American Derringer made its name with its M-1 .45
Colt/.410 bore over/under Derringer pistols, and the company continues to
grow with a plethora of Derringer-type offerings available in a vast array
of calibers and grades of ornamentation. I know a lot of guys who
absolutely love these little pistols, and their continued popularity since
the nineteenth century is a testament to their design.
Armalite has many new and exciting offerings for
2001, among which are the AR10T .308 "flat-top" semi-auto
carbine. This appears to be a very well-made piece, and Armalite seems to
be well-positioned to take advantage of the positive changes in the political
climate. Look for us to test the AR10T and other Armalite offerings soon!
Ballisticast, Inc. is making some very nice
products for those amongst us who cast our own bullets, and for industrial
use. Their lubri-sizer is a unique and interesting design that sizes
bullets "backwards" and does away with the need for having a
variety of nose pieces on-hand. The folks at Ballisticast were excited at
the prospect of being featured on GunBlast.com and will be sending us
products for evaluation soon.
Ballisticast, Inc. also has a line of premium-grade
bullet molds available. They specialize in large-caliber flat-point,
Keith-style, and LBT-style bullets, and they have the capability to make
high-quality molds in virtually any style imaginable.
We have known for years that Barnes Bullets are
some of the best available in the industry, and we have always heard that
the folks at Barnes are some of the nicest and most accommodating folks
you're likely to meet. We found this to be "true" at the SHOT
show, as Barnes' Jessica Treu was most cooperative with us in every
way. Not only was she willing to commit Barnes to sending us anything in
their catalog for testing, but Barnes will be sending us new products
while still in the design phase. GunBlast.com (and you, our readers) will
be able to have input and suggestions as to what we are looking for in
Barrett Firearms is located in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, and not only are they our neighbors (a couple of hours East of
us), they are one of the most innovative companies around. Barrett pretty
much established the modern trend of manufacturing practical weapons in
.50 BMG caliber. They began making guns for military and police snipers
effective at a range of 1 MILE (yes, I said MILE) or greater, and thus
were well-positioned with established designs when the craze for sporting
.50 BMG rifles began. For those who are unfamiliar with the .50 BMG
(Browning Machine Gun) cartridge, it looks like a .30-06 on steroids.
Designed as a heavy machine-gun, anti-aircraft and anti-tank round, the
empty case is about 6 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, and fires a
bullet of 750 grains or more at velocities approaching 3000 feet per
second. The ballistic coefficient of the .50 BMG bullet is optimal for
long-range accuracy, and the Barrett rifles are built to take advantage of
this inherent accuracy. Chris Barrett is pictured with their Model
99 line of bolt-action single-shot rifles. Jeff tested a standard Model 99
(see his evaluation at The Big 50), which is
the rifle closest to Chris in the picture. Barrett has just introduced a
new variant of the Model 99 (closest to the camera in the picture), which
offers the performance of the regular Model 99 in a much smaller package.
Look for more features and evaluations of Barrett guns at GunBlast.com in
Barrett also still makes the tried-and-true Model
82A1, as pictured here with Angela Barrett. The Model 82A1 is a
semi-automatic .50 BMG with a detachable box magazine, and it is the rifle
that put Barrett "on the map". An excellent and acclaimed
design, the Model 82A1 is about as small as a semi-auto .50 can be, but
this sucker is still BIG (and accurate)!
Among Browning's new offerings for 2001 is the cute
little Buck Mark Carbine, which is Browning's excellent Buck Mark pistol
sporting a long barrel, fore-end and butt-stock. The carbine is available
in a trim lightweight hunting model with adjustable iron sights and scope
mounts, or a target model with a bull barrel and without iron sights. We like
the handling qualities of the lightweight hunting version slightly better.
This is an amazingly handy and attractive design that Jeff is really
looking forward to testing. According to Browning, this carbine is
available at select Browning dealers and distributors now, but Jeff is
danged if he can find one! If anyone knows where they are, let us know...
Browning is also offering the classic Low-Wall
rifles in pistol calibers such as .45 Colt for the Cowboy Action Shooting
market. This is a well-made version of the classic design that should find
favor with Cowboy shooters.
BSA is offering their new "Big Cat" line
of rifle scopes. BSA scopes are well-made, imported scopes at reasonable
prices. The "Big Cat" line includes many magnification levels,
eye relief distances, lighted-reticle models, and rubber-armored models.
See Jeff's article on the BSA "Cat's-Eye" lighted-reticle scope
at the following link: BSA Catseye.
After a hiatus of some time, we are glad to see that Charter
Arms is back in business! Both Jeff and I have owned Charter's
excellent little 5-shot .38 snubbies for many years, and I have always
been partial to their excellent .44 Special "Bulldog" model
(unfortunately made infamous by "son of Sam" David Berkowitz).
Charter is offering not only their excellent "Undercover" line
of snubbies in .38 Special and .357 Magnum and the "Bulldog" .44
Specials, but newly-designed rifles and M1911A1-type .45 Government models
with many new and innovative features you will find nowhere else. All new
Charters are offered in stainless steel only. Look for reviews of Charter
Arms' new guns at GunBlast.com in the near future!
We didn't look at a lot of knives at the SHOT show (after
all, this is a gun publication, and you only have a few days to take in a
mind-boggling array of items), but we had to make an exception for Cold
Steel when we saw their new Recon Tactical Folder. Jeff has been a fan
of Cold Steel for years, and he is particularly fond of his Recon Tanto.
