SHOOTING HUNTING OUTDOOR TRADE SHOW 1979–2018 NEW FIREARM ROUNDUP SHOT Daily spotlights the latest offerings in rifles P. 10, shotguns P. 22, and handguns P. 32. Plus, we lace up new boots P. 44.
Polycase aims to change how shooters across the country look at frangible ammo PAGE 86
Monarch X daypack from ALPZ Outdoorz is purpose-built for women PAGE 4
SHINE A LIGHT
When it comes to laser sights, Crimson Trace continues its efforts to go green PAGE 104
Outdoor Research goes tactical in a big way PAGE 66
DAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
T H E DA I LY N E WS O F T H E 2 0 1 8 L AS V EGAS S H OT S H OW B ROUG H T TO YOU BY T H E B O N N I E R CO R P O RAT I O N A N D T H E N SS F
2018 SHOT Show Auction The National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Hunting Heritage Trust have partnered with three iconic names in the firearms industry to create a series of highly collectible 2018 SHOT Show Auction offerings. These are a Henry .22 lever-action rifle (serial number 1,000,000), a pair of Ithaca Model 37 Featherlight shotguns, and a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 Classic. All of the auction items feature hand-engraving by Baron Engraving. The items will be on display at the GunBroker.com booth (Booth #15147). The SHOT Show Auction is administered for the National Shooting Sports Foundation by the Hunting Heritage Trust.
SHOT Show 2018 Opens
elcome to the 40th Anniversary SHOT Show! I don’t know how our staff does it, but each year it seems that the SHOT Show is better than ever,” says NSSF president Steve Sanetti. “This year, we meet respectfully in the shadow of the recent tragedy at Mandalay Bay, with all the special challenges that horrific event brings to the show. Mindful of those challenges, yet recognizing the rightful place that the lawful commerce in firearms for law-abiding citizens holds in our American democracy, we are determined to begin the new year by putting our best foot forward. “You will note many changes as we continually strive to improve the SHOT Show experience for exhibitors and attendees alike. We have increased security, expanded the
Supplier Showcase and the New Product Center, modified our State of the Industry presentation, expanded our SHOT Show University and law enforcement education and compliance programs, created outdoor access to food services, and undertaken many other incremental improvements to the show. We hope you like them. “Rocky Rohlfing, a former executive director of the NSSF, famously said at the opening bell of the very first SHOT Show, in 1979, ‘Well, boys, I hope someone shows up!’ Clearly, they showed up, as they have every year since. This year, we have record advance registrations and expect more than 65,000 attendees at this milestone event. So please enjoy the show, and let us have your comments and suggestions so we can keep this eminently successful 40-year trade show vibrant and compelling for our entire industry.”
Smith & Wesson Model 29 Classic (top) and Henry .22 lever-action (bottom) are two of three auction items.
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YOU CAN FIND OUR PRODUCTS AT AUTHORIZED DEALERS AND ONLINE AT SWAROVSKIOPTIK.COM
CL COMPANION THE FREEDOM TO EXPERIENCE MORE Just pick them up – and you’re right in the moment. With its impressive optical performance, the new CL Companion promises unique moments that you will never forget. Compact and intuitive, these elegant binoculars are your constant companion on all your explorations. Choose from three accessory packages to express your personal style.
SEE THE UNSEEN
Come see us in booth #12120
U LT R AS H O R T M AST E R P I E C E . The K 318i means noticeable optical and mechanical perfection packed in ultrashort design. With precise illuminated reticles in FFP, sharply defined throughout the entire magnification range and the unique TWIST GUARD windage (patent pending). A true masterpiece in engineering.
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Utilizing 1680D nylon ballistics fabric throughout and featuring Hypalon built into the lashing and stress points, the Monarch X is designed for strength and durability.
The Monarch X daypack has been specifically engineered to fit women By W. H. Gross
iamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but certain outdoorswomen need a bit more—like the Monarch X daypack from ALPS Outdoorz, which doubles as a meat-hauler. “This past year I asked our product team to help me design a meathauling pack for my New Mexico elk hunt,” says marketing manager Sarah Beth Brune. “Somewhat selfishly, I like designing new products that fill my personal needs, believing they will also fill the needs of other outdoorswomen. And I wanted a pack with which I was able to haul meat out myself, a pack specifically designed for a woman’s body.”
“The project evolved into our new Monarch X, which debuted last fall.” This new hybrid pack can also be used as a standard daypack. The shoulder straps and waist belt are designed to fit a woman’s figure much more comfortably than a standard hunting pack. Utilizing 1680D nylon ballistics fabric throughout and fea-
turing Hypalon built into the lashing and stress points, the pack is designed for strength and durability. Dual aluminum stays help distribute weight evenly and comfortably, while Lycra shoulder straps with built-in load lifters and a molded foam waist belt ensure a comfortable fit. The waist belt includes quick-access
4 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
pockets on either side, anti-sway straps, and can even accommodate clip-style firearms holsters. The waist belt also features an improved buckle design for easier adjustments. The Monarch X (SRP: $199.99) has four compartments: two fleece-lined side-wing pockets (perfect for protecting a spotting
scope, other optics, or a tripod/ shooting stick), one front organizational pocket, and the main pocket. The Monarch X also has multiple compression straps, including lower bedding straps, and comes with additional extension lashings. A hydration pocket and port are included in the design, as is a drop-down rifle or bow pocket, allowing a hunter to carry a rifle or bow hands-free. A rain cover is included, and there’s even a built-in, stowaway meat shelf. “We at ALPS Outdoorz have a passion for serving women in the outdoors and look to develop more products along these lines in the future,” says Brune. The Monarch X hybrid pack has been well received by outdoorswomen, including Julie Kreuter with the TV program Beyond the Hunt. “Gone are the days of hunting while trying to make do with a men’s backpack,” Kreuter says. “I would get headaches from uncomfortable shoulder straps because my waist straps didn’t fit. All the weight was riding on my shoulders instead of my hips. My old backpack became a problem rather than a piece of reliable gear. The new Monarch X is specifically designed around a woman’s anatomy. Carrying the weight closer to my back and with a padded waist strap that truly fits, I can now handle heavier loads, such a meat, capes, or extra gear with comfort.” In addition to the Monarch X pack, ALPS Outdoorz is also proud that it has become more involved in conservation in recent years. Brought together by a shared passion for wildlife and natural resources, ALPS Outdoorz is a sponsor and licensee of products of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsmen’s Alliance, Delta Waterfowl, Whitetails Unlimited, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Quail Forever, National Deer Alliance, and Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation. ALPS Outdoorz, located in New Haven, Missouri, is part of ALPS Brands. ALPS Outdoorz began in 2007, when the parent company extended its knowledge gained from designing and manufacturing quality backpacking and camping gear to marketing and designing camouflaged gear for hunters, such as packs, blind chairs, camp furniture, sleeping bags, and gun cases. Booth #3551. (alpsoutdoorz.com)
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GET YOUR BUSINESS ON BOARD NSSF is asking everyone in our industry to help promote target shooting throughout America this summer. Wear your #LetsGoShooting pin proudly at the SHOT Show and stop by Booth #2414 to learn how you can be a part of National Shooting Sports Month.
A program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation
Slaton L. White, Editor James A. Walsh, Art Director Margaret M. Nussey, Managing Editor David E. Petzal, Shooting Editor David Maccar, Special Projects Editor Judith Weber, Production Manager Justin Appenzeller, Contributing Photographer
Larry Ahlman, Barbara Baird, Scott Bestul, Philip Bourjaily, Christopher Cogley, Jock Elliott, Tim Irwin, William F. Kendy, Richard Mann, Peter B. Mathiesen, Brian McCombie, Tom Mohrhauser, Robert Sadowski, Robert F. Staeger, Peter Suciu, Wayne Van Zwoll
Anthony Licata, Editorial Director Gregory D. Gatto, Senior Vice President, Managing Director ADVERTISING: 212-779-5316
Jeff Roberge, Advertising Director Brian Peterson, Western Sporting Goods Sales Katie Logan, Southern Sporting Goods Sales David Hawkey, Northeast Sporting Goods Sales Amanda Gastelum, Integrated Marketing Director Ingrid Reslmaier, Marketing Design Director
Tara Bisciello, Business Manager
Michelle Doster, Group Production Director Alison Klein, Senior Production Manager
BONNIER Chairman, Tomas Franzén Head of Business Area, Magazines, Lars Dahmén Chief Executive Officer, Eric Zinczenko Chief Financial Officer, Joachim Jaginder Chief Operating Officer, David Ritchie Chief Marketing Officer, Elizabeth Burnham Murphy Chief Digital Revenue Officer, Sean Holzman Vice President, Integrated Sales, John Graney Vice President, Digital Operations, David Butler Vice President, Public Relations, Perri Dorset General Counsel, Jeremy Thompson
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 26, issue 1. Copyright © 2018 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. For Customer Service and Subscription questions, such as Renewals, Address Changes, Email Preferences, Billing and Account Status, go to: shotbusiness .com/cs. You can also email SBZcustserv@cdsfulfllment.com, in the U.S. call toll-free 866-615-4345, outside the U.S. call 515-237-3697, or write to SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. For editorial inquiries, write to Slaton L. White, SHOT Business, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016
For editorial inquiries, visit Venetian Level 3, San Polo 3501, in the Sands Expo & Convention Center.
President/CEO of Signature Products Group
The Secret to Success When you focus on building a great team, good things happen
Utah native and proud outdoorsman, Dusty Zundel co-founded Truck Shields in 2001. As the business grew and became more diverse, the name was changed to Signature Products Group. The company, which currently employs 80 people, manufactures and distributes licensed merchandise for many top outdoor brands, including Browning, Mossy Oak, and Realtree. SHOT Daily sat down with Zundel recently to get his take on the state of the shooting-sports industry.
SHOT Daily: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry in the next five years?
Dusty Zundel: I’m concerned about the health of our brick-andmortar partners. Price discrepancies online are hurting the traditional retail market space and taking foot traffic out of the physical store locations. We are doing everything in our power to work closely with retailers to give them the right products to help them thrive. We are also working with the brands to continue to align ourselves with their brand directions. Lately, I’ve seen some positive movement in this area. I also worry about hunting and the outdoor lifestyle decreasing in some ways. We are losing some of the core values that we grew up with, where hunts were based around making memories. I’m encouraged that there seems to be more acceptance from those who were traditionally against our lifestyle. I credit that to the organic meat movement, to get real meat on the table at a reasonable price. It helps put a positive spin on our age-old traditions. We need to be more inclusive to all who have an interest in participating. There is a social media threat to our industry. When I was a kid, if someone shot a mature four-point mule deer, it was a really big deal, and if you were fortunate enough to lay hands on it, it was thrilling. When hunts started being filmed, people really started to see what was out in the woods. Outdoor television shows soon followed. It’s become an everyday occurrence to see incredible animals being harvested. You can hardly pick up your phone without seeing a true trophy animal that’s been shot somewhere across the world. It’s
Dusty Zundel believes that building a strong team that is willing to believe in the company’s vision is the crucial key to success.
desensitized all of us to what the sport is really about. It’s a real threat to be judging one’s hunting prowess by the size of their harvest. I remember the first mule deer I killed, a simple spike, yet to this day it’s still my favorite hunt.
SD: When you get up in the morning, what gets you excited about working in the industry?
DZ: What gets me excited to go
to work in the morning is the relationships that I have inside SPG and also the relationships that I’ve made in the industry. I love watching people who have helped me succeed go out and find
8 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
success on their own. I’ve had more fun in the past two years than the previous 15 because I feel surrounded by people who share the same common goal.
one individual will find success.
SD: What is the single most impor-
that has no brands of its own. We look for opportunities to help great brands accomplish their goals by opening up distribution channels in categories they wouldn’t ordinarily be in. We have a diverse portfolio of brands and strive to stay on top of market trends. Many people haven’t even heard of SPG, but I say that when we are doing our job properly, that’s the way it should be. Booth #10744. (spgoutdoors.com)
tant thing you have learned, professional or personal, during your time as CEO?
DZ: I have learned that nobody
finds success by themself. I’ve learned that CEOs, certainly myself, get way more credit than we actually deserve. That’s not to say that we don’t work hard. But without a solid team that is willing to believe in the vision, no
SD: What makes SPG unique in the industry?
DZ: SPG is a licensing company
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REFUSE TO LET CONDITIONS COMPROMISE CLARITY. The future of optics is on its way. Coming in June 2018, the new line of Bushnell will be the most sought-after optics in the industry. They've been made to provide superior clarity, durability and the confidence every shooter needs to never miss in any condition.
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AND ASK US ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATION OF BUSHNELL OPTICS.
AUTO-ORDNANCE The Deluxe Model comes with one 20-round stick magazine.
BERGARA HMR Pro utilizes an innovative injection-molded stock with a full-length integrated mini-chassis system. Options include a Cerakote stainless-steel action and a barrel with a threaded muzzle that can accommodate a suppressor.
The new year will see an even mix of action types, all designed for broad appeal By Richard Mann
or what seems like a long time now, new rifle introductions at the SHOT Show have been dominated by variations on the AR15/AR10 platform. But times are changing, to paraphrase one of Bob Dylan’s most famous lines. For 2018, we continue to see line extensions to accommodate the 6.5 Creedmoor, but we’re also seeing the emergence of a new trend—dedicated long-range precision sport and hunting rifles. Yes, there are still a few new MSRs that will draw intense interest, but for the first time in a decade, the new rifles at SHOT are a balanced lot.
was made in 1915 when John T. Thompson introduced the first portable handheld automatic weapon, commonly referred to as the Tommy Gun. Kahr is proud to introduce the Deluxe model Thompson in 9mm. It comes with one 20-round stick magazine and a 16.5-inch barrel. SRP: $1,364. Booth #13962.
ry trigger. The HMR Pro is also shipped with an accuracy-qualified sub-MOA target. Weights range from 9.2 to 10.10 pounds, and it is available in .223 Remington with a 1:8 twist, .22/250 Remington with a 1:9 twist, 6mm and 6.5mm Creedmoor with a 1:8 twist, and .308 Winchester with a 1:10 twist. SRP: $1,695. Booth #14516.
HMR Pro builds on the legacy of the 2017 HMR. It provides a multitude of upgrades to include a Cerakote stainless-steel action and barrel with a threaded muzzle and a TriggerTech prima-
³ The new X-Bolt Pro and X-Bolt Pro Long Range models feature an exclusive Generation 2 carbon-fiber stock with a palm swell. Barrels and receivers are stainless-steel-coated in Cerakote
burnt bronze, and the bolt body and handle have spiral fluting. Rifles are hand-chambered and come standard with a target crown and threaded muzzle. The rifles can be had with either a 22or 26-inch barrel (the outlier is the .300 WSM, which comes with a 23-inch barrel) in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, .300 WSM, 26 Nosler, .270 Winchester, .30/06 Springfield, 7mm Remington Magnum, 28 Nosler, and .300 Winchester Magnum. SRP: $2,069.99-$2,129.99, X-Bolt Pro; $2,099.99-$2,179.99, X-Bolt Pro Long Range. The X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan rifle features a McMillan Game Scout
stock with aluminum pillars, a vertical pistol grip, and a medium-width forend. It has a Cerakote burnt bronze finish and a 26-inch, fluted, free-floating, hand-chambered barrel with a muzzle brake. The stock sports an A-TACS AU Camo, Dura-Touch Armor Coat finish. A 20-MOA Picatinny rail is standard. Available in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 WSM, 26 Nosler, 7mm Remington Magnum, 28 Nosler, and .300 Winchester Magnum. SRP: $2,129.99-$2,199.99. The X-Bolt Micro Composite will give smaller-stature shooters the option of a rifle with a shorter length of pull. It features a receiver and barrel in matte blue and is available in .243 Winchester, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Remington, and .308 Winchester. SRP: $939.99. Booth #10744. (browning.com)
CMMG The MkW Anvil is a midsize AR rifle platform engineered to easily handle cartridges with large case diameters and high bolt thrust. This year, the 6.5 Grendel joins the lineup. Each MkW ships with one 10-round magazine. Barrels have 1:8 twist.
10 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
³ The new 450 Bushmaster SD Rifle has a 20-inch barrel, an R25-styled stock with a Hogue grip, an ALG Defense trigger, an AAS Square Drop Handguard, and a muzzle brake. It comes with
CVA With the Optima V2 LR, CVA brings long-range performance to a more affordable price point. It features a 28-inch barrel, the Quick Release Breech Plug, and an ambidextrous thumbhole stock.
a five-round magazine and is chambered for the 450 Bushmaster, a cartridge seeing renewed interest in 2018. SRP: $1,299. The ACR SBR, chambered for the 5.56 NATO, comes with a 10.5-inch, 4150 FNC-treated, 1:7 twist barrel. Other features include an AAC Blackout flashhider, a collapsible folding stock, and a tri-rail handguard. SRP: $2,249. The Bushmaster Minimalist SD Carbine will be offered in 5.56 NATO and 300 AAC Blackout. It has a mil-spec upper and lower receiver, an AAC Square Drop Handguard, a lightweight FNC 1:8 twist barrel, a mil-spec mission-first minimalist stock and grip, and an ALG Defense fire control group. SRP: $1,169. Now, how about something really big? The BA50 is chambered for the .50 BMG and has a Lothar-Walther 30-inch barrel. The bolt is on the left side of the action, and cartridges eject from the right, after feeding from a 10-round box magazine. It’s fitted with a Magpul PRS stock and an AAC Cyclops brake. It’s not cheap—big guns never are. SRP: $5,657. Booth #14229. (bushmaster.com)
CMMG ³ CMMG’s
MkW Anvil is a midsize AR rifle platform
uniquely engineered to easily handle cartridges with large case diameters and high bolt thrust. Each new MkW Anvil ships with one 10-round magazine, and barrels have a 1:8 twist. CMMG also is offering 6.5 Grendel upper receiver groups for Anvils in .458 SOCOM. SRP: $1,049.95, uppers; $1,999.95, rifles. The MkG45 Guard is an MSR chambered for the .45 Auto. It’s offered in five configurations, with either 8- or 16-inch barrels. All operate on CMMG’s patentpending Radial Delayed Blowback system and feed from Glock magazines. SRP: $1,299.95-$1,399.95. Booth #32011. (cmmginc.com)
³ With the new Optima V2 LR, CVA brings long-range performance to a more affordable price point. The gun employs the same long-range-oriented concepts as the top-selling Accura V2LR, combining a velocityenhancing longer barrel with the superior stability of a thumbhole stock. It features a 28-inch barrel, and like all CVA muzzleloaders, it has the exclusive Quick Release Breech Plug. The thumbhole stock is also 100 percent ambidextrous. The V2 LR is 43 inches long and weighs 7.65 pounds. Booth #14814.
³ For 2018, CZ is introducing a left-hand 557. It will be available in .30/06 Springfield (standard action) and .308 Winchester (short action). The .30/06 version has a hinged floorplate, and the .308 feeds from a detachable box magazine. Both have 24-inch, cold-hammer-forged and lapped barrels. SRP: $865. Booth #11955. (cz-usa.com)
DPMS ³ DPMS
now has the GII Hunter in .243 Winchester and .260 Remington. Both feature 20-inch Teflon-coated barrels, threaded muzzles, carbon-fiber free-floating handguards, two-stage triggers, Magpul MOE stocks, Hogue grips, and an enhanced shell deflector. The GII Compact Hunter is chambered for the .243 Winchester. This minimalized semi-auto rifle features a 16-inch Teflon-coated barrel, a threaded muzzle, a carbon-fiber, free-floating handguard, a two-stage trigger, a B5 Sopmod Stock, a Hogue grip, and an enhanced shell deflector. Another addition to the GII line is the AP4 OR (Optics Ready). This GII has an improved upper receiver optimized for lefthand shooters, and a standard, plain-steel single-rail gas block. SRP: $1,249. DPMS did not forget it makes
E.R. SHAW Known for producing gun barrels, the manufacturer is now offering the custom Mark X bolt-action rifle. The AccuTrigger is standard, but a Timney trigger is an option. Barrel lengths range from 16.25 to 26 inches, and customers have a choice of 28 chamberings, ranging from .17 through .458.
12 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
CZ-USA The left-hand 557 will be available in .30/06 (standard action) and .308 (short action).
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RISE ARMAMENT The 1121XR rifle in .308 Winchester was designed for shooters seeking more out of a heavy-caliber, gas-driven gun. It features the RA-535 trigger, guaranteed sub-MOA precision, a 20-inch 416R stainless-steel barrel, preci-
PROOF RESEARCH The Switch is easily usermodified to accommodate many different cartridges.
sion-machined 7075 aluminum billet receivers, a Magpul PRS stock, and a smooth Cerakote finish. It weighs 9.5 pounds and ships in a hard case with two magazines. SRP: $2,449. Booth #328. (risearmament.com)
AR15s. The new MOE SL Carbine is available with black or flat dark earth Magpul MOE SL furniture. It’s chambered in 5.56 NATO and comes with a 16-inch chrome-lined barrel with a 1:7 twist. Backup sights and an AAC Blackout flash-hider are standard. SRP: $1,099. Booth #14229. (dpmsinc.com)
³ America’s largest independent manufacturer of gun barrels is now offering the new Mark X bolt-action rifle. Consumers can order online and choose between barrel lengths from 16.25 to 26 inches. They can also select one of 90 chamberings in calibers from .17 through .458. The highly acclaimed AccuTrigger is standard, but a Timney is an option. This is a custom, made-to-order rifle. SRP: $1,399. The company now also offers a smaller, lighter, and more affordable AR-10. The ERS-10’s upper and lower receivers are machined from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings. It comes standard with a Shaw muzzle brake, a 15-inch floating handguard, and
14 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
a nickel-boron-coated bolt. It weighs 9.5 pounds. SRP: $995.95. Booth #2603. (ershawbarrels.com)
³ With what seems like an unbridled effort to take over the rifle world, Mossberg has introduced another variation of the MVP. The MVP Precision is a tactical rifle sporting an all-new chassis and a LUTH-AR MBA-3 adjustable stock. Every rifle comes with an LBA trigger, and 24- or 20-inch threaded and free-floated medium bull barrels are standard. A Picatinny rail, an oversize bolt handle, and a Magpul MOE grip are included. Vortex combo packages will include the Viper HS-T riflescope, and available chamberings include the 6.5 Creedmoor and 7.62 NATO. The Patriot line continues to expand. For 2018, you’ll see it in 6.5 Creedmoor in the top-of-theline model—the Revere. This rifle features a 2.0 Grade European walnut stock and a rosewood forend tip and grip cap. SRP: $823. The Patriot Cerakote is also
MOSSBERG The MVP Precision tactical rifle sports an all-new chassis and a Luth-AR MBA-3 adjustable stock.
