Editor’s Note: New firearms, ammunition, optics, gizmos and gadgets are all a part of the 2007 InterMedia Outdoors Editor’s Roundtable held at the Pike-Adams Sportsman’s Alliance Park (PASA) in Barry, Illinois. Designed for the editors and writers that make up InterMedia Outdoors, the Editor’s Roundtable is held twice a year and provides magazine, internet, and television staff an inside look at different products the shooting and hunting sports industry is offering for the current year and beyond.
Thirty minutes after a 7am breakfast call, the writers and editors of InterMedia Outdoors settled into their table positions in the Smith & Wesson Conference hall to hear the first presentation of the week, courtesy of HK, Merkel, Anschutz and Grulla…four companies all housed under the same representation umbrella.
HK’s Matt Nasser touched on the two pistols of note that HK brought as a part of their armament. The HK P30 is a sidearm that was initially developed as a German Polizei service pistol that will now be offered in the U.S. The DA and SA handgun is chambered in 9mm, features an ambidextrous slide lock on both sides of the firearm, and will offer multiple interchangeable grips and backstraps that seem to be ever so popular with the service pistol segment of the industry.
The HK45 was the pistol that HK developed for the Joint Services Combat pistol project that has been shelved for the time being. The handgun has been trimmed down from earlier versions by slimming down the grip. As a result, the capacity dropped from a 12 to 10 rounds.
Einar Hoff carried on the rest of the presentation by briefly touching on various offerings from Merkel, Anschutz and Grulla. The short-in-length Merkel Model KR1 is almost like a take down rifle according to Hoff with its components that can be taken apart using a 5mm wrench. The rifle is available in a variety of calibers and detachable scope mounting options.
Kevin Howard of Howard Communications was on hand representing Winchester Ammunition. There wasn’t a formal presentation as the ammunition company was only providing ammo for the day (which was appreciated by InterMedia Outdoors and the various companies that brought rifles and handguns for us to shoot.)
Of note however, was Winchester’s new 20-grain .17 HMR, which was available to shoot as well as a wide assortment of calibers from Winchester’s XP3 Supreme Elite line of cartridges.
Stag Arms president Mark Malkowski kept the show rolling for the day by introducing the new Model 6 Super Varminter AR rifle.
Malkowski reported that this varmint rifle was a gun that he wanted to make for a long time, but didn’t want to start manufacturing the rifle until it would shoot 1/2 MOA groups, which the Model 6 reportedly does.
Stag Arms was the first tactical firearms company to mass-produce a left-handed AR platform rifle and the Model 6 will be offered in a left-handed configuration as well. The Varminter features a 2-stage match trigger, Hogue rubber pistol grip, fluted free floating non-slip aluminum handguard, 24-inch stainless steel match grade bull barrel, low profile gas block, weighs 9.7 pounds and is 42.25 inches long. The left-handed version retails for $1095 while the right handed version checks in for $45 less. According to Malkowski, the Model 6 Varminter is chambered in 5.56, but could be offered in 6.8mm SPC down the road.
CONTACT: Stag Arms; (860) 229-999
CZ’s Jason Morton had a very informal presentation (he jotted down some notes on a napkin) but nevertheless had some interesting items to share with us.
The Czechoslovakian company will now distribute a new semi-auto version of the CZ58, which is a fully auto firearm in Europe. Everything but the receiver will be manufactured at CZ’s plant in Czechoslovakia, but assembly of the rifle will take place in Tennessee. The CZ58 is chambered for the 7.62×39 and will be available for order in January 2008. Retail will start under $1000.
The CZ Model 527 in the M1 configuration has been tweaked according to Morton.
“We got a lot of complaints about how the magazine wasn’t flush, and we fixed that” said Morton.
As a result, the 527 will have a reduced capacity (four to three) and will only be chambered in .223 from the outset.
CZ has also thrown its hat into the competition shotgun arena. One of five prototypes of a sporting clays model was available for the writers and editors in attendance to shoot. The shotgun, which the company has been working on for a couple of years, features an adjustable comb, a 32-inch barrel, a mechanical trigger and is a beauty with grade 5 Circassian walnut.
A couple of handgun notes…. The CZ 97 chambered in .45 ACP now features a de-cocker. The CZ Valor is a new stainless offering with black ceramic coating intended for the high-end concealed carry market. And the entire Dan Wesson revolver line is being pulled in 2008 as CZ lost its revolversmith and as a result, hasn’t been able to fulfill production until that position is filled. Stay tuned.
Blaser’s Director of Sales, Kevin Wistner, kicked off his company’s presentation by touching on the company’s most popular offering, the Blaser R93. It was interesting to learn that Horst Blaser started the company in 1957 and still lives next door to the factory, providing occasional input on new products and offerings.
The new additions to the R93 family for 2007 is the R93 Rimfire Kit, which will feature .22 LR, .22 magnum and .17 HMR calibers, and the R93 Success, a rifle that features a thumbhole stock.
The R93 is available in 111 different configurations and is chambered in 41 calibers, though only 27 of those are available in the US.
Blaser’s Joe Hernandez gave a very technically detailed presentation on the Blaser F3 O/U shotgun, which according to Hernandez is being produced in larger numbers than the company management thought they’d be able to sell. The shotgun possesses a wide range of top-shelf features that make this O/U an elite member of the high-end shotgun family.
Tradition’s Owner Tom Hall and Sale Representative Kevin Renwick were on hand to give the final presentation of Day One of the InterMedia Outdoors Roundtable.
Hall touched on a couple of new offerings for 2007 that are hitting dealer’s shelves and will be available for the fall. The Pursuit XLT Extreme is a break-open designed muzzleloader that incorporates a Knoxx Recoil System that reduces felt recoil by 75 percent. The smoke pole is available with a regular or thumbhole stock and features secondary safeties including a trigger blocked safety that allows a user to safely remove a primer after loading the gun. Camouflaged stocks feature a soft-touch finish, which is a satin-like finish that’s soft and smooth to the touch. Each Pursuit XLT Extreme, if used according to Tradition’s instructions, should shoot a three-inch group at 200 yards and a one-inch group at 100 yards.
From the “Have you seen this yet?” file — the Double Express O/U muzzleloader was also on hand. Tabbed as the “perfect muzzleloader for sportsman that always wanted a second shot,” the twin .50 caliber smoke sticks make the Double Express a hefty gun to lug around on hikes, but perfectly fine for treestand hunting. Renwick reports that users should sight in the bottom barrel first with a 100-yard zero. Once this task is accomplished, the top barrel will just be one inch higher. Simple as that. The second trigger is located directly behind the first one and before you run out and purchase one, double check with your local DNR that the muzzleloader is legal in your state as currently 15 states prohibit the use of the Double Express O/U during muzzleloading season. MSRP is $1,766.
In addition to their line up of muzzleloaders, Traditions also features a full line of scopes, do-it-yourself muzzleloading kits, muzzleloading accessories and a line of shotguns.
Make sure to check back for the Day Two recap. Representatives from Ruger (long guns), DoubleStar, Hornady, Bushnell, Aimpoint and MTM/Insight will be presenting at the InterMedia Outdoors Editor’s Roundtable