SHOT Show 2006
New Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols Offer Enhanced Performance
Photos and Story
by Larry S. Sterett
Contributing Editor

Held later than usual, the 2006 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Feb. 9-12, was the largest yet. Not only was the portion of the Center allotted to the show filled with exhibitors, but so was a football field-size tent out in the parking lot. (It was necessary to cross a busy drive to get to the tent exhibits, a fact which left both exhibitors and attendees a bit unhappy.)

New items, old items, new exhibitors, old exhibitors, new faces and old friends added to the allure of the Show, which is coming close to being more than can be covered in four days. When SHOT Show split off from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Show more than a quarter-century ago, exhibitors were basically firms dealing in shooting, hunting and related merchandise. No fishing (The fishermen have their own show.), and little or no police or camping merchandise was being exhibited. Today, these latter firms make up a guessimated 20% or more of the Show, depending on how you define the end use of the merchandise.

While Browning, H&R, Marlin, Remington, Savage/Stevens, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and like firms were exhibiting new handguns, rifles, and shotguns, an equal number of firms, if not more, were exhibiting accessories for the various AR-10, AR-15, and AK-47 models and clones. These autoloaders and the military versions preceding them have no doubt outnumbered the century-old bolt-action ’98 Mauser and cohorts in the quantity manufactured, and the Mauser was and still is a great design.

Airguns are no longer the low-powered, economical BB-type models many of us grew up with in the past, but precision, and expensive instruments capable of great accuracy and suitable for small game hunting. Beeman Precision Airguns (5454 Argosy Ave., Dept. GWK, Huntington Beach, CA 92649; phone: 714-890-4800; on-line: www.beeman.com) has three new air rifles for 2006 capable of producing muzzle velocities of 1,000 feet-per-second (fps), or nearly so, in .177 caliber.

The HW100 model, available in .177 or .22 caliber, lists at just over $1,600, weighs 9 pounds, is pre-charged from Scuba cylinders, and is available with a choice of sporter or thumbhole walnut stock. It features a 14-shot magazine and the .177 version has a muzzle velocity of 1,140 fps. The single-stroke, break-barrel GH1050 model features a black, ambidextrous, synthetic stock, weighs less than 6˚ pounds, is available in .177 or .22 caliber with velocities of 1,000 and 812 fps, respectively, for less than three C-notes.

The HW97 model has been upgraded to the HW97 MkIII for 2006, and is a gem for under $600. Available in .177 or .20 caliber, the new HW97 MkIII weighs in at just over 9 pounds, is an underlever cocker, and can push a .177 pellet out the muzzle at 930 fps. The comfortable beechwood sporter stock has been given a slightly more angular cheekpiece, and improved pistol grip, and the barrel has been shortened to 11˚ inches plus a steel muzzle weight added. (Accuracy with this model is as good as with the HW100 in .177 caliber.) For shooters wanting an air rifle in .20 caliber, this model is an excellent choice. (All three models feature barrels with 12 groove rifling.)

Austin & Halleck
Blackpowder arms are big business and some of the newer muzzleloading rifles are equal to centerfire models in appearance and price, just slower to operate for a second shot, if needed. Austin & Halleck (A&H—2122 South 950 East, Dept. GWK, Provo, UT 84606; phone: 877-543-3256; on-line: www.austinhalleck.com) has a couple of new models—the 12-gauge bolt-action 520 shotgun and the lever-action 694 American Classic rifle in a choice of .45 or .50 caliber.

The 520 features a Teflon-coated, 26-inch ventilated rib barrel with screw-in choke tube, and TruGlo center and muzzle beads. The one-piece stock has a GET (Grip Enhancement Technology) pistol grip and forearm panels, a length-of-pull of 13˚ inches and a 1-inch recoil pad. The in-line action has a 440 stainless steel bolt, fully adjustable trigger, and trigger sear-block safety. Measuring just under 48 inches in length, the 520 weighs approximately 6˚ pounds, and comes with an under-the-barrel ramrod and swivel studs for under $550.

The A&H Model 694 resembles the time-tested Winchester Model 94 centerfire rifle, but with a ramrod beneath the barrel in place of a magazine tube. With a Teflon-coated finish, the 694 features a 22-inch Krieger barrel in choice of .45 or .50 caliber, an overall length of just under 40 inches, and a weight of approximately 6∫ pounds. TruGlo sights are standard, as are swivel studs, and a choice of walnut or maple stock/forearm with recoil pad, and it’s priced at just under six century notes.

Marlin Firearms
Another interesting new muzzleloading rifle is Remington’s .50-caliber Genesis, available in seven versions with a choice of regular synthetic sporter or thumbhole stock in black or Mossy Oak camo finish, or gray laminate. The Genesis features a TorchCam action which locks the 209 primer in place, an ambidextrous hammer spur, a removable breech plug, crossbolt safety, 28-inch barrel with Williams fiber-optic sight, and front and rear swivel studs. The barrel is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and an anodized aluminum ramrod with jag is standard. Overall length of the Genesis is 43 inches, with an approximate weight of 7˚ to 8 pounds, depending on the stock type.

Marlin Firearms (100 Kenna Dr., Dept. GWK, North Haven, CT 06473; phone: 203-239-5621; on-line: www.marlinfirearm.com) introduced four new versions of the Model 336, all featuring half-magazines, a 24-inch magazine and black/gray laminated hardwood forearm and stock with deluxe recoil pad. The rifles, 336XLR, 444XLR, 1895XLR, and 1895MXLR, are chambered for the .30-30 Winchester, .444 Marlin, .45-70 Gov’t., and .450 Marlin cartridge, respectively, and for the LEVERevolution loads produced by Hornady Mfg. Constructed of stainless steel, with the receivers drilled and tapped for a scope mount, and coupled with the laminated stocks and forearms, these new 336 models are beauties to behold.

In the rimfire rifle line, Marlin has new bolt-action 917 and 917VR models with black fiberglass-filled synthetic stocks, and 22-inch barrels chambered for the .17 Hornady Rimfire Magnum (HRM) cartridge. The 917 features a sporter weight barrel with open sights, while the 917VR has a heavy weight barrel without sights.

Both models have receivers drilled and tapped for scope mounts, plus grooves for tip-off mounts. There is also a new Model 925R bolt-action with 22-inch Micro-Groove barrel chambered for 22 long rifle cartridges. It has open sights, grooved and drilled and tapped receiver, a redesigned synthetic pistol grip stock with swivel stocks and mold-in checkering, and a weight of only 5˚ pounds.

Wolf Ammo
Wolf Performance Ammunition (PO Box 757, Dept. GWK, Anaheim, CA 92871; phone: 888-757-9653; on-line: www.wolfammo.com) has been available in the US for several years, but the metallic cartridges were Berdan primed lacquered steel cased. Now there is “Wolf Gold” in Boxer primed brass cases.

Sixteen rifle calibers, from the .22-250 Remington to the .300 Winchester Magnum, and including the .223, 6.5mm Grendel, 6.5x55mm Swedish, .30-30 Winchester, 7.5x55mm Swiss, .303 British, and 7.62x54R are available, plus eight handgun calibers. The handgun calibers range from the .32 ACP to the .44 Remington Magnum, and include hollowpoint loads in addition to the usual full metal jacket rounds.

Wolf has added a polymer coating to some of the cartridges to insure smoother feeding and extraction. Calibers featured range from the 5.45x39mm to the 7.62x54R in the rifle line, and .380 ACP to .45 Auto in the handgun line. With the exception of the .223 Remington, .40 Smith & Wesson, and .45 Auto loads, these cartridges are Berdan primed.

For volume shooters, Wolf has added a new value pack of 5.45x39mm and 7.62x39mm cartridges featuring Mil-Spec sealant around the case mouth and primer annulus to provide long-term storage protection. Five handgun calibers—.380 ACP, 9mm Makarov, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP—are also available in the value pack.

Remington announced the 6.8mm SPC cartridge a couple of years back, but ammunition in this caliber never really seemed to reach many dealer shelves, nor did Remington rifles so chambered. However, AR-15-type rifles are available from a number of firms and so is ammunition.

