Monday, February 27, 2017

New Badlands Gear for 2017 (in APPROACH camo)

Many have asked me what new packs and gear would be put out by Badlands Packs this year. Instead of me trying to explain, I am going to let the Badlands team share through their video from the ATA Show this year. Also, when you are done watching the video, check out some of the newly released video on the Badlands YouTube page. There are some awesome hunts shared and the APPROACH camouflage is awesome! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Predator Hunting Seminar - Bass Pro Shops

Monday, February 13, 2017

Top Gear at 2017 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Year after year, I have read about all the new gear being released at SHOT Show in Las Vegas every January in hopes of one day making it there myself. This was the year. My team was assembled, plans were made, and we made the drive in great anticipation of SHOT Show 2017. It did not disappoint.

Here are the items I was most impressed with at SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range. These are in no particular order as they all sparked interest with me, as a hunter and shooting enthusiast.

HOWA Long Range Rifle - I love a quality bolt-action rifle and the folks at Legacy Sports International have a winner. Chambered in .308, not only is it a sweet shooter, but it was dead on accurate. Smooth action, easy to handle, and it felt great when shooting. I have no doubt this would make a fantastic hunting rifle.

RAVIN Crossbows - The HeliCoil technology that boasts a 6” axle-to-axle was evident when the crossbow was cocked. We all got to shoot at 100 yards and my first, and only, shot was an inch left of the center of the bullseye. They mentioned the trigger was sensitive and they weren’t kidding. This crossbow is small, lightweight, and incredibly accurate.

HIPERFIRE Triggers - After discussing the trigger assemblies and how they functioned, I was asked to shoot some of the rifles with HIPERFIRE triggers installed. The smooth, constant pressure on your finger forward AND back to reset was awesome. I liked both the EDT and 24C triggers, but I didn’t have a great deal of time to evaluate them on the range. I am looking forward to completing my own tests to see what the trigger pull actually is and which one I feel functions better. It’ll be a tough task because I thought both worked great.

Rise Armament RA-1121 Rifle - When I sat down to shoot the new RA-1121 chambered in .308, I was immediately asked if I thought a .308 could be used as a long range rifle. I said ‘maybe, but I don’t know’ and that’s when I was asked if I’d like to take a shot at 960 yards. Out of four rounds, the first was the only one that didn’t make impact with the gong. The latter three 175 g bullets all hit and to say I was impressed would certainly be an understatement.

Dark Storm Industries DS-10 Typhoon - DSI has designed many featureless rifles that are CA complaint and fun to shoot. We had the pleasure of shooting the DS-10 Typhoon .308 in olive drab cerakote. With some guidance, we set up to shoot at 200 yards on a small metal pig. I sat down and easily hit 10 out of 10 shots on the pig with a gusting crosswind. The rifle was smooth, didn’t have a lot of kick and was deadly accurate.

D-Dupleks Shotgun Ammunition - As someone who loves to hunt, finding ammunition that is California compliant with all of my weapons can be expensive. I had my eye on the D-Dupleks Steelhead shotgun ammunition before SHOT and when I spoke with them I wanted to know more. The 495 grain solid rounds leave the shotgun with a muzzle velocity of 1410 fps and energy of 2180 fp. They are described as great for overgrown areas and I am told they will go through a small sapling. The Broadhead ammunition has an expanding effect and fragments differently depending on how close you are to the target. Also at 495 g, this would make a devastating hunting round.

Swab-its - Cleaning my weapons is my least favorite part of the experience due to how long it takes and how inefficient the patches are. Once I saw the foam Swab-its in action, I was hooked and am looking forward to testing them myself on my rifles. These swabs expand and conform to the inside of the barrel, making 360 degree contact. The big seller for me is that they can be cleaned and are reusable.

There were so many great people to talk with at SHOT Show. There were some great products and there are many more that I plan to check out for hunting in California. Far too many to mention, but let’s simply say that manufacturers know the plight of the California shooter and many are making an effort to ease our burden. Let’s hope 2017 is a great one for the United States of America, that some laws get turned around in California and our right to bear arms is not infringed upon!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gear Review: Seahorse SE1530 Rifle Case

My Seahorse SE1530 rifle case has been beat up on the outside, but protects everything inside.

After spending countless hours getting my rifle properly set up and sighted in, I wanted to be sure it was protected when I traveled. I also wanted a solid case that I could be sure my rifles would not shift in. It took some searching, but I found that Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases made a rifle case with those exact specifications. The SE1530 is offered in Black, Desert Tan and Forest Camo. I chose desert tan with the pull-n-pluck foam (you can order the solid foam if you'd like).  

Seahorse Cases is a small, family-owned business here in Southern California. The cases are made here in the USA, so that means a lot! I met with them and discussed their product line.  

External dimensions measure 46.6 in long, 16.7 in wide, and 6.8 in tall. The internal dimensions are 44.5 in long, 14.3 in wide and 6.2 inches high. That is sidewall to sidewall. Once you add in a bit of foam you will lose some space, but not much. It weighs nearly twenty pounds by itself, so prepare to haul a considerable load with two firearms inside.

My first test was to fit the case pull-n-pluck foam to my needs. I was traveling to New York for my whitetail deer hunt and needed to take my 300 WIN MAG and my 12 gauge shotgun. I had to plan carefully because once the foam is plucked, there isn't any going back. I moved the different weapons around and when I finally got them where I wanted, I began plucking. It was surprisingly simple and allowed each part to fit snug inside the case.

The four latches secured the lid closed and they also have a secondary lock to ensure against unintentional opening. This would be perfect for airline travel. I know how well gear is treated on airplane by the staff. There are also six areas where you can install a TSA approved lock. While it does keep the case secure, I had to purchase six locks due to TSA regulations. Even still, my case was very secure! The case has a pressure purge system and when you lock the case it is engaged. After travel, when you open the case, you can hear the hiss of the air being let in.

While the case is meant for firearms, I found that it will also fit some bows. This is plus in my book! I have cases for all sorts of things and my bows have cases that are designed specifically for bow. Having the Seahorse case around is a benefit. I had to remove my stabilizer, but I was able to fit the bow inside the case. Smaller bows would fit in here nicely and remain protected.

Some of the external components I really like are the handles and wheels. The handles are tough, rigid, and allow an easy grip on the case. The wheels work well, never got stuck, and when moving my gear from the airport to the car I found these to be extremely helpful. I brought along my large cooler and I was able to put the cooler on top of the SE1530 and wheel them both to the car. This was excellent for a person traveling alone and needing to move a few bags and their firearms.

The only issues I had with the case were the sponginess of the center and the lock holes. When I say sponginess, I mean the very center, when leaned on, will bend inward. It could be enough to squeeze down on your firearms if they were large enough or had a large scope. My .300 WIN MAG was one of the rifles I had inside. I opted to have my scope to the outside of the case to ensure it would be protected. I felt that if something did hit the center of the case just right that my scope might get damaged. I also had an issue with the padlock holes. The website claims that the case holes 'Fits standard size Masterlocks®', but I found that the Masterlocks I tried did not fit. The TSA locks I used fit great, but the other locks were too large. I'll contact Seahorse and see if I was using a lock not specified.

The SE1530 rifle case retails for around $160 on Amazon. That is a great deal on a solid case. I love the way the way this case protects my gear and you can't beat the price with this quality. I am already looking at the other cases in their line for my other firearms and gear I need to protect from the elements. Check out their website and start protecting your gear today!