SHOT Business July / August 2022

Page 1

JULY/AUGUST 2022 FIVE MINUTES WITH: THE RIMFIRE ADVANTAGE FYI: A LEGENDARY RANGE DESIGNER LOOKS TO THE FUTURE THE SIMPLE TRUTH: IS THERE A PROBLEM? RELEASES THE HELLION TM 5.56MM BULLPUP +  BENELLI’S SUPER BLACK EAGLE RULES THE ROOST HOWTOCREATEA DISASTER PLAN FORYOURBUSINESS PAGE 4 RELOADINGPRODUCTS FOR 2022 TOP NEW NEW AMMO REVIEW

WHERE CAN I BUY WINCHESTER AMMUNITION? Visit Winchester.com to find a dealer near you! or nearly six decades, Winchester ® AA® Target loads have been the industry standard used by the most demanding competitors. This shell has always utilized the best components made right here in the United States by American workers for American shooters. Featuring the best 6% Antimony shot available to competitors, the Winchester AA commands the best in performance and consistency. AA target loads have won your local shooting league, The Grand American, The NSCA National Championship, The World English, the World FITASC and the Olympic Gold Medal … multiple times. QUALITY COMPONENTS + Legendary AA® Collapsible dual-hinged wad reduces felt recoil + Best-in-class powder and primers provide reliability shot after shot + High strength hull for consistent reloads HARD HITTING 6% ANTIMONY SHOT + Premium shot for the most demanding targets and competitions © 2022 Olin Winchester, LLC

Trijicon C redo ® HXTrijicon H uron ® Trijicon A ccuPoint ® ABSOLUTE ACCURACY. EVEN WHEN YOUR HEART’S BEATING OUT OF YOUR CHEST. Trijicon.com|22TRIJ14464-R22|1-800-338-0563|USAMIWixom,|Inc.Trijicon,©2022 Every ri escope in our whitetail hunting line follows in the footsteps of our most proven, battle-tested products. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a Trijicon® ri escope. Expect absolute precision, brilliant clarity from sunup to sundown, and extreme durability so you can hunt with con dence. See what it takes to make a brilliant aiming solution at Trijicon.com

2 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ ON THE COVER Cover image by Springfield Armory The HellionTM 5.56MM Bullpup SHOT Business | July/August 2022Contents JULY/AUGUST 2022 FIVE MINUTES WITH: THE RIMFIRE ADVANTAGE FYI: A LEGENDARY RANGE DESIGNER LOOKS TO THE FUTURE THE SIMPLE TRUTH: IS THERE A PROBLEM? RELEASES THE HELLION TM 5.56MM BULLPUP +  BENELLI’S SUPER BLACK EAGLE RULES THE ROOST HOWTOCREATEA DISASTERPLAN FORYOURBUSINESS PAGE 4 RELOADINGPRODUCTS FOR 2022 TOP NEW NEW AMMO REVIEW SB_0822_Cover Digital.indd 6/10/22 1:36 PM 18 • AMMO 2022 By Brad Fitzpatrick 24 • TOP NEW RELOADING PRODUCTS FOR 2022 By Brad Fitzpatrick 28 • A PLAN IN TIME By Michael D. Faw 32 • GAME CHANGER By Phil Bourjaily FEATURES 06 • EDITOR’S NOTE 07 • NEWS BRIEFS 14 • FIVE MINUTES WITH 16 • 38COLUMNSFYI • WHAT’S SELLING WHERE 40 • NEW PRODUCTS 44 • THE SIMPLE DEPARTMENTSTRUTH 1628 32

RUGER ® AMBASSADOR BLAKE BARNETT AND THE MARLIN ® MODEL 1895 SBL

10/22® COMPETITION LEFT-HANDED RIFLE

The versatile MAX-9® is sure to meet your personal protection needs. Comfortable enough to conceal in an inside the waistband holster or pocket holster, this micro-sized pistol has it all - without compromising on capacity or features. MAX-9® This PC Carbine™ model is chambered in 9mm Luger and offers a minimalist solution for the hunter or outdoorsman. It was designed for those who want to transport their carbine in an efficient, convenient package without compromising shooting performance or ease of deployment.

WITH STEALTH GRAY MAGPUL® PC BACKPACKER STOCK PC CARBINE™ Chambered in .45-70 Govt., the Model 1895 Trapper was conceived by professional hunting and fishing guides. The Marlin ® Model 1895 Trapper is compact, easy handling, and an ideal rifle for hunting and protection against dangerous game.

GREAT NEW PRODUCTS FROM RUGER AND MARLIN 2022 The acquisition, ownership, possession and use of firearms is heavily regulated. Some models may not be legally available in your state or locale. Whatever your purpose for lawfully acquiring a firearm – know the law, get trained, and shoot safely.

This new 22/45™ Lite model features a ported, anodized aluminum receiver with a natural finish that nicely contrasts its black grip and barrel. With one-button takedown, two 10-round magazines, and a 1911-style grip angle, it’s the perfect .22 caliber training pistol. MARK IV ™ 22/45™ LITE

The first Ruger-made Marlin ® firearm , this American-made lever-action rifle was manufactured with great pride and attention to detail. You can expect the same time-honored design as the traditional 1895, combined with Ruger’s trusted reputation for producing high-quality, reliable firearms. MODEL 1895 ®

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL YOUR RUGER DISTRIBUTOR TODAY.

WRANGLER® WITH BIRDSHEAD GRIPS

The popular Wrangler ® line of single-action revolvers has been expanded to include models with Ruger ® Birdshead pattern grips. These new models all feature a 3.75'' cold hammer-forged barrel, are chambered in .22 LR, and are offered in three attractive Cerakote ® colors - black, silver and burnt bronze.

This new Ruger Custom Shop ® model boasts left-side ejection and a left-handed charging handle and push-button cross-bolt manual safety, all fed from a detachable 10-round rotary magazine specially designed for this rifle. Right-handed shooters will also appreciate the left-side charging handle – particularly those shooting from the bench.

Chambered in .380 Auto, the Ruger ® LCP ® MAX fits 10+1 rounds into the same footprint as the LCP ® II. A 12-round accessory magazine slightly extends the grip length while doubling the capacity of the legacy LCP ® . LCP® MAX

MODEL 1895 TRAPPERMARLIN®

MARLINSBL

MORELEARN

Highly adaptable to the needs of shooters through the use of a five-position collapsible buttstock as well as a two-position adjustable gas system, the Hellion is also ready to accept the optic of your choice on the top strip of Picatinny rail, which also integrates a set of flip-up iron sights. It comes with a 30-round Magpul PMAG and Bravo Company USA BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod 3 pistol grip. MSRP is $1,999.

Springfield Armory is proud to announce the release of the Hellion, answering the call for supe rior ballistic performance in a short, modular, and fully ambidextrous 5.56mm bullpup platform. Unlike a traditional long gun, the bullpup system locates the action and the magazine behind the trigger and into the buttstock area. By doing this, it reduces the overall length drastically while still allowing you to have a barrel long enough to retain effective downrange performance. Based on the internationally proven VHS-2 bullpup, which has been employed by the Croatian armed forces in demanding environments ranging from Iraq to Africa and beyond, the Springfield Armory Hellion offers American shooters a semiautomatic version of this highly capable firearm. As part of the Hellion’s development, Springfield Armory adapted the original VHS-2 design for the American market. This includes its ability to feed from AR-pattern magazines, the use of replaceable AR-pattern pistol grips, M-Lok slots in the hand guard, and the addition of six QD mounts. The Hellion features a reversible ejection system that requires no additional parts or tools. Complementing this system is a set of fully ambidextrous controls, including the safety, charging handle, magazine, and bolt release.

This issue’s cover brought to you by:

The result is an ultra-compact 5.56mm that can be easily fired from either shoulder. “The new semi-automatic Hellion builds upon the solid foundation of the Croatian VHS-2 and adapts it to the needs of American shooters,” says Steve Kramer, Springfield Armory’s Vice President of Marketing. “With the changes applied to the design by Springfield Armory, the Hellion offers American shooters a truly unique and capable 5.56mm bullpup.”

4 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ WWW.SPRINGFIELD-ARMORY.COM

SPRINGFIELD ARMORY RELEASES THE HELLION 5.56MM BULLPUP

Now, that’s what I call visionary. w BILL DUNN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY & GENERAL COUNSEL w LAWRENCE G. KEANE VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES & ADMINISTRATION w DEB KENNEY VICE PRESIDENT & CFO w JOHN SMITH MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEMBER SERVICES w JOHN MCNAMARA SHOT BUSINESS is published six times a year: January/Febru ary, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, and November/December by COLE Publishing, Inc., 1720 Maple Lake Dam Road, Three Lakes, WI 54562 and is the official publication of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Flintlock Ridge Office Center, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359. All rights reserved. Contents may not be printed or otherwise re produced without written permission of COLE Publishing. Postage paid at Three Lakes, WI 54562 and at additional mailing offices. COLE Publishing is not responsible for researching or investigat ing the accuracy of the contents of stories published in this magazine. Readers are advised that the use of the information contained within this magazine is with the understanding that it is at their own risk. COLE Publishing assumes no liability for this information or its use. COLE Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited editorial, photography, and art submissions. In addition, no Terms and Conditions agreements are recognized by COLE Publishing unless signed and returned by the Editor.

Slaton L. White, Editor

A legendary range designer has helped usher in a golden era for recreational shooters. S ome 30 years ago, Clark Vargas had a vision. He saw a world of care fully designed and engineered shooting ranges that would offer recre ational shooters a first-class experience. At the time, it was uncommon thinking shared by only a few other fellow believers in the industry. But as a master marksman (a skill he developed while serving in the U.S. Army and from participat ing in high-power rifle, conventional shotgun, rifle sil houette, NRA action, and IPSC-style pistol competi tions) and owner of an engineering consulting firm, he had the talent, the tools, and the means to act on his vision. The result of his out-of-the box thinking was a new generation of innovative facilities that has allowed the industry to not only grow, but to thrive. There’s more to this story, as you’ll learn when you read this issue’s installment of FYI (page 16) writ ten by Shannon Farlow. One of Vargas’ insights par ticularly fascinated me. According to Farlow, “Vargas believes the range technology that shooters will be using for the next two to three decades has already been developed and is being implemented at many ranges. While it may sound exciting, many long-time competitive shooters have been slow to embrace the changes.”Heunderstands their reluctance to change. “They’re purists. These people are masters. These are people who have developed their sensitivities and their ability to shoot to a very high level—and then we’re asking them to change their methodology.” This attitude reminds me of how long it took hunters to accept GPS technology. Initially many dis missed it out of hand (early models were very expen sive, which didn’t help), but the most vocal oppo nents were those who had learned to navigate back country areas with a compass and a topo map. To them, a handheld instrument that told you where you were and could give you a route home was here sy. But initial scorn gave way to gradual acceptance of this new technology, and now many hunters will not go afield without a GPS-enabled smart phone. As Farlow notes, shooting sports technology will likely follow a similar trajectory. As the older shoot ing pros eventually age out, Vargas predicts they will be replaced by a younger generation who will prefer the technological advancements. In addition to helping create the physical layout of a new range, Vargas has always encouraged range owners to “think big” and look deep into the future with the aim of not only providing an unrivaled shooting experience for current shooters, but to con sider (and accommodate) the different needs of the next generation. As he says, this master plan idea allows the owners and operators of shooting ranges “to support the future needs that they don’t realize they’re going to have.”

EDITORIAL & CREATIVE EDITOR w SLATON L. WHITE GROUP MANAGING EDITOR w HILARY DYER ART DIRECTOR w TOD MOLINA ADVERTISING SALES TEAM w AUTUMN IFLAND w KEN BYERS w DON HARRIS w TOBY SHAW COLE PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION PRESIDENT, COLE PUBLISHING w JEFF BRUSS PRESIDENT, GRAND VIEW OUTDOORS w DERRICK NAWROCKI NSSF ADMINISTRATION PRESIDENT & CEO w JOSEPH H. BARTOZZI SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CCO w CHRIS DOLNACK VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING

EDITOR’S NOTE

The Visionary

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: SHOT BUSINESS P.O. BOX 220, THREE LAKES, WI 54562. ADVERTISING: Advertising inquiries should be emailed to shotbusiness@colepublishing.com. No responsibility will be assumed for unsolicited materials. SHOT BUSINESS is a registered trademark of NSSF. Contents copyright ©2022 by NSSF. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited unless expressly authorized by publisher.

6 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

MEMBER/SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: membership@nssf.org

“Our story of perseverance, imagination, and innovation has been shaped by many business lead ers before us. Throughout Federal’s existence, we’ve shared this incredible ride with a supportive Anoka community, and our stories of growth and success are forever linked. Federal has been, and will always be, a service leader. It is an honor for me to be part of this company as we celebrate and shape the next century.” (federalpremium.com)

part of its 100-year anniversary celebration, Federal Ammunition is showcasing articles, images, and videos celebrating the company’s rich history on a dedicated website landing page (federalpremium.com/this-is-federal/a-century-of-authority

AS “Now that the big day has finally arrived, we’re celebrating with a site takeover of federalpremi um.com, in which we share the stories, prod ucts, and special moments that made Federal the world’s leading ammunition manufacturer.”

