First Gear

posted on February 25, 2019

1. Mossberg
Well known for its extensive line of rifles and shotguns, O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc. recently marked its 100th anniversary by introducing the MC1sc Subcompact Pistol. Built for concealed-carry applications, the slim-profile 9 mm MC1sc features a 3.4-in. barrel and weighs in at only 22 oz. when fully loaded. Other features include integrated grip panels with aggressive texturing for added control, multi-angle slide serrations for positive slide manipulation, snag-free dovetail white three-dot sights for easy target acquisition, a flat-profile trigger with integrated blade safety, reversible magazine release, and a glass-reinforced polymer frame. The flush-fitting magazine holds six rounds, and a seven-round extended magazine is also available. $425;

2. Smith & Wesson
The Smith & Wesson Performance Center has partnered with Thompson/Center to introduce two new .22 rimfires—the Performance Center T/CR22 in a Hogue® Overmolded Thumbhole synthetic stock and an Altamont Laminated Thumbhole stock. Both versions will operate using the reliable T/CR22 semi-automatic rifle action and 10-round rotary magazine, while maintaining compatibility with most aftermarket Ruger 10/22 parts and accessories. The rifles also feature a light, crisp trigger pull, button-rifled heavy contour barrel, threaded muzzle that allows for the use of a suppressor or other muzzle device, a fully machined stainless bolt, and built-in Picatinny rail. $497 for Hogue stock, $616 for Altamont;

3. Gun Craft
For those shooters and hunters who like a good, cold beer after a shooting session, look no further than Gun Craft Beer’s four flagship brews. The Tactical American Pale Ale combines U.S. Magnum hops with aromas of grapefruit, melon and lime; FAL Belgian Style Black Ale honors the famed rifle and is touted as “the lightest black beer you’ll ever drink”; Second Amendment Red IPA has a distinctive red hue and caramel malt notes; and the M4 Amber Ale is a lightweight beer with no hop character. Brothers Lew and Dave Selvaggio said all four beers are designed to honor the Second Amendment and stand out in the ever-expanding field of craft beers. From $10.99;

4. Heckler & Koch
H&K has announced the introduction of the new VP9-B, the latest option in the VP9 family. The very adaptable grip frame of the 9 mm semi-automatic allows shooters to interchange both backstraps and grip panels in 27 unique configurations for a perfect fit. And shooters can choose between a European-style ambidextrous paddle mag release or the new U.S.-style reversible button. The pistol also features an outstanding trigger, with a short, light take-up with a solid, clean break, followed by a short, positive reset. And, of course, the pistol is covered by H&K’s lifetime warranty. $719;

5. Henning Group
Henning Group products have been moving the needle for a long time as far as “First Gear” is concerned. Always functional and incredibly rugged, they're usually great looking, too. Witness the add-ons to CZ's dominant Shadow 2. As if the inherent qualities weren't enough to make the grade—superb out-of-box double-action triggers and splendid reliability/accuracy—then grip and base-pad enhancements from the fertile mind of USPSA Grand Master Henning Wallgren ought to close any CZ deal (or Tanfoglio, Glock, S&W, SIG and many others, for that matter). Base pads up to 23+1 capacity are $22-$59, and contoured/checked grips from $112 to $249; 

6. German Precision Optics USA
German Precision Optics recently introduced the Passion 4X premium riflescope line, bringing quality and value together in a scope line that offers higher magnification and low-light objective lenses. The scopes are built on a 30 mm machined aluminum main tube and are available in 3-12x56 (with or without illuminated reticle) and 6-24x50 models, both featuring double HD glass and the company’s GPOBright lens-coating technology. The G4i fiber-optic illumination technology system on the second focal-plane scopes automatically powers down the illumination when the electronic module has been stationary for more than three hours, and alerts the user when the battery has only 15 percent remaining life. $599-$999;

7. Walther Arms
Those in the market for a competition pistol have another fine option to choose from with Walther Arms’ introduction of the new Q5 Match SF. Built on the company’s very successful PPQ platform, the steel framed Q5 Match SF weighs in at 41.6 oz. empty, offering added weight to an already proven platform. Interesting features include an outstanding 5.6-lb. match trigger that the company touts as “the best trigger on the market,” and a ported slide that comes complete with a Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point and Docter Optics ready mounting plates. The Q5 Match SF has a 15-round capacity, while the companion Q5 Match SF Pro holds 17 rounds. $1,499-$1,650;

With spring turkey season quickly approaching, ALPS has introduced the all new Vantage Bino Harness. The unit, in Mossy Oak Obsession, was designed specifically with the turkey hunter in mind by combining a secure and convenient means of carrying binoculars along with a variety of turkey calls. It features a padded back panel for comfortable all-day wear, and the harness system is adjustable to accommodate everything from light camo to cold-weather clothing. A quick-access panel behind the binocular case has slots to hold one slate call and two strikers, while a mesh pocket on one side of the case provides secure storage for diaphragm calls. Your box call is accommodated by a removable box call pocket. $59.99;


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