The Sheriff strolls the aisles of the 2006 SHOT Show.
I truly enjoy roaming the aisles at the S.H.O.T. Show because there's always so much good stuff to look at. And the 2006 edition held last February in Las Vegas was certainly no exception. I thought I might share with you a few of the items that caught my eye.
Smith & Wesson has really been busy this past year. The company's new offerings include a .40 S&W addition to the line of M&P pistols ($695-$799) and three different variations of the new AR rifle, which is called the M&P15.
Smith & Wesson M&P
Prices run from $1200 to $1700. I also was interested to see that S&W is introducing a new 4-inch-barreled version of the .45 ACP Model 325PD. It weighs 26.5 ounces and lists for $1008. A great piece of Smith & Wesson history is the fact that the Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver is 50 years old this year. To commemorate this milestone, S&W is offering a 61/2-inch-barreled Model 29 that has been specially gussied up for the occasion.
The gun has the old-style, checkered wood grips and comes in a mahogany presentation case. In addition to the good-looking blued finish, this Model 29 also has a gold anniversary emblem engraved on the sideplate. And as a nice touch, the extra screw was put back in the Model 29's sideplate. It is a really good-looking .44 Magnum revolver that I'm sure Elmer Keith would be mighty proud of. For more information, contact Smith & Wesson, Dept. ST, 2100 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, MA 01104; 800-331-0852; www.smith-wesson.com.
Ed Brown Products is justifiably proud of its new Special Forces 1911 pistol. This is another of those no-nonsense 1911s that Ed Brown is becoming well known for. The Special Forces gun has fixed Novak sights and a blue-black finish that is specially designed for superior rust protection and improved wear resistance.
Ed Brown Special Forces 1911
All of the sharp edges have been dehorned. Engraved into the frontstrap and mainspring housing is the highly durable Chainlink checkering pattern for a more secure grip. Prices on the Ed Brown Special Forces pistol start at $1995, depending upon the extra features that are ordered. For more information, contact Ed Brown Products, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 492, Perry, MO; 63462; 573-565-3261; www.edbrown.com.
Wilson Combat Advanced Design Pistol
Among the many new-for-2006 models at Wilson Combat is the new striker-fired Advanced Design Pistol (ADP). This lightweight (19 ounces), polymer-frame .45 ACP pistol features an ergonomically designed grip frame and an ambidextrous manual safety. The ADP also has a unique gas retard and buffering system that reduces the amount of felt recoil. Magazine capacity is 11 rounds. Suggested retail on the Wilson ADP is $579. For more information, contact Wilson Combat, Dept. ST, 2234 CR 719, Berryville, AR 72616; 800-955-4856; www.wilsoncombat.com.
Les Baer Custom 25th Anniversary
The good folks at Les Baer Custom are celebrating the company's 25th anniversary with a really fancy 1911 pistol. This special collector's model 1911 features include a 5-inch barrel, adjustable sights, and genuine ivory grips. The gun also has a beautiful deep blue finish; tasteful, scroll engraving; and a sharp-looking presentation box. Retail on this fine handgun is $6595. For more information, contact Les Baer Custom, Dept. ST, 29601 34th Ave., Hillsdale, IL 61257; 309-658-2716; www.lesbaer.com.
As I wandered past the Freedom Arms booth, my good friend Bob Baker, Freedom Arms's president, flagged me down and told me about the company's new revolver cartridge. It's called the .500 Wyoming Express (WE), and it sure sounds pretty darned impressive. The .500 WE features a 1.370-inch, belted case that is designed to handle .500-caliber bullets in the 350- to 440-grain weights. You can expect the 350-grain loading to generate velocities to over 1600 fps and the 440-grain loading will be running at some 1450 fps.
The Freedom Arms .500 WE will be chambered in the company's Model 83 single action with your choice of adjustable or fixed sights. Available barrel lengths will run 43/4, 6, and 71/2 inches. Suggested retail prices will run from $1639 to $2120, depending upon the gun model. For more information on the .500 WE cartridge, contact Freedom Arms Inc., Dept. ST, P.O. Box 150, Freedom, WY 83120; 307-883-2468; www.freedomarms.com.
Aker International Inc. has been building a great variation of the old Askins Avenger holster called the Nichols Avenger, and it features double leather at the holster mouth, an adjustable tension screw, and a double belt-loop system. This good concealment rig is now available with a bit of sharkskin trim at the holster mouth for those who like to fancy their gun rigs up just a bit. Suggested retail on the Akers International Nichols Avenger starts at $81.50. For more information, contact Aker International Inc., Dept. ST, 2248 Main St., Suite 6, Chula Vista, CA 91911; 619-423-5182; www.akerleather.com.
Another great holster caught my eye at the Galco International booth. This one is the Kodiak Shoulder Holster that is built for most large-frame, single- and double-action revolvers. This is a pure hunting rig for those who like to carry their hunting handgun on their chest on the outside of their clothing. The well-designed shoulder harness snugs the gun and holster to the body, and the positive thumb snap holds the handgun securely. The retail price of the Kodiak Shoulder Holster is $135. Also available from Galco is a Kodiak Bandolier ($49.95) that fastens to the body of this holster and carries six extra rounds. For more information, contact Galco International, Dept. ST, 2019 W. Quail Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027; 800-874-2526; www.usgalco.com.
Among the neat offerings at Cold Steel is the new AK-47 lockblade knife. This beefy knife has a 4-inch blade, aluminum grips, and a weight of 7.6 ounces. A hollow-ground blade, ambidextrous pocket clip, and new, patented, thumb plate make this knife worth looking at. Retail on Cold Steel's AK-47 is $99.99. For more information, contact Cold Steel, Dept. ST, 3036-A Seaborg Ave., Ventura, CA 93003; 800-255-4716; www.coldsteel.com.
Mark Seymour of Proofmark Publishing has brought out a very nice reprint of a book called Gunfighters Of The Western Frontier. What makes this book so interesting is that it was written by William Barclay "Bat" Masterson in 1907. In his own words, Masterson shares his tales of such shootists as Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman, Ben Thompson, and others. Western history buffs will enjoy reading about the western gunfighters in tales that are told by a fellow who was no slouch with a sixgun himself. Gunfighters Of The Western Frontier is available for $22.95 from Proofmark Publishing, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 200334, Austin, TX 78750; 904-687-9876; www.proofmark.com.
Well, that wraps up another trip to the S.H.O.T. Show for me. I appreciate all of you who took the time to stop by our booth and visit with us. Stay tuned as we begin to feature the new guns and gear of 2006 in the pages of Shooting Times.