Great New Guns & Gear for 2006

Here's a first look (in alphabetical order) at some of the newest guns

and gear that will be coming soon to a sporting goods store near you.

ArmaLite Varmint Rifles

ArmaLite is now marketing two rifles, with different actions, specifically to accuracy-minded varmint hunters.



The .223-caliber semiautomatic ArmaLite M15A4(T) is a fast, precise rifle equipped with a triple-lapped, match-grade, stainless-steel, 24-inch barrel and flattop receiver. The bolt-action AR-30 is, according to the company, ArmaLite's most precise mid-caliber rifle. Ideal for long-range shots, the AR-30 offers hunters a stable shot with its fixed machine rest shaped stock. It comes with a five-round magazine and 26-inch barrel. The receiver is drilled and tapped. Available chamberings include .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua. The M15A4(T) retails for $1504, and the AR-30 ranges in price from $1460 to $1615 depending on the chambering.


For more information, contact ArmaLite, Dept. ST, 745 S. Hanford St., Geneseo, IL 61254; 309-944-6939; www.armalite.com


Benelli ComforTech R1

Benelli's new ComforTech version of the R1 semiautomatic sporting rifle utilizes the proven ComforTech recoil absorption system. The ComforTech R1 is offered in .30-06 and .300 Winchester Magnum and comes with the synthetic ComforTech stock and blued steel finish. Barrel lengths are 22 inches for the .30-06 and 24 inches for the .300 Winchester Magnum, and magazine capacities are four rounds for the .30-06 and three rounds for the .300 Win. Mag. The rifle comes without sights, but the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and a Picatinny-style rail is included. (Open sights are sold separately.) Length of pull is 14 inches; weight is 7.3 pounds. The ComforTech system, according to Benelli, reduces felt recoil up to as much as 50 percent, making the .300 Win. Mag. version feel like a .270 Winchester and the .30-06 version feel like a .243 Winchester. The suggested retail price of the ComforTech R1 is $1333.


For more information, contact Benelli USA, Dept. ST, 17603 Indian Head Hwy., Accokeek, MD 20607; 301-283-6981; www.benelliusa.com.

Blaser F3 Over-Under

Blaser's new F3 over-under shotgun combines elegant design with advanced technology.

The new F3 utilizes the Blaser Combi Safety System, the Blaser Balancer, the Blaser

Triplex bore system, and the Blaser Ejection Ball System. In addition, the F3 features a newly designed mechanical trigger and lock mechanism that provides a fully adjustable trigger and an incredibly fast locking mechanism. All barrels are fitted to a master receiver block, and all receivers are fitted to a master barrel block, ensuring true component interchangeability. Different barrel combinations, different stocks and forearms, different Briley screw-in choke tubes can be selected to outfit the F3 to any individual shooter or any shooting condition. Suggested retail prices start at $4895.

For more information, contact Blaser/SIGARMS, Dept. ST, 18 Industrial Dr., Exeter, NH 03833; 603-772-2302; www.sigarms.com.

Ed Brown Executive Target

Ed Brown's new .45 ACP Executive Target is essentially the company's popular Executive Elite pistol modified for precise target and range work. It sports adjustable Bo-Mar rear sight, cross dovetail front sight, five-inch match-grade barrel, memory groovebeavertail grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safety, Commander-style hammer, long aluminum trigger, and exotic cocobolo wood grip panels. All sharp edges have been dehorned, the ejection port has been flared and lowered, the feedramp has been polished, the trigger guard has been undercut, the top of the slide has been flattened and grooved, and the magazine well has been beveled. The pistol comes with a seven-round magazine, 25 line-per-inch checkering on the frontstrap and mainspring housing, and low-glare finishes. The pistol weighs 38 ounces; comes in blue, stainless, or two-tone finishes; and lists for $2470 to $2570 depending on finish.

For more information, contact Ed Brown Products Inc., Dept. ST, 43825 Muldrow Trail, Perry, MO 63462; 573-565-3261; www.edbrown.com.

Charter Arms Pug

MKS Supply Inc. has entered into an agreement with Charter Arms to perform all sales, marketing, and distribution of Charter brand firearms. One model MKS will now be marketing is the .38 Special/.357 Magnum CharterArms Mag Pug.