New Cartridges
Thompson/Center Arms (PO Box 5002, Dept. GWK, Rochester, NH 03866; phone: 603-332-2394; on-line: www.tcarms.com) had 6.8mm ammunition cataloged in 2005, and the firm has barrels in this chambering for the Encore rifles and the Encore and Contender pistols. Silver State Armory, LLC (800 Margaret St., Bldg. 4, Dept. GWK, Pahrump, NV 89048; phone: 775-537-1118; on-line: www.ssarmory.com) has three different 6.8mm loads in production, plus unprimed brass.

Hornady Mfg. Co. (PO Box 1848, Dept. GWK, Grand Island, NE 68802; phone: 800-338-3220; on-line: www.hornady.com) has two different 6.8mm SPC loads, both loaded with 110-grain Hornady bullets. Federal Cartridge and Winchester are not currently manufacturing 6.8mm SPC ammunition, but there may be other firms loading this cartridge or gearing up to do so.

The last few SHOT Shows have also seen the introduction of a number of new cartridges, including: the .204 Ruger, 6.8mm SPC, .325 Winchester Short Magnum, .338 Federal, .45 GAP, .500 Smith & Wesson, and .502 Thunder Sabre. The two biggies at the 2006 Show were the .338 Federal and the .416 Barrett. The .338 Federal has been around for awhile as a wildcat cartridge, now legitimized with factory-loaded ammunition.

The .416 is Ronnie Barrett’s (Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc., PO Box 1077, Dept. GWK, Murfreesboro, TN 37133; phone: 615-896-2938; on-line: www.barrettrifles.com) answer to those long-range shooters wanting something to equal or better the .50 BMG, especially in such states as California, where the .50 is banned. The .50 BMG cartridge is good, as is the .510 DTC EUROP mentioned in 2005. The .50 Spotter isn’t bad, but the .408 Cheyenne and .338 Lapua may even be better in the accuracy department, if not quite equal in punch. But look out for the .416 Barrett. (Heavy bullets in the .338 and .416 calibers usually have high ballistic coefficients which enable them to do well at longer ranges.)

.416 Barrett
The .416 Barrett cartridge, as currently loaded by Barrett, features a 400-grain solid brass boattail spitzer bullet having a length of 2 inches and a ballistic coefficient of 0.943. The .416 Barrett case is a necked-down and shortened (to 3.27 inches) .50 BMG case. (Overall loaded cartridge length of the .416 is 4.60±.02 inches.) Muzzle velocity is right at 3,250 fps, and the 400-grain spitzer is still supersonic at 2,500 yards.

The prototype rifle was a Barrett Model 99 single-shot with a 29-inch barrel, and production rifles, when available, will no doubt be similar. (Accuracy in the prototype was said to be in the neighborhood of ˚ minute-of-angle [MOA]. Imagine what the buffalo hunters of the 19th century could have done with this combination. The 1,000-yard shooters should find the .416 Barrett just what they have been looking for. It also gives new meaning to the phrase, “Reach out and touch. . . .”)

Back in the 19th century the military experimented with the possible adoption of a long, rimmed .22-caliber cartridge loaded with bullets weighing over 100 grains. It was never adopted, being replaced respectively with the .30-03, .30-06, and later the .308, prior to adopting the 5.56mm. The 6mm Lee was adopted by the US Navy back in 1895, but it was nixed by higher-ups in favor of the .30 calibers, and the .276 Pedersen was favored by the US Army in the 1930s, until nixed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

The 5.56mm which has been in use for more than three decades, seems to be losing favor to the recently introduced 6.8 SPC. At the same time foreign nations seem to be interested in going even smaller than the 5.56mm to possibly a 4.6mm, while the British have always—for nearly a century at least—wanted to go to a 7mm or .276-caliber cartridge.

(The M1913 Enfield was chambered for a .276 caliber, larger than the .276 Pedersen, and the post-World War II trials used a shorter .280 cartridge, a .280/30 version, a 7mm, and possibly others, only to be ousted in favor of a standard NATO round the 7.62x51mm preferred by the US.)