“Initially, the site will feature exclusive videos that take viewers on a tour of the iconic plant, commemorate the anniversary, and much more. There is also an interactive timeline that high lights some of the most influential and interest ing moments in company history. Visitors can scroll through a slideshow of vintage posters, enter to win big prizes, and learn the full story of Federal’s earliest years. Look for more arti cles, seldom-seen photography, and other exclu sive content that will be added regularly throughout Federal’s centennial year.”

Another component of Federal’s 100-year anniversary celebration is a 244-page hardcover book, Federal Ammunition: The First Hundred Years . It highlights Federal cartridge production and innovation over the past century. The limit ed-edition book (5,000 copies) is for sale at feder alpremium.com/merchandise/ . SRP: $59.99. “It’s impossible to tell every tale in our histo ry, but what we have captured in this book high lights Federal’s journey over the last 10 decades,” says Jason Vanderbrink, Federal Ammunition’s president. “From our humble beginning, the sin gle most essential element of our overall success has been our longstanding commitment to build ing a superior product. We are proud of our accomplishments and are excited to share our his tory in this wonderful collection of stories.”

The website will have new anniversary-relat ed content posted every month until the end of the year. But, as TV emcees often say, “Wait! There’sFederalmore!”Ammunition has also released a 100th Anniversary Special Issue magazine.

 Federal is celebrating its 100th year through two special publications and a dedicated website.

). “For months we’ve been counting down to Federal Ammunition’s 100-year anniversary,” says Brian Anderson, Federal’s director of marketing.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 7❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

Federal: Celebrating A Century of Ammo, 1922-2022 is a single-issue, 104-page, full-color magazine that was available earlier this year on newsstands throughout the lower 48 states at more than 14,700 stores where hunting and shooting sports publications are sold. “This is a one-time-only, special-edition maga zine that helps communicate the story of how Federal started as an ammo manufacturing under dog to then become the industry leader in shot shell, rimfire, rifle, handgun, and more,” says Jason Nash, Federal’s vice president of marketing. “It’s packed with stories about ammo innovations from back then to right now, conservation initia tives spanning decades of dedication, and interest ing facts taken throughout Federal’s history.”

Federal 100-YearCelebratesAnniversary NEWS BRIEFS NEWS ❚ PROMOTIONS ❚ AWARDS ❚ OUTREACH

The Appleseed Project Hits the Mark ppleseed Project is a national nonprofit community dedicated to teach ing the classic skill of rifle marks manship to its attendees, along with instilling a sense of civic and person al responsibility. Although many other programs with that theme have developed in the 14 years since the organization received its charter, the “core” of the Appleseed experience remains a two-day weekend of learning rifle fundamentals. It’s a mixed format of lectures by the organiza tion’s highly trained volunteer instructors and live-fire practice on a 25-yard range with targets of graduated Achievingdifficulty.aminimum score on the Appleseed target, inspired by the U.S. Army’s 1930s-era qualification standard, gives a shooter the once-in-a-lifetime award of the flag-motif “Rifleman” patch. The patch has become a badge of honor of sorts in communities where the program has been conducted. It’s an indica tion of competence around a rifle, sans elec tronically aimed optical equipment or bipods at the entry Appleseedlevel.has always been accommodating with pricing and is especially welcoming to fam ilies, women, law-enforcement officers, and community-specific organizations. The pro gram’s curriculum is standardized, so an attend ee at a Florida event has much the same learn ing experience as one in, say, California. Casual lunchtime stories of documented but lesserknown details of the events of April 19, 1775, A by E v E F lanigan leading up to “the shot heard ‘round the world,” take up the sack-lunch hour, and memorable snippets of the same are shared on breaks. By the conclusion of the weekend, participants have learned safe rifle use and marksmanship fundamentals, the effective use of a sling to improve accuracy, and shooting in prone, sit ting, and standing positions. They also eventual ly experience the challenge of shooting accu rately under time pressure. As a result, they gain a new understanding of the power of one ordinary person to change the course of history for the better. In short, it’s a challenging and empowering experience regardless of whether a shooter leaves with their Rifleman patch. Although all rifle types are welcome (except full auto), the most popular are .22-caliber semiautos, as they’re easy on the feed bill and easy for most anyone to shoot all day. Appleseed Project is serious about the “most anyone” part. People with physical challenges for positional shooting are welcomed. And even before the onset of these contentious times, the program had a clear rule that historical content stays apolitical. It's no secret that shooting is commonly described as empowering by women who learn the skill. And Appleseed is doing its part, with a growing cadre of female instructors and shoot bosses that have come up through its ranks. There are now more “Ladyseed” events on the calendar than ever—clinics in which attendance is limited to women. Currently, there are 15 Ladyseed events scheduled for 2022 in nine states spanning several regions of the country. To learn more about the Appleseed Project or schedule yourself, friends, or family to expe rience a memorable weekend of shooting and learning, visit appleseedinfo.org. (appleseedinfo.org)

8 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ NEWS BRIEFS

FAST AND FRIENDLY 5.56 BRASS QUALIFIER SPEEDS THE RELOADING PROCESS

THERE’S NO STOPPING HYDRATREK

The 5.56 Brass Qualifier can be tuned to allow or disallow any diameter neck size, depending on how tolerant the particular press or other equip ment is to misshapen brass. The machine automati cally rejects blanks, cases with crushed necks, and live ammo, though it will not check for case dents or sort by headstamp. A single 5.56 Brass Qualifying machine can check up to 12,000 cases per hour, limited only by collator speed. For the best results, pairing the Brass Qualifier with the Fast And Friendly Brass Collator gives you the ability to produce at higher volumes. (fastandfriendlybrass.COM) ydratrek amphibious vehicles are being used around the world for a wide array of applications, including wetland access, flood response, search and rescue, snow navigation, land reclamation, survey, min ing, game and fish enforcement, prescribed burns/ wildland fire response, ranch management, coastal recreation, and hunting purposes. When other equip ment, such as trucks, ATVs, boats, and tractors, have to stop due to deep mud, muck, swamps, snow, or other rough, wetland terrain, Hydratrek vehicles are designed to plow on through. One example of the company’s line is the D2488B. It is designed for the heavy hitters that have wetland projects in the utility, pipeline, survey, seismology, and construction industries. This vehicle is also popular with public safety organizations that routinely deal with the threat of hurricanes or river flooding. The rear cargo bed allows for material han dling and/or personnel carrying. By providing a maximum footprint of less than 2.2 psi, the D2488B will perform well in swamps, marshes, snow, and sand. It is powered by an 85-hp turbo charged Kubota diesel engine, and it offers over 8,000 pounds of pulling capacity. Built in Covington, Tennessee, the D2488B is constructed from marine-grade aluminum, operates via a closed-loop hydrostatic drive system, and has two rear propellers for deep-water crossings. Dual bucket seats in the operator cabin make for a com fortable, smooth ride. H There are two planetary-gear drive motors that provide high torque to the 24-inch rubber-track sys tem. Options include front- or rear-mounted electric or hydraulic winches, seating for eight persons, pow der-coat paint, saltwater kit, enclosed cab system with insulation, tie-down points, backup alarm, rear cargo rack, LED emergency lighting, and quick-con nect hydraulics. (hydratrek.com)

In 2012, Bill Birmingham of Farmington, Missouri, founded a company—Fast And Friendly Brass—to process and sell brass in the St. Louis area. In two years, the company was selling brass nationally. But in late 2015 Birmingham changed the direction of his company in order to focus on a bigger need in the market—better tooling and equipment to improve the efficiency of reloading and brass pro cessing. Since then, the company has become an industry leader in high-quality products to make reloading more precise and efficient. Its latest inno vation is the 5.56 Brass Qualifier, a machine designed to speed up the processing and the reload ing of 5.56 ammo. “Every commercial brass processor and reloader knows that sorting good 5.56 brass from bad is the absolute worst part of the job,” says Birmingham. “It is mind-numbing work that can be hard on the hands and even harder on the eyes. Our machine automates this job, reducing the time it takes to get good brass ready for loading and speeding up the production. It also cuts costs and provides uniform quality of brass.”

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 9❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

IHEA’s Online Firearm Fundamentals Course Aims to Support New Shooters

Fundamentals courses build on IHEA-USA’s existing plat forms for hunter education, and the organization will continue to support the industry and state fish and wildlife agencies on their R3 (recruitment, retention, and reactivation) efforts. Beyond basic knowledge and firearms safety in the field, new hunters and shooters need mentors to support them along their path. Another new IHEA-USA project, LearnHunting.org , is designed to address some of the thousands of people every year who take hunter edu cation but don’t buy a license. The mentoring platform is designed to con nect mentees with someone who can help them as they proceed out to the Thomasfield. notes that IHEA-USA is also building an innovative campaign to push out into the mainstream media to target new gun owners and direct them to their suite of services. The tools are available for use, and partnerships will ensure that new hunters and shooters take advantage of the online learning opportunities.

IF by J odi S temler

the last two years have proven anything, it’s that many Americans want to take personal responsibility for the safe ty of themselves and their families. But with 5.4 million first-time firearm owners in 2021, there is also a critical need to ensure that they learn how to safely handle, store, and use their new purchase. Partners within the shooting sports industry are working together to provide ranges and retailers the tools they need to ensure that their customers get off on the right foot.

“IHEA-USA is interested in partnering with retailers and ranges to ensure that they have safe firearms handlers in their stores by being a sup plier of safe gun handling and safe hunting for all Americans,” Thomas says. “We are leading the charge to ensure that everyone has the tools to protect themselves and their families in a safe manner.”

For more information and to check out the Firearm Fundamentals curriculum, go to ffcourse.org. To learn more about IHEA-USA, go to ihea-usa.org (ihea-usa.org)

10 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ NEWS BRIEFS

The International Hunter Education Association-USA (IHEA-USA) has long served a role in supporting new hunters, but their current president Alex Baer wants to fulfill their mission as a resource of learning to the industry for all shooting and hunting education opportunities. With this in mind, the organization has launched a new Firearm Fundamentals curric ulum that offers three online courses in handgun, shotgun, and rifle safety. As a leader in online learning, IHEA-USA worked with Kalkomey Enterprises, the top provider of online hunter education courses, to devel op the Firearm Fundamentals courses. Each class is carefully designed to ensure that new gun owners have a safe and positive experience as they develop competency. For brand-new shooters, buying the firearm is only the first step; many need guidance in the most basic aspects of safe gun ownership.“We’ve learned through teaching hunter education that a strong safety training foundation is the key to preventing firearm incidents,” reads the Firearm Fundamentals website. “No matter how you plan to use your gun, whether it’s for self-defense or target shooting, proper training that develops solid knowledge of operation, safe storage techniques at home, and correct use on the range will give you the confidence to use your fire arm in a variety of situations.” Firearm Fundamentals teaches firearm safety rules and ownership responsibilities, including safety in the home, proper storage with locks and safes, and safe transportation. Each course path then builds specific handling information for each category of firearm as well as care and cleaning. Importantly, the courses then walk the new shooters through range safety and etiquette and describe opportunities to use their firearms in fun environments. The goal is to help these new shooters get beyond the initial purchase to feel confident as they move out to their local shoot ing range. The course costs a nominal $12. Leaha Thomas is a marketing expert at BOLT Strategies working with IHEA-USA to share the course with the public. She notes that the organi zation is offering downloadable collateral materials for retailers to print and share or to direct to the site using QR codes. “If gun shops want to help with safe firearms handling at the local level, they will have the materials they can download and give to new fire arms owners,” Thomas says. “We are also working with digital industry partners to help share the curriculum and offering manufacturing partners the opportunity to get their brand in front of new customers through the materials.”TheFirearm

American Technology Network is probably best known for its innovative night-vision and thermalvision products. Now it is moving from the eyes to the ears with the introduction of the ATN X-Sound Hearing Protection line. Built on the success of its SMART HD Optics technology, ATN X-Sound is designed to protect hearing by reducing noise to safe “Movinglevels. into the hearing protection market is an obvious choice for ATN,” says James Munn, CEO of ATN Corp. “Our X-Sound Hearing Protection ear muffs not only offer noise reduction, but they provide the user with individual controls for adjusting the volume of the surrounding noise levels and separately controlling your media vol ume. With the ATN X-Sound, you can listen to music and even take that office call while you are sitting in a tree stand.” The ATN X-Sound Hearing Protection uses NNR 22dB noise-reduction technology. It offers 22+ dB noise reduction while delivering natural sound with omnidirectional microphones. The sound-acti vated compression circuit has a reaction time of a mere .02 second. Using a smartphone or other Bluetooth-compatible device, the user can connect their ATN X-Sound Hearing Protection earmuffs to music, podcasts, and phone calls. An audio input jack and two high-gain omnidirectional micro phones are built into the earmuffs. The low-power earmuffs are ergonomically designed with low-profile ear cups that allow for full clearance of a rifle or shotgun stock without having to adjust your earmuffs or the gun. The compact folding design makes storage easy, and the comfort able headband is made of a durable metal frame that keeps the earmuffs from slipping. SRP: $119.

