January 03, 2011
By Ben OBrien
We learn about the latest and greatest from FNH USA, Hevi-Shot,
Crimson Trace, Savage, and Zeiss.
By Aaron J. Decker
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.
Bucky Mills of FNH USA had the honor of leading things off on Day Four at the InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable. The company was started in 2000 and has seen sky rocketing success since 9/11/01. In 2001, FNH USA was generating a quarter of a million dollars a year in sales. Six years later, that figure has increased to $65 million a year and is growing.
The MK17 or SCAR from FNH USA is an operator designed, next-generation battle rifle.
FNH USA is owned by FN Herstal, which also owns Browning, Browning International, and Winchester Firearms. FNH USA serves as the sale and marketing arm for the company in the US.
The entire focus of FN USA is on providing quality and high-end product for military and law enforcement use. A lot of their products are sold in the civilian marketplace, but their niche is in the tactical arena and its something that they do very well.
The DA/SA FNP-45 features a high-capacity polymer frame with interchangeable backstrap inserts, accessory rail, and ambidextrous frame-mounted decocking levers and magazine release. The FNP-45 also features a loaded chamber indicator on the external extractor and a wide variety of sights (standard and night) are available.
From the "this might surprise you" category, the FN 303 Less Lethal system is a product FN USA sells that's designed to reduce lethality. The system shoots .68 caliber projectiles that weigh 8.5 grams and are filled with different marking or "attention getting" solutions. According to company literature, "the primary effect of the projectile is trauma, which directly neutralizes the aggressor. Secondary effects from the projectiles can be delivered via a chemical payload."
FN USA brought along a full assortment of their space-age looking tactical firearms. Items like the F2000, P90 and SCAR look like they're straight out of a Judge Dredd movie but are functional and dedicated firearms that get the job done for people that put their lives on the line on a daily basis.
The Hevi Shot story is yet another example of where an outdoor enthusiast wasn't satisfied with the performance of a product -- in this instance steel shot -- and decided to do something about it.
A sign of progress...a headstamp on a Hevi Shot load. The budding company has added more manufacturing and machining capabilities in 2006.
Darryl Amick grew tired of wounding, but not killing birds, and started tinkering with tungsten iron. Over time he found a mix that involved tungsten, iron and nickel and Hevi-Shot was born. The shot is denser than lead and steel allowing a hunter to shoot pellets that area much smaller, increasing the number pellets in your pattern at an extended distance.
After being licensed and distributed through Remington, Hevi Shot became a stand-alone company in 2005. The company was faced with manufacturing hurdles that they've overcome in the last 12 months with the addition of machinery and manufacturing space.
"We're a major manufacturer now. Our sales far exceeded what we were able to do with Remington. We've exceeded our sales goals for 2006. We're successful because we design and build ammunition for a specific marketplace. We build dedicated loads for waterfowl hunters. We build completely different loads for turkey hunters. We build a specific product for a specific use," said Hevi Shot's Ron Petty.
Hevi-Shot offers a full line of waterfowl, turkey, and upland offerings and deer slugs and personal defense loads.
The Savage presentation focused solely on a couple of the new offerings for 2007.
It goes without saying that the AccuTrigger is one of the key ingredients in a Savage built rifle. The revolutionary system allows a shooter to set the trigger pull to individual preferences. And a new twist on the light and crisp AccuTrigger line is the Target AccuTrigger, which combines all of the same dedicated features of the original model but kicks it up a notch. Target AccuTriggers can be adjusted from 6 ounces to 2.5 lbs and is featured on select Model 12 rifles, the Precision Target Rifle Line, and Precision Actions.
The Savage Model 10 Predator is a no-nonsense, knock em' down, coyote rifle built from insight and input provided by predator call designer Gary Roberson.
Savage asked for input from professional varmint/predator call maker Gary Roberson on what he'd include in an ideal coyote rifle. Roberson stated that he's like to see the rifle in a camouflaged pattern that would work for western brush country that featured a shorter barrel. The Model 10 Predator Hunter was the end result of that collaboration and it's been a success in the field so far. The Predator Hunter is chambered for .223, .22-250, and .204 Ruger and obviously features the ever-popular Savage AccuTrigger.
CONTACT: Savage Arms
Travis Noteboom was on hand to give the Crimson Trace Presentation. Crimson Trace is an Oregon based company that manufacturers laser grips for a large assortment of handguns and tactical shotguns. The lasers are built into the grips and help improve accuracy, trigger control, a
nd a bright red laser dotting the outerwear of a bad guy serves as a very good deterrent for law enforcement.
Crimson Trace will be manufacturing grips for the Springfield XD.
Crimson Trace will be growing the family in the next few months. Owners of the popular polymer handgun, Springfield XD, will be able to add the Crimson Trace aiming system to their firearm. The company hopes to be shipping by SHOT Show.
Other guns the company is working on are the Walther PPKS, Smith & Wesson M&P, North American Arms Guardian and are working on a model for Kahr, but that's farther down the road.
Crimson Trace has also developed a laser grip in conjunction with BowTech, which will turn on when an archer draws back. Such a mechanism is legal in only 10 states, but the laser grip can be used as a tool to improve accuracy and technique while practicing.
CONTACT: Crimson Trace
The German optics manufacturer, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics, or just Zeiss as we generally refer to them, has been manufacturing clean, clear, and quality glass for 160 years. Hunter and shooters alike know and respect the level of quality that is experienced when afield with a Zeiss binocular or riflescope.
Many are familiar with the Lotus leaf effect in which water beads up and rolls off the surface of a lotus leaf due to micro and nano-scale structures. Zeiss used that has inspiration in developing its LotuTec Protective coating that it applies to its entire Victory line of optics. LotuTec is a protective coating that reduces soiling of the lens with its strong repelling effect. Oil and fingerprints are removed easier and LotuTec makes the cleaning and caring for lenses very easy.
The Zeiss Victory Diarange is a riflescope that features a built-in laser rangefinder allowing a hunter to easily access the distance on bounty that's in the cross hairs. This instantaneous information allows the hunter to quickly assess the situation (and his abilities) and to make a quality shot. Zeiss has grown the Diarange family by one model. It's now offering a 2.5-10x50 in addition to the 3.5-12x56 version that it the technology debuted with.
Zeiss has an online calculator for its Rapid Z reticle system that allows hunters and shooters to configure their reticles for the load they're using.
And a hunter might further increase accuracy on a distant shot by utilizing the new Rapid Z reticle system from Zeiss and Pride Fowler Industries. The reticles, when configured correctly according to the Zeiss provided instructions, provide accurate, labeled holdover points for most common cartridges for both bullet drop and windage compensation. Simply put, if your critter is 400 yards out in calm wind conditions, you hold where it reads "4" (rocket scienceâ€¦right?) and blamoâ€¦dead critter.
That's the short and quick explanation on all the different aspects of the Rapid Z reticle system, but visit the Carl Zeiss Sports Optics Rapid Z page for a complete run down (and a look at their Rapid Z Calculator) of how the system works.
CONTACT: Carl Zeiss Sport Optics
Make sure to check back for the Day Five recap. Representatives from Marlin., Beretta, Knight Muzzleloaders, Cabelas, DKG and LaserMax will be presenting at the InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable