SHOOTING HUNTING OUTDOOR TRADE SHOW 1979–2014
NEW PRODUCT REPORTS SHOT Daily scours the floor to find the latest in knives from the show P. 16. Also, see what’s new in accessories P. 26
NEWS *GRITS GRESHAM
POMA and NSSF honored shooting industry veteran Jim Zumbo. SEE PAGE 4
*OPTICS FOR TURKEY HUNTERS
The Weaver KASPA scope is specially designed to meet turkey hunters’ needs. SEE PAGE 65
*TROPHY CAM WIRELESS
Bushnell introduces the world’s first plug-and-play wireless camera. SEE PAGE 67
*NEW 1911 BEAUTIES
Republic Forge begins production and distribution of a complete line of custom Model 1911 pistols. SEE PAGE 69
FEATURES *FIRST SHOTS
EXPANDS ITS REACH
NSSF’s Second Round events deepen interest in the shooting sports. SEE PAGE 42
Remington’s new airgun division is dedicated to building the finest airgun company in the business. SEE PAGE 54
Manufacturers serve up hunting ammunition designed around the MSR. SEE PAGE 58
DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2 014
The Daily News of the 2014 Las Vegas SHOT Show Brought to You by The Bonnier Corporation and the NSSF
Upholding a Precious Legacy
arly in his presentation to the attendees at the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner Tuesday night, NSSF president Steve Sanetti issued a challenge: “If our industry doesn’t have the integrity, the passion, and the determination to stand up for the law-abiding citizens of this great nation, then we are finished.” He clearly believes that is not the case. “But we’re not finished,” he said. “Not by a long shot. In fact, our message of thoughtful criticism of well-meaning but ineffective proposals to thwart the lawless elements of our society by heaping even more restrictions upon hunters, target shooters, collectors, and those seeking to lawfully defend their families has resonated with the American public. Not only has support for these wrongly directed gun-control proposals returned to pre-Newtown levels, but we have seen record numbers of Americans from all walks of life flock to the side of lawful firearms ownership. We have weathered the storm.” In large part, he said, this is due to “the dedicated efforts by a lot of good people.” Sanetti then listed some of the many positive trends in the industry: “Working together as never before,
NSSF president Steve Sanetti urged the attendees to “be proud.”
in the face of overt hostility by those who see no value in the lawful enjoyment of responsible firearms ownership or a day afield or at the range with family and friends. We know those joys—and our efforts to include others is having a profound effect upon the shooting sports.” From an increase in sales of hunting licenses and increases in skeet and clay target shooting participation to a surge in NSSF membership, Sanetti said, “our analysis of sport-shooting participation trends in the U.S. between 2008 and 2012 shows that more than 40 million Americans now enjoy target shooting, up 17 percent since 2009.
Twenty percent of all target shooters first started participating during the past five years.” These new participants are younger and more urban-based— and many are women. That coincides with the surge in firearms sales that began in 2008—40 consecutive months of sales growth. Though he noted that self-defense was a key motivation for 76 percent of these sales, “right behind that was a desire to participate in shooting activities with family and friends. Women target shooters have also increased by 34 percent.” These trends, he said, represent the future of our industry and shooting sports in America. In closing, Sanetti asked the attendees to “be proud.” “Be proud of all those who take the time to take a new person to the range. Be proud that the excise taxes you all pay every time you buy any firearm or ammunition contribute billion of dollars a year to conserve wildlife, game, and non-game species alike. And finally, be proud that you are keeping our nation strong by keeping a precious American tradition of personal responsibility and safety and security alive for future generations. For ours is a precious legacy enjoyed by no other society on the face of the earth.”
Black Sheep Sporting Goods Black Sheep Sporting Goods, based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, added to its long list of accomplishments when it was named 2013 Overall Dealer of the Year by ATK Sporting Group. Owner Dave Knoll founded the business in 1975 and built it into a full-line outdoors sports retailer that offers firearms, ammunition, reloading supplies, shooting accessories, apparel, archery gear, knives, optics, gun safes, and more. Today, Black Sheep operates a store in Lewiston, Idaho, as well as the 65,000-square-foot Coeur d’Alene location. In addition to the 2013 Dealer of the Year title, it has been voted “Best Sporting Goods Store” by the Spokane Journal of Business for six straight years. According to Jim Bruno, ATK Sporting Group vice president of sales—east, Black Sheep’s advertising
efforts and its practice of warehousing products to ensure availability have grown its already-strong sales for ammunition and reloading equipment. Meanwhile, the retailer has dramatically expanded its accessory offerings, including Weaver Optics, Outers gun-care equipment, Blackhawk clothing and leather holsters, and Champion ear and eye protection and targets. Through these efforts, Black Sheep has shown sales increases in excess of 350 percent for ATK products. “These kinds of numbers—and the strategy and hard work that led to them—are exemplary,” Bruno says. “Black Sheep’s performance and its dedication to our family of brands make it more than deserving of the Dealer of the Year title.”
DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ 1
1/15/14 6:32 PM
Jim Zumbo Receives Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award
he Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) honored shooting industry communications veteran Jim Zumbo with the prestigious POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award at the NSSF State of the Industry dinner Tuesday night. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements in communications and in support of our hunting heritage and firearms freedoms. Zumbo is a 40-year veteran outdoors writer who has had more than 2,000 articles and 3,000 photos published. He has dedicated his life to supporting and defending hunting, and to describing ways for people to become better hunters in his books, lectures, magazine articles, and television show, Jim Zumbo Outdoors, on the Outdoor Channel. He travels 250 days a year with rifle, shotgun, and fishing rod, collecting content, photos, and great stories. Zumbo also is deeply involved in working with wounded veterans, getting them outdoors and recharging their lives. Their experiences are high-
Jim Zumbo received a standing ovation as he walked to the podium to accept the POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award.
lighted on Outdoor Channel with the Jim Zumbo Outdoors: Wounded Warriors series. Much of his career was spent as a contributor and editor for Outdoor Life magazine. Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk Radio and a previous POMA recipient, praised Zumbo’s superlative 40-year communications career and his intellectual honesty in handling a personal and industry firestorm. “I know the selection of Jim Zumbo might surprise some because of a
controversy he set off while working for Outdoor Life,” Gresham said. “But I’m pleased the award committee, made up of the past award recipients and POMA and NSSF representatives, looked at Jim’s entire body of work as well as his part in awakening hunters to the need to support gun rights and all gun owners. After a lifetime of writing magazine articles and books, hosting Jim Zumbo Outdoors, and lecturing about hunting and hunting guns, Jim almost had his
Wayne van Zwoll Awarded 2014 Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award Bushnell Outdoor Products established the Bushnell Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the legendary writer and photojournalist for the vast contributions he made to the optics and outdoors industry throughout his 50-year career. Introduced in 2011, the annual award was established to both honor McRae and recognize journalists who have made a profound impact in the industry. Yesterday Bushnell announced that Wayne van Zwoll was the recipient of the 2014 Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the course of his extensive career, van Zwoll has published almost 3,000 articles and twice that many photographs in more than two dozen magazines, including Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and a number of other leading publications. His “Rifles & Cartridges” column in Bugle is the longest-running feature in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) magazine. In addition to his thousands of articles, van Zwoll has authored
Wayne van Zwoll (right) received the 2014 Bill McRae Lifetime Achievement Award.
16 books on topics including the history of firearms, ballistics, and sporting optics. An avid shooter and sportsman, van Zwoll has hunted nearly half of the United States, spent time afield on five continents, and guided hunters in Utah and Wyoming. He is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club and a Life Member of RMEF and National Rifle Association. Motivated by his studies in
natural resources at Michigan State University, van Zwoll began his career with the Bureau of Land Management and Washington’s Department of Game. He later secured a position as a contract photographer with the U.S. Forest Service before becoming one of RMEF’s first field directors. Driven by a lifelong passion for learning and wildlife management, van Zwoll earned a master’s degree from Oregon State University and later obtained his doctorate from Utah State University. Well known for sharing his passion for shooting and hunting with others, van Zwoll is a former Safari Club International marksmanship instructor, certified hunter education instructor in five states, and introduced and now teaches the National Archery in the Schools Program in Bridgeport, Washington, where he resides with his wife, Alice. He also founded and oversees High Country Adventures, a program to acquaint more women with field sports.
great body of work erased by a single mistake, which, in fact, may have done more to educate hunters than everything else he has done. “After questioning the use of AR-style guns in the realm of hunting in an Outdoor Life blog entry, Jim heard the cries of gun owners. He immediately educated himself about modern sporting rifles and became a proponent of them. That speaks well of his intellectual honesty.” Gresham summed up by acknowledging that Zumbo, in effect, brought millions to what is now America’s most popular firearm. Gresham added that he was glad to be able to recognize Zumbo’s lifetime of work for gun owners and gun rights. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I’d be the recipient of the Grits Gresham Award,” Zumbo said. “Part of my exhilaration comes not only from the fact that this is my beloved industry supporting me, but because Grits Gresham was my hero. I loved being around him, listening to his tales and enjoying his modesty and down-home Southern personality. My profound thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
HELPING FIRST SHOTS FMG Publications presented NSSF a check for $211,000 during the State of the Industry Dinner Tuesday night. The money was raised during FMG’s Shooting Industry Masters and is designated to help fund NSSF’s First Shots Program. “It’s a honor to present this check to NSSF to support this important industry program,” said Randy Molde, FMG Publications vice president of business development and Masters chairman. “First Shots is vital to ensuring new firearm owners get started correctly and safely, and fully understand the responsibility of owning a gun. First Shots also helps us infuse and grow our ranks. We at FMG Publications will continue to support this key NSSF program.” Molde also thanked the industry for its support of the Shooting Industry Masters, including the record-setting 53 sponsors for the 2013 event in Cody, Wyoming.
4 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
1/15/14 5:06 PM
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SHOT Business (ISSN 1081-8618) is published 7 times a year in January, February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November and December by Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695, and is the official publication of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Flintlock Ridge Office Center, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470 (203-426-1320). Volume 22, issue 1. Copyright © 2014 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation, production and advertising offices are located at 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5695 (212-779-5000). Free to qualified subscribers; available to non-qualified subscribers for $25 per year. Single-copy issues are available for $5 each. Send check, payable to NSSF, to: SHOT Business, c/o NSSF, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359. SHOT Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All correspondence should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Requests for media kits and advertising information should be directed to Katy Marinaro, Bonnier Corporation, 625 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1270, Chicago, IL 60611. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA.
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Managing FFL Compliance Issues
Correction * Correction Yesterday’s edition of SHOT Daily incorrect* ly identified edition the winner of theDaily SHOT Yesterday’s of SHOT incorrectly Business Range of the Award.Business It is identified the winner ofYear the SHOT Colonial Academy, Range ofShooting the Year Award. It isRichmond, Colonial Virginia. Academy, Richmond, Virginia. Shooting
Debating What’s Good for the Herd and the Hunt A panel of experts debated trophy deer management practices and the impact on hunter recruitment at yesterday’s Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation Roundtable Luncheon. Editorial director Anthony Licata prefaced the discussion by describing the Heroes of Conservation award and grant program, sponsored by Toyota Motors, U.S.A., which spotlights extraordinary volunteers working on the grassroots level. The same sense of responsibility for wildlife and the American sporting tradition drove the debate. Dr. Jonathan Gassett from the Wildlife Management Institute clarified that the role of state agencies is not to manage deer to trophy standards. “Our priority is to produce a healthy and abundant herd that creates hunting opportunities.” Nikon’s Jon LaCorte, a third-generation whitetail hunter, said, “The expectation of harvesting a trophy deer has changed drastically over the past 20 years based on what’s in the media.” Minnesota Outdoor News columnist Shawn Perich offered one solution, when storytelling: “Focus more on the hunt and less on the kill.” And Brian Murphy, a deer biologist and CEO of the Quality Deer Management Association, spoke to the whole room when he said, “If this community makes that a priority, balancing expectations and reality is doable.” —Kristyn Brady
Field & Stream Editorial director Anthony Licata moderated a panel of experts who discussed trophy deer management.
avigating the minutia of ATF rules and ensuring that every I is dotted and every T is crossed is likely not anyone’s favorite part of running a gun shop. Directing the questions to ATF is usually the best option, but even that can result in wildly different interpretations of the law depending on who is asked. Tuesday’s open mic NSSF FFL Compliance Consultant Panel, with Wally Nelson and Harry McCabe, both former deputy assistant directors with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, helped attendees stay compliant and, more important, in business. The most crucial takeaway was that all gun shop owners should expect a visit at some point from the ATF. Today, there are more than 60,000 FFL holders, not counting collectors, but only 600 industry investigators working for ATF. Firearms compliance is also not all that these hard-working men and women do, but it is their job and respecting that is
NSSF FFL compliance consultants helped retailers understand ATF inspections.
key to creating a working relationship with these investigators. “You could be inspected next week or you could be inspected in 2023,” said McCabe. “Literally, that is a true statement. When they do come— and they will come—first and foremost, cooperate. You don’t want to have any animosity or things of that nature. They will need a place to work—preferably not the front counter, as neither you nor they want them to be out there.” During these site inspections
the investigators will need access to the records and they will take a 100 percent physical inventory of the stock, and reconcile that inventory with the acquisitions records. These visits are intended to serve the gun shop owner, not to create unnecessary work. “Ultimately they will help you comply with the regulations,” said McCabe. Many problems are the result of paperwork mistakes, and McCabe stressed that attention to detail is crucial here.—Peter Suciu
CNN’s Crossfire Co-host Helps Launch NSSF PAC’s 2014 Campaign The National Shooting Sports Foundation Political Action Committee (PAC) kicked off election year 2014 on Monday evening with a reception at the V Bar featuring S.E. Cupp, cohost of CNN’s Crossfire. The author and columnist spoke to NSSF members about the ongoing threats to both the shooting industry and to constitutional rights. Referring to some of the major challenges of 2013, Cupp stressed the importance of industry involvement in the political process to help close the gap between the shooting industry’s resources and the war chests accumulated by those opposed to the industry. “The job isn’t over—it’s never over—because someone will always want to stop us,” Cupp said. “It’s our job to be the champions of fact, truth, and liberty.” The new year brings continued pressure from the well-funded anti-gun activists, intensifying the need for an industry united to defeat the onslaught of gun-control legislation being introduced on Capitol Hill and in state houses across America. The well-attended NSSF PAC reception could be an indicator that the industry is ready to take on the challenge. The outcome of this year’s midterm elections could deliver a super-majority in the Senate to a President hostile to the firearms industry and a return to Speaker Pelosi in the House of Representatives or a supportive Congress that can guard the firearms industry’s best interests and constitutional rights.
“The NSSF PAC will continue to defend our industry by providing our elected allies the resources to repel attacks they face from mainstream media and wealthy anti-gun activists such as former mayor Michael Bloomberg,” said Lawrence G. Keane, treasurer of the NSSF PAC. “The industry must come together, however, and that support is needed from all.” NSSF members can learn more about the NSSF PAC at the NSSF Member Lounge (Venetian Level 3, Lido Ballroom). Members will have the opportunity to sign up to receive NSSF PAC news and alerts to stay engaged and informed on issues impacting their businesses.
S.E. Cupp, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire, spoke to NSSF members about on-going threats to gun ownership and the need to stay informed.
8 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
1/15/14 6:56 PM
CEO of Sportsman Channel
The Next Generation
A new group of passionate shooters requires the industry to engage them on their terms By Slaton L. White
avin Harvey is a seasoned veteran of outdoors media. As CEO of Sportsman Channel, he oversees the network’s day-to-day programming, production, marketing, finance, and sales operations while also directing the overall strategic vision for the network. Under his leadership, Sportsman Channel has experienced tremendous growth across all areas of the business, including distribution, ratings, advertising, and programming. As president of Versus, a cable network that he successfully repositioned and rebranded from its former brand—Outdoor Life Network—he aggressively acquired a number of new properties that transformed the network from a niche outdoors channel to a broad-based national destination. SHOT Daily sat down with Harvey to get his take on the state of the industry and what media companies need to do to engage younger shooters. SHOT Daily: Your role as CEO at
men and women, their families, and their fans. And we will continue to launch on cable systems in new markets across the country and expand SportsmanHD where we are currently carried.
Sportsman Channel provides you with a unique perspective on the shootingsports industry as a whole. What would you say is the current state of the industry?
Gavin Harvey: Let’s introduce a
new term and call the state of the industry “Gun Strong.” Our base of shooting and firearms enthusiasts is huge, diverse, and growing. The passion for shooting and hunting is very deeply held, and our industry leaders are oxygenating growth by recruiting the next generation, eliminating barriers to entry, launching awesome new products, fighting unfair legislation, and utilizing smart media to motivate consumers. What concerns me, as a shooting enthusiast and someone who has spent a career in television, is the relentless blitz of negative disinformation, demonization, and propaganda that is hurled at this lifestyle—the guns, gear, and hunts we safely and responsibly enjoy and the good people who practice it.
SD: When you wake up in the morning, what gets you excited about your business? GH: Well, I am a gun guy—I love
all of them—as well as a gun and bow hunter, so working in this industry is extremely fun and gratifying. And as a TV guy, I am privileged to be on the best outdoor lifestyle media and content team on the planet. I work alongside men and women who are involved in a variety of exciting and innovative activities every day, from producing and scheduling great shows to publishing first-rate magazines. I also get the opportunity to develop multi-
SD: Younger viewers are accessing and relating to media in different ways. How does Sportsman Channel keep them engaged and how important is the younger demographic to Sportsman Channel?
