SHOT Business July / August 2023

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AMMO 2023

















Easy-to-rack slide

Double stack 13-round capacity

Slide-mounted optic ready

18 • AMMO 2023

By Brad Fitzpatrick


By Aram Von Benedikt


By Brad Fitzpatrick


By Brad Fitzpatrick

40 • ACCESSORIES 2023 By Slaton L. White

44 • AMMO DEBATE: .380 VS 9MM By Richard Mann




TRUSTED BY THE U.S. MARINES. ©2023 Trijicon, Inc. | 23TRIJ18484 | enmile HX T
The Trijicon Tenmile® HX hunting ri escope must pass the same military testing protocols as our combat-proven VCOG®. Which makes it the perfect ri escope for demanding hunting conditions. Find out more at

ETS Delivers the World’s Toughest Polymer Magazines at the Best Prices

Elite Tactical Systems (ETS), known for its signature transparent magazines and the world’s fastest speedloaders, provides innovative products by utilizing cutting-edge design, materials, and manufacturing processes. The result is the world’s toughest polymer magazines. Their philosophy of manufacturing to extremely tight tolerances and utilizing the best materials available will never waiver. ETS’s experience, and commitment to manufacturing excellence, have reduced costs while increasing the quality of their products. Through these processes, ETS continues to focus on its core mission to provide unparalleled value to the consumer and unmatched margins to our dealers and partners.

This year ETS proudly released the new Carbon Smoke SeriesTM. These magazines are based on the long-standing transparent magazine lineup, but are dark smoke tint. These magazines allow the shooter to quickly check their round count simply by glancing at the magazine rather than peering through tiny, hard-to-see witness holes on the back or side. Customers love the

new look and are equally excited to take advantage of the incredible prices.

ETS products are made with a proprietary, patented impact-resistant polymer blend that prevents damage from dropping. The magazines are also designed to withstand extended UV light exposure and decades of continuous abuse. Whether you use ETS magazines in desert heat or sub-freezing temperatures, rest assured that they will perform in the most extreme conditions.

ETS prides itself on manufacturing the world’s toughest polymer magazines. Their nocompromise commitment to their dealers, distributors, and customers drives every decision, from material selection to customer service. All ETS products are made in Tennessee and are backed by a full lifetime warranty. Be it range use or self-defense, ETS is committed to providing magazines that are tough, feed consistently, and are always ready when you need them.

ETS is a proud member and supporter of NSSF, NASGW, FPC, NRA, AND GOA. For more information on ETS magazines, including the new Carbon Smoke line, visit

This issue’s cover brought to you by:
2023 LEARN

What’s in Stock?

Ammo stocks have finally, for the most part, stabilized. What can dealers expect from ammo manufacturers for the rest of the year?

This issue you’ll notice a decided focus on ammunition. We start with a review by Brad Fitzpatrick of new ammo. As he notes, the pandemic wreaked havoc on ammo supplies and production, both of which were exacerbated by unprecedented demand as millions of new gun owners joined our ranks. “The market has stabilized some, though it’s likely to be a while yet before all store shelves are fully stocked with a full array of loads for every application,” he says. “Nevertheless, many ammunition manufacturers have caught up with demand to a point where they are launching some new products. There are only a couple of new cartridge launches, but there is a variety of new hunting, defense, and target loads from various manufacturers.”


















SHOT BUSINESS is published six times a year: January/February, 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.

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Fitzgerald also says that many of this year’s new products expand on trends we’ve seen during the last several years. Long-range hunting and shooting remain popular, as do projectiles with high ballistic coefficients and aerodynamic designs. On the shotgun side, the demand for premium high-density nontoxic loads continues to grow, and concealed carry and self-defense handgun loads remains popular. Here, the 9mm remains king.

Many retailers are answering customer inquiries regarding the pros and cons of the .380 versus the 9mm for personal defense. To help your staff answer those questions, SHOT Business commissioned Richard Mann to assess the merits of each. It should surprise no one that the 9mm comes out on top, but the .380 is nonetheless a valuable round for customers who are especially recoil sensitive. The smaller .380 is also a choice for users who prefer a handgun suitable for “ultra-deep concealment.”

He also discusses the suitability of the .45 Auto for personal defense. Although he acknowledges its mythical reputation for stopping bad guys because it offers a substantial terminal performance advantage,

it nonetheless “is just too difficult for the average citizen to shoot fast and accurately.”

That assessment reminded me of a discussion I had with a retailer many years ago. A new customer walked through the door one morning and said he wanted to buy a .45 for personal protection.

The dealer asked, “Have you ever fired a .45?”


This store had an indoor range, so the dealer placed the .45 in the customer’s hands and told him to try it. After the trigger was pulled, the customer said, “Wow! This kicks a lot, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, it does. Would you like to try something else?”

In the end, the customer settled on the far-softer shooting .38 Special.

This dealer did the smart thing by spending the time to match the customer to the ammo platform that best suited his shooting abilities. And that’s called customer service.

COLE Publishing is not responsible for researching or investigating 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.

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Safariland Reengineers Liberator HP Line

Safariland’s enhanced Liberator HP line of electronic hearing protection now features a series of improvements, including a sought-after rechargeable model.

“Reliable communication systems and audio protection are essential, and Liberators have served as an exceptional hearing protection and communication choice for security forces, SWAT teams, and everyday range shooters for years,” said James Imhoff, vice president and general manager of diversified products for Safariland.

“We’re excited to showcase significant improvements to the Liberator line that enhance audio frequency, expand the system modes, and more. We’ve also added a highly requested rechargeable version of the Liberator HP with a focus on meeting the evolving needs of our customers.”

The engineering behind the Liberator HP-R provides extended usage between charges, supplemented by a quick and effortless recharge. Utilizing a standard USB-C port with the included charging cable, the Liberator HP-R’s powerful battery pro-

vides more than enough energy to keep the Liberator HP-R in action all week. The headset offers high protection in all environments and industry-leading sound localization for maximum situational awareness and sound detection. Providing exceptional electronic hearing protection without the need to replace batteries, the Liberator HP-R is the only premium hearing protection to offer this state-of-the-art rechargeable system.

Key features of the Liberator HP-R include three distinct hearing protection modes, advanced

auto shut-off technology, first of its kind multimode adjustability providing active noise reduction (ANR) and active noise cancellation (ANC) simultaneously, IP-68 waterproof design, a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 26dB, and slim earcup design layered with sound barrier technology. In addition, the Liberator HP-R provides up to 80 hours of operation per charge and is designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA.



Biofire Debuts Smart Gun

Biofire Technologies recently unveiled the Biofire Smart Gun, a striker-fired semi-auto 9mm handgun that uses fingerprint and facial recognition biometrics to ensure only authorized users can fire it. Designed for home defense, the Biofire Smart Gun enables firearm owners to defend themselves against external threats while preventing unauthorized access and misuse. “The shooting experience is seamless,” says Kai Kloepfer, CEO and founder of Biofire. “Authorized users can simply pick the gun up and fire it. The Biofire Smart Gun is the first, and only, biometric firearm on the market.”

Until now, smart guns have been closely associated with the New Jersey “Childproof Handgun Law” enacted in 2002. The stated

intent of that law was to incentivize innovation in the firearm safety space as a means to save children’s lives, but it included language that mandated all handguns sold in the state be smart or personalized firearms three years after the first one was brought to market. The law was repealed in 2019, and no other legislation of its kind has been proposed by other states. In its place, New Jersey wrote new language requiring retailers to carry at least one smart gun if such product became available in the market.

“Biofire wholly agrees with the consensus among firearm owners that the New Jersey mandate was counterproductive to any goals related to the safety of children, and that it directly infringed on the Second Amendment

rights of New Jersey gun owners,” says Kloepfer. “Notably, one of the state legislators who helped pass the original mandate, Loretta Weinburg, openly admitted that the law that she had previously argued for had backfired, stifling advances in firearm safety instead of bringing them to life, and she actively advocated for the law’s repeal.”

According to Kloepfer, Biofire’s focus is on building better, faster, and safer firearms that solve the issue of safe storage versus instant access. The company believes a smart gun should always be a choice, not a requirement or mandate. “Though we’re not aware of any current political conversations about smart gun mandates, Biofire will be the first in line to fight against any future mandate,” he says.

A secure, portable Smart Dock provides an interface for the owner to add and remove trusted users.

While it was in place, the original New Jersey mandate was enormously detrimental to innovation in nearly every imaginable way. “It compromised investment in our technology, antagonized our customers, and distracted the public from any meaningful conversation about innovation in the firearm safety sector,” Kloepfer says. “Indeed, we may have been able to offer our Smart Gun to American consumers years ago had that mandate never been in place.”

Founded in 2016, Biofire’s mission is to provide firearm owners with advanced, trusted tools that help keep them and their families safe. “We are a company of gun owners who make products we want to use ourselves,” says Kloepfer. “We firmly believe that gun owners everywhere are central to innovative firearm safety solutions that make our homes and communities safer. To that end, we offer our Smart Gun as a competitive option for firearm owners who recognize the fact that traditional locking devices inherently require a compromise of either speed or accessibility. The Smart Gun enables firearm owners to be instantly armed against external threats while also preventing unauthorized access and misuse.”


The Biofire Smart Gun is a closed system that protects the user’s personal data. The firearm has no wireless communication of any kind. Biometric data is stored on the Smart Gun in fully encrypted form. No one can access the biometrics—not even Biofire.

Biofire’s Guardian Biometric Engine integrates state-of-the-art capacitive fingerprint identification and 3D infrared facial recognition systems that independently verify a user’s identity (whichever recognizes the user first) to unlock the firearm. It works in a wide variety of conditions, including if a user is wearing gloves or a face covering. Customizable LED indicators show when the gun is armed, and the firearm immediately locks when it leaves an authorized user’s hand. Integrated IR sensors in the grip keep the firearm armed while an authorized user is holding the gun, removing a need to continuously authenticate their biometrics. In addition, solid-state encrypted electronic fire-control technology ensures it’s impossible to modify the Biofire Smart Gun to circumvent its biometrics or to convert it into a conventional handgun.

A rechargeable, removable, high-endurance lithium-ion battery powers the firearm. The battery lasts for several months with average use and can fire continuously for several hours. A secure, portable Smart Dock provides an interface for the owner to add and remove trusted users via the high-resolution touch screen. The Smart Gun and Smart Dock together are a

closed system that protects personal information with defense-grade data security.

Customers can personalize their firearm, choosing from 64 unique combinations of polymer, trigger, and magazine-release colors. It is available in right-handed and left-handed models and with customizable grip-size options. Other features include a forged stainless-steel barrel and slide, glass-filled nylon grip, and a fully integrated laser sight as well as a non-reciprocating blade

front sight and a rear notch sight. The double-stack magazine can accommodate 10 or 15 rounds. The Smart Gun will ship to customers through the same legal ATF transfer process required of all traditional firearms. Biofire will begin fulfilling customer orders in early 2024, in adherence with all applicable state and local regulations. The gun, which has a list price of $1,499, is now available for pre-order with a refundable $149 deposit. (

 Customers can personalize their firearm, choosing from 64 unique combinations of trigger and magazine-release colors.


Savage Arms Debuts Proprietary Camo Pattern

S 5avage Arms is adding its own versatile camo pattern, Woodland, to its IMPULSE Big Game and 110 Ultralite Camo rifle lines. Both rifles are mainstays in the Backcountry Xtreme Series and continue to showcase the AccuTrigger, now in its twentieth year on the market.

Savage Woodland is a breakthrough design created specifically for the firearms manufacturer. It utilizes natural colors and shapes that are digitally enhanced to provide the ultimate in concealment at all ranges. The versatile mix of tans, browns, and greens blends seamlessly into a variety of terrains. Savage Woodland hides hunters effectively in different cover—from hardwoods to grasslands, and even deep into the mountains.

The IMPULSE Big Game is Savage’s original straight-pull model. Since its introduction, several other models for hunting and competition have been released due to the popularity in the American and

international markets. Developing Woodland camouflage was a decision driven by customers. Savage received consistent feedback that hunters preferred a pattern that performed best in the field as opposed to one brand or one pattern.

“We’ve always had big plans for the Savage brand,” said Beth Shimanski, director of marketing at Savage Arms. “To see the lifestyle aspect of Savage take shape and receive supportive feedback and validation is exciting and opens a lot of new doors. You’ll see more of this in the future. Regarding camouflage, we worked hard on Woodland to get it right. The data that made us pull the trigger on this decision was that hunters wanted patterns that benefited them in the field—meaning concealment when it

matters most. So, developing our own camouflage was something we took very seriously.”

The 110 Ultralite is designed to combat elevation and elements while maintaining the performance of a factory blueprinted Savage 110 action. The carbonfiber-wrapped stainless-steel barrel and melonite skeletonized receiver minimize weight, a vital concern for hunters in challenging mountain terrain. The rifle comes equipped with Savage’s AccuFit technology with adjustable length-of-pull and comb height to provide hunters with optimum fit and performance, and the user-adjustable AccuTrigger allows crisp, clean shots.


Smith & Wesson Unveils Performance Center M&P 10mm M2.0 pistol

Building off the success of the M&P 10mm M2.0, Smith & Wesson listened, went to work, and focused on features designed to increase performance in order to take this series to the next level. Chambered in 10mm Auto, this new full-size polymer handgun is built with enhanced features that include a ported 5.6-inch barrel to reduce muzzle rise, optic-height tritium night sights for a clear sight picture in low-light conditions, and a Performance Center tuned flat M2.0 trigger with a crisp break and audible reset.

“The new Performance Center 10mm was conceived with both the hunter and target shooter in mind,” says John Myles, senior manager of new products. “The goal was to build upon the M2.0 10mm series, with the intention of having reduced felt recoil and quicker follow-up shots. Popular features previously seen on other 5.6-inch PC pistols are present in this design and, when paired with the flat-shooting 10mm Auto cartridge, provide the end user a total package for hunting, self-defense, or at the range.”

The new Performance Center 10mm slide is cut for optics and ships with Smith & Wesson’s C.O.R.E. plate system, two 15-round magazines, and four interchangeable palm swell grip inserts. This pistol is proudly made in the U.S.A. and has an SRP of $749. (

Debra Radcliff Receives Top 100 Marketer Award

.11 Tactical, the global innovator of Purpose-Built Gear, recently announced that Debra Radcliff, the company’s global chief marketing officer, has been recognized with a Top 100 Marketer Award by the 2023 OnCon Icon Awards. Awarded annually, the OnCon Icon Awards recognize a group of industry leaders who are selected by peers for demonstrating outstanding leadership and innovation while creating success for their companies and a positive impact within their respective industries.

“I’m truly honored and grateful to receive this award from so many outstanding executives across the marketing industry,” Radcliff said. “5.11 is an amazing brand with a strong identity and vision, and I consider myself blessed to lead its talented marketing team. I look forward to our bright future ahead.”

Radcliff joined 5.11 Tactical in 2018 as the company’s global CMO after serving in various marketing leadership roles with Sports Authority, Home Depot, and West Marine. During her time with 5.11, she has helped oversee strategies for the brand’s ABR Academy Classes, collaborations with leading feature film and video game producers, retail store expansion, the introduction of several new product lines, and much more.

“Deb is a phenomenal leader and person for our entire company,” said Francisco J. Morales, CEO of 5.11 Tactical. “Her guidance for our marketing and brand strategy has propelled 5.11 to new heights, and she inspires all of us to strive to be the best we can while enjoying the ride along the way.”

For 20 years, 5.11 Tactical has worked directly with end users to design Purpose-Built Gear for enhancing the safety, comfort, and performance of those who serve, outdoor adventurers, training enthusiasts, and customers who wish to live the brand’s mantra of Always Be Ready. (



Buck Knives has added knife-industry veteran Rick Alsen as its national accounts manager. Alsen brings more than 25 years of success in managing and leading brands in several outdoor category. He will apply that lengthy expertise in his role developing, implementing, and managing sales strategy with several of Buck’s key national accounts.

Prior to joining Buck Knives, Alsen held several key roles with outdoor recreation companies, including vice president of sales and marketing for X-Vision, national sales manager for Beavertail Products, and sales manager for Gardner Sales Associates where he represented brands including Stowmaster nets, Lamiglas fishing rods, and others.

“We are very blessed and honored to have someone of Rick’s background join the Buck Knives’ family,” said Mark Reasoner, Buck Knives’ vice president of sales. “National accounts are a critical element to our long-term growth plan, and his expertise in this channel puts Buck Knives in a great position to achieve success.”

“I truly love working in the outdoor industry and, above all, I value the priceless relationships I've cultivated over the years,” said Alsen. “I am honored to join the Buck Knives family and be a part of the company’s rich tradition and legacy.” (

Henry Repeating Arms Donates to Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Henry Repeating Arms recently donated $25,000 to the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance (YSSA) in solidarity with their mission to keep the heritage of shooting sports alive. Henry CEO and founder Anthony Imperato presented the check to YSSA executive director Cyndi Flannigan at Guns Unlimited in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Preserving and promoting America’s shooting sports traditions and supporting the organizations that share this goal is one of the core tenants of our Guns for Great Causes program. YSSA is incredibly effective at advancing the programs that accomplish these goals,” said Imperato. “The future of shooting sports is in good hands with YSSA, and I am proud to include them on our roster of partners.”

