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2007 InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable, Day 3

2007 InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable, Day 3
We learn about the latest and greatest from Ruger (handguns), Federal, ATK, Nighthawk Custom, NSSF, and Steiner.

Editor's Note: New firearms, ammunition, optics, gizmos and gadgets are all a part of the 2007 InterMedia 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 InterMedia Outdoors, the Editor's Roundtable is held twice a year and provides magazine, internet, and television staff an inside look at different products the shooting and hunting sports industry is offering for the current year and beyond.


Ruger had the honors of presenting first for the second straight morning. While yesterday's focus was on its long gun offerings, today the emphasis was on a few of the handguns that were introduced in 2007.

The Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan looks right at home in National Sales Manager Jim McConville's hands.

20 year Ruger man Bob Stutler gave a brief, but concise overview of a couple of the SKU's new to Ruger in 2007.

Ruger and Crimson Trace have teamed up for an offering. The Ruger SP101 is a .357 revolver (Models KSP-321X and KSP-321XL) that features Crimson Trace laser grips.

The 22/45 MKIII is a 22 caliber that features the grip angle and feel of the classic 1911 pistol.

And the Ruger Vaquero Montado is what the doctor ordered for a cowboy mounted shooter. It features a 3 3/4-inch barrel, a wide hammer spur with aggressive checkering, a grooved grip frame, and a beveled cylinder.

As per usual with Ruger, there are some fun handgun products coming down the pipe, but because the company is publicly traded, no announcements could be made at this time. Stay tuned for further developments.


At past Roundtables, when Tony Aeschliman would give a presentation, it was as a representative of Marlin. Aeschliman has switched hats now and is the new Director of Public Relations for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or more simply, the NSSF.

The NSSF is a terrific organization that focuses on preserving and promoting our hunting and shooting heritage. There are a multitude of resources the company utilizes to try and accomplish this goal.

There are two fulltime lawyers that work on litigation in Washington as well as the state level. There are two fulltime government relations specialists that focus on lobbying for or against legislation. The NSSF also employs a dedicated research specialist that provides all types of trend study data, firearm related statistics, and hunting information.


The NSSF has a bevy of websites and programs that all relate to the hunting and shooting sports. Project ChildSafe, Don't Lie For The Other Guy, First Shots, and Wingshooting USA are just a few of the many offerings.

A giant undertaking for the NSSF is the annual Shooting and Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show that's put on everything year. The event features anything and everything that relates to the hunting and shooting industry. The event is also a way that the NSSF funds itself. The fees collected from the event generate a large portion of the non-profit organizations annual operating budget.


Jason Nash and company kept the day moving along with a joint presentation on two arms of the ATK umbrella.

From the Federal Ammunition side of the business, the whole Trophy Bonded and Bear Claw line has been completely revamped. The new offering features a solid copper shank, bonded lead core, neon poly-carbonate tip and boattail design, nickel-plated case and bullet, and exterior skiving.

There will be a full line of offerings in 2008 from .338 on down.

 Trophy Bonded Bear ClawNew Trophy TipPercent Improvement (estimated)
270 cal. 140 gr. 0.338 0.440 30 perecent
284 cal. 160 gr. 0.358 0.520 45 percent
30 cal. 165 gr. 0.348 0.450 29 percent
30 cal. 180 gr. 0.368 0.500 36 percent

Federal is dipping its big toe in the green ammo field. There are a lot of concerns right now with the current political environment regarding the use of lead in bullets. There seems to be more discussions and awareness about the issue then in past years, particularly in California. Federal engineers have developed a couple of offerings that could be a solution if a lead ban ever takes effect.

The V-Shok TNT Green family is a completely lead free offering that's designed for maximum disruption. Available in three popular varmint and predator calibers (.223 Remington 43-gr., .222 Remington 43-gr., 22-250 Remington 43-gr.) the bullet has been tested extensively and according to Federal's Tim Brandt it's "very accurate and very shoots very well."

CCI, another subsidiary of ATK, also has a member of the TNT green family...A 30-gr. .22 WMR JHP.

The Black Cloud line is growing with a line extension. The Duck Commander and his band of brothers now endorse the premium waterfowl shotshell offering...a 12-gauge, 3-inch 1-1/4 oz., #3. The Black Cloud shotshell features a FliteControl wad that provides a controlled release of Flitestopper steel, increasing downrange performance and knockdown power.

ATK is reentering the scope arena with its brand new Nitrex line of scopes and binoculars.

ATK is back in the optics field with its new Nitrex line of riflescopes and binoculars. The tough and rugged optics will be priced in the $300-$600 range and will feature TruCoat fully multi-coated lenses and are shockproof, waterproof and fog proof.

The initial offerings (available this fall) will be a 3-9x42 ($300), 3-10x50 ($350), 6-20x50 AO ($400) riflescopes and 8x42mm ($279) and 8x25mm ($289) binoculars.


The Nighthawk Custom shop in Berryville, Arkansas is a small company that's known for making tremendous, custom-built 1911s. Their belief is that a "custom gun" is one where the customer has complete control over the specifics of their gun from top to bottom.

One of Nighthawk Custom's latest offerings: The Dominator.

The purchase process starts with several baseline models to choose from in varying sizes. Once the customer has their platform, they can specify exactly how they want their gun built. After hand-fitting each part, the gun is run through a rigorous cycle of testing that involves two rounds of test firing by different testers who use multiple types of ammunition. There's once last final inspection before it's shipped to the customer. With steps like this, customer satisfaction is assuredly guaranteed.

There are a couple of new additions to the Nighthawk Custom Family. The Dominator was designed for target shooters that want to squeeze extreme accuracy out of their 1911 at varying ranges. The standard version features a hard chromed frame, fully adjustable Nighthawk or Bo-Mar sights, crowned recessed barrel, serrated slide top and serrated rear of slide.

The T3, the newest entry to the Nighthawk lineup, was designed with concealed carry in mind. The handgun features an officer frame with commander length slide, a Heinie Slant-Pro rear sight with tritium, the slide top is flush with the frame and frame chamfered, is barrel crowned and recessed to bushing, a serrated slide top, a serrated rear of slide and mainspring housing.

Nighthawk Custom is truly a small business success story that's growing more and more in the custom 1911 marketplace. Look for more exciting developments from this outfit down the road.


Robert Fancher finished off the day three presentation by going over a various assortment offerings from Steiner, a German optics company that got its start shortly after World War II.

The 10x56 and 12x56 Night Hunter XP binoculars feature a NANO-protection coating, which is a water shedding protectant that eliminates exterior moisture so water and snow slide off the objective and ocular lenses. The Night Hunter XP exceeds military shock and waterproof standards and carries a 30-year limited warranty.

The Peregrine XP binoculars are an ultra premium offering from Steiner.

The Peregrine XP is an ultra-premium offering from Steiner with all of the bells and whistles that go with it. The Peregrine XP features a nitrogen pressurized, magnesium body, NANO coated 44mm objective lenses and 3mm ocular lenses, dialectic mirror coated roof prisms, and high definition XP lens technology.

Make sure to check back for the Day Four recap. Representatives from Savage, Blackhills, Starline/CJ Weapons/Buffer Technology, and Crimson Trace will be presenting at the InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable

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