March 11th, 2018

IWA Outdoor Classics — Highlights from “Euro SHOT Show”

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show
Here is a “birds-eye view” from IWA. Yes that’s a mini-blimp at lower left.

After SHOT Show in the USA, the IWA Outdoor Classics is the biggest gun/hunting/outdoor trade show in the world. The IWA event, held each spring in Nuremberg, Germany, concludes Monday, March 12 after a 4-day run in the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre. This is a big event — 1562 exhibitors from around the globe are showcasing their products. IWA attendance, which has grown steadily, is expected to top 50,000 visitors this year.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Many beautiful custom hunting rifles are on display. Note the stunning wood and the elaborate metal-work on bolt and action. Don’t ask about the price…

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IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are a pair of Olympic-grade Steyr air pistols. Designed for one-handed shooting, these feature very ergonomic wood grips.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Toggle action biathlon rifles like this Anschutz captured medals at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Not the handy magazine storage on the fore-arm.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with displays of guns, optics, and hunting gear, the IWA show features workshop areas where skilled artisans practice their trades — you can see engraving, wood-carving, and other skills in action.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Along with match rifles and hunting rigs, there were some serious sniper rifles on display. Here a German lady gets behind a Steyr SSG M1, offered in 7.61×51 NATO and .338 Lapua Magnum.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Bling was the thing at some pistol booths. These colorful Strike One handguns are made by Arsenal Arms in Italy (more sedate colors are also offered). A Russian-Italian design collaboration, the Strike One uses a Bergmann barrel system which does not tilt (unlike the widely-used Browning system). This allows for an extremely low bore axis.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Multiple vendors had some beautifully-figured stock blanks on display. The most desirable Turkish Walnut blanks can cost thousands of dollars.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Here are some handsome Winchester Model 1866 (Yellowboy) rifles with highly-decorated receivers. This classic American design is now crafted in Italy by Uberti.

IWA outdoor classics gun hunting trade show

Major German rifle-makers Blaser, Mauser, and Sauer all had large, prominent displays at the IWA Show in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
January 22nd, 2016

SHOT Show Day Three

Shot show Day 3 Three Las Vegas

SHOT Show, the firearms industry trade show, is a huge event. There are more guns and shooting accessories than you can possibly imagine. On Thursday we saw everything from a giant CADEX .50 BMG with a 24″-long suppressor to a tiny Kahr .380, the thinnest carry gun in production. Here are some highlights from Day Three, a combination of old and very, very new. McMillan has a new, as-yet-unnamed tactical stock, Walther showcased an amazing electronic trigger, and Uberti revived America’s Wild West heritage with a line of single-action revolvers.

CZ 455 Tactical/Varmint Rimfire Rifles

CZ tactical rimfire 455

CZ USA still continues to offer some of the best .22 LR rifles for cross-training and tactical rimfire games. The CZ 455 Varmint Tacticool and Varmint Precision Trainer (Camo) feature proper, full-size stocks (with adult-scale ergonomics) so these rimfires look and feel like a centerfire tactical rig. CZ 455s have smooth actions and crisp triggers.

Walther LG400 Air Rifle with Electronic Trigger

Walther .22 lr Rimfire electronic trigger

Look carefully — this Walther LG400 Alutec air rifle is different than any gun you’ve ever shot. You see it has an ELECTRONIC trigger. This sophisticated, battery-powered trigger offers a super-precise, super-light release (it’s more a “touch” than a “pull”). For top-level international and Olympic shooters, the electronic trigger can offer a competitive advantage. Later this year Walther will offer an electronic trigger in its top-of-the-line smallbore rifle.

“Name This Stock” — New Tactical Stock from McMillan

Kelly McMillan Name this Stock NTS Tactical

Kelly McMillan, president of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is holding the latest tactical stock from McMillan. It features a girder-style open fore-end that fits any barrel contour. At the rear, the stock boasts an adjustable cheekpiece along with a straight toe for riding a sandbag. Interestingly, this stock has no name (as yet). At SHOT Show, McMillan is running a “Name This Stock” contest. The winner will receive a free stock.

Giant Super-Sized Scope at Zeiss Booth

Zeiss big scope booth Victory

At its booth, Zeiss displayed what must be the world’s largest rifles-scope replica. This giant scope, as big as a totem pole, certainly did draw the attention of anyone who walked by. The big news at Zeiss this year is the Victory V8 line of scopes with 8X zoom ratio.

Uberti Classic Single Action Pistols

Uberti Single Action Pistol line

We love vintage-style revolvers. This year Uberti offered a beautiful array of single-action pistols in a variety of styles. Along with its line of “Wild West” repro pistols, Uberti makes excellent lever guns based on classic Winchester designs. This editor owns two Uberti lever-action rifles, and they are both beauties.