Gavin Harvey, CEO of Sportsman Channel, says the key to successful recruitment of younger participants includes “eliminating barriers to entry, launching awesome new products, and fighting unfair legislation.”
platform marketing ideas for the many affinity groups in our great industry and get to evangelize every aspect of this special lifestyle as far and wide as we can.
SD: Would you categorize Sportsman Channel as being in a growth mode? GH: Yes. It is hard to top 2013. We
launched outdoor TV’s first live daily news-talk series—NRA News Cam & Company; we muscled in on the mainstream networks with toprated stunts like Aporkalypse; we attracted what I believe is the best lineup of outdoor series, personalities, and producers ever presented, under the brand anthem “Made in America.” We also stretched further into lifestyle content with characterdriven series like Meet the McMillans,
10 ■ Shot Business Daily ■ day 3, January 16, 2014
MeatEater, and Dropped, while maintaining our dominance in authentic hunting and fishing programming.
SD: As we enter 2014, what is new about Sportsman Channel? GH: Our anthem in 2014 is a cele-
bration of “Red, Wild & Blue” America. Sportsman’s bedrock is being the home of the best hunting, shooting, and fishing on TV—period. We are adding to our best-inclass programming with blockbuster personalities who are champions of our lifestyle—people like Sarah Palin and Gary Sinise, as well as some others you will be hearing about. We will expand on Sportsman’s “Salute to Service,” a military support initiative that puts the power of our platform to work for American service-
GH: Younger shooters, hunters, and anglers are the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and the future of our lifestyle, our business—and our America. Sportsman Channel has been aggressively positioning to attract younger audiences for the past several years. We have recruited a terrific class of younger shooting and hunting personalities to join our corps. We realize that women are leading the growth in shooting and hunting, so we provide more airtime to great female outdoor authorities—women such as Haley Heath, Jana Waller, Julie McQueen, Lauren Rich, and AnneMarie Rhodes. I’m sure Sportsman’s 2014 year-long “Salute to Service” military tribute, headlined by veterans advocate Gary Sinise, will be sure to connect with many young men and women serving or recently rotated out. Younger viewers respond to fresh formats like our live daily news-talk show, NRA News Cam & Company, and to interactive experiences through our red-hot social media. Two months ago, we passed 500,000 “likes” on Facebook, and growth continues to surge and the engagement is increasingly dynamic. Booth #13823. (thesportsmanchannel.com)
ExtremeBeam’s Extreme Light
he new Alpha-TAC ExtremeBeam TAC24 S.W.A.T. flashlight can be there to shine some light on any dire situation you might encounter. This single high-intensity-mode flashlight features a 340-lumen bulb that projects a beam out to 1,300 feet, making it easily the brightest light in its class. But it can even outshine other flashlights with higherlumen bulbs.
The TAC24 features a finely crafted reflecting cone that captures nearly all of the light; the design makes for an intense fine-tune-focusable beam that can shoot out to 1,300 feet. It can also quickly be tunefocused from a narrow to a widespread beam for use in many applications, from hunting or hiking to search and rescue. The rechargeable TAC24 further features a stealth hard-coating that prevents light from reflecting off its surface, allowing for maximum concealment. It also offers patent- pending Anti-Recoil Technology, and available Anti-Recoil remote switches make the ExtremeBeam TAC24 the perfect arms-mountable light for use on rifles up to .50-caliber. “At 6.6 ounces, this Anti-Recoil .50-cal. BMG weapons-rated ‘tunefocusable’ light is one of the farthestreaching flashlights in its class,” says Alpha-TAC president David Wilson. “Because of its light weight, it even wears well on your belt.”
The Alpha-TAC ExtremeBeam TAC24 S.W.A.T. is the brightest light in its class, projecting out to 1,300 feet.
The TAC24 S.W.A.T. will also be able to endure more than the usual wear. Machined from solid-bar aluminum, it offers a micro-textured finish that creates a sharkskin feel that ensures a solid grip even when wet. It also boasts double O-ring watertight seals and a tri-cut glass lens for enhanced durability, as well as square-cut threads to prevent cross threading. The Anti-Glare Stealth Coat won’t cast a reflection where it isn’t needed. The Extreme Beam TAC24 series also features the SR3 model, which offers a high, low, and flash mode from a 330-lumen bulb that offers a projection of 1,200 feet. This model also offers the engineering characteristics of the S.W.A.T. model. SRP: $99.95, TAC24 S.W.A.T.; $109.95, SR3. Both models are also available in bundle packages, which include two rechargeable 18650 batteries, a lithium battery recharger, and nylon holster. SRP: $159.95. Booth #32410. (877-579-7878; extremebeam.com)
Bear The CC-700-B neck knife has a built-in bottle opener.
A Knife For All Seasons
Manufacturers are offering a new crop designed to appeal to a wide array of buyers By Christopher Cogley
wise man once said, “You can never have too many knives.” It’s a mantra that’s been adopted by nearly everyone who ventures outside of his or her living room and into the outdoors, where you never know what situation you might have to deal with. And at this year’s SHOT Show, there is a wide assortment of knives that should be able to handle any scenario you can think of—and probably a few that are beyond the reaches of imagination. From tactical and hunting to outdoors and everyday carry, there are new knives at this year’s show that will definitely make your customers feel the need to add to their collection.
Blackhawk The MOD Mark III Automatic Folder is available with either a plain or serrated edge.
Bear & Son Cutlery
➣ Bear & Son is introducing two new stiletto folders in 2014. The MC-300-ALBK-S features a 3¼-inch
blade and the MC-350 features a 37/8inch blade. Both blades are made from S30V stainless steel, and both feature T6 aircraft-grade aluminum
BOKER USA Boker is releasing a revolutionary new knife for 2014 that is every bit as sophisticated as it looks. The Thorn Mokuti is designed by Jim Burke and made possible by the blacksmithing skills of Chad Nichols, who was able to combine two titanium alloys to create a unique Mokuti handle that gives the Thorn Mokuti the distinctive look and feel of a high-end custom knife. The 2½-inch blade is made with CPM S35-VN steel for superior edge retention and features a striking two-tone finish. The Thorn Mokuti is limited to 199 pieces, and each one comes with a collector’s box and certificate of authenticity. Booth #13376. (800-992-6537; bokerusa.com)
handles. The MC-300 is 43/8 inches closed and weighs 2 ounces. SRP: $115. The MC-350 is 5 inches closed and weighs 2.26 ounces. SRP: $135. Bear & Son is also releasing the A-100-ALBK-S Bear Swipe assistedopening folder with a 2.5-inch CPMS30V stainless-steel blade that opens with a push of the recessed release button on the T6 aircraft aluminum handle. SRP: $130. As part of its Bear Ops line, Bear & Son is introducing the CC-700-B neck knife. The fixedblade minimalist knife has a 17/8-inch 1095 carbon-steel blade with a wide cutting surface and a black epoxy powder coat. It’s 51/8 inches overall and weighs 1.7 ounces. It includes a sheath and lanyard and even has a bottle opener built into the design. SRP: $60. Booth #446. (800-8443034; bearandsoncutlery.com)
➣ Blackhawk expanded its popular Masters of Defense (MOD) line this year to include the new MOD Mark III Automatic Folder. This side-open automatic knife features a 3.35-inch N590Co stainless-steel blade that’s coated in black Idroglider finish and available with either a plain or serrated edge. The handle features textured G-10 scales and deep finger 16 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
grooves for a secure grip. The Mark III is 7.88 inches overall. SRP: $229.99. Another new addition to the MOD line is the Italian-made SFK Folder with a 3.94-inch N690Co stainlesssteel blade. The SFK is 9.06 inches overall and features an ambidextrous thumb stud and multi-position pocket clip. SRP: $199.99. Booth #14551. (800-694-5263; blackhawk.com)
➣ Browning is introducing two new stylish and functional fixed-blade hunting knives this year. Both the skinner and drop-point Non-Typical Stag knives feature 27/8-inch 9Cr18MoV stainless-steel blades and genuine stag handles with leather sheaths. SRP: $122. Browning is also releasing its new Featherweight line of hunting and outdoorsman knives that all feature black Zytel handles and hollowground, brushed-finish AUS-8 stainless-steel blades. Seven different Featherweight models are available and range in price from $49 to $98. Browning is also expanding its Black Label Tactical line by releasing the new Rail System knife that features a fixed double-edged 5½inch hollow-ground blade made of
Browning The Battle Bowie Carbon Fiber knife is one of the new additions to Browning’s Black Label line. Browning’s Non-Typical Stag line features genuine antler handles.
5Cr stainless steel. The knife includes a Blade-Tech sheath that is designed to attach to any MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail. SRP: $86. Also new to the line is the Committed Drop Point knife with a 53/8-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless-steel blade with full-tang construction and a textured olive drab handle with G-10 scales. SRP: $86. Browning is rounding out its Black Label line with the new Battle Bowie Carbon Fiber knife, which will be a limited edition run of only 1,000 units. The knife has an 8-inch Bowie blade design made from 5Cr stainless steel with a laser-etched finish and features a handle with full-tang construction and black carbon fiber scales. SRP: $183. Booth #12740. (800-333-3288; browning.com)
Columbia River Knife & Tool
➣ CRKT’s new Fossil folder features a stylish, rustic stainless-steel handle with a multilayer brown and black G10 overlay that gives the knife its name. It has a 3.96-inch 8Cr13MoV blade with a deeper belly and stylized lines. The knife has an overall length of 8.88 inches. SRP: $89.99. CRKT
is also releasing a new parang at this year’s SHOT Show. Designed by Ken Onion, the Halfachance has a 14-inch 65 Mn Carbon Steel blade that’s black-powder-coated and features a deep belly and an ergonomically shaped handle with significant finger grooves. The Halfachance weighs 1 pound 4 ounces and comes with a nylon sheath. SRP: $69.99. The Obake is a traditional Japanese-style short blade designed by Lucas Burnley. The 3.64-inch blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel with a Ti Nitride gray coating that is masked and acid-etched to create a stylized pattern on the blade. The handle is wrapped with black cord in the traditional style of the Japanese katana. The Obake comes with a nylon sheath. SRP: $49.99. Booth #414. (800-891-3100; crkt.com)
Gerber Legendary Blades
➣ In 2014, Gerber is releasing a trio of American-made folders that are designed to give a new edge to tactical operators. The Edict has a 3.6inch fine-edge tanto-style blade made of 154CM steel, while the Decree’s 3.7-inch modified tanto-
style blade is partially serrated and made of S30V steel. The Decree also has a built-in tempered-steel glass breaker in the pommel. The Order has a 3.1-inch 420HC partially serrated blade with a stylized thumbhole. All three knives in the line have a black ceramic coating on the blade and feature handles that are made of glass-filled nylon with a rubberized diamond texture for a secure grip. SRP: $69.95, Edict; $84.95, Decree; $44.95, Order. Booth #13614. (800950-6161; gerbergear.com)
➣ Kershaw is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and will be launching a new logo and several new products to celebrate the milestone. Kershaw will also be announcing some new partnerships this year, including one with Emerson Knives. Kershaw, along with its sister brand, Zero Tolerance Knives, has collaborated with Emerson and will be releasing six new knives under the Kershaw/Emerson brand and another two in the Zero Tolerance line. Among the knives in the Kershaw/ Emerson line will be the new CQCE3 and CQC-E2. Both of these
pocket folders include Emerson’s “wave shaped feature,” which allows the knife blade to be opened as it’s removed from the pocket, as well as a prominent thumb disk for easy deployment once the knife is in your hand. The knives are both made of 8Cr13MoV steel. The E2 features a stonewash finish on the blade. SRP: $49.99. The E3 has a black oxide finish. SRP: $52.99. Booth #14123. (800-325-2891; kaiusaltd.com)
➣ In 2014, Leatherman is releasing a tool created for the next generation of outdoorsmen. The Leap is a version of the classic Leatherman multitool that is designed as a way for parents to help train their children on how to safely use the various implements included in the tool—from pliers and screwdrivers to a saw and scissors. The Leap is a slightly smaller version of the original and has ergonomic handles that are designed to fit into younger hands and safety locks on the outside tools that don’t put fingers in the path of the implements. One of the most attractive feature for parents, however, will be that the Leap is sold without the
Gerber The Edict’s tanto-style folding blade is made of 154CM steel with a black ceramic coating. The handle’s rubberized diamond texture provides a secure grip.
Buck is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the iconic 110 Folding Hunter by releasing a special anniversary edition of the classic knife that features a custom blade stamp and a 50 Year Medallion on the handle. SRP: $69. Booth #14504. (800-326-2825; buckknives.com)
CRKT The new Fossil folder’s handle is stainless steel with a stylish multilayer brown and black G10 overlay. Its 8Cr13MoV blade is just shy of 4 inches, with a deep belly and stylized lines.
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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Industrial Revolution is releasing several new hunting knives from Morakniv, a company that has been manufacturing knives in Sweden for more than 400 years. Among the new offerings for U.S. consumers are two versions of the Bushcraft knife that feature a molded, ergonomically shaped rubber handle. The Bushcraft Black has a carbon steel blade. SRP: $59.99. The Bushcraft Orange features a Swedish cold-rolled stainless-steel blade. SRP: $34.99. Morakniv is also releasing the Companion MG that’s available in either a stainless-steel or carbon-blade option, both of which feature high-friction molded rubber handle. SRP: $17.99 and $16.99, respectively. Packaged in a durable carrying case, Morakniv’s Hunting Set 3000 includes a sharpening steel tool as well as a boning and skinning knife, both with orange rubber-grip handles and cold-rolled stainless-steel blades. SRP: $79.99. Booth #1446. (425-285-1111; industrialrev.com/morakniv)
included knife blade attached to the tool, so that parents can allow their children to practice and use the tool without the knife. Then, once parents feel that their children are ready for the added responsibility, the blade can be permanently attached to the Leap, giving children a complete tool that will help get them ready to carry the full-size version just like their parents. SRP: $54. Booth #14512. (800-847-8665; leatherman.com)
➣ Ontario Knife Company is releasing a new knife that has been designed to combine the key features of the most popular tactical and survival knives into one tool. The Chimera has a modified version of the OKC3S Bayonet’s phosphate full-tang blade made with 1095 carbon steel and features an aggressive partial serration. The Chimera has a modified FF6 Freedom Fighter Kraton handle that includes a steel butt cap that can be used as a hammer, glass breaker, or for non-lethal self defense. The Chimera is 13 5/8 inches overall with a 7 7/8-inch blade. SRP: $149.99. Ontario is also bringing back its popular SP5 Bowie Knife in 2014 with the introduction of the new SPEC PLUS 5, which features a full-tang design with a 10-inch 1095 carbon-steel blade
Kershaw The CQC-E2 is one of Kershaw’s first knives made in partnership with Emerson.
OUTDOOR EDGE Outdoor Edge is launching a new replaceable blade system for 2014. Razor-Lite and Razor-Blaze both feature a black-oxide blade-support system that runs nearly the entire length of the blade for increased durability. Designed to allow old razor blades to be replaced with new ones with just a simple push of a button, the RazorLite and Razor-Blaze are foldable and include a nylon sheath and a set of six 420 stainless-steel razor blades. The Razor-Lite has a black rubberized TPR handle while the Razor-Blaze’s handle is blaze orange. The knives feature a 3.5-inch blade and are 8 inches overall. SRP: $49.95. Booth #1220. (800447-3343; outdooredge.com)
Spyderco Designed by tactical knife guru Bob Terzuola, the Double Bevel is a tanto-tipped folder with a streamlined design and Spyderco’s trademark easy-open thumbhole.
with a black- powder-coat finish. The knife has a Kraton handle and comes with a nylon sheath. SRP: $100. Booth #20305. (800-2225233; ontarioknife.com)
➣ Puma’s line of SGB knives are made with German steel blades that are assembled in Asia, a practice that allows Puma to offer consumers an
Puma The affordable White River knife from Puma has a 3.5-inch drop-point blade and a white smooth-bone handle.
affordable knife with a high-quality blade (each of the SGB blades are made with 440A German steel and have a Rockwell-tested hardness between 55 and 57). This year, Puma is expanding the SGB line to include the White River fixed blade with 3.5-inch drop-point blade and a white smooth-bone handle. SRP: $59.99. Puma will also release several new styles of traditional pocket folders in the SGB line as well as a
tactical option in the Bigcat 10 with a 4.7-inch blade and 10.2-inch overall length. The Bigcat 10 features a full-tang design and G10 scale handle and comes with a Kydex sheath. SRP: $99.95. Booth #520. (913-8885524; pumaknifecompanyusa.com)
➣ In 2014, Spyderco is releasing a new knife designed by legendary tac-
SOG SOG is significantly expanding its presence in the outdoors market with new knives and tools designed for various outdoor pursuits, from hiking and hunting to fishing and camping. Among the knives in the new outdoor offering is the new BladeLight line, which includes a hunting, camping, tactical, and two separate fillet knife options. All of the knives feature three LEDs on each side of the blade to provide focused illumination when performing outdoor tasks at night. SRP: $105 to $115. Staying true to its tactical roots, SOG is also introducing a selection of assisted-opening knives that all feature SOG’s new Flat Spring Assisted Technology. The Zoom line has AUS 8 stainless-steel blades and aluminum handles and includes seven different models that range in price from $115 to $145. SOG is also releasing a Flashback Mini for 2014 that’s a smaller version of the knife that SOG calls its Fastest Assisted Opening Knife. The Flashback Mini has AUS-8 stainless-steel blade and a glass-reinforced nylon handle with a stainless-steel wrap. SRP: $80 to $90. Booth #425. (888-405-6433; sogknives.com)
tical knife maker, Bob Terzuola. The Double Bevel is a tactical folder with a G-10 handle and a VG-10 steel blade that features a tanto tip. The 3.5-ounce Double Bevel offers the sleek, simple design fans have come to expect from Terzuola, and the easyopen thumbhole and Walker LinerLock mechanism that Spyderco is famous for. The knife is 7.56 inches, with a 3.39-inch blade. SRP: $264.95. Spyderco is also launching a knife designed by Spyderco founder Sal Glesser. The Karahawk is a folding version of the popular karambit knives of Southeast Asia. It features a VG-10 hawkbill blade, a stainless-steel handle capped with textured G-10 scales, and a ring at the butt that allows it to be used in the traditional karambit knife style. With an overall length of 6.5 inches and weighing only 3.8 ounces, the Karahawk is compact enough to carry in any pocket, and Spyderco’s Round Hole and Emerson Opening feature ensure that the 2.35-inch blade can be deployed efficiently. SRP: $289.95. Booth #13113. (800-525-7770; spyderco.com)
W.R. Case & Sons This Mossy Brown Trapper is one of eight knives in Case’s Mossy Brown Bone Knife series. It features stainlesssteel blades and an oldfashioned Worm Groove jigged handle.
