Best New Guns and Hunting Gear from SHOT Show 2019
Our editors and contributors pick the hottest new products from the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show
Each year, the best gun and gear makers in the hunting and shooting industry get together for a massive trade show in Las Vegas. They introduce the new guns, ammo, and gear that you’ll see on the store shelves later this season. Our team of editors and contributors are spending the week scouring the showroom floor to find the coolest, most innovative products. As we go through the week, we’ll keep updating this gallery with our new finds, so stay tuned.
Here’s one really expensive knife, and one kind of expensive knife. Top: 535-191 Bugout with a ghost carbon fiber handle with a blue C-Tek inlay, and damasteel drop-point blade. This bad boy weighs just over 2 ounces and goes for $750 (which is $375 per ounce, but then again, if you’re buying this knife you don’t really care about that). On the much more practical side is the 560-1 Freek. The Benchmade guys call this the “Deadpool knife” for its gray and black textured G10 handle with a red base layer. The blade is CPM-M4 steel. This knife is handy, and a lot lighter than it looks, it weighs just over 4 ounces. MSRP: $225. —Alex Robinson
Ruger Hawkeye Long-Range Target
Ruger’s Precision Rifle made waves among shooters when introduced, but left those who prefer a more traditional feel and controlled-feed action hanging. They fixed that this year with the Hawkeye Long-Range Target Rifle. It utilizes an M77 Hawkeye action with the Mauser-style extractor, set up to utilize Accuracy International style magazines. The target stock is painted laminate with adjustable comb and length of pull. It features ambidextrous QD sling mounts as well as an integrated M-lock rail for bipods and other accessories. It’s offered in .300 Win Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 6.5 PRC, and coming in at a very competitive price of $1,279. —Tyler Freel
Nightforce Mil-XT Reticle
Reticles are like babies: Everyone thinks theirs is perfect while the other guy’s is a snot-nosed, dirty-diapered demon. So I hesitate to proclaim the new Mil-XT as the best out there for precision rifle work, but it comes close. The reticle is both clean, yet has lots of smart reference marks. The 2/10ths spacing on the hash marks with the .4 and .6 references above horizontal and the .2 and .8 marks below are fast and intuitive to use. Numbering on both sides of the Christmas tree is another good design element and the solitary aiming points at each whole mil offer great precision. It will first be available in a 7-35X configuration with a 5-25X soon to follow. —John B. Snow
American Rifle Company Archimedes Action
Ted Karagias is one of the true mad geniuses of the shooting world. His unique rifle actions have made us rethink how bolt guns function. This year he’s come out with another innovative creation: the Archimedes. It is a three-lug action with ARC’s toroidal lug design, but it adds a significant twist. The bolt handle has a small amount of back-and-forth play in it that acts as a super-strong lever that assists with extracting cartridges from the chamber. Most shooters take extraction for granted until they experience a stuck case. Ted’s system eliminates the need to pound on the bolt handle to lift it up to free the case. To demonstrate the strength of the system, Ted hammered a 6.5-284 case into a 6.5 Creedmoor chamber and threaded the barrel onto the Archimedes. The extractor clicked over the rim and when he pulled back on the bolt it ripped a chunk out of the case rim—without any excess effort on the shooter’s part. For guys running handloads in competition, this will be a godsend when a piece of brass sneaks through without having been resized correctly. —JBS
Seekins MRAZ and RVL accessories
People who shoot ARs and precision rifles rely on the rail systems on their guns to mount everything from sights to bipods to night vision aid equipment. Seekins has made it easier to swap these add-ons with rails that use tool less spring-loaded clamp that come on and off rifles in a flash, yet lock into place like a barnacle on a ship’s hull. The system includes attachments for both Picatinny rails and the ARCA dovetail QD sling mounts barricade stops and hand grips. —JBS
CVA Paramount Muzzleloader
The long-range trend includes muzzleloaders. Load the Paramount with 140 grains of powder and it shoots a 280-grain Powerbelt ELR bullet at 2,200 fps. The muzzleloader uses the hotter, more consistent Large Rifle Primer, and it’s designed to be effective out to 300 yards. Now, there is a tradeoff for that down-range performance. The gun is hefty, weighing 9.8 pounds without a scope. Plus, it produced stout felt recoil during the limited amount of shooting we did with it at range day. That said, it was gusting 30 mph winds, and hunting editor Will Brantley had no problem ringing steel with it at 200 yards. MSRP: $1,063. —Alex Robinson
Revision Outdoor has made a name for itself in the military and law enforcement world, and now they’re making glasses designed for hunters, anglers, and shooters. I field tested a pair of the Pursuers for a week of sunny pheasant hunting in South Dakota this fall, and they were the most comfortable sunglasses I’ve ever worn. The first thing you notice is that these shades are super light (they weigh just 1.07 ounces) and they fit comfortably. The spring hinges actually allow the arms to extend beyond 90 degrees, so they’ll fit no matter how big your noggin. Revision lenses are polarized and come in three different colors: slate, cedar, and crimson. The sunglasses also come with a custom retention strap, microfiber lined pouch, Pro Bam, and a guaranteed lifetime warranty. MSRP is $279. —A.R.
Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range
Many of the new long-range rifles run upwards of $2,000, which puts them out of reach for many shooters. Browning is changing the game with it’s new long range rifle that has an MSRP of $1,200. The rifle features a new, adjustable stock that Browning makes itself. It also has a stainless fluted, heavy-sporter barrel that’s threaded for a muzzlebrake or suppressor. It’s got a nice trigger that adjusts from 3 to 5 pounds, and the rifle will be available in a variety of short- and long-action cartridges. I hunted with this model in 6.5 Creedmoor last year and had no problem carrying it around Nebraska’s sandhills (it weighs about eight pounds.) Stay tuned for the full story and video from that hunt. —A.R.
Leupold V-X Freedom Red Dot Sight
It took me a day of trolling the showroom floor, but I’ve found my new turkey gun sight. The V-X Freedom Red Dot comes in two versions: One features capped precision ¼-MOA click adjustments, and the other has an exposed BDC elevation turret that ships with measurements out to 500 yards for standard 55-grain .223 Rem. Ammunition. (The former will be riding on my turkey gun this spring.) Both models feature a 1 MOA dot reticle and incorporate Leupold’s “Motion Sensor Technology.” Put your gun down, and after five minutes, the reticle goes into stand-by mode to save battery. As soon as you move the gun, the sight flicks on. There’s also a manual mode that lets you turn the sight off. Other things to love about these sights: They ship with the mount, they’re made in the U.S.A., and they come with a lifetime warranty. The MSRP is $299 for the model with ¼ MOA click adjustments and $399 for the BDC turret version. —A.R.
Winchester 350 Legend
This is fastest straight-wall hunting cartridge in the world. The Legend is based on a .223 case with a .357 caliber bullet. Winchester says it pushes a 150-grain bullet at 2,325 fps and generates felt recoil comparable to a .30-30. For deer hunters in shotgun zones that allow straight-wall cartridges, this introduction is a breath of fresh air. Winchester reps told us at Range Day that the cartridge would be effective on deer-sized game out to 250 yards. The cartridge is available in the XPR bolt action, but the rumor around the show is that there’s going to a new AR made for this cartridge, too. —A.R.
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Performance Shop
Ok, I get it: $3,200 is a heck of a lot of money for a duck gun. But if cost is no concern, then you’ll want to look into this tricked-out autoloader from Benelli’s performance shop. The barrel is Cerakoted, which looks cool and protects the gun in any weather. In a first for the SBE, this gun has a lengthened forcing cone which Benelli says will reduce felt recoil and shoot better patterns. It has a larger bolt handle, and a sweet bolt release that’s hinged. Even if you are you are shooting in frigid weather, it’ll be impossible to miss this release. The shotgun also comes with Rob Roberts chokes. Check out our video here. —A.R.