FNH and McCann
FNH USA (PO Box 697, Dept. GWK, McLean, VA 22101; phone: 703-288-1292; on-line: www.fnhusa.com) introduced the 5.7x28mm which seems to be catching on for military, law enforcement and civilian use. (FNH USA was exhibiting their new FNPS90 for civilian use at the Show. This longer barrel semi-auto version of the FN90 is sure to be a hit.) At the 2005 SHOT Show the Swiss firm of RUAG Ammotec introduced a 4.6x30mm design which is similar to, but shorter, than some of the German cartridges used in earlier tests. With the current renewed attention to .17-caliber cartridges and .14-caliber wildcats, it will be interesting to see how an .18-caliber design fares. Very interesting!

In the period following World War II a number of the M1941 Johnson recoil-operated, autoloading .30-06 rifles were rebarreled to handle the .270 Winchester and 7mm Mauser cartridges, and possibly others. Extra barrels could be obtained for $19.50 each, and one of these rebored, rerifled, and chambered for the .35 Whelen cartridge seems a good idea, only a half-century after the fact. A few M1 Garands were known to have been rebarreled for the .270 Winchester, but the procedure for the gas-operated Garand was more complicated and more expensive.

At the SHOT Show, McCann Industries (PO Box 641, Dept. GWK, Spanaway, WA 98387; phone: 253-537-6919; on-line: www.mccannindustries.com) was exhibiting Garands rebarreled with Douglas barrels and reworked to handle the .338 and .458 Magnum cartridges. (The 8-round en-bloc clip is done away with, the operating rod shortened, a reworked trigger mechanism, and new walnut stock with the receiver glass bedded, are a few of the modifications.)

The rifle examined looked good and handled well, but only some firing can answer how it functions. (McCann also produces a .308 Winchester conversion on the French MAS M1949/56 autoloader. Said conversion with its AR-15 stock and pistol grip at first glance resembles an AR-10 with a 10-round magazine.)

Kel-Tec
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. (1475 Cox Rd., Dept. GWK, Cocoa, FL 32926; phone: 321-631-0068; on-line: www.kel-tec.com) was exhibiting two new pistols, the double-action, locked breech PF-9, a slim 7-round version of the successful P-11 chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge and the gas-operated PLR-16 Long Range Pistol chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge. The P-11 at just over ∫-inch in width and weighing 12∫ ounces, empty, is probably the slimmest and lightest 9mm autoloader ever produced. The PLR-16, except for the barrel, bolt, sights, and international mechanism, is constructed entirely of high-impact fiber-reinforced polymer.

Featuring a barrel length of just over 9 inches, the pistol measures 18˚ inches overall, and weighs under 3˘ pounds, empty. It comes with a 10-round magazine, but will accept all AR-15/M16 magazines. The basic PLR-16 has adjustable open sights, and a Picatinny rail on the receiver for mounting a scope or other optics.

The pistol can be tricked out, if desired, with sling, muzzle brake, case deflector handle, and forearm with rails. Kel-Tel arms have proven to be well-designed, reliable small arms and the latest models should be the same. Now, will a model appear chambered for the 5.7x28mm or the 4.6x30mm cartridges?

Gamo USA Corp. (3911 SW 47th Ave., Suite 914, Dept. GWK, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314; phone: 954-581-5822; on-line: www.gamousa.com) introduced their new Raptor .177 PBA pellet for airguns. This Performance Ballistic Alloy pellet was designed specifically as a pellet for hunting, and is not to be used in pellet traps or against hard targets. It’s reported to increase velocity up to more than 25% over normal airgun pellets, while still producing match-grade accuracy.

Gamo Rocket Tip
(An airgun producing pellet velocities of 800 fps with a normal lead pellet should produce 1,000 fps with a Raptor PBA pellet, and a 1,000 fps air rifle should achieve 1,250 fps with a PBA pellet.) These non-lead alloy pellets feature a semi-pointed wasp-waist design with special multi-layered coatings to lubricate the barrel and provide increased target penetration up to 100%. (Sample pellets weighed indicated an average weight of 5.1 grains per pellet.)

There’s also a new Rocket Ballistic Tip .177 pellet with a hardened steel tip, and a PHP (pointed hollowpoint) pellet to provide maximum expansion when hunting.

Gamo also has a new moving target, variable speed, True Scale Deer Silhouette Running Deer Shooting Range for under a C-note. It features a 6-foot galvanized steel track with guide rails and a four-speed carriage that resets itself at each end of the run. (The head section actually changes direction at each end of the track and a scale is provided to simulate actual rifle shooting ranges. For example, if the system is set up at 15 yards for use with an airgun having a velocity of 650 fps, it would simulate shooting at 180 yards.)

