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Innovation Strikes Again: Shot Show 2013, February 18

February 2, 2013
A 6-pound .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle with a Kevlar stock is hefted by a shooter at the Knight Rifle booth at the Shot Show.

A 6-pound .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle with a Kevlar stock is hefted by a shooter at the Knight Rifle booth at the Shot Show.

Wolf StainlessThis show may be heard  following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link:  http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If it is not the current show, it is still available as an archived show and on iTunes.  This will be the final episode of Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures, which ran from Nov. 2010 to Feb. 2013.

New, innovative, useful and desirable products were introduced to hunters at the annual Shot Show, which was held in Las Vegas amid the guilt, glimmer and polished marble of the Sands Convention Center and associated Italianate casinos-resorts. Sales, activities and attendance were all increased over 2012 as buyers crowded the floors to order stock for their stores and E-commerce outlets. The fastest growing part of the show were the sections having tactical gear for military and police use which also attracted a large number of  civilian buyers. Of most interest to me were new knives, crossbows, muzzleloading guns (for my annual review in the Gun Digest), accessories and clothing for hunters. During the show I did 24 interviews, of which 23 are included  in this 1 1/2-hour episode of “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures.”  In addition, I also filmed  12  YouTube videos, and links to these are incorporated in this post along with still photos of many of the items that I discussed.

A special event is the Media Day At the Range  which occurs on Monday before the convention opens on Tuesday. This year it was held at the Boulder Pistol and Rifle Range west of Las Vegas under brutally cold conditions with a whipping wind that was picked up on several of my audio recordings. Besides guns, Case had an exhibit of its outdoor knives and Streamlight displayed its line of tactical and emergency-use flashlights. Video and audio records were captured from both of these venders as well as radio interviews with Cabela’s about their new/old pre-64 Model 70 Winchester rifles, Rock Island Armory’s 1911 45 Autos that are now available in a 9mm./22-centerfire combo pack, Crimson Trace’s new green laser sights for small handguns (and almost anything else) and  holographic sights from EOtech (including a new crossbow sight).

Mr. Rino Chiappa showing off his 3-barreled shotgun at Range Day.

Mr. Rino Chiappa showing off his 3-barreled shotgun at Range Day.

Some things at the Shot Show push the technology to the point where they are perhaps more “strange” that useful. Chiappa presented a new three-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with the single barrel on top of two side-by-side 12 gauge barrels beneath. There were long guns intended for hunters as well as a pistol-grip version called the “Home Defender.” The barrels are fired by a single trigger and are non-selective, but interchangeable chokes allow either a tighter-choked or looser-choked barrel to be fired first, depending on the user’s preference. These Turkish-made “triples” were reasonable-looking guns and might well sell in countries were semi-automatic shotguns are prohibited or on shoots where only break-open guns are allowed. A second gun in this category are Siamese twin 1911 frame autos that discharge two rounds from separate guns joined in a side-by-side configuration. These pistols were shown by Arsenal Firearms of Bresca, Italy. A unique feature of the guns is that one half could shoot a .45 ACP and the other a .40 S&W, should anyone have need of this, or other, such configurations. These guns present wonderful advances in firearm innovation, but most shooters would have doubts about their general utility. Of the two, I am more taken with the three-barreled 12-gauge as a potential waterfowling gun. For more on  Chiappa’s innovative guns, revolvers and muzzleloaders go to: www.chiappafirearms.com.

Twin 1911s. Double fun or double trouble?

Twin 1911s. Double fun or double trouble?

To see more about these guns go to www.arsenalfirearms.com.

Knives

W.R. Case & Sons.

New Carbon-Fiber handled knives from W.R. Case & Co,.

New Carbon-Fiber handled knives from W.R. Case.

I am more interested in utilitarian knives  than their collector’s or decorative aspects. Case Cutlery put new carbon-fiber grips on their single-bladed Sodbuster and other folding knives to produce  lightweight, slim profile knives. New this year is a “Back Pocket Knife” which has a leather lanyard with a fob to aid in pulling the knife from the back pocket of a pair of tight-fitting jeans. A twin bladed folding “Hunter” has also been given the carbon-fiber grips. I am impressed with these as practical blades designed for hard use. For a look at all of their knives go to the Case website at www.wrcase.com. The knives I talk about on the program may be seen on one of my Range Day videos at: http://youtu.be/ECtB0JZLhl8.

