. He enjoyed chasing raccoons, rabbits, and fox with scent hounds. It’s a pursuit as infectious as the flu. I know; I grew up with a father who had the same passion. The outdoors became Walt’s playground. He was a product of the Depression, a time when you made your own way, created your own entertainment, or lived an unhappy existence. Walt’s way was found in the wild, and he funded his adventures by selling coon hides and collecting a 25-cent bounty on groundhogs he shot with an Iver Johnson .22. So pas-

sionate was Walt about hunting that he and a friend rode with their .22 rifles from Easton, Ohio, to Fort Knox, Kentucky, in the trunk of a friend’s ’39 Plymouth just so they could hunt. And then there was another crash. War took Walt’s brother and best friend away to fly B-17s and assault beaches. Walt, too young to go,

stayed at home and continued to hunt. Walt coon-hunted with his .22 rifle and a lantern. One night while hunting, as he was crossing property he did not have permission to hunt, the owners saw his lantern from their house. They started shooting. Walt hastily blew out his lantern and got behind a tree. “I remember thinking, ‘My

Fellow competitors were not happy when Walt and his bullets showed up.


brother is off in the war and I’m at home hunting his dog, and damned if I’m the one going to get shot.’ I learned then and there that sometimes being in the dark could be a good thing!” Walt eventually registered for the draft but was never called. A high school basketball and baseball player and a track star, Walt most likely had a 1A rating with no exemptions. Walt later learned that no one in his home county who registered during the month of November 1946 got called up. The courthouse lost all the draft registrations from that month.

First Steps

Out of school, he went to work for a box factory. With the promise of a supervisory position, he passed


on college. In 1949 Walt became a husband and, inspired by the writings of Jack O’Connor, bought a life insurance policy to later finance a sheep hunt. At a gun shop in Akron, he also bought his first centerfire rifle for $198. It was a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .257 Roberts. Walt and a friend practiced religiously in preparation for a hunt in Pennsylvania, even shooting a target inside a tire they rolled down the hill. On the first day of the hunt, Walt jumped a buck. He shot it as it ran. It disappeared and another hunter shot at it. After a short argument, Walt walked away from the second deer he had lost to a bullet that failed him. The first was a whitetail he dropped with a 16-gauge slug a few years before. When Walt walked up to that deer and pulled out his trench knife, it got up and ran away. The deer crossed a ridge and there was another shot and another argument about whose deer it was. Walt lost that argument, too. A few years later, while returning from a Western hunt with some friends, the car broke down near Buffalo, Wyoming. In the process of getting it fixed they learned about a benchrest shooting match near town. They fixed the car, stopped by the range—and saw the future.

New for

At Walt’s first benchrest match, he didn’t have enough cash to meet the entry fee so they let him compete, ineligible for prize money. It was there he learned that to be competitive, he would have to make his own bullets. He took a second job, carrying blocks and cement, to pay for the dies. Twohundred-and-seventy-five dollars later he owned a set of .224 bullet dies, which enabled him to win a few matches. He even sold a few bullets. Walt continued to perfect his bullet-making skills. This required lots of testing and the investment of a substantial amount of cash— just so he could shoot smaller groups. It wasn’t long before Walt earned a reputation, and fellow competitors were not happy when Walt and his bullets showed up. In 1963, Spiveco Inc. began making the J4 bullet jacket; these were bullet jackets with a total indicated run-out (TIR) of 3/10,000 or less at the base and 5/10,000 or less at the mouth. The jackets changed the landscape as far as benchrest shooting was concerned, and Walt and almost everyone else began using them. Walt continued to shoot with perfection and win awards. He became a benchrest Hall of Fame member, and he cashed in his

insurance policy and went on that sheep hunt. And, in 1989, Berger Bullets, a garage operation, became Walt’s full-time job. In 1985 Louis Palmisano, one of the originators of the .22 PPC cartridge, approached Walt about making a new, game-changing bullet called the VLD (Very Low Drag). The major difference in the VLD was its incorporation of a secant as opposed to the common tangent

