David Petzal doesn’t seem to like change very much

For a guy that calls himself a “gun nut,” David Petzal sure didn’t seem to enjoy the largest gun show on planet earth very much. If you dig into his recent column on SHOT Show there are multiple interesting threads that could be followed. His column could have been a great launching point to discuss how the firearms market has changed; we could look at the influences of 15 years of war on guns and gear, we could examine the relentless PC war on hunting, but no. Instead we can just complain about how “everything is tactical now.”


Unfortunately, any good point David could have made just kind of got lost in the sauce, as the article comes off like “old man yells at clouds.” See, it gets hard to take his column seriously when he runs lines like this: “[SHOT Show] has now become so heavily militarized that you have to look fairly hard for something designed to kill animals instead of people.” Really? I mean it’s not like Thompson/Center introduced a new hunting rifle this year…oh wait they did. Ruger also introduced a new model of the American Rifle, and Kimber dropped new rifles as well. So yes, while tactical/ccw guns and gear still rule the roost, there’s certainly no lack of hunting specific gear.

But that sort of brings me around to another point about that line in specific, because the phrase “designed to kill animals instead of people” is pretty dumb. I’ve never used an AR15 to kill people. I have used them to kill animals, and I know a lot of other people who’ve used them for the same thing. Just because it doesn’t look like what Petzal would imagine a hunting rifle should look like shouldn’t mean it’s not a hunting rifle.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot in David’s article that I could address. His apparent bemoaning of the lack of booth babes, for instance; complaining about the number of dogs there (seriously? Who doesn’t like dogs?), but what I ultimately want to pound on is the fact that what we’re seeing here is the result of a hugely successful expansion of the gun culture. Even in my lifetime alone, I’ve seen the gun culture change tremendously, and so for someone like David, I can’t even imagine how different things look now than when he was my age. We’ve been at various levels of war for the last 15 years, the firearms industry employs a disproportionate number of veterans compared to other industries, available lands for hunting have been shrinking at the same time as the government and media wages a relentless war on hunting, and more often than note, people are getting their first exposure to firearms via video games and media instead of their family members.

Those factors have driven real change in the industry, the products are more focused on shooting enthusiasts and concealed carry than on hunting. People who are new to guns are far more likely to go to their local range and rent an AR15 and shoot that; they’re going to buy a Glock 19 for concealed carry or home defense. That’s what the industry is, and it’s where David misses the mark. You see, if it wasn’t for my passion for shooting, I never would have gone hunting. I’m not from a family that hunts, so it wasn’t part of my childhood. But as an adult, as someone who’s been shooting most of my life, I’ve been introduced to hunting via people in the industry who are passionate about it.

That’s what people like David Petzal and others who are passionate about hunting should be doing. Looking at this new culture of gun enthusiasts with their AR15s and tactical gear and introducing them to hunting. A .300 Blackout makes a pretty bitchin’ deer rifle, and a regular old 16 inch vanilla AR is a great gun for prairie dogs, coyotes, and all kinds of other game. There is tremendous value in hunting, in shooting at something that moves and thinks and has a mind of its own, even if it’s just for the inherent marksmanship challenge of hitting a moving target. Lifelong hunters like Petzal should be reaching out to tactical enthusiasts and trying to bridge the culture gap.

Instead, we get lines like this: “Everyone who makes guns is selling everything they can produce, which stifles the need for innovation and takes the emphasis off firearms that would not be useful during the Latter Days.” I wanted to be mad about his article, I really did. I wanted to get riled up about how the Fudds are this and that and blah blah, but ultimately I’m not. What I am, and what I feel while I’m writing this is disappointment. David Petzal has a great voice and a huge platform that he could use to preserve the future of hunting by reaching out to the newest members of gun culture. It’s a pity he doesn’t see fit to do that.

