If there’s anything better about SHOT Show than Media Day at the Range, we haven’t found it yet. The A1F Daily staff spent Monday shooting all kinds, sizes and shapes of new guns at the Boulder City Rifle & Pistol Club to bring you this late-breaking report.
Look for more daily HOT FROM SHOT news every morning this week as we relentlessly walk the show floor to bring you the latest and greatest.
We made an early stop at Smith & Wesson for an unusual reason—the line to shoot was short. Crazier still, we’ve no idea why: Among many S&W goodies was the Performance Center Ported Shield, a new version of the company’s carry gem. It very much impressed us. Straight from the factory, it’s fitted with HiViz fiber-optic sights front and rear; Performance Center sear and striker plunger for much-improved trigger performance (if you know the Shield, though, the trigger's pretty darn good to start with); and a ported barrel and slide to reduce recoil. All of which work juuuuuust fine, we can say.
Browning had on hand its new Sweet 16 semi-auto shotgun, and its name describes it quite well. This blast from the past—with its smaller, lighter receiver—is closer in weight to a typical 20 gauge, but with a shot payload nearing a 12 gauge. The beautiful gun, with its age-old “hump-back” design, was a delight to shoot, even on fast-flying clays at hard angles.
German handgun manufacturer Korth brought out several of its 9mm and .38 Special revolvers. The small 9mm and PPC-grade .38 were astoundingly accurate and easy to shoot. Notably, the 9mm revolvers were easy to load, as there is no spring-loaded extractor spring to overcome and they did not require the use of moon clips. The revolvers will be available sometime late spring to early summer.
While we didn’t get to shoot a rifle with the unit installed, Crimson Trace was showing its cool new wireless LiNQ replaceable grip for AR-15 type rifles. The grip, with operating button, is paired with its partner remote module, which features a green laser sight and 300-lumen LED white light. We can’t wait to try this one out when we get home from SHOT Show.
For 2016, Kimber introduced the smallest and lightest six-shot .357 Magnum on the market. It is an all-steel revolver weighing in at right around 23 ounces. Recoil was snappy but not abusive, even with full-power .357 ammo. With .38 Special ammo, it would be very comfortable to shoot. The double-action trigger was excellent, allowing for fast and accurate shooting. Expect to see them at a store near you this spring, with expected retail under $900.
Seeing a Range Day booth dedicated to Browning is no surprise, but one for Browning Ammunition caught us slightly off guard. Even more interesting was the wide range of fodder we saw: Centerfire (pistol and rifle), shotshell and rimfire were all in evidence. Our Browning rep laid it out plainly: “We’re glad to be working with Winchester (Olin) for actually loading the ammunition, but these are Browning formulas and bullet designs." Certainly the results we saw were extremely encouraging, and for a wide range of shooters—hunting ammunition for both close-range/thin-skinned game, and controlled expansion for use at longer ranges or on thicker-skinned game. The rimfire ammo seemed to run especially well in semi-automatics, and the shotty ammo … well, is there someone who knows more about shotgunning than Browning?