The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits were hosted in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of April and I was there to take it all in. I often marvel at the number of people who drive and fly to attend this show. Being a consumer show, the NRA show hosts some of the best and brightest companies in the hunting, shooting and outfitting world, all exhibiting their products and services and competing for market share.
As credentialed media, I get to experience shows like this with a different perspective than a consumer. What I try to do in my writing and podcasting work is find the best of the outdoors (Which is also the name of our TF&G podcast!) and bring that to you through the media we produce here at Texas Fish & Game. In this series of posts, I will bring some companies to light that I found interesting in the realm of this massive convention.
High Standard Firearms
Based right here in the great state of Texas, High Standard offers a variety of pistols such as .22s and 1911s as well as AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. They also manufacture several parts and accessories. What initially caught my eye about this company when they worked with us this past fall was their HSA Hunter combo which is an AR-15 featuring both a 5.56 upper and a 300 AAC Blackout upper. This system allows you to switch out uppers in a moment’s notice. The price point on this package is also attractive to budget minded shooters. Another rifle that caught my eye was their AK-47. There are several options with both AK and AR platform rifles but what was most impressive to me was the wood furniture and the metal finish on the AK. I have been a fan of the Russian pattern guns for a while now and own 5 Mosin Nagants and 2 SKS rifles and have had these for many years. I am thinking about adding one of these beautiful AKs to my arsenal soon as well. Check these guys out at www.highstandard.com.
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ATI Gun Stocks
I have followed Advanced Technology International for a while and done some videos featuring some of their products in my past TV show work for Mac & Prowler’s Coyote Tales. I am continually impressed by the innovations of this company and the products they come out with each year. If you are looking for a stock for your AR, AK, SKS, Ruger 10/22, Mini-14, shotgun, single shot rifle or other guns they make stocks for, I would highly recommend checking out this company at www.atigunstocks.com.
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XS Sight Systems
XS recently joined the Texas Fish & Game print and digital magazine as a sponsor of the Department of Defense column and I have been impressed with this company from the first time I encountered them. What they specialize in is combat effective handgun, hunting rifle, shotgun and tactical rifle sights. Their slogan is, “Fastest Sights in Any Light” and these are some of the most effective and well-designed sights I have ever seen on the market. This is another Texas company that has some great options for your gun and their product makes your rifle, shotgun, or handgun very effective in low-light scenarios. Check them out at www.xssights.com.
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I first encountered this company at SHOT Show a couple of years ago. What initially drew my attention to this company was their reasonably priced ammunition that was built to perform. Their parent company also manufactures ammo components, loading and reloading equipment as well as X-Treme Bullets which are precision plated projectiles. Freedom’s HUSH line of ammo is specially built for shooting through guns with suppressors. Their Big Grains line features ammunition that is built for big bore firearms like the 500 S&W or 50 AE. Another brand that will be of special interest to Texans is the Boar Buster ammunition which I first learned about at this year’s SHOT Show for all our feral hog hunting pursuits in Texas. I plan to stock up on some of this ammo soon. Check these guys out at www.freedommunitions.com.
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Bear & Son Cutlery
I love knives! What more can a man say? I know all of the major knife manufacturers by heart and few impress me more than Bear & Son. From the wide variety of every kind of traditional hunting knife you could imagine to general pocket knives and everything in between, I have come to expect great things from this company and they always deliver. The two knife categories that have impressed me the most lately are the Stag Delrin Handle Series folders and the absolutely beautiful Damascus steel blade which is featured in many of their Bowie knives as well as other varieties. They even have butterfly knives with Damascus blades! My personal favorite knife from their massive collection of blades is the Genuine India Stag Bone Damascus knives. Stay tuned to Texas Fish & Game Magazine and www.FishGame.com for my Texas Tested article coming soon on the Rosewood Fingergroove Skinner knife which I have pictured below. This is another phenomenal example of a beautiful but very functional fixed-blade knife for the field and at home. This is indeed a good example of a quality American cutlery manufacture and I am a big fan of what they have to offer. Also, new for this year, Bear & Son has acquired GATCO Sharpeners. What’s better than a knife company that has a knife sharpening line? Few things I can think of for sure! What a great combination! Check them out at www.bearandsoncutlery.com.
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Story by Dustin Warncke