Monday at 8:30 a.m. PST, thousands of shooting sports dealers and members of the outdoor media will enter the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas for the opening of the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show).
Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), this is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. Each year, it attracts buyers from 50 states and 100 countries.
This year’s show will have more than 1,600 exhibitors spread out over 630,000 square feet on three floors of the center, and attendance will be well over 50,000 people. If it applies to shooting or hunting, it’ll be there. I feel like a kid in a candy shop.
Before the SHOT Show, I contact a number of manufacturers trying to get a jump on some of the new products they will introduce. Some are a bit reluctant to comment, but a few were willing to discuss new items I think readers will be interested in.
As a user of Konus scopes, I’m anxious to see the two new ones, KonusPro 275 ballistic riflescopes that will now be available to the general public. Mark Shore, their VP of sales and marketing, said the 3-9x40mm and 3-10x44mm with the illuminated center dot were previously only available with CVA rifles packages. Both of these scopes are calibrated for muzzleloaders from 75-275 yards and feature a lateral reference system to compensate for wind. I could have used one the last day of the muzzleloading season. They have an engraved reticle that can handle the bump of those heavy magnum loads, a blue-and-red illuminated dot, multi-coated optical glass with exceptional light transmission, are water/fog/shockproof and have a lifetime replacement warranty. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are $150 and $200 respectively. They also told me they had another “first” called the “Lifeline,” and will reveal it at the show. I’ll let you know what it is (www.konuspro.com).
Most shooters know that hearing protection is important at the range and afield, and Caldwell, a division of Battenfeld, is introducing new Platinum Series G3 earmuffs that provide maximum protection while still allowing the gunner to hear clearly, even when the gun is fired. The G3 also features dual microphones that deliver true stereo sound and an independent volume adjustment for each ear and has dual density foam that provides a high degree of passive sound protection from gunfire and other loud noises.
For comfort, often missing in shooting muffs, the G3 headband is padded and lined with SoftFleece fabric. Three “AAA” batteries will give about 250 hours of operation.Suggested retail price is $80 (www.battenfeldtechnologies.com).
When preparing venison for the pan, it’ll be a lot easier using the new model 615 Chef’s Choice electric food slicer by EdgeCraft. It’s the perfect way for those who slice their own game, make homemade jerky or slice any type of food including vegetables, breads and cheeses. Constructed of cast aluminum and stainless steel, the slicer is powered by a 120-watt, high-torque, gear-driven motor. Suggested retail price is $150 (www.chefschoice.com).
Otis has a new gun-cleaning system for the tens of thousands who joined the modern sporting rifle (AR guns) group with a 5.56 mm rifle, 9mm and/or 45mm pistols and/or 12 gauge shotguns. Called the Zombie, it includes eight- and 30-inch Memory Flex cables for the correct and most effective way of breech-to-muzzle cleaning, as well as four bronze bore brushes, a rubberized patch saver for 360-degree cleaning of shotgun barrels and specialized precision tools for complete breakdown and cleaning of all those hard-to-reach but important places. Also included are a green bore reflector/flag safety, D.O.A./85 solvent, and a limited-edition Zombie-labeled soft case. Suggested retail price is $70 (www.otistec.com).
Looking for a new turkey gun? Weatherby is offering three choices in 2012: the SA-459, a semi-auto in 12- or 20-gauge with pistol grip, the PA-459 pump-action, pistol grip and the PA-08 pump-action in 12-gauge. All three come with Mothwing Spring Mimicry camouflage pattern on stock and forend. The PA-459 has a 211⁄4-inch barrel with an ergonomic pistol grip style, rubber-textured grip butt stock. The PA-08 has a 22-inch barrel and comes with a lightweight ejection molded stock. The SA-459, with its recoil reducing gas-operated action, also has a 211⁄4-inch barrel with the pistol grip butt stock. Both SA-459 and PA-459 are fitted with a full Picatinny rail, adjustable ghost ring rear sight and blade front sight with fiber optic pin. Suggested retail price for the PA-459 is $500, PA-08, $400 and SA-459, $700 (www.weatherby.com).
Next spring, when you load your turkey gun, consider the new Federal Mag-Shok Heavy Weight Turkey loads. Offered in 23⁄4-inch shells with shot sizes of 6 or 7, these shells feature a density of 15 grams per cubic centimeter, a third more dense than lead. A patented Flightcontrol wad for tighter patterns will put more pellets downrange with more energy than No. 5 shot lead pellets at 40 yards.
With coyote season in full swing, Federal has two new offerings for predator hunters, the V-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tips in a 40-grain .204 Ruger caliber and a 55-grain in .22-250 caliber. The .204 comes out at 3,650 feet per second with 1,183 foot-pounds, the 22-.250 at 3,670 feet per second and 1,645 foot-pounds (www.federalcartridge.com).
After reviewing the needs of the shooter/hunter, Brownells has come up with its own flashlight appropriately called the Versatile Light. Compact and with a comfortable hand fit, it emits a super bright light, is shockproof with an LED emitter rather than a filamented bulb, and it’s all inside a rugged machined aluminum body one-inch wide and O-ring-sealed to make it waterproof.
The Versatile is offered in two models. The BVL160 has a maximum output of 160 lumens, the BVL280 has 280. Both have multiple output modes: momentary on, constant-on low beam and slow strobe.
Both lights come with red, green and blue filters and a non-tangling lanyard. Law enforcement members will note that these have been designed for their use, also. Siggested retail price is $60 for the BVL160, $90 for the BVL280 (www.brownells.com).
Handgun shooters looking for a micro-compact pistol will like the new design and quality of the Diamondback DB9. Those familiar with the DB380 will see this as its big brother in a 9mm caliber. The DB9 begins with safety in mind with its patent pending Zero-Energy striker firing system with a mechanical firing pin block and a steel catch to secure a sheet metal magazine. At only 11 ounces, it’s a lightweight. The trigger is steel with dual connecting bars for a crisp and smooth five-pound, double-action-only trigger pull.
The sights are white outlined, and the rear sight has windage adjustment. The ammunition capacity is one in the chamber and six in the magazine. It measures four inches high and 5.60 long (three-inch barrel) and comes in a protective case. Suggested retail price is $400 (www.diamondbackfirearms.com).
The Crucial F.A.S.T. (Forward Action Spring Technology) Red is a tool all outdoorsman can use. It offers maximum utility tools in a minimal size package. It measures just 5.8 inches overall, 4.8 inches closed, and weighes 5.8 ounces. Suggested retail price is $58 (www.gerbergear.com).
I’ll give my Best of Show picks with a brief description of each when I return, and with over 1,600 booths, all of which I cannot possibly get to in the four days of the show, I’m sure there will be some new shooting sports “toys” that we all really need.
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