YSSA faces the challenge of introducing new people to shooting sports and hunting by identifying and supporting the needs of the country’s most successful youth programs with safe, reliable equipment. Founded in 2007, the organization has become a distribution hub for equipment donated by industry partners, dispersing firearms, targets, and safety equipment nationwide to the programs with the greatest need or the highest impact.

In celebration of the gun maker’s 25th anniversary, Henry’s charitable Guns for Great Causes program has donated over $725,000 since June 2022 to a wide variety of categories, including pediatric cancer, military veterans, law enforcement, first responders, wildlife conservation, firearms safety education, and Second Amendment advocacy. (


FN America Redefines Concealed Carry


America has redefined the micro-compact pistol segment with the release of the FN Reflex and Reflex MRD 9mm pistols, pistols that give concealed carriers the ability to respond instinctively with speed and control. The FN Reflex is intended to set a new standard in the world of everyday carry with its light and crisp 5-pound single-action-only (SAO) trigger, optics-ready capabilities, and cold-hammer-forged barrel for enduring accuracy.

The FN Reflex is a slim, one-inch micro compact that puts 27 rounds at the ready with the included 11-round and 15-round magazines. With its advanced ergonomics and stippled frame texture, concealed carriers have unmatched control over recoil in an extremely small pistol. A revolutionary fire-control group with an internal hammer produces the best trigger feel in a micro compact pistol. Paired with the cold-hammer-forged barrel and factory-milled slide for an MRD, the FN Reflex produces match-grade accuracy from a micro compact pistol that is incredibly easy to shoot and conceal. The pistols are available in both standard and MRD (micro red dot) configurations as well as both black and flat dark earth (FDE) finishes.

“Innovation is at the core of FN’s product development efforts. We aspire to push beyond the status quo to deliver products that provide meaningful improvement over the existing landscape, and we feel we’ve accomplished this with the FN Reflex,” said Mark Cherpes, president and CEO for FN America, LLC. “Our customers now have a firearm they can trust to perform when seconds count, one that is backed by a quality promise rooted in our battle-tested heritage.”

To meet the needs of this growing market segment, the FN Reflex features an internal hammer design that delivers an impressive, best-in-class trigger in terms of overall feel and pull weight. Upon handling, customers will immediately notice that the trigger has a consistent take-up to the wall with a crisp break at approximately 5 pounds. Aside from the incredibly smooth trigger, the internal hammer design also allows for reduced slide-racking force and the ability to disassemble the pistol without pulling the trigger that make the FN Reflex easy to manipulate and safe to maintain. Lastly, multiple redundant safeties within the fire control make the FN Reflex an extremely safe and reliable concealed carry pistol.

“The concealed-carry 9mm pistol category is the fastest growing pistol segment in our industry because more and more people are taking their personal protection seriously. But their choices have been limited to a few options—until now,” said Chris Cole, vice president of sales and marketing for FN America, LLC. “With the release of the FN Reflex and Reflex MRD, consumers have a new choice that embraces future-forward concealed-carry technology. It is the first

micro compact handgun to solve the tradeoffs for accuracy, deep concealment, and max capacity, which consumers have often compromised on in the past. We’re confident this new pistol has set a new standard for everyday carry.”

The FN Reflex is capable of achieving match-grade accuracy from its a 3.3-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel, which is housed within a 6.2-inch slide that has front and rear cocking serrations for easy slide racking and press checks. Both models are configured with three-dot iron sights with a tritium front night sight that aids in low-light sight acquisition. Micro red dot (MRD) models have a factory-milled slide to direct mount a micro red dot in a few minutes. The optics mount features a top plate that is removed to install a micro red dot and includes mounting screws. The optic mounting system is compatible with the Shield RMSc and Holosun K-series and is capable of accepting more than six micro red dot optics with similar footprints. Configured with the smallest optics, the FN Reflex MRD is extremely low profile, making deep concealment even easier with reduced snag points under cover garments.

“What sets Reflex apart results from FN’s approach to development,” said John Ryan, director of product management for FN America, LLC. “Our team studied the impacts of user interface and ergonomics on the overall shooting experience as an important part of this project. The result is a slim one-inchwide micro compact pistol that fits comfortably in the hand, with an easy-torack slide and excellent trigger. The use of multi-faceted texturing anchors the gun to your hand during fire. And the overall low bore axis of Reflex further reduces felt recoil, making this incredibly small pistol easy to conceal, control, and shoot accurately.”

The FN Reflex boasts impressive ergonomics from its slim, 1-inch-wide grip frame and controls that have been optimized for everyday carry like the oversized slide lock to a low-profile, reversible magazine release. With a grip angle and profile that have been specifically designed to deliver a natural point of aim, enabling faster sight acquisition and match-grade accuracy. The pistol’s frame also features an aggressive in-mold stippled texture in the palm swell that locks the pistol into the hand along with vertical scale-like texturing on the front and back straps that prevent the pistol from rocking back and forth under recoil. Contributing to the controllability of the FN Reflex is the extremely low bore axis that works together with the grip profile, angle, and texturing to make the reflex an incredibly controllable micro compact pistol that is enjoyable to shoot, train with, and carry.

 The pistols are available in standard and MRD configurations as well as both black and flat dark earth (FDE) finishes.

“Aside from delivering a micro compact pistol with optimized dimensions for concealed carry and advanced ergonomics for control and shootability, our team chose to develop a best-in-class trigger with a clean, 5-pound crisp break. And the FN Reflex’s trigger is exceptionally good for the category with its smooth take-up and roughly 5-pound break,” said Chris Johnson, senior pistol product manager for FN America, LLC. “All in all, we’ve delivered a 9mm micro compact pistol purpose-built for the concealed carry buyer. It has impressive ergonomics, extended capacity, a great trigger, and optics capabili ties. Furthermore, it is easy to control and shoot well. We’re extremely proud of what we have developed with the FN Reflex.”

The Reflex ships with two magazines included in the box, giving the user an onboard capacity of 26 rounds plus one in the chamber when all magazines are fully loaded. The 11-round magazine is outfitted with a pinky extension that enables most users to get a full hand grip on the frame, pro viding just enough space for the pinky finger to rest comfortably. The 15-round extended magazine features a grip sleeve with the same aggressive in-mold stippled texture and extends approximately one inch from the bot tom of the frame, allowing for a fuller grip and more recoil control when fired. All FN Reflex pistols also ship with one flush-fit baseplate should con sumers wish to swap out the pinky extension of the 11-round magazine for an even lower profile that reduces the likelihood of printing under cover garments.

Along with the release of the pistols, FN has developed and launched an ambidextrous inside-the-waistband holster for the FN Reflex and FN Reflex MRD. With a thin profile for IWB concealment, the injection-molded holster provides complete retention and immediate access. Adjustable for retention,

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Shop All In-Stock Davidson’s Exclusives!  The FN Reflex nests in an FN-designed injection-molded IWB holster that provides both retention and concealment.

Vision Quest

The goal at PARD is to not only improve night-vision and thermal-imaging devices, but customer service as well.

Derick Cole is an experienced industry professional and the vice president of sales for PARD USA, where he leads sales and marketing strategies and manages customer relationships. He has been in the outdoor industry for more than 25 years, and during his career he has spent time with national distributors and manufacturers in the optics, firearms, outdoor, and fishing categories.

Cole earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2004 and a master’s degree in Organizational Management in 2006. Apart from managing PARD, Cole is an active hunter and fly fisherman who donates his time to the Boy Scouts of America as a Merit Badge counselor.

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

Derick Cole: Consumer education. Interest in the thermal and night vison space has exploded in recent years. There are a lot of technical elements that must be considered when comparing brands, models, and features. One of the main things that sets PARD apart from our competitors is our “value proposition.” PARD generally offers higher technical specifications and more built-in features at competitive retail price points than any of our competitors. The consumer gets higher performance and value for their money. The challenge with thermal and night vision has been explaining and simplifying the technical performance elements to make it easy to understand so that end users can make an intelligent decision when purchasing a device.

SB: What opportunities do you see?

DC: Customer service is an area that has been overlooked by many in the industry. Too many brands have looked past this important part of building consumer trust and retail partnerships. Our technical support department is in our corporate office in Reno, Nevada. We have inhouse personnel that correspond directly with consumers to help identify and correct any issues that may arise. Our customers will not have to deal with overseas phone trees or substandard response times.

Another opportunity is to bring back profitability to the retailer in this category. PARD offers margins that are in some cases 10- to 15-percent higher than other brands. This is a game changer. We understand that while many of us are in this industry because we love it, none of us do it for free. It is important to be profitable.

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

DC: Over the last 25 years I have never been as excited about a brand or company as I am with PARD. Building the brand around retail margins, consumer value, and customer service are the three key pillars of our strategy. Fortunately, we do not have any negative perceptions or operational issues that will hold us back. In 2023, we are launching into the U.S. marketplace after more than five years of double-digit growth in Europe and industry recognition with two consecutive “Product of the Year” awards from the British Shooting show. We are excited to bring the quality and reputation we have established to the USA marketplace and to help

Derick Cole, Vice President, Sales, PARD USA

night vision products.

SB: In a very competitive world, how does PARD stay ahead of the pack and what should customers expect?

DC: We are already ahead of the pack with quality, price, and value. Our job is to communicate that position with retailers and consumers.

PARD owns its own factory, so product development, production, and timelines are all controlled internally. Company engineers develop new products to the highest quality standards and R&D is constantly ongoing to stay ahead of the technological curve. A good example of this is our recently announced TD5 Dual Spectra Imaging device that combines night vision and thermal detection into a single unit. It is the first of its kind in the industry.

Consumer education will also be at the forefront of our strategic efforts this year. It is vital to share what is important when considering a thermal or night vision device—and why. Information is key, and PARD wants every consumer and retail partner to know that we have their best interests at heart in explaining this dynamic optics category. We will commit advertising and digital resources to help clarify product features and key technical elements for consumers.

We are also committed to directly supporting all our retail partners in driving sales. Over the last two years some competing brands have adopted a strategy to sell consumers direct through opening branded brick-and-mortar stores in the Texas and Florida markets, effectively competing directly with the retailers that have supported them over the last 10 to 15 years. This is a strategy we do not support. We

 The TD5 combines long-distance thermal detection, high-definition night vision, and a laser rangefinder into a single unit.

will never undermine our partnerships through this kind of approach.

SB: Could you explain the differences between night-vision and thermal-imaging technologies?

DC: Night vision requires amplification of some form of visible light. Thermal-imaging technology operates by utilizing infrared sensors to detect temperature differences between targets in the environment.

SB: What are the pros and cons of each, and the best uses of each?

DC: Night vision works by amplifying ambient light available to the sensor, typically creating a green-hue image that can be viewed in near total darkness. Night-vision light sensitivity is measured in lux, the smaller the number the better. Lux is defined as the amount of illumination created when one lumen is distributed over an area of one square meter. PARD night-vision devices are sensitive down to .001 lux. This is roughly equivalent to being able to see a lit match on the 50-yard line of the Super Bowl when sitting in the top row of the stadium. Night vison also operates effectively through glass or a window while thermal sensors will not.

Thermal does not require any ambient light to function and works equally well during the day or night. Targets with higher heat signatures are generally displayed in bright yellow, orange, or red colors. Sensitivity is defined by the Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) and degrees are measured in millikelvin (mK). This is a critical technical specification when considering a thermal device. Again, the smaller the number the better. All PARD thermal units are sensitive down to an industry

leading 25mK. Many of our competitors come in at 35mK, 40mK, or even 50mK (half as sensitive as a PARD device).

Environmental conditions such as airborne dust, cloudy nights, precipitation, smoke, or fog can adversely impact the effectiveness of night vision products. These conditions have virtually no effect on thermal, which can be used in complete darkness. Night vision provides better target identification whereas thermal provides better detection. Night vision devices are also generally less expensive than thermal devices.

SB: What are the best sales tactics for retailers to successfully sell these products?

DC: Retailers need to understand that staff training and providing general product knowledge to the customer will play a critical role in helping consumers navigate this often-confusing world. PARD is committed to helping our retail partners with technical information, POP support, and in-store merchandising support that will help drive sales. (

 The PARD family of products includes night vision scopes as well as thermalimaging technology. PARD offers its retailers a high level of technical and POS support designed to help drive sales.


The Well-Oiled Machine

Ruger uses lean manufacturing techniques to efficiently create new products.

Bringing industry-leading firearms into the world requires a well-oiled machine made up of designers, engineers, and other professionals deploying some of the most advanced manufacturing techniques and tools available. Development and production at Ruger Firearms are unparalleled, thanks in large part to long-time team members such as chief manufacturing engineer Heath Putnam. With more than 30 years of engineering experience, Putnam plays a key role in creating and refining strategic engineering and manufacturing processes at Ruger.

Before joining Ruger Firearms in 2013, Putnam spent two decades leading engineering teams in the automotive, industrial valves, and power-generation industries. As might be

expected, he witnessed countless advances during that time.

“Technology for design and metal cutting has really evolved. It blows my mind when I think about all of the changes that I’ve seen,” Putnam says. “Design in manufacturing is changing so fast—I’m really excited to see what comes next.”

Lean and Effective

Ruger Firearms employs lean manufacturing, a method that minimizes waste while maximizing productivity and value for Ruger’s customers. It’s an approach that Putnam has helped implement and hone during his 10 years with the company.

“Lean manufacturing is something I’m really passionate about. It’s doing more with less, so we try to provide our customers with as much

value as possible,” Putnam explains. “We want to help our folks work more efficiently. We want to use fewer machines, less tooling, and less time to manufacture our firearms.”

Ruger uses Takt Time to construct their manufacturing processes. (Takt Time is a tool for setting the pace and rhythm of a manufacturing process to align with customer demand.) The manufacturer also practices a mistakeproofing technique called poka-yoke (a Japanese colloquial term that basically means avoiding careless mistakes). A good example is how associates load a machine; they are trained to do it correctly the first time, every time.

Product development at Ruger incorporates lean manufacturing from the outset. As new firearms, accessories, and shooting technology are conceived, manufacturing is taken into account during the earliest design phases.

“We use this symbiotic and collaborative relationship of the product engineers and the manufacturing engineers from day one right through the development. It allows the product development and the process design development to go along simultaneously. That gives us a lot shorter time to launch,” he says. “As a project moves forward and moves toward launch, we flex resources in and out depending on the needs of the project at that point.”

The core product development teams at Ruger include designers, multiple product engineers, manufacturing engineers, a project manager, and others. The engineers are often based at different facilities across the country, but thanks to Ruger’s robust digital communication infrastructure, they are able to work together.

by robert a sadowski FYI by shannon farlow
Ruger’s chief manufacturing engineer Heath Putnam (left) oversees the production of all of Ruger’s firearms. Putnam is a proponent of lean manufacturing techniques at Ruger.

“We can leverage our extra bandwidth, because in any given moment, we may only have one or two engineers that actually have some time to start a new project. If there’s one or two engineers in New Hampshire, and there’s one or two engineers in Mayodan, and there’s one or two engineers in Prescott, we can leverage a good team by doing that,” Putnam says. “We started doing a lot more collaboration during the COVID years because that forced us to collaborate using digital means more.”

Tackling Engineering Challenges

Developing new products in any industry presents engineering challenges. To help overcome those inevitable obstacles, Ruger relies on Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), a tool that identifies and addresses potential problems before they ever arise. Essentially, FMEA anticipates what could possibly go wrong in the future.

“We do our due diligence at the beginning of the project and throughout the new product development process with a collaboration of product designers and manufacturing engineers working together in sort of a give and take,” Putnam says. “A lot of problems are taken care of before they actually occur. Using our new process development,

we really don’t have huge problems, especially near the end of the project.”

Mentoring Young Engineers

As chief manufacturing engineer, Putnam spends a lot of time training and mentoring Ruger’s engineers and operations personnel. In addition to sharing lean manufacturing concepts, he teaches manufacturing and design analysis software, problem solving, cutting-tool technology and selection, and more.

“I’m really passionate about lean. I’m really

Besides sharing lean manufacturing concepts, Putnam also teaches manufacturing, design analysis software, and problem solving.

passionate about engineering in general. It’s nice to be able to give some of that knowledge and history back to younger engineers,” Putnam says. “When I was younger, I had some really good mentors and I think that’s another reason why I like to help young engineers. I’ve grown personally by mentoring newer, younger engineers and, hopefully, they’ve gained something from me.” (RUGER.COM)

Editor’s Note: Additional research for this article conducted by Miles Hall.


Our process is slow, on purpose.






It’s safe to say that all our lives changed in the spring of 2020, but there is perhaps no industry that has seen as much tumult as the ammunition industry. In the early days of the pandemic demand for ammunition skyrocketed, reaching not just record numbers but stretching far beyond the capabilities of most ammo firms. The demand was there, but keeping machines running and employees in the factory proved challenging.

The market has stabilized some, though it’s likely to be a while yet before all store shelves are fully stocked with a full array of loads for every application. Nevertheless, many ammunition manufacturers have caught up with demand to a point where they are launching some new products. There are only a couple of new cartridge launches, but there is a variety of new hunting, defense, and target loads from various manufacturers.

Many of this year’s new products expand on trends we’ve seen during the last several years at SHOT Show. Long-range hunting and shooting remain popular, and so do projectiles with high ballistic coefficients and aerodynamic designs. Hornady’s impressive new 7mm PRC cartridge is designed specifically to handle the emerging class of high BC .284-inch bullets. On the shotgun side, the demand for premium high-density non-toxic loads continues to grow with companies like Federal Premium, APEX, Winchester, and HEVI-Shot offering several new loads. Concealed carry remains popular, and so do self-defense handgun loads. The 9mm remains king, but the 10mm continues to gain traction despite having been proclaimed dead by some in the firearms press over 30 years ago. Ammunition companies are up to speed and back in the business of developing exciting new products for shooters and hunters. Here's a rundown of the latest ammo products retailers will see in 2023.


APEX has been on top of their game in recent years with the release of several excellent non-toxic blends for hunters, and this year their S3 zinccoated steel shot loads are available in No. 3 3-inch loads for both 12 and 20 gauge. The new No. 3 offering joins their current 12 gauge (No. 2, No. 4, BB) and 20 gauge (No. 2 and No. 4) loads, which provide hunters with a broad range of S3 steel ammo from which to choose. Zinc coating ensures consistently round pellets and protects against corrosion as well as “bridging,” which occurs when two pellets lock together. The zinc also reduces friction for more uniform pellet drop and consistent patterns. S3 ammunition uses APEX’s tungsten-grade wad, which is also found in their high-performance TSS turkey loads. Despite quality components and consistent performance, S3 ammunition is an excellent value, blending high performance with a surprisingly affordable price tag. SRP: $23.99 to $26.99, box of 25.

The last few years have been taxing on ammo companies, but the top brands have managed to meet demand and introduce some fantastic new products for the new year.

Also new from APEX is their limited-edition Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat Blend (SRP: $51.99, box of 25; $489.99, case of 250). These 12-gauge, 3-inch “duplex” loads blend the company’s No. 3 S3 zinc-plated steel shot and No. 8 TSS and come in special Mossy Oak camo packaging. The blend of zinc-plated steel and 18.1 g/cc TSS makes this duplex load suitable for a wide variety of waterfowl hunts, everything from teal buzzing by at low elevations to honkers hanging out at the edge of the decoy spread. It’s also more affordable than all-TSS ammo.



Baschieri & Pellagri (or B&P) is located outside Bologna, Italy, and is one of Europe’s premier ammunition manufacturers. B&P is now owned by Fiocchi, and since Fiocchi is a growing name in the U.S. ammo market you can expect to see more B&P shells on store shelves, which is a great thing for hunters and shooters. It’ll no doubt take some American consumers time to familiarize themselves with B&P’s line of ammunition, but the company is offering many new products and line expansions for 2023.

B&P Competition Flyer shotshell ammunition is available in 12-gauge 1¼-ounce loads of No. 7.5 or No. 8 shot with velocities ranging from 1,255 to 1,350 fps, perfect for competing in clay target games without enduring excessive fatigue. Another soft-shooting option from B&P is their Competition One 12-gauge ammunition that offers 1 1 8-ounce loads of No. 7.5, No. 8, or No. 9 shot driven at 1,160 fps. This ammunition is equipped with B&P’s patented Gordon hull with its distinctive color-matched polymer ring in the base of the shotshell. The Gordon hull is proven to reduce recoil fatigue, vitally important when you’re shooting hundreds of targets a day in high-level clays competition. The sport of shooting helice (a special type of clay target with plastic wings) is growing in popularity, and B&P is offering their own special load for this discipline: their 12-gauge, 1-ounce Competition Helice load reaches over 1,300 fps and is available in No. 7.5 and No. 8 shot. Perhaps most significantly, B&P is offering their new NEXT ammunition, which utilizes their proprietary Green Core technology. Green Core wads are fully biodegradable, yet B&P NEXT ammunition offers premium performance for competition shooters. On the hunting side, B&P offers Privilege Game shotshells, which feature Gordon hulls and biodegradable Green Core wads. B&P’s Upland shotshell line is expanding this year and now includes 20-guage 7⁄ 8-ounce loads with nickel-plated shot (Nos. 5, 6, 7.5), and U.S. waterfowl hunters will have a chance to try out B&P’s new Dual Steel and Dual Bismuth loads, both of which come with two different shot sizes in each 12-gauge load (Nos. 2 and 3 for Dual Steel, Nos. 3 and 4 for Dual Bismuth). Both Dual Steel and Dual Bismuth come with B&P’s biodegradable Green Core wads.




Black Hills’ HoneyBadger ammunition gets more bite for 2023 with the introduction of a 10mm version. Like other HoneyBadger loads, it features an all-copper bullet with deep flutes and sharp frontal edges. At 115 grains, the HoneyBadger is light for a 10mm bullet, but it achieves 1,600 fps from a five-inch barrel with none of the concerns with stoppage normally associated with a hollow-point defensive bullet. This enhances penetration as the flutes redirect tissue from the bullet radially, creating massive amounts of threat-stopping shock. Penetration tests in 10-percent gel have demonstrated a 50-percent increase in penetration depth as compared to traditional hollow points, and the HoneyBadger bullet creates massive wound channels. Muzzle energy is rated at 654 foot-pounds, so this will certainly serve as a bear defense bullet.


Browning Ammunition is expanding their centerfire rifle lineup with the release of the MaxPoint line of ammo. This polymer-tipped hunting load features a polymer tip for rapid expansion and maximum energy transfer. The heavy-for-caliber bullets with thick copper jackets ensure deep penetration, so this is a versatile round designed for hunting a wide range of big-game animals. A nickel-plated shell case ensures smooth feeding, and MaxPoint ammunition is available in cartridges ranging from .243 Win. to .300 Win. Mag., including popular new rounds like 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 6.8 Western as well as classic loads like .30-06, .270 Win., and .30-30. Also new from Browning is their Silver Series centerfire ammunition line, which is a classic soft-point bullet design consisting of heavy bullets with precision-plated bullet jackets. Silver Series ammo is available in 10 loads ranging from .243 Win. to .300 Win. Mag., and it’s also available in 350 Legend.

On the rimfire side, Browning Ammunition is introducing Sub-22, their newest .22 LR ammo that is optimized to function in suppressed semi-auto .22 pistols. Loaded with 45-grain lead round-nose bullets, these rimfire rounds have a muzzle velocity of 1,050 fps and come in 100-count packages.



CCI is adding to their extensive line of rimfire offerings with the release of Clean-22 Hyper Velocity .22 LR ammunition. Identifiable by the purple polymer coating on the exterior of the 31-grain bullet, Clean-22 Hyper Velocity ammunition clocks in at 1,550 feet per second and reduces lead fouling in barrels without leaving behind residue that shooters will have to scrub away. This ammunition also cuts lead fouling in suppressors by 60 to 80 percent, which keeps your equipment running cleanly and allows you to shoot more with less cleaning. The bullet nose geometry is engineered for optimum accuracy and reliable feeding in all firearms, including semi-automatics.




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Federal is rolling out a long list of cutting-edge new ammunition products, including new High Over All competition shotshell loads for 20-gauge, 28-gauge, and .410 firearms. Like the 12-gauge version, which is already helping top trap, skeet, and sporting clays shooters collect titles across the country, HOA sub-gauge ammunition utilizes hard high-antimony lead shot and Podium one-piece wads for consistent patterning and performance. Also new is HEVI-Bismuth, which is loaded with 9.6 g/cc bismuth pellets sourced from Federal’s partner HEVI-Shot. HEVI-Bismuth is 22 percent denser than steel shot.

Federal Premium is offering a single new rimfire option for 2023: Punch .22 WMR. Following on the heels of Punch .22 LR, this ammunition is designed and tested to offer the ultimate .22 personal-defense ammo option and is stringently tested for premium performance and reliability. The nickel-plated lead-core bullet reaches velocities of 1,000 fps from handguns with two-inch barrels and up to 1,800 fps from rifle barrels.

The 30 Super Carry is a good option for personal defense, and this year Federal Premium is offering Punch 30 SC ammo. Punch bullets feature skived jackets and soft lead cores that promote expansion and energy transfer, and the high-quality brass and sealed primer insure consistent ignition.

New centerfire rifle offerings include Federal Premium Gold Medal Centerstrike. Utilizing sleek, proprietary OTM bullets, this ammunition is specifically designed for shooters who want to stretch the effective range of their .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, or .223 Rem. target rifles to the max. Federal’s new Varmint & Predator JHP and Champion JSP 5.56x45 loads offer excellent performance in 5.56 rifles at an affordable price point, and Federal’s new ELD-X centerfire rifle loads feature Hornady ELD-X tipped hunting bullets combined with Federal powders, primers, and brass. (


Italian ammunition manufacturer Fiocchi is planning to substantially increase their footprint in the U.S. ammo market. Fiocchi’s facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Ozark, Missouri, are churning out lots of excellent ammunition, and the company has a number of new loads designed for American hunters and shooters. For those who pursue big game there’s Knock Down, which offers all-copper projectiles with a hollow-point design for maximum energy transfer and shock. Knock Down will be available in eight popular loads from .243 Win. to .300 Win. Mag. Also new to the centerfire rifle ammo lineup is Hyperperformance Hunt ammunition, which is loaded with premium SST, Scirocco, Varmint Grenade, and GameKing bullets in calibers from .223 Rem. to .300 Win. Mag. New to Fiocchi’s Range Dynamics line this year are a 5.7x28 35-grain jacketed frangible load and a 4.6x30 3.8-grain tipped hollow-point offering. Fiocchi has long been known for their high-quality shotshells, and this year the company is offering hunters and shooters a long list of innovative new products for every discipline and game species. New Speed sTEAL ammo is available in 12-gauge 2¾ loads of either No. 4 or No. 6 premium steel at a velocity of 1,415 fps, perfect for bagging teal zooming past your blind during the early season. For all-purpose waterfowl hunting, Fiocchi’s Golden Bismuth is a great option, and in addition to their 12- and 20-gauge offerings the company now has a 28-gauge Golden Bismuth 3-inch load that fires 15⁄16th ounce of premium bismuth at 1,350 fps, a low-recoil load that works well even on large ducks like mallards and gadwall. More areas are requiring non-toxic shot for upland hunting, and Fiocchi’s Field Dynamics Upland Steel loads are the perfect option. Available in 12 gauge and loaded with 11 8-ounces of steel shot (No. 4 or 6), this ammo is suitable for birds or upland game even in areas where lead is still legal. Lastly, your turkey hunting customers will find Fiocchi Golden Turkey TSS to be a great choice. The 12- and 20-gauge and .410 options from last year carry over, but this year Fiocchi is offering a 3-inch 28-gauge TSS turkey load with 11⁄16 ounces of No. 9 TSS shot. This load has the potential to greatly extend the lethal range of 28-gauge gobbler guns while reducing the amount of recoil needed to cleanly kill a big tom.




The big news from HEVI-Shot is the launch of their HEVI-Metal Xtreme non-toxic shotshell ammunition. These stacked loads are comprised of 30-percent HEVI-XII 12 g/cc pellets and 70-percent steel inside a FLITECONTROL FLEX wad. The tungsten shot is three sizes smaller than steel, ensuring consistent and reliable downrange performance. HEVI-Metal Xtreme is available in either 12- or 20-gauge 3-inch versions with your choice of either No. 6 tungsten and No. 3 steel or No. 4 tungsten and No. 1 steel. HEVI-Shot is also expanding their sub-gauge ammo offerings with the introduction of eight new 28-gauge offerings, including two new 3-inch HEVI-18 TSS Turkey loads, two HEVIBismuth 3-inch loads, and both 2¾ and 3-inch HEVI-Bismuth upland loads. (


The biggest news coming out of Grand Island, Nebraska, is undoubtedly the launch of Hornady’s 7mm PRC. Positioned between the 6.5 and .300 PRC, the 7mm PRC is perhaps the most versatile of the lot. It’s capable of firing a 180-grain ELD match bullet with a ballistic coefficient of .796 at a velocity of almost 3,000 fps. The 7mm PRC fits in long actions and generates less recoil than the fast .30-caliber magnums. It’s one of the most efficient cartridges ever developed, with a neck and case design that allows the use of long, streamlined bullets without robbing internal capacity. The 7mm PRC 175grain ELD-X bullet shoots flatter than a 200-grain .300 Win. Mag. The ELD-X bullet and the 7mm retains almost 100 foot-pounds more energy at 500 yards than the .300. Currently Hornady is offering three loads for the 7mm PRC: a 160-grain CX monometal bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps, the 175grain ELD-X that reaches a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps, and an ELD Match load with a velocity of 2,975 fps. Over two dozen rifle manufacturers are chambering guns for the 7mm PRC this year, and you can expect this versatile and efficient target and hunting round to gain a strong following very quickly. SRP: $69.15-$73.07, box of 20.

The 7mm PRC is certainly the biggest news from Hornady, but it’s not the brand’s only new product offering for 2023. Hornady is also offering four new Sub-X bullets this year as well. Designed to expand reliably at subsonic velocities, these bullets feature Hornady’s patented Flex Tip that allows for expansion down to 900 feet per second. Sub-X bullets meet FBI protocol for terminal ballistic test performance and are now available in .308 175-grain, .357 200-grain, .452 395-grain, and .458 410-grain offerings. Sub-X bullets are designed to function in a variety of platforms (including gas guns) and include a lead core and cannelured jacket for a positive case crimp for use in semi-automatic firearms. Also new from Hornady is the Bore Driver ELD-X muzzleloader bullet that features a polymer base with a gilding metal jacket. These 340-grain .50-caliber hunting bullets help improve accuracy and offer exceptional terminal performance for muzzleloader hunters.




The big news from Remington this year is the release of the .360 Buckhammer straight-wall cartridge, which was developed in conjunction with Henry Repeating Arms. Though the Buckhammer is similar in bullet diameter to the straight-wall 350 Legend, the Remington round is rimmed. This means that it will work effectively in leveraction, single-shot, and even double rifles. Two Core-Lokt loads (180 and 200 grains) will be available initially. SRP: $36.99.

Also new from Remington is their Premier Long Range line of centerfire hunting rifle ammunition. Premier Long Range is the first factory hunting ammunition loaded with Speer’s outstanding Impact hunting bullet. These projectiles combine high ballistic coefficients with the durability of a bonded bullet, utilizing the same SlipStream polymer bullet tip found on Federal Premium’s Terminal Ascent ammo. Premier Long Range is available in eight different loads ranging from 6mm Creedmoor to .300 Remington Ultra Magnum. SRP: $59.99-$97.99.

Premier Bismuth is loaded with HEVI-Bismuth pellets that have a density (over 9.6 g/cc) and are safe to use in older shotgun barrels. Premier Bismuth is loaded with Remington’s Premier components, and this shot is cast and alloyed in the United States. Available in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauge, and .410 bore. SRP: $57.99-$74.99, box of 25. Lastly, Remington is launching Golden Saber 10mm Auto ammunition. The 180-grain bullets are offered in trusted Golden Saber Bonded, Golden Saber Defense, and Golden Saber Defense Compact lines. SRP: $38.99-$47.99. (

1/2_Horizontal.indd 1 3/30/23 11:29 AM


Speer’s Gold Dot bullets have been a favorite choice of serious shooters and law-enforcement professionals for years, and this year Speer is offering their trusted Gold Dot ammo for carbine platforms. The G2-style elastomer-filled bullet nose effectively penetrates through common barriers and transfers energy efficiently, making this one of the best ammo options for anyone who runs a pistol-caliber carbine for self-defense. The engineers at Speer designed this ammunition to operate at velocities that provide consistent, optimum performance through carbine-length barrels. Gold Dot Carbine ammunition will be available in a wide variety of popular carbine calibers.



It’s been a very busy year for Winchester as the brand is expanding several existing lines of ammunition as well as introducing new ones. Handgun hunters and big-bore fans will be excited to see the company’s new Big Bore handgun ammunition hit stores shelves in 2023. Available in 10mm, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt, Big Bore ammo is loaded with a new semi-jacketed hollow-point bullet with a concave hollow-point design that offers deep penetration and reliable expansion for biggame hunting and self-defense applications. Also new this year is M1 Garand, a .3006 Springfield load that is optimized to function in Garand rifles. These cartridges are loaded to the original velocity and pressure specifications of original .30 Caliber Ball M2 ammo, which are lower than the pressure levels of most modern .30-06 ammo. These cartridges also come with a custom headstamp that identifies that they are loaded to M2 Ball specifications, which will make them even more attractive (and practical) for fans of Garand rifles.