Buck Hunting Knives (800x533)Buck Knives. Each year there is a push from Buck Knives (and most other knife companies) to introduce some new things at the Shot Show. The obvious reason is that new things not only draw the attention of media guys like me, but provide an excuse for the knife enthusiast to purchase yet another knife while the ten, twenty or several hundred he already owns are all perfectly functional. Featured on this year’s show are the fixed-bladed   Reaper  camp-survival knife (lower right)  and the  Ergo Family Traditions Pro game processing knife with a separate skinning hook (same on the PakLite series). New hunting-related folding knives are the several sizes of the Omni Hunter (two knives on left) which is offered with camo or easier to find orange-camo patterns. Buck commonly updates their website at: www.buckknives.com.

Puma Knives.  This German knife company has been importing products into the U.S. since the close of World War II. They offer German-made steels in their products and like many companies, Puma has a huge catalogue of historic knives to draw upon. Each year they bring out a few new/old pattern and either refit them with new handle materials and/or offer them with their traditional stag handles.  Most generally Puma knife users prefer stag grips, but newer materials are being introduced each year.  This year I had a chance to interview Bob Carpenter’s daughter, Annie, who was having her first experience at selling German knives to American buyers. She said that there was considerable interest in the company’s new assisted opening folding tactial knives.  For a look at their entire line go to: www.pumaknifecompanyusa.com.

Puma Knives (800x533)

Three traditional Puma knife patterns in hunting knives. The three shown are the Hunter’s’Friend, Hunter’s Campanion and the Trail Guide.

Queen Steel and  Schatt & Morgan. These two knife brands have had a presence in the American market for over a century. Until recently Queen Steel stuck with producing traditional patterns from thousands of  past styles, but are now also offering tactical knives that use modern materials with use-proven lock-back designs. The Schatt & Morgan knives are premium products featuring traditional designs with stag and other handle materials.

Top Kentucky Shiner Pint and Quart and bottom QTAC I and II of QS's new tactical knives.

Top Kentucky Shiner Pint and Quart and bottom QTAC I and II of QS’s new tactical knives.

Hunting Accessories

High Vis. Safety Flashlijght, TLR 1 HL gun light and Strion Rechargable.

High Vis. Safety flashlight, TLR 1 HL gun light and Strion Rechargeable.

Streamlight. Flashlights of all sizes for all uses provide the thrust of  Streamlight’s production. Many of these flashlights are either waterproof or water-resistant making them excellent choices for waterfowl, and other, hunters. Many styles are offered include some that will mount on guns or crossbows, rechargeable flashlights, non-sparking flashlights and safety-pigment coated lights for industrial and emergency uses. All of their flashlights are featured on their website at: www.streamlight.com.  A video of the lights that I feature on the show is at: http://youtu.be/sAOir1eWt9Y.

MOJO's spinning wing and floating duck decoys are just part of their line of waterfowl and predator decoys.

MOJO’s spinning wing and floating duck decoys are just part of their line of waterfowl and predator decoys.

MOJO Decoys. Moving decoys have always been MOJO’s principal products. These started with duck decoys with rotating wings and have now progressed to swimming floating decoys, predator decoys, dove decoys and a line of  useful hunting accessories, such as a magnetic pole for cleaning up shotgun shells from around the duck blind or shooting stand.  A look at all of their product may be seen at: www.mojo.com. A video of this interview may be seen at: http://youtu.be/KMHpGhb_nBw.

Crossbows

Randy Wood holds the new shorter, faster and lighter, Stealth SX 10-Point crossbow.

Randy Wood holds the new shorter, slimmer,  faster and lighter, Stealth SS 10-Point crossbow.

TenPoint ( Ten-Point 10-Point ) Has taken two approaches with their  lines of Crossbows. The Wicked Ridge crossbows are designed to put advanced crossbow technology in a usable medium-powered crossbow that the average shooter can afford (in the $400 range) that is  assembled in the U.S. and backed by what is likely the best service department in the industry. They have always pushed the envelope in new technology and hunter aids such as built-in cockers and monopods. Their top-of-the-line crossbow for this year continues their advances in the Stealth series with a shorter, slimmer, faster and lighter crossbow called the SS that shaves 4-inches off the overall length of the crossbow.  For a look at their extensive line of crossbows at all price points and catch up on their latest accessories go to: www.tenpointcrossbows.com.

