Continuing my “Best of Show” list from this year’s Shot Show, I’ll begin with what I consider to be one of the most innovative designs in handguns I’ve ever seen.
The new Rhino .357 magnum revolver by Chiappa Firearms is unique because it fires from the bottom chamber of the cylinder, as opposed to the top, thereby changing the recoil pressure in the shooter’s hand.
“Why?” was the first question I asked Ron Norton, president and CEO of Chiappa Firearms, when I picked up the prototype of this gun. He explained that this design ergonomically shifts the recoil energy into the center of the palm and more in line with the forearm, which greatly reduces felt recoil.
“Shooting a .357 magnum round from the five- or six-inch Rhino is like shooting a .38 wad-cutter. The snub-nose, shooting this same magnum load, is like shooting a normal .38-caliber, and a .38-caliber like shooting a .32-caliber,” he said.
And this transfer of recoil, from between the thumb and trigger finger into the palm, allows the shooter to fire faster and more accurately.
The Rhino has a six-shot capacity and the ability to shoot both .357 magnum and .38-caliber ammunition. It is offered in barrel lengths of two, three, four, five and six inches (the four-inch weighs 25 ounces), with frame construction of high-strength aluminum alloy and a metal finish of blued, brushed alloy and stainless steel. The grips come in an attractive wood or composite rubber.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices range from $775-$980 www.Chiappafirearms.com
One of the 101 new products introduced by Hunter Specialties was a way to “smell invisible,” and it’s called TEK4. There are advanced base-layer garments (shirt and pants) with an odor-control system designed and engineered with permanently bonded silver antimicrobial yarns for unmatched odor control, and breathable wicking agents that keep the wearer dry, comfortable and warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. It actually feels like silk. TEK4 can be washed with other clothes, is fade-resistant, does not need re-activation and is a technology that lasts the lifetime of the garment. TEK4 is offered in a light base layer, heavyweight base layer and in Realtree AP HD and a heavyweight champagne-colored layer and comes in sizes from small to 3XL. Add a pair of Scent-A-Way crew or knee-length socks, boxer briefs, cap and the matching face mask to the outfit, and you will increase your hunting successes. Suggested retail prices are: tops and bottoms, $45-$70; gloves, $15-$25; caps, $13-$20; socks, $15-$20; boxer briefs, $20, and headnet, $15-$20 www.Hunterspec.com
For those who like the .410, and who doesn’t, Rossi is introducing the Circuit Judge shotgun/rifle crossover that shoots 2 1⁄2- and three-inch magnum .410 shotshells or .45 Colt ammunition without switching barrels. What makes this unique is that it uses the Taurus Judge double/single-action five-shot cylinder and frame, but adds a unique and attractive contoured Monte Carlo wood rifle stock with cushioned recoil pad and white spacer and an 18 1⁄2-inch blued barrel with fiber-optic front and rear sights. Suggested retail price is $620 www.Rossiusa.com
Quite a few new muzzleloaders were introduced this year. and that made it difficult to pick just one. My choice, both in performance features and appearance, is the Traditions model R51 Vortek .50-caliber. It begins with an ergonomic alloy frame that is lighter and helps to prevent rust. It has a stainless-steel barrel, 209 shotgun primer ignition, over-travel hammer, solid aluminum ramrod, a breech plug that is removable with three hand turns, projectile alignment system for fast and easy loading and a soft touch comfort grip stock. You can load it with up to 150 grains of pellets or loose powder, and the quick-relief recoil pad, plus the 360-degree barrel porting, will tame that muzzle jump and recoil. To further help in cleaning and maintenance, the Vortek has a quick-release drop-out trigger assembly. There are several choices of synthetic stocks which include a thumbhole version. My favorite is the model R21 Vista Stealth. Suggested retail price is $449 www.Traditionsfirearms.-com
Shortly after I saw the Traditions new Vortex, I found the perfect optic for it at the Hawke Optics booth. Their new DeerPASS MAP Series is designed for muzzleloaders and shotguns. It has a ballistic MAP (multiple aim point) Reticle that allows two ways to range your game, and both are easy to remember.
Other features include multi-coated optics, one-inch mono tube, 1⁄4-minute of angle adjustment turrets, threaded sunshade, and it is water, fog and shock proof. Once you sight in the Doorpost reticle, you’ll have quick, easy and accurate shooting. The Doorpost is offered in two 3-9×40 versions, one of which has an extreme view optical system that gives an additional 20 percent field of view, greatly enhancing target acquisition. To help you with sighting in your Doorpost, Hawke Optics has included a chart listing every manufacturer of shotgun slugs and the setting for each when sighting in your shotgun. Suggested retail price for the regular Doorpost is $149, and the extreme view model is $199. For further information and diagrams of how this scope works, go to www.hawkeoptics.com.
Dan Klein has developed a unique cart hunting blind for waterfowl hunters, ice anglers and anyone else who uses a blind for hunting. The bottom is similar to an ice-fishing sled, with a light but sturdy aluminum frame attached. It’s all covered in a choice of Max 4 HD or Realtree Hardwoods camouflage and has a large netting-covered front window. It has nylon-wheeled, wide-track tires with high-speed bearings, adjustable legs to hold the blind upright, a choice of full- or half-camo skirting, middle camo cover, foam seat, LED green light and shotgun barrel and ice-fishing rod holders. It’s waterproof, floats and weighs just 50 pounds. The Ducks & Bucks has many uses. Suggested retail price is $395. Go to the Web site www.ducksbucks.com, and watch the video of the cart in action.
Here’s another new small company with a good idea. It’s the Stedi-Stock optical stabilizer that will keep your camera-camcorder, range finder or spotting scope steady and stable, even while panning or following your target. It looks like a short gun stock, 14 inches long, 4.25 inches high and one inch wide. It weighs just six ounces and is made of tough, high-strength nylon construction and includes a stabilizer brace, attachment handle and shoulder strap. Suggested retail price is $29.95 www.Stedistock.com
The coyote mating season has just begun in New York state, and now is the time to be out there calling them. To help get them into range, the new Flextone Game Calls’ Echo HD electronic caller should be of interest to those of you who sit out in the cold in the dark of night trying to coax (call) in one of these wary predators. What impressed me most with this call was that you do not have to load any sounds into the Echo or buy recorded tapes or CDs because it is already loaded with 100 high-definition calls.
The base unit has high-quality directional speakers, as well as a handheld unit for remote activation up to 300 yards, providing the added advantage of attracting the coyote to the call, not the caller. The handheld remote can be docked in the base unit for re-charging and storage. In addition, both the base and the remote have backlit LCD interface. making it easy to see for sound selection. The unit, which weighs just three pounds, has a rubber coating which makes it quiet and water-resistant. Suggested retail price is $149.99 www.Flextonegamecalls.com
More from The Daily Gazette: