Show Season

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   January is show season in the firearms and hunting world, and that means a lot of travel and a little sleep. But it also means that we have the opportunity to visit with old friends and check out the latest products for the upcoming year. The Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trades show, better known as SHOT, occurs in Las Vegas every January, and many companies use that as a launch for their newest items. For the firearms enthusiast, here’s a rundown of some of the best new guns of SHOT:

Smith and Wesson’s (www.smith-wesson.com) new Performance Center 986 is one of the highlights of the show for me. This seven shot 9mm revolver is built on the company’s L-frame and boasts a lightweight cylinder, flat-profile barrel, and a fantastic trigger. Like the R8, the 986 challenges the old notion that semiautos are the only choice for self-defense

Benelli (www.benelliusa.com) has launched their new Ethos, a lightweight, upgraded version of their Legacy shotgun. The new Ethos has dampers in the stock that help absorb recoil, and this shotgun is softer on the shoulder than any Benelli past. I used it on pheasants in Ohio and was very impressed.

Browning (www.browning.com) introduced their new Black Label compact .22, which is built on a polymer 1911 frame that has been reduced by 15 percent. The Black Label is also available with an accessory rail, and this has to rank as one of the most exciting new guns at the show.

Mossberg (www.mossberg.com) is launching a new Duck Commander line of shotguns based on the company’s 500/535/835 and 930/935 line of shotguns as well as a series of .22 pistols and rifles that bear the Duck Commander name.

If you’d like to see these guns and many others I suggest that you attend the NRA Show, which is open to the public and is going to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana beginning April 25. Hope to see you there!