 American Tactical will be an exhibitor at Industry Day at the Range. The Bulldog, a semi-automatic 20-gauge tactical shotgun, is a new offering from the company.

Industry Day at the Range and NSSF Renew Partnership

SSF, the Firearm Industry Trade Association, has renewed its con tract with the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, returning as Title Sponsor for the next three years. Now in its tenth year, Industry Day at the Range will be backed, yet again, by one of the most prominent organizations in the shooting sports industry.

(atncorp.COM)

“We’re thrilled to welcome back the NSSF as Title Sponsor for our 2023 event,” says Kelsey Puryear, manager of Industry Day. “Extending this part nership with a multi-year agreement just builds on our prominence in the industry and bolsters the relationship we have with the NSSF and the annual SHOT Show. We have high expectations for 2023 and are excited to bring together the best our industry has to offer—alongside the NSSF and other returningIndustrysponsors.”Dayatthe Range is the most influential one-day trade event in the hunting and shooting sports industry. In addition, it’s the only range event offi cially associated with SHOT Show, and it’s sponsored by the NSSF. Held annually the day before the opening of SHOT Show, Industry Day at the Range brings together invited media members, buyers, and manufacturers to preview and test the latest products—some of which have never seen the light of day.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 11❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

According to Puryear, space is limited for additional exhibition space, so new exhibitors are encouraged to register as soon as possible. As in previous years, the 2023 Industry Day at the Range will take place at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club in Boulder City, Nevada, and will be held on Monday, January 16, 2023— the day before the SHOT Show opens.

(shotshowrangeday.com) N

ATN UNVEILS X-SOUND HEARING PROTECTION

The newest property to open on the Strip in over ten years brings together three top-tier Hilton brands Hilton, Conrad, and Crockfords under one roof as Resorts World Las Vegas. Guests will be able to earn Hilton Honors Points during their stay. Take a worldwide tour of the culinary arts with more than 40 food and beverage options to explore. Enjoy live music at Dawg House Saloon, dry-aged American cuts and Japanese-certified wagyu steaks at Carversteak, or unwind at Eight Lounge, where you will find an extensive cigar list, hand-rolled tobaccos, and a large selection of whiskey.Resorts World Las Vegas is conveniently located eight minutes away from The Venetian Expo, and SHOT Show offers shuttle service to and from The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum. To get the most out of your stay, sign up for Genting Rewards to start earning Genting Points, Badges, or Milestones for your activity through out the resort. Use them toward gaming or resort spend and unlock sur prise new perks and prizes. For room-block inquiries, contact the hotel at rwlasvegas.com (rwlasvegas.COM)

B by E v E F lanigan

Last in the lineup is a rifle designed for the backcountry hunter who’s ready to be modern as well as free to move. The MgLite is built on an XLR Element 4.0 magnesium chassis and looks more like a long-range competition rifle than a hunting companion. The skeletonized carbonfiber buttstock folds flat, making the MgLite packable. At less than two pounds, Bergara says the MgLite is one of the lightest rifle chassis systems in the world. Like the Premium Divide rifle, the MgLite also makes use of a 22- or 24-inch Cure barrel. Built-in forend features include a bubble level and machined-in RRS 1.5-inch Arca-Swiss dovetail. Chamberings will be 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win., and .300 Win. SRP: $3,229-$3,349. (bergarausa.com)

12 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ NEWS BRIEFS

SHOT Show New Hotel

Bergara Introduces a Trio of New Rifles ergara, a division of BPI Outdoors, has been busy in the rifle workshop, and it is now showing off three new models for both field and range. First among the new Bergara rifles is the Premier Divide. It’s the company’s solution for fans of its HMR model who want a lighter rifle for field duty. The aim is in the name, with “Divide” indicating the middle ground between tactical and hunting pursuits. It’s available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .300 Win., and .308 Win. Barrels are 22 to 24 inches. The Premier Divide’s light weight of 7.2 to 7.4 pounds is achieved through a carbon stock by AG Composites and Bergara’s new Cure carbon-fiber barrel.

The Cure barrel is truly different. According to a company press release, “Bergara cured the carbon barrel disease of inconsistency by get ting steel and carbon to perfectly work together by managing heat. Cure barrels are uniquely optimized both mechanically and thermodynamically via a proprietary, patent-pending, carbon weave with embedded stainless strands that move heat. Every aspect of the design was optimized to yield an ultralight, stiff, straight, rugged barrel, shot after shot. The Cure reduc es barrel weight by over two pounds, without suffering impact migration problems of light-profile barrels.” SRP: $2,749-$2,799. Another upcoming Bergara, the Premier Canyon, represents the coalesced input from the substantial portion of Bergara customers who are big-game hunters. This lightweight, muzzle-device-ready rifle has a bolt that’s ready to deliver smooth, quiet, reliable cycling in harsh envi ronments. Barrels are 22 to 24 inches. This rifle features an AICS-style detachable magazine, except for the .375 H&H, which has a hinged floor plate. Other chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge, .308 Win., .300 Win., 300 PRC, and 28 Nosler. The Premier Canyon weighs in a 6.2 to 6.5 pounds. SRP: $2,379-$2,429.

RETURNS FOR THE 2023 SHOT SHOW! SHOT Daily serves as the exclusive printed show title for up-to-the-minute accounts of the latest news, product introductions, seminars and other announcements. 8,000 copies are distributed daily to exhibitors and attendees, totaling 32,000 copies over four days.  NEW and Improved daily format for 2023  Daily live section covering booth presentations, new product introductions and more.  Do you have news-worthy content you would like our editorial team to consider? Send our team an email to shotbusiness@colepublishing.com  Interested in advertising in SHOT Daily? Just reach out to our team at shotbusiness@colepublishing.comand you will hear from us right away. DAY ONE: FOOTWEARFIREARMSAND DAY TWO: OPTICSANDAMMO DAY THREE: OUTERWEARKNIVESAND DAY FOUR: ACCESSORIES

JR: Necessity is the mother of innovation. A tough market and supply constraints force you to reevalu ate your approach and adapt, which leads to discov ering new opportunities you didn’t see before.

by robert a sadowskiFIVE MINUTES WITH ... 14 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

SB: How will you meet the expectations of your customers?

Maxi-Mag Segmented HP 22 WMR is just one example. What makes this ammo so special?

Think rimfire ammunition is low-tech? Think again. eared on a farm in Washington state, Justin Ruegsegger’s love for all things mechanical came from working alongside his father who was a farmer and diesel mechanic. He received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho, where he had the opportu nity to work as an intern at CCI/Speer one summer. When he was offered a full-time position at CCI/Speer, he grabbed it immediately. His first title was rimfire new product engineer, where he was fortunate enough to work under Brett Olin, one of the creators of Speer Gold Dot. After working on CCI rimfire new products for a number of years, he changed gears and took on new challenges as a manager, most recently as director of engineering.

Sb: When you get up in the morning, what gets you excited about working in the industry?

JR: The advantage of rimfire ammo in general, when compared to centerfire ammo, is its low cost, light felt recoil, compactness, and overall user-friendly appeal. The Achilles Heel of rim fire ammo, especially in a varmint hunting

JR: We have a wide range of quality measures in place that provide data at all points in the manu facturing and assembly processes. We use this data to track and improve quality. Years of doing this has paid dividends.

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

SB: What opportunities that may lie ahead do you see?

R

Justin CCI/SpeerEngineeringRuegsegger,Director,Ammunition

SB: Rimfire shooters have benefitted greatly from product developments at CCI recently.

SB: CCI has a well-deserved reputation for reli ability and accuracy. How do you achieve this?

JR: The answer to this question has evolved over the years. In the beginning of my career it was developing new, innovative products. In other words, I was focused mainly on the widgets we produce. Today, I’m most excited about the awe some people I get to work with, growing our sport, and sharing it with future generations that will carry the torch after I’m gone.

JR: I think the best way to meet customer expec tations is to be a user of the products we pro duce. A true love and passion for the sport will help keep us aligned with our customers.

The Rimfire Advantage

Justin Ruegsegger: I think our biggest chal lenge in the next five years is similar to what other manufacturing industries are currently fac ing. Continued supply chain constraints make it more difficult than ever to keep factories running smoothly. Delivering quality products on time to our customers continues to be our top priority, and we’re doing our best to be nimble and adapt.

application, is a direct result of its advantages, in that bullet weight, velocity, and thus energy are comparatively low. The key to producing a successful rimfire varmint hunting cartridge is to have a bullet technology that transfers as much energy as possible into the target. In the past, a segmenting bullet wasn’t possible because conventional copper jackets didn’t allow for this type of expansion while maintaining bullet integrity in flight. We were able to build on the innovation of our Clean-22 coating technology from our .22 LR line and apply it to .22 WMR, resulting in a bullet that’s completely encapsulated in a polymer coating. SB: What exactly does that do? JR: That gives us a bullet that’s robust enough to hold together in flight, yet allows for immedi ate expansion upon impact, creating three separate wound channels for maximum energy transfer. The Clean-22 coating also has lower in-bore friction than a copper jacket, which allows us to drive the 46-grain Maxi-Mag Segmented HP .22 WMR at 1,875 feet per second, resulting in the highest energy rimfire cartridge we produce—359 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. (cci-ammunition.com)

by slaton l white JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 15❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

The advantage of rimfire ammo in general, when compared to centerfire ammo, is its low cost, light felt recoil, compactness, and overall user-friendly appeal. CCI’s AR Tactical 22 LR loads provide consistent, reliable performance in AR-style .22s.

Getting Started After serving as a U.S. Army engineer during the Vietnam era, Vargas founded the engineering firm C. Vargas & Associates, LTD in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1978. He and his team provide engineer ing consulting services for civil works, land develop ment, transportation facilities, water supply, wastewater management, and more for govern ment agencies and private developers.

16 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ by robert a sadowskiFYI by shannon farlow

The Master Plan Legendary shooting range designer Clark Vargas looks to the future. He likes what he sees. odern shooting ranges continue to push the boundaries of the shooting experience. From turning targets to increasingly complex tactical setups, ranges offer training opportunities unheard of just a few years ago. At the same time, massive shoot ing sports complexes are sprouting up across the country. Shooters can thank legendary range design er Clark Vargas for helping usher in this golden age of training. For over 20 years, Vargas has played a key role in developing industry-leading facilities. When it comes to the modern range experience, there are few people more knowledgeable than Clark Vargas.

While in the military, Vargas began developing master-level shooting skills. He went on to success fully participate in high-power rifle, conventional shotgun, rifle silhouette, NRA action, and IPSCstyle pistol competitions. “I was shooting competitive-enough scores to be invited to be on the national team for the Olympics,” Vargas recalls. “I trained very hard. I was an expert or master rank at that time.”

The design of an outdoor range is largely deter mined by the natural features of the site. Vargas advises his clients to find a property that offers the best advantage for both safety and contain ing noise. Once the site is chosen, Vargas builds a thorough master plan. It’s a critical step that he encourages every range to take. “You have to master plan the site, even if your budget doesn’t allow you to utilize the Once the site for a shooting range is chosen, Clark Vargas builds a thorough master plan. It’s a critical step that he encourages every range to take.

M

Clark Vargas has helped usher in a golden age for shooting range owners.

Eventually his shooting and engineering exper tise combined to form the foundation of his most important contribution to the shooting sports industry. Turning Point As Vargas became actively involved in the shooting sports industry, he served in various roles, includ ing president of the Florida Sport Shooting Association (FSSA). During his tenure at the helm of FSSA, an event occurred that would forever change his path as a professional engineer. “There was a Tampa police range that had been operating the Midwinter Pistol Championships for about 36 years that went to court, and they closed that range down,” Vargas says. “I went ballistic. How could this be? I joined NRA in the defense of the club. They made a good effort, but not good enough.” To help other shooting ranges avoid the same fate, Vargas shifted his company’s focus and began designing ranges in 1989. He devel oped the “no blue sky” design method, based on the concept that a bullet will be contained inside the facility if the shooter cannot see the sky. He worked closely with the National Rifle Association to develop the NRA Range Manual in 1990.Since then, C. Vargas & Associates has designed numerous ranges across the country. At the same time Vargas has conducted national presentations and symposiums on shooting range design. As a result of his efforts, he received the prestigious NRA 1999 Achievement in Range Development Marlin R. Scarborough Award.