ogive and the inclusion of a long, 90-degree boattail. This highcaliber secant ogive and steep angle boattail drastically increased the ballistic coefficient of the bullet, which gave it a flatter trajectory and better wind resistance. Walt agreed, and his bulletbuilding success continued. But, unlike many who dream of turning a passion into a profitable business, Walt did not borrow money to fund his company. Up until 1997, everything Walt had ever purchased, he’d paid for with cash, in the process instilling in his kids and grandchildren the concept of saving to buy what you want instead of borrowing. “When I was still young I once hid some money under a bridge in a jar,” he told me. “A flood came and I lost it all. It was about $14. After that, I was always careful what I did with my money.”

Driving Force

The VLD’s groundbreaking construction gives it a flat trajectory and minimal wind resistance.

Berger Bullets did not go in debt until 1997, when the company purchased a bullet-making machine. They had to do it to meet demand. Prior to 1997, every Berger bullet was made by hand. Berger Bullets became, and remains to this day, the premier manufacturer of match-grade bullets, which still use

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Designed for precision benchrest shooting, Berger Bullets’ VLD rounds excel for big game as well, thanks to a construction that offers extremely flat trajectories and delays expansion until the bullet reaches the vital organs.

J4 jackets. In fact, at the turn of the last century, Berger Bullets merged with Spiveco and became the sole manufacturer of J4 jackets. Surprisingly, through customer feedback, Walt learned that his VLD bullets were also amazingly effective on big-game animals. Their lethality is a combination of how their construction delays expansion until the bullet is at vital-organ depth. Combine this with their almost grenade-like eruptive deformation and the flat trajectories possible with the high

tion to detail that has guided his entire shooting and bulletmaking career. This time there was no question, no argument, and no confusion about who shot the animal. And, there was no question who built the bullet or if it worked. Walt Berger was the driving force behind the organization of the World Bench Rest Shooting Match. He developed a standard for the manufacture of bullets now revered by bullet smiths worldwide. He distinguished himself as a world-class benchrest shooter,

ballistic coefficients of the VLD design, and you have a premium big-game bullet like no other. On a cloudy New Zealand day in early 2007, Walt Berger—the hunter—would take another .257 Roberts and put down a red stag, with one shot, using a 115-grain Berger VLD bullet. The stag did not get up and run away. Like sp many times before, Walt Berger calculated the proper hold, placed the reticle in the right spot, controlled his breathing, and pulled the trigger with the same precision and atten-










and he has set an example of leadership and character for his family, friends, and associates to follow. Shooters owe Walt Berger a heartfelt thank-you for being a shooter, a hunter, and an excellent ambassador for the shooting community. Stop by the Berger Bullets booth and thank Walt personally. You may have to speak loudly; these days, Walt is a little hard of hearing. Not from shooting—it was all those years working in a box factory without ear protection. Some shooters think of Walt Berger when they seat a streamlined, precision-engineered bullet into a brass case. Some think about him when they see that single hole made in a target by 10 successive shots. And others think of him every time they see a rifle thrown over some sandbags. When I think of Walt Berger, I think about a young boy like me, following coonhounds and stalking groundhogs with a .22 rifle. I think of a man, like my father, who through hard work, dedication, and a relentless quest for perfection managed to make the most out of the American dream. And I think of the irony of how his motivation to build the best match bullet ever also produced one of the deadliest hunting bullets of all time. Booth #1405. (714-441-7200;


Weatherby’s Orion I over/under is returning for 2015. The list price will be slightly over $1,000, which means that savvy customers should find it more affordable than other over/unders on the market.

