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2007 InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable, Day 5

2007 InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable, Day 5
We learn about the latest and greatest from Beretta, DKG Trading, Marlin, Knight, and LaserMax

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.


Stormy skies and rain greeted the writers and editors as they filed into PASA Park for the fifth and last day of the InterMedia Outdoors Editor's Roundtable.

Beretta's Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Patrick McDonald, ran through a quick presentation that touched on the Beretta culture and history more than he did on new product introductions.

Beretta is hands down the oldest firearm manufacturer in the world. The first line of business for the company was in 1526 when Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta began selling barrels to the Republic of Venice. Fifteen generations of family members have run the business since that time, making it the oldest family-owned manufacturing company in the world.

McDonald closed his brief, but insightful presentation with a quick look at some of the new offerings in the different firearm lines. The Px4 Subcompact, Px4 Storm 45 and Px4 Storm 45 Special Duty are being added to the handgun line. In the rifle line, look for a Sako 85 Finnlight and Sako 85 Safari series to hit dealer's shelves soon. And the Urika2 shotgun is a new addition the Beretta family shotguns.

Look for major announcements on brand new offering from the entire Beretta firearm line around the 2008 SHOT Show.



Michael Sutton was on hand from DKG Trading Inc. to give a brief overview of some of the new products available this year. DKG is a company that imports product from the foreign marketplace that hunters and shooters alike would find useful afield. Companies like Nobelsport, FM Optics, Centerion and Bear Ammunition all fall under the DKG Trading Umbrella.

The FM Optics line is a new offering from DKG Trading in 2008.

New for 2008 is the FM Optics line. Designed in America but made in China, the line features riflescopes that are being target toward the tactical audience.

The FM Optics family line includes a 4-14x44mm, 8-32x50mm, 10-40x56mm, 2x20mm, 4x32mm and 3-9x26mm.




The Marlin presentation had a very big announcement. So big that before the company representatives revealed what the new product was, they handed all of the writers and editors in the room editorial release embargos -- had them sign and return them -- before going on with their presentation. So with that (and wanting to keep my job), you'll have to wait until January 1 to learn exactly what it is.

From H&R, the H&R Ultra Varmint with a thumbhole stock is rolling off the production line and shipping. The rifle is available in .204 Ruger, .223, and .22-250.

Also look for a thumbhole stock on the 917VT & 917 VST rimfire rifles to hit dealer's shelves soon.

Stay tuned on the big announcement from Marlin!



Every hunting and shooting enthusiast is probably familiar with Cabela's. The 45-year-old company has set the standard in the outdoor sporting goods retail market and has grown to a $2 billion dollar a year business.

Cabela's Euro Binos stand up to some of the finest from Europe.

A third of the products in the company carry the private-labeled Cabela's brand name, and that number will grow, according to Cabela's Communication's Specialist David Draper.

"Cabela's is really about brand and lifestyle. We have our own DNA. We can pass on savings to the customer because we don't charge a marketing fee for the brand name that a lot of companies do. It allows us to sell quality at a reduced price, " said Draper.

Because of the close relationship Cabela's has with many manufacturers throughout the entire industry, the sporting goods company is able to create unique relationships that help forge the Cabela's branded line of apparel and accessories. Cabela's optics line was born from several of those synergies.

Cabela's teamed with a major European optics manufacturer (Meopta) to create the Euro Binos. According to company literature, independent tests by optical experts have rated Cabela's Euro 10x42 binocular on par with the most elite European optics available in the marketplace. The lenses are fully multi-coated using an ion assisted lens coating and feature half-pentagonal and Schmidt roof prisms. And the Euro Binocular is rugged. We were able to watch a short video showing submersion and freezing torture tests that put the binocular to the test, which it passed with flying colors.

Cabela's offers a full line of optics -- binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, and rangefinders -- that possess many of the same features and qualities that better known high-end brand optics have, but at a much lower price point. Check them out if you get a chance.



Normally I would have tagged the word "MUZZLELOADERS" after the word "KNIGHT" on my section heading for this segment, but Knight offers more than just muzzleloaders now.

The KP1 i

s a multi-platform offering from Knight.

The KP1 is a platform that allows a hunter or a shooter to convert their rifle from a muzzleloader to a centerfire or rimfire firearm.

"It's our first time with Knight Rifles that we've got into the centerfire and rimfire world. We've had a lot of our competition that's been there, but we've voluntarily stayed out of it up until this point. We wanted to raise the level. We didn't want a "me-too" product. We wanted more features and benefits. We did surveys with guys that were shooting the different single shots that were on the market and asked what they would want and built it based on their input," said Knight Marketing Manager Mike Mattley.

Changing from platform to platform involves a simple process that takes about 30 seconds once the user is conditioned to the steps.

1) The Forearm is removed (tool free) using a pull down forearm lever

2) The barrel is detached from the receiver by removing a pin

3) The action breaks open by pushing a button

4) The trigger and hammer assembly is removed with a push of a lever

The KP1 is available in a variety of kits and features Green Mountain Barrels, a sister company of Knight.


The last presentation on the last day fell to a surprise first time presenter. LaserMax representative Chris Gagliano was supposed to be on hand to give his company's spiel, but got hung up in travel muck and was unable to make the event. All of the different LaserMax models and press kits were shipped ahead of time and awaiting Gagliano, but he wasn't here to present!

In a twist, InterMedia Outdoors Technical Editor Dick Metcalf asked the Firearms Training Supervisor for the Quincy Police Department, Sgt. Duane Long, to give his input on the various LaserMax products that he's used in real-world conditions and situations.

Firearms Training Supervisor for the Quincy Police Department, Sgt. Duane Long, filled in for the LaserMax presentation.

It was an interesting twist to the normal company presentations that we see during the week long event.

LaserMax manufacturers laser aiming systems that are housed in a variety of locations on different types of firearms. There's a full assortment of Glock and SiGARMS offerings as well as Beretta, Taurus, Colt, Para-Ordnance, Springfield XD, and new for 2007, the Smith & Wesson round-butt J-Frame revolvers.

Another new tidbit from LaserMax is the company is now offering a green laser instead of red.


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