SHOT Show 2016 new product: LiNQ by Crimson Trace

One of the new products for 2016 that I’m legitimately interested in is LiNQ from Crimson Trace. In simple terms, it brings the best feature of Crimson Trace’s laser grips, instinctive activation, to the world of AR15 pattern rifles. How does it do this? Dark sorcery Science. Here’s Crimson Trace’s explanation:

LiNQ™ combines a green laser sight and 300-Lumen LED white light with Instinctive Activation™ for AR-Type Modern Sporting Rifles. Utilizing a secure, individual connection, LiNQ offers complete wireless control of the laser and light module. The replacement grip is ergonomically designed for quick activation and mode changes, eliminating the need to reach for the rifle’s forend to operate.

Bluetooth in guns? What a fascinating modern age we live in. Hit up Crimson Trace’s website for more information.

Thompson/Center Arms™ Introduces T/C® Compass™ Bolt-Action Rifle

New Feature-Rich Bolt-Action Rifle to be Available for the Fall 2016 Hunting Season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January, 19th 2016) — Thompson/Center Arms today announced that it has expanded its line of innovative products with the introduction of the new T/C Compass. Designed to deliver today’s sport shooters and hunters with a feature-rich bolt-action rifle at an affordable price point, the T/C Compass elegantly blends American-made craftsmanship and value into a professional-grade rifle. The new T/C Compass, with its advanced feature set, is the latest entry into the company’s broad line of Thompson/Center rifles, all designed to deliver the performance, accuracy and ease of maintenance that has become the hallmark of the Thompson/Center Arms brand.

“The concept behind the T/C Compass was to be able to offer dedicated hunters and shooters an affordable bolt-action rifle that exceeded their expectations in terms of accuracy, reliability and functionality,” said Danielle Sanville, Brand Manager for Thompson/Center Arms. “The new T/C Compass expertly meets each of these needs while delivering a highly-capable bolt-action rifle that can match any budget. The new rifles will begin shipping in early summer,giving consumers plenty of time to purchase, mount optics and bring them to the range for sighting in before this year’s hunting season.”

At the center of the rifle is the T/C Compass’ aluminum pillar bedding design. This tested bedding system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy over the lifetime of the rifle. To further establish a solid, smooth action, the T/C Compass features a three-lug bolt design with 60-degree lift, which enables optimal scope clearance when loading and unloading the rifle.

Shooters of all skill levels will appreciate the T/C Compass’ user-adjustable single-stage trigger, which allows them to pre-set their preferred pull rate between 3.5 and 5 pounds with minimal over-travel. The T/C Compass’ buttoned-rifled barrel complete with 5R rifling provides consistent, reliable accuracy that is backed by Thompson/Center’s Minute of Angle (MOA) guarantee. The MOA guarantee promises that each rifle will deliver a one-inch, three-shot group at 100 yards with the use of premium ammunition.

Each T/C Compass is also standard with a factory threaded barrel for use with compatible suppressors, compensators and muzzle breaks, but also comes standard with a thread-protector for when these accessories are not in use. For improved handling in all field environments, the T/C Compass features an ergonomic, lightweight classic stock design with modern contours and textured grip panels. Operating controls on the rifle consist of an easy-to-use 3-position safety with bolt lock. This time-tested design provides a tactile feel, clear visibility and easy access when on the range or in the field.

On top of the receiver, the T/C Compass comes drilled and tapped and is furnished with scope bases for easy installation of optics. Swivel studs are conveniently located at the forward and rear portion of the stock to help simplify transport while in the field. A detachable rotary magazine (5+1 in standard calibers and 4+1 in magnum calibers) is standard with each rifle and fits flush with the stock in order to provide smooth, consistent feeding between shots. Like all bolt-action rifles from Thompson/Center, the new T/C Compass is backed by a limited lifetime warranty delivering added peace of mind to hunters and shooters everywhere.

