Guns and Shooting Online 2012 Awards

By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff

Now that 2012 is finally in the books, it is time for us to announce our selections for the Guns and Shooting Online Shotgun, Rifle, Handgun and Optics of the year awards. To receive this award, products do not have to have been introduced in 2012, they just have to be available during the year and, of course, exceptional. 2012 was a good year for shooters, as you can see from the fine products honored below.

Shotgun Award: Winchester Model 101

Winchester Model 101 Field
Winchester Model 101 Field shotgun. Illustration courtesy of Winchester Repeating Arms.

As Winchester suggests, take a walk back in time with the new Select Model 101 Field. This beauty holds true to its Model 101 roots with classic stock dimensions and a trim grip that provide a performance fit you will love. Sight down the lightweight barrels and the solid brass bead front sight is immediately picked up by your eye. Three supplied Invector-Plus choke tubes provide optimum shot patterns for any situation. Deep-relief receiver engraving mimics the originals, as does the luxuriously finished high-gloss grade II/III walnut. Includes a vented Pachmayr´┐Ż Decelerator´┐Ż pad with a classic white line spacer.

The Field model is available for 2012 in 12 gauge only with 28" barrels. The back-bored bores are hard chrome lined, the new gun has 45% more hinge surface area and 35% more locking area. This classic O/U is precision made from the highest quality and most modern materials for a lifetime of service. If you are in the market for a classic O/U shotgun, check out the Model 101. Also available in Sporting Clays and Trap models.

Handgun Award: Browning 1911-22 A1 .22 LR Pistol

Browning 1911-22 A1 .22 LR Pistol
Illustration courtesy of Browning Arms.

The Browning 1911-22 A1 .22 is a scaled down, blow-back operated, .22 LR pistol that looks as good as it shoots. It looks, operates and feels like a real 1911 pistol and is much cheaper to shoot, being chambered for the ubiquitous .22 LR cartridge. All controls operate just as those on the original John Browning designed Model 1911.

Vertical slide serrations provide an improved cocking grip. The convenient manual slide release is easily operated with the shooting or support hand. The design incorporates a large manual thumb safety and grip safety. The magazine release is positioned adjacent to the trigger guard for convenient operation. The 10 round, steel magazine body is heat treated for feeding reliability and long life. A coil spring provides a consistent follower angle. We are sure you will enjoy shooting this nifty, 85% size, .22 rimfire 1911 pistol as much as we did when we reviewed it.

Rifle Award: Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Connor Tribute .270

Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Connor Tribute .270 Rifle
Illustration courtesy of Winchester Repeating Arms.

2012 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Model 70 Winchester, one of the finest bolt action hunting rifles ever designed. 2012 also marked the introduction of the Jack O'Connor Tribute in, naturally, .270 Winchester caliber. Modeled closely on Jack O'Conner's favorite hunting rifle with the assistance of Jack's son Bradford, this is perhaps the nicest production Model 70 ever offered to the shooting public.

The JOC Tribute rifle is very similar to the original, which was custom stocked for O'Connor by Al Biesen. The AA grade French walnut stock is checkered at 24 lines-per-inch in a borderless fleur-de-lis pattern. It uses a new Model 70 action with a flat bottomed, machined steel receiver incorporating a massive, integral recoil lug. The one-piece bolt body is engine turned and the bolt knob has a checkered band. The trigger mechanism is Winchester/Browning's excellent MOA. This is a pre-'64 type, controlled feed action with a full length extractor and pivoted, receiver mounted ejector. A coned breech assists smooth and reliable feeding. The one-piece bottom iron and trigger guard, as well as the hinged magazine floorplate, are steel; ditto the pistol grip cap. The floorplate release button is in the front of the trigger guard.

The magazine floorplate and grip cap are laser engraved with a floral pattern and there is a ram's head on the floorplate. The trigger guard features a facsimile of Jack O'Connor's signature in nickel. The stress relieved, free-floating, Featherweight contour barrel is 22" long with cold hammer forged rifling and a recessed target crown. Metal finish is polished blue and the stock is oil finished. The Winchester Model 70 JOC Tribute is one of the finest hunting rifles we have ever reviewed and one of the very few to win our top "A" rating.

Riflescopes and Optics Award: Redfield Revenge Line

Redfield Revenge 2-7x34mm.
Revenge 2-7x34mm. Illustration courtesy of the Redfield Division of Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

Owned by Leupold, the Redfield name is once again achieving prominence in riflescopes. In addition to riflescopes, the Redfield line includes binoculars, spotting scopes and rangefinders of high quality at reasonable prices. Selected to receive our optical product of 2012 award is the Redfield Revenge riflescope line.

Introduced in 2012, Redfield Revenge riflescopes are available in 2-7x34mm, 3-9x42mm, 3-9x52mm, 4-12x42mm and 6-18x44mm sizes. The Revenge line offers a choice of a standard 4-Plex reticle or the Redfield Accu-Ranger reticle. All Revenge models offer rapid target acquisition with generous eye relief, a fully multi-coated lens system, fast focus eyepieces, pop-up 1/4 MOA adjustment knobs and nitrogen filled, sealed tubes that are 100% waterproof and fog proof. Revenge scopes are impact tested to assure durable, reliable performance in the field.

The versatile 2-7x34mm model pictured above carries a 2012 MSRP of only $174.99. Now practically anyone can afford to buy a high quality riflescope.

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