Winchester’s Copper Impact family of centerfire hunting rifle ammunition, which is loaded with expanding solid copper bullets, now includes a 150-grain 7mm Remington Magnum offering. Like other Copper Impact loads, the 7mm Rem. Mag. version is loaded with Winchester’s polymer-tipped Extreme Point Copper bullet that expands upon impact, yet offers better weight retention than traditional jacketed lead-core designs. There’s a new 7.62x39 offering in Winchester’s Target and Practice line of ammunition which features a 123-grain FMJ projectile and comes in a boxerprimed brass case that’s suitable for reloading. Available in either 50- or 120-count boxes, Target and Practice is an affordable ammo option for 7.62x30 owners that is loaded to Winchester’s standards using high-quality components.

There are two new Power-Point rifle offerings for hunters this year as well, a 150grain .300 Blackout load as well as a new 200-grain .35 Whelen option, both of which should be excellent for hunting whitetails and similar-sized game.

Winchester continues to support Folds of Honor with the release of several new USA Valor offerings. The new 200-grain .300 Blackout load is designed for target practice and training and features an open-tip range bullet. Loaded to subsonic velocities, this ammunition offers sure functioning in suppressed firearms. There are also new Folds of Honor shotshell offerings, including two 12-gauge-loads with 11 8 ounces of either No. 7.5 or No. 8 shot and a 20-gauge load with 7⁄8 ounce of No. 7.5 shot. These shotshells are ideal for shooting competitive clay games, but they’re also great for backyard practice or wingshooting.

Winchester’s new rimfire offering is their Xpert .22 LR load, which fires a 42-grain plated hollow-point bullet at a velocity of 1,320 fps. Available in 100-round boxes, this .22 ammo is ideal for plinking at the range, target shooting, and smallgame hunting.





Long-range shooting and hunting are among America’s most popular and fastest-growing shooting sports. To participate, your customer will need an accurate rifle chambered in a suitable cartridge. This list includes ten of the best cartridges that are capable for both disciplines. To qualify for this list, a cartridge has to possess the following attributes.

1) Highly aerodynamic: This will be expressed in BC (ballistic coefficient) numbers using the (less accurate but more popular) G1 scale. High BC numbers translate to efficient trajectory and good wind-bucking ability.

2) Ammo and component availability: Without ammo or the components to handload ammo, we can’t practice enough to become proficient at shooting distance.

3) Terminal authority: Since these are crossover calibers, we need cartridges/bullets with enough impact authority to kill cleanly.

4) Tolerable recoil: Ideally, recoil will be light enough so that you can spot bullet impact through the scope. A suppressor or muzzle brake can help with this.

5) Barrel life: The barrel needs to last long enough for you to perform load testing and development, shoot hundreds of rounds during practice, and then compete and/or hunt.


Whether your customer is into big-game hunting or long-range competition, these 10 cartridges will help them meet their goals.

by Aram von Benedikt



With a bullet diameter of .243 (6mm), this is the friendliest-to-shoot cartridge on our list, rendering it superb for competition where rapid follow-up shots and transitions are required. However, it’s not great for hunting anything larger than deer or pronghorn antelope. Common bullet weights range from 90 to 115 grains. Velocity with Hornady factory 108-grain ELD-M is 2,960 feet per second (fps), with a G1 BC of 0.536. A short-action cartridge.

Pros: Excellent for fast competitive shooting; ideal for recoil-sensitive shooters; deadly on deer/ pronghorn-sized game.

Cons: Not ideal for hunting anything larger than deer.


The most popular cartridge of the 21st century, this round shoots a .264 (6.5mm) diameter bullet. A friendly, fast-handling cartridge that’s superb for competition. It’s also a great hunting round for deer- and pronghorn-sized species and, with judicious bullet selection, can be used on elk. Common projectile weights range from 115 to 0.646. A short-action cartridge.

 The 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent choice for deer- and pronghorn-sized game. It’s also a friendly, fast-handling cartridge that’s superb for competition.

Pros: Superb barrel life; vast selection of readily

designed; great for recoil-sensitive shooters; excellent for hunting deer-sized game.

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6.5 PRC

Another .264 (6.5mm) diameter round, this cartridge is rapidly gaining popularity as an excellent hunting round. A bit snappier than the 6.5mm Creedmoor, it’s nonetheless a mild round and easy to shoot well. Common projectile weights range from 115 to 147 grains. Velocity with Hornady factory 147-grain ELD Match is 2,910 fps, with a G1 BC of 0.697. A short-action or mid-length cartridge.

Pros: Easy to shoot well; vast selection of handloading components; superb aerodynamics and long-range capability; the ideal long-range cartridge for deer, pronghorn, and sheep hunting. Cons: So fast and easy to shoot that it gives hunters a false sense of security; it’s still a small-diameter, lightweight bullet, so if you’re gonna hunt elk or moose, use a premium bullet that will hold together and penetrate deeply.


A recent player on the long-range scene, the Western shoots a .277 (6.8mm) projectile just like the venerable .270 Winchester. Big difference though—this cartridge is optimized for heavy, high-BC bullets shot out of fast-twist barrels. It’s an awesome all-round hunting round, one that

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 Hornady’s 6.5 PRC is rapidly gaining popularity as an excellent hunting round. A bit snappier than the 6.5mm Creedmoor, it’s nonetheless a mild round and easy to shoot well.

usually delivers extraordinary accuracy. Recoil is tolerable. Available projectile weights range from 162 to 175 grains. Velocity with Winchester Expedition Long-Range 165-grain Nosler ABLR (AccuBond Long Range) is 2,970 fps, with a G1 BC of 0.620. A short-action or mid-length cartridge.

Pros: Superb all-round hunting round; very aerodynamic; maintains energy and velocity well; moderately comfortable to shoot.

Cons: Limited ammunition availability (this will improve in time).



This cartridge lived as a wildcat until 2007 when Nosler took it to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute) for standardization. It’s a .284 (7mm) diameter round, shooting the same bullets at nearly the same velocity as the 7mm Rem. Mag. An ideal all-around hunting and long-range cartridge. Typical bullet weights range from 140 to 185 grains. Velocity with Hornady factory 162-grain ELD-X is 2,850 fps, with a G1 BC of 0.631. A standard-length cartridge.

Pros: Moderate recoil; superb all-around hunting cartridge; well-suited for long-range shooting and hunting; superior magazine capacity (four to five rounds).

Cons: Ammo availability is somewhat limited.


Another great .284 (7mm) round. As you can see, this diameter caliber is very well suited for longrange shooting and all-round hunting purposes. The biggest challenge with the SAUM (Remington

Short Action Ultra Magnum) is ammo availability; customers will want to load their own. Good brass may be available from Norma and Nosler, among others, and 7mm bullets are available in every possible configuration. Average projectile weight is from 140 to 185 grains. Projected velocity for a 175-grain Hornady ELD-X comes in around 2,800 fps with a G1 BC of 0.689. A mid-length cartridge. Pros: An efficient, accurate cartridge; good all-round long-range hunting and competition cartridge.

Cons: Factory ammunition is not readily available.


This cartridge has been around a long time and has seamlessly made the transition from traditional light, fast bullets to heavy-for-caliber, high BC bullets. As you probably guessed, it shoots .284 (7mm) diameter projectiles. Common bullet weights range from 140 up to 185 grains. This is another superb all-round big-game cartridge. Velocity with Hornady’s 162-grain ELD-X is 2,940 fps with a G1 BC of 0.631. A standard magnum-length cartridge.

Pros: Readily available ammo in a wide assortment of configurations; tolerable recoil; very good long-range hunting cartridge.

Cons: Barrel life is slightly limited.


This .284 (7mm) cartridge is the fire-breathing dragon of its family. Arguably the best extremerange hunting caliber on the market, this round does kick. But with that kick comes downrange performance. Typical projectile weights range

 The author took this bull elk with Browning’s 6.8 Western, a cartridge that is optimized for heavy, high-BC bullets shot out of fast-twist barrels.

from 160 to 190 grains. Velocity with Nosler 175grain ABLR is 3,125 fps with a G1 BC of 0.648. A standard magnum-length cartridge.

Pros: Very good at extreme range; adequate for any North American game.

Cons: Aggressive recoil.


This old-but-good .308 (7.8mm) cartridge has been serving shooters for decades and no doubt will continue to do so. Yes, it kicks, but not unbearably. Ammo is readily available in every bullet design and weight under the sun. This cartridge is adequate for all North American game. Common bullet weights range from 150 to 220 grains. Velocity from Hornady’s 200-grain ELD-X is 2,850 fps with a G1 BC of 0.597. A standard magnum-length cartridge.

Pros: A good selection of widely available ammunition; adequate for hunting all North American big game; carries velocity and energy very well at long range.

Cons: Substantial recoil.

.300 PRC

This last .308 (7.8mm) cartridge is the real heavyhitter on our list. Recoil can be brutal without a muzzle brake or suppressor. This is the big brother of the 6.5 PRC, very accurate, well-designed, and hits with the authority of a runaway freight train. If you need to shoot at distances beyond a mile, this is the cartridge you want. Common bullet weights range from 180 to 225 grains. Velocity with Hornady 225 grain ELD-M is 2,810 fps with a G1 BC of 0.777. That’s ridiculous. A true magnum-length cartridge.

Pros: True extreme range capability; adequate for hunting all North American big game; superb cartridge for handloading.

Cons: Wicked recoil; ammo can be hard to find.


The cartridges listed above made this list because they possess specific attributes that make them stand above the rest when shooting way out yonder. If your customer is looking for an awesome longrange competition and/or hunting round, consider their goals and then help them choose a cartridge accordingly. If the focus is more on competition than hunting, they’ll likely be served best by one of the lighter 6mm or 6.5mm cartridges. If they’re mostly interested in hunting, I’d look hard at the 7mm and .30 caliber offerings.



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Benefits: Ample power; small revolvers can be chambered for the cartridge; also fires .38 Special ammunition.

The .357 Magnum, which debuted in 1935, is the more potent younger brother of the .38 Special. The .357 uses bullets that are the same diameter (.357 inch) as the .38 Special, which is understandably confusing to many shooters. In fact, the only difference between the two rounds is that the .357 Magnum case is slightly longer (about 1 8 inch) than the .38 Special case. This design prevents .357 Magnum cartridges from fitting in .38 Special chambers, and that’s a good thing. The .357 Magnum is loaded to higher pressures than the .38 Special, and as a result velocity and energy levels are higher with the .357 Magnum. Most factory .38 Special loads top out at about 1,100 fps while .357 Magnum rounds propel bullets of the same diameter and weight about 300 feet-per-second faster. Muzzle energies for the .357 Magnum are about twice that of the .38 Special.

With that added velocity and energy come added muzzle blast and recoil. A full-sized .357 Magnum with a five- or six-inch barrel is manageable for new shooters, but short-barreled .357 Magnums can be a real handful. But here’s a bit of good news: revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum can shoot .38 Special loads without issues for low-cost, low-recoil practice. The .357 Magnum offers enough power that it can be used for hunting deer, though it’s considered at the low end of the effective big-game cartridge spectrum and ranges should be kept relatively close. It’s also a favorite round for bear defense.


Benefits: More power than a 9mm; more capacity than a .45 ACP.

The .40 Smith & Wesson was designed for law-enforcement officers. It’s actually a shortened version of the 10mm Auto (more on that later) and was set to replace the 9mm when the latter was deemed unreliable for threat-stopping. When it was released in 1990, the .40 S&W’s numbers were impressive: it could drive .40-caliber bullets ranging in weight from 115 to 200 grains at velocities up to 1,400 fps, which allows it to generate muzzle energies on par with the .357 Magnum. The cartridge’s smaller diameter allowed .40 S&W service and carry guns to hold a few more rounds than competing .45 ACP models, so the .40 S&W became popular with law-enforcement professionals and the shooting public alike.

Improvements to the 9mm have helped that cartridge steal the spotlight that the .40 once occupied as the go-to service round, but that doesn’t mean the .40 S&W is washed up. There are still plenty of guns chambered for this cartridge and lots of ammunition options. Ammo for the .40 S&W ammunition isn’t as cheap as 9mm, but it’s still relatively affordable. In full-sized duty and target guns the .40 S&W is manageable to shoot, but it packs noticeably more recoil than the 9mm. Very small, light .40s are easy to carry, but with full-house defensive loads a lightweight .40 is a handful, especially if your customer isn’t a seasoned shooter. Still, the .40 S&W is an effective option for personal defense, and it’s a good choice for protection against bears, especially in areas where grizzlies are absent.

These seven handgun cartridges are heavyweight contenders. They all deliver maximum performance, but some are definitely not for customers who are recoil sensitive.
The .44 Remington Magnum is a potent hunting and bear-defense round, but it isn’t for the faint of heart.

 The 10mm has become one of the most popular firearms for defense against grizzly bears, mainly because it provides plenty of stopping power in a streamlined semi-auto design that’s lighter and handier than any big-bore revolver.


Benefits: Power to stop two- and four-legged predators without punishing recoil; suitable for hunting; more power and capacity than .45 ACP.

In the 1980s when law-enforcement agencies (specifically the FBI) were looking for a replacement for their 9mm service weapons the newly minted 10mm Auto was the heir apparent. There’s no doubt that the 10mm offered plenty of stopping power, but it turned out to be too much of a good thing. Not all recruits could handle the 10mm’s setback, and to worsen matters there were production issues with early 10mm pistols. Smith & Wesson and Federal decided to shorten the 10mm’s case and reduce the recoil and muzzle energy. In doing so, the .40 Smith & Wesson was created, which effectively stole the 10mm’s spotlight.

The rise of the .40 S&W almost meant the death of the 10mm, but this cartridge was too good to go away. During the decades following its release the 10mm grew from a niche cartridge to widespread popularity. It could propel the same 180- and 200-grain bullets as the smaller .40, but it did so faster and produced muzzle energies of around 600 foot-pounds. Today SIG, Springfield Armory, Kimber, Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and several other manufacturers offer 10mm semi-auto pistols, and there are lots of ammunition options.

It’s definitely not a gun for beginners, but most shooters will, with a bit of practice, learn to manage this round. It’s powerful enough for hunting big game like deer at moderate ranges, and it produces less recoil than the popular .44 Remington Magnum. Over time, the 10mm has become one of the most popular firearms for defense against grizzly bears, mainly because it provides plenty of stopping power in a streamlined semi-auto design that’s lighter and handier than any big-bore revolver.

.45 ACP

Benefits: Plenty of stopping power; lots of firearm and ammunition options.

The .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) is another creation of John Browning. After it was released in 1904, the .45 ACP saw service in several conflicts including World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and others. It was (and is) popular with law-enforcement professionals, and there have undoubtedly been more custom 1911 pistols chambered in .45 ACP than any other round.

The military chose to use 230-grain .452-inch .45 ACP ammunition that left the muzzle at a velocity of about 830 feet per second, a combination that produces about 350 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. Current .45 ACP loads stick fairly closely to that formula because, well, it works. You can expect to find .45 ACP ammunition ranging from 185 to 230 grains on average, and you can expect to pay slightly more per round than you would for 9mm ammunition and about the same you’d pay for .40 S&W. Right now, most target ammunition costs between 50 and 75 cents per round.

but this is where the recoil-sensitive customer gets off the bus. The .44 Remington Magnum is a potent hunting and bear-defense round, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s the brainchild of Elmer Keith, the enigmatic gun writer of the mid-twentieth century who liked big-bore rifles and handguns and didn’t think the .38 Special or .45 Colt had enough hutzpah for the serious shooter. Keith was one of the driving forces behind the .357 Magnum in the 1930s, and he gave the .44 Special a similar treatment in 1955 by extending the case, increasing pressure, and using the same bullet (actually .429 inch, though “429 Magnum” doesn’t sound very sexy). Smith & Wesson and Ruger jumped on board to provide revolvers, Remington standardized the ammunition, and the .44 Remington Magnum was born. A few years later the Clint Eastwood film Dirty Harry arrived in theaters, and the .44 Magnum became a pop culture sensation.

The .44 Magnum can push a 240-grain bullet at velocities over 1,500 feet per second. That equates to over a half-ton of muzzle energy, plenty for big-game hunting and bear defense. But here’s the catch: revolvers chambered in .44 Magnum also fire .44 Special, and the .44 Special is a pussycat compared to the Magnum version.


Benefits: More potent hunting/predator stopping round than the 44 Magnum; also fires .45 Colt ammunition.

The .45 ACP is not a beginner’s gun, but when shooting a full-sized all-steel pistol weighing around 40 ounces this broad-shouldered but relatively low-pressure and velocity round is manageable and is certainly easier to shoot than a 10mm of equal weight. With its larger diameter bullets, the .45 ACP can’t match the magazine capacity of the 9mm Luger, the .40 S&W, or the 10mm, but it packs quite a punch.


Benefits: Dual purpose hunting/bear defense cartridge; most popular big-bore revolver (so more options); can also fire .44 Special loads; Dirty Harry panache.