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See us at the Shot Show — Booth 1625 Peltor™ Sport Tactical 300/Tactical 500 SMART Electronic Hearing Protectors from 3M SMART technology automatically adjusts to your environment and firearm for customized protection. Speech is clearer. Operation is easier. Plus, the Tactical 500 syncs with Bluetooth® enabled devices — so you can stay connected and protected.
3M SMART Technologies Dynamic Suppression Time measures the energy in gunshot noise and automatically sets suppression time for reduced echoes and increased comfort
Clear Voice Tracking seeks voice within background noise and actively filters noise for improved speech intelligibility
© 3M 2018. All rights reserved. 3M and Peltor are trademarks of 3M. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by 3M is under license.
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new. Cerakote is a polymer-ceramic coating that protects metal surfaces, and this Cerakoted Patriot will be offered with a synthetic black stock in six popular chamberings, including .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .308 Winchester, and .30/06 Springfield. To keep things on the cool side, Mossberg is offering three new
rifles specifically intended to visually please; all are finished in Muddy Girl Serenity camo. This new camo has a dynamic combination of colors and natural elements for a sharp look that will likely appeal to anyone wanting some additional, eye-catching flair from their rifle. The list includes a Patriot Super Bantam in .243 Winchester, a Blaze autoloading rifle in .22 LR, and an
International 715T semi-auto rifle in .22 LR. Booth #12734. (mossberg.com)
³ The new Switch is easily usermodified to accommodate many cartridges. It comes standard with a free-floating, cut-rifled Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel in either .223 Remington, 6mm and
6.5mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, or .308 Winchester. It incorporates a Savage-style barrel to allow for user-conversion to virtually any short-action caliber. SRP: $3,995. Booth #16129. (proofresearch.com)
³ The new 700 MTD Tactical Chassis rifle is available with a 24-
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or 26-inch barrel and is chambered for the .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, or .338 Lapua Magnum. It has a stainlesssteel-barreled action, a Magpul PRS II adjustable stock, an oversize bolt handle, and an AAC muzzle brake, and ships in a hard case. SRP: $3,500. The SS 5R Black Cerakote is built on an HS Precision stock. It has a stainless-steel barrel and
action, and the 5R rifled barrel has the distinctive LTR-style fluting with a black Cerakote finish. A threaded muzzle and X Mark Pro adjustable trigger are standard. Available in .308 Winchester with a 20- or 24-inch barrel, .300 Winchester Magnum with a 24-inch barrel, and 6.5 Creedmoor with a 24-inch barrel. SRP: $1,250. There is also a non-Cerakote version in .223 Remington. SRP: $1,150. Booth #14229. (remington.com)
SAVAGE The completely revamped Model 110 benefits from the all-new useradjustable AccuFit system, which allows shooters to customize the fit of the stock.
³ Since its introduction in 1958, the Savage Model 110 has served hunters and shooters well as an economical, hard-hitting, accurate rifle. Now it’s even better with the new Model 110 Big Game and Specialty series. These revamped rifles have received a fresh look and a full complement of new and improved features. Customized performance is the hallmark of the redesign, and these new rifles solve the three main issues shooters usually pay a gunsmith to address: fit, trigger pull, and bedding. The all-new user-adjustable
AccuFit system/stock is the key. It allows shooters to customize length of pull and comb height. Inserts included with the rifle can be installed in seconds with a Phillips screwdriver. The new AccuStock also has a rigid chassis embedded in the stock. Combine these custom-like features with the standard adjustable AccuTrigger, and the 110s become affordable custom rifles, right out of the box. To help bring all this wonderfulness to the consumer, Savage has a full line of revamped 110s to choose from, covering everything from generalpurpose to niche offerings. The Savage 110 Storm features a detachable-box magazine, a stainless-steel barrel, and a gray synthetic stock. It is available in a plethora of cartridges, from .223 Remington to .338 Winchester Magnum. SRP: $849. The 110 Engage Hunter comes out of the box with a mounted and bore-sighted Bushnell Engage
STEYR The Pro THB (Tactical Heavy Barrel) offers extreme accuracy at an extremely affordable price.
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WINCHESTER The XPC chassis rifle uses the XPR receiver, and has a quick-cycling 60-degree bolt with plenty of clearance for large scopes. riflescope. SRP: $629. The 110 Predator is a Realtree Max 1 camo version chambered for six coyotekilling cartridges. All feature 24-inch barrels and a four-round detachable magazine. SRP: $799. For long-range 110 Savage excitement, there’s the Long Range Hunter. It comes with a 26-inch barrel and is chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, .308 Winchester, .300 WSM, .338 Federal, 6.5x284 Norma, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and the .338 Lapua Magnum. SRP: $1,099; $1,298, Lapua. If you want the ideal generalpurpose 110, there’s the 110 Scout. Configured to emulate Jeff Cooper’s concept, this 110 has a 16.5-inch barrel, a 10-shot detachable magazine, open sights, and an extended eye-relief scope rail. Chambered for the .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, .338 Federal, or 450 Bushmaster. SRP: $815. Other specific-purpose new 110s include the 23-inch- barreled 110 Bear Hunter ($999), the 26-inch-barreled 110 Varmint ($638), the 20-inch-barreled 110 Hog Hunter ($594), and the wicked 110 Wolverine in 450 Bushmaster ($899). The 10/110 Stealth Evolution chassis rifle is chambered for six distance-delivering cartridges, including the 6mm Creedmoor. The rifle blends pinpoint precision with torture-tested toughness, and pairs a heavy fluted barrel, blueprinted 10/110 action, 5R rifling, and an AccuTrigger, with a monolithic aluminum chassis finished in rugged bronze Cerakote. SRP: $1,799-$2,149. Booth #14551. (savagearms.com)
Steyr ³ The
WEATHERBY The Altitude features a lightweight Monte Carlo stock with an aluminum bedded block.
Zephyr II is Steyr’s new smallbore rifle. It features a classic European walnut stock with a Bavarian cheekpiece and fish-scalepattern checkering, and the Steyr Mannlicher bolt handle and tang safety. Available in .17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR, the Zephyr II has a cold-hammer-forged 19.7inch barrel, with an overall length of 35.2 inches. The rifle weighs 5.8 pounds. SRP: $995.
20 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
The Pro THB (Tactical Heavy Barrel) offers extreme accuracy at an extremely affordable price, and it’s a complement to Steyr’s traditional platforms. It has a durable synthetic stock with removable spacers in the buttstock to adjust length of pull. It also has a coldhammer-forged, 16-, 20-, or 26-inch threaded heavy barrel, finished with Steyr’s durable Mannox coating. Chambered for the .308 Winchester, the magazine is the standard two-position five-round detachable box, with a 10-round conversion kit available. SRP: $1,265. Booth #10246. (steyrarms.com)
Weatherby ³ The
Mark V line includes five new rifles. The Camilla Deluxe has been designed for female hunters with input from the Women of Weatherby team. It weighs 6.5 pounds and has an AA-grade Claro walnut stock. A slim forearm, a narrow-radius pistol grip, and a high comb contribute to the fit a woman wants. Five chamberings are available: .240 Weatherby Magnum, .270 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .30/06 Springfield. The Mark V KCR features a 26-inch, No. 3 contour custom masterpiece barrel from Krieger. It is available in .257, 6.5-300, .300, and .30-378 Weatherby Magnum cartridges, and includes an Accubrake to reduce felt recoil by up to 50 percent. A LXX trigger, oversize bolt knob, composite Monte Carlo stock, and flat dark earth and graphite black Cerakote finish round out the features on this rifle. The Altitude weighs 5.75 pounds with the six-lug action, 6.75 pounds with the nine-lug magnum version. It features a lightweight Monte Carlo stock with an aluminum bedded block, a fluted stainless-steel barrel, Kryptek Altitude camo, and a Tungsten Cerakote finish. The Altitude is available in .240, .257, .270, 7mm, and .300 Weatherby Magnums, as well as 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and .30/06 Springfield. The new Outfitter Mark V
rifles have a flat dark earth Cerakote finish and boast a carbon-fiber Monte Carlo stock. The FDE RC model is Range Certified, and Adam Weatherby signs each range certificate. It is available in .240, .257, 6.5-300, .270, 7mm, and .300 Weatherby Magnums and in 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and .30/06 Springfield. Booth #12729. (weatherby.com)
Winchester ³ The
new XPC is a chassis rifle with a quick-cycling 60-degree bolt with plenty of clearance for large scopes. The XPC comes with an optic rail, a button-rifled free-floating chrome-moly barrel, a target crown, a threaded muzzle, and a nickel-Teflon and PermaCote black finish. It has a MagPul buttstock and grip, and is available in .243 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor with a 24-inch barrel, and in .308 Winchester with a 20-inch barrel. SRP: $1,599.99. The new XPR Sporter features a Grade I walnut stock and an Inflex Technology recoil pad. Other features include the MOA trigger, Perma-Cote matte black metal surfaces, a detachable-box magazine, a steel recoil lug, and a two-position thumb safety. It’s available in a variety of cartridges, from .243 Winchester to .338 Winchester Magnum, with barrel lengths from 22 to 26 inches. SRP: $599.99. A new 1873 Carbine model will feature a classic carbine-style forearm with a blued barrel band, a blued carbine strap buttplate, and a blued saddle ring. The stock and forearm are satin-finished walnut, and this lever gun comes standard with a ladderstyle rear sight. It’s available in .357 Magnum/.38 Special, .44/40 Winchester, and .45 Colt, with a 20-inch barrel. SRP: $1,299.99. The Model 1892 Carbine has the same features as the old 1873 Carbine, but with a semibuckhorn rear sight and Marble Arms gold-bead front sight. Available in .357 Magnum, .44 Rem. Magnum, .44/40 Win., and .45 Colt, with a 20-inch barrel. SRP: $1,069.99. Booth #13329.
> HUNTER HIG
S TO AN SAVANNA IC R F A ID R A ERS FROM UKON, HUNT Y E H T IN S K E D PE A LT-ACTION SNOW-CAPP CHESTER® BO IN W N O D IE IFETIME HAVE REL ONCE-IN-A-L T, A E M R O F R OVER RIFLES U S GA M E FO O R E G N A D D LE TO TROPHIES AN NEWEST RIF E H T IS ® R P D, EX CY OF RUGGE A 80 YEARS. TH G E L IC O R E HE H TIONS TO BE PART OF T ATE BOLT-AC R U C C A D N A A M E. E DEPENDABL INCHESTER N WEAR THE W
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SHOTGUNS Expanded Options If you think scatterguns are a side-channel category, you’re dead wrong By Richard Mann
BROWNING The Citori CXS is a multipurpose over/under 12-gauge target shotgun. Features include ported barrels topped with a floating rib and a gloss-finished Grade II American walnut stock and forearm with an adjustable comb and Schnabel-style forearm.
recision rifles and compact handguns seem to be all anyone wants to talk about these days. Although all the hustle and bustle is happening in holsters and at 1,000 yards, there are still shooters quietly going about their business, shouldering shotguns and knocking things out of the sky. Those folks can enter 2018 with eager anticipation because manufacturers have not forgotten them. And, for those who think of a shotgun only as a fighting firearm, you have some new tactical scatterguns to consider.
Browning’s High Grade Program is moving into its sixth year with limited-production Citori 725 Grade VI Field Model 12- and 20-gauge shotguns. The gold-enhanced receiver engravings and Grade V/VI walnut stocks exude class and workmanship. The receiver has a silvernitride finish and a Fire Lite Mechanical trigger system. Offered with 26- or 28-inch barrels, these new models are supplied with a canvas/distressed leather fitted case. SRP: $5,999.99. The new Citori 725 Golden Clays Trap 12-gauge over/under features gold-accented engraving on the right, left, and bottom of the receiver, and a silver-nitride finish. The stock and forearm
are grade V/VI walnut with a gloss-oil finish, close-radius pistol grip, and palm swell. A Pro Fit Adjustable Monte Carlo
comb and adjustable GraCoil Recoil Reduction System, with a Graco buttpad plate that adjusts for angle and location, are stan-
dard. Available with 30- or 32-inch barrels, Browning has introduced precision-rifle adjustability to the shotgun world.
B ROWNING The Silver Field Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun has an aluminum-alloy receiver and black/charcoal bi-tone finish. This 3½-inch, gas-operated autoloader also features a stock and forearm in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camo.
22 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
M OSSBERG New options for the Shockwave include a 20-gauge version with a flat dark earth Cerakote finish and a 12-gauge JIC (Just In Case) Shockwave that comes with a water-resistant storage carry tube. SRP: $5,739.99. The Citori CXS and Citori CXT Adjustable Comb models are multipurpose over/under 12-gauge shotguns for various target-shooting endeavors. The CXS features a blued finish receiver with gold-accented engravings. The ported barrels are topped with a floating rib, and the stock and forearm are gloss-finished Grade II American walnut, with an adjustable comb and Schnabel-style forearm. The CSX is intended as a crossover shotgun for hunting, sporting clays, and skeet. SRP: $2,539.99. The new CXT has a blued receiver with gold-accented engravings. The barrels feature a high-post floating rib and ventilated side and top ribs. The stock and forearm are gloss-finished Grade II American walnut, with an adjustable comb and semi-beavertail forearm with finger grooves. Intended for trap, the CXT is supplied with three Midas Grade choke tubes with 30- or 32-inch barrels. SRP: $2,599.99. Also new is the Silver Field Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun. It has an aluminum-alloy receiver and black/charcoal bi-tone finish. This 3 -inch gas-operated autoloader also features a stock and forearm in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camo. Available with either a 26- or 28-inch barrel. SRP: $1,139.99. Booth #10744. (browning.com)
CZ- USA Swamp Magnum (left) lets a turkey hunter choose his choke. The Sharp-Tail Coach (right) can be had in 12- and 20-gauge.
24 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
³ One of CZ-USA’s fanciest over/ under shotguns, the Supreme Field, features Grade III wood and copious amounts of hand-
engraved scrollwork. Its polishednickel receiver features auto ejectors and a mechanical singleselectable trigger. Five extended chokes are included. SRP: $1,699. CZ-USA’s most affordable over/under shotgun gains two sub-gauge variants for 2018. Identical to the larger shotguns, but in 28-gauge and .410-bore, these diminutive shotguns are built on steel CNC actions, have a mid-rib, and are clad in Turkish walnut stocks. SRP: $679. CZ’s 3 -inch Swamp Magnum might make a rifleman want to become a shotgunner. It looks mean and serious, and now with shorter 26-inch barrels and extended choke options, the Reaper Magnum gives the turkey hunter the ability to choose a tight choke for long shots and an open choke for closer shots. With a drilled-and-tapped top Picatinny-style rail, mounting an optic is easy. The polymer stocks are clad in Realtree Xtra Green to help them blend in the world of the turkey. SRP: $959. Given the huge popularity of its Hammer Coach, CZ-USA thought it time to introduce a hammerless version. Built on the Sharp-Tail platform, the SharpTail Coach is a single-trigger coach gun with 20-inch cylinder bore barrels. It is available in 12or 20-gauge. SRP: $959. Booth #11955. (cz-usa.com)
³ When the BATFE confirmed the 590 Shockwave does not fall under NFA restrictions and requires no tax stamp, the world of shotguns changed and a floodgate of interest opened. The
M OSSBERG Left to right: Bantum, 835 Ulti-Mag, Maverick, and Model 500 in Muddy Girl camo.
Shockwave comes with a 14-inch heavy-walled barrel and has a 5+1 capacity. New options include a 20-gauge version and a flat dark earth Cerakote finish, and a 12-gauge JIC (Just In Case) model that comes with a water-resistant storage/carry tube. SRP: $455. Standard features of the Mossberg 930 shotgun include a smooth-operating dual-gas-vent system, a drilled-and-tapped receiver, an ambidextrous safety, and a stock-drop spacer system.
The 930 handles 2.75- and 3-inch shotshells with ease, and the new versatile 26-inch-barreled Bottomland model comes with an expanded choke-tube set for both turkey and waterfowl. SRP: $560. The 28-inch-barreled black synthetic stock version makes a great choice for upland and waterfowl hunting. SRP: $560. The 835 Ulti-Magâ€™s standard features include dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, an ambidextrous safety,
TRISTAR Notable features of the Viper 410 include a Turkish walnut stock, a fiber-optic front sight, and a bronze finish. Out of the box, it weighs only 5.7 pounds.
and a clean-out magazine tube cap. The 835 Ulti-Mag shotguns handle all shotshells, including powerful magnum loads, and the over-bored 26-inch barrels provide reduced recoil and uniform, dense patterns. New for 2018 are a standard matte blue with a black synthetic stock version and a Bottomland-finished model. SRP: $604. All SA-20 and SA-28 International Bantam shotguns come with a 12.5-inch length of pull and are popular with young
and small-statured shooters. For 2018, Mossberg has three new offerings. The Walnut Youth comes in 28- and 20-gauge and has a 28-inch barrel with a ventilated rib. It weighs only 6.25 pounds. SRP: $570. The Black Synthetic Youth is now available in 28-gauge and also has a 24-inch ventilated rib barrel. It weighs only 5.5 pounds. SRP: $674. Known as the workingman’s shotgun, Mossberg has three new Mavericks from which to choose.
First is the six-shot Cylinder-bore 18.5-inch-barreled standard model with a flat dark earth stock. Next is a similar eight-shot version, but with a 20-inch barrel. And finally, there’s the six-shot, 18.5-inch model that comes with an ATI ShotForce folding stock, and weighs only 6 pounds. SRP: $296. Mossberg is treating those who like a little flair in their firearms with several shotguns finished in the newest Muddy Girl camo pattern. There’s the Model 500
20-gauge Super Bantam, with its adjustable length-of-pull system and 22-inch ventilated-rib barrel. And there’s the 510 Mini-Super Bantam, with the same length of pull adjustability, but with an 18.5-inch .410-bore or 20-gauge barrel. All weigh less than 6 pounds and come in the Serenity Muddy Girl camo pattern. They’re ideal for the young modern shooter who wants to stand out on the range or in the timber. Booth #12734. (mossberg.com)
Rock Island Armory ³ Rock
Island Armory is rolling out 20 new shotguns this year. They include one pump-action, four break-actions, and 15 semi-auto variants. The pump is an 18.6-inchbarreled smoothbore slug gun with a synthetic stock. Break-actions include a 20-inchbarreled single-shot at 6.18 pounds, an over/under 28-inch-barreled 12-gauge at 7.18 pounds, a similar over/under Plus with a handengraved receiver, and an over/ under Competition. All 12-gauge models accept 3-inch shells. The semi-auto magazine-fed VR-60 is now offered in a plethora of colors, from tactical black and sand to rosy red and combinations. This wicked-looking shotgun resembles the AR in profile and weighs about 8 pounds, depending on variation. It will handle 3-inch shells. And, finally, we have the 5+1 magazine-fed Bull Rocket. This is a 12-gauge semi-auto bullpup design with a 20-inch openCylinder barrel. Booth #16960.
Notable features on the new Viper 410 shotgun include a lusciously beautiful Turkish walnut stock, a fiber-optic front sight, and a bronze finish. Out of the box, it weighs only 5.7 pounds. Booth #15749. (tristararms.com)
WINCHESTER The Super X4 semi-auto shotgun line now includes the 3½-inch SX4 National Wild Turkey Federation cantilever turkey model. It comes with a 24-inch barrel.
³ Winchester expanded the Super X4 semi-auto shotgun line to include the SX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey model. It comes with a 24-inch barrel and a Weaver-style cantilever rail that makes it easy to attach an electronic sight or scope. This 3 -inch model features a synthetic stock and forearm with full coverage in the non-glare Mossy Oak Obsession. A Truglo fiber-optic front sight and adjustable rear sight are standard. SRP: $1,069.99. The new SX4 Cantilever Buck 12-gauge 3-inch semi-auto has a synthetic stock and forearm in a non-glare matte black finish. The 22-inch rifled barrel also features a Weaver-style cantilever rail, and a Truglo fiber-optic front sight and adjustable rear are standard. SRP: $959.99. The SX4 Universal Hunter 12-gauge 3 -inch semi-auto wears Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. The receiver is drilled and tapped to accept scope bases. SRP: $1,069.99. Booth #13329.
UNDENIABLE PRECISION BLACK brings a new level of performance—and expectation—to the tactical optics world. Experience the full 2018 lineup, including the new 4000-yard tactical rangefinder—BLACK RANGEX 4K
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BROWNING The Black Label 1911-380 Pro Stainless is available in full-size and compact versions, with an optional accessory rail. The slide is stainless steel and the barrel has a rustresistant satin-silver finish. Grips are a G-10 composite.
A Good Mix
When it comes to handguns, 2018 will bring a mix of the old and new, plastic and steel—with a wheelgun or two thrown in for good measure By Richard Mann
n an age when everything plastic rules, a handgun made of steel with a design more than 100 years old still drives the market. We are talking, of course, of the fabled 1911, and a third of the new guns that follow are based on this legendary platform. That’s not to say that there is no interest in itty-bitty pocket pistols, and it’s clear the revolver is not the antiquated firearm many assume. In fact, when it comes to handguns, 2018 is a good mix of old, new, plastic, and steel, with a wheelgun or two thrown in for good measure.
Browning ³ Browning
CIMA R RON The 1851 Navy cap-and-ball six-shooter replica comes in .44- or .36-caliber, and has a case-hardened frame.
32 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
continues to add appealing variations to its reduced-size 1911 lineup. The Black Label 1911-380 Pro Stainless is available in full-size and compact versions, with an accessory rail option. They feature a matte-black composite frame with a machined 7075 aluminum subframe and slide rails. The slide is stainless steel, and the barrel has a rust-resistant satinsilver finish. Grips are G-10 com-
posite, and the sights are threedot combat or night sights dovetailed into the slide. Supplied with two 8-round magazines, the fullsize model has a 4 -inch barrel. The barrel on the compact model is 35/8 inches. SRP: $799.99 to $909.99. Here’s a cool take on a .22LR trail gun. It’s called the Buck Mark Camper UFX Suppressor Ready, and it features a 6-inch matte-finished tapered bull barrel that’s threaded for a suppressor.
THE BEST, MADE BETTER. Itâ€™s possible to make the best, betterâ€”and we can prove it because weâ€™ve done it. Visit the Hoppeâ€™s booth at SHOT Show to check out the next big, slithering thing in gun care. The new BoreSnake and $QTG5PCMG8KRGT&GPPQYKPENWFGUCVJCPFNGHQTGCUKGTRWNNVJTQWIJQH[QWTÆ“TGCTOCPFCTGWUCDNG carrying case that you can keep in your bag for protection during transport.