Gamo has a host of new airguns, including the Viper Express, a shotgun/rifle combination gun in .22 caliber. Based on the Gamo 1000 powerplant, the Viper Express features a smooth bore barrel with ventilated rib, and an all-weather synthetic stock with dual cheekpieces, and soft checkered rubber inserts on the pistol grip and forearm. A .22-caliber shotshell loaded with size 9 shot can be used to bag small game at 10 yards, while a .22-caliber pellet from a chamber adapter can be pushed at 850 fps.

Hunter Extreme
The spring piston, break cocking, .177-caliber Hunter Extreme, used with PBA pellets can achieve a muzzle velocity of 1,600 fps. The Extreme features a bull barrel, and Monte Carlo, laser-checkered beech stock. (Cocking effort for the Extreme is 58 pounds.) Other new models with synthetic stocks include: the Viper, Recon, with fluted barrel and thumbhole stock, Shadow Sport, Nitro 17, Varmint Hunter, and CFX Fixed Barrel. (Except for the Viper and the CFX models, these airguns feature fluted barrels.)

New models with beech hardwood stocks include the Hunter Elite, Hunter Pro (fluted barrel), and Hunter Sport (fluted barrel). Except for the Viper Express and CFX models, these Gamo airguns come with either a 39X or 4x20 scope, while the, Varmint Hunter is fitted with a 4x32 scope, laser sight, and mini-flashlight.

(The sighting devices are connected with a special bracket and finger pressure pads to activate the laser and flashlight.) Five scope models, and the Varmint Hunter Set are available separately, as are laser sights and scope mounts. (Weights of the new Gamo models range from 4 pounds (Recon) to 10˚ pounds (Hunter Extreme).

Choate Machine & Tool Inc. (116 Lovers Lane, Dept. GWK, Bald Knob, AR 72010; phone: 800-972-6390; online: www.riflestock.com) has been producing a host of synthetic handgun, rifle, and shotgun stocks and accessories for civilian, law enforcement and military use for more than three decades. Their popular folding stocks are now back, along with some new products.

The shotgun stocks are now available in a pistol grip Mark 5 which makes single-handed firing much easier, along with a conventional Mark 5 model, and both feature spacers to permit length adjustment. (There is also a Mark 5 design which stores five shotshells. A Tactical M-4-style Telescoping Folder stock is available to fit Remington 7615P, 7400, 742, and 7600 rifles and 870 and 870 Lightweight shotguns.

Choate Stocks
The M-4 Tactical is available also for the AR-15/M16. It features a five-position telescoping stock with two watertight storage compartments to hold small batteries, etc. Constructed of 25% fiberglass-reinforced Rynite, the stock has three possible sling attachment options, and a non-slip hard rubber buttpad. The stock comes complete with recoil spring, recoil buffer, buffer tube, buttpad, and locking nut. (H&K uses Choate folding stocks on some of the firm’s many models, and Choate has these stocks available to fit the 91-G3, 93-94, and MP5PDW models.)

Choate stocks for H&R rifles and shotguns have been available for some years, but new is a Varmint model stock and forearm. The stock features an elevation adjustment knob on the underside near the butt, plus the butt spacers, and the forearm features a bipod “T” rail on the underside. A cheekpiece can be added to the comb of the stock to permit a higher line-of-sight.

N Range Shooting Systems (55 Readington Rd., North Branch, NJ 08876; phone: 866-670-6432; on-line: www.nra-nge.com) was exhibiting their new design for safe shooting indoors using your own rifle or pistol. Minimal noise—between 85 and 95 decibels, compared to conventional rounds at 160 decibels and up—and smoke, low penetration and destructive power, and good accuracy up to 30 yards. (Average muzzle velocity is around 400 fps, and groups which can be covered with a playing card are possible at 30 yards using a sandbag rest. Indoors at 30 feet, group size should be around 1-inch or smaller in diameter.)