T/C Compass Specifications:
Calibers: 204 Ruger, 5.56, .22-250, .243, .270, 7mm-08, 7mm, .308, .30-06 and .300 Win Mag
Barrel Length: 22 inches (standard calibers) 24 inches (magnum calibers)
Overall Length: 41- 41.5 inches
Weight: 7.25 – 7.5 lbs.
Length of Pull: 13.25 inches
Rate of Twist: 1:9, 1:10, and 1:12
MSRP: $399

Umarex Throttle First Air Rifle To Have Patent Pending StopShox Vibration Reducing Technology

FORT SMITH, Ark. (Jan. 19, 2016) – Umarex USA introduced a new air rifle named the Throttle at the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show today. The Umarex Throttle is the first air rifle to include the vibration reducing StopShox system.

umarex throttle

“We set out to solve one of the most frustrating problems with powerful air rifles today–the amount of vibration and recoil,” said Richard Turner Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Umarex USA. “Modern pellet rifles powered by strong springs or gas pistons cause two recoils–one to the front and a second to the back. The Umarex StopShox works in conjunction with a floating stock design to effectively minimize the negative recoil vibrations that cause shooter frustration.”

StopShox is a patent-pending, innovative device specifically designed to absorb shock, vibration and recoil in air rifles. It works in conjunction with a floating action to create a unique combination that systematically reduces the shock created by a break barrel air rifle’s spring or gas piston power system.

The new Umarex Throttle is a powerful pellet rifle that incorporates the new StopShox system. The Throttle combines this new recoil absorbing innovation with the Umarex ReAxis gas piston, SilencAir 5-chamber noise suppressor and the Umarex LockDown mount. It is available in either .177 or .22 caliber with all of these smooth operating innovations making it ideal for target shooters and small game hunters alike.

The Throttle comes equipped with a unique, black, all-weather stock, automatic safety and a 3–9×32 adjustable objective scope. With all of the innovative technology included, the Throttle is a great value at an MSRP of $199.99.

Learn more about the Umarex Throttle Air Rifle: UmarexUSA.com/SHOTShow

About Umarex USA
Umarex USA is one of North America’s fastest growing sport and recreation companies. Umarex USA develops and markets products under brands licensed by its parent company, Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG. Such brands include Beretta, Browning®, Colt®, Elite Force®, Hammerli®, Heckler & Koch®, Hornady®, IWI, Ruger®, RWS®, Smith & Wesson®, Walther® and others. For additional information regarding Umarex USA visit www.UmarexUSA.com. Follow and subscribe to Umarex USA online: Facebook.com/UmarexUSA, Twitter.com/UmarexAir, and YouTube.com/UmarexAir.


LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Caracal and Wilcox Industries have announced today a new strategic partnership that will see Caracal firearms produced for the first time in the United States from Wilcox’s world-class manufacturing facility in Newington, New Hampshire.

Senior officials from Caracal, the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) and Wilcox Industries.
Senior officials from Caracal, the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) and Wilcox Industries.

On the new partnership, Hamad Al Ameri, CEO of Caracal said, “This partnership takes Caracal to the next level, and supports our long-term strategic goals for the United States. Our two highly-experienced teams will be working hand-in-hand, collaborating and sharing expertise on the design and development as well as the manufacturing and testing of new, exciting Caracal products customised for the US market.”

Wilcox is well-known to the industry as an innovation leader when it comes to tactical products developed to support special forces units in the United States and globally, and are highly sought after by many of the top gun makers.

Under the terms of the partnership, Caracal’s US-based subsidiary, Caracal USA will co-locate its headquarters with Wilcox, with its Idaho office serving as its marketing arm. Target weapons for production at the facility include the 5.56mm CAR 814 direct impingement, semi-automatic rifle and the CAR 816 short stroke gas-piston semi-automatic rifle, both of which are designed for the US sporting market. Select-fire variants of these rifles will also be made for the defence and security market. Caracal’s new generation Enhanced F 9mm pistol will also be made in the facility. The production of the CAR family of rifles will also enable Caracal USA and Wilcox to now compete for US government arms contracts.

Speaking on the strategic partnership, Mr. Jim Teetzel, founder and CEO of Wilcox Industries, said, “We are proud to have Caracal working and collaborating alongside our team. This unique partnership represents the future of the industry, where leading experts from around the world unite to develop cutting-edge products for the market.”

The partnership will also provide Caracal with manufacturing and distribution rights for the Wilcox fusion system and the 40mm Grenade Launcher Module (GLM).

Caracal and Wilcox will be showcasing their latest products at SHOT Show 2016 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 19th to 22nd. For members of the media and industry buyers, Caracal will have live demonstrations of select products at Industry Day at The Range located in Boulder City, Nevada on January 18th.

