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De’j`a Vu Vegas. Shot Show 2012. Part II Ext., Feb. 13

February 8, 2012

The Shot Show is not all about guns and tactical gear. There is a place for art too, as illustrated by Tom Hoover and his Reflective Arts' display of prints, mugs, puzzles and other items that bring a little of the outside indoors.

This show may be heard  following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: If it is not the current show, it is still  available as an archived show and on iTunes.  

You never know who or what one is going to see at large international trade shows, like the 2012 Shot Show in Las Vegas. This year I had a chance to exchange a few words with Brian “Gunny” Zins, and it is his quote that opens this show amid the clatter of  gunfire in the background. Gunny is an ex-Marine, multiple times U.S. pistol champion, now a TV Personality and reps for Glock Arms and SOG knives. He very much enjoys his present life, and he was not embarrassed to tell me so.

  This show is a special extended edition and runs a full 90 minutes of  interviews with knife, gun, accessory makers and people who make their living in different aspects of the Outdoor Industry. I also took this opportunity to do record a “live” segment on making homemade salsa from experiences derived in the now-closed kitchen of the Casa Hispanica Calente Maximessemo, in  Las Vegas. This pilot restaurant closed because you could only work in the kitchen wearing full protective gear and the kitchen exhaust fumes were so loaded with capsacins that it acted like a bear spray when released in an urban setting near a Las Vegas hospital.

Wenger's new multi-bladed hunting knife intended for the U.S. and European markets - a butcher shop in a pocket-sized package.

  Wenger is a maker of  Swiss Army Knives and introduced an interesting hunter’s knife  to sell in  the American market. It features skinning and gutting blades, a cork screw an awl as well as a combination bone-wood saw. It also has orange scales to prevent it from being lost in the woods. This knife  will retail for about $85.00 in the U.S.  For a look at this and the many other multi-bladed folding knives as well as their fixed-blade patterns go to  

Lady knives from HallMark.

HallMark Cutlery is owned by the Hall family and is a knife distributor that does cutlery design, sourcing and distribution. On this episode, Jessica Hall and I talk about knifes that ladies might appreciate for a Valentine’s Day gift. While perhaps on the unusual side so far as gifts go, small knives are very useful for many purposes in everyday life and we discuss several possibilities. To take a look at their entire selection of folding and fixed-blade knives go to:

Excalibur's new Eclipse crossbow is all black and picks up the modern "tactical" look in crossbows, but is also very useful for hunting from blinds where dark colors are desired to keep from spooking approaching animals.

   Next I consider crossbows and talk to Bill Troubridge, Randy Wood and Scott Belvedere of Excalibur, Ten Point and Barnett crossbows about their new products. Black, tactical and carbon fiber technology are definitely “In” this year, as are progressive improvements by all companies to reduce weight and, in the case of compound bows, limb width.  Ten Points’ Carbon Elite, shown in the photo L,  has all of these features. Crossbow makers realize that no matter how appealing the newest advances in crossbow technology might be, many in this economy are having to watch their money. Each has made the effort to produce very capable crossbows that can sell in the $500 range complete with accessories. These, like Ten Point’s Wicked Ridge brand, have medium-weight draw-strengths, proven technology, excellent triggers and will kill deer and other game day after day.  The lowest price crossbow offered by these three companies remains Barnett’s RC 150. The RC, and the Ranger before it, has a skeletal stock that may be adjusted to fit any shooter.

  The present RC uses compound limbs to develop a 150-pound pull capacity that with its short, light-weight arrows will kill smallish deer at close range  – been there, done that. This bow is a hanger-on of  Barnett’s previous attempt to always produce the absolutely lowest-priced crossbows on the market, and the RC is not as durable as Barnett’s more modern offerings, like the Jackal. The triggers on the RCs are imbedded in the stock and are not  repairable. The Jackal is, by far, the superior crossbow at a cost of  $300 + compared to the RC’s $200 +, with prices depending on sights and accessories.  Nonetheless, the RC retains the advantages of lighter weight and a fully adjustable stock for those who cannot handle a heavier crossbow. There remains a place in the market for an advanced RC with a more dependable latch-trigger mechanism.

Barmett Ghost with carbon-fiber components and a very large foot piece that is convenient for those wearing snow or marsh boots.

