At 8 a.m. Tuesday, I was one of thousands of shooting sports dealers and outdoor media that crowded through the doors of the Sands Expo Convention Center to see what 1,600 firearms manufacturers and accessory dealers were introducing this year at the 35th annual SHOT Show. When the show ends today, 60,000 people will have attended.
By the end of my first day (10 hours), I had shouldered quite a few firearms and all types of shooting/hunting accessories and had a list of nine that I wanted. I would like to share them with you.
When I pulled their Model 600 compact 20 semi-auto gauge into my shoulder, I new that this belonged in my hands when chasing bunnies, pheasant and grouse — and perhaps even on one of my spring turkey hunts. In addition to its good looks, it is a great gun to carry at 5 3⁄4 pounds and is offered in a 22-inch barrel able to handle three-inch shells. Constructionwise, the receiver is lightweight aircraft aluminum alloy, has a raised vent rib with brass bead, chrome moly steel barrel with hard chrome bores, conveniently placed push-button safety, and it comes with choke tubes and is offered in Turkish walnut and synthetic camo stock. Manufacturers suggested retail prices begin at $523. And by the way, it also comes in a 28-gauge.
More SHOT Show picks
Click here for more of Ed Noonan's picks from SHOT Show 2013.
More and more hunters are opting for a red dot sight on their shotguns. Nothing beats their quick acquisition of the target than these bright sights, making them ideal for wing shooting, and that includes putting that red dot on the head of a big tom turkey.
This new M7 Micro Dot by Lucid has a cast iron frame, built-in rail mount, weighs just 4.6 ounces, is shockproof to handle the recoil of a .458 Socum, has a 2MOA Dot 25MOA circle reticle and seven brightness levels. In addition, it is parallax-free with a 21mm objective and ocular lens and runs on one AAA battery. And should you want to a little more magnification, a 2x magnifier is available. Suggested retail price for the M7 is $229. This little red dot will also work well on your modern sporting rifles (www.mylucidgear).
Gun cleaning has taken on a new look with several new cleaning systems recently introduced by Otis. I really like those softball-sized gun cleaning kits that hold everything you need to clean your firearms; and they are so easy to carry. As a birdhunter, I like their Upland Wingshooter Cleaning System. It includes everything to clean your 12-, 20-and 28-gauges. And for you modern sporting rifle shooters, Otis has a B.O.N.E. Tool for .223cal/5.56mm bolt carrier cleaning and the M249 Saw ScraperTool. The suggested retail price for the Upland Wingshooter is $49.99 and the B.O.N.E. is $69.99 (www.otistec.com).
Trail cameras have become hunters’ most important tools and quite often their ticket to success. In our busy lives, we cannot get into the woods to scout as much as we would like to, and Bushnell’s new Trophy Cam HD line will do a lot of your scouting for you with some very sophisticated improvements.
They feature 8 MP image resolution and HD video standards on all units that allows you to monitor game activities and capture both a still and video each time the camera is triggered. The new hyper-passive infrared sensor (PIR) has improved the camera’s detection range up to 60 feet away. The PIR also can be set to auto so that the sensitivity is automatically adjusted, according to the ambient temperature, which results in less false triggers. The multi-flash mode allows you to select the ideal flash setting, based on the location of the camera.
Now for up-close images, the new ultra-low flash setting triggers just 8 LEDs to reduce the risk of overexposure and conserve battery life. Storage capacity is up to 20,000 images. Suggested retail prices for the four models range from $199.99 to $299.99 (www.bushnell.com).
If you are looking to change your look hunting those ducks and geese this fall, you might want to check out Mossy Oak’s new Shadow Grass Blades. This pattern features an arrangement of blades of grass designed to create perfect natural-looking pattern to fool the sharp eyes of the waterfowl. You should start seeing Shadow Grass Blades on a variety of waterfowl products and at retailers this fall. Watch for it.
Speaking of geese, I saw the Real-Geese decoy display from a distance and headed right to them. Their Pro Series eliminates light refraction and color wash with a patented non-glare textured surface on one side of the decoy. The material absorbs sunlight, giving it more depth on those bright clear days. The set up of the spread should be facing the rising and setting sun. Setup is with hardwood stakes, and a dozen weigh about 10 pounds. The Pro Series decoys haves a suggested retail price of $179.99 (www.realgeese.com).
This is another decoy that caught my eye at the SHOT Show — Mojo’s new Shake’n Jake. Designed by noted Mississippi turkey call maker, champion turkey caller and guide Preston Pittman, this artificial tom will definitely bring in any real tom that gets a look at him. It has one-time movement to bring him to the gun, rather than away from it. This is a full-body and full-motion decoy with real size and turkey body motion that is triggered by a remote control of the tail movement of the fan from up to 150 feet away. It raises and lowers the tail while simultaneously turning its body. When turned off, the tail is down and collapsed. It operates on four AA batteries. The Shake’n Jake comes with steel-mounting stake and an orange-colored safety carrying bag. Total weight is about 10 pounds and has an suggested retail price of $149.99. (www.mojooutdoors.com).
If you have an over/under or side-by-side shotgun, I am sure you will want to carry it in the Galco field-grade break-down carrying case. It is constructed of khaki cotton duck, lined with acrylic fleece and trimmed with rich dark havana leather. All the hardware is solid brass and comes with an adjustable leather carry handle/shoulder strap. The case will fit guns with 30-inch barrels and it has a suggested retail price of $129.99 (www.usgalco.com).
Are you missing those clay birds, smallgame or waterfowl? Do you know if you are shooting high, low, left or right? Well, Winchester has the answer with its new AA Traacker that will definitely allow you to see what you are missing. This non-pyrotechnic shotshell is loaded with a plastic-colored wad that tracks in the shot cloud, making it visible. This new shotshell is ideal for training new shooters, as well. Winchester has designed this for varying light condition by offering it in black for clear skies and blaze orange for overcast and dark backgrounds.
Traacker is offered in eighth-ounce of shot with a wad that stabilizes spin to ensure it remains in the center of the shot cloud so you can tollow the direction of the shot. Steve Zahurak of Schenectady, who accompanied me to the show, missed his first shot and by following its pass, his next shots all broke the clay birds. From what I witnessed at the range that day, these new shotshells are well worth the extra dollar a box (www.winchester.com).