SHOT Show Day 1

by Boge Quinn

photography by Boge Quinn

 

The 3Bucc Brass Catcher is a nifty little item that attaches easily to an AR-15 (and other rifles as well) and works! Jeff has already written a more comprehensive article on the 3Bucc Brass Catcher, click the following link: 3Bucc Brass Catcher

3Bucc's AR-15 Flashlight Holder is another neat little gadget that attaches to the handguard on an AR-15 without modification to the rifle.

Accuracy International is offering a new round-action bolt rifle, aimed at the varmint/benchrest shooter (and the military/police sniper market) who requires the utmost accuracy. This rifle is a new design with many features not commonly seen on this type of rifle, as well as some new design features proprietary to AI. Look for a full test report on this rifle in the near future from GunBlast.com!

Anzio Ironworks featured their new .50 BMG single-shot takedown rifle, which is by far the smallest .50 we have seen! The single-shot rifle is built on a bullpup design around the tubular receiver, with the chamber located beside the shooter's cheek. This proximity of our pretty face to the sheer power of the .50 BMG should not be a problem, however, for the tubular receiver is made of very thick, very heavy steel. It's built for portable power, not speed, as the buttstock must be unscrewed to allow access to the chamber. Of course, rapid follow-up shots should not be necessary with this rifle (unless you just plain MISS), and the slow rate of fire should help you recover from the experience of touching off a .50 BMG in a rifle this size! We look forward to testing this one further!

AO Sight Systems displayed some very nice-looking "ghost ring" peep sight sets for various rifles (see Jeff's article on the sights for the Winchester Model 94 Trapper at AO Ghost Ring). They also have some nice no-gunsmithing "scout"-type scope mounts available. Look for GunBlast.com's article on the scope mount in the near future!

BoreTech offers a complete line of cleaning supplies, including their new "Patch Catcher" system shown. The Patch Catcher is supposed to not only cut down on the mess of gun cleaning, but almost totally eliminate toxic fumes.

To my tastes at least, Cimarron's line of Cowboy Action Shooting guns, both handguns and long guns, were the most exciting aspect of the SHOT show. Cimarron offers a very comprehensive line of guns (mostly Italian imports), but they spec the guns differently from other importers. For example, on the revolvers there are NO visible Italian proof marks, and the marking that are present are as historically accurate as it is possible to be without getting sued by Colt! Also, Cimarron does the final fit and finish in the USA to gain more control over the quality of the finished product. Speaking of fit and finish, the fit of the wood and metal parts were absolutely perfect on the many examples we saw, and the finishes were nothing short of gorgeous! The revolvers shown are finished in Cimarron's beautiful new "antique" finish, which is every bit as authentic-looking (and feeling) as the picture indicates. I am really looking forward to getting some test pieces from Cimarron so we can see if these guns shoot as well as they look!

Hi-Point is offering a line of relatively inexpensive semi-auto pistols and carbines that operate on what appears to be a rather intriguing "retarded blowback" system. Hi-Point will be sending some test pieces for evaluation, so keep checking back with GunBlast.com!

Kimber has made a name for itself over the past few years as the maker of some of the finest .45 "Government" model pistols on the market.  This year they are offering the "Heritage" model, which is a beautiful pistol with many features found only on custom .45s, such as: forward and rear slide grooves, skeletonized hammer and (adjustable) trigger, flared ejection port, beavertail grip safety, checkered front strap, and diamond-pattern checkered wood grips with limited-edition medallions. Kimber offers all this, along with their legendary accuracy for about a thousand bucks, which is a fraction of what a comparable pistol would cost from a custom maker, plus a portion of the profits from each Heritage pistol goes to the Heritage Foundation.

Lipsey's is one of the largest Ruger distributors, and they like to have Ruger run off some limited-production guns for them from time to time. The gun pictured here is a custom stainless .22 target model semi-auto pistol with some very attractive custom features. This gun has some beautiful, nicely-contrasting rosewood grip panels that are also profiled a bit differently than the standard Ruger grips, and these grips (to me, at least) fit the hand better than the standard model. The barrel appears to be a standard Ruger "bull barrel" that has the sides milled-off flat, reducing weight somewhat and giving a very unique and pleasing "slab-side" appearance. Adjustable target sights, match-grade trigger and scope rings are included in the very reasonable price. If you're looking for an excellent .22 at an excellent price, this may be the one for you! Have your dealer contact Lipsey's and ask for our buddy Jason Cloessner.

Robinson Armament Company had a nice selection of products on display, including their new Kalashnikov rifles in .308 caliber (er, 7.62x51mm). These were very nice-looking guns that exhibited above-average workmanship for guns of this type. RAC claims that these guns shoot as well as they look, and they will be sending us a test piece for further evaluation in the near future.

