2006 Editor's Roundtable, Day Three: Bushnell Optics, CZ USA, Black Hills Ammunition, Traditions Muzzleloaders, Mossberg

2006 Editor's Roundtable, Day Three: Bushnell Optics, CZ USA, Black Hills Ammunition, Traditions Muzzleloaders, Mossberg
For the second time in 2006, the writers and editors of Intermedia Outdoors get up close and hands on with the latest the hunting and shooting industry has to offer.

New firearms, ammunition, optics, gizmos and gadgets are all apart of the Primedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable held at the Pike-Adams Sportsman's Alliance Park (PASA) in Barry, Illinois.

Designed for the editors and writers that make up Primedia Outdoors, the Editor's Roundtable is held twice a year and provides magazine, internet, and television staff an inside and hands on look at different products and gadgets the shooting and hunting sports industry has to offer for the current year and beyond.

Bushnell

Bushnell's Mark Schaefer and Jordan Vermillion started the third day of presentations at the Primedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable. The Kansas City based company not only has a strong foothold in the sport optics field and but also has shooting related companies like Hoppe's and Michael's of Oregon.


There were two products that Vermillion spent a lot of his presentation time discussing. The Elite 1500 ARC (Angle Range Compensation) is a new digital rangefinder from Bushnell that has a built in inclinometer that provides holdover and angle information, in addition to distance. Ballistic information is pre-programmed for several popular hunting calibers and loads, however there is a CD that comes with the Elite 1500 ARC that contains the ballistic information on 1016 different load combinations that can be programmed into the rangefinder. There are different modes for rifleshooting and bowhunting as well as modes that will allow you to scan a landscape or acquire targets in varying situations.


The Yardage Pro is a 4-12x42 riflescope that features a built-in laser rangefinder.

"We see this as three tools in one...a quality rifle scope, a long laser rangefinding rangefinder, and it offers bullet drop compensation turrets," said Vermillion.

The Yardage Pro from Bushnell is a 4-12x42 riflescope that features a built-in digital rangefinder.

The Yardage Pro is water and fog proof, offers four inches of eye relief and weighs 24 ounces.

Vermillion also shared information on Bushnell's line of trail cameras (check out the Trail Sentry Digital) and binoculars (A 10x50 and 12x50 to has been added to the Elite line).


BLACKHILLS AMMUNITION

Black Hills owner and company founder Jeff Hoffman was on hand to give his company's presentation. Hoffman didn't spend much time speaking about new product offerings for 2006, but instead chose to discuss some of the business philosophies Black Hills ammunition utilizes in its day-to-day and year-to-year operations.

Black Hills Gold Ammunition

The Black Hills line-up of ammunition features both factory new and remanufactured loads as well as the Black Hills Gold premium line.


CZ USA

The CZ USA presentation, given by Jason Morton and Joe Montelione, touched on just a few of the items the Czechoslovakian company has to offer. The discussion wasn't really centered on new product as it was about product that they'd like to get the word out on.

The CZ 452 on hand was chambered in .17HMR and this version was a left-handed model (to the delight of Craig Boddington). The CZ 453 is similar to the 452, only the set trigger technology that appears on CZ's bolt-action centerfire models is integrated into this rimfire rifle.

The CZ 527 chambered in .221 Fireball was brought along for the day as was the CZ 550 American chambered in .270.

The CZ Ultimate Hunting Rifle was also on hand, which according to company literature "includes a minute of angle accuracy guarantee to 1000 yards." The Ultimate Hunting rifle is currently only available in .300 Win. Mag. and weighs 8 pounds.

A five-inch Dan Wesson 1911, now from CZ USA.

Morton and Montelione also brought with them a couple of Dan Wesson handguns with them as well as several variants of the CZ 75.

TRADITIONS

Traditions Vice President Jim Bruno opened his presentation by talking about the Pursuit XLT, the new for 2006 muzzleloader that is the hybrid version of the Tradition's Pro and LT models.

The XLT features an alloy frame and a 28-inch fluted barrel that's ported 360 degrees. The stock features a new soft-touch finish and a Traditions-made Quick Relief Recoil Pad has been added to the buttstock.

The Traditions Pursuit XLT is a hybrid of the Traditions Pro and LT models. New for 2006.

Another gun that's coming from Traditions is the Express Double, which is a true stack-barreled muzzleloader. The twin smokepole features two 24-inch, .50 caliber barrels that are housed in walnut. Bruno reported that the firearm weighs a hefty 12 1/2 pounds and that the first gun from the Spanish factory is being air freighted to Traditions later this month. Look for a more detailed report on this firearm in a future Primedia publication.

The Yukon is Traditions entry-level muzzleloader and it features a Drop Breech action that's extremely easy to the use. Traditions is marketing the Yukon via its Redi-Pak, which is a muzzleloader starter kit designed to give a first time muzzleloader enthusiast everything they would need to get started in burning powder. A Redi-Pak with a scoped Yukon muzzleloader and a bunch of accessories retails for $249.

MOSSBERG

Mark Sidelinger and Kim Cahalan of Media Direct, the marketing company for Mossberg, presented the fifth and final presentation of the day.

Mossberg is probably best known for its line of home defense shotguns (notably the Mossberg 500), but the company offers a full line of sporting shotguns, bolt-action centerfire rifles, and both semi-auto and bolt-action rimfire rifles.

The Mossberg A.T.R. (All-Terrain Performance) is now available in two short-action calibers (.243 Win. and .308) as well as the long-action .30-06 and .270 calibers.

I enjoyed shooting the Mossberg 930 at the five-stand course at PASA Park. The 930 design is based on the 935 Magnum Autloader and shoots both 2 3/4 and 3-inch loads. Mossberg is offering the 930 as a part of two combo packs. The Deer/All Purpose combo comes with a 24-inch fully rifled barrel and a 26-inch Accu-Choke vent rib blued barrel in an American black walnut stock. The Deer/Waterfowl Combo comes with a 24-inch fully rifled barrel and 28-inch Accu-Choke vent rib barrel, matte finish and a durable black synthetic stock.

Craig Boddington takes the Mossberg 802 Plinkster through the paces at the rimfire range at PASA Park.

The .22 caliber 702 Plinkster autoloader was a favorite at the rimfire range as was the 802 Plinkster, which is the bolt-action variant of the 702. Perhaps the best thing about these two guns, besides their ability to chew through .22 ammo with ease, is the price. Sidelinger reported that the street price for a non-scoped 702 or 802 Plinkster was $89. Bargain!

The Mossberg J.I.C. (Just In Case) is a new marketing product that the company has developed. The J.I.C. is a 5-inch section of PVC tube that houses a survival kit. The kit will include a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and an assortment of other survival related items. Users will be able to customize their kit as they see fit and both ends are fitted with a sealing cap that keeps everything compact and put together. Look for the Mossberg J.I.C. kit later this year.

Be sure to check back for an update on the fourth Day of the Editor's Roundtable. Strum, Ruger & Co., STI, Hornady, Trijicon, and Hevishot are all set to present.

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