The Mag Pug comes with a 2.5-inch, ported barrel and fixed sights. The cylinder holds five rounds. The compact, lightweight (23 ounces) Mag Pug is available in stainless or blue finishes with soft rubber pancake grips. Charter Arms revolvers are 100 percent American made and are backed by a lifetime warranty. The suggested retail price is $325 for the blued version and $335 for the stainless-steel version.

For more information, contact MKS Supply Inc., Dept. ST, 8611-A N. Dixie Dr., Dayton, OH 45414; 877-425-4867.

CZ-USA Model 452 Left-Hand

CZ-USA is now offering left-handed versions of the CZ 452 American in both .22 LR and .17 Mach2. They are the first left-handed models to be produced by CZ, and other left-handed models are planned. The new left-handed Model 452 retains all the features of the original 452, including hammer-forged 22.5-inch barrel, adjustable trigger, five-round detachable magazine, walnut stock, and two-position safety. The Model 452 weighs 6.1 pounds and comes without sights, but its receiver is fitted with a 3/8-inch groove for scope mounting. The suggested retail price for the left-handed CZ 452 American is $425. For more information, contact CZ-USA, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 171073, Kansas City, KS 66117; 800-955-4486; www.cz-usa.com.

DKG Gun Cases

DKG Trading Inc. is now offering a line of gun cases that combine the strength of a hard case with the convenience of a soft case.

Like other hard gun cases, the outer shell of the new DKG case is airlines-approved scuff-resistant/weather-resistant ABS-type material. But the DKG case has no cumbersome, clunky latches. Instead the case features a self-healing zipper. Two strips of rubber tracking flank the zipper on each side, ensuring a snug fit at the seam. And the zipper can be locked for added security. When unzipped the case lies flat. The cases also feature molded in "legs" that enable the case to stand upright when closed, ergonomically designed handles, and heavy-duty foam inserts to protect the contents. Currently available in red or black, the cases are 47 inches long and will hold a single shotgun or rifle (with or without scope mounted).

For more information, contact DKG Trading Inc., Dept. ST, 8791 Stringtown Rd., Evansville, IL 62242; 877-354-2666; www.dkgtrading.com.

DPMS 45-Round Magazine

DPMS has unveiled its new 45-round magazine for all firearms that readily accept M16 magazines. Stamped from .040-inch-thick 6000-series aluminum the new magazine is heat-treated, hard-coat anodized, and Teflon coated. Fabricated from two 30-round box magazines, the DPMS 45-round magazine utilizes a standard follower and floorplate and is function fired prior to shipping. It fits pre-existing magazine holders, cinches, grips, and loaders. No special accessories are needed for the higher capacity magazine. Retail price is $89.95.

For more information, contact DPMS, Dept. ST, 3312 12th St. SE., St. Cloud, MN 56304; 800-578-3767; www.dpmsinc.com.

Federal Fusion Handgun Ammunition

Last year Federal introduced the Fusion rifle bullet, and new for 2006 the technology will be extended to handgun hunters. The Fusion line offers, according to Federal, "the most devastating deer bullet in its class."

Designed specifically for hunting deer, the Fusion handgun bullet features a copper jacket that is electrochemically applied to the core and a skived nose that is engineered to provide consistent expansion. The new Federal Fusion handgun ammunition offerings will include .357 Magnum (158-grain bullet at 1235 fps), .41 Magnum (210-grain bullet at 1250 fps), .44 Magnum (240-grain bullet at 1350 fps), and .454 Casull (260-grain bullet at 1350 fps).

For more information, contact Federal Cartridge Co., Dept. ST, 900 Ehlen Dr., Anonka, MN 55303; 800-322-2342; www.fusionammo.com.

Hodgdon US869

Hodgdon Powder Co. has created a new powder for big-bore centerfire rifles.

Called US869, the new ball powder is designed for use in the .50 BMG cartridge, and it is also suitable for use in hunting cartridges ranging from the 7mm Remington Magnum to the .338-378 Weatherby Magnum. The burn rate of US869 is close to that of H870 but is a bit slower. The new powder is cleaner burning and has proven to be extremely temperature stable in Hodgdon's extensive testing. US869 will be available in one-pound canisters and eight-pound kegs beginning in February 2006.