As this was our first time to attend a SHOT show as powerful and influential members of the press (we have been to many SHOT shows as dealers, but GunBlast.com is a new endeavor for us), we were somewhat surprised when a representative from Mateba firearms chased us down to see their new "semi-automatic revolvers". We were somewhat dubious of the prospect at first, but after seeing the guns and speaking to their designer (a very amiable Italian gun designer named Sergio Mateba), we were intrigued by their innovative design. Mateba has come up with a semi-auto revolver system that works like this: the entire top half of the gun recoils slightly upon firing, which recocks the hammer. When the top half returns, a cam in the cylinder engages a channel in the top strap, and the cylinder is rotated. Thus, the hammer is cocked and the cylinder is rotated after every shot, and you have a "semi-auto revolver". Mateba had both handguns and carbines at the show in .44 Magnum and .454 Casull. They say they're sending us a test piece for evaluation, so keep watching Gunblast.com! While at first glance Mateba's system is intriguing, it will be interesting to see how well they actually work.

We saw many new and interesting items at the Ruger area of the show. One of the my favorites was the new bird's-head grip frames for the SA revolvers. There is a more detailed picture and description of this grip frame on the SHOT Show Day 2 page.

Among several new rifle offerings from Ruger this year is the new .44 Magnum semi-auto carbine, which Jeff is holding in the picture. This rifle is substantially different in design from the old .44 mag rifle that was discontinued by Ruger many years ago. The bolt and action design are different, more along the lines of the Mini-14, while the older carbines are superficially reminiscent of the 10-22 design. Also, the old tubular magazine has been replaced by an excellent rotary detachable box magazine, which should make the gun both safer and more reliable.

Ruger has also reintroduced their "Hunter" model Super Blackhawk SA revolvers. The Hunters were fondly regarded, but unfortunately deleted from Ruger's catalog some years back. For those who don't remember the Hunters, they are stainless Super Blackhawks in .44 Magnum with a low rib on the barrel into which are cut integral scope mounts for included Ruger scope rings. This is basically the same scope mounting system as found on the Super Redhawk, and it makes for a sleek package for those who prefer a scoped single-action revolver without interfering too much with the lines of the gun. Also, Ruger's scope ring system allows for removing and reinstalling the scope without loss of zero...theoretically, anyway, I've never mounted a scope on a revolver myself. For a field gun, I like the portability of a SA revolver with about a 4-5/8" or 5-1/2" barrel, and if I need a scoped pistol I reach for my Contender in .35 Remington or .45/70 Government. If you like the idea of a scoped SA revolver, I can't imagine a better system than Ruger's, or one that is less detrimental to the lines of the gun. As you can see in the picture, Ruger also has the new .480 Ruger cartridge available in the Super Redhawk revolver. The .480 Ruger was developed by Ruger and Hornady, and it supposedly approaches the ballistics of the wildcat .475 Linebaugh in a factory-available cartridge. Too bad the .480 isn't available in a SA revolver; the Super Redhawk is so big it needs wheels, and I don't know anyone who would stroke a DA trigger in the field! We talked to the folks at Ruger about making the .454 Casull and .480 Ruger available in a SA revolver, and maybe one of these days they'll listen if they hear from enough of us...

Ruger also has a shorter grip frame available for the Single-Six line of SA revolvers. This is supposed to be a boon for shooters with smaller hands, but Jeff really likes the way this grip frame feels in his mitts.

SKB has some new shotgun offerings available for 2001, including a new .410 bore on a scaled-down frame size. This is a VERY handy little gun that comes to the shoulder and points like it's a part of you. If you are looking for a quality .410 over/under, have a look at this one!

Tri-Star is offering a "Westchester" Model 1887 lever-action shotgun for the Cowboy Action Shooters. Fit and finish are pretty good, but it's a bit pricey for the average Cowboy shooter.

Boge Quinn

SHOT Show Day 2

 

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3Bucc's AR-15 brass catcher and flashlight holder

 

Tom Irwin of Accuracy International and his new round-action bolt rifle. Accuracy International guarantees 1 MOA accuracy from this rifle with proper ammunition.

 

Jeff with Anzio Ironwork's short .50 BMG single-shot takedown rifle

 

Jeff displays AO Sight Systems' Marlin scope mount & peep sight set while Greg discusses specs and features with...

 

The folks from AO Sight Systems

 

Bore-Tech's line of cleaning supplies

 

Cimarron's SA six-guns with "antiqued" finish

 

Hi-Point's line of semi-auto carbines

 

Kimber's Heritage .45 Auto

 

Lipsey's exclusive Ruger .22 Auto with "slab-side" barrel (with scope rings) and rosewood grips. Greg liked this one so much he bought one for himself!

 

Jeff with Robinson Armament Company's new Kalashnikov rifle in .308

 

Sergio Mateba and his Semi-Auto Revolver in .454 Casull

 

Jeff shows the new Bird's-head grip frames from Ruger

 

Jeff with some of Ruger's new rifles for 2001

 

Top to bottom: Two of Ruger's newly re-introduced .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk "Hunter" models with scope mount rib; Ruger's new Super Redhawk in the new .480 Ruger cartridge

 

Ruger's new shorter grip frame Single-Six

 

Jeff with SKB's new .410 Over/Under shotgun

 

Jeff with Tri-Star's 1887 "Westchester" lever-action shotgun for the Cowboy Action shooters