January 26th, 2014
Greg Jordan is now $50,000 richer, and he can claim bragging rights as the top 3-Gun shooter in the nation. Jordan defeated ace shooter Taran Butler to claim the title of 3-Gun Nation Champion, taking home $50,000 from Leupold Tactical Optics and NRA Sports. The 3-Gun Nation Championship was held at the Clark County Shooting Sports Complex outside of Las Vegas, on January 15, during SHOT Show week. This final match culminated the 2013-2014 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Tour, where more than 50 of country’s top 3-gunners battled for cash and series points.
Jordan completed what was arguably the most impressive 3GN Shoot-Off run to date, eliminating two past 3GN Shoot-Off winners, including the 2010 3GN Champ, a world champion Steel Challenge shooter, and a multi-time national handgun and 3-gun champion. Jordan navigated a minefield of talent — BJ Norris, Burton Thompson, Daniel Horner, and Taran Butler — to become the fourth competitor to earn the title of 3GN Champion.
Lena Miculek Wins Ladies Championship After Clean Sweep of Season Events
Lena Miculek won the Ladies’ Division in dominating fashion, followed by runner-up Dianna Leidorff of Team MGM. Lena, who earned a $25,000 prize, came into the event as the number one overall seed after sweeping the 2013 3GN Lady Pro Series, winning all four matches during the season. Lena’s back-to-back championships, in only her second season of 3-gun competition, rivals the accomplishments of her mother, Kay, arguably the top female 3-gunner in the sport today.
For more info on the 3GN Final Championship in Las Vegas, visit the 3-Gun Nation News Blog.
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January 25th, 2014
While at SHOT Show, I visited nearly all the major pistol manufacturers, and tried out their latest polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols. To my dismay, these pistols (from a half-dozen different makers), all had one thing in common — really unpleasant triggers. The triggers were mushy, “sproingy” (my term), with a heavy (and sometimes rough) “stagey” pull that was not consistent through the pull cycle. Trying one gun after another, my reaction was always: “Yep, another awful trigger”. Most of the striker-fired guns also had a sloppy slide to frame fit, so they clanked around as they cycled. I’m sure they would function reliably, but I felt I was sampling staple guns, not fine firearms.
In Search of A Better Trigger
Disheartened, I left the main exhibit hall and descended to level one. There, like a beacon, I saw the STI logo, and ranks of metal-framed, hammer-fired pistols. I picked one up. I worked the slide — it operated oh-so-smoothly, like it was on ball bearings. The grip safety functioned perfectly when I wrapped my hand on the grip — no conscious pressure was required and I didn’t feel an uncomfortable bump in the web of my hand. The safety just did its job effortlessly.
I asked an STI rep if I could dry-fire the pistol. “Go right ahead” he said. The first thing I noticed was that the take-up was smooth — butter smooth. There was no grittiness, and the take-up pull was constant. When you got to the break point, resistance increased, and at just about 3 pounds of pressure, the hammer fell with a precise release. No staginess (rising/falling pull weight), no “sproingy” feel (like a cheap coil spring compressing and then snapping), just even pressure and “click” the hammer falls. This was trigger heaven, compared to striker-fired trigger hell.
As I was at the STI booth, a young fellow came up next to me. I noticed, from his name badge, that he was from Austria, home of the Glock. He said “You know I have had Glocks for years. Then one day I said ‘Why am I doing this to myself, why am I putting up with this?’. The triggers are scheiße — I can’t stand them, and the grip shape is wrong. So I sold my Glocks and bought one of these [an STI] and now I am very happy.” He held up an STI and said “Now this is how a pistol should be made!” I smiled and said, “Isn’t it ironic that it has been more than 100 years since John Moses Browning invented the 1911, and his design still works so well?”
Here are two of the STI Pistols on display at SHOT Show. They are both built to very high quality standards, and they both have smooth-running slides and crisp, near-perfect triggers.
STI Target Master
The Target Master is built on STI’s 1911 Government-length frame with 30 lpi checkering on the front strap. The safety controls are STI ambidextrous thumb safeties and STI high rise, knuckle-relief beavertail grip safety. The 6″ slide features a lowered and flared ejection port, tri-level adjustable sights, and STI front and rear cocking serrations. The barrel is a 6.0″, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Target Master comes standard with a STI two-piece steel guide rod, Commander-style hammer and patented STI Int’l trigger system. The STI Target Master ships with one 1911 Magazine.
STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the circumference of the grip.
Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge ships with one 126mm magazine.
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January 22nd, 2014
At the Nightforce booth at SHOT Show, we got our hands on the GEN 2 15-55x52mm Comp Scope. It features large turret knobs with high-contrast numbers. The 15-55 Comp still has the great HD glass from the first generation model, but now it offers 10 MOA per revolution, plus zero-stop. There are now FOUR reticle options: DDR-2, FCR-1, CTR-2, and CTR-3. The 15-55 Comp weighs 27.87 ounces, making it 24% lighter than Nightforce’s 12-42x56mm Benchrest scope. The latest 15-55x52mm Comp scope retails for about $2355.00. Black is the only color option.
Affordable 4-14x56mm SHV Hunting Scope
The big news at the Nightforce booth was the SHV, a new medium-magnification, second-focal plane scope for hunters and varminters. Described as “the most affordable Nightforce riflescope [offered] to date”, the all-new 4-14x56mm SHV will sell for $995.00 (non-illuminated model) or $1195.00 with an illuminated reticle. The “SHV” stands for ShooterHunterVarminter™, reflecting this scope’s versatility — it can be used for a wide variety of applications. The SHV has plenty of travel for long-range use: 100 MOA of elevation adjustment and 70 MOA of horizontal (windage) travel. Two reticle options will initially be offered, the basic IHR (Int’l Hunting Reticle) with floating center cross-hair, and the popular MOAR reticle with 1-MOA vertical and horizontal hash marks. The 4-14x56mm SHV weighs 26.8 oz. for the basic version, and 28.5 oz. for the illuminated model. CLICK HERE for 2014 Nightforce Catalog.
Watch Report on Nightforce SHV Scope from SHOT Show 2014
The 4-14 SHV scope represents a new direction for Nightforce. The optics-maker kept the price under $1000.00 by “limiting some options, offering simpler controls, and using a less complex manufacturing process.” Nightforce said the goal with the SHV was to offer a scope priced “within the reach of a wider range of hunters and shooters who don’t need the ‘overbuilt’ characteristics of our NXS™ series, most of which were originally created to withstand actual combat conditions.”
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January 21st, 2014
Can’t get enough SHOT Show coverage? Then visit Flickr.com for the official SHOT Show Photo Stream. You’ll find 99 images from last week’s event in Las Vegas. There are plenty of product shots, plus images of celebrities such as Texas Governor Rick Perry, Olympic shooter Amanda Furrer, and the always-colorful Ted Nugent.
FREE Digital Editions of SHOT Show Daily
You can also read FREE digital editions of the SHOT Show Daily (for Days 1-3). This is the publication handed out at SHOT Show. Packed with stories and photos, each edition has a special theme for the new products covered.
SHOT Daily 2014
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January 21st, 2014
In a relatively short time, Strategic Armory Corps, LLC (SAC) has become a major player in the American firearms business. SAC has acquired three highly respected firearms manufacturers: Armalite, Surgeon Rifles, and most recently, McMillan Firearms. All three companies have been industry leaders in their market segments.
At SHOT Show 2014, the “Product Spotlight Team” visited the SAC booth. The video below features new rifles from SAC’s Armalite and Surgeon divisions. First up is the new, short-action Armalite AR-31, a .308 Win tactical rifle that borrows important design features from its big brother, the Armalite AR-30A1 (which is offered in .300 WM and .338 Lapua Magnum).
Surgeon’s New CSR and PSR Rifles on Accuracy Int’l Chassis Systems
At SHOT Show, Surgeon showcased new modular rifles built on Accuracy Int’l Chassis systems. The CSR (Concealable Sniper Rifle) is a .308 Win built with a Surgeon 591 action. The CSR is featured in the video above. Surgeon’s PSR is a .338 Lapua Magnum built around Surgeon’s beefy XL action.
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January 19th, 2014
Need a comp scope with serious magnification, but have a limited budget? Then check out the new XTR II 8-40x50mm from Burris. Priced at $1199.00 (MSRP), this new scope offers 40X max magnification, and a lifetime, bumper-to-bumper warranty. The scope weighs 31.4 ounces, has 1/8th-MOA clicks, and 10 MOA per turret revolution. With a 34mm main tube, the scope delivers 70 MOA of elevation adjustment and 30 MOA of windage adjustment. New this year, this FFP scope should be available by the end of March 2014. Learn more in the video preview below:
Learn about Features of 8-40x50mm Burris XTR 11:
Innovative F-Class MOA Reticle with Multiple Center Dots
Burris offers this First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with an F-Class MOA Reticle, the only reticle of its kind to feature multiple illuminated center dots (on the vertical line), the Front Focal Plane reticle keeps the 1/2 MOA grid design constant (relative to target) at any magnification. A second 20 MOA offset 1/2 MOA grid allow shooters to obtain an extra 20 MOA of elevation beyond the capability of the turret adjustments and still have horizontal wind hold-off references. At each 10 MOA section you’ll find an ultra-fine crosshair with 1/8 MOA illuminated dot for maximum versatility.
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January 17th, 2014
Here are some more quick highlights from SHOT Show in Las Vegas. There are some brilliantly designed new products, as well as some items that are interesting simply because they depart from the norm. Enjoy these images of interesting products (and people) we saw this week in Vegas.
Era-Tac Adjustable-Angle Scope Mount (0 to +70 MOA)
This is a unique, variable-angle scope mount (with integral rings) that adjusts from 0 MOA to +70 MOA pre-load, in precise, ten-MOA increments. Once adjusted and tensioned, there is no play in the system so your elevation is repeatable. This Era-Tac Mount, made by Recknagel (Germany) is a very advanced design that really works. CLICK HERE for details.
Mossberg Gets Patriotic
Mossberg was “showing the flag” (literally) at its SHOT Show booth. Here a row of camo-dipped Mossberg shotguns and rifles are decorated with Old Glory.
New Precise Micrometer-Top Bullet Seaters from Sinclair Int’l
Sinclair showed off its new dial-adjustable seating dies for use with arbor presses. Though produced by L.E. Wilson, these are a step up from the regular Wilson micro-adjusting hand dies. These new Sinclair dies eliminate the guesswork. Each hashmark actually gives you a .001″ (one-thousandth) change in bullet seating depth. There’s a tactile click as you rotate the micrometer top past each hash mark.
World Champions Gather At Sands Expo
Four members of the World Championship-winning USA F-TR Team were on hand when we paid a visit to the Nightforce booth at SHOT Show. Left to right, here are four of the team that triumphed at Raton: Ray Gross, Dan Pohlabel (with rifle), Phillip Kelley, and Brad Sauve.
Wow, Is There Anything PT&G Isn’t Making These Days?
Pacific Tool & Gauge had dozens of new products on hand. There were gunsmithing tools, replacement bolts (for many different action types), barrel vises, action truing tools, you name it. Heck, Dave Kiff even showed us a new aluminum rifle chassis PT&G will be manufacturing. This company is now producing a vast selection of precision metal parts and tools.
300 AAC Blackout, Actually Blacked-Out
Australian Outback, backed by the folks who acquired ADI, is making a big push to sell loaded ammunition in the USA. To jazz up their new 300 Blackout ammo, the bodies of the brass cases have a distinctive black finish. So the Blackout Ammo is black… get it?
Kimber SOC (Not Your Ordinary Kimber Bolt-Gun)
No, this is not an Accuracy International, or a Surgeon, or even a Colt tactical rifle. Believe it or not, this is the new Kimber “Advanced Tactical” metal-chassis rifle, dubbed the “SOC” for “Special Operations Capable”. The chassis felt stiff and strong. The bolt cycled smoothly, but the trigger pull was pretty heavy (we’re told it can be adjusted.)
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January 16th, 2014
With over 1600 exhibitors, there are tens of thousands of products on display at the 2014 SHOT Show. Here are some products that caught our eye as we walked the aisles of the Sands Expo Center.
This is an engraved action (with gold inlays), the centerpiece of a presentation-grade Sharps rifle from Davide Pedersoli of Italy. It’s nice to see old-world craftsmanship applied to a classic American design.
Crazy Customized SIG Pistols
Here are two completely over-the-top, highly customized SIG pistols. On the cowboy-themed pistol on the foreground, a saddle horn serves as the front sight, and the beavertail features a gold-plated spur that actually spins. The SIG in the rear has an elaborate metal carving of a bear that wraps over the top of the slide. The carved tail of a salmon forms the rear sight.
Hodgdon CFE Pistol Powder
The only new smokeless propellant displayed at the Hodgdon booth was CFE Pistol. Like the original CFE 223 powder for rifle cartridges, CFE Pistol is formulated to deliver reduced copper fouling. Hodgdon says: “Shoot More, Clean Less” with CFE Pistol powder.
Recknagel of Germany Front Sights
Here is a display of hi-viz and fiber-optic front sights from German gun parts-maker Recknagel. Someone spent a lot of time putting this display together in such an artistic way.
Schmidt & Bender Scope Receives Info from Sensing Devices
Digital read-out on Schmidt & Bender 3-27x56mm PM II will display info from ballistic computers, laser rangefinders, or wind measurement devices. This is an early prototype only — not “ready for prime time”. The digital info is all generated “off-scope”. The fixture on the eyepiece end of the S&B scope merely receives info from the external device(s) and displays it in the shooter’s viewing field.
CCI Suppressor 22 LR Ammo
CCI will offer a new “Suppressor 22″ cartridge for 2014. CCI selected a fairly heavy, 45-grain bullet, and tweaked the propellant to ensure that all rounds out of the box will run sub-sonic, even with the expected mass-production velocity variations. Designed for use in suppressed rimfire rifles, Spec Velocity is 970 FPS. CCI claims that this ammo works well on small varmints because the large hollowpoint in the 45-grain bullet provides excellent bullet expansion.
Pelican Scope Case
This Pelican IM2306 is specifically designed to carry high-end riflescopes. Measuring 18.2″ L x 8.4″ W x 6.7″ high (on the outside), this Pelican case has a waterproof seal and rugged exterior. “Pluckable” interior foam allows you to custom fit the case to your precious optic.
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January 7th, 2014
What covers an area greater than the Great Pyramid at Giza, attracts visitors from 100 countries, and has over 1600 exhibitor booths distributed along 12.5 MILES of Aisles? The SHOT Show in Vegas is the correct answer. The annual trade show for the $6 billion per year fireams/hunting industry, SHOT Show is the ultimate gathering for all things gun-related. Just how big is SHOT Show? This NSSF Infographic reveals some amazing facts:
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January 7th, 2014
There’s a first time for everything. Next week (January 14-17), Sinclair International will make its first-ever SHOT Show appearance. Sinclair will showcase its products at booth #805 in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. The big news for Sinclair is the introduction of a dealer pricing program that will allow other retailers to sell select items from Sinclair’s product line.
“2014 marks the first time Sinclair will have exhibited at SHOT Show,” said Geoff Esterline, Sinclair International Category Manager. “I think dealers and retailers will be as happy about our new dealer program as we are. It’s aimed at providing great access and pricing on some of the finest reloading and precision shooting supplies on the market.”
This year, Sinclair International celebrates 30 years in business. A member of the Brownells Group since 2007, Sinclair is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality reloading tools, components, ammunition, and accessories. Sinclair International stocks more than 15,000 items and supplies for handloaders, shooters, and hunters worldwide. To place an order, or to request additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit www.sinclairintl.com.
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January 4th, 2014
Are you interested in long range shooting … really long-range shooting, i.e. well beyond a mile? Will you be at SHOT Show in ten days? Then consider attending the start-up meeting of the Unlimited Range Shooters Association (URSA), a new organization dedicated to the ultra-long-range game. URSA’s initial, organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 14 during the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV. Visit Unlimitedrange.org to learn more about this new organization.
The goal of the meeting will be to lay the groundwork for an organization that will serve the needs of shooters interested in “unlimited range” shooting (i.e. 2000 yards and beyond). The meeting is open to all interested parties, SHOT Show attendees and non-attendees alike. Especially encouraged to attend are those interested in helping to form the Association and further its objectives. The meeting will be in the Marcello Room (#4402), 4th level of the Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center. Doors open at 2:30 pm and the meeting begins at 3:00 pm (room reserved by URSA through 6:00 pm).
Anyone wishing to provide assistance, or to provide constructive suggestions, is requested to e-mail webmaster [at] unlimitedrange.org. Corporate supporters are encouraged to provide their logo(s) for inclusion on the Association’s Supporters page. Visit Unlimitedrange.org for the URSA start-up meeting agenda and more information about the proposed association. (Click the “About” link for details).
URSA Facilitator and Interim Webmaster
webmaster [at] unlimitedrange.org
URSA thanks Desert Tech (formerly Desert Tactical Arms) for its support and generosity. The meeting will be held in Desert Tech’s meeting space.
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