For more information, contact Hodgdon Powder Co., Dept. ST, P.O. Box 2932, Shawnee

Mission, KS 66201; 913-362-9455; www.hodgdon.com.

J&T Six-Position Buttstock

With the recent repeal of the "Assault Weapons Ban," J&T Distributing is offering its six-position DS-4 AR buttstock to civilians.

Shooters can now retro-fit the J&T DS-4 six-position buttstock to their existing AR rifles and carbines. All sharp edges on the DS-4 have been deburred and the nut that holds the latch on has been redesigned to have a radius edge rather than a sharp one. The stock body and latch are made of Nylon 66 with 33-percent glass added for strength, and the stock tube and buffer are machined from aircraft-grade aluminum. (The buffer also has steel inserts for weight.) Made in the U.S., the DS-4 retails for $74.95.

For more information, contact J&T Distributing, Dept. ST, Box 430, Winchester, KY 40391; 888-736-7725; www.jtdistributing.com.

Lee Classic Turret Press

Lee Precision has developed the new Lee Classic Turret Press.

The new Lee Classic Turret Press has all the features of the award winning Turret Press with quality touches that, according to the company, make it the finest and most convenient press to own.

The Classic Turret features the solid steel linkage of the Lee Classic Cast, and the frame is cast of the same cast iron as the Classic Cast. The Classic linkage features a long stroke and powerful mechanical advantage that allows it to size any case with ease. The long stroke allows rifle cases over three inches long to be loaded using the Auto Index. Deactivate the Auto Index and cases as long as the .50 BMG can be loaded. The cast iron frame supports the ram with over 12 square inches of area, and the ram is drilled completely through to dispose primers in an attached clear PVC tube.

Instant change turrets for the Classic Turret Press are the same as for the famous Lee T

urret Press. The Classic Turret uses the Lee Lever Prime System (LPS) and the Lee Safety Prime Tool. The suggested retail price of the new Lee Classic Turret Press is $120.

For more information, contact Lee Precision, Dept. ST, 4275 Hwy. U, Hartford, WI 53027; 262-673-3075; www.leeprecision.com.

Marlin XLR Rifles

Working in conjunction with the ballisticians at Hornady, Marlin engineers have designed a line of lever-action rifles that take full advantage of the new Hornady LeverEvolution hunting ammunition. [For details on the new ammunition see the articles by Rick Jamison and Jim Wilson elsewhere in this issue of Shooting Times.] There are four new Marlin XLR rifles, and all have 24-inch stainless-steel barrels, stainless-steel receivers, stainless-steel levers, broached rifling, fluted bolts, black laminated stocks, and deluxe recoil pads. The Model 336XLR is chambered for .30-30; the Model 1895XLR is chambered for .45-70; the Model 1895MXLR is chambered for .450 Marlin; the Model 444XLR is chambered for .444 Marlin.

For more information, contact Marlin Firearms Co., Dept. ST, 100 Kenna Dr., North Haven, CT 06473; 203-239-5621; www.marlinfirearms.com.

MidwayUSA Building Your Gunsmithing Library

For those who have found it difficult to wade through all the gunsmithing books out there, trying to find the most valuable sources of information, MidwayUSA has just published Building Your Gunsmithing Library. This new compendium is a review of 104 separate titles that cover nearly 250 different gunsmithing topics. Edited by Reid Coffield and Larry Potterfield, Building Your Gunsmithing Library contains a master index of gunsmithing topics as well as a listing of each book that contains information on a particular topic. It even includes the editors' ratings of each source's treatment of the subject, using a ratings scale of excellent, good, or fair. The suggested retail price is $24.95.

For more information, contact MidwayUSA, Dept. ST, 5875 W. Van Horn Tavern Rd., Columbia, MO 65203; 573-445-6363; www.midwayusa.com.