The Recon Tactical Folder is a folding version of the Recon Tanto,
equipped with a half-serrated blade and an extremely strong locking
Cowboy Action Shooting has taking the firearms world by
storm, and finally my favorite types of guns are "coming back in
style" and becoming more available! Another example of the Cowboy
shooting influence on the industry is EAA's cute little
"Bounty Hunter" side-by-side double shotgun in .410 bore. A
scaled-down version of their 12-gauge gun, the EAA Bounty Hunter should
find favor with smaller shooters or those who need a break from shooting
their normal "cannons".
Fobus USA offers many imported add-ons and holsters
for modern pistols such as the Glock line. The detachable, telescoping
shoulder stock shown here (with a Glock mock-up, or "Mock") is
used by Israel's elite Mossad units with their full-auto Glocks, and is
available in the USA for law-enforcement or military use only. It
ingeniously pins into the "hollow" in the Glock's butt without modification
to the pistol, and incorporates a skeletonized cheek piece. Fobus also
makes a line of polymer holsters for modern pistols, and they have already
sent us one for a test piece. Stay tuned...
Just kidding about the 1mm Parabellum "Micro-Glock",
folks! This is just a key chain model that Glock was giving as
New for 2001 to H&K/Benelli's line is the USMC
Model 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun, as issued to the United States Marine
Our pal Jason Cloessner with Lipsey's
displays some of the limited-production Ruger and Colt guns
available only from Lipsey's. Jason is holding a limited-edition Ruger
Mini-14 in stainless with gray-laminated stock. Lipsey's is always
negotiating with manufacturers for limited-production exclusives at
reasonable prices, so have your dealer call Jason to see what's available.
Tell 'em GunBlast.com sent you!
Marlin is offering some new guns tailored for the
Cowboy Action Shooting market. Among these are the nice little "1897
Cowboy" lever gun in .22 Rimfire. This handy octagon-barreled rifle
is very well detailed and available at a competitive price.
Marlin is also offering a nice "Cowboy"
rifle in the excellent .38-55 caliber. One of the nicest things about the
influence that Cowboy Action Shooting is having on the industry is that
some of the great calibers of the past (such as .38-55) are becoming
available again. If you've never played with the .38-55, we suggest you
MOA, Inc. is the maker of the legendary
"Maximum" line of single-shot pistols. Available in many hunting
and benchrest calibers, the Maximum has won too many benchrest
competitions to count!
Olympic Arm's new AR-15 Mini-Carbine caught our
eye. This looks like a well-made little gun, and the novelty of its size
is attractive. As Jeff put it, "I'll bet that's a LOUD little
Opti-Logic has a new line of laser range finders
that appear to be both well-made and affordable as compared to
competitors' models. Opti-Logic will be sending us a test piece for evaluation
Peltor's new "ComTac" electronic hearing
protectors, as issued to the U.S. Navy SEAL teams, are now available to
the general public. These units not only filter-out harmful loud noises
but amplify soft sounds as well. Look for evaluations of these and other
Peltor products on GunBlast.com in the near future!
Radian's new AV line of shooting glasses are
fully-coated UV-protective glasses that are made from a new, proprietary
polymer. Not only do these glasses offer unparalleled impact resistance,
as the picture shows, but they include built-in earplug-type hearing
protectors integral to the earpieces of the glasses.
Among the exciting new offerings from Ruger for
2001 are the wonderful bird's-head grip frame models. Shown here on the
new 3-1/2" "Sheriff's Model" Vaquero, in my opinion Ruger's
bird's-head grip is much better than the original Colt style (much as I
consider Ruger's Bisley frame to be much superior to Colt's). The shape of
the frame is slightly fuller than Colt's, and as you can see from the
picture, there is a crease on both sides of the grip at the bottom. These
grips sit in the hand incredibly well, and they feel like they will handle
recoil with great efficiency for a small gun. These grip frames (and the
Sheriff's Model) should be available from Ruger by about April, and you
can look for a complete evaluation from GunBlast.com as soon as they
After a too-long hiatus, Snake Charmer is finally
making their .410 tilting-barrel single-shot again! The only thing that
has changed is the stainless-steel-only construction and the addition of a
manual safety on the side of the frame for the sharks (er,
Springfield Armory has introduced some new
competition pistols in various calibers, but the "big" news from
SA is the built-in locking mechanism available on their M1911A1 pistols
(there go the sharks again!). I suppose in today's political climate you
must develop a locking mechanism, and if you have to have one then SA's is
a good one. It locks with a TINY key in an unobtrusive place on the
mainspring housing, and the hole in the mainspring housing is so small it
will hardly be noticed after you throw the key in the river where it
Thompson/Center, makers of the excellent Contender
and Encore single-shot pistols with interchangeable barrels in multiple
calibers, are introducing a new .22 Rimfire semi-automatic rifle to the
market. T/C also makes some of the finest muzzle-loading rifles on the
market today. They are also announcing changes to the Contender design
that they claim will enhance ease of use, reliability and safety without
compromising the ability to use older-production barrels on the new
Fiber-optic sights seem to be the "coming thing"
these days, and none seem better than those made by Williams Gun Sight
Company, Inc. Makers of the nice "Fire Sight" for rifles
(see Jeff's review at Williams Fire Sight),
Williams now has fiber-optics available for many different makes of
pistols that install without modification to the gun. At first glance,
these sights have amazing visibility as long as there is ambient light
available. Look for a more complete evaluation in the future.
SHOT Show Day 3
Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or
disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.
All content © 2001 GunBlast.com. All rights