Welcome Back

Weatherby recommits to shotgunners By Slaton L. White


he Weatherby Orion I over/under is coming back in 2015. It will be limited to a single model—a 3-inch 12-gauge in either 26- or 28-inch barrels. “The old gun belonged to a category in which we made a tactful retreat,” says Jason Evans, Weatherby’s vice president of sales and product development. The last Orion shotguns, the Orion D’Italia, were manufactured in Italy between 2008 and 2011. Between 1982 and 2007, Orions were sourced from a Japance manufacturer. “Now, after doing a lot of work to develop a new gun, we felt it was time to bring the name back.” Many consumers will see the new gun as a reboot of the line, and it does look a lot like the old Orion. Yet the action is entirely different;

a shallower and narrower receiver gives it a low profile. That initiates the inevitable comparison to the Browning Cynergy. Evans acknowledges this, but adds, “The Browning has a lug underneath the bottom barrel. This product doesn’t have that. Instead, we use two pistons in the receiver that lock to the monobloc. We believe it’s a much more efficient design.” Evans also says that the Weatherby configuration “lowers the barrels, giving the shooter more control over recoil, and it reduces muzzle flip as well. All in all, it’s a compact, better-performing receiver design.” Evans says the steel receiver “can easily handle 3-inch magnum loads. We even used Hypersonic steel loads while testing.” Other features

include a Grade A walnut stock, Prince of Wales grip, a high-gloss finish, a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, and three Weatherby IMC chokes—IC, Mod, and Full. SRP: $1,099. Though the list price is just north of $1,000, Adam Weatherby, Weatherby’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, says, “the real-world price will be in the $900 range. We wanted to create a more affordable over/ under. It took a long time to develop because it’s hard to do.” Evans is cautious about future iterations of the Orion. “In the past, we had five levels of over/ unders, but we suffered from supplier issues. The idea right now is to get this one back to the market and get people reintroduced to the

name. Going forward we have a lot of opportunity to expand in grades, trim levels, and gauges.” Weatherby intends for the Orion I to be a big part of its 2015 catalog. “We’re going to utilize our sales force, all 52 of them in the U.S., to let retailers know the Orion is back,” says Evans. “We have a very good dealer network, but we need to make sure that they are educated in regard to this product so they can explain the story to potential customers. We can’t just assume that if we build a new product and put it in the catalog it will succeed.” Utilizing the entire sales force is critical not only for the success of the Orion I, but for the new turkey and waterfowl guns that are launching in 2015. “We want to get back into upland and waterfowl in a big way,” Evans says. Key products here include the 12-gauge SA-08 Waterfowler in Realtree Max-5 camo ($799), the pistol-gripped 12- and 20-gauge SA-459 Turkey in Realtree Xtra Green camo ($799), and a pair of 20-gauge 24-inch barrel youth models—the SA-08 Kryptek Compact ($799) and SA-08 Volt Compact ($699), both of which feature a 12 ½-inch length of pull. Four pump models also join the line. Booth #12729. (805-2272600;





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The redesigned R-25 is lighter, which should broaden the appeal of the platform among big-game hunters.

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Second Generation Remington’s redesigned R-25 GII is made for bigger game By Brian McCombie






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or those of us who like to hunt with modern sporting rifles (MSRs) in calibers above .223/5.56mm, there’s been one stumbling block with many of the models on the market: weight. It’s common for many .223/5.56mm MSRs to come in at 6.5 or 7 pounds, yet quite a few of the larger caliber MSRs weigh 8 to 8.5 pounds or even more. Add an optic and mounting hardware, a sling, and a full magazine, and you can be lugging 10 or even 11 pounds into the field.