A Master Plan

Editor’s Note: Additional research for this article conducted by Miles Hall. (cvaltd.com) WE PRODUCE IN SMALL QUANTITIES, EACH OF OUR STATIONS CRAFTING NO MORE THAN 20,000 ROUNDS PER DAY. WE’RE A BOUTIQUE AMMO COMPANY IN THAT SENSE. more is not better. better is better.

The Future is Here Vargas believes the range technology that shooters will be using for the next two to three decades has already been developed and is being implemented at many ranges. While it may sound exciting, many long-time competi tive shooters have been slow to embrace the changes.“We’re doing those now, and they’re not being accepted by the purists. It’s the dinosaur syndrome,” he says. “We used to have fixed targets and now we have electronic targets. We’re having a hell of a time getting the prima donnas of the sport to transition to that. They’re purists. These people are masters. These are people who have developed their sensitivities and their ability to shoot to a very high level—and then we’re asking them to change their methodology.”

SLOW SO WE CAN WATCH EACH ROUND BEING MADE. SLOW SO THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE CAN BE HELD AND INSPECTED BY HAND BEFORE EARNING OUR NAME. OUR PRODUCT HAS BEEN COMPARED TO HANDMADE JEWELRY, BECAUSE IT’S MADE BY PEOPLE WHOSE CRAFT TOOK YEARS TO DEVELOP. AND YOU CAN’T recreate craft in any kind of artificial way.

ALMOST NO AMMUNITION MANUFACTURER INSPECTS EVERY SINGLE ROUND, BUT WE DO. IT TAKES EXTRA TIME AND COST TO HUNT FOR THE SMALLEST IMPERFECTION, but we wouldn’t do it any other way. One of the hottest trends in shooting sports over the past few years has been the rise of defensive, practical, and tactical shooting.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 17❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

entire site initially. Eventually, that site becomes forever, and there is going to be more demand on it,” he says. “You have to predict the demand, put your long ranges in, make sure that they fit, and then develop phase one for the client to begin with. It has to support the future needs that they don’t realize they’re going to have. If you build a phase one and operate it successfully, then you’re going to grow. If you’re full, what are you going to do?”

THERE ARE AMMO PLANTS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NEARLY FOUR MILLION ROUNDS A DAY. THAT’S NOT US. WE ARE A CRAFT AMMUNITION MAKER, and you Ourautomatecan’tcraft.processisslow,onpurpose.

Clark Vargas believes ranges will continue evolve to accommodate both types. That they will is a testament to his vision and enthusiasm for the shooting sports.

One of the hottest trends in shooting sports over the past few years has been the rise of defensive, practical, and tactical shooting. Vargas believes the migration to action-oriented shooting will continue, but he also sees a place for precision shooters as well. “The future is going to be electronics. We may be doing laser only, but we’ll be shooting. I don’t think that the love for gunpowder and lead is going to go away, but there’s going to be diverging utilization. On one hand, there will be the purist who wants to shoot accurately; on the other hand, there will be the one who wants entertainment.”

Shooting sports technology will likely follow a path similar to that of other industries. As the older shooting pros eventually age out, Vargas predicts they will be replaced by a younger gen eration who will prefer the technological advancements. DIVERGING INTERESTS

18 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022

F or the past two years, retailers around the country have heard the same refrain week after week, month after month: Where’s all the ammo? There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the root cause of the ammo shortage, but here’s a suc cinct summation of exactly what occurred: millions of people (including over 10 million new gun owners) wanted to buy ammunition, and supply greatly outpaced demand. Ammo factories are running around the clock and churning out rounds as fast as they can. A lack of raw materials has slowed the process, and ammunition manufacturers are faced with backlogs of orders that they are finding very difficult to satisfy, generally through no fault of their own.

APEX AMMUNITION Apex’s line of non-toxic premium loads is expanding with the introduction of new TSS/S3 blended loads. These duplex shotshells contain premium No. 7.5 TSS high-density shot with Apex’s zinc-plated steel shot. The TSS shot offers a density of 18.1 g/cc, which is considerably higher than lead, and when it is combined with Apex’s premium uniform zinc-coated steel shot (No. 2, 4, or BB in 12 gauge, No. 4 in 20 gauge) this blended load provides superb lethality and reduces cripples. These loads feature premium powders and tungsten-grade one-piece wads that protect the interior of the gun’s bar rel and produce uniform, consistent patterns, making them a great option for serious waterfowl hunters. (apexmunition.com) by Brad Fitzpatrick

2021 was all about keeping pace with demand. This year, there is a whole new crop of innovative ammunition products ready to hit store shelves.

2022

AMMO

Now for some good news: Ammo supplies are slowly but steadily starting to meet consumer demand, and manufacturers are once again able to get their prod ucts out the door. The even better news is that some manufacturers are rolling out new ammo products. Many of the trends in the firearm and shooting sports mar kets over the last several years have been driven by advancements in ammunition; high-BC bullets helped ignite the long-range rifle and centerfire-cartridge craze, improved handgun ammunition has made concealed-carry pistols more potent for personal defense, and ultra-heavy shot like TSS has made .410s the turkey guns of theWhatfuture.will this new breed of ammunition do for the market? It’s hard to say, but it’s good to see so many cutting-edge ammo products in the works—and, hopefully, on stores shelves very soon.

BLACK HILLS AMMUNITION Accuracy, long-range capability, and modest recoil have made the 6.5 Creedmoor a top choice for long-range competitors. Those same attributes also make it popular for hunters. Black Hills Ammunition is adding to its line of 6.5 Creedmoor hunting bullets with the 130grain Dual Performance. It is a monolithic copper hunting projectile engineered to reliably perform on longer shots, but still provide suffi cient penetration on close shots. The Dual Performance name comes from the fact that this projectile will expand upon impact, creating a large wound track, and penetrate deeply, helping assure a quick, humane kill. Velocity is 2,800 fps from a 22-inch barrel. (black-hills.com)

CCI The big news from Blazer (a CCI sub-brand) is the release of a brand-new 30 Super Carry cartridge load, a round devel oped by Federal (CCI’s sister company) for personal protec tion. This innovative cartridge utilizes a .312-inch bullet (same as the .327 Federal Magnum) and offers terminal per formance similar to a 9mm Luger, but with more capacity. For 2022, Blazer will offer 115-grain FMJ 30 Super Carry ammunition in 50-round boxes. The ammo comes with highquality reloadable brass cases and reaches a muzzle velocity of 1,150 feet per second, making it a reliable and affordable training load for the new 30 Super Carry cartridge. Also new is Blazer Brass Lead-Free Clean-Fire 9mm pistol ammunition. These 100-grain flat-nose rounds feature lead-free bullets and primers. (cci-ammunition.com)

HORNADY Hornady’s newest hunting bullet is the CX (copper-alloy eXpanding). The CX is a monolithic copper-alloy bullet that’s suitable for hunting a wide variety of game at varying distances, and it’s fully California compatible. Regardless of where you’re hunting, though, the new CX is a superb option because the bul lets offer excellent accuracy and retain 95 percent of their original weight. The bullets come with grooves on the shank that improve performance and reduce fouling and bullet-bearing surface. They also feature Hornady’s Heat Shield polymer tip that improves aerodynamics, reduces heating, and provides the bullet-to-bullet and lot-to-lot consistency that serious long-range shooters demand. Ammunition loaded with CX bullets is available in Hornady’s Outfitter, Superformance, and Custom lines in a wide range of cartridges from .223 Remington to .375 H&H Magnum. Component bullets are also available in high-BC, heavy-for-caliber bullets, such as the 6mm (90 grain), 6.5mm (130 grain), and .30 caliber (190 grain). (Hornady.com)

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 19❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

FEDERAL Federal is offering a lengthy list of new products for 2022, but none is big ger news than the company’s 30 Super Carry. As the name implies, this round was designed specifically for the concealed-carry market and offers several benefits over existing cartridge designs. The .312-inch bullet is nar rower than either a .380 Auto or 9mm, and the 30 Super Carry offers ener gy levels on par with a 9mm (and handily exceeding those of the .380 ACP) in a narrower design. Because it is smaller in diameter than these rounds, guns chambered for 30 Super Carry can hold an additional one, two, or even more rounds in the magazine without sacrificing terminal perfor mance. In gel tests the 30 Super Carry outperforms 9mm ammunition. The new round is also accurate and produces mild recoil that most shooters will find manageable. Federal American Eagle is offering 100-grain FMJ target loads at 1,250 fps in 50-round containers for target shooting; Federal Premium is offering 100-grain HST ammo with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps in 20-round cartons.

Federal Premium’s new High Over All shotshell is designed for competi tion. These shells offer more reloads than competing ammunition and come loaded with high-antimony lead and one-piece Podium wads. There are currently 16 different 12-gauge 2¾-inch shell options with sub-gauge offerings coming in 2022. The company also released the new Top Gun Paper Wad load in 12 gauge with a paper gas-sealing wad and a choice of either lead or steel shot. Force X2 Shorty shotshells are also available this year and are loaded with six Force X2 segmenting buckshot pellets in a 1¾-inch plastic hull. The company’s HST line of ammunition now includes two ammunition options for revolvers (.327 Federal and .357 Magnum) and .44 Special has been added to the PUNCH family of personal-defense ammo. The company’s popular Terminal Ascent bullets are now available as components, and there are additions to many other Federal product lines this year, including the Meat Eater, Gold Medal Berger, Trophy Copper, Hammer Down, and Fusion lines, among others. (federalpremium.com)

AMMO 2022 20 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

FIOCCHI Fiocchi’s Golden Turkey TSS loads provide dense patterns, deep penetration, and long-range performance using 18 g/cc tungsten shot. The 3-inch 12-gauge loads are available in No. 7 or No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,200 fps. The 3-inch 20-gauge loads use No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,225 fps. The three-inch .410 bore loads also use No. 9 shot. Muzzle velocity is 1,100 fps. All are available in boxes of five. (fiocchiusa.com)

REMINGTON Remington is under new ownership and is rolling out several new products for 2022, including a new ver sion of the famed Core-Lokt bullet, the Core-Lokt Tipped. The new Core-Lokt Tipped bullet offers the same Core-Lokt jacket that made the original bullet famous with hunters because of its dependable expan sion and reliable energy transfer on a wide range of game at varying ranges, but the new bullet features a new Big Green polymer tip that improves aero dynamics and accuracy and makes this bullet more effective at extended dis tances. The bullet’s center of gravity is also adjusted rearward to further enhance accuracy potential. Loaded Remington Core-Lokt Tipped ammo will initially be offered in .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win., .280 Rem., 7mm Rem. Mag., .30-06, .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag., and .300 WSM. Core-Lokt Tipped ammunition will offer premium performance at an affordable price. Also new from Remington are two new 30 Super Carry loads. Remington UMC will offer a 100-grain FMJ 30 Super Carry load with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps that is affordable and ideal for target shooting. The company is also offering a 100-grain HTP (High Terminal Performance) 30 Super Carry load that pushes a 100-grain JHP personal defense bullet at 1,230 fps from the muz zle. The FMJ load will be available in 50-round cartons while the HTP person al defense ammunition will be offered in 20-round cartons. (remington.com)

HEVI-Hammer Upland is available in 12- or 20-gauge 3-inch shells with either No. 3 or 5 shot; HEVI-Hammer Dove is available in both 12- and 20-gauge 3-inch shells with No. 7 shot. (hevishot.com)

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 21❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

NOSLER Nosler has developed some of the industry’s most iconic hunting bullets, including the Accubond, Partition, and Ballistic Tip. Now the company is hoping that their new ASP (Assured Stopping Power) projectile will be the new standard bearer in the defense-bullet sector. The ASP bullet is designed with one purpose in mind: neutralizing a threat. To accomplish this, the jacketed hollow point comes with skives that initiate expansion at a range of impact velocities. The jacket helps retain weight, creating a great deal of hydrostatic shock that is transferred to the target. Nosler is offering ASP ammunition in four calibers: 9mm Luger (115, 124, and 147 grain), .40 S&W (150 and 180 grain), 10mm (180 grain), and .45 ACP (230 grain). Subsonic loads will be available for the 9mm and .45 ACP, and ASP component bullets will be available as well. (nosler.com)

HEVI-SHOT Late last year HEVI-Shot introduced their HEVI-XXII tungsten waterfowl load. As the name implies, these non-toxic shotshells utilize premium tungsten shot with a density of 12 g/cc, which is 53.8 percent denser than steel shot. As a result, HEVIXXII generates more energy with smaller shot sizes than steel, and smaller shot means more pellets and improved penetration and terminal ballistics. Both 12- and 20-gauge HEVI-XXII ammunition will be available with shot sizes of No. 2, 4, or 6 in loads ranging from 7⁄ 8 ounce to 1¼ ounces. Velocities range from 1,350 to 1,500 fps, making this a lethal load for waterfowl. Also new from HEVI-Shot are HEVI-Hammer Dove and HEVI-Hammer Upland loads. These shotshells use pellets made from 15 percent bismuth (with a density of 9.64 g/cc) and 85 percent steel to generate 50 percent more energy at 40 yards than traditional steel shot. This results in more consistent kills, even at extended ranges.

