SHOT Show 2014 – (Real) News From The Floor

January 15, 2014

First of all, apologies.  It looks like, for some reason the comments are closed on that last post.  And yes, it was a joke… but not much of one.  The zombie craze itself has sort of tapered off, but the tacticool mania is still running full bore.  I’ve probably spent as much effort sidestepping booths of uppers and lowers and custom barrels and lights and rail systems and…  well, read that sentence and you might get the sense of it.

I have had an opportunity to make a few rounds on the floor, mostly getting back in touch with old contacts or establishing new ones.

On the lead-free ammo front, just to get that out here, there’s not really a whole lot to report.  The major manufacturers are pretty much holding stable.  Winchester has expanded their Power-Core offering to 12 calibers, and their RazorBack XT is now available in five.  They still offer the lead-free .22 LR ammo, but haven’t really made any changes or upgrades to that line.  Federal/CCI is, similarly, holding pretty steady with their current line.  The Federal Trophy Copper seems to be fitting the demand, although like everyone else, shipping and supplies have been a little slight.  And Remington seems pretty happy with the Copper Solids.

I did have a chance to stop by and visit with the guys from DDupleks, a company out of Latvia that makes steel shotgun slugs.  They’re one of the few offerings available for smoothbore slug gun hunters.  Sterling ammunition also offers a similar steel slug.  I hope to get some of these and give them a go.  My friend, Dan used the DDupleks a year or so ago and did his own, first-hand review, but I still want to do my own research.

There is a new guy in the game (who’s card I will have to relocate) who is making bullets out of a zinc alloy.  According to the manufacturer, this alloy offers characteristics that are very close to lead.  Even more important, he says, is the fact that this material is about half the cost of copper, which means lead-free ammunition could become much more economical.  As always, I have to take a wait-and see attitude.  Zinc isn’t new in the ammunition world, which makes me wonder why it hasn’t been done before.

Two years ago, when I attended my last SHOT Show, I was introduced to Cutting Edge bullets.  At the time they were still in development, but the line has matured a bit and now offers a wide range of CA-certified lead-free bullets.  Unlike most of the other lead-free bullets, these are designed to explosively shed their petal on impact.  From photos I saw, they do this with a lot of force in a pretty spectacular way… maybe even too spectacular.  But I’m going to give some of them a go, and I’ll find out for myself.

And, just for a little gun lust… I saw this beauty from Cooper Rifles!

I'm a sucker for a nice rifle with a mannlicher stock, even if the sad truth is that I don't have a single one in my safe.  This Cooper would make me happy, though.

I’m a sucker for a nice rifle with a mannlicher stock, even if the sad truth is that I don’t have a single one in my safe. This sweet thing (the rifle, guys, the rifle) from Cooper Rifles was fairly drool inducing.

More to come later… I promise.



9 Responses to “SHOT Show 2014 – (Real) News From The Floor”

  1. Brian on January 15th, 2014 15:14

    That Cooper stutzen – if chambered in 9.3×62 – lordy! I fear that it may be a little hard on the wallet. We defintely need more mid-range full stocks in the $1000 range. CZ’s are great, but not easy to get around here.

  2. Phillip on January 15th, 2014 15:50

    You’re right, Brian. I didn’t even bother to check the MSRP on this one, but it’s certainly over $3K. There was another one in the rack, a higher grade with nice engraving and such, but I couldn’t even make myself pick it up.

    But a boy can dream.

    Would love to see more like the CZ, in that middle price range.

  3. Josh on January 15th, 2014 16:36

    I remember the DDupleks. Do they carry 20 gauge? I would buy them if they did.

  4. Phillip on January 16th, 2014 14:44

    Josh, no 20 ga. at this time… still. Kind of a shame, really.

  5. SHOT Show 2014 – (Real) News From The Floor | on January 15th, 2014 18:04

    […] SHOT Show 2014 – (Real) News From The Floor […]

  6. Josh on January 16th, 2014 16:49

    Nnnooooooo! I wonder if I qualify for the lead exemption, since I can’t reliably cast sabots from my side-by-side…

  7. Phillip on January 16th, 2014 22:55

    I expect the market will react over the next five years so there’ll be a lead-free alternative for your 20ga by then. Unless it doesn’t… in which case, I’d love to see how that appeal process will work.

  8. JAC on January 16th, 2014 21:55

    Is it over? Did you have fun?

  9. Phillip on January 16th, 2014 22:54

    Over for me yesterday. The show is officially on through Friday (tomorrow or today, depending on where you’re looking at your clock).

    Fun? Yeah, that’s a good word. But honestly, trying to split the days between the day job and getting time on the floor and trying to pull off product reviews and make or renew connections… it takes a bit of the recreational aspect out of it.