  Each of these crossbow companies have extensive websites that not only show their products, but also offer much useful information. These are:, and  
  Definitely not your Daisy Red Rider air rifle, Crosman   introduced a high-powered air gun that can shoot a .357 lead bullet at 900 fps. that can be used to hunt coyotes and similar-sized animals. This rifle has a repeating mechanism and high-pressure air reservoir that must be filled from an external source. This gun has also been used to kill smallish hogs, but has about the same power as the .38 Special pistol cartridge. To see the gun and other Crosman products go to:  
Bob Baker of Freedom Arms establish his reputation making beautiful and effective single-action revolvers chambered for the .454 Casull, and later, other calibers including the .22 L.R. Less well-known is that he also makes a single-shot pistol chambered for what are usually considered to be rifle cartridges for long-range pistol hunting. These are most commonly equipped with scopes and shot from braced or supported positions. I often hunt with single-shot handguns, but these are mostly muzzleloaders used at very close range in the thick cover where I take my Georgia deer. I kidded Bob about making one, but warned him that there were probably only six of us in  North America who might actually buy one. For more information go to:
  I am partial to 1911 platform pistols, and as I had been mostly writing about black-powder guns for the past 20 years completely missed Coonan Inc’s   .357 Magnum pistol.  Dan Coonan took up the challenge of making the 1911 shoot the rimed revolver cartridge in the 1980s and has been producing the guns ever since. He also modified the basic pistol to incorporate refinements that Browning made to his later 9mm High Power design. This allowed him to offer the gun with a 6-inch barrel and compensators without lengthening the slide.  These adaptations give better ballistics from the .357  because of the absence of the barrel-cylinder gap and the longer barrel. To learn more go to:
  Everyone knows what the .30-30 Model ’94 Winchester rifles and carbines look like. These guns have blued steel and wooden stock and the carbines kick out of proportion to their size because of the slim stock and narrow buttplate. Mossberg offered stock options to allow the ’94 lever action to go tactical with an adjustable polymer stock and forend that allows accessories like cheek pieces, recoil pads and vertical forend grips to be attached while simultaneously being able to adjust the stock length to fit any shooter.

Not only is the buttstock adjustable, but many options including a vertical pistol grip and accessory lights/sights can be attached to the forend.

  Mossberg’s big event for the show was their “Flex-Your-Mossberg” announcement which introduces a Flex Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun with an enormous variety of quick-change  stock and forend options for self-defense,  tactical and hunting uses.  These will be on stand-up displays in stores this Fall. For many shooters the most instantly useable will be their recoil pads which will allow different pull lengths to be easily obtained. These stock options, added to Mossberg’s large selection of accessory barrels, provides an entirely new look to this gun. Not only are black tactical stocks included, but there are also camo stocks for waterfowlers, turkey and upland hunters.

The new polymer Ruger American does not replace the company's existing line of bolt-action guns, but offers a 6.25 pound option in popular calibers.

    Ruger Firearms introduced an entirely new American Rifle that is very light weight, has a polymer stock, a new very fast and smooth feeling bolt (like a straight-pull action), detachable rotary magazine,  accessory cheek pad, advanced-design recoil pads and an adjustable trigger. Calibers offered in this gun  include the .243 and .308 as well as the .30-’06 and .270 Winchester, with more calibers in these cartridge families to come. To insure accuracy, the action is bedded to two metal parts that the polymer stock is cast around. The new recoil pad is supposed to take the “sting” out of this 6.5 pound rifle, but I do not know if I am convinced.  I think that the best caliber for this gun would be the 7mm-08, and that might be introduced next year. To get more information and see the gun being shot go to
  Hunting is not all about guns and loads. It takes a lot of other “stuffs” to get us into the woods and be reasonably comfortable while hunting. One problem that I talked about in a recent show about a  North Carolina swan hunt was not having a place to sit so that I could rise and make effective shots on approaching ducks. Integrity Outdoor Brands now has a Hunters Seat with a swivel top with enlarged feet and a triangle of strong fabric to keep the seat from sinking into the marsh.  This seat carries easily in a pouch and the top moves silently so that it could also be used when deer hunting. To see these an other hunting aids offered under the San Angelo brand go to:

Irish Setter boots by Red Wing provide a variety of footwear options for hunters.