22 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ AMMO 2022 SAR USA Made in Turkey, SAR 9mm NATO FMJ ammunition features brass casings and military-grade weather-sealed primers. The ammo is designed to deliver accu racy as well as downrange performance. Available in 50-round boxes in either 115-grain FMJ or 124-grain FMJ. (sarusa.com)

SPEER Speer, another sister company of Federal, is offering a new 30 Super Carry load in their Gold Dot line of ammunition for 2022. Gold Dot is the No. 1 bullet chosen by law-enforcement agencies because of its consistent accuracy and reliable performance. The Uni-Cor chemical bonding process ensures maximum weight retention, and skiving on the bullet’s nose initiates expan sion while still offering the barrier penetration desired by the nation’s top law enforcement agencies. The 30 Super Carry load will come with a 115-grain Gold Dot bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,150 fps that generates muzzle energies close to the 9mm Luger; however, the 30 Super Carry offers deeper penetration. (speer.com)

As the most widely attended and leading industry IM/EX conference, we will be providing an engaging and informative opportunity for your organization to meet with members from various government organizations to cover and discuss critical issues. NSSF is dedicated to leading the industry with the most current and comprehensive IM/EX resources available. REGISTERNSSF.ORG/IMPORTEXPORTTODAY AUGUST 2-4 NSSF ANNUAL IMPORT/EXPORT CONFERENCE 2022 OFTEN IMITATED, NEVER DUPLICATEDCMYCYMYCMYMCK ai1654871452118_ImpExp2022_halfpageREV.pdf 1 6/10/22 10:30 AM

WINCHESTER Winchester and Browning launched the new 6.8 Western cartridge last year, and the cartridge has already become a major success because it fits in short-action rifles, fires high-BC heavy-for-caliber bullets, and its .277-inch bullet retains more energy at 500 yards than a .300 Win. Mag. while generating significantly less recoil. The 6.8 Western is now available in the new Copper Impact line of ammunition, and that load pushes a 162-grain bullet at 2,875 fps, which makes it a great choice for almost any big game. It’s also offered with Winchester’s proven Power-Point bullet (170 grains). In addition to the new 6.8 Western loads, Winchester is also launching bismuth non-toxic shotshell ammunition. Bismuth has a higher density than steel and carries more energy, and Winchester uses premium bismuth pellets that are tin plated and buffered. The resulting pellets are very smooth and round, which results in better performance and more consistent patterns. In addition, these shells feature a lac quered primer and double-seal wad that makes them water resistant. Also new from Winchester this year is the 30 Round Clip Pack that comes with 30 rounds of 5.56 M855 ammunition pre-loaded on stripper clips and a loading spoon. These boxes (which are about the same size as a 50-round 9mm box) fit conveniently on store shelves, and they make loading 5.56 mag azines fast and simple. Winchester also added a new 10mm Auto personalprotection load to the USA Ready line, and this ammunition is loaded with a 170-grain Hex-Vent bullet. The Hex-Vent bullet design shields the bullet’s hol low point from obstruction and channels material flow, resulting in a consis tent performance and positive bullet expansion. Other notable releases from Winchester this year include their Super Pheasant Diamond Grade, Xpert Pheasant, and Fast Dove High Brass shotshell loads and their USA Valor ammo series, which supports Folds of Honor with every purchase. (winchester.com)

IT’S A JAN.SHOTShow.org17–20 | 2023 THE VENETIAN EXPO + CAESARS FORUM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA MARK YOUR CALENDARS SS_quarterPage.indd 1 6/10/22 12:28 PM Precision Reflex 1/4_Vertical.indd 1 1/31/22 8:46 AM

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 23❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

T he last two years have been tough times for all of us, but adding to the frustration of travel bans and mask mandates was an unprecedented run on ammunition that left store shelves empty. And, in many places the only available ammunition cost hundreds of times as much as it did in the pre-pandemic days. This situation has made some of your customers consider reloading. Reloaders are not immune to the issues of supply and demand that impact those who shoot factory ammo (primers and powder were also in low supply at the height of the pandemic), but reloaders have the advantage of being able to restock ammo supplies themselves, so long as they have the required components. Now more than ever shooters are seeing the benefits of reloading, not just as a costsaving measure but as a survival skill.

ALLIANT POWDER

Last year Alliant released TS 15.5 propellant. As the name implies, TS 15.5 powder offers a burn speed between Reloder 15 and Reloder 16, and Alliant’s TS powders offer world-class temperature stability. It’s an ideal propellant for .308 and .223 rounds firing heavy bullets, and TS 15.5 offers greater velocity with 6mm bullets than Reloder 15. Lot-to-lot consistency is superb, and this REACH-compatible powder includes a de-coppering agent. Even though it’s ideal for popular .223/6mm/.308 loads, TS 15.5 is a versa tile propellant for a wide range of applications. Also new for Alliant is TS 11, which is another temperature-stabilized powder that offers consistent velocity figures in a wide range of environments and conditions. This propellent is a superb option for var mint hunters, but it also offers an ideal burn speed for short-range benchrest applications. Like TS 15.5, it comes with a de-coppering agent and is REACH Brad Fitzpatrick

Reloading PRODUCTS FOR 2022 Whether your customers are trying to save cash on ammo or want custom loads for competition, reloading equipment will help you help them achieve their goals. Here’s a look at some of the best new gear for shooters who like to roll their own ammo. by

24 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 TOPNEW

❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

The big news from Lee is the arrival of their Six Pack Pro 6000 progressive press. This press offers simple, reliable indexing that never requires adjustment, ample stroke clearance for the largest calibers, steel construction with all-steel linkage, Lee’s quick diechanging system, and an automatic priming system that primes at the bottom of the stroke to leave all six stations available for operation. The automatic case inserter works with any case, and easy-to-set case retainers at every sta tion eliminate the need for springs, plugs, or buttons that can work loose and become spentofoverCartridgelost.changetakesamatterseconds,andprimersare

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 25❚

REDDING Redding has long been one of the leaders in carbide sizing die technology. They were the first reloading component company to use titanium carbide, and the company later introduced their revolutionary Dual Ring Carbide Sizing Dies. For 2022, Redding is advancing their carbide die technology by offering new NXGen Carbide dies. NXGen Carbide sizing dies offer improved ease of use while improving dimensional accuracy. The dies also offer greater con tact surface, which compensates for varying wall thicknesses without oversizing the case body, and they eliminate the “wasp waist” that occurs when using some single-ring carbide dies. NXGen dies ease sizing and offer more accurate dimensioning for a full range of straight-wall cases. NXGen Carbide die sets are available for dozens of straight-wall cartridges, from .32 ACP to .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum. (redding-reloading.com)

HORNADY The top story out of Grand Island is Hornady’s release of an all-new mono lithic bullet for centerfire rifles. Known as Copper alloy eXpanding, or CX, this bullet combines the durable, reliable per formance of a monolithic bullet in a new, more aerodynamic design. Why is that important? Monolithic bullets are tough, but there is a minimal velocity at which these bullets perform as intended. Better aerodynamics means higher retained velocities for improved terminal performance at greater distances. Better aerodynamics were achieved by improv ing the groove design in the shank of the bullet and by adding Hornady’s HeatShield polymer tip. The result is a versatile lead-free hunting bullet that works at a wide range of distances, even at long ranges where tradi tional monolithic bullets fail to expand and transfer energy. CX bullets are available in a variety of cali bers and weights ranging from an 80-grain 6mm offering all the way to a 250-grain .375 bullet. Also new from Hornady is the Universal Trim Length Gauge, a lightweight aluminum quick refer ence that allows reloaders to measure fired and resized cartridge cases for 12 popular calibers ranging from 6mm ARC to .300 Win. Mag, includingFunnelPowdernew.3006.5Creedmoor,thecaliberspopularlike6mm/6.5PRC,andPRC.ThePremiumKit comes with a non-static aluminum funnel with nine caliber-specific bushings that range from .224 to .375, allowing the funnel to properly fit a wide array of case sizes for accurate pours and no spills. (hornady.com)

LEE PRECISION. INC.

SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ compatible. Both TS 15.5 and TS 11 are sold in oneor eight-pound containers. (ALLIANTPOWDER.COM)

FRANKFORD ARSENAL Frankford has launched several new products for 2022, including the new X-10 Progressive Press with Case Feeder. The X-10 is a 10-station auto-indexing reloading press featuring steel and ball-bearing con struction for extreme durability and years of use. The proprietary gear-driven rotating shell-plate design virtually eliminates powder spillage and bullet tipping. Other features include dual de-capping stations, which prevent primer drawback, in-line primer pock et swaging for large and small primers, and the ability to run powder check and case trim ming dies. The case-actuated powder measure with positive reset eliminates the risk of squib loads as a result of a sticking powder measure. It’s easy to swap out shell plates and tool heads, and the X-10 allows for loading anything from 9mm to standard (.30-06) centerfire rifle car tridges. Other features include an integrated LED light and roller handle. SRP: $1,199.99. If you don’t need the sophistication and speed of a progressive press, Frankford Arsenal is offering their new F-1 Single State Reloading Press. Constructed from solid steel, the F-1 operates smoothly and con sistently thanks to its linear ball-bearing design. A fully contained primer-catch system and integrated LED light both come standard with this $149.99 press, which is compatible with 7 8-inch x 14 dies and can reload ammo up to .338 Lapua. Frankford Arsenal is also offering two new powder measures for 2022: the Case Activated ($119.99) and Bench Top ($99.99) models. Both offer aluminum construction, ball bearings for smooth operation, and sturdy alumi num bodies. The Case Activated measure is designed to work with the new X-10 progressive press. Lastly, Frankford is offering aluminum powder funnels that allow you to precisely fill cases from .17 inch and up. The O-ring sealed black chrome nozzles eliminate static and spilled powders. SRP: $34.99. (frankfordarsenal.com)

RCBS provides technical support, so if even you aren’t tech savvy company representatives can help you troubleshoot the app. (rcbs.com) Awaits.

26 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

JOBS.NSSF.ORG

TOP NEW RELOADING PRODUCTS FOR 2022 captured in the collection tube, helping to keep the reloading area clean. The Six Pack is avail able as a reloading press only for $350, but there’s also a Pro 6000 kit available that comes with the reloading press, Auto Drum Powder Measure, shell plate for the cartridge you’d like to reload, universal case feed magazine, and Lee Breech Lock reloading dies for $500. Extra shell plates are available for $35. Like other Lee products, the Six Pack Pro 6000 offers an outstanding value for reloaders. (leeprecision.com)

FIREARMS INDUSTRY JOBS Search for Jobs. Recruit Employees. Opportunity

RCBS New RCBS products include the ChargeMaster Supreme powder dispens er, which is Bluetooth compatible. Thanks to its proprietary “Learning Mode,” the ChargeMaster Supreme can adjust dispensing seeds and stop points and can even learn the unique characteristics of the powder being dis pensed. Accuracy down to .1 grain and a 1,500-grain load cell capacity allow the user to create precision loads. SRP: $499.99. The company’s new ChargeMaster Link dispenser is also Bluetooth compati ble and offers .1-grain accuracy. SRP: $349.99. Both RCBS RCBSoffdispensersChargeMastercanrunexternalbatteries.isalsoexpanding their Precision Mic lineup to include the 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm GT, and 6.5 PRC, and RCBS Chamber Gauges are now available in 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win., .30-06, .300 Win. Mag., and .44 Magnum. But perhaps the most important new RCBS product for 2022 is the company’s new reloading app. Available for Apple and Android devices, it works with all RCBS Bluetooth-compatible dispens ers, a list that includes their MatchMaster, ChargeMaster Supreme, and ChargeMaster Link. The MatchMaster allows charges to be completely customized, and all Bluetooth-compatible dispens ers provide valuable feedback regarding the number of charges thrown, reloading session length, and over- and under-charges. Also stored on the app are “Load Logs” that allow you to track load perfor mance and input key information like rifle, caliber, optic, twist rate, free-bore length, and much more. Range conditions can also be inputted and stored.

August is National Shooting Sports Month, and we’re calling on shooting ranges, retailers and industry leaders like you to host events nationwide. Sign on as a host business to be listed on the host map we’ll send a promotional package to help boost participation. It’s a win-win for you and for the future of the sports we love. ShootingSportsMonth.org THERE’S A FULL RANGE OF REASONS TO HOST A NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS MONTH® EVENT, INCLUDING A FULL RANGE.