Rock River 9mm CAR A2

Complete rifles in 9mm are now available from Rock River Arms. The new 9mm CAR A2 features a forged A2 upper, 16-inch Wilson chrome-moly barrel with 1:10-inch twist, A1 flash hider, single-stage trigger, standard pistol grip, CAR-length handguard, six-position tactical buttstock, and one magazine.

The 9mm CAR A2 carbine weighs 7.5 pounds, measures 36 inches overall, and lists for $1020. It is guaranteed to achieve 1.5-inch accuracy at 50 yards. A CAR A4 version is also available with the only difference being the A4 flattop upper.

For more information, contact Rock River Arms, Dept. ST, 1042 Cleveland Rd., Colona, IL 61241; 309-792-5780; www.rockriverarms.com.

Savage Hunter's Edge Knife

Savage has introduced a new switchable-blade knife called the Hunter's edge.

The Hunter's Edge features a stainless-steel handle with hardwood inlays and four separate stainless-steel heat-treated blades: a drop-point blade, a gut hook, a saw blade, and a fillet.

Blades are switched by opening the blade to 90 degrees, grasping the blade on the unsharpened side, firmly depressing the release button, and removing the blade from the handle. The Hunter's Edge comes with an industrial diamond sharpener and heavy-duty double-stitched nylon sheath. Overall length of the knife is 8.5 inches, weight is 6.4 ounces, and retail price is $60. The Hunter's Edge switchable-blade knife is only sold online through Savage's website.

For more information, contact Savage Arms, Dept. ST, 118 Mountain Rd., Suffield, CT 06078; 413-568-7001; www.savagarms.com.

Simmons Yardage Master Laser Rangefinders

The new Yardage Master laser rangefinders from Simmons are ultracompact, virtually silent in operation, and use just one-third the battery power of most competing models.

The Yardage Master 800 measures ranges up to 800 yards; the Yardage Master 1000 measures ranges up to 1000 yards. Both models are accurate to less than one foot at distances ranging from 10 feet to their respective yardage limits. Both models have operation modes that allow targets to be acquired through rain and heavy mist, and the units can also ignore close-up brush. They measure 1.5x4x2.75 inches and are powered by a CR2 3-volt lithium battery. The suggested retail price of the Yardage Master 800 is $319.99, and the price of the Yardage Master 1000 is $399.99.

For more information, contact Simmons Outdoor Corp., Dept. ST, 201 Plantation Oak Dr., Thomasville, GA 31792; 800-285-0689; www.simmonsoptics.com.

Smith & Wesson M&P Pistol

New for 2006, Smith & Wesson has announced the M&P semiautomatic pistol.

This new model has an ergonomically designed Zytel polymer frame with an embedded stainless-steel rigid chassis system. The M&P is chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W and comes with high-capacity magazines. Its 4.25-inch barrel and slide are stainless steel and have a Black Melonite finish. The S&W M&P's features include an ambidextrous slide stop, a reversible magazine catch, three interchangeable palmswell grip sizes, and a universal rail for mounting accessories. The front sight is a steel ramp in a dovetail mount; the rear sight is a Novak LoMount Carry. Empty weight is 24.25 ounces, a

nd the suggested retail price is $695.

For more information, contact Smith & Wesson, Dept. ST, 2100 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, MA 01104; 800-331-0852; www.smith-wesson.com.

Stag Arms Model 4L

Stag Arms has developed the Stag 15L Model 4L, which is the first 20-inch left-handed assault rifle.Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the new Model 4L was developed specifically for left-handed tactical marksmen and eliminates many of the problems and the possibility of injuries caused by traditional right-hand-only models, such as bullet case burns and gas in the eye. The Stag 4L rifle has a 20-inch heavy barrel with a 1:9 twist, a left-handed detachable carry handle, a left-side ejection port, a left-side forward assist, an ambidextrous safety selector, and a mirror image bolt carrier. The upper and lower receivers are forged from 7075 T6 aircraft quality aluminum. Standard Accessories include a 20-round magazine and an A2 buttstock. The rifle is manufactured to Mil Spec and weighs 8.6 pounds. The suggested retail price is $1095.

For more information, contact Stag Arms, Dept. ST, 515 John Downey Dr., New Britain, CT 06051; 860-229-9994; www.stagarms.com.

