April 21, 2022
This roundup of great new hunting gear from the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) in Las Vegas was compiled the staffs of Game & Fish, Petersen’s Hunting and Guns & Ammo magazines.
Despite the uncertainty and continued disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show made its return to Las Vegas, Nev., this year during the week of January 18-21. The event, produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, brought together thousands of firearms, ammunition, optics, apparel and outdoor gear companies to introduce the year’s new products.
After the cancellation of last year’s live show, Game & Fish editors were eager to gather with manufacturers for a week of learning about—and trying out—new gear. We joined fellow editors from other Outdoor Sportsman Group brands, such as Petersen’s Hunting and Guns & Ammo, to report on what we found. Our coverage comprises the SHOT Show New Product Premiere, an in-depth look at the latest trends in hunting and shooting products to make your next outdoor adventure a success.
SHOT Show grew its total footprint to more than 800,000 square feet since 2020. The convention recorded more than 43,000 registered attendees representing 100 countries, and more than 2,400 exhibitors. It was a lot to take in, but we narrowed down the products to the following list sure to excite hunters, shooters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Browning X-Bolt Speed Ovix | browning.com
Western hunters need no introduction to the X-Bolt Speed rifle, which has quickly gained a reputation for performance under all conditions. The precision-machined steel receiver is mated to a free-floated, sporter barrel that’s been fluted to decrease overall weight. Both are finished in a smoked bronze Cerakote that complements the weather-resistant composite stock in Browning’s new Ovix camo pattern. A 60-degree bolt throw speeds the action for fast follow-up shots, not that you should need one thanks to the X-Bolt’s proven accuracy. The new Feather Trigger is user adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds.
Before Daniel Defense became a leader in manufacturing AR-pattern rifles, founder and CEO Marty Daniel was a black-gun enthusiast looking for a better way to mount accessories. His work resulted in the Rail Interface System (RIS) II, a fore-end with uninterrupted Picatinny rail and plenty of room for lights, lasers and even grenade launchers.
The resulting SOCOM contract launched Daniel into the gun business, and his company has not stopped innovating. This year, Daniel Defense launches a new line of fully ambidextrous RIII carbines, including DD4, M4A1 and MK18 platforms. The guns will also feature new RIS III fore-ends with full-length top rails and full-diameter Magpul M-LOK ports. Expect all lengths and colors to be available, and the RIS IIIs will attach with the same six-bolt mount as the RIS II. And yes, they can still mount grenade launchers.
The people asked and FN has answered. Announced for 2022 is an all-new High Power 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Inspired by John Browning’s final pistol design, and one of the world’s most prolific service sidearms, the new High Power is nonetheless a new platform built around the needs and sensibilities of modern shooters. Some things will be familiar, such as the overall dimensions and aesthetics of the pistol, including the keyhole muzzle profile and extended slide-release lever. However, some things are very different. FN put a lot of design energy into refining the ergonomics and updating the mechanics. The result is a higher capacity pistol—17+1 rounds of 9 mm—that locks up tight like a 1911 but disassembles as easily as a FN509. It even shares the same sight dovetail as the company’s flagship polymer pistol, so aftermarket options are available immediately. Best of all, the new High Power is made in the USA at FN’s Columbia, S.C., facility.
If Live Free Armory (LFA) isn’t a familiar firearm brand yet, trust us, it will be. With an extensive background in engineering and manufacturing, LFA has been building major components for many of the biggest and most recognizable gunmakers. Now, the Florida-based firm is leveraging its expertise and expansive production capabilities to offer its own take on the perfect pistol. Enter the Aluminum Match-Grade Pistol, or AMP. The new 9 mm bears considerable resemblance to a Glock 19 in terms of proportions and profile, and there is some compatibility between the two platforms. That said, the AMP’s most distinctive feature—besides its ported steel slide, milled aluminum frame and interchangeable grip panels—is its modular fire-control unit. Machined from stainless steel, the chassis-style unit allows LFA to hold extremely tight tolerances, ensure the reliability and durability of critical components, and eventually build a line of pistols around the same foundation.
Rock Island Armory STK100 | armscor.com
Tested by Guns & Ammo’s Joe Kurtenbach, the Rock Island Armory STK100 proved to be a reliable and accurate optics-ready pistol that handles like a dream thanks to its full-size profile and machined aluminum grip. Its weight—1 pound, 14 ounces—thoughtful ergonomics and 4 1/2-inch barrel makes the STK100 a soft-shooting platform, and the Glock-pattern magazines, internals and fire-control system ensures functionality with a wide range of ammunition. The fact that it also includes an optic-mounting plate further enhances Armscor’s reputation for utility- and value-driven products. In 2022, look for the STK100 to reach wider distribution and receive an upgrade to its sight plate that will allow for compatibility with a greater variety of red-dot optics.
