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2008 SHOT Show Report

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I was able to walk through the exhibition floor during the first two days of the 2008 SHOT Show. The size of the exhibition space was incredible, with SHOT claiming 715,000 square feet of total exhibition space. At a brisk pace, it takes a full day (0830 to 1700) to get through just the Central Hall exhibition area.

There are just too many new products combined from all the firearms and shooting related manufacturers to even discuss in a simple post-show writeup (the SHOT Show organizers published actual booklets containing the new product announcements). So rather than rehash every single new product, I’ll just mention the notable items that I found interesting.

1. I stumbled upon the Lapua booth in the back of the Central Hall on day 2. They had a small booth and it didn’t seem like many people were stopping by to visit, which surprised me considering the significance of Lapua in the shooting sports. Anyway, Lapua made significant additions/changes to their rimfire ammunition line, introducing six new lines: X-ACT, Midas+, Center-X, Pistol King, Pistol OSP, Polar Biathlon.

The Lapua representatives noted that these are brand new developments and a few will replace current production ammo (which will be phased out). Along with the new rimfire ammunition lines is new product packaging which is a nice sleek and modern appearance. But I was most interested in Lapua’s introduction of a new 22 caliber 77gr BTHP that they will now be producing under their Scenar product line. Their product sheet indicates that their .224″ 77gr BTHP Scenar will have a ballistic coefficient of .402 and is capable of being seated at magazine length in the AR-15. This is impressive considering the Sierra 77gr MK has a BC of around .370 and .340 for the Nosler 77gr Custom Competition.

2. Ruger has released several new products. One that caught my eye is the new Charger pistol, which is a Ruger 10/22 action put into a laminate pistol stock. Since it is a 10/22 action, the Charger accepts the standard 10/22 rotary 10-round magazine. While the application would seem limited, it seems like a nice lightweight varmint pistol and serves as a nice compliment to the 10/22 rifle. Ruger will be selling the Charger with an adjustable bipod and Weaver-style scope mount.

3. I made it a priority to stop by the LRB Arms booth since a friend had asked me to get some product information from them. I inquired LRB representatives about their back log and it was indicated that they are caught up on their orders and there should not be much of a lag time to fill a standard catalog item order. Important to note is that LRB Arms has started producing their own forged gas cylinders. Since quality M14 parts are becoming scarce, LRB Arms is looking into producing their own parts. But it was indicated that the scale at which LRB will manufacture parts is dependent on other parts manufacturers. There are a few established parts manufacturers that are looking to make M14 parts and if those parts are of good quality, LRB Arms will most likely not produce those parts on their own.

4. I stopped by the Brownells/Sinclair booth to inquire about any further changes to the Brownells / Sinclair catalogs (combining product lines, etc.) and it appears that things will remain as they are for the foreseeable future. I ended up talking to Brownells’ E-Commerce Manager, Clayton Whipple, who told me that the Brownells website will be updated in the next few months with improved search functionality and better product imagery. He noted that one of the primary complaints has been the ability to search for and find products on the Brownells website and that improving the search function has been one of the primary goals for the website overhaul.

5. Leupold is making a push into the flashlight market with their new MX modular flashlight line. While I am a Surefire fan, the Leupold MX lights are very impressive. The Leupold MX is meant for users to build the light to their needs using either a two or three cell ‘maintube’ (body) with one of four bezels (lamps) which determine the available mode(s), brightness, and beam focus. The majority of the components are made in Oregon and the lights are also assembled in Oregon.

6. Burris Optics is making great strides in their Xtreme Tactical Riflescope (XTR) line. Burris has introduced a new intermediate optic designed for AR-15 style rifles with a 1-4x power magnification and a Burris proprietary reticle dubbed the XTR Ballistic 5.56 Reticle. The reticle has windage hashmarks with 1 milradian spacing. When zeroed for 100 yards, the reticle has dots and hashmarks for 100 yard increments of drop all the way to 1000 yards. Combined with the XTR rings and the Burris FastFire reflex sight, this gives the M16/AR-15 operator a very versatile optical sighting solution.

These are just a few of the notable items I found at this year’s SHOT Show. There are many more things to note, but these ones definitely caught my attention.

I’ll try to post more notable items in a later report after I sort through and process the photos I took.

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