That kind of bulk can be a real burden, especially if your hunting days include a lot of hiking. Remington Arms heard these concerns from hunters, and, together with DPMS (another Remington Outdoors Company), created the R-25 GII, the second generation of Remington’s R-25 line of MSRs for the hunter. I recently had a chance to shoot the new GII in .308. Upon picking up the rifle, I immediately noticed it has shed weight. At 7.5 pounds, the GII is a full pound lighter than the original version. It points easily and swings fast to target when needed. After a quick sight-in at 30 yards, I lined up on the 100-yard target and began adjusting elevation and windage until I was getting steady hits on the bull’s-eye. I was soon grouping three-shot strings (with 150- and 168-grain bullets) at 1.5 to 1 inch, which is plenty good enough for most deer hunters. Despite its reduced weight, the GII actually recoils less than the heavier first-generation models. That does seem rather counter-intuitive— until you discover that the internal workings of the upper receiver have been significantly redesigned. (Actually, this is the same redesign that DPMS introduced last year on the GII .308 series of MSRs.) Much of that weight reduction comes from improved machining operations on the receivers that allows them to be smaller, lighter, yet stronger than the originals. DPMS also improved the bolt geometry to relieve stress lines, crafting a monolithic bolt carrier with dual extractors.

Adam Ballard, senior product manager for Remington Outdoor Company’s modern sporting rifle lines, says the lighter bolt and receiver configuration actually means less weight is being driven back toward the shooter, and that reduces the felt recoil. “The new Remington carbon-fiber handguard and skeletonized stock with our Supercell recoil pad, along with the reduced size and weight of the GII platform, are designed for maximum comfort, weight reduction, and balance,” he says. My GII had a smooth, two-stage trigger, housed in an integral trigger guard, and a Hogue pistol grip. The carbon handguard fit my hand nicely and stayed cool even after multiple, fast-paced shot strings had been fired. The rifles come camouflaged in the Mossy Oak Infinity pattern. The 20-inch stainless-steel barrels are fluted and finished with Teflon. Steel feed-ramp inserts are standard. “Functionally, we think the GII surpasses other MSRs in terms of reliability and accuracy,” Ballard says. “For example, the steel feed-ramp insert improves feeding with more types of soft-nose hunting ammunition. Dual ejectors and a newly improved extractor and elastomer extractor spring virtually eliminate the possibility of a failure to extract or eject, too.” Available in .243 Win., .260 Rem., 7mm-08 Rem., and .308 Win., the R-15 GII is now ready to ship. The .308 Win. GII can also be had in a model that incorporates a “bullet button,” making the rifle California compliant. SRP: $1,696. Booth #15427. (


The Stainless-Steel Solution

Warne it is still poised for growth. “We were down 1 percent last year compared to a very strong 2013. We were pretty happy about that, especially because industry growth was flat to negative.” Its diversified market is one reason Warne is bullish on the future. Although it’s headquartered in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, it does business in 27 countries. Parks says he believes Warne benefits from a quality product that is guaranteed to return to zero when remounted on a rifle. Roger Cox, a California hunter who often hunts in Africa, saw that firsthand. “My friend brought along Warne QD mounts,” Cox says. “I had mounts from another manufacturer.” When they remounted their scopes and fired a few rounds to check the zero, Cox noted his friend’s rifle was dead-on. His wasn’t, and he had to spend time and ammo re-sighting in. “I have Warne QD mounts now,” says Cox. Booth #16344. (warne

Warne’s quick-detach mounts are built to assure shooting accuracy By Joe Keller


emovable scope mounts are nothing new. But producing a quality quickdetach system that always returns to zero and doesn’t cost a fistful of dollars has been a Holy Grail in the industry. Warne Mounts is betting large that its QD design is the answer. Machined of stainless steel, each features adjustable levers and is tightened with a square recoil lug rather than a round crossbolt so it fits solidly into rails. “We are all avid shooters here, and we know what shooters want,” says Randy Parks, sales and marketing director. According to Parks, the prime market “isn’t tactical shooters or benchrest guys; it’s boltaction .30/06 and .270 hunters.” Parks says there are three main reasons this is so. “First, if they are traveling,

Warne’s quickdetach scope mounts allow a rifle to stay zeroed once the glass is restored to the gun.

hunters can sight in a gun at home, and then remove the scope—still attached to the mounts—and pack the gun in a case for travel. For safekeeping, they can carry the scope aboard the plane. At their destination, they can re-attach the scope, and it will still be zeroed. Second, they can bring several guns but only one scope on a

trip. Finally, still others like the option of going from a scope to iron sights and then back to a scope. Say, you’re in Africa hunting a variety of game. You might choose to set up on plains game with a scope but take it off the next day and opt for iron sights for warthogs. Then, you attach the scope again for a waterhole hunt.”