W.R. Case & Sons
➣ W.R. Case is celebrating 125 years in 2014 by introducing three new knife series at this year’s SHOT Show. The Shotgun Shell series features blaze orange bone handles with the outline of a shotgun shell. The six knives in the series are made with Case’s Tru-Sharp surgical-steel blades. SRP: $65 to $109. The Mossy Brown Bone Knife series features stainless-steel blades and oldfashioned Worm Groove jigged handles with a brown-and-green dye that presents a unique camo pattern. The eight knives in the series range in price from $55 to $100. For the Tear Drop series, Case teamed up with custom knife maker Tony Bose to create a completely new pattern. Included in the Tear Drop series will be a Jack with a Genuine India Stag or PocketWorn Old Red Bone handle and a “barehead” version with a Peach Seed jigged Amber Bone handle. Booth #13905. (800-523-6350; wrcase.com)
Right Product, Right Time
Stocking accessories is a great way to enhance the bottom line nearly all year long By Peter B. Mathiesen
hile gun owners are concerned about federal firearms policy and restocking their ammo supply, retailers can find consistent turns stocking high-profit accessories nearly year-round. Timing is everything, though, and having the right product at the right time will make your cash register ring. Here are some of the 2014 SHOT Show accessories you should add to this year’s inventory. ATI The Halo Side Saddle ammo carrier is now available for the popular Remington 870 platform. The aluminum system features modular Adda-Shell shotgun shell holders and a Picatinny top rail on which simple optics can be mounted.
BIRCHWOOD CASEY Constructed of heavy corrugated cardboard that will last for hundreds of shots, the new Rigid 10-Clay Silhouette Target provides hours of shooting fun while helping shooters hone their skills. It features die-cut holes to fit any standardsize clay bird. The target measures 23 by 35 inches and holds up to 10 clay birds. Simply shoot the clays, then fill the target back up for more shooting entertainment. SRP: $5.60. Booth #2020. (800746-6862; birchwoodcasey.com)
Advanced Technology International
➣ With strong demand for a counterpart to the company’s Halo Side Saddle for the Mossberg 500 and 590 that launched in 2013, ATI is releasing a new Halo Side Saddle for the popular Remington 870 platform. The aluminum Halo System features modular Add-a-Shell shotgun shell holders for the end user’s customization. The saddle and shell holder, which can be purchased individually, will carry five or seven rounds and has a 5.5-inch Picatinny top rail for mounting simple optics. The Halo will be the only top-mount, modular shell holder on the market for the 870, and the company anticipates orders from both consumer and law enforcement customers. The Side Saddle, Top Rail and Add-a-Shell attachments are crafted from military type-III-anodized 6061 T6 aluminum. The saddle system is backed by the company’s limited lifetime warranty and will be shipped to selected stores in early 2014. SRP: $124.99. Booth #620. (800-925-2522; atigunstocks.com)
home. You can use it on pet accidents, bathrooms, nurseries, and vehicles. The Pro kit includes a one-liter pressure bottle sprayer, one 4-ounce trigger sprayer to carry in your pocket, four pairs of concentrate “A” and “B” mix. Also included are one 4-ounce bottle of Sport Wash Detergent and one 4-ounce tube of Hair & Body Soap. SRP: $35.95. Booth #10959. (803-531-1820; atsko.com)
➣ The Alfa Tactical Gear Bag is a new mid-size tactical gear and range bag that can be used as a backpack or as a duffle. The ballistic polyester fabric shell has a water-resistant urethane interior coating with self-healing nylon coil zippers that use paracord pull-tabs. There are multiple heavy web handles and haul loops, a large zippered topload compartment, and a hidden full-length hydration bladder compartment with a mesh document organizer pocket. Other features include a hidden pistol compartment, two mesh side pockets, padded shoulder straps and back panel, and adjustable web waist belt with QD buckle. In addition, a bottom zippered compartment with three metal drain grommets is great for storing wet gear. The bag also features a top-end headphone/microphone port with hook-and-loop closure. Internal volume is approximately 2,135 cubic inches. SRP: $155.
➣ Ideal for hunters to keep in the truck or ATV to apply while they drive to the stand, the N-ODOR Oxidizer Pro Pump Kit makes more than a gallon of four fresh batches of N-O-DOR Oxidizer. The freshly mixed spray will eliminate—quickly and safely—all traces of human and organic odors on clothing, hair, skin, and all wetable surfaces by permanently oxidizing the organic molecules into odorless, non-volatile compounds. The product does not merely mask odors; it destroys them and keeps the hunter scent-free all day. The spray works equally well at 26 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
Atsko The N-O-DOR Oxidizer Pro Pump Kit makes more than one gallon of freshly mixed spray that will eliminate human and organic odors from clothing and skin.
is featured on top of the safe to provide storage for tactical or hunting gear with easy access. The S&G electronic lock is standard on both models. The standard model Black Label Mark IV safe is 60 by 30 by 25 inches. SRP:$3,399. Booth #12740. (800-322-4626; browning.com)
➣ Women shooters can now get safe, dependable eye protection with a real sense of style. (Finally!) The new Champion Bella Ballistica shooting glasses passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic testing and meet ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with the same chic designer-label look found in fashion sunglasses around the world. Designed specifically for shooters, these lenses reduce glare and enhance target image sharpness. They can even double as everyday sunglasses with 99.9 percent UVA/ UVB protection. Made to last, the glasses feature hard-coated, scratchresistant polycarbonate lenses. SRP: $24.99. Booth #14562. (800-8310850; championtarget.com)
Fobus The CH Series holsters provide Level 2 retention while enabling nearly unhampered presentation of the sidearm. The release paddle is activated by the user’s index finger.
Booth #15640. (800-237-3224; browningbags.com)
➣ The new Black Label Mark IV safe is designed to accommodate MSRs as well as traditional long guns. This new model—made in the USA—provides maximum protection from fire and theft. Security features include an 11-gauge steel body with 15/16-inch-thick duo-formed door with full 10-gauge steel inner plate, Force Deflector Locking System,
hardened steel-pin lock protection, Pry-Stop end bolts, and 1¼-inch chromed locking bolts on all four sides of the door. The safe is available in wide and standard sizes, and has a tactical matte-black finish with black chrome hardware and accents. Premium DPX storage system and quick access barrel rack and scope saver are featured on the door. Two carbine barrel loops are included with the AXIS adjustable steel-shelving system, which includes a pistol rack. Fire protection rating is 1,200º F for 75 minutes. An exterior gear loft
➣ If concealment is your top priority, Code Blue’s all-new camo face paint provides protection against getting spotted by the most seasoned big-game animals. The deep black color blends naturally with shadows, branches, and leaves to cover up your exposed skin. This smudgeproof face paint goes on smooth and delivers a glare-free appearance, and it cleans up quick with just soap and water. The 0.7-ounce tube fits easily in any shirt pocket. SRP: $5.99. Booth #16123. (251-368-4089; codebluescents.com)
Eastman Outdoors ➣ Carbon Express engineers delivered a new, lightweight, compact tactical stock design in the Covert CX-3 crossbow, which combines
premium components and workmanship with excellent balance and feel for responsiveness, optimal power, and increased precision. The Covert CX-3 is built for durability and superior reliability and features a machined aluminum riser, aluminum rail, and carbon-infused limbs. To accommodate different shooting styles, the multi-position forearm adjusts to allow for a more personalized fit. The 9-inch Picatinny rail system also provides multi-position adjustability for the 4x32 lighted scope with red/green illumination, ensuring the ultimate fit with proper eye relief for precision shooting in varying light conditions. The Covert CX-3 kit comes complete with 3 Mayhem 20-inch bolts, rope cocker, QD three-arrow quiver with side bracket, rail lubricant, three practice points, and a 4x32 glassetched reticle lighted scope. SRP: $599. Booth #411. (800-241-4833; xforcecrossbows.com)
➣ The CH Series holsters provide Level 2 retention while enabling nearly unhampered presentation of the pistol. By incorporating a releasing paddle that is activated by the index finger of the user, there’s no need to alter the draw stroke. Simply slide the index finger upward across the paddle while executing your natural draw, and the retention mechanism within the trigger guard is released instantly. In addition, the releasing paddle has been located on the holster so that continuation of the draw naturally positions the index finger alongside the slide/ frame, well above the trigger. As with any new equipment, practicing to attain the proficiency that is possible with the CH holster is essential. This is especially critical if this (or any product) is to be used in a tactical or self-defense situation. CH series 2014 holsters include S&W M&P (SWCH), Springfield XD (XDCH), Beretta PX4 Storm (BRCH), and Taurus PT 24/7 G1
GARMIN Used from hunts to family vacations, the VIRB video camera combines a unique feature set that makes it easier than ever to capture memories. VIRB features a rugged and waterproof (IPX-7) housing, so there is no extra case necessary to withstand the elements. The unique 1.4-inch Chroma color display makes setup and playback a breeze, using minimal power so VIRB can record up to three hours of true HD (1080p) video on one charge. On-board video enhancement features such as digital image stabilization and lens distortion correction ensure that footage recorded with VIRB will look great, even before editing. VIRB can capture high-quality still photos
28 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
while the video camera is recording. The VIRB Elite model incorporates all these features plus built-in Wi-Fi, data sensors, and a high-sensitivity GPS. Both VIRB and VIRB Elite feature ANT+ connectivity for remote-control functionality with other Garmin products. To complement VIRB Elite, Garmin is launching a mobile application for preview, playback, and remote functionality, along with a free desktop software application to edit and upload VIRB and VIRB Elite videos. With this software, users can edit their footage and embed sensor data in the video. SRP: $299.99 to $399.99. Booth #3009. (913-397-8200; garmin.com/outdoors)
(TACH0). SRP: $39.99. Booth #11966. (267-803-
For 2014, MINOX introduces the DTC 1000 Trail Camera with an integrated wireless GSM feature. All images will immediately be transmitted to a cell phone or other wireless device, or an e-mail address, via the Global System for Mobile communication. This means you can monitor hunting areas, home, or business fast and conveniently from anywhere. The new camera has 8 megapixels of resolution, which produces outstanding image quality. With its IR-flash filter, it has a range of more than 50 feet, regardless of lighting conditions, and it is entirely undetectable. There is a compact 2-inch color monitor for quick and convenient viewing in the field and a trigger time of about one second with storage capacity up to 32GB. SRP: $499. Booth #15249-2. (619-234-7312; minox.com/usa)
➣ Featuring the combo Molle Mount System, the Combo Mount Sidearm Tether allows users to utilize either the 360-degree rotating mount or a Velcro strap mount to have the most suitable configuration for their kit. The tether 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 unit is ruggedly designed with a Spectra/ Nylon line and a strong 60-pound break strength. It is paired with a patented saltwater-proof flushing system. The line also attaches to a Q/C Connector System that provides for quick and easy connection/disconnection of your firearm. SRP: $27.49. Booth #10979. (805-658-9922; gearkeeper.com)
➣ The Gerber Bear Grylls Intense Torch boasts a maximum output of 140 lumens and a maximum runtime of 15 hours. It features four modes: high, medium, low, and S.O.S. With a triangular design so it won’t roll away, and a large rubber grip around an anodized aluminum body, it stays where you set it. The Intense Torch tail cap features a push button with momentary “on” functionality for easy signaling. It’s powered by 2 AA batteries and is rated IPX7 waterproof. SRP: $63. Booth #13614. (800-950-6161; gerbergear.com)
➣ The new Zombie Box Call from Hunter’s Specialties Dead Strut Series produces realistic yelps, cutts, purrs, and gobbles that will bring any gobbler in close—even the “undead” kind. The box call has a high-quality poplar wood body with a perfectly tuned cherry lid. No chalk is needed because the call is waterproof for hunting in any weather conditions. The call comes with an attached elastic silencer strap to keep it quiet
Moultrie The Feeder Hog Light, which attaches to the bottom of a Moultrie feeder, illuminates game in an area up to 30 feet in size, helping hog hunters make a clean shot at night. The high-powered LED light with adjustable brightness can be activated by a motion sensor, photocell, or a manual switch.
TerraLux The Colorado uses cutting-edge circuitry technology to maximize battery life and light output. Four lighting modes are available.
while walking through the woods. SRP: $24.95. Booth #14207. (319-395-0321; hunterspec.com)
Slumberjack To give you peace of mind and defend your smartphone from the daily grind, Pelican Products’ engineers have created two levels of protection in the CE1250 Smartphone Protector. Its first line of defense is a tough, shock-deflecting outer shell that saves the device’s glass face from direct impact on flat surfaces. The second level is a soft, elastomeric interior lining to protect it from scratches and impacts. Meeting military testing specifications (MIL-STD 810G) to survive a 6-foot drop, it is lightweight but rugged. The case features simple, snap-together construction and a smooth outer shell finish that makes it easy to slide into pockets and bags. Its non-clam design allows users to have full use of the device without removing it from the protective armor. The Pelican ProGear Protector for Galaxy S4 is available in black, white, purple, gray, and blue color combinations. SRP: $39.95. Booth #3048. (855-6048562; pelicanprogear.com)
➣ The Thermal Cloak can not only offer protection from the elements, but it can also act as a personal blind. Tactical hood styling keeps peripheral vision and hearing sharp so you can see and hear approaching game, and quiet, weatherready fabrics are waterproof and seam taped to easily repel wind, rain, and snow. The bottom of the bag is open, which lets a hunter feel the edges of a treestand to ensure proper footing. Large self-sealing (via magnets) arm ports allow you to silently move into bow or rifle position. A universal fit system adjusts from 66 inches to 50 inches long. SRP: $229.95. Booth #3453. (800-2336283; slumberjack.com)
➣ The Mama Jama motorized duck decoy combines a spinning wing and sounds made by live ducks as they move on the water. The decoy also moves on forward, producing the “V” ducks make as they swim. The kit includes a mallard hen body (The Mama), with a specially designed floating base that uses a propulsion pump to move the decoy. It is anchored by a 36-inch, 4-ounce MOJO Texas Rig. The Mama Jama comes with a 12-volt rechargeable battery and charger and runs for 6 to 8 hours on fully charged battery. SRP: $119. Booth #1452. (866-216-6656; mojooutdoors.com)
➣ The Feeder Hog Light, which attaches to the bottom of a Moultrie feeder, illuminates game in an area up to 30 feet in size, helping hog hunters make a clean shot at night. The high-powered LED light with adjustable brightness can be activated by a motion sensor, photocell, or a manual switch. SRP: $49.99. (800-653-3334; moultrie feeders.com)
➣ Summit Treestands is adding the Peak to its line of Crush treestands. Constructed with a simple and easy-to-use attachment system, the Peak also features a padded arm and backrest. The stand offers a folding frame for a smaller profile when packing and includes a four-point harness fall-arrest system for maximum safety. The stand weighs 22 pounds and can hold up to 300 pounds. SRP: $129.99.
