Editor’s note: This guns and ammo look at new gear shown at the annual NRA Meetings and Exhibits (April 27-30 in Atlanta) was the result of Game & Fish editors scouting the floor to find news of interest to hunters.
G&F editors Paul Rackley (shotguns), David Johnson (hunting rifles) and Shaun Epperson (deer ammo) contributed to this report.
Here’s what they found:
While many hunters prefer pump or semi-auto shotguns, there are true benefits for single barrel shoguns, such as they are great for newer shooters and they force concentration because it only has one shot. The Stevens 301 single-barrel shotgun comes in three chamberings — 12, 20 and .410, with a black, synthetic stock and a black, 26-inch carbon steel barrel. It is also available in a compact version, with a 22-inch barrel in 20 gauge and .410.
Franchi has redesigned its Affinity line of Inertia-Drive semi-auto shotguns, with some features that reduce recoil and make the shotguns easier to operate, such as an oversize bolt handle and bolt-release button, as well as an enlarged loading port. It also uses a TSA recoil pad, which allows length-of-pull adjustments for a better fit, and comes with an ambidextrous safety, a chrome-lined barrel, a red-bar fiber-optic front sight and interchangeable chokes. The Affinity 3 handles 2 3/4-inch loads, while the 3.5 goes up to the powerful 3 1/2-inch loads. And both shotguns come with a seven-year warranty.
The Stoeger P3500 is a pump-action shotgun capable of handling everything from 2 3/4 to 3 1/2-inch magnum loads. It is available in either black or Realtree MAX-5 camo in both 26- and 28-inch configurations. Its ribbed barrel is chrome lined for durability, and it comes with a fiber-optic front sight, sling studs and a rubber butt pad, as well as a five-year warranty.
Also from NRA Atlanta
- NRA Atlanta: 5 New Riflescopes with Tactical Features
- President Addresses Hunters at NRA Leadership Forum
The Savage B series was introduced last year, but at the 2017 NRA Conference the company introduced Hardwood models for the B Series in 17 HMR, .22LR and .22 WMR. The new Hardwood models feature an ergonomic American Walnut stained stock with modern checkering. Like the original B Series, the Hardwood line has a 10-round rotary magazine and Savage’s famous adjustable AccuTrigger. The rifle comes with adjustable iron sights and is drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
Based on ISSC’s SPA action, Steyr Arms’ Rimfire Scout comes in .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. It has a 20.1-inch heavy barrel; a 30-slot Picatinny rail; an integrated 3/8-inch dovetail with two Weaver bases. The straight-pull action is fast and easy to use, and is fed from a 10-round steel box mag.
On the other end of the caliber-size scale, Ruger’s .450 Bushmaster introduction on the Gunsite Scout rifle platform puts in a new bid to cover large-game hunting needs. The Model 6837 features an American walnut stock and Ruger Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake, which effectively reduces recoil and blast noise for the hunter. This bold action has integral scope mounts and a picatinny rail for modern optics and the option for both-eyes-open shooting.
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HORNADY | 6MM CREEDMOOR PRECISION HUNTER
An addition to Hornady’s Precision Hunter line of ammo, the 6mm Creedmoor includes a newly-designed 6mm 103 gr. ELD-X bullet. Hornady reports that the new round carries the traditional features of the Precision Hunter line and achieves a muzzle velocity of 3,050 feet per second while offering optimal aerodynamics with continual expansion throughout the penetration path.
REMINGTON | HTP COPPER RIFLE AMMUNITION
Remington is rolling out a new line of High Terminal Performance ammo with hunters in mind. Available in a range of popular calibers, the new Remington HTP Copper line features one-piece Barnes TSX Bullets, which are engineered for producing maximum terminal damage and penetration as well as retention of nearly 100 percent of their weight.
FEDERAL | NON-TYPICAL AND EDGE-TLR
A couple of new offerings were introduced by Federal during the NRA event – Federal Non-Typical and Federal Premium Edge TLR. Federal’s Non-Typical, available in a range of popular calibers, is tailored to the needs of whitetail hunters and features a soft point bullet with concentric jacket.
Federal says Edge TLR, also available in several calibers, incorporates an exclusive polymer tip that offers excellent expansion at extreme distance and that the round’s copper shank and bonded lead core ensure maximum performance up close as well.
BARNES BULLETS | VOR-TX LR LONG RANGE
New for this year, the VOR-TX LR line of premium ammo from Barnes is intended for extreme long distance performance and features LRX bullets tailored to the cartridge. Barnes reported that the bullets include a nose cavity that peels back into four cutting petals for maximum expansion at closer ranges or past 700 yards. Multiple calibers are available.