Smith & Wesson CSX, Volunteer XV | smith-wesson.com
Like the Shield EZ several years ago, Smith & Wesson’s launch of the new CSX pistol took us by surprise. While it falls into the micro-9 mm concealed-carry segment, the CSX takes a different approach than, for example, the company’s polymer-frame, striker-fired Shield Plus. The CSX is a hammer-fired, single-action 9 mm with an aluminum frame and 10+1 or 13+1 capacity. The CSX seems tailormade for deep concealment. Also new from Smith & Wesson is the Volunteer XV series of AR-15-pattern rifles. Featuring stock and grips from B5 Systems, and Bravo Company handguards on some models, the Volunteer offers quality components while maintaining competitive prices. Several models are initially available, including two standard configurations—with or without iron sights—a Pro model with a metal fore-end and PWS 556 muzzle brake, and a DMR version with an 18-inch barrel.
Taurus G3X, GX4 T.O.R.O., Defender 605
and TX 22 Competition SCR | taurususa.com
Even though 2021 was a great year for a lot of gun companies, few were more productive, or more proactive, than Taurus. That trend continues into 2022 with Taurus’ Georgia plant and Brazilian facilities continuing to pump out new offerings. For starters, the G3X pairs a G3c slide with a full-size frame for a best-of-both hybrid. For those who want an even smaller pistol that doesn’t sacrifice utility, the new micro-compact GX4 T.O.R.O. is an optics-ready model of the acclaimed 11+1/13+1-capacity 9 mm. Wheelguns have been a popular topic of late, and Taurus’ Defender 605 in .357 Mag. comes in a variety of flavors, including a 3-inch-barreled model in Tungsten Cerakote with Altamont wood grips. And if that weren’t enough, Taurus’ rimfire pistol is getting even more features in the TX 22 Competition SCR (Steel Challenge Ready). Already accurate, reliable and optics-ready, the newest TX 22 adds a muzzle compensator for an even softer shooting experience.
Umarex Primal 20 Slug Gun | umarexusa.com
One of the most exciting entries in the big-bore airgun category, the Primal 20 delivers a 395-grain, 20-gauge slug for 430 foot-pounds of hard-hitting energy. That’s enough power to take down most big-game animals where airguns are legal for hunting. The secret? A plastic wad that expands to seal the projectile inside the barrel to create a muzzle velocity of 700 fps. An onboard air tank can be pressurized to 4,000 psi via an easy-to-use Foster quick fitting. Perhaps best of all, the Primal 20 can be set up for left- or right-handed shooters, and it features a dual safety system with combined drop safety and push-through manual safety.
Last year saw considerable speculation about the future availability of steel-cased ammunition based on an import restriction imposed by President Biden’s executive branch. Whether those actions take a bite out of the supply or turn out to be largely symbolic, we were reassured at the 2022 SHOT Show by exclusive importer MKS Supply that Barnaul Ammunition is still available. In fact, the company reports that it is still receiving multiple containers each month—a good sign for budget-minded American shooters. Manufactured in Russia, the steel-cased ammo is sold in bulk 500-round cases in a variety of rifle and pistol calibers, including: 5.45x39 mm; .223 Rem./5.56 NATO; 6.5 Grendel; 7.62x39 mm; .308 Win./7.62x51 NATO; 7.62x54 mm R; .30-06 Sprg.; .380 ACP; 9 mm Makarov; 9 mm Luger; .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
Black Hills 10 mm Honey Badger | black-hills.com
Designed by some of the best in the business to be a barrier-blind personal-defense projectile, the solid-copper Honey Badger is based on monolithic construction and a fluted profile. Unlike hollow-point bullets, the Honey Badger does not expand, but instead uses its speed and rotation to deliver performance. The resurgence of interest in 10 mm semi-automatics has prompted Black Hills to develop the new 10 mm Honey Badger 115-grain load for personal defense and, specifically, defense against dangerous game animals. The key penetration and rapid internal damage are keys to stopping any predator, and Black Hills’ internal testing in ballistic gelatin shows the 10 mm bullet driving to 20-inch depths and causing 5-inch-diameter temporary cavities. That performance is on par with a .44 Mag. 240-grain hollow-point bullet or a .300 Blackout 115-grain copper monolithic bullet!
For 2022, Winchester has expanded its Copper Impact ammunition series, increasing caliber availability and adding shotgun ammunition to the line. Hunters now have access to the increased accuracy and devastating terminal performance of solid copper Extreme Point hollow-point bullets with distinctive polymer tips that create both a large-impact diameter and immediate expansion upon contact. As a solid bullet, the Extreme Point produces greater weight retention over standard jacketed bullets. Copper Impact bullets are perfect for hunters who go afield where lead-free ammunition is required, but its performance doesn’t compromise, making it an excellent choice wherever big game is found.
Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 mm | leupold.com
Leupold is an American optics manufacturer with a strong history and expertise in designing riflescopes for both sporting pursuits and military and law enforcement requirements. The new Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 mm leverages that legacy. Leupold’s law enforcement end-users needed a rifle optic that was rugged and capable in both close-quarters and extended-distance situations. Leupold’s premier low-power variable optic, the VX-6HD 1-6x24 mm riflescope, was nearly a perfect match and was a proven dangerous-game scope. The Patrol 6HD keeps the light, compact and durable 30 mm main tube design of its VX-series kin, as well as its premium optical qualities and illuminated reticle. Distinguishing the Patrol, though, is an integrated power-selector throw lever—great for making adjustments with gloved hands—and two options for reticle and turret configuration. The first features a FireDot Duplex with capped turrets for fast and simple operation. The second configuration includes the CM-R2 bullet-drop-compensating reticle and an exposed elevation turret to give shooters the option to dial-up or hold-over on longer shots.
With so many great hearing protection options on the market, there’s no reason not to wear ear-pro to the range or on the hunt. Caldwell has upgraded its popular E-Max Shadows in-ear protection with easy-to-operate user interface buttons to eliminate fumbling for their controls. The Pro plugs quickly connect to Bluetooth enabled electronics and last up to six hours, for a full day of hunting or shooting. They amplify range commands, game calls and other ambient sounds, but feature a 25-decibel noise-reduction rating to protect the user’s hearing. The storage case doubles as a charging unit, complete with visible LED battery indicator.
This simple little box keeps tabs on a gun safe, or other secure location, even when the user is not home. Simply mount it in place and connect to the Lockdown Logic app on a smartphone. The Puck can be set up to push notifications to one or more contacts, alerting the owner to changes in temperature or humidity, and unauthorized movement or other activity. The included sensor magnet sends an alert when the safe door or drawer is open or closed. Fully customizable and compatible with other Lockdown security products, the Puck puts home security at your fingertips, no subscription required.
Night Fision Optics Ready Stealth | nightfision.com
For 2022, Night Fision is offering low-light sights ideally suited for use with red-dot optics. Not content with the suppressor-height-or-bust proposition for backup irons, the tritium-powered team at Night Fision developed the Optics Ready Stealth line. With options developed specifically for the different makes and models of popular semi-automatic pistols, the new sights provide an uncluttered field of view and offer a lower-third co-witness arrangement with a pistol-mounted optic. Like the company’s iron-sight options, the Optics Ready Stealth sights have more tritium per sight and make use of a domed lens to ensure the brightest possible aiming point. The sights use Night Fision’s Perfect Dot high-visibility fluorescent orange or yellow sleeve, which holds the tritium securely within the steel sights and also makes the front sight easy to see and fast to acquire in daylight conditions.
Silencer Central Banish 338 Suppressor | silencercentral.com
Compact isn’t usually associated with anything related to the .338 caliber, but Silencer Central aims to change that with its new Banish 338 Suppressor. Measuring little more than 9 inches long and weighing just 17 1/2 ounces, it’s the smallest magnum suppressor on the market, and also the quietest, with a sound reduction of 33 decibels. The direct-thread design is built of titanium and Inconel for light weight without sacrificing the durability needed to withstand magnum calibers. The silencer is easy to disassemble and clean with the included key. Plus, shopping with Silencer Central is easy, thanks to a streamlined process that delivers the suppressor right to the door of customers in the 42 states where silencer ownership is legal.
For personal-defense-minded consumers, the selection of an appropriate firearm is often an exercise in compromise, with vying factors including capacity, concealment and shootability. As we’ve seen in recent years, sub- and micro-compact 9 mm pistols are evolving at a break-neck pace, and really proving to be an ideal solution for many shooters. Keeping pace and adding utility are Streamlight’s TLR-6 tactical gun lights, which are perfect companions for concealment pistols. The TLR-6 models conform to the design of specific pistols to offer secure fit without disrupting the gun’s function or design intend. Despite its small size, the TLR-6 pairs a 100-lumen light with a red laser sight to offer enhanced low-light capability and an additional aiming solution. The TLR-6 is powered by two CR 1/3N batteries, and models are available for most popular pistols including the SIG Sauer P365, Springfield Armory Hellcat, Smith &Wesson Shield and Taurus GX4.
TASER Self Defense Bolt 2, StrikeLight 2 | taser.com
In addition to its familiar Pulse products and professional series of less-than-lethal electric de-escalation tools, TASER Self Defense is committed to providing personal-protection equipment to, well, everyone. The Bolt 2 may wear a discreet white housing, but it contains full threat-stopping potential. The unit’s dual probes have a 15-foot range and can immobilize an assailant with full muscle lock-up for up to 30 seconds. A 210-lumen LED aids in identification, and a laser sight makes aiming more intuitive. For those who prefer a contact-distance tool and deterrent, the StrikeLight 2 may have the appearance of an ordinary flashlight, but the included stun gun packs a wallop. Pairing a multi-mode, 800-lumen light with a pain-compliance de-escalation tool, TASER provides defense in a product that, for some, may be more comfortable and accessible than a firearm.