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Additional features include Ultra FX ambidextrous grips, a ProTarget rear sight, a Truglo/ Marble Arms fiber-optic front sight, and a Picatinny rail for optics. SRP: $499.99. Another suppressor-ready Buck Mark is the Plus Lite Fluted UFX Suppressor Ready model. It has a 5 -inch steel barrel, with an alloy sleeve and fluting in a matte blue finish. The Lite UFX comes with a thread-protector, Pro-Target rear sights, and a Truglo/Marble Arms fiber-optic front sight. The grips are Ultragrip FX ambidextrous. SRP: $619.99. Booth #10744. (browning.com)
Bushmaster ³ Just
when you thought interest in the AR platform had subsided, there are AR pistols to keep it going. For 2018, Bushmaster has the SD Pistol, which is chambered for the 5.56 NATO or 300 Blackout. It has a mil-spec upper
and lower, an AAC square-drop handguard, an AAC Blackout Flash Hider, an SB Tactical Arms brace, a Hogue Overmold grip, and an ALG Defense fire-control group. SRP: $1,399. Booth #14229. (bushmaster.com)
³ The Cimarron Bad Boy is a .44 Magnum revolver built on a prewar frame, with an Army-style grip and an octagonal barrel. It’s ideal for hunting or hitting steel, or for backwoods trapping or living off the grid. Features include a blue finish with smooth walnut grips and a flattop frame with adjustable sights. Available with a 6- or 8-inch octagonal barrel. SRP: $687.70 Also new from Cimarron is the 1851 Navy cap-and-ball sixshooter replica known as the Percussion Peacemaker. This revolver brings you back to the mythic West, with beautiful laser engraving on a case-hardened
frame. It’s available in .44 or .36 caliber with a 7 -inch octagonal barrel. SRP: $422.50. Booth #15334. (cimarron-firearms. com)
³ CZ has added two new variants to the P10C line of polymerframed pistols. Joining the Urban Grey series of pistols, one new variant wears a mix of flat dark earth and light gray colors. It also has suppressor-height night sights, a suppressor-ready barrel threaded x28, and an extended base pad that boosts capacity to 17+1. The CZ P-10 Urban Grey Suppressor Ready is available in 9mm Luger. SRP: $549. The other variant is the CZ P-10 C FDE White Nitride 9mm pistol. The white nitride used on this slide offers the same hardy surface protection as the standard black nitride. Combined with a flat dark earth frame, this twotoned pistol is affordable and
classy. SRP: $539. Now available with an OD green frame and a set of metal night sights, the new CZ P-09 full-size and compact variants carry all the features that make the P-09/P-07 series pistols desirable. SRP: $539. For those wanting a braced pistol package out of the box, CZ-USA has added the SB Tactical folding arm brace to the Scorpion pistol. This pistol is ideal for those who already own a 9mm suppressor because most 9mm cans fit inside the carbine forend. SRP: $999. A blue/gray and OD green color variant was also added to the Scorpion EVO 3 S1 9mm line. SRP: $899. The Cadet kit, which allows a 9mm pistol to fire .22LR ammo, is an overlooked item in the CZ line. These conversion kits are amazingly accurate and easy to install. Now CZ has two new kits—one for the longer frame of the Shadow 2, the other for SP-01 models with a full-length
REM INGTON The R1 1911 Executive Commander has an aluminum frame, a stainless-steel match bull barrel, Trijicon front and rear sights, a bobtail frame and main housing, G10 grips, an adjustable trigger, and a skeletonized hammer.
34 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
CZ-USA The Scorpion (top) features the SB Tactical folding arm brace. The CZ P-09 (bottom) is now available with an OD green frame and a set of new metal sights.
frame. Both come with two 10-round magazines. SRP: $431. Booth #11955. (cz-usa.com)
³ For 2018, Dan Wesson increased its line of 1911 handguns by 10. The most exceptional is the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. This glorious 1911, chambered for the .45 Auto, is adorned with engravings on the frame and slide and has a set of ivory-looking G10 grips embossed with Dan Wesson logo medallions. Produced in limited numbers, this is an all-stainless gun, finished in a high-polish nitride. SRP: $2,999. The new Vigil series of 1911s are built on checkered aluminum frames with stainless-steel slides. They offer an affordable entry into the Dan Wesson line of handguns. With four variants, the Vigil can be had in sizes from CCO to government, and in suppressor-ready form. A tritium
front sight, serrated rear, rounded butt, and Shadow cocobolo grips are standard. SRP: $1,298.99 to $1,397. Suppressor-ready pistols are an industry trend—one that Dan Wesson has fully embraced. The Wraith is a threaded-barrel government-size 1911 available in .45 Auto, 10mm, or 9mm and clad in a distressed version of the Duty finish. High night sights are standard. SRP: $2,077 to $2,375. The distinctive Discretion 1911 gets a commander-sized little brother for 2018. The Discretion is a purpose-built suppressor host, and the lightening cuts in the slide help negate some of the weight of the can. SRP: $2,142. The bull-barreled officer-sized 1911 known as the ECO now can be had in an OD green variant. SRP: $1,662. There is also a parkerized variant of both the Government and Commander DW A2 pistols (SRP: $1,363), and a distressed 9mm and .45 ver-
Meet American Hero
John “TIG” Tiegen Tuesday & Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 PM Kahr Firearms Group Booth
Get an autographed copy of the book 13 Hours. (Books will be for sale in the booth for $30)
John “Tig” Tiegen, Member of the Benghazi Annex Security Team, Military Consultant, Hero of Benghazi Attack, and Co-Author of 13 Hours. Join us: #KahrFirearmsGroup • #MagnumResearch
WWW.KAHR.COM | WWW.AUTO-ORDNANCE.COM | WWW.MAGNUMRESEARCH.COM
NIGHTHAWK CUSTOM FIREARMS The new 6-inch Echelon 1911 is touted as the pinnacle of modern manufacturing technology. Guns in this platform with 6-inch slides are notoriously heavy and difficult to make run consistently using lighter-recoiling 9mm ammunition, but Nighthawk engineers worked for two years to find the perfect balance that will allow 115-grain round ball and +P ammo to function perfectly. The Echelon has a single side safety and 10+1 capacity. It weighs 43.8 ounces and has an overall length of 9.65 inches. Booth #12759. (nighthawkcustom.com)
sion of the Specialist (SRP: $2,012). Booth #11955. (danwessonfirearms.com)
DA N W ESSON Top to bottom: 50th Anniversary Limited Edition 1911 in .45 Auto, Vigil 1911, Wraith 1911, and Discretion 1911, all of which are suppressor-ready.
38 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
³ It appears Remington is after the lion’s share of the 1911 market, as it is introducing nine new models. The R1 1911 Limited 9/40/45 Double Stack, which has a capacity of 19, 18, and 16, respectively, is a 41-ounce 1911 with a 5-inch barrel, wide cocking serrations, an LPA adjustable rear sight, a fiber-optic front sight, an extended beavertail, and VZ G10 grips. It comes with two stainlesssteel magazines. SRP: $1,399. For those who really like the features of the Limited Double Stack but do not like the wide grip, there’s the 38-ounce R1 1911 Limited 9/40/45 Single Stack. The features are the same, but the capacity and price are less. SRP: $1,250. If you have a little more change in your pocket going jing-a-linga-ling, and if you want something a bit more refined for racing, there’s the R1 1911 Limited 9/40/45 Tomasie Custom. These pistols have 5-inch barrels, wide cocking serrations, an LPA adjustable rear sight, an extended beavertail, an adjustable skeletonized trigger, VZ G10 grips, and a
stainless-steel slide and frame, The weight is 41 ounces. Each is also inspected and test-fired by action-pistol champion Travis Tomasie. SRP: $1,650. In the fighting-pistol category, Remington is offering the R1 1911 Tactical .45 ACP Double Stack. It has a 5-inch barrel, wide slide serrations, Trijicon sights, an extended beavertail, a PVD DLC finish, VZ G10 grips, an accessory rail, and a capacity of 15+1 rounds. SRP: $1,275. It’s also available with a threaded muzzle, and a single-stack version retails for $25 less. The R1 1911 Enhanced Double Stack 15 .45 features a 15-round double-stack magazine, a 5-inch stainless match barrel, adjustable rear sights, a fiber-optic front sight, VZ G10 grips, an adjustable trigger, an extended beavertail grip safety, a skeletonized hammer, and front and rear cocking serrations. SRP: $999. A lightweight 1911 Commander is a coveted carry pistol, and now Remington has introduced its take on this classic. The R1 1911 Ultralight Commander has an aluminum frame, weighs 31 ounces, and has a 4.25-inch stainless-steel match barrel, an adjustable rear sight, a fiber-optic front sight, laminate grips, an adjustable trigger, an
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MAGNUM RESEARCH Since 1985, Magnum Research has diligently worked to introduce new products to its iconic pop-culture Desert Eagle series. New for 2018 is a classic case-hardened finish on the .44 Magnum, .50 AE, and .357 Magnum Desert Eagles. Each features a 6-inch barrel, and the casehardened finish is protected with a clear coat. SRP: $2,278. Booth #13962. (magnumresearch.com)
The Desert Eagle series now features a case-hardened finish on the .44 Magnum, .50 AE, and .357 models.
extended beavertail, front and rear cocking serrations, and a skeletonized hammer. SRP: $849. For those seeking a bit more refinement, the R1 1911 Executive Commander just might be for you. It has an aluminum frame, a 3 -inch stainless-steel match bull barrel, Trijicon front and rear sights, a bobtail frame and mainspring housing, G10
RUGER The six-shot .327 Federal Magnum LCR adds a bit more punch to the compact- revolver format.
LOWA Task Force Boots
grips, an adjustable trigger, an extended-grip safety, and a skeletonized hammer. It weighs 28 ounces. SRP: $1,250. Remington is also offering the 41-ounce R1 1911 10mm Hunter FDE. It has a 6-inch stainlesssteel match-grade barrel, a Cerakote flat dark earth finish, an accessory rail, wide front and rear cocking serrations, LPA adjustable rear sights, an extended beavertail grip safety, an adjustable trigger, and VZ G10 grips. SRP: $1,340. For little-gun lovers,
Remington has added the RM380 Micro Carry Blue. This all-steel semi-auto is chambered for the .380 Auto and has a smooth DAO trigger, an ambidextrous mag release, interchangeable grip panels, an optimized grip angle, and an easy-torack slide. As for the color, it’s blue—Robin’s Egg Blue, to be exact. SRP: $348. The R51 is still with us because it is an excellent protection pistol. The R51 Subcompact Smoke has a smoke-colored frame and weighs only 22 ounces. This +P-compatible pistol utilizes the Pedersen block design, has an ambidextrous mag release, and comes with two 7-round magazines. SRP: $408. The striker-fired Remington RP45 pistol (15+1 capacity) has the smallest full-size grip circumference of any pistol in its class. Other features include an ambidextrous slide release, a smooth, light, and crisp trigger, an accessory rail, an optimized grip angle, and a loaded-chamber indicator. Ten-round versions are also available. SRP: $418. Booth #14229. (remington.com)
Renegade II GTX® Mid TF
Renegade II GTX® Lo TF
Our 2018 Task Force Collection nows features certified* duty boots for military and service use. The new R 6 GTX®, RENEGADE II GTX® MID TF & RENEGADE II GTX® LO TF feature polishable full-grain leather uppers; slip-resistant, anti-static, heat-resistant outsoles; GORE-TEX® linings for waterproof comfort; and provide protection against extreme swings in temperature, both hot and cold.
For a chance to win a pair of LOWAs, snap a pic of any LOWA boot that you see at the SHOT Show, then repost – #LowaHunting or #LowaTaskForce Winner will be notified via Instagram DM on Day 4.
From start to finish, all LOWA footwear is 100% designed, sourced & handcrafted in our factories in Europe. We are proud that our insistence on excellence has earned us ISO 9001 status for highest quality construction and process standards. * Duty Boot Certification EN ISO 20347, 2012, 02 WR SRC FO CI HI HRO. GORE-TEX®, GTX®, GORE®, and GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® and design are registered trademarks of W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. ©2018 LOWA Boots, LLC.
to see our 2018 Task Force & Hunting collections
Oliver F. Winchester introduced a legendary brand to the
As one of the worldâ€™s largest producers of ammunition, Winchester is rich
world. For over 150 years since, generations upon generations across the
in heritage, committed to manufacturing excellence and a leader in inno-
globe have experienced life with Winchester.
WINCHESTER AMMUNITION. BORN IN THE USA.
WINCHESTER AMMUNITION. BUILT IN THE USA.
Visit our booth, #13129, and check out the Winchester 2018 New Products!
Because every family tradition NEEDS THE PERFECT STARTING POINT
STEYR The Steyr RFP is a .22LR rimfire pistol with a single-action trigger and synthetic grip frame. The RFP also has a trigger safety, a magazine safety, and a drop safety. The action is a recoil-operated blowback system, and the pistol is fed by a 10-round detatchable magazine. The RFP weighs 1.33 pounds and has a 4-inch barrel, with an overall length of just under 7 inches. SRP: $425. Booth #10246. (steyrarms.com)
ST EYR The RFP .22 utilizes a singleaction trigger. The action is a recoiloperated blowback system.
Ruger ³ Ruger
IT ONLY TAKES ONE SHOT TO GET THE BALL ROLLING.
Only a Bergara feels and shoots like a Bergara. And that is a feeling that must be shared. Now, and forever.
SHOOT ONE, YOU’LL OWN ONE.
tends to launch new products anytime it feels like it, but here are a few notable mid-year introductions you might have missed. The 3-inch-barreled LCR in .22 WMR should be a great trail or kit gun for the camper. It weighs only 17.8 ounces and holds six .22 Magnum cartridges. The same revolver is also available with a more compact 1.87-inch barrel. SRP: $579. If you’d like a bit more punch to your compact revolver, Ruger has you covered there, too, with the six-shot .327 Federal Magnum LCR. It has a 1.87-inch barrel and is chambered for one of the most versatile revolver cartridges of all time; it can fire .32 Auto, .32 Short, .32 Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .327 Federal Magnum cartridges. This is a little powerhouse. SRP: $669. In the semi-auto line, Ruger has introduced a LaserMax-equipped LC9. It has a 7+1 capacity, a 3.12inch barrel, weighs only 18.6 ounces, and is only 6 inches
long. The LaserMax laser, which is mounted forward of the trigger guard, incorporates the patented LaserMax GripSense technology, and the unit includes a light as well. This is a lot of personal protection coolness for only $679. Booth #11940. (ruger.com)
Smith & Wesson
³ The compact M&P Shield 2.0 is fitted with a dedicated Crimson Trace laser that offers ambidextrous activation. These itty-bitty pistols come with a 7- and 8-round magazine, weigh 18.8 ounces, and are only 6.1 inches long (3.1 inches of which are barrel). Four laser-equipped variants are offered in 9mm or .40 S&W, with or without a thumb safety (SRP: $499). The same four versions are offered without the laser sight (SRP: $479). The Shield has
SMITH & WESSON The compact M&P Shield 2.0 now comes with a Crimson Trace laser.
set the standard for an affordable and reliable compact defensive handgun, and these new models add to its legacy. The Smith & Wesson Performance Center is offering three new models, two of which are revolvers. The Performance Center 686 is a 4-inch-barreled .357 Magnum all-stainless-steel six-shot revolver. SRP: $966. The 3 seven-shot 686 Plus has a 5-inch barrel. SRP: $966. The 9mm subcompact SW1911 has an eight-round capacity and a 3-inch barrel, making it ideal for covert carry. $1,330. Booth #13729. (smith-wesson.com)
FOOTWEAR 5.11 TACTICAL Wrapped in double-stitched suede leather, the XPRT 3.0 is remarkably light, yet supportive. A Vibram Megagrip outsole improves grip on both dry and wet terrain.
HAIX The popular Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 gets a serious upgrade this year.
The lower has an added Kevlar heel-and-side-ankle abrasion guard to offer protection from sharp rocks. Inside, the eVent Protect BBP waterproof lining keeps the boot ventilated and dry in wet conditions. Sizes: 7 to 11 in half; 12 to 15 whole. SRP: $219.99. Booth #13162. (511tactical.com)
Looking Good The outlook for the footwear market is surprisingly upbeat By Peter B. Mathiesen
ost footwear retailers were able to clean their shelves by the holidays, and they expect to have increased orders for 2018. Women’s footwear will gain notably on the hunting side. Safety footwear will continue to move to the hunting consumer as factories add products with slip-resistant sole technology.
Military and law-enforcement contracts are expected to rise in 2018. Expect domestic boot production to slightly increase across the board. Higher material costs in Asia and Europe should inch up SRPs slightly. Here’s a look at what’s newer, lighter, and ready to sell in footwear for 2018.
a waterproof fullgrain leather upper combined with performance nylon construction, the Raide Zip is a tailored-fit duty boot that is quick to zip. Layered on a molded TPU heel and cushioned IMEVA midsole, the X40 Ortholite removable cushioned insert delivers responsive shock absorption. The bottom is finished with a slip-resistant rubber outsole to add stability and shock comfort, and the sole uses effective Strobel/cement construction. In addition, the YKK side zipper offers years of dependable service. Sizes: 7 to 12 half; and 13 to 15 whole in medium and extra wide widths. SRP: $119.99. Booth #12262. (batesfootwear.com)
in double-stitched suede leather, the XPRT 3.0 is remarkably light, yet supportive. The boot rests on a Vibram Megagrip formula outsole that improves grip on both dry and wet terrains, and the new OrthoLite Imperial footbed helps reduce fatigue.
BATES Combining a waterproof leather upper with performance nylon construction, the Raide Zip is a tailored, quick-zip duty boot. A molded TPU heel and cushioned IMEVA midsole provide comfort.
44 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
women’s Buck Shadow is built to precisely fit a woman’s foot. It does so because it uses a woman’s last, not the last of a boy. Constructed for spot-andstalk hunting, the boot is available with 400 grams or 800 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation. There is also an uninsulated model. Available in ATACS AU, Mossy Oak Country, or Realtree XTRA. The Buck Shadow’s waterproofing uses an OutDry breathable
YOUR VOICE IN WASHINGTON Political Action Committees (PACs) are an extremely effective tool in educating our members and contributing to the success of candidates who share our point of view. The NSSF PACâ€™s purpose is to support the election of candidates who, as elected officials, will make the best decisions for you and the future you share with NSSF. It enables us to participate in the public policy debates and work for outcomes that protect the rights of our companies and its employees. For more information, contact PAC manager Kayla Berube at (202) 220-1340 x206, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOGS Developed with asymmetrical composite toes, the Warner Extreme boots are custom built for each size. Dual insoles adapt to foot width. Built with 7.5mm Neo-Tech waterproof insulation, the seamless construction allows for a 30 percent lighter boot while maintaining durability. Due to the Rebound technology in the midsoles and contoured Eco EVA footbed with gel cushioning, the Warner remains comfortable all day long. Sizes: 7 to 14. SRP $160. Booth #10132. (bogs footwear.com)
membrane with leather accents. The sole utilizes Silent Grip and Ridgetrak lugs for quieter walking and grip, and the Silent Cell midsole provides long-lasting cushion to reduce fatigue. Women’s sizes: 6 to 11. SRP: starts at $119.95. Booth #10744. (browning footwear.com)
all-new Wayfinder, with durable suede and nylon uppers, is designed for women hunters. Built with the Danner Dry waterproof lining and an optional 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation, these boots stand up against harsh elements. A supportive tactical lace-to-toe design paired with Danner’s Plyolite midsole provides a high level of comfort. Underfoot, the outsole delivers grip and traction on diverse terrain. Women’s sizes: 6 to 10. Colors include brown and Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. SRP: starts at $139.95. Booth #10770. (danner.com)
2018, the popular Black Eagle Tactical 2.0 gets a serious upgrade, incorporating feedback from online customers. The boot has a more uniform black color,
BROWNING The women’s Buck Shadow uses a woman’s last for a precise fit. This is a boot for spot-and-stalk hunting.
46 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
DANNER The Wayfinder features include durable suede and nylon uppers. without the glossy area previously found around the heel. The nonslip, non-marking, fuel- and oilresistant sole is now heat resistant, and the tread is now selfcleaning. Using polyurethane technology, the dynamic rubber outsole is ultra lightweight and elastic. New insoles offer seamless heel design along with a sophisticated cushioning system for comfort. The low model has more padding in the tongue, and the mid and high models have additional ankle padding. Sizes: 4 to 16, half sizes 4.5-14.5, medium and wide. SRP: $135 to $185. Booth #20158. (haixusa.com)
Iron Age ³A
boot that’s equal in comfort and safety, the Galvanizer keeps welders and fabricators energized over long days on unforgiving concrete floors. The boots provide top-of-the-foot comfort and protection with Cushguard, an innovative internal metatarsal guard. St. Louis welders tested the prototypes for more than a month in fabrication shops. They noted the slip-on boots were “super comfortable” with “lots of cushion
and snugness around the foot.” Scuff Tough abrasion-resistant toe and heel guards prolong the life of the boots. The lace-up version comes with spark arrestor fire-retardant laces. Sizes: 6.5 to 13 half sizes, 6.5-11.5 in medium and wide widths. SRP: starts at $113. Booth #10179. (ironage footwear.com)
Georgia Boots ³One
of Georgia Boots’ most trusted collections, the Athens offers a new pull-on ideal for the outdoors to wear at the gun
MUCK BOOTS The waterproof Lineman offers quick-adjust grommet and eyelet lacing and an oiled-leather pull-up outer.
M A D E BY
ELECTRO-OPTICS TH ERMAL REFLEX SI GHT
12 MICRON CORE Hunt hogs, predators and varmits at ranges up to 300 yards with the advanced, high resolution thermal sensor
DIRECT VIEW DISPLAY
Fast, intutive, both-eyes-open target acquisition much like a conventional reflex sight
Small lightweight compact design mounts directly to any Weaver or M1913 picatinny rail
GEORGIA BOOT The Athens is a pull-on 8-inch moc-toe that features SPR leather and the Georgia Waterproof system.
range. This 8-inch moc-toe style features SPR leather and the Georgia Waterproof system. There is an anchor disk for added heel support and an oil- and slipresistant rubber outsole. An AMP insole with memory foam offers all-day comfort while the three-quarter stitch-out construction provides added flexibility. A comfortable high-performance mesh interior lining and side zipper eases on and off. Sizes: 8 to 13, half sizes, 8.5-11.5 in medium and wide widths. SRP: starts at $158. Booth #11340. (georgiaboot.com)
Irish Setter ÂłThe
cable-closure system of the BOA Ravine Boot provides on-off convenience. It is also quick to adjust, even while wearing gloves, and never comes untied. The lightweight boot features EnerG technology underfoot. It provides comfort and sustained support through an energy-returning core sandwiched between layers of EVA and TPU within a dual-density midsole. The Anti-Torsion Chassis offers underfoot support
on rocky ground. A rubber outsole with multi-tiered lugs provides traction on uneven terrain. The self-cleaning lugs shed debris with every step. A contoured last mirrors foot shape, and lace-to-toe eyelets help customize the fit. The uppers provide a quick-dry lining to wick away foot moisture, UltraDry waterproofing, and a memory foam collar. A CuShin Comfort tongue provides shin comfort. ScentBan helps eliminate boot odors. Armatec technology adds durability and abrasion resistance. Offered in 7-inch and 9-inch heights with non-insulated and 400-gram options. Sizes: 8 to 14, half sizes, 8.5-11.5, in meduim and wide. SRP: starts at $199.99. Booth #10047. (irishsetter boots.com)
for slipping on after long hours in the field, the Alpha Muddy features hand-laid premium rubber over a 3mm neoprene core for flexible, fully waterproof comfort. An AirCirc system uses a quick-drying mesh liner to circu-
48 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
late air in the boot to keep feet cooler and drier. The oversize pulltab aids easy on and off. Hand-laid premium rubber over a 3mm neoprene core gives flexible, waterproof comfort. A multilayer rubber covers the toe and heel, and a ribbed vamp adds durability. Available in Mossy Oak Break Up Country, solid green, and solid brown. Sizes: 6 to 15, whole only. SRP: starts at $99.95. Booth #10770. (lacrossefootwear.com)
FARM TO FEET Developed in collaboration with the Alaska Mountaineering School in Talkeetna, Alaska, the Denali is an extraordinary cold-weather sock. Incorporating lessons learned from years of high-altitude mountaineering expeditions, the Denali has more wool than any previous Farm to Feet sock. In fact, 92 percent of the material composition consists of 22 micron U.S. merino wool. The diamond-pattern sock leg is reminiscent of a quilted down jacket. A ribbed, form-fitting section cradles the ankle and top of the foot. The four-ply layered-wool foot bottom provides substantial insulation, comfort, and durability. Offered in crew height in blue-black. SRP: starts at $30. Booth #10740. (farmtofeet.com)
FARM TO FEET This form-fitting merino wool sock beats the cold.
IRON AGE The Galvanizer provides top-of-the-foot comfort and protection with Cushguard, an innovative internal metatarsal guard.
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KENETREK The frequent choice of Rocky Mountain hunting guides, Kenetrek continues to evolve the Mountain Guide model with a one-piece, vulcanized-rubber K-73 outsole. The 10-inch-tall 2.8mm-thick premium full-grain leather upper offers one-piece vamp construction with no seams down the tongue. Reinforced double and triple stitching protects high-wear areas. Anticorrosion boot hardware swivels and a supertough protective rubber toecap provides extra abrasion resistance. A Windtex waterproof, breathable flexible membrane keeps water out but allows perspiration vapor to escape. The boot is available with 400 grams of Thinsulate; you can also opt for a non-insulated model for use in warmer weather. The sole uses an extra-stiff midsole, with a high traction, biting grip and durable Kenetrek Formula K-73 outsole. It’s a perfect boot for traversing glaciers and navigating scree fields. Sizes: 8 to 11.5 in half, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 in whole narrow, medium, and wide widths. Made in Italy. SRP: starts at $455.99. Booth #1318. (kenetrek.com)
KENETREK With a one-piece, vulcanizedrubber K-73 outsole, the 10-inch-tall 2.8mmthick premium full-grain leather upper of the Mountain Guide offers one-piece vamp construction with no seams down the tongue.
ROCKY The revamped Broadhead EX is sleeker than its predecessor and features Rocky’s new Topos outsole for comfort and stability.
for tough conditions, the new R-6 GTX TF benefits from a full-grain, smooth leather upper with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex carbon lining. It also has a one-piece toe design. The closed-lace system features a locking lace loop at the ankle to adjust the tension between the foot and ankle. An injected DuraPU midsole with a shadow-style wrap frame and stealth-inspired rubber outsole ensures all-day support and a slip-resistant grip. The R-6 CTX TF is a Certified Duty Boot pursuant to DIN EN ISO 20347. Sizes: 7.5-15, half sizes, 7.5-11.5, medium and wide widths. SRP: starts at $280. Booth #10232. (lowaboots.com)
³The Lineman combines comfort, warmth, and ruggedness with functional fashion. The oiled pullup leather outer is durable while the quick-adjust grommet and eyelet lacing offer a tailored fit for work or commuting. It features Realtree EDGE lining and rubber overlays at the ankle, toe, and forefoot. The boot is waterproof, and the side-zip closure ensures easy on and off. Sizes: 7 to 15, half sizes, 7.5 to 12.5 in brown and black. SRP: starts at $200. Booth #10951.
product of 130 years of bootmaking experience, this NextGen Light Duty Work Boot combines a modern design with classic features for the next-generation work shoe. The SRC-rated outsole is slip resistant and provides protection from heat up to 356°F. The comfort-system layers combine the polyurethane-foam COMFORTcushion Impact Absorption System and an ergonomic toecap for all-day support and comfort. The PU-coated and waterproof leather provide extreme durability, and a NATUREform Aluminum alloy toecap gives extra protection. Sizes: 6-14, half sizes, 7.5-11.5. SRP: starts at $125. Booth #10951.
specifically for military professionals, the RB8808 builds upon the success of the Reebok Sublite Cushion Tactical series. It offers an AR670-1compliant version in coyote brown for wear with the Army
50 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
uniform. Reebok added a lace garage to tuck away laces when blousing pants. The full-rubber outsole with rope guard offers additional traction and durability. The genuine cattle hide leather uppers breathe and are durable. The Sublite Cushion Tactical line incorporates foam technology to cushion and minimize weight. The dual-density foam midsole provides lightweight cushioning for comfort. There are deep flex grooves in the midsole for natural movement. The boot also features a Memory Tech Massage Footbed that adapts to the contours of the foot. Sizes: 4 to 16 in medium, and 4 to 15 in wide widths in coyote, black, and sage green. SRP: starts at $150. Booth #10179. (reebok work.com)
Broadhead EX is the next step in the continued evolution of Rocky’s best-selling collection. The sleeker boot features Rocky’s new Topos outsole for comfort and stability. The upper is constructed from a single-seam, heavy-duty, rip-stop nylon. The boots also feature Rocky VP Waterproof (one-year performance guarantee), and the rubberized heel and outstep provide abrasion resistance in high-stress areas. The boot can be had in Rocky’s Venator camo and the new Realtree Edge camo. Available in three different 8-inch styles with insulation (400 or 800 grams) or without insulation. Sizes: 8–11.5 D and EE, 11–13. SRP: starts at $139. Booth #11340. (rockyboots.com)
Glacier Xtreme utilizes 400 grams of PrimaLoft and Gold Insulation Aerogel around the foot, toes, and under the footbed to provide superior protection against the cold. The outsole is Vibram’s Arctic Grip Pro, a compound designed to conquer wet ice. A rubber back piece and toecap keeps key parts of the boot well protected while giving it a hiker-influenced look. Available in soft and safety toe, it comes in black and brown 6-inch boots. The premium, waterproof full-grain leather has a reinforced heel counter and toe upper. A breathable, waterproof membrane has a moisture-wicking mesh lining. An ultralight compression-molded EVA midsole absorbs shock. Using cement construction, wearers will find the boot warm and durable. The Glacier Extreme safety toe meets ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 EH. Sizes include 7 to 12 M, 13, 14; and 7 to 12, 13 extra wide. SRP: starts at $200. Booth #10340. (wolverine bootsandshoes.com)
Xtratuf ³ The
Legacy Baby Booties feature a soft fleece lining to keep a baby cozy. The easy-touse closure system is a snap for busy parents. These booties have the chevron pattern outsole. Available in copper and tan detailing and a copper and pink version. An ideal start for any child in the outdoors. Infant sizes: 1 to 4. SRP: $35. Booth #10951. (xtratufboots.com)
LEGENDARY HAS A NEW LOOK. INTRODUCING: THE FDE & BLACK SERIES BY FN.®
THE WORLD’S MOST BATTLE-PROVEN FIREARMS.®
FROMthe NSSF Cutting the ceremonial ribbon on the opening morning of the first SHOT Show in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1979.
After 40 years, the SHOT Show continues to remain relevant By Christopher Cogley
n 1979, Sony released the very first Walkman with a retail price tag of $200, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the U.K., ESPN was launched on cable television, and, in a small venue in St. Louis, Missouri, the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show opened its doors for the first time.
The entire world has changed in the 40 years since, but the SHOT Show continues to be a crucial pillar of the hunting and shooting sports industry. While this accomplishment is certainly cause for celebration, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is choosing to observe the monumental milestone by focusing on the primary reason for the show’s impressive longevity. “It’s definitely something that everyone in the industry should be proud of, because there aren’t many trade shows that have endured this long,” says Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), owner of the SHOT Show. “And while we want to acknowledge that accom-
plishment, this show has always been about the people who attend it. We didn’t want this year to be any different.” That uncompromising commitment to create a valuable resource for the people who attend the show might very well be the secret to the show’s tremendous success. “The biggest challenge that exhibitions like SHOT face is remaining relevant to the industry,” Dolnack says. “I think the NSSF has done a good job of listening to our members and finding new ways to add value to the experience by giving them access to resources at the show they can’t get anywhere else.” From its Executive Management Seminar, Supplier Showcase, and many educational opportunities
52 Q SHOT BUSINESS DAILY QDAY 1, JANUARY 23, 2018
that allow participants to get caught up on the latest trends and technology to inspirational speakers and a first look at the newest products and market trends, the SHOT Show has remained relevant for the last 40 years by continually evolving and providing participants with the information and experiences that help them be
After 40 years, the SHOT Show is still going strong.
successful in a constantly changing industry. And judging by the response from participants, the effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. From its humble beginnings in St. Louis, Dolnack says, SHOT has become the 17th largest trade show in North America and the fifth largest in Las Vegas, where it brings more than $75 million in to the local economy every year. And it isn’t just the attendance of the show that’s growing, it’s the popularity. “The last three SHOT Shows have been the highest-rated SHOT Shows ever,” Dolnack says. “It’s like the Super Bowl, Christmas, and Mardi Gras all rolled into one. It’s a time to take care of business, but it’s also a time for everyone to come together and celebrate this industry that we all care so much about.” One of the reasons so many people from every section of the industry are so excited to come to SHOT Show every year is because NSSF works hard to make sure that there will be something at the show that will help them grow their business. “It’s expanded to the point now where we all refer to it as SHOT Week, because we have so many activities planned,” Dolnack says. “There really is something for everyone. It’s a completely customizable experience. No matter what you’re interested in or what you want to gain by being at the show, you’re going to be able to find something here that’s relevant to you and your business.” More often than not, the most effective tool SHOT provides participants is the one that’s as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. “Connecting people has always been the foundation of all commerce, and even though technology has made that easier to accomplish, meeting face-to-face is still the way business is done,” Dolnack says. “And there is no better place to network with people in every aspect of the industry, because they’re all here together.” In the 40 years that SHOT has been around, that might just be its greatest accomplishment. By creating a place where the industry comes together—figuratively and literally—SHOT isn’t just helping to secure the success of the hunting and shooting sports industry, it’s helping to secure the future of hunting and the shooting sports.
WORKS FOR ME “
The NSSF’s mock OSHA and ATF audits are valuable tools that have helped us build a repertoire of business best practices. And the NSSF’s research and reporting has made us a smarter competitor for new shooters in our market.
Jared Sloane, Operations Director Shoot Smart Indoor Range & Training Center Fort Worth | Grand Prairie | Benbrook Texas
NSSF Members like Jared receive benefits such as:
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Visit NSSF.ORG or call 203-426-1320 ext. 209 for more information on membership categories and find out how NSSF can work for you.
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FROM THE NSSF
Increase Participation Through Crossover Promotion
A new NSSF survey examines what it takes to get hunters and shooters to try a new sport By Robert F. Staeger
t’s easy to get stuck in a rut, even with your outdoor hobbies. You might go turkey hunting every year but never hunt whitetail deer because, for you, hunting is a spring event. Or you might shoot skeet and never consider spending time in a duck blind, aiming for more idiosyncratic targets.
That’s what the NSSF’s new Crossover Participation Research Study is about: How to get someone who loves one aspect of the hunting and shooting sports to try another. NSSF’s director of industry research, Jim Curcuruto, breaks it down. “The goals of this study were: a) to determine the primary interest of hunters and target shooters; b) to find out what their secondary interests are; c) to find out what they’re interested in but not yet doing; and d) to find out what we can do to get them to try the things they are interested in,” he says. “Really, what we want to do is remind people that there are a wealth of shooting sports and hunting activities, and encourage them to try something new. If you shoot trap once a month, we want you to shoot trap twice a month and add in a round of sporting clays. If you’re a dedicated whitetail deer hunter, try duck hunting. This isn’t really a true recruitment effort, it’s more of an expansion effort.” The survey, conducted by Southwick Associates, had more than 17,000 respondents. That staggering number was achieved through partnerships with several NSSF member companies and nonprofit organizations. “Organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation stepped up to help distribute dedicated survey links to their consumer files,” says Curcuruto. “We also got help from Gearfire and Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, who did the same thing, as well as several manufacturers, including FN, Winchester Ammunition, Remington, Smith & Wesson, and Vista Outdoor.” With the help of all these organizations, the survey reached a wide audience with diverse interests. Among the things the survey did was establish a snapshot of a typical history for today’s hunters and shooters. The primary age at
Encouraging people to invite others to hunt or shoot is key to increasing participation in hunting and the shooting sports.
which most hunters started pursuing game was 12. Their first targets were usually small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, which 56 percent of respondents began with. That response was double the number of people who began with whitetail deer (28 percent) or upland game birds. Of the hunters responding, 58 percent of them started with a shotgun, while 33 percent started with a traditional rifle. Most were taken on their first hunting trip by their father (60 percent), and the person next most likely to introduce a young person to the sport was a friend (16 percent). “That was a little bit of a surprise,” says Curcuruto. “We might expect an uncle or grandparent to come in higher than a friend, but those both came in around 10 percent each.” The number-one reason someone said they started hunting was to spend time with family and friends who already hunted, but this response was followed closely by “A tradition/way of life,” “It was something I always had an interest in,” and “Wanting to spend more time outdoors.” Most hunters’ current favorite species to hunt is whitetail deer, followed by turkeys, upland
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game, small game, predators, and waterfowl. “Predator hunting seems to be garnering more interest. Historically, you wouldn’t have seen that category score that high,” says Curcuruto. “We’re also seeing wild and feral hogs making the list.” The top three animals that hunters used to hunt but have gotten away from are small game, waterfowl, and upland birds. “There’s potential to reactivate these folks and ask them to become a mentor,” says Curcuruto. “It’s something they still have an interest in.” The survey explored a similar history with target shooters. They tend to start a little bit younger than hunters, at age 10, which makes sense; most people will go target shooting before going afield for a hunt. For their first firearm, 40 percent said it was a traditional rimfire rifle, followed by airguns and shotguns at 20 percent each. In both hunting and shooting, the traditional rimfire is the primary way people get into the shooting sports. As with hunters, a young target shooter’s first mentor was their father (63 percent), followed by a friend (12 percent), grandparent (10 percent), and aunt or uncle (9
percent). Again, as with hunters, friends come second as a potential entry point for new target shooters. Also, most begin their target shooting experience informally, with plinking. “Most people who try a new type of hunting or shooting usually do so because they were asked by a friend,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates. “It doesn’t matter about your past level of experience. If you enjoy spending time with that person and they invite you outdoors, you’ll usually go. Encouraging people to invite others to hunt or shoot is key.” As for changing things up, it usually takes a year or two for a new hunter to develop an interest in hunting another species. When it comes to hunting that new species, the person who has the most influence on the hunter is no longer the father or another family member, but a friend. “Friends are someone that the firearms industry can really focus on with its marketing,” says Curcuruto. The theme of encouraging those active in hunting and the shooting sports to introduce their friends to their passion is a great message for the industry to adapt. We’ve known for a long time that an invitation from a friend or family member is an extremely effective prompt to try something new. It doesn’t have to be a completely new sport for them. For instance, you can invite somebody who currently participates in 3-Gun to try long-range shooting.” The insights gleaned from this research are actionable and easy to implement right away. “If we were to get just two percent of the 50 million active target shooters and hunters to cross over to a new activity in 2018, it would easily inject a much-needed $100 million into the industry,” says Curcuruto. NSSF members can learn more by downloading the study at nssf.org/research.
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FROM THE NSSF
NSSF’s targeted messaging e�orts is helping recruit new shooters By Brian McCombie esearch done by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Southwick Associates reveals that targeted messaging really does work to bring new, non-traditional people into the shooting sports. The research is based on actual “in the field” marketing, if you will, which has been shown to attract women, young people, and cultural minorities to shooting events, retail establishments, and shooting ranges.
But what does the phrase “targeted messaging” really mean? Let’s consider this from the point of view of a retailer who would like to expand her business by drawing in new, local shooters. The retailer knows that women and minorities on a national level, for example, are very interested in concealed carry. But, closer to home, how does Madame Retailer tap into this market? As an NSSF member, Madame Retailer has access to the 2016 report “Target Shooting Interest and Preferences Among MultiCultural Communities,” prepared by NSSF and Southwick Associates. As the report notes, “Statistics show our core base of customers is still overwhelmingly comprised of older Caucasian males, while the face of America is increasingly heading in different directions. To help the industry adapt to changing times, NSSF is testing how to effectively engage new and diverse audiences through hands-on pilot initiatives.” Southwick Associates assisted in examining interest levels and needs in the shooting sports across a wide range of potential new audiences. According to the report, “The results complemented previous NSSF research showing that people with significant interest in the shooting sports tend to skew
younger and female. Interest in the shooting sports across the key Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American markets was also found to be very high, even greater than that seen in the Caucasian market.” Madame Retailer’s local population base has significant numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics. There also seems to be growing interest in recreational shooting from women and twentysomethings. Sure, our retailer could simply put out a standard sales flyer in the local newspaper and post it to her website and social media outlets. But will that really expand her customer base? Likely, no. So, Madame Retailer improves her odds by doing some targeted messaging.
Targeted messaging can really help draw fresh, new faces to the shooting sports.
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As the “Interest and Preferences” report noted: ³Every member of the industry, from retailer to state agency to manufacturer, needs to determine their best local growth opportunities, whether it’s the Hispanic market, Millennials, AfricanAmericans, women, or other relevant groups. ³Once you select your targeted market, online promotions using websites favored by these audiences can be the most cost-effective approach to getting your store and brand messaging to that audience. ³Be sure your imagery and text reflect the markets you want to engage. Call it the “many faces” approach. These new shooters want to see faces like theirs in the ads and, if possible, as part of your staff. ³These newer audiences are very much focused on safety issues. In advertisements and social media postings, these customers need to see safety officers on the range and someone to personally instruct them in the safe use of firearms. ³Younger audiences are more likely to be reached online, compared to the industry’s traditional older and Caucasian customers. An online presence will be a critical component of marketing strategies to engage with these potential new recreational shooters.
³These new audiences respond better when they see positive reviews of a range or retailer from people like them. So, it’s smart to utilize online review services such as Yelp and Trip Advisor, as well as local online blogs that promote things to do around town. “This targeted messaging approach has worked again and again with NSSF’s First Shots events and promotions around the nation,” notes Tisma Juett, NSSF’s manager of recruitment and retention. Developed by NSSF and hosted by independent shooting facilities, First Shots program events provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to shooting by qualified range operators and instructors. This includes instruction in firearms safety, local ownership requirements, shooting fundamentals, hands-on shooting, and information on how and where participants can continue to enjoy shooting. “Our standard First Shots advertisement features many different faces,” Juett says. “And all of our events have seen an inclusive group of participants—males and females, younger and older— as well as people from various cultural and ethnic groups.” Need help targeting your message? Contact Tisma Juett (203-
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FROM THE NSSF
A New Look NSSF’s redesigned website was built to be user-friendly By Brian McCombie
ast July, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) launched its completely redesigned website, NSSF.org. The redesign was all about making NSSF.org more user-friendly than ever, and that starts with a clean division of sections and assets that help connect NSSF industry members and shooting sport consumers with the information they need. Top-of-page menu items have been streamlined to direct content intended for industry members in four categories: Retailers, Ranges, Manufacturers, and Media. Below these headings are a selection of consumer- and industry-relevant topics, such as “Safety” and “Government Relations and Compliance,” plus three consumer-specific menu choices: “Where to Shoot,” “Where to Hunt,” and a brand-new “Where to Buy” section. The last features a state-bystate pull-down menu. Select a state and you are given a list of NSSF member retailers and retail/ ranges in that state.
Rounding out the new home page are event listings, social media links, current industry research, trending industry information, and other news. All sections are also supported by crisp, clear images, with bold, descriptive headlines. Streaming graphics throughout provide a modern, engaging appearance and encourage frequent visits. “We spent a good deal of time and effort on the new website design, and we think we got it right,” says Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Today’s technology allows us to give members the type of news, research, and analysis they need, when they need it, without adding in peripheral information.” Along those lines, the all-new NSSF.org launched a new customer relationship management (CRM) system so that its members can tailor the information they need to their specific business practices and markets. “After an extensive review of
The redesign is intended to make nssf.org far more user-friendly, and that starts with a clean division of sections and assets.
several systems, MemberNation was selected, an association management software system built on Salesforce, the number-one innovative Cloud platform in the world,” says Deb Kenney, vice president of NSSF’s human resources and administration. “The objective was to improve our business processes with a fully integrated system that is customer-centric—and we’ve done just that.” A new member portal provides members with quick and easy access to industry news, an online store, industry research, webinars, membership benefits, and industry job postings. All these offerings, it should be noted, were built with improved mobile connectivity, too. “Members can set up their online profile, add company contact information, and identify pref-
erences to tailor their communications with NSSF,” Kenney says. “As the firearms industry trade association, our primary interest is the success of our industry members, and this technology will help us connect with members and add value to customer interactions.” Don’t forget the very popular “Career Center” section of NSSF. org. Not only do employers in the shooting sports industry list jobs here, job seekers can avail themselves of career coaching advice and résumé writing help. They can also post a résumé, create a career profile, and sign up to receive new job listings as they are posted. If you haven’t done so already, check out NSSF’s new website at nssf.org, create your own profile, and see all that the improved NSSF.org can offer you and your business.