Excalibur's new Matrix crossbow.

Excalibur’s new Matrix crossbow.

Excalibur Crossbows.  Bill Troubridge and I had a good visit at the Excalibur booth, and he had the chance to introduce me to his new Matrix crossbow that has shorter limbs and a shorter barrel, but produces more power in a lighter, shorter package than any previous recurve crossbow. This is pushing the envelope in recurve crossbows to the extent that for the first time Excalibur has put an anti-dry-fire mechanism on their bows to prevent anyone from damaging the limbs by inadvertently shooting their crossbow without an arrow.  For more information on his complete line of crossbows go to: www.excaliburcrossbow.com. You can also see a video of Bill describing his new crossbow at: http://youtu.be/frMSSJ2FQqk.

Barnett Crossbows  David Barnett and I had a hell of a time getting things together at the Shot Show, which was a shame because he had three very innovative crossbows to add to the Barnett line. The one that you can purchase now is the Vengeance reverse-draw crossbow, which was introduced at the Shot Show last year (at least to me) and is now on dealer’s shelves. Coming up, is an entry-level priced crossbow to be called the Recruit which is the sharp-looking crossbow shown in the picture. This one will be introduced in mid-2013. Some time away, possibly years, is an all-carbon crossbow. The prototype version has an all-carbon stock and barrel with compartmets to hold a hunting-skinning knife, another clam-shell hollow in the hand-grip and a unique new method of  containing the arrows. In addition, the crossbow has a folding under-arm hook (like the old Commander) to help balance the bow and allow it to be supported by one arm.  You can go to www.barnettcrossbows.com to take a look at their current catalogue. I had considerable video problems with the crowd walking in front of my camera and the strongly back-lit set, but did manage produce something that was watchable. The sound did not do nearly as well, as this was the one sound recording out of 20 that I lost to the electro-gremlins. I cut some still photos and clean voice segments into the video and used the camera’s sound to capture most of the information from the interview. You can see this video at: http://youtu.be/PWaX4Oz75I0.

The new Barnett Recruit crossbow for mid-2013,

The new Barnett Recruit crossbow for mid-2013.

Holographic sight for crossbow (800x516)EOTech This company makes world-class holographic sights that can be fit on anything from crossbows to naval guns, but they have a new sight specifically adapted to crossbows that was introduced at the Shot Show. It is shown here on a Ten-Point crossbow, but any crossbow with a similar rail could use it. This type of sight has the advantage that everything is projected on the same plane which is excellent for those of us whose eyes no longer allow us to accommodate much distance between sights, or are near-sighted.  Information on all of their product line can be found on their website at: www.L-3com.com/eotech.

Just for Fun

Fancy 1Joey Rocketshoes Dillon  Fast and fancy revolver work was performed by Joey Dillon at the Cimarron Arms booth to enjoyment of everyone who saw him. He started working on his act with cap pistols at about age 6, and has been doing work with his pistols ever since. He also has a longer stage show, picks up gigs around the Western states and sometimes works in Hollywood and advises movie producers.  If you need something en enliven what might be an otherwise dull event, a little pistol work might be just the thing. Joey has a website at: www.joeydillon.com, and you can see some of his work on a video at: http://youtu.be/_NZG9jeZmB0.

The Stainless Wolf is a considerable upgrade over the usual blued gun.

The Stainless Wolf is a considerable upgrade over the usual blued gun.

Guns

Optima V2 PistolCVA (BPI Outdoors).  Except for the entry-priced striker-fired Buckhorn muzzleloader, CVA now sells only drop-barrel muzzleloading and cartridge guns in different styles and price ranges. New for 2013 is their Optima V2 which has a new trigger-opening assembly that provides an easier trigger pull and more efficient opening mechanism. This improvement as been carried through with the pistol version of the Optima V2. A cartridge-gun look-alike is called the Scout which is sold with non-interchangable barrels for six rifle calibers. A real sleeper is the Scout Pistol chambered for the .243 Winchester, .357 Magnum, .44 Remington Magnum and the 300 BLK. The Wolf has also undergone an upgrade and for the first time is now available in stainless steel as well as with the releaved muzzles and quick-detachable breech plug  found on all of CVA’s drop-barrel muzzleloading guns. Because single-shot cartridge guns of .38 and larger calibers are now allowed during Mississippi’s and Louisiana’s muzzleloading seasons, Dudley McGarity said that sales of their premium-grade Apex rifles with interchangable muzzleloading and cartridge barrels rifles have been brisk in calibers like the .35 Remington, .35 Whelen and .45-70. A new centerfire rifle based on the Wolf action is called the Hunter. This entry-level-priced gun is sold in .243 Winchester, 7mm-08, .35 Remington, .35 Whelen and .44 Remington Magnum. To look at their growing line of modern single-shot guns and others of BPI’s productgs go to: www.bpioutdoors.com.