   Not only do we hunters need to keep our butts out of the wet,  but we also need boots on our feet to get us there. Red Wing under its Irish Setter Brand, had several boots to show that are made from American leather and rubber and fabricated in the U.S. These included not only all leather upland boots but also neophrene-topped rubber boots that are easy to get on and off, traditional all-rubber swamp boots and leather-GoreTex composit boots. The majority of these boots are sold with varying amounts of insulation for different climates and uses.  
Beretta OptiFade outfit.
Waterfowl hunters want to blend into the environment. A new OptiFade Waterfowl Concealment pattern introduced by GoreTex  has a honeycomb pattern with yellow-browns, buff with the addition of grey and black streaks for marsh environments. This fabric is now employed by Beretta and Sitka Gear to make entire waterfowl outfits that may be purchased as individual components to fit even the harshest late-season duck hunting opportunities. To take a look at the individual clothing items go to:, and
  Pure Products International was not an exhibitor at the Shot Show, but I ran into Sales Manager Goeff Schultz while having a bite of lunch.  Schultz explained that their system allowed the hunter to have scent-free clothes by hooking up an electrical device to his cold water line to charge tap water to produce ozone, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen to clean and de-scent hunting clothes. This allows clothes to be washed in cold water, without detergent, without bleach and does not require anything to be added to the wash.  This technology has been used in hospital and industrial settings to remove blood and other materials from linens, but these are very expensive. The home unit costs about $300 and will work with any washing machine. To locate a dealer near you or order directly go to:

I was particularly taken by this Southern hog-hunting print which could depict a hunt anywhere from North Carolina to Texas.

  Reflective Art   has a large variety or products that are over-printed with wildlife scenes. These are largely taken from original art works commissioned by the company and  sold as prints or on mugs, clocks, puzzles, night lights and many other items suitable for bringing a little of the outdoors into the home or office. A photo of the company’s owner, Tom Hoover,  and some of his products appears at the head of this post. Hoover’s products may be purchased at big-box outdoor stores as well as in smaller sporting goods outlets.
  Concluding the show coverage is an interview with Randy MacMillan and Bill Henson, the “stars” of  the  “Coyote Tales  with Mac and Prowler”    TV show that is available on cable on the Legacy TV channel. To learn more about this pair of down-home characters and their coyote hunting and bowfishing episodes go to I attempted to entice them to come and hunt with me in Georgia, and we will see what develops. I certainly have the coyotes, and we need to be taking more of them on a regular basis to prevent deprivation on deer fauns and other species. If only we could train coyotes to home-in on armadillos. They may take an occasional one, but they and the hard-shelled opossums seem to be simultaneously increasing in numbers.   
                                                           Making Homemade Cooked Salsa
  For the first time in this radio program I edited a live cooking event where I talk the listeners through making their own salsas at home. The nice thing about salsa making is that you can do it with easily obtainable ingredients, and all of mine came from Wal-Mart. It is not that I am that fond of Wal-Mart, but these are all around the country and they stock the same products.

The end product - a bowl of salsa that exactly suits your taste.

  The particular salsa that I made on the show was a cooked salsa. If you can, try to use no metal objects in contact with the salsa to preserve the fresh taste of the ingredients. I used a ceramic knife to cut the products, an enameled fry pan to cook it in and ceramic bowls for mixing and serving. It is best when stored in a glass jar overnight prior to serving. Cooked salsas last longer than fresh ones, and if canned will keep indefinitely. We are a long way from mid- Summer when some gardeners are trying to thing what to do with all of their excess tomatoes. Making salsas is a good way to use those that are slightly damaged or when you just have too many of them.
6 unpealed Roma tomatoes     chopped about 1 cm. square
1 large Spanish onion                  chopped medium coarse
2 jhalopenia peppers                   use only bottom halfs and no seed if want mild, entire peppers if want hot
                                                              dice about 2-3 mm
2 tomatillos                                     dice very fine
 1 Serrano pepper                          omit if want mild, add another if want very hot dice as fine as possible
1/4 cup catsup                               this will give a slightly sweet taste and color product
 1/2 teaspoon of salt                     if using canned tomatoes taste first before adding
1/4 cup catsup                                this will give a slightly sweet taste and  color product if do not want  sweet                                                               use three tablespoons of tomato paste
 1/8 cup white vinegar               this can be sweetened with honey if want sweet or omitted for a sharper
                                                              more acid product 
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt                    add more to taste if too “fresh”
Sprinkle of black pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper    use sparingly to adjust heat level when salsa is almost done

Making salsa can be a fun family event.

There is a lot of variability written into this recipe. It will likely take several “experimental batches” until you obtain exactly the taste that you want. If your efforts produce something too hot for you to eat, then freeze it and use it in later soups and vegetable dishes a few tablespoons at the time.

  In a frying pan put in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and add onions and peppers. These should be cooked until the onions are starting to turn transparent, then add cut-up tomatoes and other ingredients. If too dry, adjust by adding a few ounces of water. Allow mixture to boil down until it just starts to stick in the bottom of the pan. Take up quickly and put in bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and cayenne pepper. Store overnight in glass jar and serve as needed. If canned in sterile jars, this product will last indefinitely.  If sealed and refrigerated it is good for about a week.  


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