Warne is also selling to 3-Gun competitors, and the company has been a big supporter of the sport. One of their sponsored shooters, Keith Garcia, won the 3-Gun Nation champion title last year, which gave the company a nice boost in that segment. Though sales were off a bit last year, Parks says

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Competitive shooter Lena Miculek says she “never really gets out of competition mode.” That may be due to the nature of her chosen profession—the Miculek family competed in 28 3-Gun matches last year.

Life on the Road

Competitive shooter Lena Miculek explains what it’s like to “grow up Miculek” By Barbara Baird


ena Miculek, the daughter of shooting legend Jerry Miculek and top shooting competitor Kay Clark Miculek, devotes her lifework to zipping among stages at prestigious 3-Gun competitions. When asked to describe in three words what it was like to “grow up Miculek,” Lena said, “Close-knit, traveling, shooting.”


Although Miculek traveled extensively with her parents as a child, being homeschooled in the process, she really did not warm up to the idea of following in their footsteps as competitive shooters until she was 16. It was then that she discovered the world of 3-Gun competitions. Now, she fires away alongside her parents at the various prestigious 3-Gun competitions around the world. She also competes in USPSA handgun matches when she gets a chance. She trains at her parents’ range weekly when at home in her new house in Louisiana. She lives about five miles away, with her husband, Brock. Miculek says Brock is warming to the idea of shooting 3-Gun, and is trying to find time to practice and shoot more. “I never really get out of competition mode,” says Miculek. “When I’m home, I try to spend time with family and friends that I don’t get to see, along with practicing and working on gear. But recently, Brock and I got a pet Toco toucan. She is currently nameless, but quite loving and entertaining.”

Traveling ➤ When

not traveling to compete in 3-Gun matches, Miculek might still be found on the road, instructing at events. She taught techniques at last year’s Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational and occasionally can be found on the line as an instructor at Babes with Bullets classes. She may even be enticed to teach a private lesson or two. As of last fall, she already had booked to attend the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals, Superstition Mystery Mountain 3-Gun, and all


the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series matches in 2015. Last year, the Miculeks packed their schedule with 28 3-Gun matches.


“3-Gun­—just hearing the name stirs up feeling and emotions for me,” says Miculek. “I do truly enjoy it, more than any other shooting sport I’ve tried. “I love that there is no perfect score, no standard, and no set guidelines as for what to expect when you walk on to the range at a major match,” she says. “The stage designers are not restricted, and it gives the sport something that I find missing at other competitions.” Her choices for 3-Gun include the following guns. Rifle: Smith and Wesson PC15 with a 16-inch barrel, Barnes precision 14-inch handguard, JM compensator, Hogue stock, a Vortex 1–6X scope, and a Hiperfire trigger. Handgun: Smith and and Wesson M&P Pro 9mm with Magwell, tungsten guide rod, HiViz front and rear sights, and a snazzy trigger job done by “the one and only dad.” Shotgun: Mossberg JM 930 with Nordic Components 13-shot mag tube, HiViz front bead, and recoil pad. “What I find to be one of the best things about the shooting sports is that you can do it as a family,” Miculek says. “I would really encourage parents to get involved in something that the whole family can share.” SHOT Show exhibitors that currently sponsor Lena Miculek include Smith and Wesson (Booth #13729), Mossberg (Booth #12734), Vortex Optics (Booth #20439), Fiocchi (Booth #15942), and Hogue (Booth #15545).


It’s hard to say something is new when it comes to multitools. One of the most common accessories found in the kit of hunters, soldiers, and law enforcement seems to have gone through every iteration possible. But then again, there’s always a tweak on an established design that can be a game-changer. SOG, known for its patented assisted opening technology (in which the blade opens quickly with a simple push of your thumb on the thumb stud), has adapted that technology to the multitool category. The Switchplier sports beefy spring-loaded pliers with a wire cutter that pops open at the push of a button for lightning-fast one-handed operation. With 12 tools in total, a closed length of 4.3 inches, and weighing just over 6 ounces, this is a solid, versatile multitool that can go anywhere. And one of the best features is that all the tools lock in place when opened. SRP: $60. Booth #425. ( —David Maccar


From One to Four


t last year’s SHOT Show, IWI showed tactical rifle shooters and MSR fans something they didn’t know they wanted—until they fired it. The Tavor SAR took the rifle world by storm, selling more than 20,000 units. In addition, it was adopted by several law enforcement agencies in the U.S. This year, the U.S. subsidiary of the Israeli arms manufacturer went from a one-gun company to a fourgun company with the introduction of the Galil ACE rifle and pistol, the Jericho pistol (formerly the Baby Eagle imported by Magnum Research), and a new take on the UZI pistol. The Galil rifle was originally adopted by the Israeli Defense Force in 1974. Now, the heavily AK-influenced rifle is finally being imported for sale in the U.S. The Galil ACE is a semi-auto longstroke gas-piston rifle and pistol chambered in 7.62x39mm. The use of polymer components helps reduce the overall weight to just over 8 pounds without the magazine. The rifle’s 16-inch chromelined cold-hammer-forged barrel includes a removable five-port flash hider. There’s plenty of room to

mount optics on two sections of aluminum Picatinny rail totalling 14.5 inches running over the gas tube and the receiver. The forend is separated into three parts that can each be removed to reveal another 4.25 inches of accessory rails. The charging handle is mounted horizontally on the left side of the receiver, replacing the original Galil’s right-side vertical charging handle. One of the most interesting features is a spring-loaded dust cover on the left side of the receiver that pivots up and down as the charging handle moves back and forth, protecting the action. The ACE accepts standard AK magazines and shoots like the battleproven rifle that it is. (SRP: $2,099) The pistol version has an 8.3inch barrel and an overall length of 18 inches. The pistol also accepts standard AK magazines. (SRP: $1,749) IWI’s new semi-auto UZI PRO, like its SMG ancestor, is chambered in 9mm Luger Parabellum. The new model features a polymer grip with an integrated magazine-release button. The cocking handle has been moved from the top of the receiver to the left side, allowing for a full-length Picatinny top rail for

The Galil ACE rifle from IWI US is a battle-proven beast of durability with a butter-smooth action chambered in 7.62 for a big punch.

optics. A short rail is mounted below the barrel for additional accessories. The PRO has an overall length of 9.5 inches with a 4.5-inch barrel, weighs 3.66 pounds unloaded, and comes with a 20- and 25-round magazine. (SRP: $1,099) And finally, IWI US has relaunched the Jericho series of pistols with both steel and polymerframed models in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The Jericho, based on the CZ-75 pistol, has had a presence in the U.S. under several names, including the UZI Eagle when imported by

Mossberg and Magnum Research’s Baby Eagle. The big innovation on the new Jericho is the framemounted safety, which replaces the slide-mounted safety/decocker on the Baby Eagle. Nine models of the Jericho 941 will be available: four polymer models and five steel guns. The polymer models will come with a 4.4-inch or 3.8-inch barrel in 9mm and .40 S&W; the steel guns will also be chambered in .45 ACP. (SRP: polymer, $559; steel frame, $655). Booth #15238. ( —David Maccar

12.03.2014 12:20

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Savage Arms is adding the .338 Federal cartridge to six of its rifle platforms in 2015, including the Model 16 Bear Hunter (top) and the Model 16 FCSS Weather Warrior (below).