vents and are water-impact and abrasion-resistant. SRP: $64.95. Booth #819. (303-330-2812; rio grandecustomgrips.com)
Summit The Peak, part of the Crush line, features a padded arm and backrest. Booth #16123. (256-353-0634; summitstands.com)
Rio Grande Grips
➣ These new commemorative U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret grips are made for Ruger revolvers and Model 1911s. The all-black tribute grips feature the Special Forces crest, affectionately known by oldtimers as the “harp.” The tough grips resist saltwater, oil, and sol-
➣ The Colorado offers 500 ANSIrated lumens for 90 minutes using easy-to-find AA batteries—performance normally reserved for CR123A-powered lights. The flashlight’s cutting-edge circuitry maximizes the life and lumens of the CREE XM L LED. Four lighting modes allow the user to select the amount of light that’s just right. A programmable memory returns the Colorado to the user-selected power output the first time, every time. The high-impact polymer body holds four AA batteries in two stacks of two. Molded grip panels and an ergonomically efficient shape make the Colorado easy to hold for any length of time, even when hands are wet or muddy. The light has been impact-tested to a full meter, and is IPX7 waterproof for 30 minutes at a 1-meter depth. Power ranges are max power of 500 lumens for 1.5 hours, high power of 250 lumens for 3.6 hours, medium power of 60 lumens for 18 hours, and low power of 3 lumens for 150 hours. SRP: $97.99. Booth #641. (303-4424960; terraluxportable.com)
➣ Using a hardened steel case with an aircraft-grade billet 6061-OT6 aluminum trigger, Timney has set its sights on upgrading the Rem ington Model 7 Carbine. The new drop-in trigger is easy to install, with an average bench time of under 15 minutes. Once secured, the trigger can be adjusted from 4 to 1.5 pounds of crisp pull, with no creep. SRP: $134.95. Booth #1846. (623-
conditions. Wiley X’s T-Shell lens coating resists scratching in even the most extreme environments, while its advanced Foil lens coating provides unsurpassed fog protection. Wearers can easily switch lenses among four configurations, including matte black, gray, and clear lenses. The glasses are RX-ready for hunters and shooters who wear corrective lenses. SRP: $100 to $140. Booth #32211. (800-776-7842; wileyx.com)
➣ The WX Vapor’s ultra-lightweight, double-injected frame design increases comfort by reducing combat load and relieving pressure on the nose bridge and ears. This eyewear system is ideal for shooting sports. The glasses meet stringent ANSI Z87 high-velocity and highmass impact safety standards, providing occupational grade protection. They also meet the updated MIL-PRF-32432 (GL) MCEP Standard (superceding the GL-PD 10-12 MCEP Standard) for ballistic eye protection and EN-166FT for high-velocity impact standards at temperature extremes. With 100 percent UVA/UVB protection and distortion-free clarity, the Vapor combines advanced protection with sharp vision under a wide range of
➣ In just seven years, YETI Coolers has built a cult following of customers with its grizzly-proof line of ice chests. For 2014, the company will introduce the Tank, a 20-gallon bucket that is rotational molded (the same process used to make whitewater kayaks), making it almost indestructible. It holds up to 96 aluminum cans, 60 longneck bottles, or one full-size keg. The PermaFrost insulation offers best-in-class thermal resistance and eliminates exterior sweating. The handles are made from militarygrade rope and heavy-duty textured grips to make carrying a loaded Tank easier. The drain system offers easy draining while partially open and is leak-proof when closed. SRP: $199.99. Booth #1627. (512-3949384; yeticoolers.com)
F E AT U R E
Gun safes go a long way toward keeping your personal guns out of criminal or inexperienced hands. NSSF’s trio of security programs do that job on a national scale.
lies on proper firearms handling, storage, and safety. Firearms accidents and terrible events like the Sandy Hook school shooting, and the tragic consequences they have on families and whole communities, should compel all of us to work even harder to promote and practice firearms safety. Firearms retailers can play an important role in bringing the Project ChildSafe program to their communities by making local law enforcement departments—whether municipal police, sheriff’s departments, or campus police—aware of the safety program. Retailers should consider partnering with law enforcement on community safety days, for example.
Keeping Guns Out of the Wrong Hands NSSF is making a three-pronged effort By Bill Brassard, NSSF senior director, communications
etailers think about it prior to every firearm sale, and gun owners should be thinking about it on a regular basis. The thought? The prevention of unauthorized access to firearms, which is one way to reduce violence in our society without infringing on Second Amendment rights.
Working to keep guns out of the wrong hands is so important to our industry that the National Shooting Sports Foundation has made it a multimillion-dollar, three-program priority. This trident of initiatives is made up of Project ChildSafe, FixNICS, and “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.” Each in its own way helps deter accidents, theft, and the misuse of firearms.
➤ As the leading organization promoting firearms safety and responsibility, NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 2003 specifically to both educate gun owners on their responsibility to keep their guns out of the wrong hands and provide the tools to help them do so. Through partnerships with law enforcement, NSSF has distributed more than 36 million free firearms safety kits and safety information to gun owners 36 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
throughout the U.S. as part of this program. We’re proud to report that, between 2000 and 2010, fatal firearms accidents dropped 22 percent. Firearms accidents now account for less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents in the United States. Last year, NSSF, in partnership with law enforcement agencies across the country, committed $1 million to providing free firearms safety kits—including locks—to gun owners, and to educating gun owners about responsible firearms handling and storage. With this effort, NSSF will continue to be the leading voice in the nation on firearms safety. True success with this campaign, however, relies on the participation of responsible firearms owners at the local level. Our ProjectChildSafe.org website has tips and information to help gun owners prevent firearms accidents, secure firearms against theft and misuse, and educate fami-
➤ Another way to keep guns out of the wrong hands is to make sure the National Instant Criminal Background Check System contains all records of persons prohibited from owning a firearm under current law. Background checks are only as good as the records in the database, and current NICS records are incomplete. To correct this shortcoming, NSSF has launched FixNICS to encourage states not providing records related to mental incompetency and restraining orders under current law to comply so that more accurate and complete background checks are conducted. Visit fixnics.org to find out how your state ranks in providing mental health records to NICS.
“Don’t Lie for the Other Guy”
➤ The third prong in keeping guns out of the wrong hands is NSSF’s ongoing “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program, which helps educate firearms retailers on how to prevent illegal straw purchases and warns the public that it’s a crime to engage in such a transaction, punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail. NSSF encourages firearms retailers to request a “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” Retailer Kit, which contains a staff training video and store signs that warn potential straw purchasers that you’re on the alert for them. You can find out more at dontlie.org. NSSF’s three-pronged effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands will help our industry, gun owners, and communities to prevent firearms accidents, theft, and misuse. And it happens to be a solution to violence everyone can agree on.
F E AT U R E
Independent retailers are the backbone of the firearms industry. The SHOT Show is the one place where they can see everybody at once—manufacturers, distributors, outdoors media, fellow retailers—and everybody can see them. The population density is its own reward.
Why independent retailers love SHOT Show… and why the feeling is mutual By Robert F. Staeger
on’t call them “mom-and-pop stores.” With today’s high-tech inventory tracking, the diversity of both product and clientele, sudden bouts of product scarcity, and the complications of keeping up with the latest ATF regulations, today’s independent retailers have a lot more on their plate than mom and pop ever did. All of which makes SHOT Show indispensable for independent firearms retailers—and those selfsame retailers crucial to the success of SHOT Show.
“First and foremost, SHOT Show is the one place you can see everyone and everything you need to have a competitive advantage,” says NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer Chris Dolnack. “You can see the latest products, and you have a good chance of talking to the engineer that worked on the new product, or meet the president of the company. That’s not something that happens as a rule anywhere else.” Randy Clark, NSSF’s managing director of business development, agrees: “The beauty of SHOT is, once the independents get their business out of the way with the majors—Ruger, Smith, and those guys—then they can walk the aisles and look for the niche merchandising for their store that absolutely nobody else will have.” And with SHOT covering more than 600,000 square feet, that’s a job in itself. “If it’s under the sun out there for the independent retailer, it’s at SHOT Show,” says Clark. “You can touch it, you can feel it, you can talk directly with the people who make it. You can write the orders there and get everything taken care of. A regional event cannot pull all the different categories and all the different merchandise and opportunities, just because they don’t have the space.” At last year’s show, 15,500 members of the independent retailing community were in attendance. That population density is its own advantage, says Patrick Shay, NSSF’s director of retail development. “I think another great benefit is network-
ing—meeting other great retailers there and being able to share what’s working and not working.” And it doesn’t end with fellow retailers, says Clark. “Networking can happen on so many different levels. They can network with their buying groups, they can network directly with manufacturers. But networking always floats to the top of the survey results of why independents go to SHOT.”
Knowledge = Power
➤ “I think the educational opportunities that we offer also make it critical for independent retailers to be here,” says Shay. “They’re learning, not just about products and upcoming programs, but also about what’s going on in the industry.” SHOT Show University gives attendees an intensive schedule of seminars the day before the show floor opens, and retailers can also take part in the retailer education seminars throughout the run of the show. Retailers particularly find a lot of value in the compliance programs the ATF holds, as well as the ability to meet with the ATF and the FBI at the show and discuss individual issues. “We’re looking to give our retail attendees a reason to come to the show, where they can not only pick up the information they need, and meet the key people, but also leave Las Vegas with some new information that will be actionable in their business,” says Dolnack.
“If it’s under the sun out there for the independent retailer, it’s at SHOT Show,” says Clark. “You can touch it, you can feel it, you can talk directly with the people who make it. You can write the orders there and get everything taken care of.” 40 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
Of course, as important as the show is to independent retailers, the retailers themselves are a crucial part of the show. “Independent firearms retailers are the backbone of our industry,” says Dolnack. “They’re where consumers go to get information—not only product information, but also what’s in season and how well other hunters are doing. Information about not only the what, but also the when and where. So having independent retailers at the SHOT Show is also a major driving force for manufacturers.” The obvious thought is that retailers are whom the manufacturers sell to. But that’s only part of the story. Retailers don’t necessarily place orders at the show unless there’s a show special—a deeper discount, better terms. But the sheer number of exhibitors—1,610!—means that a lot of buying decisions are being made, even if they’re not formalized. “Retailers are in an information-gathering mode,” says Dolnack. “Research shows they typically place their orders within 60 days after the show—often at distributor shows, which tend to take place after SHOT Show.”
The Front Line
➤ Even so, says Dolnack, “there are still a lot of manufacturers and exhibitors at the SHOT Show that don’t sell through two-step distribution and who do write orders at the show. So there’s a tremendous opportunity for independent retailers to seek out new products, niche products, and new vendors that will allow them to have an item that they can make some money on that isn’t being footballed around in the marketplace yet.” The presence of all those retailers is a tremendous boon for niche manufacturers that exhibit at the show. “To my mind, I see the independent retailer as the face of the industry in their community,” says Shay. “I think a lot of independent retailers build a great relationship with their communities and their customers. They’re kind of the front line of the industry, so any information that they can get from the manufacturer and that they can pass along to their customers is huge. It helps their customer make an educated buying decision and really helps to further engage them in the industry.” The outdoors media can also benefit from meeting with independent retailers at SHOT. “These folks are out on the front lines, they’re taking the temperature,” says Shay. By talking with them, reporters can get a really clear picture of what’s going on in the industry, and the issues that face some of the smaller businesses. “They can get comments back from their customers, not only about products, but also about the industry, and how well we are meeting their needs,” adds Shay Conservation and wildlife organizations can also benefit from getting to know their local retailers, and SHOT is a great time to do it. “I think there’s a great opportunity for partnership at the state and local level between the independent retailers and the conservation departments as budgets tighten and it’s harder and harder to get money for some of these programs. Not only can retailers help advertise some of the programs, they can help fund and support them. So if they’re doing a range day and the store has range safety officers or knowledgeable staff that can come out and help, they can help get the word out to their clientele.” As the conservation organizations might put it, SHOT is a diverse ecosystem, where independent retailers play an increasingly important role. Not only do they benefit from the breadth of manufacturers at SHOT, and the networking and educational opportunities here, but they also help those same groups get their messages out to the community at large. Who knew symbiosis came in camo?
F E AT U R E
To accomplish that goal, the NSSF is continuing to develop specialized First Shot events—such as the Big City Tours, aimed at ranges in metro areas—that target specific types of ranges and unique customer demographics as a way to help all ranges get involved with the effort to introduce potential participants to the sport. But the NSSF also recognizes that the introduction is only the first step. “To really keep new shooters engaged, you have to help them take their interest to the next level,” Juett says. “And that’s what Second Round is all about.”
Back for Seconds
NSSF’s First Shots program provides safety training and hard-toget hands-on experience to people who are casually interested in shooting but don’t know where to start. In recent years, the program has started to widen its reach with whirlwind blitzes of metropolitan ranges, as well as deepen its effect by encouraging new shooters to come back for a second round of training.
NSSF First Shots Expands Its Reach
Second Round events deepen interest in the shooting sports By Christopher Cogley
he National Shooting Sports Foundation is dedicated to promoting the shooting sports. One of the key elements to accomplishing that mission is to recruit new participants and help turn their budding interest into a permanent passion. In the years since it was established, First Shots has proven to be an extremely valuable tool to get new people involved in the shooting sports. The early success of the Second Round program shows that it too could become just as valuable at transforming those new shooters into lifelong participants. The First Shots program was created as a way for ranges to provide people with an opportunity to try shooting in a safe, controlled environment. To help offset the cost of hosting a First Shots event, the NSSF provides participating ranges with ammunition, targets, safety literature, print advertising graphics, radio-ready commercials, instructor PowerPoint presentations, and even cooperative advertising funds. “First Shots is such an easy way to get people into your range,” says Tisma Juett, manager of First Shots for NSSF. “For a small investment, you can reach out to the community and show them that you are running a safe and responsible range. Once they understand the basics of fire-
arms safety, they begin to realize how much fun the shooting sports can be.” In 2013, more than 250 First Shots events took place at ranges across the country. Juett says that this number is about average for the past couple of years.
Big City Shooting
➤ “Our focus for the future will be to reach out to those ranges that have not held an event and try to get them on board with the program,” she says. “Our goal is to show ranges how easy it is to host an event and how effective these events are at bringing new shooters to the sport.”
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➤ The Second Round program was created as a way for ranges to reach out to those people who have participated in a First Shots event and help show them new and different aspects of the shooting sports. “So many people go out and buy a firearm with the idea that they just want it for personal protection. They might participate in First Shots simply as a way to learn how to use their new firearm, but then they realize how much fun shooting can be,” Juett says. “And once the fun aspect kicks in, they start looking for other shooting activities to participate in.” To help introduce enthusiastic new participants to different aspects of the shooting sports and fan the flames of their budding interests, the NSSF provides a $500 stipend to ranges that host a Second Round event. From an introduction to sporting clays and Try-a-Gun to bowling pin shooting and Steel Challenge, the types of Second Round events are as varied as the ranges that host them and the customers who attend them. “There are so many different ways to participate in the shooting sports, but getting started can be intimidating if you don’t know how,” Juett says. “With the Second Round program, ranges can give their First Shots participants an introduction to all these different shooting activities in a safe and controlled way.” Although the Second Shots program is just getting off the ground, Juett says that more than 15 ranges hosted an event last year, and she expects that number to continue to climb as word spreads about the tremendous value of the program. “This really is the next step for bringing a new shooter into the fold,” she says. “The benefit is the ongoing participation from these beginning shooters as they explore different aspects of the shooting sports and continually take their skills to the next level. That, of course, is something we all benefit from.” For more information on hosting a First Shots or Second Round event, contact Tisma Juett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Once the fun aspect kicks in, they start looking for other shooting activities to participate in.” —Tisma Juett, NSSF manager, First Shots
F E AT U R E
Second “Greatest Story Never Told” Statistics, studies need to be publicized By Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO
n 1937, a coaltion of far-sighted legislators and sportsmen enacted the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, and for more than 75 years each and every purchaser of firearms and ammunition pays for the lion’s share of conservation in America. And that’s for the benefit of the entire public and all species, game and non-game alike.
Yet very few people know this. Ask anyone, “Who pays for conservation in America?” and the common (and incorrect) response will likely be some “green” group. The truth, that sportsmen pay for conservation, has been somewhat sardonically called “The Greatest Story Never Told.” But there’s another great untold story, one that is extremely topical today. In fact, it should control one of the most important debates of our time. I’m referring to the fact that both crime and accidents involving firearms have decreased dramatically during the last 20 years. Yet the media and public sentiment in many quarters keep repeating the opposite—that we are experiencing “an epidemic of gun crime” or that “guns in the home are proving deadly for kids,” to quote just two examples. Please don’t just take our word for this. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics report, released in May 2013, shows that firearms-related homicides dropped 39 percent between 1993 and 2011 (49 percent when corrected for population growth), and that non-fatal crimes involving firearms fell an astonishing 69 percent during that same period (75 percent when corrected for population growth). Mass shootings now account for less than 1 percent of all homicides. School homicides? They actually dropped by half. Not exactly what you’ve been hearing from pundits or news organizations, is it? They focus on such horrible events, and beseech us to ban “military-style weapons” and “gun shows” instead of focusing on the true causes of crime. So, as long as we’ve gotten on these topics, what does the Justice Department Report say about them? Well, only 1 percent of inmates are in prison for a crime in which they carried a rifle, and slightly more than 2 percent of those were armed
with a military-style semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm. Furthermore, fewer than 1 percent of inmates who possessed a gun to commit their offense obtained their firearm at a gun show. This decrease in gunrelated crime comes during an
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unprecedented period of growth in firearms sales, gun owners, and licenses to carry firearms. So clearly, more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens does not cause an increase in crime. Accident fatalities with firearms have also continued to decline—by 22 percent in the last 10 years—and National Safety Council Statistics place them far behind poisoning, motor vehicles, falls, choking, drowning, fires, and suffocation. All of this goes to show, in the words of James Carville, “We’re right and they’re wrong.” That may be gratifying, but a larger question is, What good does this information do if nobody knows about it? In that regard, the news is downright awful. A new research report released a day after the Justice Depart ment Report revealed a stunning anomaly: Only 12 percent of Americans believe that violent crime with firearms is down, and 56 percent believe, falsely, that violent crime involving guns is actually increasing! Twenty-six percent believe, also incorrectly, that crime involving firearms stayed about the same during the last 20 years. Women, non-white adults, and senior citizens are the most likely to mistakenly believe that such crime is up. A third survey, released in May, was performed by the Gallup Organization, and it showed that, despite mass-media saturation of news and commentary with anti-firearms messages, out of 20 categories, the public rated gun control second from the bottom of what our national order of priorities should be, well behind most economic issues affecting our nation and its citizens. Clearly, when armed with the facts, Americans will see beyond the hype, and they will focus on the truth. It is crucial for responsible gun owners who follow the law and exercise their constitutional rights to help spread the truth about crime and guns. So, please, help us get the word out!