Natural disasters and civil unrest are a potent one-two punch. Do you have a plan to deal with each? by Michael D. Faw W hile now in the history books, 2020 was a rough business year because of public health concerns, forced business closings, and a wide range of natural disasters. An estimated 25 percent of businesses that closed in 2020 did not—or have not—reopened. And 2021 wasn’t much better, as Covid’s Delta and Omicron variants and Hurricane Ida, among other concerns, kept the heat on business owners. Disasters such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes will shutter any business. Civil unrest, in the form of riots and arson, can also wreak the same havoc.

TIME A PLAN IN 28 SHOTBUSINESS.COM

iStockPhotos/ronniechua SHOTBUSINESS.COM

A good first step to be better prepared to survive an emergency includes making a quick checklist of things that must be done. Now is the time to speak with your insurer about coverage and your closing— and re-opening—plans. As the storm or disaster approaches, heed the warnings from weather sources. No inventory is worth your life or those of your employees; get out before the storm arrives. With all must-evacuate emergencies, plan at least two evacuation routes. If time allows, cancel incom ing deliveries and let outside-the-region vendors know that you could be closed for a period of time. A chainsaw can help greatly with disaster recovery. Just be sure to also have enough gas and bar oil for the chain on hand. Cleaning up after a natural disaster takes time. If you don't have access to heavy equipment, you might want to make arrangements (pre-disaster) with companies that have such equipment on hand to speed your recovery.

FIRST STEPS

A PLAN IN TIME 30 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

Given all these, it makes sense for retailers to prepare now for a large-scale emergency. If you fail to take the time to perform inventory, make detailed evacuation and re-opening plans, and take steps to secure valuables and business survival information, you could be faced with a very big loss, possibly losing everything you have worked a lifetime to achieve. So, have you made emergency and disaster plans? Furthermore, are you prepared to execute them in an emergency?

 Wildfires can move very quickly. Have an evacuation route mapped out before the fire begins.

 An increase in natural disasters makes being prepared for a large-scale emergency a new normal operating procedure for you.

A full recovery plan also includes being pre pared for security—for yourself, your family and employees, and your business. Looting is an unfor tunate by-product of natural disasters and civic unrest. Consult a lawyer to fully understand the applicable laws in your area regarding use of fire arms to protect life and property.

Natural disasters, forced government shutdowns, and civic unrest are unfortunately a new norm in many areas. Take the steps now to help ensure your continued livelihood in the aftermath.

Banks, law-enforcement entities, BATF, creditors, insurers, and a wide range of business recovery concerns won’t just take your word for it. An inventory list and photos (or detailed videos) of inventory are a solid starting point. Here, an image of closed safes won’t cut it. You need proof that the safes actually held the firearms (and any other valuable items) you say they did. Do an aisle-by-aisle and counter-by-counter photograph session or video recording and take notes about what is seen in those photos.

The next challenge period following any disaster is reopening. It could take weeks until power lines are repaired and electric services are restored to your location, but once you can safely open and function as a business, begin the recovery process. Reach out to friends, family, and customers to let them know you are open for business. Be prepared to do a cashonly opening in the first few days. Most likely, your customers will still be in shock as they assess the damage to their lives and property. If you raise prices to take advantage of others, you will get a short-term gain with long-term conse quences. If you help customers in their recovery efforts, they will remember you in a positive way. Once traffic begins passing by your location, place an “open-for-business” banner outside. Social media channels can also help you let your customer base know you are open. Your website can also let customers browse your inventory online.

“WE’RE OPEN!”

 In the case of a complete loss, a thorough store inventory can help ease working with an insurance company.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 31❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ Be prepared to show proof you had inventory. Creditors, insurers, and other business recovery concerns won’t just take your word for it.

RECOVERY PLANS Each disaster and emergency is different, and the short-term and long-term impacts are always vastly different. Make thorough lists in a notebook (you may not have power to access your computer’s Excel file) of what needs to be done to reopen. A good timeline for getting organized is: “Today, This Week, This Month.” The period following an emer gency or disaster is a time of great turmoil and stress. You and your employees will be in shock and on edge. A written guide will help you and your staff more efficiently organize the recovery efforts. Since phones, electric service, or water will most likely not be immediately available, having potable water, food supplies, and medical-aid kits on site is a good idea. You also might want to have a cot and sleeping bag on hand, in case you need to sleep in the store. A chainsaw, ropes, and other gas-operated or non-electric hand tools can also help greatly with disaster recovery. Flashlights, batteries, lanterns, a radio, a propane camp stove, as well as pots and pans for boiling water and meal preparations, and other items along this survival line can help you be pre pared until services are restored—or if you must shelter in place for a period of time. Store these sur vival essentials in waterproof containers on site or in a location where they are accessible immediately after a disaster, such as your home’s garage.

If a flood is forecast, take time to install plugs in the sewer and other water outlets to prevent internal flooding and backups. Unplug all electron ics and move the necessary ones to a high point in the building. You also might want to consider tak ing phones, chargers, computers, and back-up devices, along with cash registers, to a safe off-site area. Water and electronics don’t mix. Take the time now to record what you have in your business before you leave. That includes assets, inventory, investments, upgrades, ware house supplies, and the overall physical structures. Be prepared to show proof you had inventory.

Small things add up to big bucks in the recov ery balance sheet, so cover everything in detail. Include specific details, such as the model and date purchased, when possible. While taking photo graphs or videos, also cover the storage areas, rest rooms, building exterior and roof, and parking lots. These could be forever altered by natural disasters or civic unrest (read arson). You should also make copies annually of phone, electric, gar bage, cleaning service, and other regular bills—and the sources of those—along with contact informa tion for those concerns. Another first-level step in recovery is also letting your employees know what is happening—and what will be happening in the days and weeks ahead. Create a phone tree complete with employee addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contacts for those employees. Don’t rely on your cell phone as the sole source for those details, but do make lists and store those on- and off-site in places such as your home vault or a bank vault. Take routine steps and train employees to run generators, pumps, and operate fire extinguishers or any fire-suppression systems you may have. There’s always the chance disaster could arrive when you are away from the business. After disaster strikes, the entire community feels the pain. As you try to reconstruct your life and liveli hood, consider the community at large. Any help you can offer to others in need will be greatly appre ciated, and the goodwill you will earn will reward you in the future. Besides, such help is simply the right thing to do. It’s the American way.

32 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

SPRINGING TO LIFE

GAME

Changer

The gun was the Benelli Super Black Eagle, and I finally saw one five years after it was introduced, in the hands of a man who had won it at the World Duck Calling Championships in Stuttgart, Arkansas. In the 1990s, the Super Black Eagle built a cult following among hunters willing to pay top dollar for all-weather reliability, earning the gun the nickname “the Arkansas Purdey.”

The Benelli Super Black Eagle has set a high bar for inertia semi-auto shotguns. by Phil Bourjaily IN the early 1990s I started hearing about an Italian shotgun from a little-known maker. It was a semi-automatic, the only autoload er made for the brand-new 3½-inch 12-guage cartridge. It sold for $1,000, an exorbitant price for a semi-auto in the days when you could buy a Remington 11-87 for under $600. It had an odd name, and it worked neither by harnessing recoil, nor by bleeding off expanding gases to drive the action. Instead, somehow it worked on its own inertia.

SOMETHING BETTER Hunters in the know prized the SBE’s light weight and the reliability of its inertia action. Shooting showman Tom Knapp raised the brand’s profile fur ther as well. Even so, says George Thompson, Benelli’s director of product management, the name “Benelli” was far from a household word. “I worked at a gun shop in Maryland in the ‘90s,” he says, “and I don’t think I even saw a Benelli until I started working for them a few years later.”

In the 1960s, Italian inventor Bruno Civolani designed a semi-automatic shot gun with a two-piece bolt featuring a rotary head and a stout spring inside. When the gun is fired and moves back under recoil, the heavy bolt remains in place due to its own inertia, locking tightly into the barrel and compressing the spring. As the gun’s rearward movement slows, the spring drives the bolt back, opening the action and ejecting the shell. Inertia actions stay cleaner, longer, than do gas-operated guns. They work better in cold, wet weather, and they’re slimmer and lighter. They’re simpler, too, with many fewer parts than other semi-auto designs. Civolani met the Benelli family when they moved their motorcycle manu facturing business to the mediaeval walled city of Urbino, far from northern Italy’s gunmaking center of Brescia. There the Benellis, keen hunters and shooters, bought Civolani’s patent and went into the gun business. Heckler & Koch imported Benellis to the U.S. in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the switch to steel shot for waterfowl at the end of the decade that Benelli captured the public’s attention. The non-toxic mandate drove the development of the 3½-inch 12-gauge cartridge. Although making a gas gun that operated with 2¾-, 3-, and 3½-inch shells presented a serious challenge, the inertia action adapted easily. By beef ing up some parts and switching to stouter springs, Benelli turned its existing Black Eagle into the Super Black Eagle in 1991, long before any other 3½-inch semi-autos hit the market.

Now in its third iteration as the SBE3, it is the shotgun that changed the waterfowl market forever. Thanks to the SBE, duck and goose hunters will pay $1,500 to $2,000-plus for a hunting gun. The reliability of inertia systems—along with improve ments in gas guns, to be fair—has made the semi-auto more popular than pumps in the blind. And, once Benelli’s patent expired, and other makers were able to copy them, inertia guns have become even more popular, rival ing gas guns.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 33❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

34 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

Beretta acquired Benelli in 2000, forming Benelli USA shortly thereafter. Under the new ownership and increased marketing effort, Benelli and the Super Black Eagle took off. “I’d like to say we were marketing geniuses,” says Thompson, “but all we did was expand our dealerships and take what we were hearing from Benelli owners and amplifying it. What they were saying was that the gun worked, and that became our message. We saw massive increases in sales from 2002 to 2005.”

GAME CHANGER

I got to shoot one of the first SBE3s in Saskatchewan in the fall of 2016. The gun had a number of improvements over the SBE2. It was even lighter and trimmer. It had a bigger bolt handle and bolt-release button, which everyone wants on a duck gun these days. Despite weigh ing less than previous SBEs, it didn’t kick any more, thanks to the improved ComforTech stock. A redesigned loading latch made it easier to slide shells into the magazine. The improvement that sold me on the gun, though, was the Easy LockingAnyoneBolt.who has hunted with inertia guns has experienced an out-of-battery misfire. If you ease the bolt shut, or it gets bumped just so, the gun won’t fire. Instead of boom, you hear a click. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens at the worst

The author in the field with his Benelli Super Black Eagle 3.

The second edition of the Super Black Eagle, the SBE2, came just at the right time when it appeared in 2004, says Thompson. “For 15 years Benelli could get away with saying ‘inertia is great’ to sell our guns, but we needed something better. The SBE2 was a night-and-day difference over the original. With the SBE2 we were able to get the weight down to that of a 20 gauge. We made the gun slimmer and made it kick less with the [vibra tion-reducing] ComforTech stock. The Criotreated barrel improves patterns. We made it bet ter in every way.”

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Sales grew following the successful introduc tion of the SBE2 in 2004. But even then Benelli engineers were already at work on the SBE3, which would replace the SBE2 in 2016.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 35❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚  SBE3 28 gauge Optifade camo. KICK’S CHOKES Be they decoying ducks or long-distance geese, Kick’s High Flyer Choke Tubes are hunter-tested performers. They deliver the finest patterns and superior results, shot after shot. Precision machined in the USA to exacting-tolerance standards. We use 17-4 ph grade stainless steel and exclusive diagonal ports to improve pattern density by up to Kicks-ind.com20%.For more information on High Flyer Chokes and all our other offerings, please see us online at kicks-ind.com.  SBE3 28 gauge Realtree Max-5 camo.  SBE 3 Mossy Oak Bottomland camo.

times. A simple, and patented, detent pin in the bolt eliminates the problem and also sets the SBE3 apart from all but one of its inertia competitors. Having established the Super Black Eagle as the premier waterfowl gun, Benelli expanded the line last year and this year. Although 3½-inch, 12-gauge capability made the gun famous, it stands for reliability in the minds of so many that Benelli added a 3-inch 12-gauge and 3-inch 20-gauge last year. And this year it came out with a 3-inch, 28-gauge version. And, building upon the SBE’s reputation as a badweather gun, Benelli now offers it with the Benelli Surface Treatment (BE.S.T.) with all metal parts bonded to a rust-and-abrasion resis tant, proprietary graphite coating. Benelli engineers already are gathering ideas for the SBE4. “It’s a hard job improving on the SBE3,” says Thompson. “We joke about it: ‘how do you make a Ferrari go faster?’ We’re going to work on improving ballistics and collecting enough other tweaks and improvements until we have enough to justify a new model.”