Heretofore, we’ve discussed cartridges that, with a bit of training and gun of appropriate weight, the average shooter can likely master,

In 1958, Utah gunsmith Dick Casull decided to one-up Keith’s .44 Magnum by lengthening and slightly modifying the .45 Colt to create his own round, the .454 Casull. In the 1980s, Wyoming-based revolver manufacturer Freedom Arms began offering single-action revolvers chambered in .454 Casull, and they earned a cult following. By 1997 the cartridge was SAAMI (Sporting and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) standardized and Ruger began offering it in the Super Redhawk double-action revolver.

There are a handful of factory .454 Casull hunting loads, most of which are loaded with 240- to 300-grain bullets between 1,500 and 1,900 feet per second. That equates to a tonand-a-half of muzzle energy and a flat-shooting round that, in experienced hands, is suitable for large game like elk and moose to moderate ranges. But, as you might imagine, recoil and muzzle blast are pretty fearsome, and ammunition isn’t cheap, either. You can expect to pay between $2 and $3 each time you pull the trigger on your .454. The good news, however, is that .454 revolvers will shoot .45 Colt ammo for light recoil, low-cost practice.

I’ve shot the .454 Casull, and it’s indeed a handful. I’ve never been inclined to hunt large

 Another creation of John Browning, the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) can pack quite a punch.

game like elk or moose with a revolver, but the .454 Casull is where I would start. It’s also a superb bear-numbing round, offering plenty of punch to stop even the largest ursine at pointblank range.


Benefits: Unrivaled stopping power.

If you’re seeking a handgun that hits like a howitzer, then the 500 S&W Magnum is the answer. Firing half-inch-wide bullets ranging from 300 to 500 grains at velocities between 1,400 and 2,000 feet per second, the 500 (which happens to be the largest handgun-specific caliber in the world) produces well over a ton of muzzle energy. This cartridge first appeared in 2003 in S&W’s monster X-Frame revolver, which, when chambered in 500 and equipped with an 8 3⁄ 8-inch barrel, weighs nearly four-anda-half pounds. All Smith & Wesson 500 revolvers come with a muzzle brake, but recoil and muzzle rise are still quite dramatic. This is not a revolver for anyone but the most seasoned handgun shooter.

Despite its prodigious power, the 500 isn’t awful to shoot if you’ve learned to handle a hard-recoiling handgun. It’s suitable for hunting even the largest game like bison, elk, moose, and bear, and because it hits with the same authority as a medium-bore centerfire rifle the 500 puts a dramatic end to even the most dedicated grizzly bear charges. Revolvers chambered in 500 S&W Magnum will also shoot 500 S&W special ammunition, which is lighter than magnum loads and is available from Cor-Bon, but the 500 is still a specialized gun for experienced shooters who need lots of power and know how to handle it. Neither 500 revolvers nor 500 ammunition is cheap, but if you really want to


At the other end of the recoil and performance spectrum you’ll find the .22 rimfire. The .22 Long Rifle (also known as .22 LR) is the most common ammunition in use today. The round is available in a variety of bullet types for hunting and competitive shooting as well as high-volume plinking and personal defense. It’s also inexpensive, which adds to its popularity. Here’s how to help a customer find just what they need.

When most customers ask about .22 rimfire ammo, they are, in nearly every case, asking about .22 Long Rifle ammo, so that will be our focus here. The wide variety of .22 ammo, with its different bullet weights and different bullet types, can cause some customer confusion. Bullet weights range from 20 to 60 grains, though the most common weight is between 36 and 42 grains. Bullet types are solid round nose, solid flat nose, and hollow point (versions of which are both round and flat nosed). A 40-grain bullet could be considered a standard weight for solid-point bullets. Hollow points typically weigh a bit less than 40 grains.

Like soda pop, .22 ammo comes in a wide variety of grades, ranging from cheap, off-brand stuff to high-end match-grade packages. Less-expensive .22 ammo can be bought in bulk, literally buckets of it. However, this cheaper product runs dirty, meaning the customer will have to clean their firearm more often in order to prevent misfires and jams. Cheap ammo is best reserved for high-volume plinking and training. Inexpensive .22 ammo is also good to acclimate shooters to the feel of the firearm; as they gain experience they can move up the .22 rimfire food chain with more specialized cartridges for competition, self-defense, and hunting.

There are also variations of the .22 platform. The .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) is a bulked-up .22. If the customer is interested in the .22 WMR, let them know they need a firearm specifically chambered for it; the ammo will not run in a gun designed for .22LR. Match-grade .22 ammo is used in competition and hunting when consistent performance is required. With .22 rimfire target ammunition, there are numerous choices for small-bore handgun and rifle shooters—in fact, almost too many. From weekend bullseye shooters to Olympic athletes, .22 Long Rifle target match-grade ammo from manufacturers such as Federal, CCI, and Eley sets the standard in consistency and performance. Some competition .22 ammo uses a flat-nose projectile designed to cut through the air as it pulls the center of pressure forward to aerodynamically stabilize the projectile, thus increasing downrange accuracy.

Rimfire hunting cartridges use either a hollow point or segmented bullet that zips along at muzzle velocities in the range of 1,330 fps to 1,260 fps. Most .22 hunting ammo cartridges use a bullet weight in the range of 32 to 38 grains. Some lightweight bullets have a velocity close to 1,600 fps. CCI’s Stinger is a good example. These hunting rounds need more velocity because they often need to travel longer distances across an open field to dispatch a woodchuck or prairie dog.

A recent development is .22 ammo specially created for self-defense. Federal Premium’s Punch Personal Defense rimfire loads, for example, use a nickel-plated lead-core bullet propelled at extreme velocities and engineered to minimize expansion to hit critical penetration depths through short-barrel handguns.

In my opinion, the .22 LR is not an optimal load for self-defense, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in self-defense situations. The main advantage of this self-defense ammo is the lack of recoil. Recoil-sensitive customers interested in pursuing this path should look for a round that has a muzzle velocity over 1,000 fps out of a short-barrel pistol. Punch achieves 1,070 fps through 2-inch-barrel handguns.

Specialized .22 ammo is used for specific situations. For example, .22 shot cartridges, such as those available from CCI, are loaded with No. 12 shot. In essence, this round acts like a mini shotgun, creating a pattern the size of a paper plate at eight feet. And that makes it a perfect candidate for killing venomous snakes and vermin.

Subsonic .22 Long Rifle ammo offers reduced noise levels when shooting with a suppressor. Most .22 Long Rifle subsonic ammo uses a 40- to 45-grain round-nose bullet with a muzzle velocity from 970 to 1,000 fps.

 Rounds fired from the 500 Smith & Wesson Magnum hit like a howitzer. This ammo is for experienced shooters only.

Tell the customer that rimfire firearms, just like their centerfire bigger brothers, will prefer one brand of ammo over another. The nice thing about .22 LR ammo is it doesn’t cost a lot to determine the best load for the gun. Have them purchase different loads from different manufacturers and tell them to test the accuracy of each. They’ll also want to assess function in a semi-auto, especially any failure to feed or eject issues. — Robert



New shooters need to know how to protect their eyes and ears at the range.

New gun owners have a great deal to learn before their first trip to the shooting range. Understanding the basic operation of the firearm is critically important, and matching ammunition to firearm can be a real challenge for someone who doesn’t know the difference between 9mm Luger and 9mm Luger +P ammunition or understand a .357 Magnum revolver can fire .38 Special ammunition, but a .38 Special can’t fire .357 Magnum ammo. Yet, one of the basic tenets of safe firearms handling—wearing hearing and eye protection—should be simple and straightforward even to those who’ve never owned a firearm.

But there’s a catch: not all hearing and eye protection is created equal. The earplugs used to deaden the sound of hard-partying neighbors in a hotel most likely won’t provide adequate protection against the sound of gunshots, and wraparound sunglasses suitable for a day at the beach won’t be durable enough to stop an errant pellet at the shotgun range.

So, how do new shooters know what to look for? In most cases, they don’t. Here is where you and staff can help by using the simple guide below to be certain that a customer’s gear is up to the task.


The American National Standards Institute is a nonprofit organization founded in 1918 to “administer and coordinate the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system.” ANSI doesn’t develop the standards for eyewear protection, but the ANSI rating of eyewear can help determine whether glasses are suitable for shooting.

ANSI testing involves, among other things, highmass impact and high-velocity impact testing. Safety glasses that are ANSI Z87.1 rated have been proven to withstand the impact of a one-inch steel ball dropped onto the lenses from 50 inches. ANSI Z87+ ratings mean that the glasses have passed the standard impact test plus additional tests that require the lenses to withstand high-velocity impact from smaller projectiles as well as other more rigorous tests.

For most shooting glasses, Z87.1 or Z87+ (sometimes written Z87.1+) is standard. However, there

are also glasses that are designed to meet even more stringent military standards. Known as MIL-PRF 32432 (or ballistic fragmentation test), these glasses are subjected to impacts from a .15-inch projectile fired into the lenses at a speed of 640 feet per second;

only if the lenses can withstand this impact are they MILSPEC certified. Oddly enough, even though MILSPEC standards require lenses to withstand impacts that are roughly seven times higher than the standards for ANSI Z87.1, there are some glasses that are MILSPEC rated, but don’t meet ANSI Z87.1 standards. Gatorz Eyewear Delta lenses are one example: Gatorz Delta lenses exceed MILSPEC ballistic fragmentation standards, but because of their partially open lens design (i.e., the lenses are not fully enclosed by the frame) they don’t meet ANSI standards.

It’s important to be certain that the shooting glasses a customer selects meet ANSI and/or MILSPEC standards. Shooting glasses from most major eyewear brands like Leupold, Gatorz, Venture Gear, and Wiley-X will list their rating so there should be no problem identifying suitable products. These are all better options than standard non-rated sunglasses that may fail to protect the eyes in the event of an accident.


Decibels are the unit of measure for sounds, with zero dB considered absolute silence while a 1 dB is barely audible. The term decibel actually refers to a tenth of a Bel, the unit of acoustic measure named after Alexander Graham Bell. Decibels are used to measure sound in place of bels because, in most cases, a sound change of one decibel is the smallest change in volume that the human ear can detect. An increase of just three decibels doubles sound

 Standard non-rated sunglasses can't protect the eyes in the event of an accident. Steer your customer to properly rated glasses specially designed for the shooting sports. Wiley-X shooting glasses are tested in house to make sure they meet the standards for eye protection.

energy, but to the human ear sound “doubles” roughly every ten decibels based on perception. Because decibel levels increase on a logarithmic scale, a 60 dB sound (average human speech) is not 60 times louder than a 1 dB sound, but rather 106 (1,000,000) times louder.

The human sense of hearing is remarkably complex. We hear sounds because sound waves travel through the ear canal and vibrate bones that amplify the noise and send it to our cochlea (inner ear).

Fragile hairs inside the cochlea vibrate based on the sound frequency, but these hairs are susceptible to damage. Loud noises can cause hearing loss, and the rate and severity of that loss is a combination of the sound’s intensity in decibels and exposure time.

Noises of 85 dB (equivalent to a noisy restaurant) or more can cause hearing damage after long hours of exposure. Higher dB sounds like loud rock concerts or fireworks (both of which can be in the 130 to 140 dB range) are instantly painful and damaging to the hearing.

Centerfire rifles, handguns, and shotguns are all capable of producing sounds in the 150 dB range, which is instantly painful and damaging. Even rimfire guns like the .22 Long Rifle produce dB levels of 140 or more. For this reason, it’s important to always wear hearing protection while shooting a firearm. But which form of hearing protection should a customer wear?

Soft foam earplugs are a common choice, and they do reduce dB and deaden sound. Foam earplugs are cheap, easy to use, and widely available, but they only reduce the sound by about 15 to 30 decibels if worn properly. Protective muffs typically drop sound levels by about the same 15 to 30 dB. In many cases that’s enough reduction to reduce pain levels, but in the case of centerfire rifles (especially those with muzzle brakes) it’s not always enough to protect against hearing loss, so sometimes you’ll need to double up with muffs and earplugs if the sound is exceptionally loud. On rare occasions even that won’t drop noise to comfortable levels. I recall shooting a magnum centerfire rifle with a brake underneath a metal overhang and found the noise to be unbearable, even when doubling up earplugs and muffs.

In most instances, such as shooting shotguns at the clay range or target shooting with a centerfire pistol, a high-quality pair of plugs or muffs are sufficient to bring gunshots down to hearing safe levels. There is a new trend toward electronic hearing protection (either in the form of muffs or earplugs) to amplify safe sounds but block dangerous ones so you won’t have to scream to communicate with other shooters but dangerously loud gunshot soundwaves are still blocked. One company—Tetra Hearing—has developed noise-canceling earplugs that amplifies certain frequencies of sounds that hunters want to hear, like turkey gobbles. This is a very clever add-on.

The downside to electronic hearing protection, of course, is higher cost.

Regardless of which design is chosen, it’s important to have effective hearing protection at the range. Hearing loss is a slow, progressive condition that, once recognized, cannot be reversed, so it must be avoided.

Remind the customer that humans only have one set of eyes and ears. And medical science hasn’t advanced far enough to create viable replacement parts. An investment in quality eye and ear protection not only enhances the shooting experience, but helps ensure they will stay safe on the range and in the field.


How do I keep my shooting glasses from fogging up?

There are two options to prevent your lenses from fogging. First, you can increase airflow around the lenses, which reduces the temperature and allows moisture generated by the body to escape. Second,

you can use anti-fog wipes or sprays, which are simple to apply.

What color lenses should I get on my shooting glasses?

Traditionally, shooters chose glasses with yellow or orange lenses because they block blue light and make the orange color of targets stand out in contrast (amber lenses do the same thing). Purple or blue lenses improve contrast in areas with lots of green foliage. Gray is a great color choice for lenses because it reduces light fatigue and maintains a consistent color balance.

Are custom hearing protection products worth the money?

You can certainly get by with standard muffs and earplugs, but custom-molded ear-hearing protection (which is designed to fit your specific ear canal) does have advantages that include increased comfort and greater sound reduction. Custom earplugs are more expensive, though.

 Modern technology has allowed the development of sophisticated ear muffs that let shooters easily hear range commands, but instantly shut off harmful loud noises.


Accessories always pay off. Most won’t take up a lot of shelf space, but pound for pound, they deliver the goods at your register. Here’s a look at what’s new this year.


The NV007S is a next generation, clip-on night-vision scope that easily attaches to your existing optical scope, eliminating the need to have multiple firearms configured for daytime/ nighttime use. Simply clip on the night vision scope and you are ready to see the invisible. The NV007S features a large eye cup that is designed to provide comfortable use while reducing peripheral light entering your eye. It is equipped with a 5W 850nm IR infrared illuminator best suited for wide-range observation. It utilizes advanced next-generation sensors that amplify the available light so that you can see targets in dark environments that otherwise would not be visible, up to 350 meters. At only 9.3 ounces, it easily secures to your favorite riflescope with the quick-disconnect feature. It is recoil tested to withstand 6,000 joules of force, equivalent to that of a .308 rifle. Powered by a single 18650 removable/rechargeable battery that provides up to 6 hours of use, it can operate in temperatures between -20° and 140° F. Conveniently carry a couple of extra rechargeable batteries to avoid having to leave the field due to a dead battery. Adjustable brightness and exposure settings provide control in very low light situations. It features a 4x-14x optical zoom providing nighttime magnification. Resolution of the eyepiece is achieved through a 1024x768 OLED screen (uses less battery power than other devices) and is backed up by 2592x1944 photo resolution for taking clear photographs. The Ingress Protection (IP) factor rates at an industry leading IP67, providing 100-percent security against dust and submersion in up to 3 feet of water. Users can take 30fps 1920x1080P AVI nighttime video footage and save it to an onboard 128GB SD card (not included). Photographs and video can be viewed via Wi-Fi connectivity on your mobile device. SRP: $589. (



Stealth Operator has produced the best-selling multi-fit gun holster for 10 years. Now, in partnership Pitbull Tactical, dealers can carry the Pitbull Tactical Universal Mag Carrier (UMC), too. (Both Stealth Operator and Pitbull tactical are divisions of TacMed.) The UMC fits any magazine from a single-stack 9mm to a double-stack .45 while maintaining a low profile. It’s the ultimate complement to the Stealth Operator holster.

Both holsters offer positive retention with absolutely no adjustments. Stealth Operator, with its patented Frame-Lock Technology, fits more than 150 different models with positive retention. The Stealth Operator holds your gun in place until you need it. The Pitbull UMC uses a reinforced silicone flex band that automatically expands to fit both single- and double-stack magazines. The UMC also will work with the rounds facing either forward or backward, so you can change your carry orientation without adjustment.

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High functionality and safety are priceless when lives are on the line. That’s why the design team at Gear Keeper took special care when it designed the company’s Combo Mount Sidearm Tether. Featuring the combo MOLLE Mount System, users may utilize either of two included mounting options: a 360-degree Rotating MOLLE Mount or a Velcro Strap MOLLE Mount in order to have the most suitable mounting configuration for their kit.

The 360-degree Rotating MOLLE Mount is slim and compact, providing a streamlined profile that won’t snag while working to minimize firearm movement. Its ability to rotate 360 degrees means you can pull, with minimal resistance, your sidearm in any direction off your body for use. The Velcro Strap MOLLE Mount is ideal for attaching your firearm to either your MOLLE System or your gun belt. It allows the gun to pivot up and down with minimal resistance.