Rising Tide .338 Federal gains ground


fter scoring high marks from critics and drawing legions of loyal fans since its debut in 2006, the .338 Federal continues to gain widespread favor among big-game hunters across the continent. Savage Arms is further fueling this rising tide by chambering six of its most popular rifles to fire the high-performance yet low-recoil cartridge.

None of which surprises Mike Holm, ammunition product line manager for Federal Premium Ammunition, which developed the round in conjunction with Sako. “The .338 Federal may be the perfect big-game cartridge,” he says. “It fits in short-action, lightweight rifles and delivers the range and terminal energy to take down any North American big-game animal. I have also seen it perform on plains game in Africa.”

A Star Is Born ➤ Built

on the .308 case and necked-up to hold a .338-diameter bullet, the load offers hunters a faster muzzle velocity than traditional favorites such as the .308 Win., and with a heavier bullet to boot. But the true beauty of the .338 Federal, Holm says, is that you get near-.338 Win. Mag. performance out to 400 yards—without the brutal recoil of magnum rounds. Ballistics data bears this out. For example, the 200-grain Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Tip .338 Federal packs a punishing 1,891 foot-pounds of punch at 300 yards, yielding an only slightly lighter sting than the 2,213 foot-pounds delivered by a 210-grain .338 Win. Mag. Nosler Partition. On the flip side, the .338 Federal produces just 23.9 footpounds of recoil, compared to a shoulder-smashing 36.1 for the Win. Mag. At the same time the .338 Federal zips along at 2,064 feet per second at 300 yards, virtually tailgating the magnum cartridge, which

clocks a cruising speed of 2,180. And trajectory is nearly a dead heat, with the .338 Federal dropping 9.1 inches at 300 yards, compared to 8 inches for the Win. Mag. “Short-action rifles are lighter and easier to carry in the field, making that shot on a trophy animal that much better,” Holm adds. “There is also a wide selection of .338-caliber bullets to choose from, which only adds to your performance options.” Indeed, the company offers seven .338 Federal products, ranging from 185-grain American Eagle softpoint target loads and Fusion MSRs up to 210-grain Nosler Partitions. Heavy hitters in the family are housed in the Premium brand’s Vital-Shok lineup, which includes the Trophy Copper and Trophy Bonded Tip options. Trophy Copper inflicts devastating downrange damage, thanks to an all-copper bullet that features a tipped cavity for seamless expansion across the velocity spectrum. As a bonus, the bullet’s grooved shank engenders accuracy in a variety of firearms while the copper-alloy design yields up to 99 percent weight retention for the deepest possible penetration in an expanding bullet. Trophy Bonded Tips, meanwhile, blend stellar weight retention and penetration with impressive ballistics. They also boast a bonecrushing solid copper shank and expansion-boosting exterior skiving. “Another benefit of the .338 Federal is that it not only works great out of bolt-actions, but it makes a fantastic hunting cartridge


for modern sporting rifles as well,” Holm notes. “Whether you’re hunting deer, elk, moose, bear, caribou, and even African plains game, it offers real advantages. In fact, we liked it so much, we chose the .338 Federal to be the first centerfire cartridge to bear the Federal name.”

Savage Embrace ➤ Iconic

American gunmaker Savage Arms agrees with Holm’s assessment, adding the .338 Federal to six of its flagship big-game rifle platforms for 2015, including the Model 11 Hog Hunter, Model 11 Long Range Hunter, Model 16 FCSS Weather Warrior, Model 16 Bear Hunter, the Model 11, and Model 16 Trophy Hunter XP. “As you can see, we’ve added this caliber to a wide variety of products,

The .338 Federal offers a faster velocity than a .308 Win. without the brutal recoil of a .338 Win. Mag.