EOTech Aids LE Agencies with Grant Assistance Working with law-enforcement agencies across the country, the staff at EOTech has seen an ominous trend develop from coast to coast: Budget cuts are forcing agencies to try and do more with shrinking resources. In an effort to supplement department and agency efforts, EOTech has created a free Grant Assistance Program. Through its partnership with Dynamic International, one of the nation’s leading grant assistance firms, EOTech is able to provide support, free of charge, to city, county, and state organizations that are interested in seeking grant funding for EOTech-related products. Paul Cunningham, EOTech’s director of public safety sales, spearheaded the program’s development. “EOTech has always maintained the highest level of respect and support for those that put their lives on the line for others,” he says. “Watching them struggle through budget cuts that restrict their operational finances and don’t allow them to purchase the equipment they need to safely do their jobs is unacceptable.” Dynamic International will offer step-by-step instruction through the entire grant funding process by helping agencies gain approval to pursue grant funding, identifying available grants, and pinpointing the people to support the grant at the state level. They will then assist with the development of a successful grant justification paper and help to secure and protect the grant funding. Booth #20153. (888-368-4656; eotech-inc.com/ grant-assistance)
ON THE FLOOR
With the growth of all things tactical, it was probably just a matter of time before it came to this: Tactical Kilt Thursday. If you’re brave enough to wear your kilt today, stop by the 5.11 Booth, which is hosting Tactical Kilt Thursday today. You’ll even receive a free gift (while supplies last). Booth #13162. Meanwhile, at Stack-On Products (Booth #605), you can enter to win a Shooter’s safe with Steve West from Outdoor Chan nel’s Steve’s Outdoor Adventures from 10 top 10:30 a.m.
F E AT U R E
“These guys know what they’re doing, and can help you navigate through these difficult issues so you don’t have to feel like you’re doing it alone.” —Zach Snow, NSSF manager, shooting promotions NSSF’s Range Action Specialists have all the know-how you need to help you run and maintain a safe, environmentally friendly range. The team of experts, available for phone and online consultations as well as more intensive audits, help range owners avoid getting on the wrong side of regulators.
Specialists Give Range Owners Inside Advice
Best management practices help you run a more efficient operation By Christopher Cogley
here are times as a range owner when it can feel like you’re operating out in the middle of nowhere completely on your own. There are times when it would be extremely helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to get some advice from, someone who understands the business and can give you just a little insight so that you don’t have to learn absolutely everything the hard way.
It’s for times like those that the National Shooting Sports Foundation has developed the Range Action Specialist program. “The goal of this program is to assist ranges with best management practices that have proven to be effective,” says Zach Snow, manager of shooting promotions at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “If you’re looking for sound advice from people who know what they’re doing, this program is for you.” The program consists of a panel of experts that include former members of state agencies, successful range owners, firearms instructors,
legal experts, former inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and many others. These Range Action Specialists provide invaluable insight into nearly every conceivable aspect of running a shooting range. So, whether you want to lower your operating expenses and maintenance costs or ensure that you have all the proper permits and that your policies and procedures are compliant with current Federal regulations, there’s a Range Action Specialist who can help. “For the most part this team covers all the bases,” Snow says. “These guys know what
they’re doing, and they can help you navigate through some of these difficult issues so you don’t have to feel like you’re doing it alone.”
Service and Expertise
➤ Sometimes, that assistance can come in the form of a telephone call or an online discussion. Other times, it might require a more in-depth consultation, when one of the Range Action Specialists can travel to your location for an onsite visit or mock audit. “There are all different levels of options available,” Snow says. “The cost obviously varies depending on the services needed, but the NSSF does offset some of the expense as a benefit to our members.” For many range owners, however, the costs of the services isn’t nearly as important as the benefits they provide. “The service and expertise provided to our project by NSSF has been invaluable,” says Chris Baden of Rocky Creek Ranch in Myakka City, Florida. “The guidance we have received in helping us to develop our master plan for our range has greatly improved our sustainability into the future,” says Baden. “Our range safety team has a much better understanding of recommended management practices and a new level of professional standard to subscribe to.” For more information about how the Range Action Specialists can help you achieve results like that, visit nssf.org/ranges/ras.
RANGE COMPLIANCE PROGRAM PROVIDES PEACE OF MIND For many of the range owners who attend one of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Lead Management and OSHA Compliance Workshops, the information covered during the twoday seminar can be a bit overwhelming. What’s often even more intimidating, however, is the idea of putting into practice all of the policies and procedures outlined in the workshop. Because the NSSF recognizes how daunting this task can be—but also how important it is for range owners to take these steps as a way to protect their business—they have created a low-cost program to help transform the concepts covered in the Lead Management and OSHA Compliance Workshops into everyday business practices. Through the Range Compliance Program, an industry expert will visit your range and conduct an on-site mock audit to ensure that 46 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
the practices you have put into place after attending the Lead Management and OSHA Compliance Workshop are in line with all OSHA regulations. “This is a great way to be sure that you haven’t missed any steps or overlooked any details,” says Zach Snow, manager of shooting promotions at NSSF. “If you don’t have it right before OSHA knocks on your door, it can be pretty costly.” The price of the Range Compliance Program, however, is anything but. A normal consultation by an OSHA compliance expert would cost, at a minimum, $5,000, but through this program, the NSSF is covering half that cost for its members. So, for only $2,500, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that if OSHA pays you an unexpected visit, you’ll be prepared. For more information about the program, visit nssf.org/ranges/rccp.
F E AT U R E
The Model 336 makes its reappearance in 2014. In addition to regular offerings, Marlin will also introduce a Limited Edition series of the 336. These rifles will feature a high-grade walnut stock, high-polish blued metal, and some light scroll engraving.
Despite Rumors, Marlin Makes a Comeback Production resumes at a new home at Remington By David Draper
f there’s a gunmaker that’s suffered from more rumored deaths than Marlin, I wouldn’t be able to name it. Since being acquired by Remington in 2007, the iconic lever-gun manufacturer has been killed off by internet trolls and industry veterans (who should know better) more times than an extra in a George Romero zombie flick. Through it all, the company has kept making guns, although lower production levels and decreased line offerings have given some credence to Marlin’s rumored demise among outsiders who would rather hold on to nostalgia at the cost of lost business.
A lagging economy and a lack of capital investments over the years dealt Marlin a double blow in the late part of the last decade, but according to company officials, Remington has never had any plans to kill off the company. Instead, engineers and craftsmen have been working behind the scenes to drag Marlin into the 21st century while maintaining the legacy of quality and performance that Marlin enthusiasts hold dear. The process has not been easy, and Remington admits to missteps that have pushed back timelines and caused plenty of angst both within and beyond the company walls. “To say we made a couple of mistakes is a bit of an understatement,” says Scott Blackwell, president of Freedom Group International, Remington’s parent company. “We opened the door for Rossi and Henry, but with our new production process for the receiver in a side-by-side comparison, there is no comparison. We’re working hard to bring it back.” Part of that hard work was recovering from a poorly planned move from Marlin’s longstanding manufacturing plant in North Haven, Connecticut, to Remington-operated factories in Ilion, New York, and Mayfield, Kentucky. The 2010 decision to close the North Haven plant, thus ending Marlin’s 140-year tradition of manufacturing in Connecticut, was not an easy one to swallow, both for those making the decision and the company’s fervent fan base. But for Marlin to continue as a viable brand, it was necessary. “Marlin had great heritage and history in the North Haven community,” says John Fink, senior product manager for Remington. “They had a skilled and tenured workforce that knew how to build Marlin rifles. Some of the people were second- and third-generation builders. We were faced with some tough decisions to make that impacted those people and the local community around North Haven.” While the craftsmen at Marlin were first-rate with the kind of inherent knowledge that only comes with an unmatched, lifelong dedication to building a quality product, the manufacturing
A ghost-ring sight on an 1895 lever-action—a Marlin classic design, and a favorite of many shooters. It’s now back in the lineup.
facilities in North Haven were less than great. Machines were held together with what amounted to little more than Band-Aids, creating inefficient and costly production processes. The fact is, companies are in the business of making money. The best way do this is by making quality products that customers want to buy. After an acquisition, the parent company has to do what makes the most sense for the long-term viability of the business. That’s the hard truth Remington faced when it purchased Marlin. “The biggest known issue was that Marlin was in need of capital investment,” says Fink. “We were dealing with equipment that was old—in some cases, more than 60 years. Some of the equipment was in such bad shape that sheet metal damns had been built around the machines to keep fluids from leaking out onto the floor.” Just four hours away, in Ilion, Remington’s factory had some open floor space where it could
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move Marlin, keep it autonomous from Remington, and yet improve efficiency. “We realized it would be a challenging move,” says Fink. “It required moving equipment, setting it up in a new location, and training people to build these rifles. Old equipment does not travel well. Once this equipment was moved to Ilion, many of the pieces were running at a rate that was even less efficient than before.” Compounding the difficulties, Remington discovered dimensioned drawings of Marlin’s iconic rifles did not exist. The plans at North Haven had simply been passed down through the generations. Many of these workers hadn’t made the move to Ilion, so much of that inherent knowledge had been lost. “We were training a new workforce to build these rifles,” says Fink. “We have a great workforce in Ilion with gunmaking talent, but they had never built lever-action rifles before so there was learning curve. It all came together for a very rough transition.” Through it all Remington remained committed to saving Marlin, although you can bet there were some difficult, and heated, conversations. Luckily, cooler heads and common sense prevailed, much due to the fact that no one at Remington wanted to be responsible for killing off a brand that so many of them loved. “The Marlin lever-action rifle is such a great rifle. It has killed so many deer, and given so many people their start in hunting and shooting, that there is no way we could ever quit making Marlin rifles,” says Fink. “We are putting the resources behind the rifles to ensure they will be available for generations.” To save Marlin from imploding, Remington invested both dollars and manpower in a multifaceted approach to achieve the kind of quality that had slipped during the transition. From a manufacturing standpoint, the company has set up a stand-alone Marlin factory within the Ilion plant, with its own designated managers, workforce and assemblers, people who are committed and vested in the Marlin brand.
F E AT U R E
The iconic Marlin leveraction is a firearm prized by millions of American hunters and shooters.
“They have a great deal of pride in what they have done and what the future holds for Marlin rifles,” says Fink. On the product side, Marlin reduced its offerings from 29 catalog lever-gun offerings down to 18. They also eliminated any customer-exclusive guns, at least temporarily. The SKU reduction allowed the factory to focus on the rifles they had a greater ability to produce on a consistent basis, which tended to be the highest-volume offerings. Plans call for rifles that were suspended to make their way back into the line as the manufacturing process works outs its kinks. “We hoped to do that in late 2012, however we were not as far along as we would have liked to have been,” says Fink. “This process was very painful for me, as it would be for anyone who is passionate about rifles.” At the same time lines were being reduced,
R&D engineers started a project to complete three-dimensional drawings of all the parts, something that had never been done before. Meanwhile, production engineers were evaluating what new modern equipment would be necessary once they knew the exact dimensions that would need to be coming off the machine. “We have now completed these dimensioned drawings for the 336 line and 1895 line, since they are the most similar,” says Fink. “In 2014, we will also be in the same position on the 1894 line. New equipment for these lines has been purchased and is operational. We have implemented 100 percent inspection of the Marlin rifles to ensure all the things implemented are being addressed. We have seen great improvement over the last 12 months, and we continue to focus on further improvements.” For 2014, Marlin is reintroducing four sus-
pended offerings, including two .338 Marlin Express rifles, the 1895 Cowboy, and the .444 Marlin. The company is also introducing a Limited Edition series, with the first rifle being a 336 Limited featuring a high-grade walnut stock, high-polish blued metal with some light scroll engraving, and the Marlin horse and rider in 24-carat gold on the left receiver panel. Future plans call for a new introduction to the series each year, with changes in engraving patterns, model, and overall configuration. “When we suspended the items we did in mid2011, there were a total of five new offerings we had engineering looking at for production,” says Fink. “There is a lot of opportunity for completely new offerings and exciting rifles that we can bring back and introduce to the market.” With these new introductions and continuing roll-outs of previously cancelled production lines, Marlin looks to be on solid footing. But will it be enough to finally put an end to the ongoing rumors of the company’s imminent death, which still crop up on shooting and hunting forums? Only time will tell, but to those doubters the brand company officials want to impress the commitment they have to the brand. “I say with all sincerity that the future of Marlin is very positive,” says Fink. “We have invested heavily in Marlin and will continue to do so in terms of both capital equipment and people. We are absolutely committed to seeing that Marlin is here for generations.” But maybe a word from the top sums it up best. “Marlin is back,” says Blackwell. “Consumers will be proud to own it. We owe it to the brand to do it justice.” Booth #14229. (800-544-8892; marlinfirearms.com)
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Faulk’s is still building game calls one at a time By Brandon Butler anaan Heard beams with pride when he speaks of his grandfather, Paul “Dud” Dudley Faulk. Dud is a true legend of waterfowl calling and manufacturing. He won the International Duck Calling Championship in 1954, and won back-toback World Goose Calling Championships in 1961 and 1962. His passion for calling waterfowl remains evident today in the calls and company that bear his name. Faulk’s has been successful while staying true to its roots.
Heard is determined to keep the family legacy alive. He believes the modern market still has room for small American companies adhering to tradition. It was his great- grandfather, Clarence “Patin” Faulk, who first started making Faulk calls in the mid-1930s. Patin was no slouch at calling, and won the 1955 World Goose Calling Championship. Patin’s early calls were made of cane, and hunters and guides from across south Louisiana would do whatever they could to get their hands on one. Faulk’s Game Calls was formally born in 1951 under the guidance of the Patin and Dud, a father-and-son team. Today, Faulk’s manufacturing facilities remain surprisingly simple. The entire company consists of a few side-by-side barns and shops in the back yard of a small house on two city lots in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The inside of the main workshop looks like a museum dedicated to call
Art LeJeune (left) at his workbench. Canaan Heard (great-grandson of founder Clarence Faulk, right) examines a line of finished calls ready for shipping.
making. It’s dusty and dim. Old machinery lines the walls, and there’s an ashtray on the lunch table where call maker Arthur “Art” LeJeune has been taking smoke breaks for more than 45 years. Kwanchai Madith has been joining him for more than 30. “I was 22 years old when I started
here,” LeJeune says. “I was just back from the service and needed a job. Dud hired me on, and I’ve loved it from the first call I turned. I’m 68 now, and I still love coming here and building calls. That’s important, you know, doing something you enjoy. It’s never felt like work to me.”
Watching LeJeune turn a block of wood into a duck call is a lot like watching a master orator give a speech. He is authoritative, accomplished, and confident in every moment. It’s as natural as walking for him. And the calls are beautiful. The low-volume tone of a wooden call hums through the shop each time LeJeune tests another before dropping it in a box destined for a marsh somewhere. Over the years, Faulk’s has expanded its game calls beyond just waterfowl. The company now produces waterfowl, deer, elk, turkey, small-game, and predator calls. “It means a lot to me to carry on my family legacy,” Heard says. “People around the world know us, and that means a whole lot me, because we are just a small Louisiana company making calls in a traditional manner.” Booth #1309. (337-4369726; faulkcalls.com)
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Remington’s Lofty Ambitions Remington reclaims its airgun space By Slaton L. White
ver the past few years, when retailers have stocked an airgun from Remington, it was licensed product. The strategy kept Remington in the airgun game without having to incur development expenses, but given that the product was farmed out, you never got the sense that airguns were top of mind at Big Green. That’s all changed. Remington recently hired a team of engineers, product managers, and marketers dedicated to building the finest airgun company in the industry. One member of the new Remington airgun division is Dani Navickas, airgun product manager. She had spent the past 17 years in the space, so she obviously knows the field and intends to make Remington a major player, with products designed and developed by Remington. The first step was the purchase of SMK, the largest importer and distributors of airguns in the United Kingdom. “We were excited to recently wel-
come SMK into our family of companies,” says Scott Blackwell, president of Freedom Group/ Remington. “The acquisition of SMK, now Remington Outdoor (UK), marks another strategic step for our company as we expand our offering of relevant products to the outdoor enthusiast. This acquisition is an expansion of a legacy that began in 1927, when Remington first served as an airgun supplier. Still, folks should be under no illusion—1927 was a long time ago, and we’re looking forward to challenging the way consumers think about the airgun space.” The second step was the introduction of the Remington Express
Back in the Game Outdoor writer David Draper takes aim with Remington’s new Express spring-piston break-barrel .177.
spring-piston break-barrel .177 air rifle last fall. The rifle is targeted to a key demographic—shooters in the 18- to 34-year-old age group. Navickas says the initial strategy was to get the rifles into eight chain stores in time for the Black Friday retail selling frenzy the day after Thanksgiving. By early October, she says, “We had already sold more than 15,000 rifles, sight unseen.” The Express uses lead pellets, and as a result achieves muzzle velocities of up to 1,000 fps. “We know that using alloy pellets would give us higher velocities,” she says, “but accuracy is what counts. And that’s what we focused on.” Other features of the Express include a 4x32 scope (with mounts), a two-stage trigger, checkered hard-
wood stock, fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sights, fitted rubber recoil pad, and an auto/rest safety. The safety has a reset lever that is unique in the industry. Most spring air rifles have to be recocked in order to reset the safety. This crossbolt design has a lever on the safety that is easily pulled back with the thumb to reset to “Safe” if the shot will not be fired. This is a feature that should appeal to new shooters. “Down the road you’ll see five new rifles along with accessories,” Navickas says. “We intend to create a full line of product. Right now we have a lot of different irons in the fire. The goal is to make Remington a premier airgun company. We have lofty ambitions.” Booth #14229. (800-243-9700; remington.com)
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A Rest of Champions Champion has a new line of shooting rests that are highly portable and adjustable for pretty much any shooting style.