The N Range System, which is currently available for use with Beretta 92, Browning HP, Glock 17, H&K USP and USPK, and SIG 220, 226, 228, and 229 pistols, and the AR-15 rifle, comes in Standard or Executive versions, with a price tag ranging from $2,500 to nearly $5,000, complete. (The higher price of the Executive System is due mainly to the walnut or cherry-finished wood cabinet with built-in safe. It resembles a piece of fine furniture which might house a TV, recorder, etc.)

N Range System
The basis of the N Range System is a replacement barrel and recoil spring for the pistols, and a replacement bolt assembly for the AR-15, plus special cartridge units. (The pistol barrels will not accept conventional ammunition, while the AR-15 unit features an offset firing pin which will not fire conventional cartridges.)

The N Range cartridges are basically constructed the same, except for size. The case is a zinc alloy, the bullets aluminum with a maximum range of 30 yards, and an impact energy of 2.5 foot-pounds at 10 yards. All propelling force is provided by two primers. The AR-15 cartridge uses a rimfire blank for the rear primer which drives the ball firing pin forward to strike the front primer to propel the projectile.

The handgun cartridges are shorter than conventional rounds and shaped differently, preventing conventional rounds from chambering, and the slide from returning to battery. Handgun cartridges are powered by two primers, and each N Range System comes with 2,000 rounds of ammunition. (Extra ammunition is available in units of 100 rounds to system owners.) Conversion time ranges from approximately 43 to 70 seconds, depending on familiarity with the handgun or AR-15.

Thompson/Center Arms (PO Box 5002, Dept. GWK, Rochester, NH 03867; phone: 603-332-2394; on-line: www.tcarms.com) has a new T-7 cleaning product line and a new Encore Pro Hunter system that handles about any type of game huntable. Featuring a stock with soft touch comb, over-molded pistol grip, Sims recoil pad, and a FlexTech Recoil System, the Pro Hunter has an over-molded forearm, and is available with a fluted stainless steel rifle barrel in a choice of 18 calibers from the 22 Hornet to the .416 Rigby.

T/C Encore
It can also be obtained with a 209x50 muzzleloading barrel and fluted 20- and 12-gauge slug barrels. (All barrel lengths are 28 inches.) The FlexTech stock is said to reduce recoil up to 43%, and the new “swing hammer” positions the hammer spur for each access to either a right- or left-handed shooter. A feature of to 209x50 muzzleloading barrel is a new quick release “Speed Breach” plug; rotate it 90 degrees and remove to make barrel cleaning a simple task.

Thompson/Center advertises their Encore as “The Gun for All Seasons,” and it’s as close at it gets. With interchangeable barrels in 86 calibers, it’s possible to go from a centerfire rifle to a muzzleloading rifle, or to a shotgun, in two minutes or less. You can even change stocks and forearms. (The Encore is also a handgun, with interchangeable barrels in a variety of calibers.)

Many shooters have heard of the “around the corner” barrel attachments the German used during World War II. These units featured a curved barrel, with special prism sights, and saw very limited use. Now the Corner Shot (The Four Seasons Tower, 1441 Brickell Ave., Suite 1430, Dept. GWK, Miami, FL 33131; phone: 305-416-0508; on-line: www.cornershot.com) system permits around the corner/behind cover target engagement without exposing any part of the shooter’s body to return fire.

Designed for use by military and law enforcement personnel, the Corner Shot is available in several versions for 7.62mm, 9mm, 5.56mm, 5.7mm, .45 ACP, etc., and 40mm cartridges, and utilizes conventional firearms, and ammunition. The CSM is modified to use various types of pistols currently in use, including Beretta, Glock, SIG-Sauer, and FN. The APR version uses short barrel or AR-15 pistol versions with rifle caliber ammunition.

Corner Shot
(When necessary, the APR 5.56mm, or model being used, can be removed from the Corner Shot System, refitted with its original stock and employed in its original form.) The CS 40 features a launcher and is intended for use by military forces, and a 37mm version is available for police and law enforcement use. It will handle any projectile, smoke, tear gas, non-lethal, illumination, etc., a regular 37 or 40mm launcher uses.

