SHOT 2001 REPORT
Plenty of New Products Shown At Largest Ever SHOT Exhibit
by Dave Workman
Many New Firearms, Ammo For Cowboy Shooters Debut
by Glen I. Voorhees
New Products, New Companies, Old Friends Define SHOT Show
by Joseph Tartaro
More Gun, Ammo and Accessory Items of Interest to Shooters 
by Larry S. Sterett
New Products, New Companies, Old Friends Define SHOT Show

by Joseph P. Tartaro
Executive Editor

New products, new calibers, new initiatives and more companies climbing aboard developing trends were characteristic signs of the 2001 edition of the world's largest trade show devoted to hunting, shooting and outdoor sports.

Actually, there were so many new products that it would be impossible for one reporter to cover all of them in one article. That's why Gun Week will have several reports by different writers and editors spread over many issues. The Second Amendment Foundation's publications-Gun News Digest, Women & Guns and The New Gun Week-had more than a dozen writers attending the show, each one of them on the lookout for new product introductions. After we highlight the findings, Gun Week will provide longer test reports on many of them throughout the year.

The annual SHOT Show is huge, and this year's 23rd edition in New Orleans was the largest ever in terms of exhibits. There were over 200 companies-large, medium-sized and small-displaying and selling firearms, over 100 selling ammunition, and another 100+ offering clothing. More than 150 were displaying scopes, sights and optics with more than 50 offering cutlery and related items.

Triton Ammunition
A visit to one booth often yielded a discovery that required visiting other booths. For example, when Massad Ayoob and I stopped briefly at the Triton Cartridge exhibit (PO Box 50, Dept. GWK, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590; phone: 914-463-2960; on-line: www.tritonammo.com), I discovered that they were offering a new .40 Super loading in their line of Close Quarter (CQ) frangible handgun ammunition. The CQ ammo features a lead-free projectile that breaks up into non-toxic (copper and tungsten) particles on contact with a mild steel backstop.

Of course, I knew about the 10mm and its smaller cousin, the .40S&W, but I hadn't heard of a .40 Super. Sure enough, Fernando Coehlo, Triton president, reported that Olympic Arms and at least three other companies were showing handguns chambered for the .40 Super.

Exactly what the .40 Super will do that cannot be done with the shorter and longer 10mms remains to be seen. But it is indicative of the fact that companies in the firearms field are still experimenting and investing in research and development.

Several other new cartridges, and firearms chambered for them, were also being unveiled at the show. Some were all- new: the .480 Ruger loaded first by Hornady for Sturm, Ruger's big Super Redhawk hunting and silhouette target revolver and the Taurus Raging Bull, and the .300 WSM, the Winchester Short Magnum in .30 caliber. This round, which offers ballistics comparable to the .30-06 in a short action, appears to be the first in a series of rifle cartridges that give hunters more velocity and energy in smaller, lighter, short-action rifles.

Several other ammunition manufacturers were expanding their lines in established calibers to fill specific shooter needs. For instance, PMC (Eldorado Cartridge, PO Box 62508, Dept. GWK, Boulder City, NV 89006; phone: 702-294-0025; on-line: www.pmcammo.com) has added a new .45-70 JSP to its Silver line specifically to fill the bill for hunters armed with newer .45-70 guns. The new load features a 400-grain, jacketed soft point bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,025 feet per second (fps). Muzzle energy is 3,187 foot pounds, with more than a ton of energy remaining at 100 yards.

PMC Ammunition
PMC has also added a .7mm-08 with a 139-grain soft point to its Bronze line, and two new .45 Colt loadings to its pistol ammo line.

The company was also showing off its Shooting Sports Safety Express at the SHOT Show. This 50,000-pound, 74-foot tractor/trailer rig first hit the road late last year, but is scheduled for quite a travel schedule in 2001. The Safety Express further expands on the growing industry emphasis on promoting firearms safety and responsibility as well as promoting greater public knowledge of the shooting sports.

The rig will showcase the products of other companies as well as PMC ammunition products and Verona shotguns and Docter sports optics products available through PMC's sister company, B.C. Outdoors. Product displays from co-sponsors Springfield Armory and USA Magazines are also featured during the Safety Express' nationwide tour.

The Taurus Raging Bull in the new .480 Ruger caliber is the same design that tamed the powerful .454. The .480 Raging Bull features a vented rib barrel, factory porting, dual lockup and the unique cushion grips that are all part of the award-winning Raging Bull design.