Davide Pedersoli  Although there are other Italian makers of muzzleloading guns, Davide Pedersoli stands a cut above because of its variety of offerings of exacting replicas of historic muzzleloading and early cartridge firearms. To answer the demand for historically accurate American-used muzzleloaders from the period of the Civil War, the company introduced a replica Mississippi rifle (Harpers Ferry Model of 1841) in both .54 and .58 calibers. This was always an interesting looking gun because it was the last U.S. military muzzleloading rifle with a brass patchbox. For those interesting in trying one of these for hunting, the smaller .54-caliber would be the better selection for North American game because of its slightly flatter trajectory. The particular rifle that was copied has a date stamp on the lock of 1847 and burned-in inspector’s marks on the stock. The Italian proof marks are hidden under the barrel. To view the company’s extensive line of products go to: www.davidepedersoli.com

Dixie Gun Works Dixie Gun works did not have any new guns out for 2013, but I had an excellent conversation with Hunter Kirkland about the blunderbuss, and he mentioned that he currently had two or three original blunderbusses for sale. One of these was originally built as a percussion blunderbuss, which was unusual in that the majority of the guns were flintlocks. As it turns out I have been shooting and hunting with a .54-caliber percussion blunderbuss that is made by Traditions, but sold exclusively as a kit from Sportsman’s Guide. With this gun I have taken squirrels and most recently swan, although I cannot say that I recommend it for that purpose. It, because of a lost ball and screw, failed to bag any big game this year, although the gun will shoot 4-inch groups at 25 yards with a charge that is heavy enough to kill deer-sized game. The closest it came to killing deer is that we found a freshly killed deer on a friend’s property during deer season.  Dixie Guns Works’ catalogue has an enormous amount of information about old guns, parts and accessories  that every black-powder shooter should own. To check this out and their extensive line of muzzleloading and 19th Century cartridge gun replicas (and parts)  visit their website at: www.dixiegunworks.com. Now that it has been exposed to a nice buck, I hope that the gun will be  inspired to do better next year. I have several video up about me and the blunderbuss, and the swan hunt may be viewed at: http://youtu.be/yjzcVOWZ6Ds.

IMG_7529

Blunderbuss downed this swan, but it took me running the animal down with the Mossberg pump to kill it.

A 6-pound .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle with a Kevlar stock is hefted by a shooter at the Knight Rifle booth at the Shot Show.

The new 6-pound, .50-caliber muzzleloading rifle with a Kevlar stock.

Knight Rifles.  Knight is now well settled into its new home in Athens, Tennessee, taken a look at the entire line of former Knight products and apparently decided to concentrate on  improving Tony Knight’s bolt-action designs. This year’s rifle is a Kevlar-stocked new Ultra-Lite  6-pound rifle that is featured as the lead photo in this post. This gun is guarenteed to shoot 4-inch groups at 200 yards and General Manager Sam Brocato said that he had shot many smaller groups. Knight’s landmark TK-2000 muzzleloading 12-gauge turkey gun is also still in production along with the company’s entry level Bighorn/Littlehorn striker-fired guns.  One gun that I proposed to Knight years ago was to be called the “International.” This would be a bolt-action muzzleloader in .50-caliber  with ignition systems that could be fired by no. 11, musket caps or 209 primers so that a shooter anywhere in the world could find some components to make it work.  The reason for this is that you may not fly with percussion caps.  This would require a gun with two different styles of bolts and breech plugs for all three ignition systems. While Knight does not currently offer this as a package rifle, you can assemble an “International” for yourself from bolts and components from Knight’s catalogue.  For a look at Knights entire line go to: www.knightrifles.com.                                                               .