“What we’re more concerned about is some of these other companies giving inertia a bad name,” he says. “We don’t want someone to have a bad experience with a competitor’s gun and decide that inertia is no good.” Okay, so that might sound a bit arrogant to some, but when you’ve gone from unknown in the 1990s to conquering the waterfowl gun world in the 2000s as Benelli has, you’ve earned the right not to act humble all the time. Pricing for the Super Black Eagle3 in 3½-inch 12 gauge starts at $1,999. (benelliusa.com)

GAME CHANGER 36 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

PRESERVING OUR VALUES PROTECTING OUR RIGHTS SUPPORTING YOUR FIREARM BUSINESS From the largest manufacturers to the smallest retailers, NSSF® fights to preserve our legacy and secure our future as a critical member of American industry. We fight with resources that promote legal gun ownership. We fight with initiatives that educate the public about responsible firearm ownership and safe participation in hunting and the shooting sports. And we fight on Capitol Hill and in state capitols nationwide—right alongside you—to ensure your ability to operate as a lawful and important business in your community is not infringed. NSSF.ORG/ MEMBERSHIP DON’T STAND ON THE SIDELINES. JOIN THE FIGHT BY JOINING NSSF TODAY. Your Fight Is Our Fight NSSFPatriot_halfpage.indd 1 8/5/21 1:45 PM

In the meantime, Benelli remains at the top, but when the original inertia patents expired ten or so years ago, competitors wasted no time in making inertia guns of their own. Now the brand has plenty of competition. Thompson says Benelli is confident that they can keep their iner tia gun“Wecrown.havepatents on features like the Easy Locking Bolt and the ComforTech that set us apart,” he says. Benelli’s modern, ultra-precise manufacturing methods offer another advantage. “We’ve got great quality control, and we can maintain incredibly tight tolerances. At the facto ry the Italians like to say ‘we don’t make Benellis, we clone them,’ and that makes a difference.”

Suicide Prevention

The firearms industry actively partners with local and national suicide prevention organizations to help communities engage in safe firearm-storage practices and understand risk factors and warning signs related to suicide. The Department of Veterans A airs and NSSF are also launching a pilot program to help prevent suicide among active servicemen and women and Veterans. nssfrealsolutions.org

Don’t Lie For The Other Guy™

SAFER COMMUNITIES WE ARE ADVOCATING FOR REAL SOLUTIONS & WE ARE THE FIREARM INDUSTRY

FixNICS® is a program NSSF® developed to improve the reporting of all prohibiting record to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). FixNICS has helped improve background checks across 16 states and resulted in a 240% increase in records submitted to the FBI. This e ort was the model for the Fix NICS Act passed by Congress on a bipartisan basis and signed into law by the President in 2018.

The “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign, run in cooperation with ATF, helps educate retailers to detect and prevent illegal “straw” purchases and conducts outreach to the public through in-store, outdoor, radio and social media advertising.

Operation Secure Store®

Operation Secure Store® works with Federal Firearms Licensees and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to prevent thefts, and keep criminals from stealing guns by making gun stores more secure.

Project ChildSafe® Project ChildSafe® promotes responsible firearms storage and is a nationwide e ort that aims to help prevent firearms accidents by providing free information and gun locks—to date, more than 40 million free gun locks have been distributed.

38 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

WA Cascade Loan & Sporting Goods, Auburn Located between Seattle and Tacoma, this suburban retailer sells handguns and long guns as well as tools and gold. The retailer focuses mostly on used guns, buying new firearms for special orders. Bolt-action guns are hot, and de mand for Browning A-Bolts and stainless Remington 700s in .308 is more robust than it was last year. Any used rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor sells in a few days. Other highdemand long guns include Marlin lever-ac tions in .45-70 and Modern Sporting Rifles from DPMS. “Our used gun business is where we make the most profit. So, in the last few years we moved heavily into used rifles and handguns,” said counter sales man Mike Mace. This retailer faces significant changes in Washington State regulations regarding 10-round maximum capacity for firearms. Mace said that most new handgun orders will mirror California-compliant specs.

AK Chimo Guns, Wasilla Keep ing close to 400 firearms in stock, this full-service gun shop is 40 miles north of Anchorage in the suburban Mat-Su Valley. Handgun sales are steady. “Traffic has slowed slightly, though we never had quite the demand on handguns they had in the lower 48 in the last two years. Now, ammo was a different story. It was hard to get and has been super expensive,” said manager-buyer Craig Pell. But he also said the good news is that ammo stocks have finally caught up with demand, and except for some rimfire calibers, he reports good inventory. Handgun sales include Smith Shields in .45. Other strong movers include Sig P365s and Ruger Redhawk Alaskans in .454 Casull and .480 Ruger. Sales of bolt-action guns are slowing, but coming off a solid spring season. Kimber Montanas and Ruger Americans hold the top spots, predominantly in .300 Win. and .300 Win. Short Mag. MSR sales are steady at one a week. ID Larry’s Sporting, Nampa This retailer sells a mix of fish ing and hunting gear as well as reloading supplies. Located in suburban Boise, the store also stocks over 300 guns with five employees.Bolt-action hunting gun sales have risen steadily. “We have seen an increasing demand for higher-price-point bolt guns; however, they have been challenging to get in the store,” said counter salesman Mark Laymen.Browning X-Bolts and Savage Axis IIs top the list here, but Ruger M-77s in .270 also are turning. MSR sales are slow. DPMS and S&W M&P 15 Sport IIs (almost exclusively in .223) are selling to a mix of customers: home defense and summer varmintGlockshooters.Model43s and 20s top the hand gun traffic list. Springfield Hellcats in 9mm and a few Beretta PX4s are also turning quickly. Ruger SR9s and High-Points in 9mm are also doing well.

by robert a sadowskiWHAT’S SELLING WHERE

IL Smokin Gun Worxs, Forreston Located in central northern Illinois, the retailer has six indoor lanes. Eleven employees stock an average of 450 firearms. Ammo stocks are flush, and this retailer is relieved to be spending less time chasing inventory and more time concen trating on Summeroperations.shotgunseason continues to expand with the support of the high school, FFA, and 4-H clubs. “Our local shotgun programs use pumps and more traditional hunting shotguns instead of larger trap guns. The kids shoot with the guns they hunt with. This keeps it afford able and fun,” said president Doc Ruter. Top sellers in the shotgun category are Winchester SXPs, Remington 870s, and BenelliThoughNovas.sales of MSRs have slowed. MSR pistols are in high demand. Top sell ers include M&P 15s and CMMG Banshees. Handgun sales remain brisk. Shield EZs and Glock 43s sell best.

MO The Gun Grove, Macon Resting in north-central Mis souri, this 4,000-square-foot store stocks an average of 500 new and used guns. It’s a full mix of tactical and hunting rifles and handguns.Independent and rural, the retailer is seeing a change in its customer base and frequency. “While sales are still good across most of our categories, we can see a change and feel the effects of inflation creeping in. More customers are getting price sensitive and are not clamoring for the newest must-have gun. Sales are still good, but high-end firearms are trending down,” said owner Chelsea Rice. Handguns are still the most active counter for this retailer with high demand on Sig P365 variations, Glock 44s, and any .22 semi-auto pistol. “The dramatic uptick in .22s is a sure sign of changes in the market. The ammo is available now, and it’s comparatively cheap to shoot,” said Rice.

IN Top Guns, Terre Haute Calling western Indiana home, this retailer stocks more than 500 firearms. It has three indoor ranges with 18 lanes. As a range-retailer, ammo availability is key to staying in business. While the price hasn’t reduced much on 9mm, this retailer reports improved inventory on all popular range“Ourcalibers.facility remains busy, and we have seen a continued flow of first-time shoot ers coming through our doors. Our local constituents are concerned about world politics and defunding of police depart ments. Our traffic has not changed in the last two years,” said firearms instructor Eric Cunningham.Themostfrequent new gun sales traffic at the store’s pro shop goes to Sig P365s, Glock 19s and 43s, and, just recently, a few Glock 44s. “We have a special relationship with Sig because we are a Sig Elite dealer. Customers can see a 30-foot Sig mural when they walk into our store,” he said.

FL Big Daddy Guns, Gainesville This 1,300-square-foot operation stocks nearly 400 guns. Other locations include Ocala, Tallahassee, and Valdosta, Georgia. Sales of MSRs are steady, with most turns going to M&P Sport IIs. Ammo stocks are improving and in good shape at this“Salesstore. remain consistent, and inventory continues to improve. Traffic is slowing only slightly and is made up for by our inven tory improvement,” said assistant manager Jose Iglesias. “In addition, customer service is a high priority here.” The most consistent movers are the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus and Glock 43X, but a mix of handguns from Walther, FN, and Sig are also garnering attention.

NH Gun & Sport North, Salem This small independent shop is located just across the Massachusetts state line in southern New Hampshire. It sports 1,500 square feet of retail floor space, with an average inventory of 300 firearms. It re-opened in January 2022 after closing for a year due to extremely low inventory and product availability issues during the pandemic.“Oursales are good, and it’s refreshing to get most of the high-demand items that we couldn’t get last year. It’s especially nice to see ammo improving,” said owner Tony Forgetta.Atthe handgun counter the Sig P365, Shield Plus, and Taurus G3c see the high est demand. This retailer reports that Smith revolvers are a particularly hard order to fill. While sales of tactical shotguns have slowed, turkey-deer combos from Mossberg were in high demand all spring and are ex pected to continue through the summer and into the fall.

AR Ozark Armory, Springdale One of the largest firearms dealers in Arkansas, this large independent stocks an average of 4,000 firearms at any given time. Inventories are the best this store has seen in more than two years, though sales have seasonally slowed as the summer months progress. “We have a lot of recreational boaters and anglers in our store; the local lakes pull attention away from shooting in the summer,” said counter salesman David Carpenter.MSRsare turning at about one a week with an even mix of Andersons, Sport IIs, and Daniel Defense. Higher-price-point MSRs are turning more quickly than the lower price points. Glock tops the handgun list with good numbers of the high-demand Model 44. Other quick movers include Sig P365s and Springfield Hellcats. Shotgun sales slowed after the close of the turkey season; however, inventory is good with a full selection of Benellis and Moss bergs. Several new Remingtons are arriving.

by peter b mathiesen JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 39❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ PA The Sportsman’s Shop, East Earl Located in eastern Pennsylvania between Lancaster and Phila delphia, this retailer has expanded into a new 25,000-square-foot facility. The footprint now includes education/training rooms and an indoor range. While handguns sales continue to be brisk, this retailer foresees a change. “We expected a slowdown in overall sales this year, and it has finally arrived. We expect handguns to remain good for the year, but other categories have tapered off,” said gen eral manager Anthony Keffer. Top turns on handguns go to Shield Plus, Glock 43xs, and Sig P365XLs. This retailer expects pricing to drop slightly in the coming months across the brand as sales slow. Coming out of a strong turkey season, the store reports a good inventory of ammo and shotguns for the first time in three years. Stocks of centerfire hunting cartridges are improving, but it still must plan carefully for .30-30, 7mm, and .308.

TN Classic Arms, Cordova Located in suburban Memphis, this retailer has a long history of supplying hunters and collectors with appropriate firearms. The store also has a large base of customers interested in firearms suit able for home defense. The store has a full-time gunsmith. At the handgun counter, Glock 43s and 48s lead the pack, followed by a mix of Sig P365s and full-size M&Ps in .40. This store has been able to stock Remington 870s for the first time since the pandemic began. It also has a strong stock of Moss bergWhile500s.sales remain strong, this retailer is busy restructuring to modernize infor mation flow. “We are moving aggressively to change the internal workflow, cutting paper out of the mix and reorganizing the store—including ordering and inventory to streamline effective communication,” said store manager Josh Lord. “The goal is to move the store’s profits from collect ibles to newer products that have a wider appeal. At the same time, we really want to keep the friendly vibe for our long-time customers.”

VT Parro’s Gun Shop, Waterbury Located in central northern Vermont, this small-town gun shop stocks 900 guns in 4,000 square feet, keeping seven full-time employees and three part-timers busy. Parro’s also has a full-time law-en forcement sales staff supplying much of the upper New England and upstate New York area. Like much of the country, these departments are transitioning to the Glock MOS 9mm. The Glocks are optics ready and are the significant leader for this“Thesupplier.change stems from the need to move from iron sights to improve sight acquisition and sight platforms. Most de partments are moving to 9mm from .40 to standardize ammunition. The impressive performance of the new 9mm cartridges is also a factor,” said sales manager Jason Link. Link also noted that while a few de partments are using M&P 2.0s, the Glock MOS dominate sales.