The tether itself features Gear Keeper’s RT4 Low Force Model, which allows a sidearm to hit the ground, but remain tethered and snag-free. This 36-inch extension system puts very little tension (a mere 3 ounces of retraction force) on the sidearm and is preferred by shooters who want to carry their sidearms for long periods of time. The line also attaches to a Q/C Connector System that provides for quick and easy connection/disconnection of the firearm.



Hornady engineered the Lock-N-Load Iron Press to be the heaviest and most rigid press in its class. This single-stage unit, powered with a spring-assisted 11⁄8-inch solid-steel ram, is perfect for anyone demanding precision and repeatability from their reloading press.

The 28-pound workhorse press is manufactured to be a smooth-operating system that can deliver consistent precision year after year. The Iron Press features Hornady’s patented Lock-N-Load Bushing System, which ensures dies and bushings are securely locked in place with a simple twist that engages six locking lugs.

Swapping out is a straight-forward process when reloaders need to change to another cartridge size. Simply twist the die counterclockwise, remove it, and insert your next preset Lock-N-Load die and bushing. Dies locked in their Lock-N-Load bushings remain as they are set, in perfect alignment and ready for their turn in the press.

The unit also features a patented shell-holder platform that lets the operator deprime a case, remove the case to chamfer or deburr, and then quickly replace and prime. The Iron Press’s accessory deck enables quick access to trays for bullets or cases and storage for chamfer and deburr tools, case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners, and more.

The gravity-fed Automatic Priming System, sold separately or as part of the kit, blurs the lines between progressive and single-stage reloading by allowing more processes to happen simultaneously. The machine upgrade includes the automatic priming system, large and small primer tubes, large and small primer pick-up tubes, primer housing tubes, primer catch trays, and a small parts bag.





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.)

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. (


Premier Body Armor is now delivering custom-fit ballistic inserts compatible with Gamut, Ready Pack, and Navigator Slings offered by Vertx, creating an innovative solution for an off-body carry system. The Gamut, Ready Pack, and Navigator Sling all improve upon their Gen 2 predecessors, offering a new Rapid Access Pull tab compatible with every zipper for a fully customizable EDC setup. With a gatekeeper G-hook, you can avoid unwanted gear exposure in the CCW compartment. Premier’s custom-fit ballistic inserts provide comfortable and incognito protection while you’re on the go.

The new ballistic panels continue to uphold the high standards of Premier’s body armor, meeting the NIJ Level IIIA standard while being the thinnest and lightest ballistic protection on the market. Available in bundles or stand-alone inserts, it’s easier than ever to update your bag and armor. (


The optics-compatible V-Slide features a custom-molded polymer front that fits many popular firearm models. The back is constructed with premium water buffalo leather. For a confident and customizable draw, the V-Slide has an adjustable retention screw. Two belt loops keep the V-Slide securely in place when in use, and the small design allows it to fit in between pant belt loops for easy positioning.

The V-Slide leather will be offered in three colors, Distressed Brown, Black, and the new Versacarry color Gun Metal Gray with khaki thread. SRP: $39.99-$44.99. (




Gearing up for a day at the range can be a daunting task. Check off two safety essentials in one purchase with Pyramex’s Venture Gear VG Combo Kit. The all-in-one affordable pack includes both ANSI-rated safety eyewear and ANSI-rated hearing protection, making it easy to toss the kit in your range bag and effectively protect your most valuable senses while shooting.

The wrap-around clear-lens safety glasses meet ANSI 787.1+ safety standards for quality eye protection. The lenses are lightweight and constructed from scratch-resistant polycarbonate. Soft non-slip rubber temple tips ensure an all-day comfortable wear. The Pyramex earmuffs meet ANSI S3.19 safety standards. They also have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 24dB. The earmuffs feature a low-profile design with height-adjustment capabilities for a customized fit. SRP: $27.99.



FN America’s first commercial pistol suppressor, the FN Rush 9Ti, is a reliable, durable, and versatile 9mm pistol suppressor made from a lightweight titanium hybrid. The unique booster assembly, blast baffle, and baffle-stack design provide a tight gas-piston seal and even gas distribution that combine to deliver reduced blowback, reduced recoil, and effective sound suppression. It also delivers reliable feed and extraction with all types of factory ammunition, from light training rounds to subsonic loads, and the advanced booster maintains slide timing, preventing cycle failures. In addition, the suppressor breaks down easily for maintenance.



.380 vs 9mm AMMO DEBATE:

One is the easiest to carry concealed; the other packs more punch.


The current trend with concealed-carry handguns is to go small. The reasons should be obvious; the smaller a handgun is, the easier it is to conceal, and, therefore, the more comfortable it is to carry. The two most popular cartridges for small, selfdefense handguns are the 9mm Luger and the .380 Auto. If you’re trying to help your customer decide which one might be the best option for them, there are some things about both cartridges that you both should know.


The 9mm Luger has been with us for 120 years. It began life as a cartridge for the German military, and it wasn’t until after World War II that it began to find real popularity in the United States. In 1967, the Illinois State Police adopted the Smith & Wesson Model 39—chambered for the 9mm Luger—as their issue sidearm, and other agencies soon followed suit. The cartridge remained very popular with law enforcement until the 1990s when the .40 S&W entered the scene. The .40 was the premier law-enforcement cartridge up until just a few years ago when the FBI switched back to the 9mm Luger. American law enforcement remains greatly influenced by the FBI, and now the 9mm Luger is once again commonly found in the holsters of policemen.

.380 AUTO

Though often called the .380 ACP, the correct name for this cartridge is the .380 Automatic or .380 Auto. It was designed in 1908 by firearms genius John Browning, who also designed the .45 Auto several years prior. The bullet diameter of the .380 Auto is 0.356 inch, and the bullet diameter of the .45 Auto is 0.452 inch. Interestingly, it appears that with the .380 Auto, Browning simply reduced the case dimensions of the .45 Auto cartridge by the same degree as the difference in bullet diameter; the .380 Auto is almost exactly 22 percent smaller than the .45 Auto in every way. Early on, the .380 Auto was also known internationally as the 9mm Kurz (9mm Short) and was quite popular in Europe, especially in the Walther PPK. But the cartridge did not really find its legs in America until the interest in concealed carry spiked toward the end of the last century. Today the cartridge is quite popular in sub-compact semi-automatic handguns.


The 9mm Luger cartridge is minutely larger in diameter than the .380 Auto cartridge, but

the difference is only 0.017 inch and is not enough to cause a capacity difference in singleor double-stack magazines with similar-sized handguns. However, the 9mm Luger cartridge is about 2 ⁄10 inch longer. This can translate to a slightly deeper grip in 9mm Luger pistols. When pistols of the same size are compared, magazine capacities are generally identical. However, because the .380 Auto operates at a lower pressure and is slightly shorter, .380 Auto pistols can be smaller and lighter than 9mm Luger pistols of the same basic size. The Glock 42 is slightly lighter than the Glock 43, and


some .380 Auto pistols can even weigh less than 10 ounces.


Terminal performance can be looked at in a variety of ways. Some people like to compare kinetic energy while others are more interested in penetration combined with how much the bullet will upset. The best you can expect in kinetic energy from the .380 Auto is about 250 foot-pounds at the muzzle. With its best loads, the 9mm Luger can exceed 400 foot-pounds. The 9mm Luger’s extra power gives it an advantage in the penetration and

The .45 Automatic pistol cartridge has been with us for more than a century. It has a mythical reputation for stopping bad guys and helped win two World Wars. Many consider it the best cartridge for a self-defense pistol. They believe its larger diameter and heavier bullet gives it an edge. It can, but those are not the only important considerations when it comes to arming yourself for personal protection. For most who want to carry a pistol for self-defense, the .45 Auto is not the best choice.

When selecting a self-defense pistol, the totality of the circumstance must be considered. In addition to terminal performance, things like recoil, capacity, and handgun size, matter, too. Individuals must weigh each consideration so they’ll end up with a handgun that will be effective at stopping a threat and be one they can wield nimbly and with confidence.

From a terminal performance standpoint, the best .45 Auto loads can exhibit around a 15 to 20 percent advantage over the 9mm Luger. But these loads are generally of the +P variety, meaning, in comparable handguns they’ll deliver nearly twice the recoil. In compact pistols so popular for concealed carry this can create an unpleasant shooting experience. More importantly, even with very experienced shooters, it can increase the time between accurate shots by as much as 30 percent.

The compromise answer to this performance and shootability question was offered 30 years ago. It was called the .40 S&W. Coast to coast, law enforcement agencies flocked to the .40 because it split the difference in terminal performance, recoil, and capacity between the 9mm and the .45. However, as law enforcement agencies diversified to better represent the population, they found that just as with the .45, officers did not shoot the .40 S&W as well as the 9mm. For these reasons, the FBI—which was instrumental in the adoption of the .40 S&W—and almost every other major law enforcement agency, has switched back to the 9mm.

During the past 30 years we’ve learned that when it comes to stopping a fight, shot placement matters most. The .45 Auto load offers a substantial terminal performance advantage, but is just too difficult for the average civilian—and police officer—to shoot fast and accurately. In the end, only hits—multiple good hits— count because misses don’t matter.


The .380 Auto (left) is sometimes called the 9mm Short. Not only does this reflect the actual size of the cartridges when compared to the 9mm Luger (right), but also indicates the .380 Auto is also short on power.

bullet upset category as well. The best-performing .380 Auto loads will penetrate to between 8 and 12 inches and bullet diameter will increase by about 1.5 times. With the 9mm Luger, bullet upset will be similar or slightly more, but penetration generally ranges from 14 to 18 inches. The 9mm always hits harder and penetrates deeper.


The best way to compare the recoil between these two cartridges is to compare similar guns, like the Glock 42 and 43. Fully loaded, the G42 .380 Automatic pistol weighs 15.87 ounces; the G43 9mm Luger pistol weighs 20.64 ounces. If both are being fired with standard self-defense

loads, the nominal recoil energy of the G42 will be around 3.63 foot-pounds and about 5.71 footpounds for the G43. From a recoil standpoint, that is a tremendous difference that will not only affect shooting comfort, but it can also impact the time required to accurately fire multiple shots on target.


You would really have to stretch your imagination to say that the .380 Auto is as effective at stopping bad guys as the 9mm Luger. There’s a reason the duty guns for most American lawenforcement officers are chambered for the 9mm as opposed to the .380. It is worth noting, however, that the .380 Auto is a popular chambering for back-up guns for cops. This is because .380 Auto pistols can be very compact and easier to carry in ankle or pocket holsters.

Although duty use seems to be the forte of the 9mm Luger, when it comes to ultra-deep concealment, the .380 Auto has the advantage. Miniature semi-automatic pistols chambered for the .380 Auto can weigh less than one pound fully loaded and are almost as easy to conceal as a cell phone. This gives the .380 Auto immense appeal for those who want to carry a concealed handgun as comfortably as possible.

The .380 Auto’s lack of recoil is also appealing to some. Novice shooters, recoil-sensitive shooters, and those with limited hand strength will find that with guns of a similar size they can shoot the .380 faster and more comfortably and accurately. Fortunately, with both cartridges there are a lot of excellent self-defense and practice loads available for shooters to choose from.

 The 9mm holds the edge over the .380 Auto in terminal performance.




Put the combined support of the firearms industry and the outreach power of the National Shooting Sports Foundation ® to work for you. It’s simple, easy, and — when studies show 92% of new shooters return for more — it’s a powerful way to deliver a steady stream of new customers to your range. Sign up at today.



The Archery Business Pavilion will be a NEW part of SHOT Show focused on outdoor, hunting, archery and crossbow companies brought together in a common space.

NSSF, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, has announced the creation of a new exhibit area for the archery industry at NSSF’s annual SHOT Show. This exciting new venture is a collaboration between NSSF and Grand View Outdoors, a leading provider of outdoor news and information. ( Archery Business and Bowhunting World magazines are part of the Grand View Outdoors family of brands.)

The SHOT Show attracts attendees from around the


Recognizing a reciprocal need for both firearm and archery retailers to broaden their businesses, the new archery area, branded the Archery Business Pavilion, will feature exhibits from leading manufacturers and suppliers in the archery industry, offering attendees the opportunity to see and experience the latest in archery technology and products. The show area will be designed to provide a comprehensive look at the industry, from traditional archery equipment to cutting-edge technology.

“We’re thrilled to open up this new segment of the outdoor industry to our attendees,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “Archery has always been a complementary retail addition for many of our

world each year, including buyers, media and other industry professionals. The show covers more than 816,000 net square feet of exhibit space, featuring over 2,500 companies showcasing the latest in firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, outdoor apparel and much more. Held annually in Las Vegas, it is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for professionals involved with the shooting sports and hunting industries.

members, and we believe that this new show area will provide the perfect platform for archery manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their products to thousands of buyers, media and industry professionals.”

Grand View Outdoors President

Derrick Nawrocki added, “This partnership with NSSF represents a significant opportunity for the archery industry to come together and demonstrate the innovation, technology and creativity that defines archery with the SHOT Show.


“Our Archery Business brand has been a rock-solid guide for archery manufacturers and dealers for nearly 50 years. Many consider Archery Business to be the ‘Voice of the Archery Industry,’ providing retailers with cutting-edge gear reviews, exclusive looks at top brands, and constantly provides key intel to help drive more business in their shops.”


 T he new Archery Business Pavilion will be located within the upcoming annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Jan. 23 through Jan. 26, 2024.

 A ny manufacturer of outdoor, hunting, archery and crossbow related products can exhibit in the new Archery Business Pavilion.

 You’ll find the Archery Business Pavilion in Caesars Forum in the Academy Ballroom.

 E xhibit space is limited, and it’s first come, first served.

 I n future years, those who exhibited in 2024 will have first choice for space.

 The Archery Business team, including editors and key staff, will be in the ballroom working on best ways to cover and promote companies that exhibit.

 Additional coverage about the Archery Business Pavilion will appear in SHOT Daily during the show and within the pages of other B2B brands such as Archery Business, Hunting Retailer and Shooting Sports Retailer as we get closer to SHOT Show.


To see the Archery Business Pavilion floor plan, visit www.SHOTShow. org/archeryfloorplan. As stated previously, this space will be located in Caesars Forum. If you’re looking at a map of the entire SHOT Show space, the Archery Business Pavilion is in the Caesars Forum area showing SHOT Show University, meeting rooms, etc.

For more information on booking a booth space, visit Note: Booth space will not be final until this application is completed and the initial deposit is made.


a category-focused opportunity, verses having to wade through a gauntlet of the firearm and tactical exhibitors. LimbSaver is extremely excited to support Archery Business and the NSSF’s expansion at the upcoming iconic SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.”

The LimbSaver firearm booth #10570 will be located on the main SHOT Show floor, which is adjacent to the sky bridge connecting to the Caesars Forum and Archery Business Pavilion, where you will find LimbSaver Archery in booth #80712.

The True-Track Stabilizer is the latest model launched by Sims Vibration Laboratory (2023); Lotton says that based on popularity, the company will be expanding the True-Track line in 2024, showcasing its products at its new digs in the Archery Business Pavilion.


“My coworkers can attest to how excited I’ve been regarding the addition of the new Archery Business Pavilion at the 2024 SHOT Show, and I am positive it will be a huge success,” said Sims Vibration Laboratory Vice President Alan Lotton. “I always wondered why the NSSF never found a way to embrace the archery category better, but now with Archery Business ’ full support, it’s become a reality, and I (LimbSaver)

can’t wait to be part of the groundbreaking event. After 18 consecutive years exhibiting at the annual SHOT Show, having a second location dedicated to archery will provide retail buyers with


“As ARES prepares to enter the ‘beta testing’ stage for our Pin Illuminating Rangefinder, we know the fun is just beginning,” said VP Operations Rachel Pennington. “We are eagerly anticipating the start of 2024 and the incredibly unique opportunity to be one of the first exhibitors registered for SHOT Show’s new Archery Business Pavilion. We hope this experience will showcase the years of innovation we have put into our product.”

The newly patented Pin Illuminating Rangefinder from ARES Archery is designed to seamlessly couple its rangefinder to any bowsight, allowing you to lock on to your target and instantly see the appropriate sight distance pin illuminated, while also displaying a digital reading of the distance in yards.

The rangefinder can be dismounted from the bowsight and used as a standalone handheld device, easily ranging 1,000 yards.

What makes the new ARES rangefinder stand out to consumers?

 Affordability: Coming in with at least a 30 percent lower retail cost than the competition.

 E asy to install and use: With only one button and a simple set up.

 L ong-lasting battery: An integrated specialized battery that will last through thousands of ranges.

 L ightweight and compact: Weighing mere ounces (yes, ounces!).

 Dependability: Perhaps best of all, ARES boasts a lifetime warranty.