Steiner Predator 10x40 Binocular

The new 10x40 Predator Pro binocular features Steiner's Color Adjusted Transmission lens coating that enhances brown and red colors against foliated backgrounds. Incorporating emerging lens technology and new coating systems, Steiner's new 10x40 Predator Pro offers markedly brighter and crisper images. The binocular's rubber armoring has been reengineered so that it emits almost no noise during handling, and the rubber is more tactile in wet weather. Forest green color helps camouflage the unit. The 10x40 also features Steiner's Sports Auto-Focus system that once set for the user's eyes keeps all subjects in sharp focus at distances from 20 yards to infinity. Field of view at 1000 yards is 300 feet, and eye relief is 18.5mm. The 10x40 Predator Pro comes with foldable eyecups, objective lens cap, eyepiece rain guard, and neckstrap. Weight is 24 ounces, and the suggested retail price is $299.

For more information, contact Pioneer Research, Dept. ST, 97 Foster Rd., Suite 5, Moorestown, NJ 08057; 800-257-7742; www.steiner-binoculars.com.

Stoeger 16-Gauge Condor

New for 2006, Stoeger Industries will be offering the Condor over-under shotgun in 16 gauge. The Condor comes with 26- or 28-inch barrels, a single trigger, screw-in chokes, and brass bead sight. Overall length is 42 inches (26-inch barrels), and weight ranges from six to 7.4 pounds depending on the configuration. It comes with walnut stock, vent rib, black recoil pad, and blued finish.

For more information, contact Stoeger Industries, Dept. ST, 17603 Indian Head Hwy., Suite 200, Accokeek, MD 20607; 301-283-6300; www.stoegerindustries.com.

Taurus 24/7 Pro

From Taurus International Manufacturing Inc. is a new version of the proven polymer-frame 24/7 semiautomatic pistol. Called the 24/7 Pro, the new pistol comes with a four-inch barrel and fixed, three-dot sights. Differing from the original 24/7, the new version uses a single-action/double-action firing mechanism. (The original was DAO.) Available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, the 24/7 Pro lists for $485 (blued) or $499 (stainless).

For more information, contact Taurus International Manufacturing Inc., Dept. ST, 16175 NW. 49th Ave., Miami, FL 33014; 800-327-3776; www.taurususa.com.

Winchester Supreme Elite XP3 Bullet

Winchester has developed what it calls the "ultimate rifle hunting bullet." The new Supreme Elite XP3 bullet is a bonded-core boattail design that features a proprietary web jacket, a polymer tip, and Winchester's Lubalox coating. The unique aspect of the new XP3 is its two-stage expansion at both the front of the bullet and in the body of the bullet, which is separated from the front of the bullet by the newly designed internal copper web jacket. Initial offerings will include .30-06 (150 and 180 grains), .300 WSM (150 and 180 grains), .300 Winchester Magnum (150 and 180 grains), .308 Winchester (150 grains), 7mm Remington Magnum (160 grains), 7mm WSM (160 grains), .270 Winchester (150 grains), and .270 WSM (150 grains).

For more information, contact Winchester Ammunition, Dept. ST, 427 N. Shamrock St., East Alton, IL 62024; 618-258-2000; www.winchester.com.

Zeiss 6-24X 72mm Victory Diavari

Zeiss Sports Optics is now offering a "magnum-sized" riflescope in its Victory Diavari line to American riflemen. Previously the 6-24X 72mm Victory Diavari was available only to European shooters. The 6-24X 72mm Victory Diavari features a 72mm objective lens, a 34mm tube, an exit pupil of 12mm at 6X and 10.2mm at 10X, and illuminated reticles (three options are offered). The scope is nitrogen filled and water tight, and the lenses carry Zeiss's T* multicoat. The scope is 14.9 inches long and weighs 37.4 ounces. It is intended to be used by professional marksmen, but hunters who shoot at long ranges will appreciate what it offers. It is not available with a rail system. It is covered by a lifetime transferable warranty, and suggested retail price is $3662.

For more information, contact Zeiss Sports optics, Dept. ST, 13005 N. Kingston Ave., Chester, VA 23836; 800-441-3005; www.zeiss.com/sports.

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