Federal Premium Shorty Shells
One of the hottest items at this year’s show is the new 1¾-inch Shorty 12-gauge shotshell from Federal Premium. This is a little odd because Aguila has been making Minishells for years, although their product hasn’t gotten much traction in the States. Federal says its shell has a better payload, and we had no problem center-punching clays at the range with them this week. The primary demand for this diminutive shell is from customers trying to increase magazine capacity, though Federal doesn’t currently recommend using the Shorty in anything besides a double barrel to avoid cycling or ejecting issues. That stance will likely evolve as shotgun manufacturers catch up. In the meantime: FS Shotguns Editor Phil Bourjaily tipped me off about the $17 OPSol Mini-Clip adapter, which you can install in Mossberg shotguns to cycle mini shells like the Shorty. I tried out the No. 8s ($5.95 for a box of 10), but Federal will also offer a 1-ounce rifled slug ($11.95 for 10) and buckshot (also $11.95 for 10) this spring. You can find our video from Range Day here. —Natalie Krebs
Swarovski Optik dS Range-Finding Riflescope
The new Swarovski ds Riflescope is the latest player in the continuing trend of introducing bluetooth and laser rangefinders to traditional optics. A button on the ocular bell allows you to range your target out to 2,000 yards while incorporating the magnification setting, air pressure, temperature, and angle, as well as your personal ballistic data via bluetooth. The display will show the distance, bullet energy, and elevation holdover. Swarovski decided on a 40 millimeter tube and a 5-25×52 configuration to house all that technology. Though the turrets look traditional, the top cap actually conceals a battery and two tools to access and adjust the elevation and windage panels on the objective bell. Unsurprisingly, all that technology comes at a price: the MSRP is $4,000. For a deeper dive on this scope from Optics Editor Andrew McKean, click here. —N.K.
Leupold LTO-Tracker 2 + 2 HD
Most hunters would do just about anything to recover a deer they shot but can’t find. For some hunters, that includes spending a chunk of change to tip the odds in their favor. Enter Leupold’s upgraded handheld LTO thermals: The LTO-Tracker 2 and 2 HD. After testing the HD model all fall, I gotta say: This thing is awesome. The major improvement for this model over Leupold’s first LTO is the Beacon mode, which distinguishes similar heat signatures to help you find your target. For example: If you turn on the thermal and discover that the trees outside your back door look like a heat map, you can press the Beacon button and it will zero out those readings. Next, pan the thermal over a critter, and it’ll pop on the display. (For an example of this in action, check out our video here.) The rest of the controls are just as easy, with one button to zoom, and third to power the unit on/off and toggle between the six color modes. The prices might be a little easier to swallow when you consider how much grief it could save you down the road, but before you shell out, check the regs in your state. Thermals are illegal to use while hunting game animals in most places, and are sometimes outlawed for recovery, too. The Tracker 2 HD is listed at $1,560, and Tracker 2 is listed at $1,040. —N.K.
Camp Chef Pursuit Pellet Grill
Pellet grills don’t have to be bulky machines that relegated to life on the patio. Camp Chef’s new grill is portable, and designed to make the trip to deer camp (or fish camp, or whatever camp you prefer). It folds up simply, and has wheels so you can roll it right into position. It has a 160- to 500-degree temperature range for smoking to grilling (a continuous fan provides even heat and smoke). You still need electricity when you get to wherever you’re going, but otherwise, this pellet grill is a ready travel buddy. —AR
OGT Survival Axe
I’m a multi-tool and survival gear geek, which is why this Off-The-Grid Tools Survival Axe immediately caught my attention. The design incorporates an all-steel full tang and axe head with an ultra-strong, lightweight glass-filled nylon handle. The OGT axe features 31 tools in all including a car-escape tool, reciprocal saw blade, hatchet blade, hex sockets and more. It’s $40 via offthegridtools.com. —Gerry Bethge
Traditions Crackshot XBR
Is it a gun? Is it a bow? Is it an air-bow? I guess the answer would be: Yes. The Traditions Crackshot XBR comes with two barrels: A .22 caliber single-shot barrel and the XBR Upper, which allows you to swap on a barrel that fires arrows. Slide the Traditions Firebolt arrow down the XBR barrel, break open the action, pop in an XBR Powerload and fire. Arrow speed is 385 fps. The Crackshot XBR also comes with three arrow, quiver, and a 4×32 scope. The MSRP is $450. —G.B.
Pulsar Axiom Monocular
Okay, so let’s get the sticker shock and moaning and groaning out of the way first. The new Pulsar Axiom thermal-imaging monocular costs $1,700. That’s not chump change for anyone. Then you might ask yourself whether or not you really need a thermal imaging monocular. My take? You do. Whether you’re hunting pigs on a Texas cornfield at night, calling coyotes after dark on a cold January day, or just scouting a food plot in summer for deer, you will absolutely fall in love with thermal-imaging technology. Heck, I’ve even used it to scout for roosted turkeys. Designed to fit in your pocket, the Axiom weighs just 8.8 ounces, has 2-8x magnification, instant start-up, and is capable of recording video or taking still photos. Truly a product that will change how you hunt forever. MSRP is $1,700 to $2,500. —G.B.