Wilcox is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high quality tactical equipment for use by military and law enforcement in the United States. Product lines include Night Vision Mounting Systems, Small Arms Systems, the PATRIOT Hybrid Life Support System and Combat Systems including an accessory line that significantly enhances rifle modularity, all of which present a significant tactical advantage for the end user.

Caracal is the only OEM small arms company in the Middle East, and it is now being backed by a strong industrial parent company, the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC). This unique arrangement allows for Caracal to receive maximum resources and support in order to drive the next phase of growth for the company, including its new US presence.

Caracal CEO Hamad Al Ameri and Wilcox Industries CEO Jim Teetzel endorse their new strategic partnership.
Caracal CEO Hamad Al Ameri and Wilcox Industries CEO Jim Teetzel endorse their new strategic partnership.

Attendees can visit Caracal at its booth 2829 in Hall 1and Wilcox at its booth 7208 in Hall 1 during SHOT Show.

Kimber K6s Revolver

New for 2016 from Kimber is something that no one expected: a compact, six shot revolver. That’s right, Kimber is making a wheelgun.


And it looks damn good to my eye. The new K6 is an all stainless steel carry gun with a 2 inch barrel, putting it square against the SP101 and S&W 640 as competitors, but unlike either of those guns it holds a 6th shot in its .357 Magnum cylinder. That is a neat trick.

Continue reading “Kimber K6s Revolver”

A revolver tour #6: Shot Show Edition Korth Sky Marshal 9mm

Korth Sky Marshal 9mm

We’re taking a break from revolvers that I own and looking at some cool wheelguns from SHOT Show. First on the list is the Korth Sky Marshal, a 6 shot, medium frame revolver chambered in 9mm that doesn’t require the use of moonclips.

Continue reading “A revolver tour #6: Shot Show Edition Korth Sky Marshal 9mm”

Sig Sauer introduces the SEAGle, the final word in offensive handguns


EXETER, NH (January 18, 2015) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is proud to announce its collaboration with renowned manufacturer Magnum Research to create a first in its class firearm, the SEAGle® .50. Designed specifically for Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) units, the SEAGle combines the legendary firepower of the Desert Eagle in .50 AE with the reputation for quality and reliability of SIG SAUER® firearms.

The SEAGle incorporates a proprietary optics mount giving the warfighter the ability to dominate the battlespace with the speed and accuracy of an optics equipped rifle in a much more compact package. The compensator, developed by captain of Sig Sauer’s shooting team, competition shooter Max Michel, makes the gun return to target fast in recoil.
The SEAGle brings together the best of two great firearms manufacturers to create the first truly offensive handgun.

MSRP: $3,999
Capacity: 8+1
Weight: 5.3 pounds (without optic)
Trigger pull: 3 pounds
Finish: Stainless Steel or OD green Cerakote

NSSF, Sands Expo Extend SHOT Show Agreement to 2020

LAS VEGAS-The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sands Expo and Convention Center have followed up the 2014 record-setting Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) by adding another two years to their agreement.

Under the new terms, the SHOT Show will be presented at the Sands Expo through 2020.

The 2014 SHOT Show, which ran Jan. 14-17, attracted more than 67,000 in total attendance, an all-time high, and was the fifth consecutive SHOT Show held at Sands Expo. NSSF had previously announced, in February, that it was extending its stay at the venue through 2017.

“We’re pleased with the multi-million dollar investment that the Sands Expo has made in order to meet SHOT Show’s needs,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The 2014 SHOT Show was the highest rated by both attendees and exhibitors alike, and we want to continue to build on our success here in Las Vegas.”

SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world.

“As one of the largest events we host at Sands Expo, it has been exciting to watch SHOT Show grow every year,” said Ashlyn LaPorte, Sands Expo Executive Director of Event Management. “We are proud of the partnership that has developed between our venue and show management, and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade.”

The Sands Expo and Convention Center houses more than 2 million square feet of meeting and event space.

The SHOT Show generates more than $73 million for the Las Vegas economy.