Dimention take-down rifle with interchangable barrels.

Dimention take-down rifle with interchangable barrels.

Thompson/Center Arms. T/C has been trying to catch up with demand for its new Dimension rifle with interchangable barrels (last year), the Venture bolt-action rifle (two-years Stainless Pro Hunter with offset hammer. (800x533)ago) and drop-barrel muzzleloaders on three different platforms. The result is that they took “a breather” this year and introduced no new products at the Shot Show, although some minor upgrades were made to their Encore, G2 Contender, Triumph and Impact lines. All but the Impact are drop-barreled muzzleloading rifles with the Encore and G2 styles also offered as cartridge-shooting pistols. The Encore was once made as the .209X.50 muzzleloading pistol, but these guns/barrels are no longer available, although the .460 S&W is now offered as an Encore pistol caliber.  Even though few hunt with muzzleloading single-shot pistols, the CVA Optima V2 and Traditions Vortek are taking the bulk of this market by providing less espensive pistols with similar performance.  For a look at T/C products go to. www.tcarms.com.

Traditions.   Traditions has retained their line of side-hammer muzzleloading guns for those who want to “shoot muzzleloaders that look like muzzleloaders.” Nonetheless, the bulk of sales has been moving towards simplified drop-barrel designs, and the company has introduced its new  Vortek Strikefire which uses a thumb-actuated cocking mechanism to make a hammerless muzzleloader. This design allows the user to de-cock the gun by pushing a button on top of the cocking slide or by opening the gun. As would be the case with a normal safety, the gun is only cocked immediately before taking a shot. Also new this year is a line of Pietta single-action Colt-pattern Peacemaker revolvers chambered in .22 LR, .357 Magnum , .44 Magnum and .45 LC. Their Frontier series are traditionally-finished guns with plated or blued steel and color case-hardened frames, and the Rawhide guns are matt finished with a lower retail price. Although the market for such guns is comparatively small, I would like to see the .44 Magnum offered in a flat-topped frame and 10-inch barrel for us hunters.  Should this gun ever appear, snap it up, because Traditions will quickly remove something from its line if it is not a good seller.  For a look at their guns and extensive line of accessory products go to: www.traditionsfirearms.com.

Alison Hall describing the new Vortek Strikefire with Frontier cartridge revolvers in the background.

Alison Hall describing the new Vortek Strikefire with Frontier cartridge revolvers in the background.

IJ with conversion unit.

IJ with conversion unit.

Rock Island Armory  (Armscor) & Iver Johnson  These companies offered two different takes on conversion units for Colt 1911 platform guns. Rock Island introduced a new .22-caliber cartridge what is made from necked-down 9mm brass (slightly longer than the 9mm Parabellum)  and chambered for Colt 1911-platform guns. By changing out barrels and springs, the new centerfire 22 offers a good small-game hunting round for 1911 guns and can also be converted to the  full-bore 9mm. Iver Johnson’s take on this is to provide slide-spring-barrel assemblies that can be put on any 1911 gun (now including their own 1911 .45s) that will allow the .45 to bang along quite happily as either a .22 LR or 9mm. I am a  long-time 1911 shooter, and I was impressed with the fit and finish of both companies’ guns. For some years I owned a Colt .22 conversion unit with a floating chamber. This would cycle the pistol, but was a  bear to keep clean with the low-velocity .22 target rounds that it shot. The Rock Island approach with its 9mm/.22 does require obtaining an uncommon cartridge, but this generates higher velocity with more effective 40-gr. bullets than the external-lubricated .22 rimfires. The new .22 centerfire is much more pleasant to shoot that the  .22 Jet, a necked down .357 revolver cartridge, although it does beg for a longer barrel to develop its full potential. Notwithstanding, it  provides some new, and interesting, options for  the 1911. To see these compnies’ products go to: www.rockislandarmory.com, www.armscor.com,  and www.iverjohnsonarms.com.

Products

Chrimson Trace laser sights on small handguns.

Chrimson Trace laser sights on small handguns.