Champion’s new lineup of rests deliver easy stability
e’ve all seen that guy who tries to shave as he’s driving in rush-hour traffic. The results aren’t pretty. Even if he does dodge putting his grille into the hatchback ahead of him, his face winds up looking like a comic book villain’s by the time he gets to the office.
The takeaway is, it’s impossible to pull off a precise task if the foundation you’re working from shimmies and shakes beneath you. Shooters know this all too well. A good rest allows one to place precise shots, take human error out of the equation, and allow the rifle and ammunition to perform at their peak. With their cast aluminum and steel-tube construction, the new line of rifle rests from Champion Shooting Gear are built to stand up to the rigors of the range. And the leather-and-polyester front shooting bag provides a solid yet delicate cradle for any firearm. “We gave these rests superior recoil-management results by lower-
ing their center mass. It’s what sets our rests apart from the competition,” says Tony Kremer, Champion’s product designer. “The lowered shooting position also provides enhanced comfort.” With multiple points of adjustment, shooters can easily manipulate elevation and windage. They can also maintain a level position, even on uneven surfaces, thanks to three independently adjustable feet. “All of our new rests are designed with quality in mind and feature quality material for long-lasting durability,” Kremer says. “Our unique parallel tube design [on three of the models] allows shooters to use highercapacity magazines with these rests.
In addition, our designs can be used by both right- and left-handed shooters due to the ambidextrous design of the windage and elevation controls.” The Champion Premium Rifle Rest is designed to accommodate firearms ranging from rimfires to magnum centerfires rifles and MSR platforms. Shooters can put weights on the steel tray to tame harsh recoil, and adjust the overall length by as much as 3 inches to find the optimum balance for a specific firearm. “The Premium Shooting Rest has fine-adjustment control to zero in on the target and allow consistent shot placement,” says Kremer. “Its weight tray helps tame aggressive recoil for accurate and consistent
shots.” SRP: $171.95. Champion’s Enhanced Rifle Rest offers many of those same features with a durable cast metal and steel tube frame, and a precise, easy-toadjust elevation range of 2¼ inches. The adjustable steel feet with removable polymer covers grip any surface and level the rest on an uneven shooting platform. It’s also compatible with most magazine-fed rifles, which means shooters can use it with their new MSR as well as bolt-action or lever guns. SRP: $143.95. Shooters who want the same performance in a more affordable package can opt for Champion’s Performance Shooting Rest. It provides all of the Enhanced Rifle Rest’s features, but with a durable molded-polymer front section and a removable steel weight tray for added stability and felt-recoil reduction. SRP: $114.95. For some shooters, portability is paramount. If you’re in that camp, consider Champion’s Tri-Stance Rest, which easily fits into a range bag. “The Tri-Stance Rest allows flexibility for rifle or handgun shooters,” says Kremer. “The two-part rest features a three-leg cast aluminum and steel front section that allows 2¼ inches of elevation adjustability. The polymer-filled rear bag provides an effective yet compact platform.” SRP: $95.95. Another portable option is the new Champion Varminter, which is great in the field and on a bench. “The Varminter has fine- adjustment control for exact shot placement at the range or in the field,” he says. “Its lightweight design deploys quickly, rotates 360 degrees, and allows 7½ inches of height adjustment. Durable steel tube construction ensures it’ll last as long as you do.” SRP: $66.95. With an ever-improving selection of quality rests like these, there’s no excuse for using one that doesn’t fit your shooting style. Make use of what Champion offers, and you’ll put more rounds on the target. Booth #14551. (800-831-0850; championtarget.com)
A REST THAT MOVES YOU To hunters, benchtop shooting rests are an invaluable tool for sighting-in firearms and experimenting with loads. But a rock-solid rest in the controlled and sheltered domain of a range is also fantasyland. Anyone who’s ever tried to punch a tag knows that in-the-field shot opportunities are never anything like the shots taken from a bench, and real-world accuracy suffers as a result. Champion is helping hunters overcome this with its new Flip Monopod
56 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
($44.99). Think of it as a hiking staff that transforms into a shooting stick when you need it most. Its retractable shooting yoke quickly flips open from the top of the ergonomic handle with the press of a button, providing a perfect Y-shaped rest. It also features a wrist strap, heavyduty polymer and aluminum construction, and a steel tip that digs into any terrain. It’s ideal for spot-and-stalk hunters who need to hoof it through rough country before finally putting the crosshairs on the target.
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Matching Ammo Manufacturers serve up hunting ammunition designed around the MSR
ike almost every iconic weapon in the evolution of firearms, the modern sporting rifle has been embraced by hunters. To many, its action, handling, adjustability, and compatibility with varied optics and accessories makes it the perfect combination for hunting everything from coyotes to moose. This versatility isn’t magic, however. Gun manufacturers made the MSR what it is by designing it wholly unlike conventional bolt-actions, semi-automatics, and lever guns. In short, MSRs function differently because they are different— in their barrels, their firing pins, their actions, and more.
This calls for ammunition that’s just as specialized. Unfortunately, many shooters, especially those who purchased an MSR during the plat-
Fusion MSR ammo utilizes fast-burning powders in order to develop maximum velocity out of the shorter (16 to 20 inches) barrels customary to the modern sporting rifle platform.
form’s meteoric rise to popularity over the past decade or so, don’t always understand this. This is due, in part, to the MSR’s military pedigree, but military-style fully jacketed rounds are neither the practical nor legal choice for hunting. And more appropriate, conventional hunting loads are similarly ill-suited to the MSR. Thankfully, ammunition manufacturers have developed hunting-specific loads built around this revolutionary class of firearms. Last year, for example, Federal Premium released Fusion MSR, as well as new MSR-optimized loads in its American Eagle line. “We know a good percentage of MSR owners are using them for hunting, and we feel that number will rise in years to come. So, we looked at what needs the group has—or will have—and tailored products to meet them,” says Dan Compton, product line specialist for Federal Premium. The company’s primary hunting offering is the Fusion MSR, which is currently offered in .223
Rem., .308 Win., 6.8 SPC, and .338 Federal. “For target practice, we offer several loads in our American Eagle brand, including 6.8 SPC, as well as 300 Blackout in both standard and the new Suppressor line.” Compton says. “We also offer 5.56mm, .223 Rem., and 7.62x51mm FMJ ball offerings for target practice.”
➤ MSRs are not simply cosmetically different from their more traditional counterparts—they function differently on an almost fundamental level. An important distinction, especially with respect to ammunition, is the firing pin. An MSR has a free-floating pin that comes into contact with the primer when the bolt chambers a round. If a cartridge’s primer is too sensitive, the round may go off when the bolt slides shut, resulting in a slam fire. On the other hand, if the primer is too heavy, it may not ignite when the trigger is pulled. Federal Premium dealt with these issues headon when developing its Fusion MSR line. “The key is balance,” Compton says. “All of our MSR-optimized loads feature the Gold Medal GM205AR primer, which is loaded to mil-spec sensitivity. It offers the high levels of reliability and consistency our Gold Medal primers are renowned for.” Propellant choice is another critical part of how manufacturers are providing hunters with ammunition customized for the MSR. The challenge is that MSRs typically have short barrels—16 to 20 inches—which can limit velocity. Federal countered this by loading Fusion MSR and its other new MSR-optimized loads with fastburning powders. These maximize velocities out of short barrels while maintaining standard pressures. As a bonus, such propellants burn extremely efficiently, leaving less powder residue in the firearm. “This means better function and easier maintenance,” says Compton. “The powders used in Fusion MSR loads also feature flash suppressants for minimized visual signature. This makes them ideal for hunting in low light for species like hogs.”
➤ No matter what flavor of rifle they use, serious hunters know that it’s ultimately the bullet that does the dirty work of bringing down game. That’s why it’s only logical that Fusion MSR borrowed its Fusion counterparts’ bullet. The pressure-formed lead core is electro-chemically bonded to its copper jacket plating, eliminating core-jacket separation while ensuring deep penetration and high weight retention. And that helps ensure clean kills. Booth #14562. (800322-2342; federalpremium.com)
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Hold That Margin!
Walther helps its retailers protect their profits By Slaton L. White Cyndi Flannigan, Walther’s vice president of sales and marketing, spent many years at Leupold & Stevens. When she made the move to Walther last year, she immediately saw one crucial difference between the optics and firearms industries. “In the optics world, distributors have a minimum transaction price, and they pretty much stick to that. But that’s not the case with firearms. Nobody has a unilateral pricing policy.” As a result, retailers may feel pressure to discount heavily to get the sale, which, obviously, lowers their margins. Flannigan says that Walther retailers experience this to a lesser degree because “Walther is in such high demand. We understand the price pressure that some retailers may feel, but we also encourage them to keep margins high by reminding them of the demand for the product, especially when supplies are limited.” Walther supports the retailer in other ways, as well. “We’ve done trade advertising to tell the retailer about ‘the new Walther,’ and our independent reps are also on the road to explain the new company structure and how it will benefit the retailer,” Flannigan says. Flannigan says that Walther will be creating a special retailer website where “they can not only
check on their orders, but also access a library with how-to videos that tell you how to break down a firearm as well as instructional how-tosell videos. It’s really important that a retailer know how to merchandise Walther products.” In addition, the reps are working on profiling Walther retailers. “This will give us an idea on how to market to them, whether it’s a larger, more sophisticated operation or the more traditional independent mom-and-pop.” Retailer support efforts also mean getting Walther personnel behind the counter. “We need to get behind the counter,” she says. “And we intend to bring in retailers for product and sales roundtables well. It’s all part of an effort to create better partnerships.” Flannigan understands the value of floor traffic, and the value of retailer flyers with “sale guns’” to drive that traffic. At the same time, she says Walther isn’t interested in becoming a loss leader. “We hope other companies get to be the loss leader, and when people come in they’ll see the value and performance of a Walther,” she says. “Given the quality and performance of our guns, the retailer will be able to protect his margin.” That’s good for him, and good for Walther. But even so, Walther understands how price
The iconic Walther PPK remains a popular firearm, one with a nice margin. The German manufacturer regularly invests in retailer support to help maintain and protect that margin.
sensitive the customer is these days. That’s why the manufacturer introduced a new price-point PPX (that sells for under $500) earlier this year. “This was new ground for us,” she says. “It’s been very successful, both in numbers sold and the margins reaped by the retailers. It’s an entrylevel tool, but we worked very hard to keep the quality for which Walther is known.” Quality and value. Not a bad combination at all. Booth #14545. (479-242-8500; walther arms.com)
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Liberty Safe Meets Demand For U.S.-Made Products As global economic conditions continue to change, the demand for U.S.-made products seems greater than ever. Last year, Liberty Safe took great strides to meet that demand by investing more than $15 million in capital equipment to increase its production capabilities. This has allowed Liberty to produce as many as 550 safes a day, making the firm the largest high-capacity safe manufacturer in the world. The increase in capability has also created hundreds of U.S. jobs. Liberty currently employs more than 500 American workers, most located in the Payson, Utah, facility. “Our goal as a company is to produce the best-built safes on the planet,” says CEO Kim Waddoups. “The only way to do that is by investing in the best technology and putting that technology into the hands of a skilled team. Our current production looks nothing like it did five years ago. We have made many changes to increase our capabilities while maintaining the quality for which Liberty is known.” Waddoups also notes that sales of all safes last year exceeded market expectations. “Liberty has been the market leader, surpassing all other manufacturers in production and volume,” he says. “The service, quality, selection, and value we offer has separated us from the pack in the safe industry. Liberty also offers a lifetime replacement warranty against fire and attempted theft for every safe.” Booth #13623. (866-537-0165; libertysafe.com)
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The Food Game
Outdoor cooking requires the right cookware By Phil Bourjaily
ame cooking has never been more popular than it is now. The locavore movement has made game cooking hip, and TV shows like Meateater and Sporting Chef bring game cooking to a mass audience. These days, outdoor cookware sells—and not just to the car camper anymore. “We have seen a huge increase in sales and usage among the hunting and fishing crowds,” says Steve McGrath, marketing and public relationa director of Camp Chef. Founded in 1990 in Logan, Utah, Camp Chef has become a leader in the outdoor cooking field. Its original product, the PRO 60 stove, won Consumer Digest’s Best Buy award, and the line has grown to include smokers, stoves, grills, pizza ovens, cast-iron cookware, and more, along with a full line of accessories. I had a chance to see the Camp Chef product line in action on a duck hunt in Utah in the fall. In the hands of a good cook, Camp Chef
gear is capable of magic, even when you set up a mobile kitchen on a levee in a state WMA. We dined on breakfast pizza, biscuits, pastries, and smoked tri-tip, all cooked to perfection outdoors. A smoker may be the single most popular piece of cooking gear for many hunters, who enjoy smoking game and making jerky. Camp Chef’s Smoke Vault, which comes in 18- and 24-inch sizes, is one of the best units on the market. “To me, the Smoke Vault’s biggest advantage is its temperature range,” says McGrath. “It can go from 160 degrees to close to 500 degrees. I know it’s a smoker and will be used
The pellet grill (above) is new for 2014. The popular Smoke Vault boasts a temperature range of 160 to nearly 500 degrees.
mostly as such, but it’s nice to be able to turn it up when you need to, like for baking beans. Another advantage is capacity—the 24-inch smoker can handle almost 60 pounds of pulled pork at a time. Not many consumerfriendly smokers can do that.” New for 2014, Camp Chef enters the popular pellet grill category. Pellet grills use compressed sawdust pellets as fuel, allowing them to function as both ovens and smokers. It’s easy to regulate temperature, and the grills are safer than gas and charcoal models, as well. The new PG24 I saw in Utah has all-digital controls that maintain consistent cooking temperatures.
Asked for a selling point, McGrath says, “The biggest difference between our grills and the competition is that ours are easier to clean. Most other grills have to be disassembled and cleaned of ash with a shop vac. With ours, a simple pull of a lever dumps the ash into a removable cup. “Independent retailers have an advantage when it comes to their ability to educate the consumer,” says McGrath. “Our stoves are more than just heat sources. They are customizable kitchen centers. Independent retailers can specialize in parts of the line that big-box stores would struggle to sell.” Booth #15543. (800783-8347; campchef.com)
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TenPoint Aims For Baby Boomers By Peter B. Mathiesen Many retailers now know that many states are expanding crossbow seasons. Just a few years ago, states reserved their use to those hunters who had suffered debilitating injuries that severely restricted their movement. But as states confronted an aging population of hunters who were no longer able to bow hunt as they had in their youth, these restrictions began to ease. Although many hunters may still view the crossbow as an “exotic” hunting implement, there is no doubt it is gaining more mainstream acceptance. That said, a retailer’s most robust opportunities still lie with the older segment of the hunting population. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, in 2006 more than 7.5 million people went to a physician’s office for treatment of shoulder problems or upper arm pain. More than 4.1 million visits were for rotator-cuff pain alone. These injuries can take place on the job, playing sports, or just working around the house. But injuries aside, baby boomers have different ideas about aging than their fathers did. This is a generation that doesn’t want to admit it’s getting old and still wants to participate in vigorous activities.