ULTIMATE AIM � Hot new loads designed for longrange precision performance in the MSR 15 platform should grab the attention of any shooter who craves to go long. And that’s exactly what the engineers at Federal Premium are hoping for when the company rolls out the .224 Valkyrie this year, a cartridge based on a .30 Rem./6.8 SPC case necked down to .224 caliber. “It offers dramatically improved trajectories over other MSR 15 cartridges, including the 22 Nosler, .223 Rem., and 6.5 Grendel—with roughly half the recoil of larger cartridges offering comparable ballistics, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor,” says Federal Premium development engineer Jacob Burns. A large part of that enhanced performance is speed. “To say the .224 Valkyrie is fast, even at long ranges, is an understatement,” says Burns. “Testing conducted by Federal Premium engineers confirms its high-
The .224 Valkyrie cartridge from Federal Premium will be initially available in four versions.
speed capabilities. For example, the .224 Valkyrie 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing leaves the muzzle at 2,700 feet per second. It maintains a blistering 1,950 fps pace at 500 yards, and is still moving at 1,268 fps when it crosses the 1,000-yard line. In
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fact, it remains supersonic out to 1,300 yards. Those velocities, by the way, are based on 24-inch test barrels with a 1:7 twist.” Along with its ballistic benefits, Burns says the .224 Valkyrie also lowers the financial barrier of entry into shooting 1,000
yards for fun and competition. “Shooters can use the widely available and popular MSR 15 platform with high-performance ammunition that costs less than traditional long-range rounds. And though the .224 Valkyrie was designed for gas-driven MSR 15 actions, it’s also effective from bolt guns, which is great news for shooters who’ve longed for practical, economical, and reliable 1,000-plus-yard performance.” The .224 Valkyrie cartridge will be initially available in four versions: 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing, 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint, 90-grain Fusion MSR, and 75-grain American Eagle TMJ. “The ultimate aim of Federal Premium’s .224 Valkyrie is to unleash a new era of 1,000-yard accuracy and performance without the hefty recoil and price tag of larger calibers,” he says. Booth #14551. (federalpremium.com)
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F E AT U R E S
Alive and Well
Bliss presses are still in use around the globe By Slaton L. White
ast summer when I toured a new ultra-modern ammo factory, I marveled at the old Bliss presses, behemoths from another era, that had been retrofitted with modern software in order to fit seamlessly into the ammo line. I wrongly assumed that the press manufacturer was long out of business (and said so in print) until Patrick Tully, director of defense sales at Bliss Munitions Equipment, contacted me. He said, “To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Bliss’ death are greatly exaggerated. Bliss Munitions Equipment is alive and well and better than ever.” Indeed it is. Tully told me Bliss was founded by E.W. Bliss, who built his first press in 1857. He quickly grew his small enterprise into the world’s leading press-manufacturing company. “Bliss presses were the first
choice for various enterprises, including ammunition, minting, canning, automotive, rail, aerospace, and general metal stamping,” Tully said. “Thousands of Bliss presses are still in use around the globe. More ammunition has been built on Bliss presses than on any other equipment manufacturer. Today, Bliss Munitions Equipment is a division of Schuler, the world’s largest press-manufacturing company.” BME manufactures a wide range of ammunition production equipment, including de-coiler machines, deep-draw presses, transfer presses, bullet-assembly presses, head turn/mouth trim machines, tumbler machines, and pinwheel feeders. BME also supplies full production lines that include all of the other ancillary production machines to provide a complete ammunition solution. Tully said one of the benefits of
Bliss Munitions Equipment designs and builds modern presses, but it also rebuilds vintage Bliss presses.
being part of Schuler is its global reach. “We have more than 500 technical service technicians located in more than 36 countries. We manufacture over 90 percent of all components and assemblies in our machines, which enables us to control the quality of our machines and delivery. BME is also a technology leader that produces innovative multi-functional machines, including a combination loader/bullet assembly
machine and draw presses with the ability to produce two different draws simultaneously. “We also rebuild vintage Bliss presses with modern lubrication and control systems,” he said. “When we’re done, it looks like a brand-new model. And none of this work is outsourced. We do it all in our facilities in Michigan. We like to say, ‘Bliss presses don’t die—they just get rebuilt.’ ” Booth #1448. (blissmunitions.com)
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F E AT U R E S
O�shore manufacturers trying to crack into the American market need all the assistance they can get. Meopta’s MeoHub is designed to do just that
t goes without saying the United States is an enormous and influential consumer market. International companies know that if their products can establish a foothold in this vibrant arena, success almost always follows. But it isn’t easy. The competition is fierce and unrelenting, and sharp elbows are often are a required asset. So is a helping hand. And that is precisely why Meopta, a Czech–U.S. optics company renowned for its low-light performance and European quality at exceptional price points, is helping other Czech companies of similar quality and tradition enter the U.S. market through its MeoHub program. Holik International, a Czech Republic–based manufacturer of premium hunting, shooting, tactical, and military gloves, is now sharing office space with Meopta at its Long Island, New York, headquarters. The manufacturer will also be displaying its wide array of tactical, hunting, and shooting gloves in the Meopta booth here at the 2018 SHOT Show.
“The MeoHub project was conceived through Meopta’s experience in trying to bring a premium Czech brand to the U.S. market,” says David Rausnitz, chief operating officer of Meopta USA. “When Meopta launched its branded sports optics in the United States, it was a challenge to adapt to the speed and competitiveness of the U.S. market and to understand the importance of marketing and responsiveness to customer demands. The strategies that worked in Europe were not sufficient for the United States, and it became clear why so many quality Czech brands could not make the leap into the largest market in the world. Through these experiences, Meopta decided to share its knowledge with other Czech companies to help bring their quality products to the United States. The result of that effort was MeoHub, an incubator designed to help established Czech companies enter the U.S. market.” The project kicked off in September 2015 with a ribboncutting ceremony at Meopta’s newly renovated Hauppauge, New York, facility. Officials from both the Czech and American governments were present to launch the program, which featured an inaugural class of five companies from a diverse array of industries. The program is in line with Meopta’s global emphasis on quality and value. “The goal is to create a profitable business that benefits Czech companies and American consumers by increasing choice, quality, and value in the marketplace,” Rausnitz says. Established in 1993, Holik is now a world leader in gloves for the military in Europe. In addition, NATO armies, police,
Through its MeoHub program, Meopta is helping other Czech manufacturers, such as glove manufacturer Holik, gain a foothold in the U.S.
SWAT teams, hunters, and numerous fire and rescue operations around the world have chosen Holik gloves for their performance, durability, and comfort. Holik now hopes the U.S. hunting, shooting, and tactical markets will do the same. What makes Holik gloves so special? According to Ladislav Kolar, sales manager of Holik America, it’s “everything from the quality of the leather to the craftsmanship and manufacturing processes, not to mention the advanced technology in our tactical offerings.” That’s a bold statement for a newcomer, but Kolar can quickly run down a list of why he believes Holik is a superior product. “Our shooting gloves are like a second skin,” he says. “They fit so well the shooter hardly knows they are on, yet they offer protection and hold their shape exceptionally well. We source the finest quality leathers from Portolano, Italy. Among the many leather offerings are peccary [a South
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American wild boar], carpincho, deerskin, lambskin, kidskin, and goatskin, and these all can be customized to include cashmere and silk linings. We also offer hardcore hunting gloves that are designed for maximum comfort, warmth, and durability. These, of course, are waterproof, with various advanced technologies to improve function and comfort, and come in numerous designs.” Holik tactical gloves are used by law enforcement and military units throughout the world. Various models are reinforced with Kevlar and Nomex for protection and heat resistance, and highly functional materials such as D30 are used for knuckle protection and shock absorption. In addition, these materials adapt to the shape of the wearer’s joints, making the gloves even more user-friendly. A type of intelligent memory foam is also used in some models. “Holik also offers touch-screen technology on certain gloves that allows the user to work on a smartphone or tablet while wearing our
gloves,” says Kolar. “This is an important feature for law enforcement agencies that rely on the use of touch-screen technology in the field. We also make custom gloves for people who have lost fingers.” Meopta and Holik not only share the same country of origin, they are both family-owned businesses. Meopta is owned by the Rausnitz family, an American family of Czech decent, and has long been a designer and manufacturer of European optics. Holik, founded by its owner, Ivo Holik, has been making premium gloves for more than 25 years. Both companies take pride in the exacting way in which they design their products. “Holik is a highly regarded Czech company that offers Americans exceptional quality gloves at great price points, just as Meopta does with optics,” says Reinhard Seipp, general manager of Meopta USA. “And both companies are committed to making high-performance products.” Meopta will be displaying new night-vision technology at the SHOT Show in addition to other new optics. Holik will have their best-selling gloves on display in the Meopta booth. Meopta and Holik also are offering dealers special pricing in the first quarter of the year. Meopta stocking dealers will continue to get 40 percent off standard dealer pricing on all Holik gloves until the end of March 2018. Pricing for Holik gloves runs from $30 to $150. Custom gloves, of course, will cost more. Meopta will also be offering special pricing on its optics to new stocking dealers for a limited time. Booth #10176. (meopta sportsoptics.com/us; en. holik-international.cz)
Breaking New Ground
Midland enters the power market
By Christopher Cogley idland has long been recognized as one of the leaders in the handheld communications market. But this year at the 2018 SHOT Show, the company is breaking into new ground and expanding its product offerings to provide outdoor enthusiasts with a new way to charge their Midland radios—and a host of other essential electronics—when they’re miles away from the nearest electrical outlet. The new Midland PPG100 is a portable power station that runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, so it doesn’t require any fuel to create a charge. The PPG100 power station can be recharged through a standard electrical outlet as well as a 12V DC car charger or even with solar panels to create a completely portable power solution.
The power station has a wide variety of output ports, from AC and automotive sockets to USB and even LED. And the power station’s capacity of 950Wh means that in addition to laptops, phones, and tablets, the PPG100 can even power slightly larger devices, such as mini-fridges and LED monitors. The PPG100 is Midland’s first
Midland’s PPG100 portable power station weighs just 25 pounds, significantly less than many gasoline-powered generators.
venture into the portable power market, but as more people depend on their electronic devices for both safety and convenience at home and in the field, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be Midland’s last. “The Portable Power Station was a natural product extension for Midland,” says Matt Latendresse, director of marketing for Midland. “It’s a durable
and innovative piece of equipment solving a real-life problem, whether you’re deep in the backcountry on a hunt, or keeping your devices and electronics running at home in a power outage. It will be one of our featured products in our SHOT Show booth.” Available in early 2018. SRP: $1,099. Booth #1046. (midlandusa.com)
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F E AT U R E S
Outdoor Research goes tactical
By Justin Moore
hroughout history, need has inspired and influenced innovation. Ron Gregg was one such innovator, who recognized a lack of quality and function in outdoor gear. After watching his frostbitten hiking partner get airlifted off a glacier on Denali due to inferior gaiters, he created Outdoor Research and devoted his career to advancing the outdoor experience. Recently, the company announced it was entering the tactical market.
The announcement may have caught some off-guard, but not the staff at Outdoor Research, as the jump from technical and athletic outdoor gear to tactical was already well in motion before the official announcement. According to Nathan Jenkins, Outdoor Research’s design innovation manager, the company’s products were being tested and used in multiple military applications. What started as tests with gloves has since expanded into clothing using OR’s Integrated Apparel System (IAS). This system uses specialty stretch fabrics from Gore-Tex that have been “hybrid-mapped” to work in layers or individually. The result is a system that is durable and functional while still retaining athleticism and freedom of movement, even when adding or removing layers. All 13 pieces in the IAS line are also built with body armor in mind. For example, the Infiltrator Jacket is designed to be worn close to the body (to reduce bulk and weight as com-
As part of the Integrated Apparel System (IAS), the Infiltrator Jacket (left) and Tradecraft Jacket (right) from Outdoor Research are both designed to accommodate body armor.
pared to traditional Gore-Tex outerwear), which allows for military gear and armor to be worn over the top. Dynamic reach has been improved as well by using the new stretch fabrics from the forearm to the waist, without putting a seam in the armpit. This allows the user to utilize the full capabilities of the fabrics and not restrict move-
ment. IAS also features a helmet-compatible hood that integrates with a tactical helmet and uses stretch panels on the back of the neck for better freedom of movement and enhanced peripheral vision. Special attention has also been given to the placement of pockets so they can be easily accessed when body armor is worn.
Outdoor Research is a relative newcomer to the tactical market, but its IAS line of clothing has already been recognized as being able to perform at a high level in extreme environments.
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For more than two years, Outdoor Research has been making major capital investments to its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Seattle, Washington. This commitment allows the design and engineer teams to create innovative products more quickly. Doing so also allows the company to keep the product and supply chain within the United States. The other benefit of keeping the Seattle location is that it makes those particular articles of clothing and gear Berry Compliant, expanding the military contracts on which Outdoor Research is able to bid. (The Berry Amendment requires the Department of Defense to give preference to domestically produced products.) Outdoor Research has a well-deserved reputation for producing innovative and durable outdoor clothing. Now that commitment to quality will benefit the men and women in the United States armed forces. Booth #31000. (outdoorresearch.com)
F E AT U R E S
The Operative HZ features a spiral-fluted Benchmark M24 barrel and a Horizon Stiller action. The rifle is available in three calibers.
Success Story NEXT Pavilion pays big dividends
By Bill Miller
t the 2017 SHOT Show, Horizon Firearms had to shrink its massive display to fit a 3-by-5-foot countertop. The manufacturer, based in College Station, Texas, normally can fill a 20-by-20-foot booth to showcase its precision long-range firearms. But last year’s setup highlighted just two rifles on bipods.
Still, the challenge paid off for Derrick Ratliff, Horizon’s president, and his crew. He said it helped them accomplish the company’s first SHOT Show appearance via the NEXT Pavilion. Now in its third year, NEXT Pavilion introduces 100 first-time exhibitors to the event each January in Las Vegas. It’s also the first entry point for companies on the waiting list for booth space at the Sands Expo Center. Horizon had been on the waiting list for a booth, but it was invited in 2016 to apply for the NEXT Pavilion. Ratliff assumed that the abbreviated space would bring a scant return on investment to market the company’s rifles, so he passed on the opportunity. Founded in 2012, Horizon makes high-end bolt-action rifles with a guaranteed .5-inch MOA or better with factory ammunition, says marketing director Katherine Rice. Some options, she adds, include fluted barrels and Horizon’s own custom stocks. The rifles also can be colored, muzzle to buttpad, with unusual camo or fiery patterns. “Style has been a big piece of what we do,” Ratliff says. “We want something that when you pull it out of the case at the deer lease, other people say, ‘Oh man, this guy must be able to shoot.’ Next, we want them to say, ‘Where did you get that?’ ”
To illuminate the rifles’ capabilities and aesthetics, Horizon has used 200-square-foot booths at other events. Consequently, Ratcliff says, his team couldn’t see how to shoehorn that into a small spot in the NEXT Pavilion. “So, the first time the offer came around, we passed on it,” he says. “And that was a horrible decision.” “Low and behold,” Rice says, “we didn’t get a booth.” Now both know that the Pavilion is a key step in the process to move up on the booth waiting list.
Myth Busting ³ The
SHOT Show typically draws 1,600 exhibitors. Floor space—and there are 12 miles of it in the Sands—is tight. Landing some is very competitive. As a result, some new exhibitors are frustrated to learn they can’t just sign up and show up for SHOT. Others assume it’s impossible to advance from the waiting list, but that’s a myth, says Dave Jeannette, senior director, sales, National Shooting Sports Foundation. He describes the selection process on an NSSF web page titled “The SHOT Show Exhibitor Waiting List—Myth-Buster Time.” He writes that companies first must complete the “SHOT Show Wait List Form,” used by
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NSSF to determine a company’s particular “tier.” “These tiers,” Jeannette writes, “help balance the mix of show exhibitors and serve the overall needs of the industry, while also keeping the overall look and feel of the show fresh.” Included are Tier 1, for firearms, ammunition, gun components, and optics; Tier 2, for gun accessories, safes, holsters, law enforcement and tactical (except firearms), targets, and cutlery; and Tier 3, for products for hunting and shooting not defined by Tiers 1 and 2. By May each year preceding the show, show officials look at remaining floor space for the next event. That’s when the previous year’s NEXT Pavilion exhibitors can advance to the main show floor. It’s also when new companies on the waiting list get invited to the NEXT Pavilion. Officials award the spots based on a com-
pany’s designated tier and NSSF membership. Here’s the order: Tier 1 NSSF voting member companies; Tier 1 NSSF member companies; Tier 1 NSSF non-members; Tier 2 NSSF member companies; Tier 2 NSSF non-members; Tier 3 NSSF member companies; Tier 3 NSSF non-members. The new companies confirm their attendance by paying booth deposits once their Pavilion applications are accepted. But, Jeannette adds, NEXT Pavilion applicants can still qualify for a 10-by-10-foot booth in the exhibit hall “if a space becomes available. Yes, it’s a process, but that’s to be expected with a show of this size. But for now, know that making it to the show floor isn’t impossible, and you don’t need to ‘know somebody’ or grease a palm to get there. You just have to have a little patience.”
Foot Traffic ³ For
the 2018 SHOT Show, Horizon will make its floor debut with a 100-square-foot booth. Though he’s happy to have the larger booth, Ratliff says he was “pleasantly surprised” by the NEXT Pavilion experience, especially its location on the third floor across from the media room. This aids access to gun writers looking for a “scoop.” “It’s a small area, so you’re forced to be concise in what you bring,” Ratliff says. “But a lot of people are looking for what’s next or new. It’s what our industry is built on, so you get a lot of foot traffic.” A few months after last year’s show, Ratliff was checking to see how the search term “Horizon Firearms” was doing on Google Analytics. He found an article praising the company’s Endeavor HZ rifle with a carbon-fiber barrel from PROOF Research. “We had nothing to do with that,” he says. “It was media at SHOT Show.” Booth #643.
The Hunter HZ uses a Horizon Stiller action and Benchmark barrel, and is guaranteed to shoot ½ MOA. Available calibers include 6.5 Creedmoor, 28 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., and .300 Win. Mag.
F E AT U R E S
Manufacturers are beginning to understand that women require clothing and accessories designed expressly for them. Resized menswear doesn’t cut it.
Just For Women
As more women take up hunting, companies are beginning to realize the importance of designing products just for them By Barbara Baird
hen it comes to offerings for women hunters, the shooting sports industry is beginning to move past the “shrink it and pink it” stage. Forward-thinking manufacturers are now engaged in making gear, apparel, and guns that truly fit women who hunt. Here are four companies that deserve a pat on the back for their enterprising and innovative designs for women.
Browning Buck Shadow boot is built on a woman’s last.
Wild Her Hunting Backpack ³This
pack, which has been on the market for more than a year, has heard a resounding chorus of “It’s about time!” and “wowzahs!” from female hunters. Created by Slumberjack, the Kryptec camo pack offers a lot of the same features that men trust in their packs, such as a single aluminum stay and HDPE frame sheet to manage heavy loads, a built-in rifle or bow rest, and a hydrationcompatible option. “We developed it with a crew of female hunters—primarily bow hunters—who helped test for fit
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and function,” says Marily Melis, Slumberjack’s marketing director. “The waist belt was a key area of focus.” A common problem with the waist belts on men’s packs is that, since they are designed for a different body configuration, they won’t cinch tight against a woman’s hips. “Our unique streamlined waist clip and sculpted belt were a dramatic improvement,” Melis says. “We also shortened the torso length of the pack. The tweaks we made along the way, incorporating the testers’ feedback over the last 18 months, helped us to dial in the fit and really transfer the
pack weight onto the hips and shoulders evenly.” Melis adds that they surveyed women on the ideal color. Purple won over pink. “More sophisticated and tough, less Barbie-like,” she says. SRP: $159.95. Booth #10226. (slumberjack.com)
Browning Buck Shadow Boots ³As
with many companies, success in the men’s line often spurs development of a women’s line. Browning designed a hunting boot for men and immediately took the specifications and
F E AT U R E S
applied them to the women’s market, with appropriate changes. “We started with women wearing our men’s Buck Shadow Boots to test feature sets and certain aspects of the boots,” says Ashley Vanderhoof, marketing manager for Signature Products Group, the footwear licensee for Browning. “Then, we went to the drawing board to get the best fit for women’s feet. As sample boots come in, we have women testing the fit and features. Last fall we had a big push to get them out on as many hunts as possible.” So far, the reaction to the boots has been promising. “We’ve had a really positive response from all who have seen the boots,” says Vanderhoof. “It is exciting to bring a design to market for women that is truly unique from our men’s offerings. All of the buyers who’ve seen the women’s products immediately identified that we didn’t ‘pink and shrink,’ but considered aesthetics for women with the same feature sets as our men’s boots.” With a mountain-competent tread and standard OutDry waterproof protection and a Thinsulate layer for warmth, these boots can handle tough, big-game terrain. “This boot was a collaborative effort, but the design was driven by a woman, and the technical aspect was fully developed by a woman,” says Vanderhoof. SRP: $179.99 to $199.99, depending on insulation levels. Booth #10744.
many hunters. “We know that our consumers value durability and our products are built to last,” he says. “If you value these types of activities, and you like going into the mountains, and you want to leave on your own terms, a Sitka system is something you should consider.” Sitka helps cushion the expense of its systems by offering a repairand-replace warranty. It also helps customers figure out what they need through an online resource. Booth #10328. (sitkagear.com)
Danner High Ground Hunting Boots ³The
Sitka Systems ³“At
Sitka, we build clothing systems. We don’t just make a jacket. The first thing that comes to my mind is, ‘How does that fit or integrate into a system? Does it add value or add efficiency to that system?” says big-game product manager John Barklow. He should know—he spent 20 years in the military developing equipment systems. He was also a special operations troop instructor who readily lists diving, hunting, and mountaineering as his passions. For the women’s market, Sitka built a complete big-game system and a complete whitetail system. From baselayer to outerwear, Sitka consulted with female hunters to design the line. In the whitetail system, new designs include the Fanatic jacket and bib made of Berber fleece. The jacket is made with a windstopper lining and Primaloft insulation. “The intent of that system is for whitetail hunters to be able to
Top: Danner High Ground hunting boot. Bottom left: Sitka Kelvin Active Jacket. Bottom right: SJK Wild Her backpack.
be static and in a treestand and be warm. This is the product the men have had for a couple of years. We went one step further in development. We were being told by women, ‘I get cold quicker than men.’ That played out from our research,” he says. As a result, Sitka added Sitka Ground Shield (an aerogel foam that acts as an insulation layer as well as providing padding for extra comfort) to its women’s line in strategic areas to ensure warmth for the wearer. For big game, Sitka introduced a solid system for Western hunters, including one of its best-selling versions of pants, the Timberline. It’s a durable hunting pant with a waterproof seat and knees, with removable kneepads. SRP: $229. “The Kelvin Active Jacket
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doesn’t exist in the hunting world,” Barklow says. “It’s existed in the mountaineering world for a few years now. It’s incredibly lightweight. It’s also really durable and has a nylon face and Polartech Alpha insulation with a mesh lining.” The jacket is a breathable loft piece that blocks wind. “We expect people to hike and hunt in it for days at a time, so we treated it with our Polygiene Odor Control Technology so that if you are sweating in this, you don’t stink nearly as much.” SRP: $289. “The women’s line on both sides has some technology and features that the men’s line doesn’t have. It’s not valuable to the men, but it is to the women,” says Barklow. Barklow admits Sitka is an investment (read: expensive) for
women’s High Ground hunting boot line (SRP: $170 to $210) debuted in 2013 and has been Danner’s most popular women’s hunting boot since. “It’s incredibly versatile, ideal for rocky terrain and steep hillsides,” says marketing communications specialist Erin Braun. Designed with an 8-inch height and padded collar, the boot provides excellent ankle support. In addition, the Talon outsole is designed to easily shed mud and debris. It comes with a waterproof Gore-Tex lining and is also available in a variety of insulation levels. Danner built this boot on its DT5 last, providing an athletic fit with a tighter heel and lower volume fore- and mid-foot to fit a woman’s foot. It worked throughout the design process with women hunters—both within its home office and beyond—in order to get feedback on fit, function, design, and overall performance. The company also works with women boot designers. “We’re really excited about the momentum building within the women’s hunting market,” says Chris Currah, Danner’s hunt product line manager. “It’s great to see more brands marketing to women hunters and seeing more women interested in trying hunting for the first time. To me, that’s what the hunting community is all about—people coming together to share the love of the sport, a knowledge of conservation, and technical skills.” Currah emphasizes that the High Ground family shines on spot-and-stalk hunts. “It’s built to keep you comfortable when you’re enduring long hours on tough terrain.” He also says retailers should look for a new women’s hunting boot this fall. Booth #10770.