Chrimson Trace. These laser sights have been adapted to every shooting platform, but are most useful on short-barreled pistols where they allow much more precision than is attainable with the gun’s primitive fixed sights. I enjoyed shooting a variety of pistols with these sights and they function particularly well on small frame revolvers where the sights are incorporated into the gun’s grips. Price reductions and production efficiencies have allowed the price on these pistol sights to be reduced to about the $100 range for common revolvers. Some  sights have mounting rail fittings so they can be frame-mounted on many semi-auto rifles and pistols. New for 2013 is a green laser sight which is more difficult for a potential adversary to see.   To look at these laser sights go to: www.chrimsontrace.com.

Hodgdon (GOEX).  Hodgdon, who now owns GEOX, introduced one new black powder and a new smokeless powder. The black powder, Old Eynesford, is a super-grade black GOEX 2 (517x800)powder for use in muzzleloading guns and black-powder cartridges that will produce higher velocities than the same granulations of of GOEX. According to Chris Hodgdon, many users will see an extra 50 ft./sec. increase in their rifle loads with this new powder. It is made in the same Louisiana plant as the other GOEX powders. About two years ago there was an explosion at this plant, but it is now back up to full production. Such events caused DuPont to exit the market over a decade ago, and that is when the GOEX brand was introduced. The new smokeless powder is a ball powder called CFE 223. The name indicates that it is a “copper fouling erasier” and is specifically designed to produce nearly full-case loads in calibers like the .223 and .308 Winchester. Besides eleminating copper fouling, this powder offers improved velocity and better accuracy, according to Hodgdon. More information may be found about these powders at: www.hodgdon.com. I did a video with Chris which may be seen at: http://youtu.be/AQwR_mK04Ug.

The as-cast metal powder-wax-polymer product is in the center with the finished revolver hammer on the right.

The as-cast metal powder-wax-polymer product is in the center with the finished revolver hammer on the right.

Parmatech  (ATW Companies).  Fabricating firearms from steel parts has progressed from pounding them out on an anvil and hand-filing them to shape, to pressure forging, to stamping, to lost-wax casting to another wax-using technology that employs powdered metal alloys and polymers. The MIM  (Metal Injection Molding) technology uses a mix of powdered metal, wax and a polymer binder that is injected into a mold. This process allows parts with very complex shapes to be formed from steel that will take high pressures and resist abrasion. As molded, these parts are about 20 percent larger than the size of the finished product and relatively delicate.  A combination of solvent extraction and precision heating removes the wax and polymer binder with the result is that the parts are produced to the desired size and strength. This technology is now used in all aspects of manufactured metal parts. although Parmatech concentrates on parts for the firearms and medical industries. Because of the very high cost of the raw components and making the molds, this technique is best imployed for objects that are to be made in runs of the several thousands at the time that cannot be produced efficienty by any other means, according to company spokesman Tom Chagnon. For more information on this interesting manufacturing technique go to: www.parmatech.com.

Hunting clothes for women and children are now increasingly available.

Hunting clothes for women and children are increasingly available.

Hunting Clothes

Prois. Hunting apparal for nearly all occasions is available from Prois who is now in its 6th year of making some truly innovative hunting clothes for women. These are not just chest-expanded copies of men’s patterns, but have a number of innovative features which indicate that this line is designed by women who actually  hunt. Look for this company to expand their offerings in coming years to more nearly meet women’s needs for clothes that will let them enjoy their days in the field instead of suffering through them in ill-fitting garments. Have no doubt about it. These clothes will hunt. To see more of them go to: www.proishunting.com.

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Young Kolby Faust and dad..

Young Kolby Faust and dad..

Lucky Bums. I wish that I had the opportunity to talk to company Co-founder Jeff Streeter about how to pick a company name.  Lucky Bumbs is not a manufacturor of gaiming equipment for sale to the Las Vegas clubs, but makes an excellent line of hunting clothes and accessories designed for junior hunters. In their line are small-size chairs, binoculars, packs, wet-weather gear and camo-clothes for ages 3-about 12, depending on the size of the youngster. Offerings include appropriately sized gloves and hats as well as the only turkey vest made for young hunters. In the South it is not unusual for us to start taking our kids into the woods at about age 3 and for them to have killed a number of deer and/or hogs by age 7.  All such hunting is done under direct parental supervision with state laws frequently requiring that the child be within arm’s reach. Lucky Buns’ gear permits the youngsters to stay longer in the field and increase their chances for success. To see their products go to: www.LuckyBums.com.