That’s why it makes economic sense to stock crossbows. Doing so helps you offer a hunter who can no longer draw a compound bow an intriguing option that helps him continue hunting. Retailers who may not have thought of themselves as crossbow retailers are finding out that having inventory before hunting season is both profitable and provides a service to their customers—at a time when they can be grateful. “To get a retailer started with a full line of good/better/best crossbows from TenPoint, we’ll have you rack ready for around $2,500. We also have an extensive array of dealer-training aids to answer most questions,” says Richard Bednar, president of TenPoint. Some of the quickest turns are from stores that have a regular customer coming in with a lastminute injury. “The hunter finds out they can’t pull a bow just a few days before season, and they don’t want to miss their hunt,” Bednar says. He also pointed out that saving a hunt for a customer can be an endearing moment—strengthening a relationship that will continue long after the injury heals. “It is rewarding for the retailer to keep a customer in the field, and the customer deeply
As an aging bowhunter becomes less able to draw a compound bow, a TenPoint crossbow with Acudraw might keep him in the field.
appreciates your help.” One of the best values in the TenPoint line is having models for different abilities of the hunter. With features like the Acudraw, a hunter can hand-crank a bow into the firing position with no strain on the upper arm or shoulder. I intimately understand this kind of hunter, because last fall I was unexpectedly “that guy” after suffering a debilitating shoulder injury just two weeks before a bow hunt. Previously, I never even thought of owning a crossbow, but the ability to obtain a TenPoint Crossbow with an Acudraw from a dealer saved my archery hunt and allowed me to take a wonderful deer, a prize buck I would never taken without the help of such a wellthought-out product and a dealer’s sincere interest in keeping me hunting. Booth #742. (330-6289245; tenpointcrossbows.com)
The High-Margin Plan Remington’s Custom Shop now offers dealer-direct ordering By David Draper
n recent years, retailers have been making hay on the popular trend toward plastic, price-point rifles, often at the expense of, well, more expensive offerings. If the goal is to serve the majority, that’s fine. But by not stocking high-grade firearms, retailers might be missing out on a lucrative market, not only for near-custom rifles, but also the premium accessories that go with them. To that end, Remington has made its Custom Shop available for dealer-direct ordering, giving retailers the option of stocking high-end firearms to round out their gun racks and educate discriminating consumers about the kind of quality that’s available. “This gives the dedicated Remington consumer—and there are many of them—a chance to hold and inspect the quality coming from the Custom Shop in Ilion, New York,” says Richard Spruill, assistant product manager of custom products for Remington. “It’s a case of seeing is believing.” As smart retailers know, it’s that kind of education that moves both guns and high-margin accessories, especially when it comes to products that carry a higher price tag than consumers are used to seeing. By stocking guns from the Custom Shop, the retailers can show consumers just what the difference is between a standard Remington and those that have been given the custom treatment. Take the venerable Remington Model 700, for example. By all accounts, it’s a fine and accurate rifle straight off the assembly line. But a Model 700 that goes through the Custom Shop is, in many shooters’ eyes, worth the higher price tag. Blueprinting and truing up the mating surfaces in the receiver ensures the barrel and locking lugs are absolute-
ly squared to exacting tolerances. All Custom Shop barrels (with the exception of 597 rimfire barrels, which are made by Shilen) are button-rifled in-house using a push (rather than pull-through) technique for a more uniform end product, and each barrel is hand-lapped to a perfect interior finish. The barreled action is then set up with tuned X-Mark Pro trigger and hand-fitted into a premium stock before being function-tested and shot for accuracy. In addition to Model 700 rifles in various configurations, Remington’s Custom Shop also hand-builds rifles on the company’s legendary 40-X action for the accuracy-obsessed benchrest and tactical shooter, and a Model 597 rimfire that’s guaranteed to print groups of a half-inch at 50 yards. All Custom Shop rifles, whether sold through dealers or direct to consumers, are hand-built to order, giving retailers the same level of personalized attention, direct communication, and quick turnaround one would expect from a custom shop. Booth #14229. (800-243-9700; remington.com)
A Model 700 that goes through Remington’s Custom Shop in Ilion, New York, fetches a higher price than a model straight off the assembly line. That’s because the extra attention showered on a Custom Shop rifle turns each into a premium product.
Optics for Turkey Hunters
here are more than three million turkey hunters in the U.S., and they participate in a unique pursuit in the hunting world. Gobbler-getting incorporates elements of upland and big-game hunting with some singular challenges of its own. Turkey hunters face this assignment with a specific skill set and some specially designed gear, including specialized calls, decoys, clothing, seats, and blinds. Gobbler guns are also tuned for this special pursuit with adaptations that blend the attributes of a sharp-shooting rifle with the functionality of a shotgun.
Because turkey guns shoot more like rifles than their wingshooting cousins, gobbler hunters often benefit from mounting sights on their firearms. But again, the unique situations faced by turkey hunters mean specially designed optics are often the best fit. Traditional scopes and dot-style sights are both excellent choices for turkey-hunting shotguns, which throw patterns the size of a baseball. The precision aiming point allows consistent shot placement, even from the contorted positions assumed when gobblers approach seated callers from unexpected angles. Choosing between these two styles of sights is often a matter of personal preference. Some hunters prefer a scope’s ability to increase magnification for longer shots and the fact that this optic will never require a battery change. Other hunters prefer the quick target acquisition and unlimited eye relief of a dot site. Whichever option is
Weaver’s new KASPA camo scope features the Vertical Zone Turkey reticle designed to center naturally on the center of the turkey’s neck.
preferred, Weaver Optics has the perfect choice for turkey season.
A Scope Just for Turkeys
➤ The new Weaver KASPA 1–4x24mm scope comes in a configuration specifically designed for turkey
hunters. The scope is dressed in Mossy Oak Obsession and features the Vertical Zone Turkey (VZT) reticle. The VZT reticle’s straight-sided slot shape is designed to naturally settle the center crosshair on the critical point in the middle of a turkey’s neck. The two oval slots are designed to provide references for 20 and 40
yards at maximum magnification. At close range, the top of the turkey’s head and base of its neck will fit inside the larger outer slot. At longer distances, the top of the turkey’s head and base of its neck will fit inside the smaller inner slot. In either case, the center crosshair will sit on the center of the neck for precise shot placement. J.J. Reich, Weaver public relations specialist, says that the VZT scope was born of tactical roots. “The 30mm tube body and rugged parts are taken directly from our tactical scope lineup. Plus, the reticle design was inspired using designs proven for quick target acquisition and precise shot placement commonly utilized in our military and LE optics. The straight-sided ovals are perfect for
Tibet GTX® Hi NEW Z-8S GTX®
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HANDCRAFTED IN EUROPE
• • • •
Special medial sole wrap to prevent rope abrasion while rappelling (on the new Z-8S GTX®). Patented tongue stud with X-Lacing to hold the foot ﬁrmly, with no hot spots or pressure points (on the new Tibet Hi GTX®). Patented, lasted GORE-TEX® linings for waterproof / breathable comfort with virtually no chance of blisters. Shock absorbing PU midsoles that last far longer than the cheaper alternatives.
It’s why LOWA continues to be the only outdoor footwear manufacturer to hold ISO 9001 status for highest quality construction and process standards.
To see the entire 2014 line of LOWA Boots, visit www.lowaboots.com © 2014 LOWA Boots, LLC. GORE-TEX® is a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. VIBRAM®, the Octagon Logo, and the Yellow Octagon Logo and the color Canary Yellow are registered trademarks of Vibram S.p.A.
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Dot-style 1X scopes are a great choice for turkey hunters because the design allows for quick target acquisition.
vertical targets such as a turkey’s head and neck. It is amazing how the reticle naturally centers the crosshair on the precise point in the center of a turkey’s neck where you want to place your shot.”
Point and Shoot
➤ Dot-style optics come in several configurations, including designs with two lenses contained in a short tube, single flat-lens styles, and variations in between. These sights are mounted on the firearm like a scope. However, instead of using an internal crosshair, they feature an illuminated dot projected onto a piece of glass. This dot appears superimposed over the target, offering an unobstructed view of the turkey. The illuminated dot is visible in low-light situations, and most dot sights feature variable intensity so the brightness of the dot can be adjusted for the available light. Some, such as the Weaver Red/Green Dot Sight, also offer multiple dot colors and sizes for maximum visibility against a variety of backgrounds. One of the biggest advantages of dot sights is that they offer unlimited eye relief. Scopes and traditional sights require the shooter’s eye be properly aligned close to the gun’s receiver. Most scopes have eye relief distances of just 2 or 3 inches.
However, dot sights work with any eye alignment, near or far. This can be a huge advantage when shooting from a quick, off-hand position. “Turkey hunters often encounter strange shot angles that keep them from aligning their head correctly on the shotgun’s stock,” Reich says. “With dot sights, if you can see the dot, you can make the shot—even if your head is off the stock or you are forced to shoot with your non- dominant hand.” A wide field of view is another advantage of dot sights. Scopes offer magnification of distant objects, but that magnification narrows the view inside the scope to just a portion of the target area. Most dot sights are not magnified. This means it is easier to quickly find the turkey. Small, single flat-lens-style dot sights, such as Weaver’s Micro Dot, offer a wide-open view that rivals that of open sights. In fact, this wide field of view and lack of magnification allow shooters to use dot sights with both eyes open. The shooter’s brain will superimpose the image of the dot into the correct position from the dominant eye while the subordinate eye adds full depth perception. This allows the shooter to be more aware of the area around the turkey and to track moving gobblers through cover. Booth #14551. (800831-0850; weaveroptics.com)
Not your average neighborhood watch.
Gladius 20 GA Home Defense Shotguns
Swing by our Booth #3036, to view our new Escort Gladius Home Defense Shotguns. THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN THE SHOOTING INDUSTRY.
Trophy Cam Wireless Bushnell introduces world’s first plug-and-play wireless trail camera By Jock Elliott
esterday Bushnell Outdoor Products introduced a breakthrough in trail camera technology—the world’s first carrier-approved plugand-play wireless trail camera. The new Trophy Cam Wireless allows hunters to place the trail camera anywhere within reach of the AT&T network and within seconds receive thumbnail photos of passing game via email or text. High-resolution images are saved to the web portal (wirelesstrophycam.com), where users can download images or change camera settings remotely.
Darin Stephens, Bushnell senior product manager for hunting gear and accessory products, said, “Previously, because first-generation wireless trail cameras were not carrier-approved, implementation of them was like a tour through the suburbs of hell that involved purchasing a separate SIM card and wireless plan, as well interfacing the SIM card with both the camera and the wireless network. By contrast, Bushnell partnered with AT&T from the get-go to deliver unmatched convenience, simplicity, and ease of use.” Right out of the box, the Bushnell Trophy Cam Wireless is ready to use and includes a prepaid AT&T data plan that provides users with unlimited thumbnail images for the first 30 days. Free smartphone apps are available for iPhone and Android devices, and Bushnell offers affordable data plans, including pay as you go, to com-
plement a variety of scouting tactics. The Trophy Cam Wireless features an 8MP camera that offers .6-second trigger speed and 720p high-definition video, as well as black, noglow LEDs and an improved hyper-passive infrared sensor that captures game activity up to 50 feet away. Time-lapse technology records images or video at preset intervals ranging from one minute to 60 minutes, while simultaneously capturing live trigger events. Each image or video features an information stamp that includes data such as date, time, barometric pressure, moon phase, and more. The Trophy Cam Wireless delivers multimonth service on a single set of batteries and is compatible with SD cards up to 32 GB. Available in June 2014, the Trophy Cam Wireless carries a suggested retail price of $599.99. Booth #12519.
The Bushnell Trophy Cam Wireless is ready to use out of the box, and includes a prepaid AT&T data plan that offers unlimited thumbnail images for the first 30 days. The 8MP camera is compatible with SD cards up to 32 GB.
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LASER SYSTEM PROMOTES HUNTER SAFETY Though hunter-orange clothing has greatly reduced the number of hunting accidents, each year hunters are wounded or killed when they are mistakenly targeted as game. Though many believe the problem lies mostly with inexperienced shooters, the unfortunate reality is that all too often, the shooter is an experienced hunter who never dreamed a tragedy like this could happen. After hearing one too many of these stories, a pair of New Zealand hunters who happen to be product designers set out to design a system that would greatly reduce the occurrence of these cases of mistaken identity. David Grove and Michael Scott, founders of Hunter Safety Lab, are using the 2014 SHOT Show to unveil a unique active-warning system for hunters called IRIS (Infrared Retroreflector Identification System). The IRIS sensor mounts to a riflescope and emits tiny pulses of laser that detect special IRIS patches attached to clothing or built into vests and caps (available in both blaze orange and full camo) up to 500 feet away. When IRIS patches are detected, the sensor instantly warns the shooter of danger by emitting a low but clearly audible beep. The sensor is powered by a single AA battery. “IRIS is not a replacement for human judgment,” says Scott. “Nor is it a replacement for the number-one rule of safe hunting—identify the target beyond doubt. But our system can prevent accidents where the hunter is falsely convinced he’s targeted an animal.” SRP: $399. Booth #3859. (indiegogo.com/projects/iris-huntersafety-technology)
Konus Poised For More Growth
n the wake of an outstanding 2013, Konus has come to SHOT Show poised for another year of positive growth. Many small optics companies compete successfully by creating products that honor the mantra “clearer, sharper, but with more value.” Konus hews to that strategy as well, but it feels it has another advantage when competing against European glass. “We use outstanding multi-coated Japanese glass that’s comparable to that in products that cost twice what ours do. Our Asian manufacturing facility keeps us from being held hostage by the unstable activities of the euro,” says Mark Shore, vice president of sales and marketing. Committing to a dealer-direct and distributor-pricing system without selling to big-box stores has won the support of numerous independent retailers, and partnerships with such manufacturers as CVA also has increased brand awareness. Endorsement from the National Tactical Officer Association hasn’t hurt, either. Finally, Shore believes the company’s noquibble lifetime guarantee is a big advantage. The new lineup includes two NTOAapproved 30mm tactical scopes. Booth #1246. (305-262-5668; The KonusPro T30 and M30 konuspro.com) use multi-coated lenses and —Peter B. Mathiesen dual illuminated reticles.
AdID: 23398 SBDD114
New 1911 Beauties
here’s a brand-new player in the world of custom 1911s and their guns are worth a look, and perhaps an ogle or two. This month, Republic Forge, based in Perryton, Texas, began production and distribution of a complete line of custom Model 1911 pistols. The company uses only American materials, and each gun is hand-crafted from start to finish by one gunsmith, one gun at a time. “Quality is our number-one priority, and our craftsmanship is second to none,” says Benny Deal, president of Republic Forge. “We have invested in a state-of-the-art production
facility along with the best talent, machinery, and the finest materials available.” Republic Forge had several examples of its superior craftsmanship on hand for shooters to test at Range Day. The guns, whether matte black with ivory handles or flat OD green with combat grips, are lovely to behold and even lovelier to shoot. Anyone who has handled 1911s of varying quality and craftsmanship can tell just by hefting a Republic Forge pistol that it’s a quality machine, and firing a couple of magazines in 9mm and .45 ACP only proved that these beauties are tack
This Republic Forge 1911 features a high-polish black frame, a Damascus slide, Novak Night sights, and ivory grips. You can switch features on on the company’s website and display them as you build the gun.
drivers, too. Some 1911s are functional, some are gaudy, and others, like these guns, are a sweet balance of military-like coldness and precision with just the right amount of flash. The company’s smiths begin with premium steel frames and slides that are hand-fitted and mated to the finest barrels and components around. From springs to triggers, grips, and magazines custom-fitted to each pistol, the attention to quality is complete. The company’s website is specifically designed to make it simple and intuitive for customers to see all available options and to easily assemble the perfect custom gun for their needs and tastes. Currently, Republic Forge offers Government, Commander, Recon, and Officer models featuring custom Cerakote finishes and chambered in .45 ACP, 10mm, .40 S&W, .38 Super, and 9mm, with continuous product launches planned through 2014. Booth #4166. (republicforge. com) —David Maccar
Yamaha Unveils Tactical Side-by-Side Yamaha is using the 2014 SHOT Show to unveil the latest version of the new Viking EPS Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicle, the Special Edition (SE) Tactical Black Viking. Assembled in the U.S., the new SE Viking combines an aggressive flatblack painted appearance and popular accessories with classic Yamaha durability and off-road capabilities. The Tactical Black Viking EPS 4x4 boasts all of the features of Yamaha’s standard Viking SxS, plus molded sun top, overfenders, mud flaps, an underseat storage box, bed rail accessory mounts, and exclusive black-cast aluminum wheels. It also has a powerful four-wheel-drive engine, precision steering, three-point seatbelt for all occupants, and class-leading handling. SRP: $13,749. Booth #10243. (yamaha motorsports.com)
SHOT Booth #14140
738 FS It’s my choice. It’s my right. It’s my Taurus. TM
Decatur, GA TM
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Marketing to Women: Not Just Pink Products
ith women accounting for more than 35 percent of new customers entering the shooting sports, they now represent the single fastest-growing category in the industry. Women want different products than men, and they doesn’t mean just the same thing in pink. A communicative and friendly staff, plenty of product accessories for discerning consumers, and a clean restroom can go a long way in making a gun shop more appealing to female customers and families. These were among the top tips offered during Wednesday’s Marketing to Women panel discussion hosted by Tisma Juett, manager of the NSSF’s First Shots program. Juett called upon insight from a “magnificent seven” panel that included Barbara Baird, contributing editor of SHOT Business; Linda Powell, director of media relations for O.F. Mossberg and Son; Kate Krueger, host of Talking Guns with Kate; Suzi Huntington, a former San Diego police investigator and editor of American Cop; Gabby Franco, Venezuelan Olympic shooter and firearms instructor; Randi Rogers, professional sports shooter; and Julie Golob, author and captain of the Smith & Wesson shooting team. “When a woman enters a store, it is very much like she’s heading to the mall,” said Baird. “She wants to see bright lights, some displays, and, most important, a clean restroom.”
The gun store experience should be no different from other shopping experiences, added Rogers. “Women want to spend some time there, they want to handle the products, and they want to look around. Make your store inviting, with a place to sit, and make it comfortable,” Rogers suggested. “Women like creature comforts.” What is also important is not to ignore female customers, and to treat them no differently than the male customers. That also means not assuming that women are only looking for the most affordable firearm or only interested in smaller calibers. Those assumptions can result in lost sales. Krueger told a tale of a female customer who went to three different stores. Clerks in first two shops ignored her, and those in the third answered only a few questions before asking if she was in fact a serious customer. “Those are the sorts of things you don’t want to be known for.” Rogers concurred, saying that even at the shop she regularly frequents, she is rarely greeted by so much as a hello, hardly the most welcoming of experiences. “There is nothing worse than no one saying hello to you.” Gun shops also should not apply a one-size-fitsall strategy when marketing to women. And while it isn’t possible to stock every option, letting female customers know that items can be ordered can go a long way in instilling customer loyalty. At the same time, don’t push products just to make a sale.