Who is ARES? In February 2021, fate brought together two avid hunters in the New Mexico desert. Bonding through faith and a shared entrepreneurial spirit, the beginnings of ARES (Archery Revolution Equipment Solutions) Limited was founded. In the years that followed, ARES co-founders have moved the company forward finding how each other’s strengths fit together. The partnership has produced a shared desire to build innovative products that will allow hunters to do what they love and ultimately take animals more ethically and effectively.

“The opportunity to have our brand featured in front of thousands of buyers, media, and industry professionals — right next to archery brands that have withstood the test of time, is invaluable to us,” Pennington said. “We believe the days of networking, interacting with industry experts, and attending educational seminars will help propel ARES forward. Come visit us at the Archery Business Pavilion, booth


#80724, and



yourself what

makes ARES Archery stand out from the rest!”

To learn more about the ARES rangefinder, sign up for newsletter and updates on the website.


“We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity!” said GAS Bowstrings Customer Service and Sales Manager Destany Trent. “To be a part of the inauguration of archery into the biggest outdoor show is simply incredible. Bringing archery into SHOT Show will not only bring new relationships and opportunities for growth to our company, but will also open a new market for SHOT Show and its dealers. We hope that in being part of the expansion of SHOT Show we will bring a new era of growth to archery for years to come.”

By visiting the GAS Bowstrings booth # 80410 in the Archery Business Pavilion, you’ll see the bowstrings below, as well as many other offerings:

BCY materials, Ghost XV provides the ultimate balance of speed and stability while providing unmatched reliability, durability and longevity in a bowstring.

Ghost XV Bowstrings are made with a low-wax BCY material that also has a light coating of color dye. This enables these strings to perform consistently and reduce creep and stretch. When combined with the company’s exclusive TTS (Total Tensioning System), the result is superior performance. As with all GAS Bowstrings, the Ghost XV Bowstrings are covered by a 1-year guarantee against peep rotation, serving separation and elongation.

 GAS Freakshow Bowstrings are the most consistent and stable bowstrings produced, made to Jesse “The Freakshow” Broadwater’s specifications to hold up to any condition or arrow count. Their premium, natural BCY 452x ultra-low wax material provides them with the most consistent performance out of any bowstring. Freakshow Bowstrings feature the company’s exclusive TTS (Total Tensioning System) eliminating peep rotation, serving separation, and elongation. In addition, they are built with their own exclusive FTS (Freakshow Thermal System) to add that extra bit of stability that you can’t get with any other string set. Coming in the natural, cream-colored string, with clear serving, and black Freakshow shrink tube, they will match just about any bow on the market. Black Powergrip center serving is standard on all Freakshow Bowstrings.

 High Octane strings and cables are made from high-quality BCY 452X material in your choice of more than 50 colors and are built using the company’s exclusive Total Tensioning System. End servings and speed nocks are also available in your choice of colors. BCY Powergrip center serving is standard on all High Octane Bowstrings.


“We’re excited about the new Archery Business Pavilion at the 2024 SHOT Show,” said Marketing Manager Kris Christensen. “We’ve never attend SHOT before, but the inclusion of an archery specific hall has us intrigued. The last few years has been hard on trade shows, yet SHOT seems to be thriving. We think it will give us a chance to reach new customers. It seems like more and more gun shops are bringing archery into the mix. We also think it’s great that a show so well established as SHOT, is giving us the opportunity to get involved.

configurations are the Double Pin and Triple Stack; both provide precise yardage details to all pins, regardless of where the dial is set.


 GAS Ghost XV Bowstrings are made to withstand whatever extreme elements and terrain you may encounter on your hunting trip or competition. Made from a premium blend of Vectran and Dyneema

“Spot-Hogg Archery Products offer a wide variety of sights and releases. They are all made in the USA by a family owned and operated business. Our main focus is to provide a superior product emphasizing accuracy without sacrificing durability. Spot-Hogg products are made to last a lifetime and have a lifetime warranty to back that up.”

Stop by the Spot-Hogg booth # 80620 in the Archery Business Pavilion to see the company’s most popular sight line, the Fast Eddie series . It’s available in the standard hard mount (FE), a 6-inch dovetail mount (also compatible with Mathews Bridge-Lock bows), and the new Fast Eddie PM, built specifically for bows with a picatinny rail for sight mounting.

Fast Eddie series sights are available with multiple different pin configurations, from a single pin all the way up to seven pins. Spot-Hogg’s two most popular

“FeraDyne Outdoors is excited to be part of the new Archery Business Pavilion at the 2024 SHOT Show,” said General Manager of Archery Chris James. “We feel it will give us a place for buyers to find archery and hunting products more easily in a sea of other categories. This should help retailers use their limited time much more efficiently and allow them to spend more time in person interacting and previewing our innovative lineup for 2024.

“We are excited about our new product offerings, and encourage everyone to take time out to stop by our booth # 80507 to learn about the new product offerings that will be crucial to their assortments for 2024.”

FeraDyne is parent company to many well-known outdoor brands. James said, “During SHOT Show 2024, we plan on displaying all of our archery and hunting brands to some extent with the exception of Apple, Lid Cam, Leg Cuff, Xpress. A few other brands are slated for new introductions there that we hope make the cut. The brands we will feature will likely be Rage, Muzzy, Tru-Fire, Nockturnal, all of our target brands, IQ Sights, Rocky Mountain Sights, Carbon Express, Rhino Blinds & Treestands, Covert Cameras, Capsule Game Feeders, Scent Crusher and Wicked Tree Gear.”



“Most archery customers and retailers are well aware of SKB, since we’ve been producing some of the industry’s toughest and most sought-after bow cases for more than 20 years,” said VP of Sports Sales Steve Kerpan. “But there is definitely a lot of crossover to the broader SHOT Show audience of outdoor enthusiasts, law enforcement, first responders and military personnel. We’re excited for this opportunity to showcase the sheer depth of the industries we serve, with everything from bow and gun cases, to specialty cases for tactical and military applications — if you’ve got something worth protecting, we likely make a case for it. And you’ll be able to see all of SKB’s best innovations at our SHOT Show booth # 80707 in the Archery Business Pavilion.”

On display during SHOT Show 2024 will be a wide variety of SKB offerings, including these two best-sellers:

 iSeries REV2 Plush Large Parallel Limb Bow Case: This case features an updated plush interior with upgraded tie-downs for the bow and gear, providing more open space to accommodate more bow models and setups while still allowing for a customized fit. Like all SKB iSeries cases, this one is waterproof, dustproof, and built to military specifications to protect your gear in the harshest

environments. It fits bows up to 41.25 inches long and 16 inches wide.

 Bow Traveler Case: Created due to popular demand, this case is the perfect all-in-one solution. It offers a padded, reinforced bottom compartment for a bow, and a separate zippered compartment above for clothing, shoes and other accessories. Despite being lightweight (only 13 pounds empty), it features padded, reinforced handles, heavy duty wheels, and built-in rail guards for maximum durability and easy transport. Case dimensions: 42 x 20 x 13 inches.


“You can expect us to announce some exciting new products from the Moultrie Mobile lineup during SHOT Show 2024,” said Moultrie Mobile General Manager Daniel Wilson. “We’re excited to be back at SHOT Show for 2024, and the new Archery Business Pavilion offers a great environment for us to showcase our hunting-focused products. Be sure to visit us at booth #80714.”

One cellular trail cam that has proven to be very popular during 2023 is the Moultrie Mobile EDGE Pro ($179.99) This camera takes the great things from the EDGE and builds on them for an even better cellular camera. It introduces the False Trigger Elimination (FTE) technology, which reduces environmental and non-target species from triggering the camera. Basically, it sends only the photos a hunter wants. Also, it takes 36-mp photos and 1080p video (with sound). It offers a half-second trigger speed, 100-foot detection range, 100-foot IR flash range, and up to 12 months of battery life. This model also has built-in memory, so no SD card is required. You can even set custom triggering zones,

or even take photos of just the species you’re after. It automatically connects to the strongest nationwide cell network.

Also new for 2023 from Moultrie Mobile: A Universal Solar Battery Pack ($99.99) will be introduced this summer to offer customers a durable and dependable power option for trail cameras and feeders that’s designed to deliver up to three times more power than existing solar solutions. It features a solar panel that is up to 60 percent larger than current options on the market, in addition to a built-in rechargeable battery capacity of 10,000mAh to provide backup power on overcast days and eliminate the need for AA batteries. Connectors will be included with the Universal Solar Battery Pack to enable compatibility with any brand of camera or feeder kit that accepts a 12v or 6v barrel jack style power input. It also includes a Flex Mount and tree strap ensuring ease of use at any location.

Additional Moultrie Mobile accessories designed for the Edge series cameras set to launch in 2023 include a Rechargeable Battery Pack ($79.99), a Flex Mount ($19.99), and a new Security Box ($34.99).


“The success of our customers and dealers is our top priority, that’s why we emphasize creating quality and reliable products to ensure our customers can succeed in their archery endeavors,” said Marketing Manager Alex Christianson. “We look forward to exhibiting in the Archery Business Pavilion at SHOT Show for the first time this upcoming year. Having attended SHOT

as spectators in the past, we know it’s a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry over a shared passion. Our mission at VPA has always been to create and supply durable, American-made broadheads to the market to make bowhunting more ethical — we are confident the SHOT Show will provide us an outlet to share that mission with others.”

As you’ll see when visiting Vantage Point Archery’s booth #80611 at SHOT Show, the company continues to lead the way in precision-machined one-piece broadheads by focusing its product line on quality and durability. With much popularity and high requests, VPA has expanded its Single Bevel series . New for 2023, VPA has added a 125-grain and 175-grain Single Bevel to its premium lineup (available in both Right and Left bevel). VPA Single Bevel broadheads have ideal blade thickness, extensive single bevels (35-degree blade angles), and edges that can achieve a razor-sharp cut. Machined from S7 tool steel and depicted in an OD green Duracote Finish, the ferrule supports the head all the way to the bone-splitting tip. No weld lines or brazing, chiseled points, and heat treatment up to 58 Rockwell give these broadheads superior strength. Straight-edged, single bevel edges promote deeper penetration and bloodletting by creating spiral wound channels. Premium VPA Single Bevels are available in 125 to 300 grains with a 1 1/8inch cutting diameter, Right and Left Bevel.

VPA also offers fixed-blade models in two-blade double bevel and three-blade styles, as well as field points, field point kits, small game thumpers, ILF risers, and more. Whether you’re interested in maximum FOC, traditional archery, compounds, crossbows, or just looking for a durable, 100% American-made broadhead – VPA has something for you.




Your Fight Is Our Fight

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.




UTDoug’s Shoot N Sports,

IDRed’s Trading Post, Twin


Located in suburban Salt Lake City, this firearms dealer built the first retailer shooting range in the state. In operation for more than 40 years, it keeps a wide inventory of home defense and traditional hunting guns.

Following a high-demand winter boltaction season, a wide mix of Remington 700s and Ruger Americans are continuing to make the register ring. “Our contingent of 1,000-yard-plus shooters is growing, making our summer sales really jump. Our bolt gun sales are almost year-round,” said counter salesman Matt Proviard.

Demand for Modern Sporting Rifles continues to inch up, with an even mix of high-end and low-price points. Daniel Defense and Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport IIs are holding the bulk of turns. Handgun sales are brisk; the top spot is split between Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZs, Springfield Hellcats, and SIG Sauer P365s. Glock 43Xs are also in the mix.

ILGat’s Guns, Dundee This northwest suburban Chicago retailer uses 25,000 square feet to display 7,500 firearms. MSRs are hot, with a mix of turns at the low and high end of the pricing spectrum. “If an MSR is priced below $699, it will sell. If it’s priced above $1,300, it will sell,” said general manager Randy Potter. Smith & Wesson Volunteers and models from Daniel Defense are experiencing the highest turns.

Handgun sales are strong. Glock 43Xs, Sig P365 Macros, S&W EZs, and the Staccato CS are attracting the lion’s share of attention.

At the shotgun counter, Benelli 828 over-and-unders are on back order. The Remington 870 Express Deer has sold particularly well this season. With the State of Illinois adding handgun calibers for deer season, this store reports a high demand for Henry single-shots in the straight-wall 350 Legend.

This range retailer keeps over one


Founded in 1936, Red’s is the oldest standing gun store in the state of Idaho. With nearly 1,000 firearms in stock, it carries a large line of reloading gear.

Handgun sales are changing for this shop, with an emphasis on the unusual. “We are turning a few subcompacts. However, it’s the more selective guns, such as Sig’s P320 Spectre Comp and gold-inlay 1911s, that seem to turn the quickest. If a customer has never seen it, they want it,” said buyer Larry Barksdale.

Although sales of bolt-action guns have slowed, inventory is the best it has been in years. Savage Varmints and Browning X-Bolts in .243 and .22-250 are in high demand. The over-and-under shotgun inventory is increasing steadily, and the store has the highest number of units from Browning, Beretta, and Stoeger it has seen in years. “We’re receiving more than two years of backordered inventory in the next 60 days,” said Barksdale.

AKWolfhawk Guns & Shipping, Tok

Located in remote eastern Alaska near the Canadian border, this small retailer specializes in handguns and hunting rifles. In addition, Wolfhawk arranges firearm shipments. Travelers entering Alaska from Canada can pick up their handguns at this store.

Handguns are selling well in the postpandemic climate. S&W M&P 2.0s and Ruger Alaskans in .44 Mag. and .454 Casull hold the top slots. Lever actions in .45-70 are also popular.

“We’re a mix of bear protection, tacticalstyle shotguns, and big-bore revolvers. Handguns chambered in 10mm have driven many of our sales this year,” said owner Bryan Kerly. “We’ve seen a huge swing of customers move away from .44 Mag. revolvers to high-capacity 10mm pistols.”

Other high-demand rifles include Winchester, Marlin, and Henry .45-70s in any format, new or used.

million rounds of ammo in stock. While inventory selection and price are improving for range ammo, Potter reported hunting cartridge pricing is still on the high side.

IN Indiana Firearms, Lebanon

This smaller independent, just north of the Indianapolis metro area, specializes in home defense. It has 200 guns in stock and 800 square feet of display.

2023 is the first selling season in a few years where demand matches inventory. Glock leads the handgun counter with 43Xs; Sig P365s are a close second. Smith EZs are also turning at a consistent pace. The post-pandemic period has made life simpler. “Our inventories are much improved. While sales remain above average, it’s great not spending all day on the phone ordering with distributors,” said manager Riley Smith.

Sales of MSRs have flattened. Models from Colt and Palmetto Arms experience turns of two per week. Shotguns have

slowed, but are in good inventory and are expected to do well this fall.

KS The Trading Post,

Eldorado Located 20 miles east of Wichita, this small independent gun shop is dedicated exclusively to firearms, with an emphasis on handguns and home defense. Compared with recent months, the warmth of summer is bringing improving turns on handgun sales. Ruger LC9s, Glock 43Xs, and Springfield Hellcats are selling well.

“We’ve been slow this season. Handguns and rimfires are the only segments selling,” said manager Larry Arnold.

Demand for MSRs is down to one or two a month. This retailer is holding a strong inventory of S&W M&P 15 Sport IIs and Ruger 556s. Bolt-action hunting guns are moving slowly, mainly Ruger Americans and the Savage Axis. Shotgun ammo is scarce for this retailer, especially .410.

by robert

PADunkelberger’s Sports Outfitter, Brodheadsville

With two locations sporting a total of 35,000 square feet of display space, this Pennsylvania retailer services a wide area from Scranton to Allentown selling everything from kayaks to guns. Summer is heating up with heavy traffic on Savage Axis .22s, along with higher than expected numbers of Ruger Americans. The most popular calibers have been .22 and .308. A mix of Springfield Saint Victors, M&P Sports, and Ruger 556s lead MSR sales with units crossing the counter between both stores.

Handgun sales continue to increase from late winter. “It’s nice to see a new normal. It’s busy, not crazy, and we can get just about anything we need,” said counter salesman Steven Chiger. Springfield Hellcats, Sig P365s, and M&P Shields are fast movers.

Rimfire ammo stocks are good. Mossberg 500s and Remington 870s sales are holding steady.

NYKinton Guns LLC, Farming-

ton Just southeast of Rochester on the edge of the Finger Lakes region, this small-town gun shop keeps 500 firearms in stock with a mix of used and new firearms. Handgun sales are strong, with steady turns on Glock 43Xs, 48s, and Sig P365s. Other movers include the Ruger LCP and LCP Max.

Centerfire rifle sales are holding steady with good numbers on Ruger Americans. Henrys and Remington 700s are on the move, too.

“Our bolt-gun sales have improved this year. And while the 6.5 Creedmoor has helped, we still sell a good number of traditional calibers like the .30-06. That said, rimfires are busiest in the summer,” said owner Tim Kinton.

While new Remington 870 Expresses are turning, Turkish price-point pumps are also in high demand. Kinton said sales of used shotguns keep improving every fall.

ME York Firearms, Limington

With more than 3,000 firearms in stock, this rural southeast independent specializes in lever-action long guns, revolvers, and defensive rifles. Bolt-action rifles are slow now. In the rimfire arena, the Ruger 10/22 dominates. The retailer also carries an extensive selection of lever-action rifles.

