Varminter Magazine’s annual pilgrimage to the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade Show began today, with a trip to the Industry Day at the Range. This is an invite only day, where the media goes to a local range and has the opportunity to shoot some of the newest products available. It is a unique day, with many companies participating. Although it is held at a range, there is no opportunity to actually shoot for groups, due to the sheer number of people participating. It is really starting to be geared more towards the tactical crowd, but we did get to shoot some interesting new ammunition, and rifles, which made for a great day!
Day Four & Five – Videos – Check out YouTube Channel for Daily Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/varmintermagazine
Day Three – Wandering the Floor
Today was spent wandering around the show floors, and checking out some more of the new products, as well as making appointments for Thursday, and Friday videos.
Air Arms – Galahad Airguns:
One of the most talked about releases at SHOT in the airgun realm, was the new Air Arms airgun. We headed over to the Air Venturi booth (the importer of many brands of firearms), to see the new rifles. Air Arms released the new Galahad bullpup based airgun. It is the first step into the bullpup world for Air Arms, and from what we saw, it is a well thought out rifle, and carbine. We have a video (click this link) that shows some close-ups of the rifles, then Gene Salvino, Senior Gunsmith from Air Venturi, gives us a quick overview of the two new action lengths available, the rifle and the carbine.
We headed back over to the Winchester ammunition booth, so we could get a closer look at their new .22 and .17 Hornet factory loads. This ammo is geared towards varmint hunters, and is a nice addition to the available factory loaded Hornet lines of ammunition available. Both cartridges are loaded with polymer tipped varmint bullets, and will be available soon.
Convergent Hunting Solutions – Bullet HP Predator Caller:
Byron South is a very well-known predator caller that has a new predator caller out at this year’s SHOT Show. The Convergent Hunting Solutions Bullet HP Predator Caller is a well thought out E-Caller, that incorporates the newest technology, along with the basics needed to call predators (good sounds). The Bullet HP caller is a unique concept, that will be explained in a video that will be out later this week.
We then headed over to the Airforce Airguns booth to see what they had coming for the airgun community. It was nice to see that they were expanding their Texan line, with the addition of the .357 and .308 calibers, joining their current .45 caliber airgun to provide more options for predators, varmints, and other small to medium size game.
Volquartsen had their new lightweight 17WSM rifle on display. It has a carbon fiber outer barrel, along with a black McMillan fiberglass stock. This rifle is added to their line of semiauto rifles chambered in .17WSM.
Day Two – SHOT Show Officially Begins
Today was spent checking out some new products, as well as verifying information, rumors, press releases, etc. There was some good news on the horizon, especially for rimfire shooters.
Sharpshooter 22LR Reloader:
The team that brought out the .22 Long Rifle cartridge reloading system, has announced reloading kits for the 17WSM, the 17HM2 (Mach2), and the .22 Magnum (WMR). Their kits include everything you need to prepare your fired rimfire cartridges, for reloading.
Aguila announced a new website, and social media presence on Monday. After receiving the email, I checked out their site and low-and-behold, the 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum was listed as “Coming in 2016”. Because of this, I headed over to the Aguila booth and spoke to a contact that I have been bugging at past SHOT Shows on the status of the 5mm Rimfire ammunition. I was told that Aguila/Tx-AT is looking at making a run later this year (3rd Quarter). However, I am following up this brief conversation with a more detailed one before the end of the Show on Friday. After this next meeting, 5mm Rimfire shooters will have to speak up and let them know what they plan on purchasing. I will have more information, but it will be extremely important to let them know that we are still out here, and we still need ammunition!
SmartPhone Scope Mount:
A new entry into the scope-cam field is a product called the SmartPhone Scope Mount. Unlike some of the other scope mount systems we have seen in the past, this product is very unique, in that it has an arm that mounts to the scope via a small picatinny ring/rail, and the phone attaches with a special phone camera case that has a magnet embedded within. You can film through your scope, or from the side of your scope. It also has the unique feature of being able to charge your phone with an integral battery included in the arm. We will be heading back tomorrow, and will update this post with pictures and more information.
