Designed for the editors and writers that make up Primedia Outdoors, the Editor’s Roundtable is held twice a year and provides magazine, internet, and television staff an inside and hands on look at different products and gadgets the shooting and hunting sports industry has to offer for the current year and beyond.
SiGARMS’ Paul Earhardt started off Day Three of Primedia Outdoors Editor’s Roundtable with a short but smart look at where SiG is currently positioned as a company and the new products available in 2006 from SiG.
SiG had a great year last year, showing 17% growth and the early forecast for 2006 shows the company will grow at a 20% clip. This isn’t all LE or Military sales as one might expect with a company like SiG. According to Earhardt, the majority of SiG’s sales actually come via commercial and private commerce.
With the growth come growing pains. SiG is currently expanding their manufacturing capabilities and new hires are being added yearly to the New Hampshire based company. One misconception that Earhardt wanted to clear was the notion that SiG has all of their products manufactured in Germany and shipped to the U.S. While some of the parts/materials are shipped from Germany, SiG does much of its machining in house or small items are outsourced to vendors who can handle their requests in the firearm rich New England area.
The SiG 556 was the big news for SiG at this years SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The 556 will be the U.S. built version of the Swiss made SG 550. Earhardt reported that the Swiss Arms will ship barrel blanks to SiG and all of the manufacturing and machining will be done in country. Early production models will be shipped to editorial staff in June for review with full shipping to dealers starting by the end of summer.
The P220 Combat will be the sidearm SiG submits for a SOCOM contract that begins testing in August. The company is awaiting final specs from SOCOM before making the final modifications, but a civilian version of the gun will be introduced at the NRA Show. Of note, every SiG sidearm in testing has 20,000 rounds run through it. Engineers run 1,500 rounds through the gun per hour and up to 5,000 a day. Can you say torture test?
Be on the lookout for a lot of new and exciting products from SiG in the coming months. The company is definitely on a roll and is worth a look the next time you venture into a gun shop or show.
Wayne Holt, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Hornady, generally gives the best presentations at the Primedia Outdoors Roundtable events. He keeps them short, to the point, and any nonsense that is spoken from him is generally at the expense at of Guns & Ammo Publisher Chris Agnes, so it’s a win/win situation all the way around.
This year, Wayne left Mr. Agnes alone, but he didn’t disappoint in keeping things short and concise.
Hornady’s big reveal at the SHOT Show in 2006 was the LeverEvolution line of polymer tipped ammo that’s designed to be used in tubular magazines that are traditionally found in lever-action firearms. Shooters have been dusting off their old Model 94s with excitement over the extended range they can achieve with the newly designed cartridge.
The folks from Hornady didn’t have any new products today, but did bring some handloaded LeverEvolution 160-gr. .307 Winchester to be used with a historical Marlin rifle chambered in .307 and manufactured in 1983. There are no plans on the company to introduce .307 Winchester at this time.
Holt did reveal the company is working on three different cartridges and with three different gun companies. Information on those items will be forth coming at our August Roundtable, so we’ll all have to wait.
I’ll be honest about the Stag Arms presentation. By the time I started to take notes (a small computer problem prevented me from giving them my full attention straight away) their presentation was about over. Thankfully, the ever astute Wayne Van Zwoll, who sits just in front of me, let me take a look at his notes to help with this report. Thanks Wayne!
Stag Arms President Andy Kaftan and Vice President Mike Malkowski seriously look like they just stepped off a college campus and are interns at Stag, yet these two businessmen know what they’re doing and do it well.
Stag Arms has been in business for 32 years and the Newberry, Connecticut company has manufactured 80 percent of all the AR-15 parts for U.S. AR manufacturers in the last decade. In peak periods, Stag Arms will manufacture up to 10,000 triggers and hammers a month for AR-15s and M-16s.
A new introduction for Stag Arms this year is the Stag-15L Model 4L, an AR-15 manufactured for left-handed shooters. The 6.8mm SPC is a new caliber for Stag rifles as well.
The writers and editors in attendance had a great ti
me shooting the semi-auto and full-auto models that we’re on hand. Right or left handed, the guns work and work well.