“One of the things we’re known for is our extensive inventory of lever guns, particularly from Henry and Winchester. They’ve always been popular, but this year Henry is significantly ahead. The .22 remains very popular, but the .357 is really making a run at our counter this year,” said owner Michael York.

Additional quick movers include Smith L-Frame .357 wheelguns and Glock 43Xs. Other high-demand pistols include Springfield 1911s in 9mm and .45. Shotguns are a mix of mostly Mossberg 500s and Shockwaves. MSRs are flat, with Ruger 556 in the high selling position.

TN Guns & Leather, Hender-

sonville Located on Highway 31 East just north of Nashville, this retailer and range keeps about 1,000 firearms in stock and sports a 15-lane indoor shooting range. Handguns rule at this store. Hefty numbers of Glock 43Xs, Sig P365s, and Springfield Hellcats occupy spots on the leader board. Glock 48s are also in the mix.

Sales of MSRs are steady, averaging one every two days. S&W M&P 15 Sport IIs and Ruger 556s lead the way. “It’s always a mix of price-point and high-end sales. We sell plenty of Sport IIs and almost as many from Daniel Defense. Of course, it’s super competitive at the low end,” said gun buyer Ben Williams.

The 870 Express rests in the top spot for shotguns. Ammo stocks are good for this retailer/range.

TX Nardis Gun Club, Ammo Ranch, San

Antonio Located on the east side of San Antonio, on the west

side of the I-410 loop, this large retailer-range stocks about 700 firearms. The company has two more locations on the other side of San Antonio.

Hellcats are the winner at this counter, with good numbers Glock 43Xs and Shield EZs trailing just behind. “Our sales across the board are excellent. We remain competitive with our pricing and advertise throughout the San Antonio area. Our rentals help drive sales and specific models. It really has an impact on a customer when they can try out a gun first,” said sales rep Ricky Mascorro.

MSR sales are steady. Models from Diamondback and Daniel Defense are making daily turns. Rimfire MSRs are in demand at this location. M&P Sports pull the majority of .22 sales. Mascorro added that range shooting of .22 rifles has become more popular this summer. He attributes it to more families shooting as a group. Easy ammo availability is another key factor. Ammo stocks are good to excellent, and prices are starting to come down.

KY Sherwood’s, Bowling Green

This family-business retailer in central Kentucky stocks over 3,500 firearms and has a 12-lane indoor shooting range. The shop is experiencing a strong summer, with substantial numbers turning at the handgun counter. Sig P365s hold the top spot, with Glock 43Xs coming in just behind.

“Sales are steady. It’s nice to see after the last two years. With all the new product coming out, we expect a great year,” said owner Dee Davis. “Our conceal-carry classes have never been busier. It’s a product of the many new shooters we acquired during the pandemic.”

MSRs are turning daily at this location, with an even mix of Ruger Precisions and M&P Sports. Two other guns attracting attention are the FN PS90s and Diamondback. Inventories of handguns may be the highest this store has seen in five years, and ball ammo availability is excellent at this location.

by peter b mathiesen JULY/AUGUST 2023 ❚ SHOT BUSINESS ❚ 55 ❚ SHOTBUSINESS.COM ❚




Burris is bridging the gap between the company's advanced rangefinding riflescopes and rangefinding archery sights with the new Signature LRF 2000 handheld rangefinder, which is capable of delivering blazing fast results out to 2,400 yards.

Built into the unit’s rugged armored rubber exterior is a sophisticated program and laser rangefinding system that allows the user to customize the operation and data feedback for spot-on ranging accuracy in any environmental setting. With its 2,400-yard/2,194-meter ranging capability, the Signature LRF 2000 is accurate to within 1 yard at under 1,000 yards and ±2 yards at ranges over 1,000 yards.

The Signature LRF 2000 presents three operation modes to best meet the user’s shooting environment and targeting needs. For example, the Auto mode displays the range of the target with the strongest return signal. The Sport mode does the same for the closest target in a group. Finally, the Hunt mode displays the farthest range of a group of targets—an especially welcome feature when ranging through branches or tall grass.

Because hunters may encounter game at any angle—especially when hunting in mountainous regions—the Signature LRF 2000 lets you choose a readout to suit your preferred shooting scenario. Five different display options cover line-ofsight (LOS) only, horizontal distance (HOR) only, LOS and HOR, LOS and angle (ANG) above and below horizontal, and HOR and ANG. With this data, shooters can be confident in the ranging and in their trajectory compensation. To maintain real-time ranging, the Signature 2000 LRF’s scan mode offers virtually instantaneous readings by simply holding down the power/ranging button.

In addition to the rubber armored exterior for optimal protection and exceptional grip, the Signature LRF 2000 boasts a sealed nitrogen-filled chassis for waterproof and fog proof performance. The adjustable eyepiece ensures crisp focus of the display for any shooter with its +/-6 diopter adjustment range. And with a 7X magnification, ranging those “way out there” targets has never been more precise. SRP: $360. (


Winchester is introducing the 400 Legend, a new straight-walled cartridge that boasts superior ballistics for both hunters and sport shooters. The 400 Legend ballistics make it a good choice for any hunter who wants a cartridge with moderate recoil and excellent terminal performance, particularly in hunting situations within 300 yards.

The straight-walled design of the 400 Legend qualifies it for use in several states that restrict bottle-necked cartridges for hunting. This heavyhitting cartridge is a good choice for deer, pig, black bear, and other big game with significant advantages in ballistics performance, recoil, and penetration.

The 400 Legend delivers energy similar to that of the 450 Bushmaster, but with 20 percent less recoil. It also offers 20 percent more energy than the .30-30 Winchester and 25 percent more energy than the 350 Legend, with greater penetration. Hunters used to the shoulder-pounding generated by 12-gauge slugs will find that the 400 Legend delivers 100 percent more energy, but with 55 percent less recoil.




Springfield Armory has released the 10-round SAINT Victor 9mm carbine. This low-cap pistol caliber carbine (PCC) provides those in locales requiring restricted capacities an opportunity to acquire one of the newest additions to the Victor line of AR-pattern firearms.

Featuring forged 7075 T6 aluminum dedicated 9mm upper and lower receivers, this new carbine employs a rugged direct blowback system of operation that ensures rock-solid reliability. The SAINT Victor 9mm Carbine also features a Melonite-coated 16-inch barrel. At the muzzle is the SA Forward Blast Diverter recessed under the carbine’s free-floated, full-length handguard that features ample M-Lok slots for accessories.

The carbine feeds from Colt-pattern 10-round magazines that interface with the carbine’s dedicated 9mm lower. Rounding out the package are spring-loaded flip-up sights, a six-position collapsible B5 Systems Bravo Stock featuring an ergonomic cheek weld and no-slip cushioned buttpad, B5 Systems Type 23 P-Grip, and a B5 Systems trigger guard. An ambidextrous safety ensures you can effectively run the carbine from either shoulder. SRP: $1,299.



Constructed of premium leather with an open-top design, the Quick Draw 4 in 1 offers easy access for quick drawing as well as simple, smooth reholstering. Double-stitched for added durability and field-tested for safe performance, the holster is designed to last a lifetime. Built for open or concealed carry, the versatile holster can be worn four different ways for custom comfort: inside the waistband, strong side, cross-draw, or small of the back. It’s optic-ready and covers the entire barrel for optimal protection of a carry gun yet is surprisingly lightweight. The multi-fit holster is engineered to accommodate a wide range of handguns while still providing a secure fit for reliable retention. Available in left- or right-handed configurations in black or dark brown, the Quick Draw 4 in 1 is backed by the Tagua Gunleather warranty. SRP: $52.99.


by slaton l . white




Made in Wetzlar, Germany, the Liemke Luchs (or Lynx as translated in English) line of high-definition thermal imaging optics for hunting can be clipped onto any daytime riflescope or used as a handheld monocular. Fast and quiet with a startup time of only five seconds for both models, and a standby mode for immediate activation, the Luchs-1 has a 35mm lens with heat signature detection range of up to 1,750 meters while the Luchs-2 has a 50mm lens with heat detection up to 2,500 meters.

Luchs thermals have a whisper-quiet calibration procedure with a rapid refresh rate of 50 Hz and are easy and intuitive to operate. Both models feature a 1024x768 OLED color display and a 640x512 12 µm VOx sensor for high contrast and detailed images. The Luchs-1 delivers a large field of view of 22 meters at 100 meters and an image that completely fills within the daytime riflescope at 2X magnification. The Luchs-2 has a field of view of 15.4 meters at 100 meters. Two image modes provide optimal detail rendition in varying weather conditions and there are five color modes, including an Extra Dark mode setting for glare-free images at night.

The Luchs thermal units have internal memory of 32 GB and a Wi-Fi function for live streaming via an app. Users can capture photos and videos of their hunt on the internal memory even while streaming live, and these can be transferred later via USB-C port. The built-in rechargeable battery has a run time of up to nine hours and the three-position switch (On/Standby/Off) can be used to extend battery life in the field.

Settings are easily adjusted, and the hunter’s preference is saved when the device is turned off and available every time the device is restarted. The tough, shock-resistant aluminum housing is rain and dust protected in accordance with IP67, and the objective lens is protected by a scratch-resistant Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating for extra protection in the field. The Luchs-1 weighs 20.5 ounces; the Luchs-2 weighs 22.4 ounces. SRP: $5,554, Luchs-1; $6,110, Luchs-2. (

The new S-TAC 1-4.5x24 SR1 was designed and engineered for Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Service Rifle and NRA High Power Rifle competition use. As such, it utilizes Sightron’s custom optical glass with exclusive MC-333 lens multi-coatings. This combination provides exceptional light transmission while reducing flare, so the shooter can easily acquire the target. Housed in a durable 30mm aircraft aluminum tube, and nitrogen charged for waterproofing up to IPX7 standards, the ExacTrack erector tube system provides consistent, reliable, and repeatable adjustments. This new riflescope provides an impressive 100 MOA elevation travel and 60 MOA of windage travel in ¼ MOA clicks. The new SR1 reticle provides a clean sight picture with a 9 MOA circle surrounding a ½ MOA aiming dot. One MOA stadia lines on the horizontal and lower vertical areas help draw the eye to the center of the reticle. The new SR1 also has an adjustable throw level to customize to the shooter’s preferred magnification setting. The new 1-4.5x24 SR1, like all Sightron riflescopes, is backed by a lifetime worry-free warranty.

SRP: $499.99. (



Based on the historic Anglo-Saxon seax (seax is the Old English word for knife) that was popular from the 7th to 12th century, this modern interpretation embodies over 500 years of functional seax design using cuttingedge materials and technology. Crafted with attention to detail, the Bushcraft Seax boasts a narrow point that’s optimized for intricate cutting tasks, with the deep clip strategically placed just 1⁄4 inch above the blade edge line to enhance cutting force, much like that of a sheepsfoot blade.

The knife’s hilt features the trusted and time-tested ergonomic design of the Bushcraft Field Knife hilt while the handle scales are fashioned from durable laminated hardwood for a reliable grip in any outdoor condition. With an overall length of 9.63 inches, the fixed-blade knife boasts a 420-stainless-steel blade with satin finish that measures 4.43 inches in length.

The Bushcraft Seax has been crafted to tackle a wide range of tasks typical of bushcrafting, including carving, chopping, and performing everyday chores in the woods. The Bushcraft Seax comes with a black, MOLLE-Compatible Nylon sheath that can be easily attached to the user, pack, or gear. SRP: $77.97. (



Iosso Case Polish, now available in new cobalt blue bottles, works with tumbling media to reduce tumbling time to give brass casings a like-new finish. It removes powder fouling, residue, oxidation, tarnish, and discoloration and brings casings to a high luster and protects casings from tarnishing. The environmentally friendly USDA-certified bio-based formula has no odor. As such, it is user friendly and is a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies. Available in a variety of sizes for the at-home reloader and the commercial reloader. SRP: $13.50, 8-ounce bottle; $35.95, one-quart bottle. Iosso Case Polish is also available in 55-gallon drums. (

l . white

What Do You Do for a Living?

Where I work may offend you, but it also may also save you.

Eventually when you are out and about you will be asked, “What do you do for a living?” My answer always is: “I work with shooting sport ranges and retailers around the country. How about you?”

Hopefully, the person or persons you interact with will respect you enough to be nice when you issue this answer. Other times, though, they may react with hostility. This is a story of the latter. But before I delve deeper into the subject I’d like to say this: all of us in the shooting sports family should be proud of who we are and what we do every day. Retailers are the front line and face of the industry. They are also ambassadors and leaders in their hometowns across the nation.

I have been in the shooting sports business for 40-some years now. I believe it’s a noble field even though we certainly have a high level of stress factors that must be endured. These range from being bogged down by federal record-keeping requirements and the endless calls for “gun control” from people who have no idea what they are talking about to the long hours we log in order to run a successful business. And, yet, we soldier on. Why is that? I truly think it comes down to four simple words that all of us have grown to embrace. Those words are: It’s a great life

Let that sink in a bit. When I said that to the young man who asked the above question while seated next to me on a two-hour flight, you would have thought I proclaimed myself to be the Antichrist. I kept after it during the flight, elaborating that the

shooting sports is a deeply rewarding career choice, insisting again, it’s a great life. I also shared that we get folks in for lots of reasons. Sometimes, they are worried about their personal safety and so we must work with great compassion. Compassion means to suffer with others, I told my fellow passenger (just in case he did not understand the word). We do not need to do this, but we do. Our role is to be there, to provide comfort, to listen, and to be engaged. We also provide empowerment, helping people defend themselves against the evils in this world.

I have learned (painfully at times) that when some of these so-called well-intentioned folks get honest answers, they are not understood. I have had some folks say they were highly offended that I would say or even imply that the shooting sports was a great life. One lady told me that there is no way we could have compassion; our work was all about killing innocent people or animals. That’s when I smile and say, “Well, sorry you feel that way, but we help thousands of folks every day live safer and happier lives.”

I think a lot of these so-called “well intentioned” folks are actually a bit elitist. They think that they can judge us by what the national news and talk shows banter around as facts. They do not really know us or the industry and they have no desire to broaden their understanding of us. Their minds are closed.

In my years in this business I have learned that every person who walks in has a story. The situations we face are varied, and many customers are filled with deep emotions in need of clarity and comfort. Being compassionate and caring for the guests we serve every day is what we do.

I recently related the story of a woman who was a victim of a brutal assault. She told me she felt stronger and more confident after taking a gun safety class. She said, “I hope to never have to use it, but I’m not going to let the bad guys win.” Hers was a very emotional—and very real—story. I was able to provide words of comfort and support and then gave her advice on how to change the feelings of weakness and helplessness into feelings of strength. There are very few jobs out there that allow a person to do that. But that’s what we do. It’s what we as ambassadors for the shooting sports signed up for.

Being a firearms retailer can be a very hard job, but it is also one filled with incredible rewards, both spiritual and even financial. Most important, our work, especially the products and training we offer, leads to the empowerment of our guests.

When you think about it, we are keepers of the public well-being. We are in an industry that is rooted in the foundation of our country, and one could easily conclude that America is as strong as it is due to firearms dealers. I sleep well knowing that all of us in the shooting sports family are vital to America, making a positive difference every day. What we do is so much more than “selling stuff to people.” The Simple Truth is: the work we do with such honor saves lives.

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. (

Firearm retailers, through the products and training they offer on a daily basis, help customers live safer and happier lives.


At Sports South, we’ve been providing the firearms industry with a solid foundation for over 180 years. We’re an industry leader in driving cuttingedge technology, and our goal has always been to have the right product in the right place at the right time. Through innovation and steady management, this fifth-generation family operation has earned a reputation as the most respected distributor in the firearms industry.

Sports South makes our warehouse your warehouse by assuring a consistent and timely flow of products to YOU, our dealer, and ultimately to your customer. With our live inventory right at your fingertips and fast order turn-around times, you can have everything you need when you need it.

Live Inventory 24/7 | Innovative Technology

Fast Order Turn-around Time | Best Customer Service

Distributing more than 46,000 products and over 700 brands.

Firearms | Ammunition & Reloading | Optics | Accessories | Bulk Orders | Range Programs

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page 63

What Do You Do for a Living?

page 62


pages 60-61


pages 58-59

Your Fight Is Our Fight

pages 55-57


pages 51-55

.380 vs 9mm AMMO DEBATE:

pages 46-50


pages 42-45


pages 39-41


pages 34-38


pages 28-33


pages 23-27


pages 20-22

The Well-Oiled Machine

pages 18-19

Vision Quest

pages 16-17


pages 14-15

Henry Repeating Arms Donates to Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

page 13


page 13

Debra Radcliff Receives Top 100 Marketer Award

page 12

Savage Arms Debuts Proprietary Camo Pattern

page 12

Biofire Debuts Smart Gun

pages 10-11

Safariland Reengineers Liberator HP Line

page 9

What’s in Stock?

page 8

ETS Delivers the World’s Toughest Polymer Magazines at the Best Prices

pages 6-7
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