Invented in Israel by Amos Golan, and developed with the cooperation of Asaf Nadel, the Corner Shot, regardless of version, uses a small, high-resolution video camera and monitor through which the operator can view targets located “around the corner.” The system is hinged just behind the small arm—handgun, AR-15 pistol, etc.—permitting the bend for the “around the corner,” and the rear portion with trigger system and pistol grip is fitted with a folding stock or M-4 telescoping stock assembly.

Cor-Bon (1311 Industry Rd., Dept. GWK, Sturgis, SD 57785; phone: 605-347-4544; on-line: www.corbon.com) introduced a new line of DPX Hunter ammunition in 19 rifle calibers, ranging from the .223 Remington to the .45-70 Gov’t. The bullets used are Barnes solid copper hollowpoints, and the weights go from 53 grains to 300 grains, depending on the cartridge and caliber. (In the DPX handgun line Cor-Bon has loads for 18 calibers, from the 9mm Luger to the .500 Smith & Wesson.)

In their regular jacketed bullet line of cartridges CorBon has nearly four dozen loads for two dozen calibers, from the .25 NAA with a 35-grain JHP bullet loaded to 1,200 fps, to the .458 SOCOM loaded with a 600-grain JSP bullet loaded to 950 fps. In the Hunting Ammunition line there are 46 loads for 15 calibers, from the 10mm Auto with a 180-grain BCSP bullet loaded to 1,320 fps, to the .500 Smith & Wesson with a 500-grain HC loaded to 1,500 fps.

Cor-Bon also loads a Performance Match line with Montana Gold premium bullets in a dozen calibers, plus a Cowboy Action line. The Performance Match line includes the .400 Cor-Bon and .45 Auto Rim cartridges, while the Cowboy Action line includes a 12-gauge Scattergun load of 1˚ ounces of size 8 shot—the only shotshell currently loaded by CorBon.

Black Hills
Black Hills Ammunition (PO Box 3090, Dept. GWK, Rapid City, SD 57709; phone: 605-348-5150; on-line: www.black-hills.com) expanded their extensive line of rifle and handgun cartridges with 15 new loads. Included are a .223 Remington both in the Factory New Rifle and Remanufactured lines, and a “baker’s dozen” in the Gold line. New loads in the Gold line include: a .22-250 Remington; a .25-06 Remington; .270 Winchester; three .308 Winchester; three .30-06 Springfield, and two each in the 7mm Remington and .300 Winchester Magnum calibers. The bullets are either Barnes or Hornady brands, depending on the load.

Although the majority of Black Hills ammunition is probably used in modern bolt-action and autoloading rifles and handguns, the firm loads an excellent line of Cowboy Action ammunition, including a dozen handgun calibers from .32 H&R to .45 Colt, and two rifle cartridges—.38-55 and .45-70. The Cowboy ammo is loaded with round, flat, or conical nose lead bullets to velocities that range from 650 fps (.38 Long Colt and .44 Russian) to 800 fps (.32-20, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .38-40, and .44-40 Winchester). The two rifle cartridges are loaded to 1,250 fps.

Although many firms at the Show were exhibiting AR-15 clones, accessories for the same including stock assemblies, and modified uppers in different calibers, including the .50 BMG, there were a few new designs being trotted out. Sigarms Inc. (18 Industrial Dr., Dept. GWK, Exeter, NH 03833; phone: 603-772-2302; on-line: www.sig-arms.com) was showing the new semi-automatic US-made SIG 556. Available in three versions, 556, 556 L, and 556 SWAT, the new rifles differ mainly in forearm style and length. (The 556 L features a longer TriRail forearm than the 556, and the 556 SWAT features a Quad Rail forearm.)

SIG and Robinson
The 556 features a cold hammer-forged 16-inch quick-change barrel, upgradeable to 20-inch, a two-position adjustable gas piston operating rod system, steel Picatinny rail receiver with aluminum trigger housing, and polymer forearm with three Picatinny rails. (Aluminum parts are hard anodized, and steel parts are given a wear-resisting Nitron X finish.) The stock assembly is a telescoping M-4-style, providing an overall length of just over 3 feet extended and 33 inches minimum. Weight of the 556 is just over 6∫ pounds with the 16-inch barrel and empty 30-round polymer magazine.

