SHOT Show: 3 Great Finds From Range Day

The week-long madness we call SHOT Show is here again, and as usual we editors are stalking the show for the latest in great gear, which includes varmint and predator hunting tools.

The first day (Monday) is not a Show day, but rather a range day. That makes it the best day of the week because it’s outdoors and held on a shooting range. So, instead of looking at guns, we look AND shoot—an unbeatable combination.

One of the first things to catch my eye was this attractive Ruger rimfire. You’ll notice it’s sitting beside a box of Winchester 17 WSM (Winchester Super Magnum) ammo. And if you guessed that’s because this classy rifle is now chambered in the hottest rimfire round in the world, you’d be right. The magazine is Ruger’s reliable rotary design. This gun will be a welcome addition to the list of rifles available for the 17 WSM, a list that in my opinion is still too short.

Stepping up a notch to the centerfire family, I like HOWA’s new bolt-action rifle featuring a trim action designed specifically for cartridges in the .223/.204 family. This action is 12 percent shorter than regular short actions and the right size for the little centerfires. As you can see in the photo below, it has a detachable magazine. What you can’t see are the three different stock options and three barrel options, making this a gun you can have in various configurations. The barrel is a trim 20 inches on the lightweight version with the standard carrying a 22-inch tube. Weight ranges from 5.7 to 6.4 pounds, depending on model. And street price should be well under $600. Nicely done HOWA! Note: The shotgun pictured below the rifle is an Escort semiauto with a new camo pattern called YOTE, a great looking rendering of coyote fur.

Staying with shotguns but venturing into the accessory department, a neat gadget I saw is the FlxSHOT (below). This one fits neatly into the “Why didn’t I think of that?” category because it’s so simple and practical. The unit hold three shotshells, up to 3.5-inch magnum in size, via powerful magnets and attaches to the shooters forearm with a strap. It’s intended for duck hunters as a fast reload, and it’s likely most useful in that application because of the universal three round limit for migratory birds. I can see other applications as well, in all forms of shotgun hunting and even in 3-Gun competition. Price is a measly $20.

P.S. This range day event was held on a large shooting range, and cameras were everywhere, so there was no shortage of guys doing their best to look and dress cool. But the coolest dude on the range was the guy far above. After all, everyone knows you don’t go onto a range without eye and ear protection!

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