Anschutz Model 9015 Competition Air Rifle

Steve Boelter Anschutz 9015 Air Rifle

Our friend Steve Boelter, President of Anschutz North America, showed us the latest and greatest competition rifles from the respected German gun-maker. In this photo, Steve is holding the new Anschutz 9015 air rifle. Above is the new, top-of-the-line Anschutz smallbore target rifle. In a week or so we’ll release a video showing the details of both these rifles.

SHOT Scenery — From Russia with Love

Girls Shot Show Russia

It wouldn’t be SHOT without a few Booth Babes, or should we say Booth Babe-bushkas. These charming young ladies really ARE from Russia. Yuliya, on the right, hails from far-away Vladivostok in Siberia. She said she appreciated the warmer weather in Las Vegas.

Tikka T3 Compact Tactical Rifle for the Canadian Rangers

Tikka Canadian Rangers Rifle

On display at the SAKO booth was the Tikka T3 Compact Tactical Rifle which has been adopted by the Canadian Rangers. This will replace the Ranger’s beloved, but antiquated Lee-Enfield rifles. The Canadian Rangers, an element of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserve, serve as the CAF’s eyes and ears in sparsely-settled northern and coastal areas of Canada. The Rangers have helped secure Canada’s hinterlands since 1947.

Browning “Hell’s Canyon” Gun Vaults

Browning Hell's Canyon gun safe Vault

Browning showcased a series of large gun safes with much-enhanced fire-proofing and thicker steel walls. The new “Hell’s Canyon” Series of gun vaults offer 40% thicker steel plus 2 – 3 times the fire protection of typical gun safes. These “Hells Canyon”-series safes are impressive.

Kim Rhode — Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Kim Rhode shotgun Olympic Gold medals

We had a chance to interview shotgun superstar Kim Rhode, who has won Gold Medals at multiple Olympic Games. She told us some very interesting facts. For example, did you know that roughly 70% of females are left-eye dominant? Kim revealed some techniques that right-handed, cross-dominant shooters can use to improve their scores. We’ll reveal that in an upcoming video interview with Kim, shown here at the autograph table with some of her Olympic medals.

Permalink Competition, New Product, News 1 Comment »
October 18th, 2014

Fun Gun for the Family? Try a Repro 1866 or 1873 Lever Gun

While devotees of this site are hard-core accuracy addicts, who normally shoot tiny groups with sophisticated Benchrest and Varmint rifles, we should not overlook the pure fun of shooting a simple rifle at reactive targets.

Uberti 1866 1873 Winchester lever gun

Nailing a nice, tight 1/4-moa group is very satisfying. But for pure unadulterated shooting fun, it’s hard to beat a slicked-up “race-ready”, Winchester-clone lever gun. In fact, this editor’s favorite rifle for “fun shooting” is my 20″ Uberti Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Lever gun. Shooting light-loaded 38 SPL rounds at steel targets from a standing position offers old-fashioned shooting satisfaction. On the “fun meter” this tops the scale. My rifle features a slicked-up action and lightened trigger. After a “CodyMatic” action job by cowboy gunsmith Cody Conagher, my Yellowboy’s lever can be cycled with just one finger. Trigger pull is about a pound and a quarter. The high-gloss, blued octagonal barrel is very accurate and the mirror-finish bore cleans up easily.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

Based on the Model 1866 Winchester, Uberti’s Yellowboy, and its Model 1873 “older brother”, feature a toggle-link action that is extremely smooth. The toggle action design also keeps the linkages separate from the chamber so the gun runs extremely clean. After firing a hundred rounds or more, all you need to do is wipe off the bolt and breech-face with some solvent and run a bore-snake down the bore a few times. To be honest, the Yellowboy is more fun to shoot at steel than my AR Carbine. And maintenance-wise, for every five minutes I spend maintaining the 1866, I’ll spend an hour detail-stripping and cleaning the AR. The shooting-to-cleaning ratio favors the lever gun by orders of magnitude.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

These Italian-made Winchester clones are very handsome, with nicely figured wood under a durable clearcoat. You can polish the brass receiver to keep it shiny, or leave it alone to develop an authentic, dulled patina. Uberti’s Model 1873 features a steel receiver with gorgeous color case-hardening.

Uberti Winchester 1873

After the fun factor, what’s the best thing about Uberti lever guns? Resale value. I can sell my 1866 for quite a bit more than I paid for it. Over the past decade, the price of Italian-made Uberti lever guns has been steadily rising. This means that older rifles fetch a premium on the used market.

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