The Column, No. 86:
The 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas
New ANSCHÜTZ Model 1727F w/walnut German stock, caliber .17 HMR. Illustration courtesy of ANSCHÜTZ.
The 35th SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV from January 15-18th was absolutely incredible. There were more than 1,600 exhibitors and 62,371 attendees, not including the 2,000 media representatives. It was physically impossible to visit all of the booths during the four days of the show, but we tried.
At the end of the fourth day, we could hardly walk, given that we had wandered through most of the 630,000 square feet of booths at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) did a superb job in setting up the largest show of its kind. There were industry representatives from all fifty states and over a hundred countries. We met media members in the Press Room from Poland, Japan, Slovenia, China, South Africa and the UK just to mention a few. It was almost like attending a United Nations meeting in Las Vegas.
The number of new outdoor products and firearms were incredible. If you ever thought of something that would be of use in the field or on the range, it was there. Patrick Gee of G-Outdoors unveiled two new tactical range bags that will be available in March 2013. Battenfeld displayed a whole range of new products for 2013, some of which we hope to test and review in the coming months.
GAMO announced their newest airgun, the Whisper Fusion Pro, which fires a pellet at 1,400 fps. Talk about raising the bar, that gun does it. After talking with Mr. Lou Riley, CEO of GAMO, we obtained a new respect for BSA scopes. When Mr. Riley took over at GAMO not long ago, he was aware that the BSA line of scopes left something to be desired. He took it upon himself to go to their factory and personally learn how they were made and make changes to greatly improve their quality. In fact, he is sending us one of their pistol scopes to test out on our 50 caliber CVA pistol. If it holds up, as he predicts, it will mean that BSA may become a major player in the scope business.
A new bolt action centerfire rifle has been developed by the folks at Bergara with interchangeable barrels. We had an opportunity to check out their demo model and switch out the barrels. Quick, easy and versatile best describes this firearm. It comes with a walnut stock, rather than the black synthetic stocks common to so many of the new firearms displayed at the SHOT.
Olympic champions Jamie Lynn Gray and Matt Emmons, as well as many more familiar faces showed up at the ANSCHÜTZ booth. One of the ANSCHÜTZ highlights was the straight pull repeater Model 1727F in caliber .17 HMR, which is based on the straight pull action of the ANSCHÜTZ Biathlon rifles. Another focus was the ANSCHÜTZ big bore rifles of the 1780 series. ANSCHÜTZ presented these in various calibers and with new SOFT-grip stocks.
Browning introduced new Citori 725 O/U shotguns in Grade III and Grade V with fancy walnut and engraved receivers, as well as a lightweight, field grade Feather model. The new Maxus Ultimate and Sporting Golden Clays model autoloading shotguns also received new select walnut, laser engraved receivers and deluxe treatment.
Remington showed their new plastic stocked, matte steel Model 783 bolt action rifle, a low end economy rifle. This is the third such attempt from Big Green in the last several years. More interesting to serious riflemen is the new Model 700 SPS Wood Tech, available in .270 Win., .30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag. For handgunners, Remington offered the new Model 1911 R1 Carry, a full size 1911 that has been de-horned, fitted with a tritium front sight and provided with handsome cocobolo wood grips. Remington also displayed their 50th Anniversary Model 1100 autoloading shotgun, an exceptionally handsome 12 gauge field gun with high grade walnut, polished blued steel and an engraved and gold inlaid receiver.
Mossberg featured several variations of their new MVP tactical bolt action rifles. These are available in Patrol (one-piece black plastic stock) and Flex (6-position collapsible stock) versions. All come with Mossberg's LBA adjustable trigger, Picatinny scope mounting rails and accept AR style magazines; caliber .223 Rem. or .300 AAC Blackout.
Weatherby is pushing their new WBY-X Vanguard Series 2 rifles and repeating shotguns (both pump and autoloading) with synthetic stocks in Kryptec camo and dark Bonz (skull and bone heap!) patterns that are intended to appeal to the younger generation of shooters and sundry weirdos. (Wait until some wanna-be sniper runs amok with one of the Bonz rifles and the mass media gets a hold of it.) The WBY-X line also includes reduced size models specifically for female and youth hunters, which is a very good thing.
Savage has a long history of building combination O/U rifle/shotguns. Their famous but discontinued Model 24 was introduced in 1939. For 2013 they have introduced a new, synthetic stocked combination gun, the Model 42. (24 - 42, get it?) This is available in either ..22 LR/.410 or .22 WMR/.410 configurations and carries a 2013 MSRP of $480. Savage has also added Youth Camo (with Realtree extra pattern stock) and Muddy Girl (with pink and black camo pattern stock) models to their Axis economy centerfire rifle line in an attempt to appeal to young and female shooters.
We could continue on to highlight a lot of the booths that we passed by, but you get the idea. The SHOT Show is an event that everyone who is involved with the trade needs to attend. The NSSF expends a considerable amount of their revenue from the show to carry out its mission of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. They are also "front and center" in promoting responsible firearm ownership and safe storage practices.
NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti spoke at the State of the Industry Dinner and informed members that "I don't think many of those who disagree with what we do appreciate the many things we've done to advocate personal responsibility with firearms." Truer words were never spoken, as the anti-gun nuts continue to denigrate those of us who stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights and those organizations who represent the millions of responsible hunters and shooters in the U.S.
This was our fifth SHOT Show and it won't be our last. We will be back in Las Vegas on January 14, 2014 for the next show. We might bring along a Segway to cut down on the walking.
Copyright 2013 by Dr. Jim Clary and/or chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.