Taurus
On the first day of the 2001 SHOT, Taurus (16175 NW 49th Ave., Dept. GWK, Miami, FL 33014; phone: 305-624-1115; on-line: www.taurususa.com) held a little ceremony with officials of the National Rifle Association to mark the extremely successful promotion last year during which Taurus provided a free one-year membership in the NRA for guns bought within a given period. Wayne LaPierre, NRA EVP, and James Baker, head of NRA-ILA, were on hand to accept handguns of appreciation from Taurus for their political efforts during the 2000 election cycle, and NRA presented Bob Morrison and Carlos Mugel of Taurus USA with a plaque commemorating the 8,000+ new members the company brought to the association.

Taurus also introduced their new Model 850 CIA (carry it anywhere) revolver. This compact, lightweight, internal hammer wheelgun comes in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum-both holding 5 rounds of standard or +P ammo. The combination of light weight, clean lines and +P power or magnum capacity makes the CIA an excellent choice for either lawful concealed carry or as a backup for law enforcement officers. The double-action-only trigger has a clearly discernable staging point and a clean break.

The idea of a key-actuated, integral locking system-first introduced on Taurus revolvers and later added to their semi-auto pistol line-is one that is catching on. I'm sure I haven't seen every handgun with this feature, but Springfield Inc. (420 West Main St., Dept. GWK, Geneseo, IL 61254; phone: 309-944-5631; on-line: www.springfieldarmory.com) was displaying pistols with its new integral locking system (ILS) right at the entrance to their exhibit. The tamper-resistant ILS is a standard feature on every 1911 pistol produced after Jan. 1, 2001, and will also soon be available as a retrofit kit for the 2 million-plus 1911s now in use. The retrofit will not require a modification to the handgun and will not affect its regular function. Like the Taurus, and the Steyr P40 pistol, the owner turns the key to lock or unlock at his or her discretion.

More NRA Memberships
Taurus should be flattered that the integral locking system idea wasn't the only one catching on at Springfield Armory. Springfield announced a new program in which, during a limited time, buyers of the company's MIA™ rifles in .308 caliber will be given a certificate good for a one-year membership in NRA. The buyer can use the certificate or give it to a friend or family member.

Springfield also announced an all-new MIA rifle which is designed and built to honor the accomplishments of perhaps the greatest tactical rifleman of modern times, the late Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock. Dubbed the White Feather/Carlos Hathcock model M25, this limited edition uses the Springfield Armory rear-lugged receiver, M-14 magazine and a Krieger carbon heavy match barrel with a 1:10 twist. Other features include the SA M25 match trigger, McMillan fiberglass stock and other features popular with precision, long-range shooters.

Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch (21480 Pacific Blvd., Dept. GWK, Sterling, VA 20166; phone 703-450-1900; on-line: hecklerkochusa.com) introduced a new semi-automatic hunting rifle: the SLB 2000 in .30-06 caliber. The SLB 2000 has a simple, but robust short-stroke, piston actuated operating system, free-floating barrel, oiled walnut stock and accepts detachable 2, 5 and 10-round magazines.

HK also introduced a new DAO trigger system for their USP pistols. Originally designed and manufactured for law enforcement, and called the Law Enforcement Modification (LEM), the double-action-only USP pistol is also available in the commercial marketplace. Some 4,000 USP40 compact LEM pistols have already been shipped under contract to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. The principal advantages of the HK LEM system is a reduction in trigger pull weight-as much as one-half that of conventional DAO systems. This eliminates any difficulty a user may experience with hammer spring resistance, and the user has the same trigger pull for each round fired.

Visiting the SHOT Show is also a social event because you encounter many old friends, some of whom are engaged in new enterprises.

One of these was actress/shooter Leslie Easterbrook who, in addition to pushing celebrity-charity shoots, was doing promotion work for HiViz Sight Systems (1418 Webster Ave., Dept. GWK, Fort Collins, CO 80524; phone: 800-589-4315; on-line: www.hivizsights.com). HiViz sights for shotguns, rifles and handguns, utilize LitePipe™ technology, not fiber optics. They can be installed instantly and removed for transfer to another gun by a patented magnetic sight attachment system. For shotguns, only the front HiViz sight is needed and they are available in a variety of colors. For rifles and handguns, the HiViz system included two LitePipes at the rear and one at the front sight position.