F E AT U R E S
Mission Critical is based on a lubricant developed by the aerospace industry.
Otis Technology is launching a major breakthrough in gun cleaning By Slaton L. White
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rank Devlin, director of commercial sales for Otis Technology, and I were sitting in a duck blind late last fall. Between flights I lean over and ask, “What’s new for SHOT?” Devlin, a born salesman, smiles broadly and says, “We have a cleaner and a high-performance synthetic lubricant that’s going to change the entire industry. I think it will make every other available cleaner and lubricant an antique.” That gets my attention. “Bold words,” I say. “They most certainly are,” he says. “I’ve been involved with firearms for nearly 50 years, and this is the single most important thing I’ve ever done to a firearm in my life.” The product is Mission Critical MC-10, the foundation of which is a proprietary formula initially developed by the aerospace industry. What got the attention of the engineers at Otis Technology was its ability to handle extreme temperature ranges without compromising performance. “So far, we’ve not been able to find the point at which MC-10 either freezes or boils away. It truly is a trendsetting new product, sort of like discovering penicillin,” Devlin says. Devlin notes the company has done extensive testing, comparing the performance of Mission Critical MC-10 to 15 competitive lubricants currently on the market. “We put a sample of each in a petri dish and set them on fire,” he says. “Every product but one eventually turned to soot.” The exception was Mission Critical MC-10. “It’s not impacted by heat at all,” he says. “It will not burn, it will not turn black.” Other tests also demonstrated its remarkable resilience. “We’ve done some internal testing with an M240 machine gun, feeding it belt after belt, trying to get the stuff to fail. It hasn’t.” But Devlin’s true “aha” moment came when he was cleaning his 9mm concealed-carry sidearm. He cleaned it down to bare metal, removing all traces of the previous lubricant. “After I applied the Mission Critical MC-10 lubricant, I put the gun back together and racked the slide,” he says. “It moved so freely and easily that I thought I had forgotten to put back the main spring. So, I took the gun apart and saw that the spring was in there. I’ve never experienced anything like that.” This leads him to another selling point for retailers. “Women often complain of hard-torack semi-autos, which has sent some manufacturers back to the drawing board to produce guns with easier-to-rack slides,” he says. “But wouldn’t it be nice for a retailer to be able to say to such a customer, ‘You don’t need another gun. I have the solution.’ ” Mission Critical MC-10 will be the focal point for Otis Technology at the 2018 SHOT Show. “Otis has been an industry leader in gun cleaning for more than 30 years,” Devlin says. “This is just a natural progression within the company. Everybody loves to shoot; nobody likes to clean. But a gun performs better if it’s been cleaned and properly lubricated, and that’s exactly what Mission Critical MC-10 does.” Each pack of Mission Critical MC-10 will contain a 1-ounce spray bottle of cleaner, a 1-ounce bottle of spray lubricant, and a microfiber gun cloth. SRP: $29.99. Booth #14213. (otistec.com)
Offering the Safest, Cleanest Environment Possible for Shooters and Range Personnel
F E AT U R E S
Personal experience spurs an entrepreneur to develop a line of concealed-carry purses By Barbara Baird
en years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d be driving a truck to haul purses around to gun shows, I wouldn’t have believed it,” says Dawn Hillyer, CEO of HidingHilda, an online store for concealed-carry purses, luggage, firearms-themed jewelry, and personal-defense items. Hillyer is passionate about selfdefense, having been the victim of a stalker herself. Her stalker was eventually convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. This led to her appearance as the subject of the TV series, Stalked: Someone’s Watching, in a season four episode titled “Twist of Hate.” The HidingHilda moniker evolved because she had used the name “Hilda” as a computer login (derived from Hillyer) while at her corporate job. And “Hiding”? Because she felt the need to pro-
tect herself, she hid as much as possible. When she decided to learn personal-defense skills with a firearm, she chose a Glock .380 and named it Hilda. Now, HidingHilda means something completely different from its previous reference, and for that, Hillyer is grateful and eager to empower others who might be victims. In fact, Hillyer is so impassioned about this mission that her website offers contact information for the National Stalking Center. She also donates a portion of her proceeds to help educate those who work with stalking victims. The feisty entrepreneur spent several years as an executive recruiter, working with Vera Bradley as a client in the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, area. In January 2015, she decided to step into Vera Bradley’s manufacturer’s shoes when the company moved its man-
ufacturing site. She now watches as her purses are produced in the same plant where Vera’s bags once passed through the doors. “I was actually a leather snob when it came to purses, but once I started carrying a firearm, they became very heavy,” admits Hillyer. “I realized there was a niche market for this type of fabric bag, and I wanted to keep jobs in this area. Now, I only carry HidingHilda bags.” Presently, the HidingHilda line includes three types of purses— the 3-Zip Messenger, Treasure Tote, and Mini Messenger—in a variety of colors. The bags come with a Velcro-holstered compartment. Hillyer recommends using a leather holster that is compatible with Velcro attachments for her bags, to add structure. Bags range in price from $69.99 to $99.99. “If someone isn’t comfortable
No longer a victim, Dawn Hillyer has created a line of concealedcarry purses.
with the way they are carrying, they won’t carry,” she says. “We need to train the way we carry. The most consistent thing about me is my purse. No matter what I’m wearing, I have my purse. My best and fastest draw is out of my holstered purse. I’m finding that to be true with women around the country.” Booth #1811. (hidinghilda.com)
NEW PRODUCTS FOR 2018
VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION: BOOTH #13616
F E AT U R E S
Huntworth’s Disruption pattern is particularly attractive to members of the Millennial generation.
Huntworth shows how to sell hunting garments for the average Joe Millennial By Robert F. Staeger et’s not blame the victim here: An outdoors retailer recently emailed Neal Ash, president and CEO of Huntworth, about the company’s Disruption digital camo pattern. The pattern sells well in his stores, the retailer said, but it’s also the top item for his customers to steal. Now, we can quibble with that retailer’s definition of “customers,” but what seems beyond dispute is that with Disruption, Huntworth has a hit on its hands.
Disruption appears to be particularly popular among younger and more technical-oriented hunters, Ash says. Unlike tree camo, it’s not so much about blending in as it is making sure that the animal can’t perceive you as an object. Huntworth incorporates three elements to make this “visual noise” happen: “For one, we’re trying to create a 3-D effect with the digital pattern,” says Ash. “There’s also micropixels within the pixelated areas. And we created kind of a sense of motion in the pattern.” Considering this pattern has proven appealing to Millennials, let’s take a look at other things Huntworth does to catch their eye.
perception out there is that Millennials are all working for startups or Google, but that’s
a small minority,” says Ash. “Some of them can afford the high-end clothing, but I think for most people it’s a challenge to be able to spend several hundred dollars for a jacket. “I build quality products for the everyday guy,” he says, noting that most of Huntworth’s garments are at the $99 price point or lower. “We offer a very strong value proposition. We’re not trying to compete on price, but we’re not trying to sell a Rolls Royce either.”
says Ash. “It’s like a soda straw. It wicks moisture away from you.” That stands in contrast to a lot of wicking material, which uses a chemical treatment. The hexagon pattern also helps it relieve heat. There’s also Huntworth’s new high-density fleece jacket. “Fleece is hard to print on—you don’t get the crispness of the pattern,” says Ash. “But the high-density fleece we came up with allows a nice print, a soft hand feel, and a lot of warmth without bulk.”
of what makes Huntworth products so appealing is Ash’s drive to innovate, particularly when it comes to materials. One such fabric is the four-way-stretch performance hexagon-knit terry that lines the company’s new performance mid-layers. “It’s like tubular yarn,”
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also loads Huntworth garments with useful features—but only the right ones for the job. “It’s important to decide which features matter most,” says Ash. Huntworth’s customer base is largely made up of deer hunters, so incorporating a harness hole
into its jackets is a key selling point. Sherpa-lined pockets are another, as they help to keep hands warm during long days in the cold. But every feature is a trade-off, and must earn its cost to keep the gear at a reasonable price point. The fact that Huntworth designs its own camo patterns, rather than licensing existing ones, also helps in this regard. “I can take the royalty money and plow it back into the product,” says Ash. Huntworth has been showing its new natural camo pattern, HDD’N, to retailers—and gotten an enthusiastic response. It’s the company’s third-generation tree pattern, and they’ve learned a lot with each design. “It’s very important to keep it dull, to blend in with nature in fall and winter,” says Ash. “Then choose the right elements to blend into it. And you
RUBBER OUTSOLE Durable traction at heel strike and takeoff
SUBLITE FOAM MIDSOLE Lightweight cushioning and support
FULL-FOOT FLEX GROOVES Improved flexibility and balance for natural movement
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CATTLE HIDE LEATHER & MESH Durable and abrasion resistant with airflow
MEMORYTECH MASSAGE FOOTBED Adapts to the contours of your foot and provides immediate cushioning
F E AT U R E S
SHOT BOOTH: 14271
need the right background. You can easily change the elements, but if you don’t have a good background to start with, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
last factor is fit: No matter its features, an ill-fitting garment never satisfies. One of the best examples of getting the proper fit at Huntworth is the company’s gloves. “We have multiple sessions with our fit models and designers, trying them on and adjusting the
dies until they fit right. We adjust the depth of the finger crotches, the finger length, the wrist length and width,” says Ash. “Millennials are now growing out instead of up,” says Ash. “So the other nice thing is they can afford to get a new garment as their waistline changes.” None of this is rocket science. Fit, features, innovation, value— they’re things everyone wants. When it comes to bedrock selling propositions, Millennials are a chip off the old block. Booth #10029. (huntworthgear.com)
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To get a closer look at the innovations in materials Huntworth is offering, sample a trio of garments in its line. First up is a Men’s Heavyweight Soft Shell Jacket, offered in Disruption camo. The shell is a triple-layer fabric: stretch polyester bonded to a WP film and thick Sherpa fleece. It’s been treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish to shed moisture. “There’s a film inside the garment that makes it very windproof and obviously very water resistant,” says Neal Ash, president and CEO of Huntworth. “I don’t tape the seams, so I’m not going to call it waterproof. But for a garment with a film, it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of noise to it.” The Sherpa fleece is treated with Microban for scent reduction. There’s a harness hole in the back, an inner storm flap and a high-stand collar, and six pockets: two zippered side pockets, two zippered upper chest pockets, and two large Sherpa-lined open interior pockets. It’s got a differential hem, so it’s longer in the back, the better to keep the wearer’s tail end warm and dry. SRP: $99.99. Next is a Men’s Technical Performance Hooded ½ Zip Mid Layer, also in Disruption. The shell is four-way-stretch hexagon-knit performance terry. Knitted to allow for venting and made with wicking yarn to transport moisture away from your skin. “It’s very soft, and designed to vent,” says Ash. The knit areas are made of tubular yarn, wicking moisture away from the body. “And on the flat spots, it reduces scent.” This mid-layer is also treated with DWR and Microban to
repel water and reduce scent, respectively. It has a large kangaroo pocket, with a zippered patch pocket on top; the sleeves have elastic thumb straps to keep them from sliding up the forearm. There’s a built-in face mask on the collar, with performance mesh polyester and more wicking yarn to keep moisture away from the wearer’s face. The hood is shaped so as to not obstruct peripheral vision. SRP: $99.99. “That’s a big part of our story,” says Ash. “Garments that are basically meant to sell for under $100. Great technical hunting stuff, down to a price point the average customer can afford.” Also new is the Men’s Bonded Jacket, which Huntworth offers in its new Hidd’n camo, a tree camo that offers crisp photographic depth and detail, the better to keep the wearer concealed in a stand or on a stalk. “The great thing about a camo pattern is that you don’t have to take it out of the box— you can see it right there,” says Ash, who previewed the Hidd’n pattern with selected retailers last year. “Everybody will tell you your camo’s good, but on this one, it was like they had an epiphany when they saw it. It’s the culmination of what they’ve seen in tree patterns.” The shell is a low-pile fleece bonded to waffle fleece, treated with DWR and Microban for water resistance and scent reduction. “The shell is made of a really soft, high-density fleece,” says Ash. Like the Heavyweight Soft Shell, this has a harness hole, an inner storm flap, and tapered arm construction. It’s also got two large zippered side pockets and a zippered upper left chest pocket. SRP: $79.99.
LIVE TIM KENNEDY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS ATTEMPT DAY 3 Â®
F E AT U R E S
The SR-5 QD, made from aircraft-grade aluminum billet, provides a wide stance and a ratcheted leg extension.
Accu-Tac has set its sights on building a superior product and providing superior customer service By Peter Suciu
iven the numerous restrictions on firearms in California, not to mention the state’s overall political climate, it might seem like an odd place to set up shop for anything related to firearms. But Upland-based Accu-Tac has successfully carved out a niche in the Golden State, in part by ensuring that every step of the process in producing its firearms accessories is as American as the heartland.
“Everything is made in our Upland, California, facility,” says Katrina Whitney, the company’s director of marketing. “Everything is assembled in the U.S., and all the machines we use are also made in America.” That has been one of the strongest selling points for this threeyear-old firm when talking to dealers, even if the Upland address has been a sticking point at times. “Some dealers aren’t happy that we’re in California,” admits Whitney. “But when we tell them that even our machines are made in America, well, that’s like the cherry on top.” The firm has grown steadily in just three years, and it all began after the company’s founder, Felipe Salazar, decided he could build a better bipod. Salazar, a longtime shooting enthusiast, found that many of the products on the market didn’t meet his expectations. So, he set out to make something better. With input from other shooters,
as well as his own eye for detail, Salazar created a line of shortrange bipods designed specifically for the AR platform. The company’s SR-5 QD (SRP: $276) has been among its top sellers. Made from high-quality, aircraft-grade aluminum billet, it provides a wide stance along with a ratcheted leg extension. It was designed to attach to a 1913 Picatinny rail, so it can be attached in seconds but provides needed stability at the range or out in the field. Since rolling out the SR line, the company has introduced its LR products, which are designed for those who use .50-caliber and other extreme-long-range firearms. But the new FC product line, including the FC-10 QU, is what could truly help Accu-Tac hit the mark with competition and tactical shooters alike. This line was designed with the ability to pan. At the same time, the leg design further allows shooters to quickly adjust to five different positions, with the
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advantage of being able to position each leg as needed. The idea was to provide greater customization for shooters at all levels. “This was really important to Felipe,” Whitney says. “He puts a lot of time into designing these bipods, and it took a full year to bring out the F Class. He was tired of hearing about the problems that shooters were having, and he sought to solve them.” Addressing problems is how the company has continued to hit the mark in other ways. Although it began as a small vendor that set up at gun shows and sold directly to consumers, Accu-Tac now only sells directly to dealers. “We don’t want to compete against our dealers, because without them we couldn’t have made it this far,” Whitney says, who further notes that Accu-Tac stands by every product. “If there is a problem with a product, we want to hear it from the customer instead of the dealer.” In addition to producing
bipods, the company has expanded to muzzle brakes and scope rings, the latter of which have also garnered attention for being lefthanded-friendly. “The scope rings are all doublebubble-leveled, and we’ve seen that a lot of shooters are very happy to see this unique design,” says Whitney. “It can be used by left-handed as well as righthanded shooters with ease.” The company’s future could involve a move as Salazar expands the business to build other parts that aren’t so easy to produce in California. If that happens, AccuTac could relocate to Arizona or another more firearms-friendly state, but for now the business is dedicated to making sure that every customer is happy. “We’ve tripled the business in three years,” says Whitney, attributing the company’s success to a relentless focus on building a superior product and delivering superior customer service. Booth #421. (accu-tac.com)
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F E AT U R E S
The SAVES Club Protecting lives one product at a time
om, medic, survivor. Those are the three badges of honor Dani Kamenar wears with pride. Her six-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, is also a survivor. She claimed that title before she was born. “My daughter is tiny. At six months, she’s only 11 pounds 15 ounces,” says Kamenar, a paramedic from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “We’re happy she’s here and she’s safe, but it’s bittersweet.” A volatile patient in the back of an ambulance hit Kamenar in the abdomen when she was 32 weeks pregnant. Kamenar’s body armor, issued six months earlier, absorbed most of the blow, but not all of it, resulting in Brooklyn’s premature birth four weeks later. “It would have been one thing if it was just me who got hurt, but me and my baby in harm’s way means my family would have had two less members without that vest.” Brooklyn is SAVES Club member #1988. Her mom is #1989. The Safariland Group’s SAVES Club, started in 1976, reached its 2000th save in 2017. Brooklyn and Dani are two of the 2000. They’re also Safariland’s first dual save with
one vest. “The SAVES Club is the heart of Safariland,” says Ed Hinchey, the Safariland Group senior armor technical specialist and director of SAVES Club. “It reminds everyone under the Safariland umbrella that what we do counts. Doing it right matters every time. There’s no better way to keep that on the front burner than to put a face in front of them.” Hinchey is SAVE #941. A bulletproof vest saved his life while he was on duty as a police officer 12 years ago. A shot in the hip. Two shots in the chest. The hip wound put him in the hospital. The vest, sporting two chest holes, hangs in his office. When the medical examiner told him he couldn’t return to duty, he retired from the force and accepted the SAVES director job at Safariland, the company making body armor, duty gear, holsters, and headsets. “I went from the best job on the planet to the second-best job,” he says. “From taking care of bad guys to taking care of good guys.” Good guys are celebrated at Safariland facilities worldwide with a new save about every five days. Production stops for the weekly
By Kris Millgate
announcements, the hero is recognized, and every person who helped build the equipment involved knows it because they sign the gear’s inside label. Barb Staph had a hand in making the life-saving vest hanging in Hinchey’s office. She’s retired now, but the two still talk often. “To this day we go back and forth,” Hinchey says. “She checks on my kids, and we send Christmas cards. My kids call her aunt Barb.” Hinchey and Kamenar talk often, too. Listening to their comfortable banter via conference call is proof of that. They’re laughing about baby Brooklyn’s bald head decorated with bows while planning Kamenar’s SAVES appearance at the SHOT Show. Brooklyn is going as well. So is Brooklyn’s fiveyear-old big brother, Grayson, and Kamenar’s husband, Stephen, who is a firefighter. “We could have lost our daughter, and I went through a month of hell on bed rest wondering if she was going to make it,” Kamenar says. “But when Ed contacted me, it completely changed the mood in our house. There are people that care and people that understand. It really turned things around.
Hog hunters never had it so good By Slaton L. White
ut a bunch of gun writers together at a manufacturer seminar and very quickly the competitive juices start to flow. That’s exactly what happened last summer at a Browning seminar in southern Utah. There were long-range targets set up for centerfire rifles, and an abbreviated sporting clays layout for the shotguns. The second morning someone got the bright idea to set up a contest to see who could hit the sporting clays rabbit using the Browning BAR MK 3 DBM (detachable box magazine) fitted with a Leupold Hog Hunter scope. It took numerous tries, but finally one shooter nailed it. He was instantly saluted with a loud chorus of cheers. While I was shooting, I realized this setup would make for an ideal hog gun. It would also do quite nicely as a truck gun as well. No need to formally introduce you to the BAR. Anyone in this business knows its storied heritage. But the MK 3 DBM in .308 (SRP: $1,469.99) is a recent entry to the line. “The sporting BAR’s contemporary design offers shooters and hunters a lightweight semiautomatic rifle with refinements not present in the most popular modern sporting rifles,
including a gas-piston design,” says Scott Grange, Browning’s director of public relations and shooting promotions. “The gas piston design mitigates shooter-perceived recoil and reduces excessive carbon residue that other modern gas-impingement designs vent into the moving parts of the action. Like most modern sporting rifles, the BAR utilizes a multi-lug rotary bolt—a component that allows for a lightweight alloy receiver.” Grange also notes that the BAR MK 3 feels and handles like a hunting rifle because “it is a hunting rifle. It’s lightweight, quick to shoulder, and quick to point,” something we all experienced trying to track that crazy rabbit. The Leupold VX-HOG 1–4x20mm scope (SRP: $324.99) on the MK 3 DBM features what Leupold calls the “Pig Plex” reticle. It provides quick target acquisition, something hog hunters need if they’re tracking a moving pig in thick cover. Many hunters are now showing a decided preference for combo packages. It simplifies the entire buying process for them. Booth #10744 (browning.com). Booth #13023 (leupold.com)
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Dani Kamenar with her daughter, Brooklyn.