Robinson Armament Co. (PO Box 16776, Dept. GWK, Salt Lake City, UT 84116; phone: 801-355-0401; on-line: www.robarm.com), home of the M96 rifle system, and distributor of the VEPR rifles from Russia, has another new design. While the M96 bore a great similarity to the Stoner 63 system, the new XCR Modular Weapon System looks, at least to this writer, a bit like a scaled-down version of the Holloway rifle from a couple of decades back.

The XCR features a three-lug bolt which locks into the barrel extension, and the barrels can quickly be changed, with little or no reported loss of zero. (Barrels of other lengths or calibers, such as the 6.8mm Remington SPC, will be available. To change calibers of the XCR requires the substitution of the barrel, bolt, magazine, and brass deflector.)

An excellent feature of the XCR is the location of the non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side of the receiver. (By depressing the knob the handle can also be used as a forward bolt assist.) The receiver features an integral 17-inch 1913 Picatinny rail on the topside, with 8-inch rails on the sides and bottom.

Remington
A choice of folding or M-4-style stock is standard, and most M16/M4/AR-15 accessories will fit the XCR. Standard barrel length of the XCR is 16 inches, and the overall length with extended stock is 37∫ inches; with the stock folded, the overall length is just under 27˚ inches. Weight of the XCR is approximately 7˚ pounds, depending on barrel length and stock.

Remington Arms Co. Inc. (870 Remington Dr., Dept. GWK, Madison, NC 27025; phone: 800-243-9700; on-line: www.remington.com) was exhibiting a host of new products. These range from a new built-to-order Parker AAHE Grade 28-gauge side/side for $49,000, to improved and updated versions of old favorites, such as the autoloading Model 7400 being replaced by the Model 750 Woodsmaster, with restyled American walnut stock and forearm, improved gas-operated action, etc.

One of this shooter’s favorites is the Model 105 CTi autoloading, bottom loading/ejecting shotgun. Remington has always leaned a bit toward sporting arms which loaded and ejected from the underside beginning back in 1908 (Model 10) with the first streamlined pump-action shotgun. Then came the Model 17, a 20-gauge pump which later became the Ithaca Model 37, followed by the Model 29. The Model 29 was replaced with the side-ejecting “ball-bearing-smooth” Model 31, and now an autoloading 12-gauge, the 105 CTi.

Remington also had the bottom ejecting (not bottom loading) Model 24 and later 241 autoloading rimfire rifles. (The Model 241 might have been one of the best rimfire autoloading rifles ever produced). Available in 12-gauge only, the CTi features an aircraft-grade titanium (Ti) skeletonized receiver body with carbon (C) fiber shell. A choice of barrel lengths—26 or 28 inches—with carbon fiber ventilated rib and three ProBore screw-in choke tubes, a target-grade trigger, and custom checkered walnut stock and forearm, with a Rate Reduction System made the Model 105 CTi an outstanding performer.

Hornady
All told Remington has nearly four dozen new and improved rifles and/or shotguns, including the new muzzleloading Genesis rifle. Among the new rifles is a version of the Mauser ’98. (Paul Mauser worked in the Remington factory back in the late 19th century.) Remington is now importing a Mauser rifle from Serbia and giving it the Remington treatment.

These Remington Mausers are available in two versions, the long-action Model 798 with 22- and 24-inch barrels, depending on caliber, and the short-action Model 799, with 20-inch barrels. The Model 798 in .30-06 Springfield checked out at the bench handled well, and mounted with a Swarovski scope it definitely was accurate enough to bag game, but a Remington Mauser?

Hornady has 50 new products for 2006, including .416 Rigby ammunition in two loads, five new LEVERevolution loads (previously reported in Gun Week)—.30-30 Winchester, .35 Remington, .444 Marlin, .45-70 Gov’t., and .450 Marlin—for lever-action rifles, loads in 6.8mm Rem. SPC, .460 and .500 Smith & Wesson, .375 H&H calibers, and a new 20-gauge sabot slug load.

In addition, there are new loading die sets for the .460 S&W, 7.92x33 Kurz, 5.7x28mm, Ackley Improved cartridges in .30-30, .30-06, and .280 Remington, and .22-250, and others.

There many other items for shooters at the 2006 SHOT Show, but coverage will have to wait until later.


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