FTI, Inc. recently introduced Tetra Gun Action Blaster II & Spray II aerosol sprays, both of which replace the original namesake formulas. Action Blaster II is a non-residue cleaner-degreaser that blasts away fouling; Spray II adds Tetra Gun lubricant technology to its cleaning functionality, providing an all-in-one aerosol product that cleans, lubricates, and protects (CLP). The propellant and solvent evaporate after use, but Spray II leaves a light, non-oily coating of Tetra fluo ropolymer lubricant on the gunmetal. In addition, Spray II provides protection from corrosion. Tetra Gun Action Blaster II & Spray II are available in 10-ounce cans. SRP: $11.99. (tetraguncare.com)

Equipped with the versatile Low-Profile Optics-Mounting System and midsize grip frame, the 9mm FN 509 Midsize Tactical is a perfectly balanced pistol that’s optics-ready and multi-role capable. Weighing in at just under 30 ounces unload ed, the FN 509 Midsize Tactical positions itself as an ideal option for concealed carry, home defense, and duty use. It’s midsize frame, which enables users to get a full-hand purchase, plus the added mass of the 4.5-inch threaded barrel assembly and improved, duty-rated trigger, provides unprecedented controllability and recoil management in a pistol that is easily concealed. A 15-round magazine is standard, but the handgun will accept 24-round FN 509 magazines, providing increased capacity. The 4.5-inch threaded barrel is coldhammer-forged and suppressor-ready with 1 2x28-inch thread pitch, all housed within a 4-inch slide. The slide is cut for FN’s patented Low-Profile OpticsMounting System, compatible with more than ten miniature red-dot optics. Three-dot Trijicon green tritium night sights are suppressor-height to co-witness with any compatible optic. SRP: $799-$1,069. Available in both matte black and FN-signature flat dark earth (FDE). SRP: $799-$1,069. (fnamerica.com)

40 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ NEWPRODUCTS 1 FN 509 MIDSIZE TACTICAL 2 FTI, INC. TETRA GUN ACTION BLASTER II AND SPRAY II

Best known for shotguns, Escort is now adding a bolt-action rimfire rifle to the line. The 22LR features a chrome-plated steel-alloy receiver and barrel and comes with a 5-round and a 10-round magazine. The magazine bodies are made from a lightweight, durable polymer with a stainless-steel follower. The threaded barrel is fitted with a protective cap and is ready to accept a variety of popular muzzle accessories. The Escort 22LR is available in two stock variants. The Turkish walnut stock offers fish-scale textured grip areas and a recessed magazine well. This stock also features Hatsan’s DuoTex buttpad. The synthetic-stock model features texturing of the grip areas and a Picatinny accessory rail under the forend. The buttstock also has a storage slot for a spare maga zine and is equipped with a soft ventilated buttpad. SRP: $249.99, synthet ic stock; $299.99, walnut stock. (escortshotgunsusa.com)

The Q-250 raises the shooting house to an entirely new level with an ele vated shooting enclosure perfect for hunters who use rifles, crossbows, or compound bows. The shooting house framework, platform, and ladder are constructed of heavy-duty powder-coated steel using Millennium’s SteelTOUGH construction, and the rugged exterior shell is made of heavy-duty water-resistant fabric. The Q-250 also incorporates Millennium’s SilentHUNT Design to keep it nice and quiet. A sturdy 10-step steel ladder features non-slip steps, and a pair of steel rail handles are located up top to help keep hunters steady as they enter and exit the shooting house through a large side door.

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 41❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ 3 ESCORT BOLT-ACTION RIMFIRE RIFLE

The blind tower utilizes a reinforced tripod designed to enhance stabil ity in the field. The 7-foot interior height means there’s plenty of room to take a standing shot. The blind weighs 225 pounds, and the overall weight capacity is 400 pounds.

(millenniumstands.com) by slaton l white

4 MILLENNIUM TREESTAND Q-250 SOLO BUCK HUT SHOOTING HOUSE

NEWPRODUCTS

The Ultra Custom Light Bearing Holster eliminates the need for matching your gun and light/laser combo with a specific holster. Featuring 1791 Gunleather’s patented Memory-Lok technology, the outside-the-waistband holster allows for molding and re-molding for endless customization and offers the freedom to pair a handgun with your accessories of choice. Ultra-soft cowhide on the front and durable steer hide on the back boast a tough yet comfortable construction. The high sweat guard provides added protec tion for everyday carry. An optic-cut can accommodate most pistol optics, and the holster design fits most rail- and trigger-guard-mounted accessories. Available in three different models, Ultra Custom Light Bearing Holsters are compatible with a wide variety of handguns. Like all 1791 Gunleather products, Ultra Custom Light Bearing Holsters are backed by a lifetime warranty. SRP: $99.99.

5 GREY MAN TACTICAL #501 PACKAGE

Designed to optimize storage space, the #501 Case Lid Organizer Rifle Rack + Holster Integration RMP Package provides increased organizational solutions for your gear. Simply attach the RMP (Rigid MOLLE Panel) directly to the case lid mounting points using the provided case screws. (For lids without mounting points, fasten with the 3M Dual Lock Fastening Kit to complete installation.)

42 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

(1791gunleather.com)

The contents of the #501 Case Lid Organizer Package include one RMP (your choice of size), RMP fasteners (Pelican Case screws), a 3M Dual Lock Fastening Kit, rifle rack with rubber clamps, a soft-shell Scorpion mag carrier, and a G-Code RTI Holster Integration Kit. Multiple RMP options are available with the #501 package that work with a variety of Pelican cases, including 1560 Protector and 1535 Air Carry-on, the 1600 Protector series (1600, 1610, 1620, 1650, and 1660), and the 1700-1750 Protector series. SRP: $199.97-$264.97. (greymantactical.com)

6 1791 GUNLEATHER ULTRA CUSTOM LIGHT BEARING HOLSTER

8

SENTRY BARRAGE BACKPACK

JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 43❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚ 7 COLD STEEL ENGAGE EDC KNIFE

The Engage series of folders utilize Cold Steel’s patent-pending Atlas Lock locking mechanism to provide a high level of strength and safety. The blades feature two-tone satin-polished finishes as well as a shallow indent on the spine that makes for a comfortable place for thumb or index finger when using the knives. In addition, the handles are ergonomically con toured for a secure grip and include large lanyard holes. The pocket clips are reversible for left- or right-handed use.

Within the Engage series, two models come standard with S35VN clippoint (3- or 3.5-inch) blades. S35VN is a high-grade steel known for its superior toughness and edge retention. These models also come with a polished satin finish paired with black GFN handles. SRP: $179.99-$249.99. Two additional models include a 3-inch clip-point AUS10A steel blade. This is a corrosion-resistant steel that provides an easy-to-sharpen, but very sharp cutting edge. The two versions are equipped with a black PVD stonewash finish and are available with either a gray G10 handle or a black GFN handle. SRP: $99.99-$129.99. Five models that feature easy-to-sharpen 4116SS steel (2.5- or 3-inch blades) are also part of the Engage Series and provide users affordable everyday carry choices. Two blade styles are available—tanto or clip point—in a stonewash satin finish or PVD black coating. SRP: $79.99$129.99. (coldsteel.com)

The Sentry Barrage backpack is designed for light travel or multi-day mis sions. All-day carry comfort is built-in with an integral foam back panel with a 3D mesh for superior comfort and breathability. Users can custom-fit the Barrage using the padded shoulder straps, the vertical- and slide-adjustable sternum strap, and the padded, adjustable waist strap. The waist strap with a convenient storage pouch is also removable and storable. The Barrage is made from 100 denier ripstop nylon and incorporates Sentry’s patented 1082 MOLLE system on the shoulder straps and the front panel stuff pocket. The 1082 Micro MOLLE technology is a series of laser cuts in which gear can be custom placed within 1⁄2-inch increments instead of the traditional 1x1-inch MOLLE systems, providing users with a greater degree of custom fitting. The Barrage padded/ventilated back panel offers a hydration pocket with a hydration port for easy access to essential liquids, and stretch side pockets allow easy access to additional water bottles. The front stuff pocket will securely fit a full-size OPS Core helmet. The Barrage zips open fully for access to all interior gear. In addition to the shoulder straps, the Barrage has a top carry strap and looped pull tabs on the zippers for quick and easy access. Available in blue and wolf gray. SRP: $189.99. (sentrytactical.com)

by slaton l white

We later learned that the second partner contin ued to do things to make the first partner look bad. These acts included not paying certain bills and spreading outright lies about him. Eventually it all came to a head, and the business collapsed.

by miles hallTHE SIMPLE TRUTH

Author bio: Miles Hall was founder and president of a multi-million-dollar firearms retail store and gun range in Oklahoma for 36 years. He is now a senior advisor helping FFLs around the country run more efficient, profitable businesses. (HallnHall.com)

of the most important tasks

The next store had an impressive staff of caring folks who not only loved the industry, but the family who had built the business. The store was growing fast, but such growth can create its own problems. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of managing such quick growth, the owners had quickly, and hap hazardly, assigned duties to the team. Our analysis found that a couple of team mem bers had talents that would better serve everyone if they were moved into different positions. One was serving as a range check-in department head, but after watching him we could see his knack was in product knowledge and guest interaction. We recom mended he be moved to sales. The following year his personal sales were just under one million dollars. The other turned out to be a talented and compas sionate teacher. Moved to head the educational department of the business, she oversaw a staff of instructors that added over $250,000 in revenue in the remainder of the first year. One operation we advised had two partners. The first partner conceived of the business, did all the ini tial work, and built it up to a multiple-million-dollara-year level. The second partner came from the cor porate world, where he held a mid-level manage ment position. In our initial interview with him we were surprised at his withering criticism of the busi ness and his partner. He also touted how he (and only he) had saved his previous employer from disas ter. Clearly, he was a narcissistic and divisive individu al, but when we shared that assessment with the first partner (who had hired us) he could not be swayed. He simply couldn’t believe the evil nature of a person he had trusted to bring into his business.

is productive.theyanorkeepascorrectmakingkeepletemployee.evaluatingproperlyanDon’tblindloyaltyyoufromthedecisiontowhethertoanemployeemovethemtoareawherecanbemore

One a business owner faces

The People Factor Business plans are impersonal documents, but they are carried out by humans. And therein lies the problem. the process of running and growing your busi ness you will encounter what we call The People Factor. The nature of our advi sory work requires us to deal with this People Factor as well as inventory, location, financing, and other business issues. Business plans are factual, impersonal documents, but they are carried out by people sub ject to all the qualities and frailties that make us human. We see both types at work, and we call them saints and sinners. The saints are at their core good and caring souls. Their goal is to serve the family who hired them and the guests that help the business grow. The sinners create unpleasant, unexpected, and just plain evil issues that must ultimately be faced. In addition to the saints and sinners, we find a middle ground: folks who are not well suited to their positions. We strive to share our findings about the latter two categories with owners, but it can be hard for them to act. After all, these are often people they have come to depend on and trust. Here are a few examples from our “People Factor” files. After a thorough review of the store’s staff, we had suspicions about the abilities and real motives of a store manager. We relayed those suspicions to the owners, who refused to believe their trust had been misplaced. Sadly, our suspicions were proven true less than two years later when that manager cleaned out the store’s bank account and locked out the owners from their own computer system. Although we were able to get the owners back into their system, the funds and the manager were long gone.

Really knowing your team can help you avoid the problems explained above. Such knowledge can also open doors you might have never have even seen. An operation in the south served a diverse population, including what turned out to be a sizable Spanishspeaking group. On staff were several team members who spoke the language fluently. There were other staffers who said they were willing to take classes to learn Spanish so they all could respectfully serve this marketWhenbetter.the owner acted on this information, he saw an increase in sales of 19 percent in the first full quarter. When he began actively marketing to his Spanish-speaking customers, sales increased by 28 percent in the next quarter. So, here’s another Simple Truth: Get to really know your staff. You may discover hidden talent that can make your business more profitable. Understand that blind loyalty may prevent you from picking up key signs that an employee has their own plan.As President Ronald Reagan said about relations with the Soviet Union: “Trust but verify.”

In

NSSFOFCOURTESYPHOTO

44 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚

Stay and visit at Resorts World Las Vegas - the newest property to open on the Strip in over ten years. The property brings together three top-tier Hilton brands - Hilton, Conrad, and Crockfords, all under one roof, allowing you to earn Hilton Honors Points during your stay. To get the most out of your stay, sign up for Genting Rewards to start earning Genting Points, Badges or Milestones for your activity throughout the resort. Use them towards gaming or resort spend and unlock surprise new perks and prizes. Take a worldwide tour of the culinary arts with more than 40 food and beverage options to explore.

Enjoy live music at Dawg House Saloon, dry-aged American cuts and Japanese-certified wagyu steaks at Carversteak, or unwind at Eight Lounge where you will find an extensive cigar list, handrolled tobaccos and a large selection of whiskey.

Resorts World Las Vegas is conveniently located 1 mile from The Venetian Expo, and SHOT Show offers shuttle service to and from The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum. out to hotelsales@rwlasvegas.com for SHOT Show ON 66

RWLASVEGAS.COM 3000 S LAS VEGAS BLVD, LAS VEGAS, NV 89109 (702)@RESORTSWORLDLV676-7000|RWLASVEGAS.COM Reach

room blocks inquires. SHOT SHOW 2023 DAWG HOUSECONRAD ALLĒ LOUNGE

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.