Without their product, we would not be the family we are today.” Kamenar would not be the medic she is today, either. She never considered quitting after the ambulance incident, but she’s more leery of volatile patients. Safariland helped her by replacing her body armor at no cost. And Brooklyn joins Safariland’s collection of baby photos. They’re the faces of children born to families among Safariland’s 2000 SAVES in the last 40 years. “Those babies are here because of SAVES,” Hinchey says. “They are why we have such strict standards.” Booth #12762. (safariland.com)
The BAR MK 3 handles like a hunting rifle because it is a hunting rifle.
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F E AT U R E S
The Personal Touch
Leupold goes the extra mile to support shooting events
By Slaton L. White romoting a shooting sports brand is not just about writing checks for advertising. It often involves the personal touch of staff members at local, regional, and national shooting events. All those bright banners flapping in the wind, tables covered with product samples, and boxes loaded with swag—pens, ball caps, T-shirts, and the like (all of which carry the company logo)—got there because someone made it happen. They didn’t just sprout up out of the ground like mushrooms after a spring rain.
Jeremy Lesch, marketing coordinator of consumer events at Leupold, is one of those troopers who devotes weekend after weekend to making sure Leupold is well represented at 3-Gun and Precision Rifle events across the country. I met Lesch last summer at a Browning/Winchester writer event in Utah. Over the course of two days I saw him at work, showing us how Leupold’s latest tactical scopes work. Preparing for, and attending, these events is a year-round endeavor, one that typically begins with establishing the dates of the events and determining whether an event is one that Leupold wishes to support. Once Leupold commits to the event, the next step is determining the level of participation. The most common levels are platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, and Leupold’s support can be cash, product, or a mixture of both. “The contract that’s eventually signed between Leupold and the match director specifies the level of support,” Lesch says. “Depending on what we’re trying to do [regarding product promotion and event sponsorhip], I have to figure out the level of support. For some, it’s cash only, for others it will be some cash and product. But we mostly stick with product only. I’ve learned that most people want product above all else.” The Leupold product that gets shipped to the event is determined by the particular item the manufacturer wants promoted at any given time. “Whatever we decide to showcase, that’s what I want on the prize table,” he says. That out of the way, Lesch has to turn to the important but mundane task of making sure the products actually get out of the warehouse and to the event. “I generally work about one month out,” he says. “You want the products and any support mate-
Jeremy Lesch says supporting shooting events obviously helps promote the Leupold brand. At the same time, though, such industry support also shows Leupold’s longstanding commitment to the sport.
rials to get there early.” The next step is determining who, exactly, from Leupold will attend the event. “The level of support often determines who attends. At higher levels of support, I usually go; at a lower level, usually one of our pro staffers will attend. Sometimes, we have two events at the same time, so I’ll go to one and the pro staffer will go to another.”
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Lesch values the contributions of Leupold’s Pro Staff. “They’re my boots on the ground. They’re our voice at the event. And, they know our product.” The other component of such support of the shooting sports is time—and it’s a big commitment. “These events are always on the weekends—never during the week,” he says. “The other fact of life is that you don’t shoot
at these events. We’re there to support the event and promote Leupold. It’s a lot like being a professional hunting guide. You don’t hunt; you’re there to make sure the client enjoys the hunt.” Lesch knows how important range officers are to a successful and safe event. “It’s really important to support the ROs,” he says. “They’re working, too, but they’re volunteers. They work their butts off because they love the shooting sports, so I try to give them as much as possible, be it swag, product discounts, or just water. Anything to let them know I appreciate what they’re doing for all of us.” At the end of the event, there’s always cleaning up and packing gear. But Lesch prefers to leave a lot behind. “Since I like to do ‘guerilla marketing,’ I like to leave all that stuff out at the range,” he says. “My banners, wind flags, and promotional materials let people know Leupold was there.” Guerilla marketing also includes keeping a step ahead of the competition. At one event, Lesch quietly made sure all the pens on a silent auction table carried the Leupold logo. Ball caps are another big item in Lesch’s promotional quiver. “Guys love ball caps. They don’t cost much, and it’s a great way to promote the brand. Really, everything I do is about promoting the brand and showing support for the shooting sports.” It also may be why he tries to get every range officer at an event to wear a Leupold cap. And the reward for going the extra mile? At the end of the day, Leupold gets to bask in the reflected glow of a successful event. “It’s all about recognition,” Lesch says, “from the products on the table to the people wearing a Leupold cap.” And let’s not forget those Leupold banners and wind flags flapping in the wind. Booth #13023. (leupold.com)
,)-$*,3*/,),!.*)77*-,k Swap your barrel and change out your mag to turn your standard AR into a 22 Nosler. Next, use the new 85 grain RDF bullet with its ultra-high BC to shoot faster, flatter and farther than any other AR on the range.
F E AT U R E S
Modern frangible loads, like the Inceptor 10mm 91-grain ARX from Polycase, are capable of doing everything from CQB work to self-defense to hunting.
Expanding World Polycase aims to change how you look at frangible ammo
By Kate Ainsworth ate last spring I assisted the team at Polycase Ammunition in the final testing stages of its latest cartridge. My part, though relatively minor, was enjoyable and educational. Seating my first loaded magazine into a Ruger SR1911, I positioned myself 10 yards from the target. Using a two-handed grip, shooting offhand, I sent five rounds downrange. The result: a neat five-shot .538-inch group made with the new Polycase Inceptor 10mm 91-grain ARX. Some 200 rounds later, I’d experienced no failures of any kind and continued to produce phenomenal groups at a variety of distances.
Polycase was founded in 2012 by retired U.S. Army Airborne Ranger Paul Lemke. The timing was opportune: Lemke believed frangible ammo needed an infusion of quality. Polycase’s proprietary copper-polymer compound uses polymer as a binding agent. Lemke believes that the toughness and viscoelasticity of the binding agent lends strength and power to the bullets. “Combining Polycase’s capabilities and know-how with the inherent advantages of injection molding has resulted in ammunition that’s truly revolutionary in an industry that’s seen relatively little innovation in materials, design, and manufacturing processes,” Lemke says. Frangibles greatly reduce or entirely eliminate ricochet and backsplash by shattering on impact when they hit objects harder than themselves. The design has been around since the shooting galleries of the mid-20th century, but today’s loads are a far cry from those of dusty yesteryears. In fact, they’ve advanced enormously in just five years, and Polycase has played a key role, investing in research and
development to create an ever-growing roster of well-made, solid-performing ammunition. This R&D means the loads can be used far beyond the world of steel plates. Modern fragible loads, like those produced by Polycase, are capable of doing everything from CQB work to self-defense to hunting. Polycase offers a full complement of handgun options including .380 Auto, 9mm, and .45 Auto, and the manufacturer entered the centerfire realm last winter with .300 BLK.
Polycase’s proprietary copper-polymer compound uses polymer, which adds toughness and viscoelasticity, as a binding agent.
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Newcomers include the aforementioned 10mm 91-grain ARX and .223 Remington 35-grain ARX. Because Polycase’s bullets are lightweight, they produce less felt recoil without sacrificing results. Its ammunition relies on carefully engineered fluid dynamics and hydrostatic shock rather than expansion to drop threats; having seen the remains of antelope and hog hearts hit by frangible bullets, I can attest to the effectiveness of the bullet’s terminal performance. I’ve gone prone 18 inches from an AR500steel plate, emptying magazine after magazine of Polycase Inceptor .45 Auto 118-grain ARX, and I have fired .50 Beowulf 200-grain ARX into the same steel from 8 feet away. I’ve shot pumpkins, too. Using jack-o’-lanterns for target practice is a time-honored tradition. More important, though, I’ve loaded my everyday carry with it. Inceptor is available in a variety of packaging options, from boxes of 20 to 25 rounds (depending on the caliber) to ammo cans that contain 500 rounds. SRP: starts at $19.99. Booth #15323. (polycaseammo.com)
FOUR TIMES THE ADVENTURE.
Viking VI ®
The all-new 2018 Yamaha Wolverine® X4 delivers proven off-road performance when and where hunters need it most. From its adjustable four-seat configuration for superior versatility and cargo capacity, to the smooth, ultra-quiet 850-class twin engine and compact, agile chassis with self-leveling rear shocks, the Wolverine X4 provides the perfect balance of trail-conquering capability and comfort for even the longest days spent in the field. The Wolverine X4: built to help you REALize your Adventure.
REALize your Adventure: visit YamahaOutdoors.com Always protect the environment and wear your seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Read the owner’s manual and product warning labels before operation. • Professional riders depicted on a closed course. Models shown with optional Genuine Yamaha Accessories. ©2017 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved.
F E AT U R E S
Rocky Brands’ past shapes its future
By Kris Millgate
The Cornstalker is a popular hunting boot.
n ambitious team of 100 employees started building Rocky Brands boots in 1932, under the name William Brooks Shoe Co. The name changed in 1979, but the original factory is still in Nelsonville, Ohio. It’s now the Rocky Brands outlet store and grill. Customer service is there, too. The corporate office is across the street. That’s where Ryan Maisenbacher works.
“My first pair of hunting boots were Rockys,” says Maisenbacher, Rocky Brands marketing manager. “I bought them across the street from the office I sit in now.” As Maisenbacher grew up, his boot collection grew as well. So did Rocky Brands. Rocky now employs 2,400 people globally and sells 350 styles of footwear. About 100 of
those fit the outdoor/hunting category. Seventy-five percent of Rocky’s annual revenue is foot-based. The other 25 percent is apparel, added to the company’s offerings in the 1990s. “It was a natural progression for us,” Maisenbacher says. “Hunters adopted the Rocky name for their footwear, and there was opportunity for us to take
that recognition and attach it to other products.” Products like hats, hoodies, and pants. Rocky is dressing sportsmen from top to bottom with some items still selling well after headlining the original apparel line three decades ago. But the challenge with diversifying product is maintaining what created the niche for diversity in the first place.
The waterproof rubber Claw features a moldedrubber ripple outsole and a vulcanized-rubber upper with added protection over key wear areas.
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For Rocky, that’s footwear. “Footwear is certainly what people think of first when it comes to Rocky,” Maisenbacher says. “We really do make products for every hunt and every environment.” To do that, Rocky relies on testers recreating in every environment. Their field experts are outdoorsmen of all types, from archery hunters to trail runners. Rocky’s Stratum camo pattern took two and half years to develop. Fifty-eight people helped with test and design. An additional two dozen came on board after the pattern hit the market in fall 2016. “The market is changing even more rapidly than in the past,” Maisenbacher says. “We stay in tune with what the consumers demand by working with people who are out there ‘doing’ day in and day out.” Even before the rapidly evolving demands of today’s particular consumer preferences, Rocky paid attention to needs. In the late 1970s, the boot maker was one of the first companies to offer waterproof camo footwear. Considered staples by today’s standards, it was revolutionary when Rocky debuted it as the disco era lost its groove. “As many things are in this industry, it’s about relationships,” Maisenbacher says. “Our CEO at the time, Mike Brooks, had a strong relationship with someone at Gore-Tex. We wanted to put hunters in the best position to be successful and comfortable in the field and the relationship with Gore-Tex led to our waterproof boot.” That was the Cornstalker. Rocky still
sells it today along with new items, such as the improved Claw, a rubber boot with side zip, and Grizzly, a modern take on the original Cornstalker with triple density outsole. Both are debuting at the 2018 SHOT Show. Although Rocky has branched out into work and Western lines, outdoor has priority. “Outdoor products for men and women are in our DNA,” Maisenbacher says. “We are revitalizing our focus on making outdoor a key part of our business. It always has been; we’re just paying more attention to it.” Tactical has a place, too, so Rocky is also bringing its military line to the SHOT Show. The other lines aren’t on display this year. That’s by design. “At SHOT, people want to look at hunt and outdoor or military and tactical,” Maisenbacher says. “We would rather focus on the products that relate to that because that’s what we end up discussing. We want a layout that speaks to that environment.” The outdoor environment is a natural fit for Rocky Brands and its staff. Wayne National Forest is in the company’s backyard, providing a boots-on-theground test plot 30 minutes away any day of the week. And on the days Maisenbacher can’t get out, he’s happy looking out his office window at where his boots were born while he works on what’s next for Rocky Brands. “It’s just amazing to me that I get to do something I’m passionate about. The work I do isn’t work. It’s an extension of my daily passions,” Maisenbacher says. Booth #10555. (rockybrands.com)
F E AT U R E S
Kids & Clays celebrates 20 years of supporting families in need
been the greatest achievement of my life,” says Glenn Lubeznik, Kids & Clays co-founder and former president. “We could not have achieved this without the support of literally thousands of people, and for that we are so grateful.” The purity of the Kids & Clays mission helped make it one of the favorite charities of the shooting sports industry. During the 2018 SHOT Show, Kids & Clays will be honoring its national sponsors with gold medallions distributed throughout the show. One of the original Kids & Clays sponsors is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which continues to support Kids & Clays to this day. “We are proud to support the Kids & Clays Foundation for its 20 years of helping children and their families through the shooting sports,” says Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Our organization and the shooting industry as a whole believe in giving back to communities and organizations across the country, and we can’t think of a better group to help than Kids & Clays.” Besides sponsoring the Kids & Clays Foundation on a national level, NSSF is also the
hat started with a single sporting clays event to help critically ill children and their families has grown into a two-decade-old national organization benefiting hundreds of thousands of families each year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Kids & Clays Foundation, which supports a national series of sporting clays events with proceeds benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Ronald McDonald Houses provide housing and other help to critically ill children and their families across the country. Founded by McDonald owner-operators Glenn and Kathy Lubeznik of Michigan City, Indiana, the first sporting clays event was held at Deer Creek Hunt Club in Three Oaks, Michigan. From that single event, which raised $15,800 for the Ronald McDonald House near the University of Chicago Hospital, the Kids & Clays Foundation has grown to 23 scheduled events in 2018. To date, it has raised more than $17 million (net). “Taking my love for shooting and being able to turn it into a foundation that helps so many families at the worst time of their lives has
Over the years, the Kids & Clays Foundation has used sporting clays events to help raise more than $17 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
title sponsor of an event held near its offices at the Fairfield County Fish and Game Protective Association. That event not only helps show how shooting sports are a wholesome and fun family activity, but one that also does much good for communities like this everywhere. “In an age where shooters and firearms seldom get good press, the Kids & Clays events are a shining star for our industry,” says Dolnack. Another key sponsor is David Baron, owner of Baron Technology and president of the Kids & Clays Foundation. “We are honored to be supported by companies in the outdoor industry for the past two decades,” he says. “This support is making a large difference in the lives of many critically ill children and their families.” Booth #2418. (kidsandclays.com)
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INTRODUCING THE FRANCHI MOMENTUM RIFLE FLUTED BOLT BODY, 3 LOCKING LUGS
Feels right: like no other rifle before, the Franchi Momentum was created from the ground up on ergonomics, fit and feel. With its 150-year tradition of crafting fine Italian firearms, Franchi knows that when the gun feels right, the day, the camaraderie and the whole outdoor experience will also feel right.
HAMMER-FORGED PRECISION BARREL, THREADED MUZZLE
Features: Contoured stock giving perfect hold in 5 common shooting positions; glass-smooth action; 1-piece bolt body; adjustable trigger (2-4 lbs.); recoilsoaking TSA pad; free-floating, hammer-forged barrel; threaded muzzle. The Momentum is available as a rifle only or as a scoped package. Available in the following calibers: .243 Win, .270 Win, .30-06, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag & 6.5 Creedmoor.
F E AT U R E S
Thirst for Experience
When outdoor products cross categories, managers need to go along By Slaton L. White
ecessity is the mother of invention.” It’s an old canard, but one that still rings true, especially when you take a close look at CamelBak, a manufacturer of hydration packs, water bottles, and insulated drinkware. Nearly 30 years ago, an EMT competing in the “Hotter ‘n Hell 100” bike race in Texas wanted to find a way to carry water with him so he wouldn’t lose time stopping to hydrate. He filled an IV bag with water, slid it into a gym sock, and pinned it to his jersey.
Jessica Klodnicki with guide Jim Lutat. Her first turkey was taken in Texas on the first morning of a three-day hunt.
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“That foundation is still the spirit of CamelBak today,” says Jessica Klodnicki, vice president and general manager of the outdoor recreation division of Vista Outdoor, which acquired CamelBak in August 2015. “When we look for product opportunities, it’s all about supporting people and athletes to go farther and faster. Think of it as an untethering of sorts, where they don’t need to find a water stop.” She notes that hydration is a much bigger story than it was a generation ago. “I think people now know more about hydration and nutrition for performance, and I think that more and more people now understand the benefits of hydration. My father used to take us on some crazy hikes in the boonies with one canteen for a family of four. You would never do that now.” She tells me this while sipping coffee from a CamelBak travel mug in turkey camp. This is her first hunting trip, and she has just taken her first turkey. Her experience can tell a retailer a lot about Vista Outdoor (Booth #14551) and its commitment to its brand portfolio. “I had a degree in advertising and public relations and always wanted to work in the outdoor industry,” she says. “Didn’t get there at first. I ended up working nine years for an infant products company and then seven years for Newell brands. These were all consumer products, never the outdoor space, but during that time I always enjoyed the outdoors. I was a runner, a cyclist, and did some triathlons as well.” Her “aha” moment came during a two-year stint in Paris for Newell. Thinking about what she wanted to do next, she decided she really needed to get outdoors. “I ended up making my way to Mizuno, where I ran brand marketing for golf, baseball, softball, volleyball, and running,” she says. “For the first time in my career, I
was able to marry my passion to my profession. From Mizuno I went on to Bell bike helmets and Blackburn cycle accessories.” Both were acquired by Vista Outdoor in April 2016. It didn’t take senior management long to recognize her talent and drive, and when the outdoor recreation division was formed in August 2016, she was promoted and put in charge of CamelBak, Camp Chef, and Jimmy Styks standup paddle boards. “We’ve been supporting the military with hydration packs, and those packs have crossed over into the hunting space, even though they weren’t designed specifically for that use,” she says. “Now when we look at product opportunities, we look for places where people are being active and need to hydrate, and obviously one of those areas is hunting. “I strongly believe that when you are in charge of research and development and marketing that you have to have a passion for it. And, it certainly helps if you actually go out and get engaged in it,” she says. “It’s really hard to understand the nuance of what products should do for a user if you haven’t seen it or tried it.” When Klodnicki was at Mizuno, she played 100 rounds of golf in one year. She also ran a lot of races and played on a recreational softball team. When she went to Bell, she started mountain biking. Given her new assignment at CamelBak, and the importance of hydration to hunters, she realized she needed to broaden her outdoor experience to include hunting. I was sitting next to her in the blind when she took that Rio Grande. Later that morning, while sharing coffee with the guides and listening to the stories, she nodded her head in agreement. “Get it?” I asked. “Got it,” she said.
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F E AT U R E S
Built like a .45, Browning’s 1911-380 includes lighter materials and weighs just 18 ounces. Note the barrel cam slot rather than an under-barrel link.
Once derided as inadequate, the .380 has more muscle now By Wayne Van Zwoll
ome harvest in the early years of the 20th century, the behemoths rumbled to the fields. Tons of iron hissed and rocked, and belts a foot wide and longer than a fourhorse team on a sheaf-wagon flapped and strained as steam coerced threshers fed by rope-muscled men with pitchforks.
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Before farms reeked of petrol, self-loading pistols were chattering through cartridges still with us. The 9mm Parabellum (9x19 or 9mm Luger) evolved from the 7.65 Luger, developed in 1901 by Georg Luger on a shortened 7.65x25 hull. As its 90-grain bullet lacked power, Luger opened the case mouth for a heavier .355 bullet. The German navy snapped it up in 1904; the army followed four years later. Stateside, John Browning was working with the U.S. government on a similar cartridge. His Colt Model of 1900 fired the .38 ACP. But for several reasons, including the popularity of the .45 Long Colt in revolvers, Browning and the Ordnance Department jettisoned myriad sub-.40 options to develop, in 1905, the .45 ACP. Six years later it got official blessing, in Browning’s 1911 autoloading pistol. Close on the .45’s heels came the .380 Automatic (not to be confused with the .38 ACP or later .38 Colt Super Automatic). Another Browning development, it joined the roster of Colt Pocket Automatic chamberings in 1908. Fabrique Nationale in Belgium trotted it out as the 9mm Browning Short. Despite its modest muscle, the .380 became popular with police agencies across Europe. Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden chose it for military service. A host of manufacturers built pistols for it. But in the U.S. the .45 ACP held sway for police work, along with .38 Special revolvers. The 1929 and 1935 debuts of the .38 Super and .357 Magnum reflected a lust for faster bullets. A .380 pistol was easy to hide, but at 955 fps, its 95-grain missile brought just 192 footpounds to the muzzle. Like the .45 ACP, the .380 operates at pressures under 22,000 psi (in fact, .380 pistols are traditionally blowbackdriven). But even at a languid 855 fps, the .45’s 230-grain service load has more than twice the .380’s energy. The 9mm’s 35,000-psi pressure lid allows it more throttle. In 1985, U.S. armed forces replaced the 1911 .45 pistol that had served in two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam, with Beretta’s M92F (M9) 9mm. Still, many millions of 1911s remained in circulation. This handgun, with its cartridge, had gained cult status. In the wake of WWII, returning GIs remembered both fondly. Civilian shooters took advantage of surplus pricing. Gunsmiths found the 1911 an ideal platform for custom work. Competitive courses of fire
F E AT U R E S
Recently, sub-compact 9mms, such as this Ruger (which is also available in .380), have nibbled at the .380’s overall market share.
grew up around it. Hardball .45 ammo came cheap. And the roll of “forty-five” off the tongue carried echoes from our Western frontier. The 9mm, on the other hand, was a German cartridge, recently hostile in the Luger P08. It was smaller and metric and less capable than the .45. It had no ties to the Wild West.