Crosman has announced a new, entry-level, PCP air rifle. Called the “Maximus”, this PCP is a single-shot, bolt-action rifle that will be available in both .22 (850 fps) and .177 (1000 fps) caliber. The new Maximus has a price point below $200, so it is truly affordable. There will also be a kit offered, which includes a pump, for a higher cost.
- Black Synthetic Stock
- 2000 PSI pressure gauge
- Up to 30 effective shots per fill
- Open sites included, integrated mount for scope rings
Day One – SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range
Winchester had a bunch of new products, with two of them in particular being geared towards varminters. The first, which we announced last week, is their new lead free .17WSM ammunition. It is loaded with a 20 grain “Power-Core” projectile, listed at 2875 FPS (feet per second). I was able to shoot some out of a Ruger 77/17 – 17WSM rifle there at the range, but will not have performance information until we receive some in a month, or so.
The second new product for varmint hunters, was their new “Varmint-X” 12 Gauge shotgun shells. These are 3″ shells loaded with 1 & 1/2 ounce copper plated lead BB loads, which are traveling 1300fps. These are geared towards the predator hunter who uses a shotgun when hunting. These loads are said to hold a tighter pattern when shooting at a bit longer ranges. Winchester had some coyote targets set-up at various ranges, and the results looked good!
Savage Arms / CCI Ammunition:
Savage Arms has released a new rifle that is based on the same type of action used in their A17 semi-auto rifle. Their new rifle is the Savage A22 Magnum in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (.22 Magnum). If you know the A17 rifle, then you will be familiar with the look, features (10-round magazine & AccuTrigger), and delayed-blowback semi-auto action of this new rifle.
Just like they did with the A17, CCI has announced the releaseof their new CCI A22 – .22 Magnum ammunition. This new ammunition is pushing a 30 grain “GamePoint” (HP) bullet at a listed 2100fps! This new ammo will shoot in any .22 Magnum rifle, but is optimized for Savage’s new A22 Magnum rifle. We will get more information on this new rifle and ammunition this week.
Savage has also announced two new A17 – 17HMR Rifles, a Target Sporter Thumbhole and a Sporter version. Both of these rifles will feature laminate wood stocks.
Along with the new A22 Magnum ammunition, CCI also had the new American Eagle Varmint & Predator centerfire ammunition, as well as the new CCI Copper-22 rimfire ammunition (lead-free). The CCI Copper-22 rimfire is one of only a few lead-free .22 Long Rifle ammunition options available, or soon to be available.
We will have more detailed information on everything listed above from Savage/CCI.
Howa – Legacy Sports International:
As we reported a few months ago, Howa announced their Mini-Action Rifle in .222 Remington. Today, I had a chance to handle it, and shoot it. It is a very nice, compact, little rifle that felt really good to shoot. As stated in the article linked above, the bolt on this rifle has a very short throw, and chambers the rounds nicely from the detachable 10-round magazine. We are planning to get one of these in hand for our spring varmint hunts, so we will have more range and field information after we receive it.
There were a couple of honorable mentions, that we plan to get more information on during the show, but is some brief information:
GoPro – GoPro has new camouflage housings for the GoPro Hero3, Hero3+, and Hero4 Black and Silver. They will be available in Realtree Xtra Camo, and Realtree MAX-5 Camo. They also announced the “QuickClip”, which allows you to mount it to baseball hats, and other 3mm to 10mm thick objects.
Mechanix Wear – Mechanix is announcing their new “Wolf Grey” colored gloves geared towards law enforcement, and the military, tomorrow. The same low-visibility of this new color, will also be helpful for hunters. I always wear Mechanix Gloves when I am in the field, and even included them in my items that you must have to help prevent catching the Plague.