Easterbrook was genuinely enthusiastic about the HiViz sights, claiming she and many of her friends had seen immediate improvement in their scores. Apparently, they are not alone; the company lists a number of individual and team clay-bird champions who use the HiViz sights. And the company offers a wide variety of pistol sight configurations, including sights designed for Glocks, Kimbers, Sigs, S&Ws and Sturm-Rugers.

Blackie Collins
Another old friend who was displaying new products was famed knife designer Blackie Collins, who used to write knife articles for Gun Week in the 1980s, but spends more of his time developing designing new knives these days. Collins was at the Myerco USA booth (4481 Exchange Service Drive, Dept. GWK, Dallas, TX 75236; phone: 214-467-8949; on-line: www.myercousa.com) and proudly displayed some new folding knives he had designed for them.

Collins proudly handed over one of a series of new assisted-opening knives that should be very welcome to a lot of people, especially anyone with arthritis in their hands or other physical problems that make opening and closing a folding-knife difficult. Of course, one doesn't need to have a problem to want a knife that is easy and fast to open. Myerco's Sting Ray, Rascal and Big Rascal are actually the third-generation in Collins' development of assisted-opening knives.

When Collins handed me the Sting Ray pocket knife, the first thing I noticed was the extremely light weight-just 2.26 ounces-a feature I like because I carry a pocket knife in my trousers wherever I go. (The smaller Rascal model weighs a hair over 1° ounces. An unbreakable Fiberesin™ material is used for the handle of these folding knives that can be opened with one hand. There is an ambidextrous stud mounted on the 3-1/8-inch blade of the Sting Ray; swing the stud out a few degrees with your thumb and the knife takes over to open fully. Simple thumb pressure on the locking button the handle brings the blade back into the handle.

These are legal knives, not spring or gravity knives which are outlawed in many areas.

Collins had a number of other new designs in the Myerco line, but I liked the size of this one, from which at my request, Collins removed the clip that is attached on one side of the handle, and the Sting Ray immediately acquired a home in my trouser pocket. (The pocket knife I arrived with at the SHOT Show that had disappeared during set-up of the Second Amendment Foundation exhibit.)

Still another old friend, Ron Fine, whose history in the gun field is longer than mine, displayed a lot of new Brazilian-made ammunition and the Model 7022 semi-auto rifle in .22 rimfire at the Magtech booth (837 Boston Post Road, #12, Dept. GWK, Madison, CT 06443; phone: 800-466-7191).

I was familiar with both the rimfire rifles and most of Magtech's ammo, but I was intrigued by a new line of single-shot shotguns. Dubbed the Model 199, what was especially different about these singles was the simple and convenient release lever beneath the trigger guard. Available in full-size and youth models, the Magtech Model 199 shotguns are available in 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and .410, chambered for either 2- and 3-inch shells, with either full or modified choke constriction.

Compact Beamhit Trainer
Many of the new items displayed in New Orleans proved to be new, improved and reduced-size versions of existing products. One that caught my eye was the Beamhit 190 personal marksmanship training system (PMTS), which offered a complete computer-based home system at around $200 retail.

Beamhit (10220 Old Columbia Road, Dept. GWK, Columbia, MD 21046; phone: 410-309-1506; on-line: www.beamhit.com) has specialized in marksmanship training systems and devices for several years, but I was struck by the compact, portable, self-contained system that works with any firearm. Three targets are provided with the system-bullseye, silhouette and deer-but additional targets are available. The Beamhit 190 PMTS has only one plug which is easily connected to the USP port on your computer, and the system is compatible with Windows 98 or newer software.

The idea of being able to hone one's marksmanship skills-especially sight picture, trigger squeeze and follow through-on a variety of simulated targets using your favorite firearms quietly, clearly and frequently in your home or office seems an incredible investment. And the cost of acquiring a Beamhit 190 PMTS is very reasonable.

I didn't have a photo of the Beamhit with this issue, but I suggest you contact them or check out their website. Safe practice in your home, office or store using your regular carry gun or any others in your collection can save you a lot of time-and save maybe a lot more.


Web Resources
Beamhit Blackie Collins
Heckler & Koch HiViz Sight Systems
PMC Ammunition Springfield
Taurus Triton Ammo
SHOT 2001 REPORT
Plenty of New Products Shown At Largest Ever SHOT Exhibit
by Dave Workman
Many New Firearms, Ammo For Cowboy Shooters Debut
by Glen I. Voorhees
New Products, New Companies, Old Friends Define SHOT Show
by Joseph Tartaro
More Gun, Ammo and Accessory Items of Interest to Shooters 
by Larry S. Sterett

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