from key niche guns to higher-volume general-purpose models,” says marketing director Bill Dermody. “The .338 Federal is a great caliber with a lot of potential that fills somewhat of a hole in our lineup. It provides great energy with heavier bullets, but without the magnum recoil. While it’s a great all-around cartridge, it’s a particularly good fit in the Model 16 Bear Hunter and the Model 11 Hog Hunter.” Both the Bear Hunter and Hog Hunter—along with Model 11 Long Range Hunter—are members of Savage’s Specialty Series, which is geared for specific applications. All six feature Savage’s ingenious AccuTrigger system, which allows the shooter to dial in the perfect trigger pull to fit their personal preference. The Hog Hunter features a green synthetic stock, carbon-steel barrel with black matte finish, adjustable iron sights, a medium-contour, threaded barrel, and an internal box magazine. Designed to tag a variety of big game, the Long Range Hunter features the AccuStock bedding system, which cradles the action in a rigid shooting platform. It also features a black carbon-steel barrel and matching synthetic stock, a hinged floorplate magazine, an adjustable comb, and a muzzle brake. The Bear Hunter also offers AccuStock, along with a synthetic camo stock, a stainless barrel, an adjustable muzzle brake, and a hinged floorplate magazine. Built for the harshest conditions, the Model 16 FCSS Weather Warrior sports a stainless-steel action and barrel to banish corrosion, plus a lightweight synthetic stock impervious to moisture. The Model 11 and Model 16 Trophy Hunter XP belong to the Package Series, which offers tack-driving performance out of the box. Both feature AccuTrigger, factory-mounted 3x9 Nikon optics, detachable box magazines, and synthetic stocks. The Model 11 has a black matte carbon-steel barrel while the Model 16 sports stainless steel.


Galco is growing, adding a distribution center and freeing up space for manufacturing and an expanded machine shop at its Arizona plant.

Galco Gunleather Branches Out


long with the boom in firearms sales in the past few years comes an accompanying need for holsters. Galco Gunleather responded to its increase in orders by planning for an expansion of its current plant in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s actually part of a five-yearmaster expansion plan that was approved in 2011,” says Scott Feck, vice president, operations. “First, we added manufacturing and raw material space onto our primary building, which was completed in

January 2013. Then, last spring, we broke ground on our new building.” Galco chose to work with the same architectural firm responsible for the primary building in 1989 and the 2012 extension. The new building will serve as Galco’s distribution center, freeing up space in its primary building for additional manufacturing and an expansion of the machine shop and engineering department. “There are many pros and cons to having everything under one roof versus another building, and

we could have easily added to our existing building again,” Feck says. “Ultimately, the decision was made to build a separate distributioncenter building. This will force us to perfect our systems in such a way that opening distribution centers, which also contain dealer sales offices, in other states would be a natural evolution in future years.” At present, Galco makes more than 2,000 SKUs. “Galco’s roots are in concealed carry. With the steady increase in states enacting ‘shall issue’ concealed-carry permit

legislation, our business has grown,” Feck says. “In addition, we experienced an even greater demand for our products since the post-9/11 security buildup of our armed forces, first responders, and responsible citizens. The final demand push contributing to our expansion was the election—and actions thereafter—of our 45th President.” Feck listed several reasons why people like working for Galco. “I recently read an article in Forbes that said the number-one thing employees look for in a new job is stability. I believe that’s one of the things that makes Galco an attractive place to work. We don’t have to look very far to see companies that try to reinvent themselves every few years, turn over their management regularly, or have sweeping changes to their sales approach—for example, in-house versus outside sales reps. Galco’s employees enjoy a stable work life. “Add to that sense of stability the fact that the process of filling open positions is heavily weighted to qualified current employees, our employees’ pride in creating bestquality products, and a full benefits package. The end result is a loyal, congenial team,” he says. Booth #11924. (800-874-2526; galco —Barbara Baird

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Retailer education seminars, on-the-floor product demonstrations, various fundraisers for veteran’s organizations, and celebrity appearances were just a few of the highlights of the 2015 SHOT Show. The shoulder-­to-shoulder crowds that walked the miles of aisles are testimony to the enduring strength and determination of the shooting-sports industry. See you next year!


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