“Make sure you are getting her what she really needs, not just what you have to sell,” said Franco. “You may make the sale, but you could lose the customer. Actually two, because you could lose the woman and her husband, so it is important not to just make the sale but to make a customer for life.” Size matters, as the same gun that fits a man may not fit a woman. Think, too, about weight and balance and not just a shorter stock. And while women may like colors and options that go beyond basic black, that translates to a choice of colors, not just “feminine” shades. “All women are not alike, and we don’t all love pink,” said Powell. “When we’re working on new products, I say to the men, Do you want your gun to be baby blue?”— Peter Suciu
PROIS AWARD WINNER
Prois CEO Kirstie Pike (left) announced Rachel Ahtila as the 2013 Most Intrepid Female Hunter.
HONED FOR THE HUNT. THE PREFERRED TOOL OF SERIOUS HUNTERS. With a new line of hunting knives and tools that are engineered with precision and built to perform, SOG will take your hunt to a whole new level. Visit Booth 425 for a look at our whole new lineup.
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AdID: 24425 SBDD314 1/15/14 7:01 PM
From Hunger Games to Treestand
Increased interest in archery among women can have lasting benefits for the entire industry By Christopher Cogley
f anyone in America hasn’t yet heard of Katniss Everdeen, it’s a safe bet they’re in the minority. The fictional star of the bestselling The Hunger Games novels and subsequent blockbuster movies has made a lasting impression on worldwide audiences. She’s also done something very powerful for the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry. “There has definitely been a huge boom in the number of girls and women who are interested in archery,” says Tiffany Lakosky, star of the Outdoor Channel’s Crush with Lee & Tiffany. “And it’s really neat to see.” The large number of women and girls who read about and see the female hero character excel with a bow and arrow is helping change mindsets across the country. It’s a powerful phenomenon that presents a unique opportunity not just for the archery industry, but for every retailer and manufacturer in the shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade who has been working hard to get more women and girls engaged in hunting and the shooting sports. “I think the entire industry is really doing a good job of getting women involved,” Lakosky says. “It really feels like everyone has recognized that women are a huge part of the future of this industry.” Which is exactly what Lakosky and Vicki Cianciarulo, star of the Outdoor Channel’s Archer’s Choice and The Choice with Ralph & Vicki, have been telling audiences for years. For both of these torchbearers of women’s hunting, the increased interest in archery spurred on by The Hunger Games, has been extremely rewarding. “It’s a great thing to see,” Cianciarulo says. “I think it’s especially good for kids who see that Katniss is going out and hunting and bringing food home for the family. The books and movies do a great job of showing that she’s able to provide for her family during a tough time, but they also show that when she’s out in the woods, it’s her time to get out and relax and reflect. And that really portrays what hunting, and bowhunting, is all about.” Cianciarulo, Lakosky, and many other female hunters have been providing that accurate portrayal of hunting through their shows for years; they are now beginning to see their hard work pay off as women across the country are really starting to realize that hunting isn’t just for men. “The misconception is that bowhunting is so hard, but the reality is that it isn’t as scary as most women and girls might think it is,” Lakosky says. “I think we’re showing so many girls how much fun we’re having hunting, and they’re realizing how much fun they could have, too.” That realization is what’s helping get more women and girls into gun shops and archery stores to explore their newly acquired interest, and once there, it’s up to the retailers to turn that budding interest into a lifelong pursuit. “Have bows set up and ready for women and girls and kids to try out so that they know right away that the bows aren’t scary. And train your staff on how to help women and kids find a bow that’s comfortable for them so they enjoy using it,” Cianciarulo says. “It’s also important to have the equipment for all different levels so that when
they’re ready to take the next step, you’ll be able to help them get there.” Although it’s hard to tell exactly how far this current craze that’s been fueled by Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games will go, one thing is certain—it isn’t likely to die down anytime soon. “We as an industry need to grab hold of this and keep the wave going,” Cianciarulo says. “We need to keep taking it out into the general public and make sure it isn’t just in our industry. Archery isn’t a scary subject, and we need to make sure we keep going out and showing people that.” Because while the current rage might be focused on archery, it is the broader benefit that Cianciarulo said we all need to focus on. “Guns can be intimidating. Archery is much more intimate, and because of that, it’s a great way to introduce women and youth to hunting and the shooting sports,” she says. “The more we can do that, the more the entire industry is going to benefit.” And when that happens, Katniss Everdeen won’t be the only one that all of us will have to thank. Booth #L215. (909-770-5750; outdoor channel.com)
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The popularity of The Hunger Games books and films, with their strong, bow-and-arrow wielding heroine, has led to greater enthusiasm for archery and bowhunting among women of all ages.
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Remington’s new 1816 soft-goods line (the name derives from the year of the founding of the company) is built around made-in-the-USA garments, such as the 1816 Denim Shirt, as well as imported clothing in traditional styles and fabrics. Luggage and other lifestyle accessories will also be offered.
The Clothing Connection Remington debuts the 1816 line of soft goods By David Draper
irst in the Field. That’s not only the tagline for Remington’s recent foray into the soft-goods side of the outdoors industry, but it’s also, considering the company’s long history, a statement of fact. Founded in 1816, Eliphalet Remington’s gun company today holds the distinction of being both the oldest company in the U.S. still making its original product and the longest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. That nearly 200-year-old heritage, along with a reputation for quality and craftsmanship, has created a loyal group of customers that Remington looks to tap into with its new 1816 hand-curated collection of clothing and lifestyle accessories.
“Remington is focused on making sportinggoods products for the hunting and shootingsports enthusiasts—we are very much an outdoor company—so extending into apparel and accessories was natural,” says Ross Saldarini, general manager of Remington’s lifestyle division. “Remington customers have asked for apparel over the years, and we are delighted to have developed a collection that stays true to Remington’s rich heritage while reflecting the modern tastes of today’s sporting generation.” Built around signature made-in-the-USA pieces—such as the 1816 Denim Shirt and Jeans and an all-leather luggage collection, as well as imported clothing in traditional fabrics and styles—the entire line is designed to endure and, like Remington shotguns and rifles, become classic family touchstones from generation to generation. Saldarini and his team worked hard to ensure style didn’t trump substance, focusing on how the garments fit and function in the field. For example, the Double Derringer Vest features hidden, snapclosed pockets for concealed carry, and the Shooting Shirt is built with a bi-swing back that allows room to swing a shotgun. The 1816 catalog also includes hand-selected products from other heritage-minded manufacturers such as Stormy Kromer, Wolverine, and Danner. “The collection resonates and stands apart in the marketplace,” says Saldarini. “When our customers adopt an 1816 style, they immediately experience craftsmanship and quality, from the design of the garment to the customer service experience. Everything about the 1816 interaction is special.”
Although the 1816 brand isn’t Remington’s first clothing collection, it does represent a new chapter in apparel for the Madison, North Carolina–based company, a chapter in which you won’t find a stitch of camo in the catalog. Instead, the 1816 brand is directly on target with discriminating sportsmen, showcasing the warm feel of classic fabrics such as waxed cotton, canvas, merino wool, and sheepskin. The high-end collection, inspired by the sporting heritage of 50 or even 100 years ago, aims to capture the growing trend toward Americana and authenticity that’s often missing in modern massedproduced gear. Consumers—both in the sporting world and the general public—who seek out topof-the-line craftsmanship are, as Saldarini puts it, “reference points” for the creative decisions made in putting the collection together. “Heritage brands and outdoor lifestyle brands connect to consumers through memories of great moments—moments in the field, the water, the mountains—and that natural human desire and passion to create more,” says Saldarini. “That passion is the magic that drives development of the 1816 line.” If there is one thing Saldarini knows, it’s connecting with passionate consumers through clothing. He’s well-known in the soft-goods industry as co-founder of Mountain Khakis, where he built a loyal following around a well-made pair of pants that turned into a well-regarded lifestyle brand. In 2010, Remington acquired a 75 percent stake in the company, bringing Saldarini on board Big Green in a position to create a wholly new clothing brand around the 1816 legacy.
“It is an honor for anyone to work with the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America and create a new expression of almost 200 years of consistent, quality craftsmanship in the 1816 apparel line,” says Saldarini. “The most important thing you learn in many businesses is that they are about people. 1816 started with the Remington customer who wanted more from us. It was enhanced by the ideas and contributions of some of the most experienced apparel-brand innovators we could corral. With passionate Remington fans and industry experts as a foundation, the fuse was lit and an amazing line of field-inspired products has followed.” Although 1816 might be known as “First in the Field,” don’t expect it to be Remington’s last word in the clothing and lifestyle category. In the past year, the company has also partnered with renowned chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer to produce the Remington Camp Cooking cookbook and has plans to introduce a line of other foodrelated products under the Camp Cooking brand. One can speculate other lifestyle categories will follow, but for now 1816 is the most recent feather in the Freedom Group cap. “1816 is about the story of Remington,” says Saldarini. “The Remington story began with hand-forged craftsmanship and quality, values that continue to identify this all-American brand. This certainly applies to 1816, a high-end, curated collection of styles that offer a unique blend of sporting history and quality that stand alone in today’s marketplace.” Booth #14229. (800-243-9700; remington.com)
72 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
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A Most Profitable Line Are tactical rimfire firearms for you? Walther says, “yes.” By Slaton L. White
f you have yet to make a place in your store for replica tactical rimfire guns, Walther wants you to reconsider. The manufacturer makes a line of licensed products (rifles and pistols) from Uzi, Colt, and H&K that look and feel just like the real thing.
“Replica guns are not play toys,” says Daniel Rieger, Walther’s project manager of design and engineering. “Instead, they are full-feature guns that have the right balance, the right weight, and right feel.” All three attributes are critical components to this market, for as he says, “most shooters, when they close their eyes—obviously not while they are shooting!—they want to feel as if they are holding the real thing.” Except that these are all built on the .22 platform. And that means you can shoot much longer without bruising a shoulder or, considering the cost of centerfire ammo, your wallet. I had the opportunity to shoot Walther’s Colt M4 OPS replica at one of its manufacturing facilities in Germany last summer. As Rieger says, it had the right feel of the Colt product, mainly because in its own way, it is a Colt product. “We didn’t just send them a check and they said we could use their name,” he says. “They licensed their name because they know we have the knowledge and expertise to build a quality tactical .22 rimfire.” And according to Rieger, this is far harder than it looks. “There is a big difference between centerfire and rimfire technology,” he says. “The rimfire cartridge is actually far more complicated than a centerfire cartridge. Colt decided to take advantage of our knowledge and experience. It’s just smart business.” One of the other big problems is the kind of ammo shooters feed their guns. “We’ve learned that customers will buy whatever is cheapest, or what is available. Right now, customers don’t really have a choice.” Rieger says the entire process is akin to building a Ferrari, but trying to run it on regular fuel. Walther wanted to build Ferraris (in this case, a Mercedes), but the manufacturer knew it had to run on less-than-premium fuel. “If the gun jams, the customer will blame the gun, not the ammo,” says Rieger. “We knew the gun had to work with cheap ammo.” It took Walther about a year to solve the problem. “We probably shot one million rounds before Colt approved the product,” he says. “It was a very complicated issue.” Like many modern industrial concerns, these days Walther doesn’t make every part. But the key to its overall product quality is the integrity of the design process and sourcing parts from quality contractors. “Many Mercedes owners believe that Mercedes makes the whole car,” he says. “It doesn’t. It relies on outside contractors just as we do. But they control the entire process, just as we do, to ensure that ‘Mercedes’ quality. Every part that comes into
Replicas are full-feature guns that have the right balance, the
the Walther facility right weight, and, most important, the right feel. The Colt M4 must pass a rigorous OPS, built by Walther (under license from Colt), is a good inspection. We have no example of the genre. The .22 platform allows a shooter to tolerance for anything shoot longer and less expensively than with a centerfire less than ‘A’ quality.” version. Walther, like the vehicle manufacturer, has suppliers that specialize in specific areas. These turer is not paying for machinery that isn’t being companies use state-of-the-art machinery, and utilized enough to justify the cost. That also frees they have specialized knowledge of the particular up factory floor space (always a premium) for components as well. machines and processes that contribute more reg“The advantage of a long-term relationship with ularly to the bottom line. such a supplier is that they can often come back “When you think about our Colt replicas, the with new technologies that can help us build a customer is getting a great old American name, better product,” Rieger says. “That allows our but top-quality German engineering,” he says. Now, that’s a combination worth thinking about. engineers to focus on the firearms.” Booth #14545. (479-242-8500; waltherarms. com) It also helps control costs because the manufac-
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NEW PRODUCTS Black Label The new Tactical 9V flashlight features a powerful Cree XM-L white LED with an output of 725 lumens, an effective distance of 500 yards, and a full-aluminum body and tailcap.
➤ Browning Black Label tactical lights are designed from the ground up to work as a modular system. Basic flashlights will be offered along with components that include a remote cable-switch endcap accessory and a Picatinny rail mount that allows Black Label lights to be attached to any Mil-STC 1913 Picatinny accessory rail. New models include the Tactical 9V model with a powerful Cree XM-L white LED with a light output of 725 lumens and an effective distance of 500 yards. The aluminum body has a non-slip design and features a removable anti-roll finger retention ring. A hardened glass breaker is mounted on the robust tailcap, which has a lock-out switch and momentary, continuous, and fast strobe modes. The new Tactical 9V light uses three CR123A batteries, and is waterproof and submersible to 3 feet for 30 minutes. SRP: $159. Booth #12740. (801-876-2711; browning.com)
➤ Plinker Arms is introducing a new line of .22LR complete upper conversion units that are adaptable to standard MSR lower receivers, which allow shooters to convert their rifles to a .22LR without any modifications. These uppers are designed to fit, function, and feel like a 5.56 MSR, and each unit includes a 25-round magazine and load-assist tool. The units include an SBR (Short Barrel Rifle) Upper Conversion revised bolt and gas-operation system with a 12.5-inch barrel and standard threaded flash suppressor; an M4 Upper Conversion, which fits the standard length of an M4 with a 16.25-inch barrel, also with a flash suppressor; and a Bull Barrel Upper Conversion that is hand-built and accuracy-tested, with a 16.25-inch match grade stainless barrel with custom match-grade crown and barrel taper. All three upper conversions are available in a black finish. Booth #30205 (704-895-6645; plinkerarms. com)
Plinker Arms New AR uppers from Plinker Arms convert 5.56 MSR lowers into 22LR rifles with no modifications.
International Cartridge Corporation
➤ International Cartridge Corporation has developed a line of frangible ammunition that can perform as well or better than conventional bullets, but without the environmental hazards of lead. The Gold Elite line of lead-free projectiles promises to increase accuracy and reduce the chance of ricochet and collateral damage, creating a safer training environment. The rounds are designed for use on the range, in the backyard, or for competitive shooting, and the company’s frangible technology reduces recoil and muzzle flip and allows shooters to safely train closer on steel. The ammo line is also built with the same components and machinery as ICC’s Duty and Defense line, which helps create a seamless transition from training to duty and defense. Gold Elite rounds use standard lead primers. International Cartridge Corporation also offers its Green Elite line of lead-free ammunition, which is designed for indoor shooting ranges. Otherwise identical to the Gold Elite training ammunition, Green Elite uses lead-free primers, making it 100 percent lead-free. Booth #20127. (814-836-6820;
ations. The Trident series of Guardian lights offer a total of six functions, three on each battery polarity, including the option to record and play back a unique flashing signature. The LEDs are solid-state semiconductor diodes that emit colored light rated to be visible for more than a mile. The IR Mockingbird Beacon features a polymer housing that is available in black and tan, and is waterproof to 330 feet. The Guardian Trident CQB IR Mockingbird Beacon comes with a MOLLE compatible belt clip, and Adventure Lights offers a range of accessories including a helmet attachment, Velcro strap, bike mount, wrist strap, head strap and battery pack strip. Booth #32501 (514-694-8477; adventurelights. com)
Creative Pet Products
➤ Man’s best friend is often called upon to aid law enforcement in extreme situations, and the Creative Pet Products K9 Armor Boot will help protect canine feet from glass, nails, barbed wire, and even hypodermic needles. These special boots have puncture-resistant padding that also keeps pads and feet safe from the elements. The breathable, water-repellent nylon fabric features stretchable ribbed knit cuffs along with a zipper front and two Velcro straps for ease of use. A steel plate and neoprene/ polyester dole construction will protect feet even in the most rugged environments, while the abrasiveresistant vinyl anti-slip treads will also ensure a sure footing. The K9 Armor Boot is available in a set of four or sold individually. Booth #20212 (877-269-6911; k-9firstaid policemilitary.com)
Adventure Lights Inc.
➤ Law enforcement may not have a guardian angel, but the Guardian Trident CQB IR Mockingbird Beacon (Product Number 46001) from Adventure Lights may be the next best thing. This IR beacon offers “Friend or Foe ID,” for surveillance and covert marking oper-
ICC New frangible training and duty ammo from ICC provides more options for lead-free shooting.
74 ■ SHOT BUSINESS DAILY ■ DAY 3, JANUARY 16, 2014
1/15/14 7:09 PM