On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., I’ll be one of 60,000-plus expected to attend the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The show has come a long way since the first in 1979 in St. Louis, which had an attendance of 5,600. This year’s show will again have more than 1,600 exhibitors spread over 630,000 square feet. This will be my 12th show in which I’ll have just four days to cover the 15-plus miles of carpeted aisles.
If it has anything to do with shooting, it will be on display. Dealers and media from all 50 states and 100 countries will be there showcasing both their new and current products.
For the last month, I’ve contacted a number of these manufacturers trying to get them to reveal some of their new products prior to the show. I’ve managed to get seven of them to reveal some of their new items, so here’s a sneak peek at just some of what will be new at this year’s show. When I return, I’ll have a number of my choices of Best of Show to share with you, so save some tax return money because I’m sure you’ll “need” something on this list.
All hunters want their guns to be as accurate as possible when the trophy of a lifetime steps out. To insure this accuracy, a quality scope is required. Leupold will be upholding its reputation with the VX-3 2.5-8X36MM with the Twilight Lens System that will help identify targets during twilight hours when big racks are on the move.
Some of the accuracy features include DiamondCoat 2 exterior lens surfaces that allow higher light transmission and abrasion resistance; second-generation Argon/Krypton waterproofing, and lead-free glass.
Other features include finger click adjustments for windage and elevation (1/4-MOA) dependability, easy eyebox that makes it faster and easier to get your eye behind the scope for quick and clear sighting.
This particular model offers three reticle choices, duplex, Boone & Crocket and varmit; silver, gloss or matte finishes; and a twin-spring erector system with cryogenically treated adjustments for pinpoint long-distance accuracy which will allow long-range shooting skills to be honed and provides precise aiming points for easy-to-remember increments and wind direction. MSRP range for the VX-3 2.5-8x36MM ranges from $499 to $599 (www.leupold.com).
If you have a pistol permit, Hi-Point has several models you can take a look at. These include a 9mm, 380-, 40- and 45-calibers. These guns are unique — all have polymer frames that reduce recoil, are easy to maintain, have longer service life and, most importantly, shoot well. I read several reviews from the “gun guys” who put them through the tests, and they got a very good rating. Let’s take a look at the one I like, the CF-380, and some of its features.
It has a three-fifths-inch barrel, is 6.75 inches long, weighs 29 ounces, has a high-impact polymer frame, black powdered coat with chrome rail, last round lock open, quick and easy to reach on/off thumb safety, is P+ rated with a durable easy-grip finish and comes with three-dot fully adjustable sights and an extra rear peep-sight. The trigger has a single-action mechanism and a spring-loaded sear block that falls under the sear pin arm and prevents sear movement if the pistol is dropped.
Additionally, the integral trigger guard and accessory rail allows mounting of a laser sight. One thing I think is really important — Hi-Points are all 100 percent American-made (parts and assembly). Here is the surprise: MSRP for the 380 is $149; the 9mm, $179; the 40- and 45-caliber, $199 (www.hi-pointfirearms.com).
ATN Shot Trak HD
Why watch other hunter’s hunts on TV when you could be watching your own hunts with American Technologies Network? The recently introduced Shot Trak HD color video that can be attached to any rifle, handgun or bow and captured in full HD color video with a resolution of 1920x1080/30fps.
This little camera measures just 2.6x1.3x1.8 inches and weighs 0.3 pounds. It has an eight yards-to-infinity range, built-in microphone, operates on a single CR123A battery (two hours of filming time), is water-resistant, will take a 2-32Gb Micro SD card, standard Weaver mount and is recoil-proof. It even has an optional built-in red laser with windage and elevation adjustment. The camera has five times the magnification of standard-action cameras.
“Go to www.atncorp.com and see the crisp clarity the ATN Shot Trak HD provides.
MSRP is $139 and $179 (with built-in laser). Pre-order now for $119 and $149.
Several years ago, I wrote about the DeadShot Field Pod hunting rest by Caldwell. They have a new version, the Magnum Deadshot Field Pod that will bring bench-rest accuracy to both the field and woods.
It has dual-framed upper legs and oversized extrusion profile of the lower legs that lock rigidly with a quick-cam lever. Using the independent angle adjustment of the legs, spiked feet insure a solid grip on all terrains. There’s also a bubble level in the aluminum hub to make everything level.
Other features include easy ultra-smooth tilt adjustment, fast target acquisition and configured for prone, sitting and standing (adjusts from 18-60 inches). The unit is made of lightweight aluminum (13 pounds), comes with carrying strap and can be taken with gun or crossbow to a range, a blind, even a tree stand. MSRP is $269.(www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/caldwell/).
Trigger pull is always a determining factor for shooting accuracy, and Timney Triggers is the oldest and largest trigger manufacturer in the world. Shooter/hunter has found that shooting accuracy is greatly affected by trigger pull, and Timney is offering three new adjustable pound pull models in 2014. There’s an adjustable from 1.5-4 pounds for the Mossberg 100ATR for $120, (nickel plated for $130); a 1.5-4 for Remington Model Seven, $135 (nickel plated, $145); and a trigger set at four pounds that has a two-stage feel for a Tavor for $353.
All Timney Triggers are hand-assembled, tested and calibrated for the specific rifle models, have a hassle-free lifetime warranty and are made in the U.S. I have replaced several of my guns’ factory triggers with Timney’s, and they make a difference in performance (www.timneytriggers.com).
Coolers are something all outdoorsmen use, and there’s a new one that I think belongs in the back of your truck or trunk of your car — the Yeti Roadie Personal Cooler. It will definitely protect foods from the heat because it has one-piece construction and ice-retaining insulation.
With its heavy-duty stainless-steel handle, it can carry up to 14 cans and is bear-proof if you use their lock. It has unbreakable, self-stopping hinges that keep the lid propped open. The Roadie Personal measures 20 x 133⁄8 x 143⁄8 inches and weighs 16 pounds. MSRP for the Roadie is $249 (www.yeticoolers.com).
Turkey hunters should be interested in Hornady’s new Heavy Magnum Turkey ammunition. The three-inch, 20-gauge is loaded with 13⁄8 ounces of No. 5, nickel-plated lead shot, and the three-inch, 12 gauge has 11⁄2 ounces of either No. 4, No. 5 or No. 6 nickel-plated lead shot. The beauty of this new magnum load is that the thick nickel-plated shot reduces fliers and results in a tighter and denser pattern.
Also, the Versatite wad does the patterning which works best with an improved cylinder or modified choke tube. The wad strips from the pellets in flight without disrupting the pattern, providing a shorter shot string with more impact energy. Velocity for of the 12 gauge is 1,300 feet per second; the 20-gauge, 1,200 feet per second. MSRP for a box of 10 is $18 (www.hornady.com).