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!

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