If you have never been to an NRA show, imagine the largest gun show you have been to and multiply it many times. It can get really crowded in a hurry! Since there are no limitations on who can come (unlike SHOT and other trade shows), so long as they are a card carrying NRA member, just about everyone who wants to get in gets granted access to the show. Friday was alright but Saturday of this show made me wish I was out on some beach, some where else with a cold drink in my hand. Enough about that.
One marketing director of a company that works with us here at TF&G as a sponsor said it this way, “It’s like having a 60,000 person focus group who won’t hold back to tell you what they really think about your product!” He was right. These are salt-of-the-earth people who attend this show. They want quality, value, service and support and aren’t afraid to tell you what they think about your offering here. That’s why NRA, although crowded at times, has to be my favorite show of all of the ones I attend in a given year. Now, being that this is my last post of the show, I may not have covered everything you would have liked me to cover. I understand that. It’s simply impossible to cover all of the wonderful companies this show serves up. However, I did my best to bring you the best of what I thought was interesting and fun in the outdoor industry. Here’s my last day of coverage from the show!
One of the most innovative products I have seen as far as movement options when shooting from a steady rest is from Swagger Bipods. The sister company to Swagger is Big & J Long Range Attractants. Seeing how much success I have had with Big & J, it is no surprise to find a company presenting a groundbreaking, legendary all-terrain hunting bipod system related to them. Quality is king here. What Swagger gives you is the flexibility in having a solid shooting rest in virtually any shooting position around just about any terrain. This system uses something called Crazy Legs Technology which is revolutionary in today’s market. There’s not a product on the market like it. Not even close. Unlike traditional stiff bipod legs, Swagger’s models have adjustable telescoping legs featuring flexible joints that allow more maneuverability while also providing a rock solid shooting rest. These come in two models-a field model and a tree stand/hunting blind model. Need to make small adjustments to get that shot off just right? This product has you covered. What’s more is that the entire assembly mounts underneath your rifle’s stock and stays out of the way when you don’t need it. This is one of the most forward thinking shooting systems I have ever encountered and it really makes sense. This is a great fit for either stationary or spot-and-stalk hunting here in Texas or beyond. What an awesome idea! Swagger products are also made in the USA. Check these guys out at www.swaggerbipods.com.
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Crosman Air Guns and Centerpoint Crossbows
This company has been known for pushing the envelope in both airguns and archery. My first post on FishGame.com was on the Pioneer Airbow which uses an airgun frame to push a standard arrow around 450 feet per second. That has never been done before. The Airbow is generally safer to shoot than a crossbow, using the power of (you guess it!) AIR and not a string! I have a picture of me holding this beast of a weapon below. The fastest shooting crossbow on the market, at 425 feet per second, doesn’t even compare to this revolutionary hunting tool. You can really reach out and extend your effective range with a weapon like this. New for this year is the SBD (Silencing Barrel Device) on a few air rifle models such as the Mayhem in .22 caliber. The thing I like the most about integrally suppressed airguns like this is that you don’t have to have a tax stamp or any other paperwork to own them. Also, silenced air rifles have a wide range of uses such as picking off squirrels in the back yard without alerting the whole neighborhood and teaching kids how to shoot for the first time without them having fear of the noise of the gun. In the big bore category, the Bulldog model comes in .357 caliber and in black or a Realtree camo pattern. This bullpup design is sure to catch some eyes and at the range and in the field as it looks like nothing else on the market today. Check these guys out at www.crosman.com.
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If you have read my work for long, you know I love hunting and target shooting with crossbows and own a few of them I have acquired over the years. I think every hunter or archer should own at least one. They are a very versatile weapon for any age group. The Centerpoint brand of crossbows, also from the fine folks at Crosman, offers an impressive and affordable option for a high quality crossbow. When these first came out on the market last year, I started seeing the reviews on this line of crossbows and was amazed at the price point. You could spend twice the money or even more on a crossbow with as many features as this line of recurve and compound crossbows. The Sniper 370 Model, for example, is under $400 which is amazing for a crossbow this powerful and compact. If you’ve been on the fence about getting a crossbow for you or a loved one, you can’t go wrong with these guys. Check them out at www.crosman.com/archery/centerpoint-crossbows.
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I have been a fan of CZ-USA for many years now as they have a whole spectrum of firearms including rifles, shotguns and handguns. They have been a great supporter of many charity events I have been a part of over the years and their fit and finish on all their guns is fantastic. With so many different gun companies on the market today, it is hard to stand apart but this company has done that very well in my eyes. I also love the Dan Wesson line of handguns they offer. The one new handgun just entering that market this year that caught my eye at this year’s NRA show was the CZ model P-10 which is one of the most comfortable striker-fired handguns I have had the pleasure of handling. The ergonomics of this gun alone make it worth the $500 MSRP since many striker-fired handguns are bulky and not as comfortable to shoot. The trigger pull is clean and crisp at 4 to 4 ½ pounds and the reset is short, making follow up shots quick and easy. It is also very compact but has a high ammunition capacity. It’s the best of everything you would want from a 9mm handgun and a serious consideration for concealed or open carry. Check these guys out at www.cz-usa.com.
I loved this show this year and had more fun there in the short time I attended than I ever had before. It took me about a week to write these blog posts in between my other duties with TF&G but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. I will also have a TF&G podcast on the NRA show which should be out soon if not already. Our internet radio show/podcast again is called The Best of the Outdoors and you can find it on iTunes or on your favorite podcast player as well as right here at FishGame.com. Thank you so much again for watching, reading and listening and for your support over the years!
Listen to the podcast here!
Story by Dustin Warncke