A few of the many styles of Irish Setter boots offered to hunters.

A few of the many styles of Irish Setter boots offered to hunters.

Irish Setter (Red Wing) Boots and shoes sold under the Irish Setter – Red Wing brands include a variety of fabrics, leathers and composites for almost any purpose. Like most hunters, I do all-season hunting under a variety of conditions which might find me in the coastal marshes one week and the mountains the next. Most recently I have been  wearing a boot similar to the third from the left with 400 grams of insulation. This keeps my feet comfortable from about 40 degrees down to about 10 degrees  while allowing good flexibility for climbing and an agressive sole for getting good purchase on rocks and roots. Although it has been dry in Georgia this season, I still find need for calf-height rubber boots in river swamps and while waterfowl hunting.  To look at many more Irish Setter hunting boots go to: www.irishsetterboots.com.

A rack of gloves made for hunters.

A rack of gloves made for hunters.

120 (800x533)Manzella  I did not know of this glove-making company until this year, but they now have a fan. I was very impressed with their offerings of some 35 styles or hunting gloves. Four were discussed on the radio show, and the firm also makes hundreds of other styles. What struck me as particularly significant is that the company uses many different fabrics and materials for their gloves and selects those that are appropriate for a particular glove. Not only that, but they also pay attention to design, even to the point of putting a slit into the wrist of their bow-hunting glove to occomidate bow hunters who use trigger-release aids.  If there is a better maker of gloves for hunters anywhere in the world, I have not found them.

For more about Manzella’s gloves go to: www.manzella.com.

Bonus Items

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Win. Low Wall with new Win. 17 rimfire (800x533) (2)Winchester Ammunition. I did not have a chance to talk about everything interesting that I saw at the Shot Show, but a few other things stood out. I am not a varmint hunter, but seriously need to get after my coyotes.  Winchester’s new .17 Rimfire, particularly when shot from a Winchester Low Wall, caught my attention as a low-noise practical cartridge that would out-range the .22 Rimfire Magnum and fit in well with calibers like the .22 Hornet for short range predator hunting.

Bear Cutlery Skinner (800x533)

Bear and Son Cutlery  A round nosed bone handled small skinning knife by the Alabama firm of Bear Cuttlery drew my attention as being a very practical tool for skinning deer-sized game and opening an occasional oyster. When skinning points need to be very obtuse indeed and  most of the time no point  is needed, such as with the Eskimo ulu. I thought that this was a neat little knife and a useful innovation for hunters who want to save their big-game hides.  For information on their extensive line of knives, including many with Damascus blades, go to: www.bearandsoncutlery.com.

Dynamic Finishes  This is the company that sells the materials used to put a not-stick coating on the interior of  Knight rifles. This same material can put a slick interior finish on the inside of any muzzleloading gun. The barrel is coated with the finishing compound by using a patch and then the gun is loaded and fired as usual. With a single shot the finish is baked into the poors of the metal producing a super-slick barrel to which the fouling ring left by pelletized powders will not form. For more information on this exciting product go to www.dynamicfinishes.com.

The new nitride- finished revolver stuck into a tree stand ready to hunt.

The new nitride- finished revolver stuck into a tree stand ready to hunt.

H&M Metal Processing  Putting a nitride finish on a gun can provide a high polish, regular or matt finish on any gun part that will improve its wear and corrosion resistant properties and hide the polished reflections of a brightly-finished gun. I sent a bright-polished stainless steel “Buffalo Revolver” that was made by Pietta and sold through Cabela’s for treatment. The gun must be completely disassembled before shipment and the springs removed. The last step is necessary because the heat-impregnation process can destroy the temper of the springs. I received my matt-finished gun back, reassembled it and with loads of Hodgdon’s TripleSeven powder and round ball took two hogs with the gun with single shots.  This hunt was aided considerably by the fact that the gun has both a 10-inch barrel and adjustable sights allowing it to develop some 400 ft./lbs. of energy. The resulting clean-up of the gun was much quicker because of the less-stick qualities of the new metal-treatment process.  For information on how to have your own gun treated go to H&M’s website at:  www.blacknitride.com.  A video of my Cumberland Island, Georgia,  hunt with this pistol and blunderbuss may be seen at: http://youtu.be/tG17grGxmyI.

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