The optics company for the day was the Simmons/Redfield/Weaver family of optics that made waves this past year with their “reinventing of the riflescope” media blitz that spoke to having the first scope with a “true one-piece main body tube.”
Simmons was the brand that received the first upgrade on the various design and mechanical upgrades in 2005, and now it’s Redfield’s turn.
Redfield’s National Sales Manager, Kyle Brown, spent the majority of the allotted presentation time sharing insight on the new Redfield line of riflescopes that will also feature the one-piece main body tube, which by the way is machined from aircraft grade aluminum as opposed to magnesium alloy as first reported. Apparently the company could machine the tubes just fine with the magnesium alloy, but couldn’t get a finish to stick.
The line will have four initial offerings:
- 5-25×52 SF (one-inch main tube)
- 3-15×52 (one-inch main tube)
- 6-30×56 SF (30mm main tube)
- 4-20×56 SF (30 mm main tube)
In addition to the one-piece main body tube, each scope will have the patented TrueZero Flex Erector system, which greatly reduces the effects of recoil on the riflescope by “holding the erector system solidly to the tube and by absorbing and dissipating a portion of the recoil energy.”
A 3-cam, 5X zooming system gives the hunter/shooter more magnification with no point of aim shift across a large range of magnification and re-settable, low profile, TrueZero Windage and Elevation dials make adjusting your scope an easy task (resetting your dial to zero is a simple push of a button).
The Redfield line will range in price from $500 to $900 and the goal according to Brown is to, “To bring European quality optics with American features with an American price point” They are well on their way.
Redfield will be offering a 2-10×38, one inch later this year and a 1.5-7.5×32, one inch or 30 mm in 2007 and look for a couple of new reticles to be added to family in the coming year. A V/T Varmint/Target Reticle, LDH, Long Distance Hunter Reticle and German Post with illuminated Dot.
BATTENDFELD TECHNOLOGIES/MIDWAY USA
Battenfeld Technologies President Russ Potterfield has learned a lot about presenting at the Primedia Outdoors Editor’s Roundtable in the few years that he’s presented. His first presentation was a long-winded affair that centered on many, many products that reside under the Battenfeld family of brands. The last two presentations however have been a model of what all presentations at events should be like: short, concise and informational. I’m not sure if designated presentation coach Sheriff Jim Wilson got a hold of young Russ or not, but something has clicked.
Caldwell is one of the brands that is a part of the Battenfeld Technologies family and the brand has several new additions for 2006.
Orange Peel Targets are high-visibility targets that make target acquisition and shot impact identification easier, especially with iron-sight shooters. There are also animal shaped offerings in this line.
The item that caught the eye of many of the writers/editors was the H.A.M.M.R. (Handgun Accuracy Mechanical Machine Rest). The H.A.M.M.R. is a return to battery machine rest that will return a handgun to a firing position after firing (gas spring resets the firearm). The rest features a remote trigger release and will shoot both single action and double-action handguns. Inserts are needed for the rest and Ransom Rest inserts will work with the H.A.M.M.R, but Caldwell will be offering inserts in the future. MSRP is $120 – $150.
MidwayUSA founder and CEO Larry Potterfield finished up Day Three’s presentation with the story of how the company started, tracing the beginnings to supplying 8mm Japanese Nambu ammunition to becoming the massive catalog/internet shooting supply conglomerate that it is today. I found it inspiring to hear how Potterfield had a vision of what he wanted to do with his life and fulfilled that vision through hard work and determination.
MidwayUSA stores 70,000 different products in its Columbia, Missouri facility and by the end of 2007, should have 100,000 products. Potterfield is also responsible for starting the “Round up for NRA” program that allows MidwayUSA customers to round up their order total to the nearest dollar with that money going to the NRA. To date, MidwayUSA has raised over $3,000,000 for the NRA-ILA.
Potterfield is a man among men within the shooting sports industry and only with time will we know the exact impact his efforts to spur the growth of the shooting sports has had on the industry as a whole.
Tune in for coverage of day four from the Primedia Outdoors Editor’s Roundtable. Kimber, Black Hills, Leupold, Armalite and Armor Holdings are all slated to present!