Each year in January, Vegas is descended on by the shooting, hunting, and outdoor industry’s manufacturers, experts, developers, retailers, and media. Thousands upon thousands line up outside the Sands Convention Center and Caesar’s Forums attached to Harrah’s, the Venetian, and the Palazzo. It’s a one-stop shop for the newest products from industry names, big and small.
Shot Show Roundup
I attended in 2023 and averaged over 25,000 steps a day walking the literal miles upon miles of booths in the venues, and here are a few of the highlight items I thought Roksliders would find interesting:
Christensen Arms unveiled their new Modern Hunting Rifle, which is a modular stock bolt action rifle where the hunter can swap out the forearm, grip, and buttstock depending on preference or need. The aluminum mini chassis has v-block bedding. It starts at just under $3500 and is available in long-range oriented cartridges from 6.5 Creedmoor to .300 PRC, and includes newer cartridges like 6.8 Western and 7 PRC.
The MHR’s stocks and forearms use their new Flash Forged Technology (FFT) carbon fiber. This process improves production and virtually eliminates waste, resulting in noticeable weight savings to the hunter, but also reduced environmental impact. Win/Win.
Bergara offers good value with their Ridge Carbon Wilderness series. Starting at MSRP $1399 and 6.4 pounds, the Cerakoted, carbon fiber barreled rifle comes with a radial brake in four calibers: 6.5 Creed, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win., and .300 Win Mag.
At the high end, Bergara has the Premier series, with cured carbon barrels, AG Composite stocks, and even the MSRP $2999 MgLite XLR chassis rifle that starts at 6.6 pounds.
Springfield’s 2020 Waypoint bolt action rifle series packs a punch for the money, starting at around $1600. An impressive goodies list includes pinned pic rail, AGC stock, TriggerTech trigger, steel or carbon barrel options, AICS mag compatibility, and chambering of 6 Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win.
The rangefinding binocular market is heating up in the $1400 to $1600 range with new options like:
Leica Geovid R (MAP $1399 starting). This is an updated version of the tried-and-true Geovid available in 8X42, 10X42, 8X56, and 15X56 versions. You don’t get the ballistic computation of the high-end Geovid-Pro, but you do get a very good rangefinder and good optical performance, a rarity for rangefinders in this price range.
Something similar can be said for fellow European manufacturer Meopta, which has the Optika LR 10X42 at $1599 MAP.
Leupold does offer some simple ballistic functionality (choose a curve) in their new BX-4 HD Rangefinding binocular (MAP $1599).
At the high end (MAP $3299), Leica expanded the Geovid Pro 32mm line with $3299 42mm versions (8x and 10x) as well as a $3599 8X56mm version promising elite range finding and ballistic solution performance (integrated Applied Ballistics and Kestrel connectivity) with elite observation performance, especially in low light.
Canadian long range scope manufacturer Apex introduced the feature-rich 3-5X44 Hunter scope that should retail well under $2000. I was assured the scopes get field-tested, and they are confident in the durability.
Spartan Precision Equipment
As always, Spartan Precision continues to expand and refine their line of shooting supports and multifunction gear.
The Davros ball head is refined and updated.
Lots of changes for 2023, but the headline news is the partnership with Primos on a couple of tripod collaborations that get hunters into the Spartan world at a lower cost of entry.
The Edge tripod comes in at $279, while the Trigger Stick Apex retails at $549. Both are Spartan-compatible right out of the box.
Berger came out with some new long-range factory options in newer calibers and heavy bullets.
Snowy Mountain Rifles showed proof-of-concept with fully machined brass. SMR says case life and precision are in another league from traditional brass. Initial runs will be in competition calibers, but the goal is to expand to hunting rounds in the future.
Suunto 9 Peak Pro:
Suunto has introduced a full-featured GPS smartwatch with excellent battery life of up to 400 hours even with GPS usage, The 9 peak Pro. The watch has a hunting-specific activity tracker as well and starts at $600. Another cool feature is it gives you a time-remaining battery indicator based on your current settings and usage.
For all that is good and holy, I hope this product is effective. Bear hunters will rejoice if Tickless USA’s ultrasonic tick deterrent keeps the little vampires from crawling up your legs.
Atsko’s Rapid-Rod ultralight bore rod can remedy many problems at the range or in the field while being almost unnoticeable in the pack at under 2 ounces, including an assortment of jags and the case.
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