The Challenge ³ Opinions
change. A decade after it entered U.S. military service, “the nine” was arming half the law enforcement agencies in the states. More effective loads edged it closer to the .45 in performance. As prices of new, commercial 1911s and .45 ammunition climbed, appealing 9mm pistols appeared. Shooters took more notice of the difference in recoil and in the magazine capacities of full-size pistols. Acceptance in LE circles of fast, lightweight, “small-bore” hollowpoint bullets, triggered by the success of 125-grain JHPs in .357 Magnum revolvers, gave the 9mm a lift. So did studies by pathologist Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, who found that 115-grain 9mm bullets fired
at 1,300 fps into ballistic gelatin tore blood vessels embedded inches away from the bullet tracks. Concealed carry now appeals to people who once dismissed it, and pocket autos have enjoyed a renaissance at market. Some of these pistols are 9mms. But the .380 also has benefited from new loads. It is no longer limited to “full patch” 95-grain ammo that in my youth cost about three bucks a box. Now bullets like Hornady’s (Booth #13145) 90-grain FTX at 1,000 fps and Federal’s (Booth #14551) 99-grain HST at 1,030 give the .380 sharp teeth indeed. Black Hills (Booth #15129) lists a 60-grain Honey Badger load at a snappy 1,150 fps. Because the .380 is limited by pistol design and its own pressure ceiling to short, lightweight bullets, standard rifling twist is a gentle 1:16, compared to 1-in-10 for the 9mm Parabellum. Developing new ammunition is costly. Surging demand for pistols like Ruger’s LCP (Booth #11940) fueled work on the .380. “It’s not an easy cartridge to improve,” says Larry Head, director of product development for
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Federal handgun ammo. “The case is compact, limiting options in powder type and charge.” He adds that the .380 HST recipe John Swenson brought to Federal’s line three years ago is “the best combination of bullet weight, type, and speed we could engineer.” I’ve checked, and can’t find a stronger .380 load. “It delivers 10 percent more energy than early ammo,” says Head, “plus double-diameter upset and 9 inches of penetration in gelatin. Though it’s not bonded, this JHP consistently retains 99 percent of its weight.” Introduced in 2003, Federal’s HST series of ammo followed five years of efforts to meet FBI test protocols for the 9mm. “We didn’t include the .380 then, because it’s just not strong enough to meet the bar for penetration with full upset. Also, service bullets must perform after breeching windshields. People don’t carry concealed pistols for that. We think 9 inches of penetration is enough for self-defense shooting.” He tells me, incidentally, that
SAAMI ballistics data for the .380 are taken from 3 -inch barrels. “We use 4-inch for the 9mm and .40 S&W, 5-inch for the .45.” According to Head, the .380 and 9mm have equal accuracy potential. “We test both at 50 yards and commonly see groups under 1 inches from machine rests. Acceptable minimums depend on bullet design and ammo type. JHPs generally shoot more accurately than full-jacketed bullets. We expect more of our Premium loads than of our American Eagle brand.”
The Next Step
³ Head notes that 9mm pistols are, on balance, more reliable. “Mainly, that’s because pistols in .380 are short-coupled, with steep feed ramps.” Essentially a 9x19 with a 17mm case, the .380 is indeed suited to handguns too small for the 9mm. When concealment matters more than firepower or glass-breeching drive, the .380 makes sense. My big hands fit 1911s and S&W N-Frame (Booth #13729) revolvers better than they do
F E AT U R E S
At 1,050 fps, 110-grain bullets from a .38 Special start no faster than 90s from the much smaller .380.
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pocket pistols. I prefer single-action triggers too. But the .380 cartridge strikes me as a model of efficiency, and new loads have left me itching for a .380 pistol that’s easy to shoot. Recently, one drifted into town. I snatched it up. “We had the Black Label .380 in mind soon after we began scaling the 1911 in .45 ACP to make it fit the .22 Long Rifle cartridge,” says Ryan Cook, a senior design engineer at Browning (Booth #10744) who is credited with both pistols. “We used computers to calculate ideal frame and slide dimensions. At 85 percent of .45 specs, they’re a match for the .380 too. The 1911-380 with 4 -inch barrel looks in profile like a 5-inch .45. But the .380 frame is of composite material, with 7075 aircraft-alloy inserts that deliver big weight savings. As a result, the gun weighs only 18 ounces. Like the barrel and some internal parts, the slide is of steel.” Unlike Browning’s blowback-driven .22, its Black Label 1911-380 has the tilting barrel of a .45. But instead of an under-barrel link, it has a simple cam slot. There’s not enough room in the magazine for the slide stop to engage the .380’s follower; instead, the magazine spring has a small loop that protrudes after the last round to catch the slide stop. At the range I banged through several eightshot magazines. Faultless cycling. Frisky JHP loads from Black Hills and Hornady, and leadfree open hollowpoints from G2 Research (Booth #3841), made those 18 ounces hop, but recoil was hardly severe. Groups at 25 yards averaged under 3 inches. Since she pressed me into marriage shooting fine smallbore scores, my wife, Alice, has seldom shot for fun. Still, she can pick up a new firearm with enviable ease and drill groups I work hard to match. “How about you fire this .380?” I said. She regarded me warily, inspected a cartridge. “No recoil. Honest.” She donned the muffs and settled onto the bags. Her first four shots at 15 yards taped 1 inches. “It’s a pretty gun,” she said, returning to a quilt project. Though born in the era of steam engines, the continually evolving .380 packs a lot more punch these days. It deserves a closer look.
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Remington’s Model 870 is now available in a number of interesting variants, including tactical and magazine-fed versions.
Remaking An American Icon Remington doubles down on the Model 870 By Richard Mann
he Remington 870 shotgun is one of America’s most iconic firearms, and Remington wants to make sure the world knows it. The manufacturer is introducing 11 new models, all specifically engineered for the personal defense/law enforcement community. The variations are as similar as they are different, so pay close attention.
Let’s start with the 870 Magpul. It has an 18.5-inch Cylinder bore barrel, a 6+1 capacity, Magpul furniture, Supercell recoil pad, and a
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black-oxide finish, SRP: $565. The 870 TAC 14 Marine has a 14-inch barrel, 4+1 capacity, Magpul M-Lok forend, and Shockwave Raptor pistol grip. All metal parts of this non-NFA firerm are nickle-coated. SRP: $841.12. The 870 TAC 14 20-gauge is similar, but has the common matte blue finish and is more affordable. SRP: $464. Okay, now things get radical. The 870 TAC 14 Arm Brace is a Shockwave-styled non-NFA firearm with a 14-inch barrel, 5+1 capacity, Magpul M-Lok forend, Mesa Tactical LEO adapter grip, and a SB Tactical stabilizing arm brace. SRP: $729. On the other end of the spectrum is the 870 TAC Hardwood. This is a barebones Shockwave with a hardwood stock. SRP: $499. We’re not quite done with radical, as the venerable 870 is now available in six versions that are magazine-fed. That’s not a misprint. These 870s feed from a detachable six-round magazine. First is the standard 870 DM, which is exactly what it sounds like, a basic 18.5-inch-barreled 870, with a detachable magazine.
SRP: $529. Next up is the 870 DM Magpul, which, as you might guess, is an 870 decked out in Magpul furniture with a detachable magazine. It also comes with XS sights. SRP: $799. Even more radical is the 870 DM Tactical/ Predator. It’s finished in Kryptek Highlander camo and comes with XS sights. Also on board is a rail, an 18.5-inch barrel with interchangeable chokes, and a SureShot thumbhole stock. SRP: $799. Yeah, I know, this is crazy, and we still have three more new models. There’s the 870 DM hardwood (SRP: $529) and the 870 DM Tactical (SRP: $799) with a pistol-grip stock, XS sights and rail, and a black oxide finish. The 870 DM TAC 14 comes with a Shockwave Raptor grip, 14-inch barrel, and Magpul M-Lok forend. SRP: $559. It’s been said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, don’t bother telling that to Remington. Booth #14229. (remington.com) The 870 DM Predator is finished in Kryptek Highlander camo and comes with XS sights. It also has a detachable six-round magazine.
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode and threetime Olympian Keith Sanderson have been named by USA Shooting as its 2017 Female and Male Athletes of the Year. For Rhode, it marked the fifth time she has earned Athlete of the Year honors. It took the near-Herculean task of winning two International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup gold medals, one ISSF World Cup silver medal, and finishing off the year by winning the ISSF World Cup Final to earn to earn Rhode (El Monte, California) the distinction of USA Shooting Female Athlete of the Year.
INNOVATION LIVES HERE. This is where innovation lives. Where American ingenuity drives a thriving, global brand. We’re bringing real-world advancements to the industry like never before. This is our uncompromising vision. This is what makes us Taurus USA. Always Bring It.™
380 Auto • Item Number 1007031101
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John Barklow out in the field, testing how well a Sitka garment handles abrasion.
Sitka melds innovation with function By Justin Moore hen John Barklow, big-game product manager for Sitka Gear, sits down to begin developing a new product, he knows full well a minimum of two years will pass before that product sees the light of day. “We don’t design all-purpose gear because all-purpose gear is designed to compromise,” he says. “We design specialized gear that improves the experience. So it’s a constant questioning: ‘Are we doing everything we can to optimize for the pursuit?’ ”
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It’s this constant questioning, and a desire to create the best gear possible for adventurous hunters, that has given Sitka a well-deserved reputation in hunting circles for creating superior-performing clothing. With every design brief that Barklow writes, he also includes a textile brief. If it’s determined that the expected usage of the garment will exceed the performance characteristics of the intended textile, a hunt begins to find a suitable replacement. Having access to resources at Gore (Sitka’s parent company) definitely helps, but Barklow adds, “It goes beyond the textiles. Although cutting-edge fabrics help make for a better product, it would all be for naught if the design team didn’t know what to do with them.” That’s where the depth of experience at Sitka headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, comes in. It’s where the unlikely fusion between clothing designer and hunter happens. Real-world testing and hunter experience are combined with stringent lab tests to produce superior, durable clothing. “Our customer values durability, not just in fabrics but in construction,” Barklow says. He then emphasizes the amount of work that is put into every single item. “Every stitch is planned, and each has a specific purpose,” he says. During field testing, the team at Sitka focuses on the most critical elements for the specific application for which is piece is designed. Will it keep you dry during a sheep hunt? Will it breathe during a hot early-season elk hunt? Does every stitch hold and allow the fabric to stretch as it was designed? Every aspect of the hunt is taken into consideration, in its natural environment. This is where features like the print quality of the camo pattern and how quiet a certain textile is when hunting come into play. If it doesn’t live up to expectations, then they adjust the designs and fabrics. Sitka’s testers do the final field assessment with pre-production products. Items that receive positive feedback move on to full production. Items that fall short go back to the drawing board. In explaining Sitka’s commitment to quality, Barklow likes to use a saying he first heard in the military, one he used while training Navy SEALs: “It’s easy to be hard, but it’s hard to be smart.” No doubt about it, Sitka is smart. Booth #10328. (sitkagear.com)
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Crimson Trace products are still designed and constructed at its Oregon facilities. Green lasers continue to attract a lot of attention from shooters across the nation.
Shine a Light
Crimson Trace continues its e�orts to go green—and go Pro By Robert F. Staeger
n the world of laser sights, there’s an undeniable appetite for green lasers. And the go-to source for green is Oregon manufacturer Crimson Trace, which makes more than 280 laser sights. Most of those are in the traditional red, but its expanding green product line contains more green laser sights than all other manufacturers combined.
The advantages of the green light are apparent in brightly lit areas. “In some daylight conditions, greens are a little more visible than red,” says Michael Faw, the company’s media relations manager. “It depends on the person’s vision, the light conditions, and the background and the target you’re looking at.” Faw freely admits he’s a fan of red. “They’re obviously more affordable, and there are more models of them, so they’ll fit on more guns,” he says. “And in most situations where people want to use a laser sight, you’re dealing with low-light conditions anyway.” He also says green lasers are a little more expensive to manufacture, so it’s a little more expensive for the customer. “The diodes cost more,” he says. “They’re bigger, and they use a
little more power, so they have to be wired differently.” Yet even though they have different power requirements, Crimson Trace has managed to make its green Lasergrips roughly the same size as the red ones. One of the green additions that’s generating excitement is Crimson Trace’s Master Series of Lasergrips for 1911s. Until a couple of years ago, the Master series was only available in red, but because of the demand for green, the manufacturer is slowly but surely converting the entire line to include green as well. More than a dozen green Master Series Lasergrips have been added to the line. The new additions include full-size and compact models in both rosewood and walnut. Several models with layered composite G10 panels will
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also be available, including a full-size black Lasergrip and both a full-size and compact gray Lasergrip. And the green models don’t mean the red ones are going anywhere; they’re still being produced. The Master Series Lasergrips come with Crimson Trace’s Instinctive Activation technology. “All of the products have a little bump, which holds a little switch underneath it,” says Faw. “When your finger makes contact with it, the circuit is engaged and closed, which activates the diode.” It makes activating the laser effortless. As with all Lasergrips, the Master Series is intended to be easy to install without any special gunsmithing skills. Simply remove the old grip panels from the unloaded firearm using a screwdriver, and install the included dust covers and the Lasergrip. Strangely enough, part of the reason for the green wave might be a misconception—an association with the green tint of military and SWAT team footage you can see online and on TV. “The whole screen has a green hue to it because generally it’s night vision,” says Faw. “They’re using infrared. Not every LE/ military outfit out there is using green.” Night-vision tech isn’t within reach of the average consumer, says Faw. Infrared requires $6,000 night-vision goggles, and is also regulated by ITAR, which is an additional hurdle to clear. A much more accessible way of seeing in the dark is the flashlight/laser sight combo offered by Crimson Trace’s Laserguard Pro (and for rifles, Railmaster Pro) models. One of the main advantages of the Pro models is that their all-in-one design eliminates a lot of awkward fumbling around in the dark. “If you run out of bullets, what do you do with the flashlight when you’re trying to put another magazine into the firearm?” says Faw. “Do you hold it in your teeth, put it between your legs, or hold it under an arm? It’s not a workable situation.” Some new models of Laserguard Pro include Laserguard Pro LL-807/G (which fits Glock 17 and 19 pistols) and Laserguard Pro LL-810/G (which fits Glock subcompacts). They join 2017’s recent addition of a Laserguard Pro that fit Glock 42 and 43 handguns. “Those seem to be very popular, and like some of the other stuff we’ve done recently, almost all of them are available with special packaging that includes a holster from BladeTech,” says Faw. The holsters are designed to carry the handgun with added profile of the Laserguard Pro. The Laserguard Pro models are equipped with a 150-lumen light, and have four modes: light only, laser only, light and laser, and then strobe light and laser. Like the Lasergrips, they also use the Instinctive Activation system, and will activate on whichever of the four settings the user has set the grip to. Crimson Trace is also expanding its LiNQ
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product line, this time to fit on the AK-47 and the SOCOM M-1. LiNQ is a laser accessory for rifles that activates a laser on the forend of the firearm from a wireless signal from the grip. The signal (which isn’t Bluetooth) is unique to the gun, so shooters won’t experience trouble from crossed signals if they’re operating in proximity to a second LiNQ system; there are 256 factory-set channels. “It’s the same product that fits on the AR rifle,” says Faw, but the differing specifications of the AK made finding a proper fit a difficult proposition. “With the AR, there were so many companies making them for the U.S. military that they had to be precise—especially for holding magazines and the hand fit. But AK-47s were around before everything was mil-spec and so standardized, so there’s a lot more variation to that rifle.” Crimson Trace dealt with these discrepancies by doing a lot of research: going to manufacturers, taking measurements, doing scans of their products, and looking for commonalities. “Not all AK-47s are made precisely as the M-16 or AR-15 rifles are made, but we know that it will fit about 100 different versions of it,” says Faw. There’s a bolt that’s pretty standard on all the AKs, which Crimson Trace designed the LiNQ system to attach to. “We ship them with the bolt and the wrench,” says Faw. “The threads are pretty much standard. And a lot of times the person can use the same bolt that they already had in their rifle.” That ease of installation is a far cry from how the company started nearly a quarter of a century ago, making laser sights for Glock handguns. “You had to send it in. We machined it, and installed the laser sight and battery and sent it back to you,” says Faw. “We still service those, believe it or not. We get some of those in every year.” Booth #13616. (crimsontrace.com)
�e innovative LiNQ system enables the shooter to activate a laser or light on the forend of a rifle using a wireless signal �om the grip.
Bergara is expanding the B-14 line to include the B-14 HMR Pro. The new rifle will offer a multitude of upgrades.
Serious Business Bergara opts for performance and value By Slaton L. White
ompanies often say they listen to the voice of the customer. In my experience, it’s often more honored in the breach than in the observance. Not Bergara. The rollout of the new B-14 HMR Pro is proof that the manufacturer takes the opinions of its customers very seriously.
As a result, Bergara is expanding its Premier series lineup for 2018 with the introduction of the HMR Pro. The HMR (Hunting and Match Rifle), originally introduced to the B-14 Series in 2017, utilizes an innovative injection-molded stock with a full-length integrated minichassis system. Based on the overwhelming success of the original HMR, the HMR Pro will be a natural extension of the line and provides a multitude of upgrades for the discerning shooter. “The Premier HMR Pro concept is ultimately the brainchild of our existing B-14 HMR customers,” says CEO Nate Treadway. “What I mean by that is, despite how featurerich the B-14 HMR is already, we are constantly getting requests to have our custom shop personalize the rifles with various upgrades. These upgrades include a Cerekoted Premier 416 stainless-steel action with floating bolt head, Cerekoted 416 stainless-steel Bergara barrel with a threaded 5 /8 x24-inch muzzle, and a
TriggerTech Primary trigger. In addition, each rifle ships with an accuracy-qualified Sub-MOA target. It has been absolutely amazing to witness how many of these loyal Bergara owners will not hesitate to drop $400 or more on these features.” In this highly competitive, price-driven market, to have customers willing to pay more, rather than less, for a product is not only a testament to the overall build quality of Bergara rifles, but to the customer loyalty the company has nurtured assiduously over the past few years. This is no race to the bottom. “We felt it would be a natural fit to go ahead and provide the market with a finished production rifle that already includes the upgrades that our customers desire right out of the box,” Treadway says. “With the exception of the stock and the rifle-barrel blank, the HMR Pro will also be built and assembled right here in Georgia.” I used the B-14 HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor last fall to
take a nice mule deer in Montana. The shot was roughly 272 yards, taken after a belly sneak in the snow. What I really appreciated—besides the rifle’s inherent accuracy—was the adjustable cheekpiece. At the bench before the hunt, I realized my eye was not lining up precisely to the scope, and given we were hunting the rut, I knew a mature buck was not going to stand still for very long. A few extra moments making sure my eye lined up immediately and precisely to the ocular lens with no fidgeting on my part was time well spent. So, think about it. For a few dollars more, a hunter or shooter could upgrade to an even more performancefocused platform than the one I used. Bergara expects to set the SRP for the HMR Pro at $1,695, which means hunters and shooters can get what is essentially a custom rifle at a fraction of the price of other custom builds. That’s called value. Booth #14516. (bergarausa.com)
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NEW PRODUCTS ALPS OUTDOORZ The Vital X is a rangefinder pocket that provides safe storage in the field.
tactical black finish with black chrome hardware and charcoal accents. SRP: $2,199, MP49; $1,599, MP33. Booth #10744. (browning.com)
YAMAHA The new Wolverine X4 relies on a powerful 847cc twincylinder engine to help it deal with tough terrain.
D.T. SYSTEMS The controller for the e-collar trainer easily fits into a pocket or a blind bag.
Yamaha ³ The
Wolverine X4 is designed to deliver superior handling, especially on tight, technical trails. Smooth, quiet power comes from a new 847cc twincylinder engine, and a compact, nimble chassis cradles the most versatile cab in its class with industry-exclusive stowaway fullsize rear seats for expanded cargo capacity on demand. Other features include On-Command fourwheel drive, Ultramatic continuously variable transmission, and speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering. Advanced self-leveling rear shocks provide a plush ride as well as help maintain optimized ground clearance based on the terrain and cargo. Built for all weather situations, the Wolverine X4 is also the only four-seat SxS to feature a true, full hard-cab option available direct from the manufacturer. SRP: starts at $15,999. Booth #10243.
ALPS Outdoorz ³The
BROWNING The ProSteel safe line has a 60-minute 1,400-degree F. fire rating.
Vital X, a rangefinder accessory pocket, is now joining the 2018 Extreme line of pack accessories. Constructed of durable 1680D nylon ballistic fabric, the Vital X rangefinder pocket is specifically
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designed for ease of use and versatility on the hunt or at the range. A simple, one-snap attachment system makes the Vital X compatible with the Bino Harness X as well as a wide variety of ALPS Outdoorz packs. The padded main compartment provides a safe, compact storage space, and the quiet magnetic lid allows for quick and easy access to the rangefinder. SRP: $19.99. Booth #3551. (outdoorz.alpsbrands.com)
for 2018 in the Browning ProSteel safe lineup is the Black Label Mark V tactical safe, which features a tough 12-gauge steel body and a 1,400-degree F. 60-minute fire protection rating. Other features include a 1-inch formed door with partial inner plate, Force Deflector Locking System, hardened steel-pin lock protection, 1-inch-diameter chromed locking bolts on three sides of the door, and a full DPX Storage System with a quick-access DPX barrel rack on the door. The safe will be offered in two models. The MP49 is 58 inches tall, 41 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. The MP33 is 58 inches tall, 29 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. Both models have a matte
D.T. Systems ³The
new DT Master Retriever 1100 e-collar trainer in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camouflage is built with rugged durability in mind for those long days in the marsh. It’s waterproof, boasts a range of more than 1,000 yards, and the controller incorporates a sleek new design that fits right in your pocket or blind bag. Other features include 16 intensity levels of Gentle Touch Nick and Continuous e-Stim, Vibration Assist (no shock-vibration training stimulus), and a lockout option on remote to prevent accidental stimulation. In addition, the collar adjusts from 7 to 22 inches in -inch increments. SRP: $199.99. Booth #1805. (dtsystems.com)
ARX Ammunition ³The
next generation of muzzleloading and airgun hunting technology is represented in Umarex ARX ammunition. Designed, engineered, and produced by Polycase Ammunition, ARX technology is a force multiplier simultaneously dispersing kinetic energy both forward and laterally. ARX ammo provides maximum hydraulic displacement and terminal transfer to targets, and is designed to work well in big-bore air rifles when combined with Umarex SpeedBand (.357, .40, and .45 calibers) or SpeedBelt (.50 caliber) polymer Sabots. The polymer creates a seal that maximizes momentum by reducing friction. Booth #2742. (polycaseammo.com)
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TH E NE W Z E I S S CO N Q U E ST V 4
DREAM BIGGER W H AT E V E R D R E A M H U N T I S N E X T O N Y O U R L I S T, S U C C E S S I S N O W W E L L- W I T H I N R A N G E. S E E T H E N E W V 4 AT B O O T H # 1 3 9 0 9
SHOT Daily from day 1 of the 2018 SHOT Show.