Shot Show 2012 Sneak Peek: 12 New Guns From Range Day

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More

The day before SHOT Show officially begins in Las Vegas, the National Shooting Sports Foundation hosts a media event where gun writers from across the country get to try out the newest firearms, shooting gear and hunting equipment for the new year. Imagine every type of shooter, from military snipers to pasty basement blogger hobbyists, tromping across a massive desert shooting range squeezing the trigger on every new type of gun on the market. That's Shot Show media day. OL was on site among the masses, and here's an early look at 12 guns that caught our eye. Check back at all this week for more in-depth coverage on Shot Show 2012.
<strong>Thompson Center Dimension</strong> Thompson Center's big play this year is the Dimension, a rifle with interchangeable barrels in 10 calibers ranging from .204 on up to .300 Win. Mag. To swap barrels, Thompson Center has designed two tools that are set to tighten the nuts on the gun to the proper torque. Assembly and disassembly are incredibly easy (Thompson Center engineers can make three shots on target and then change the barrel on the Dimension in about four minutes). Thompson Center guarantees that this gun will shoot MOA groups out of the box. The MSRP is a measly $650 and you can get another barrel for about $200. <em>–Alex Robinson</em>
<strong>Remington Versa Max Tactical</strong> Remington is extending its successful Versa Max line with this tactical 12 gauge. Designed for home defense and three gun shooting, the Versa Max Tactical has an oversized bolt release tab, sports a 22-inch barrel and comes with a picatinny rail on production models. The extended magazine allows for and 8 + 1 capacity. MSRP is $1,300. See the <strong>Versa Max Tactical</strong> video here. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Ruger American Rifle</strong> For big-game hunters, this is one of the most exciting introductions for 2012. The new Ruger is a bargain rifle that is 100 percent American made. It has a rotary magazine and a trigger that is adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds. It sports a 3-lug design that garners a short bolt throw. It also features a slick rotary magazine. In long action it comes dressed in .30-06 and .270. In short action it's chambered for .308 and .243. The MSRP is an almost too good to be true $449. See the <strong>Ruger American Rifle</strong> video here. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Franchi Instinct L</strong> Franchi's new Instict L is an attractive over under at a reasonable price. Designed for upland bird hunting and clay target shooting, the gun comes in 12 and 20 gauge. The stock is made of satin walnut. Overall weight is just under six pounds and the MSRP is $1,149. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Mossberg FLEX</strong><br /> "Flex your Mossberg." Get ready to read and hear that sentence a lot this year. It will be everywhere. Last night the company rolled out its new FLEX line of 500 and 590 shotguns as a new concept in modular shotguns and accessories, using something called TLS (Tool-less Locking System). Simply, it means you can customize your shotgun from 11 different base models with a modular system that allows you to change out stocks, forends, recoil pads and accessories, all without using a single tool. The base models are designed for all-purpose, hunting and tactical, but with the various quick-attach components, you can change a totally black shotgun from a home-defense-geared, short, stockless, pistol grip shotgun to a full-length, stocked camo turkey gun in about one minute. I know, I watched them do it. No screwdrivers, no allen wrenches. Just your fingers and whatever extra components you choose to buy. No matter what, the Mossberg Flex line will allow for more shotgun applications in one gun for far less cost and effort than ever before. <em>– Dave Maccar</em>
<strong>Savage Hog Hunter</strong> Designed specifically for shooting hogs at close range, this rifle comes with a 20-inch barrel and iron sights (but it also works nicely with a low-powered scope). In short action it's chambered in .223 and .308. It's long action version is chambered in .338 Lapua. Like all of Savage's new premier rifles, it's fitted with the AccuTrigger. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Browning A5</strong> Browning is paying homage to it's classic Humpback shotgun in 2012 with it's new A5. This is Browning's first modern recoil-driven autoloader and is chambered in 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch. It comes in three different stock options: walnut, synthetic black and synthetic camouflage. It has a sweet action, swings smoothly and sports a big tear drop safety that is impossible to miss. The MSRP is about $1,400. See the <strong>Browning A5</strong> video here. See the A5 photo gallery here. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Franchi Affinity</strong> This is a well made 3-inch, inertia-driven gun from Franchi. It's light weight at just over six pounds and comes in both 12 and 20 gauge. Finish options include black synthetic, Realtree Max-4 and Realtree APG. MSRP is $850. See the <strong>Franchi Affinity</strong> video here. <em>–AR</em>
<strong>Springfield Armory XDMS Pistol</strong><br /> The newest edition to the XDM line of Springfield pistols is a dedicated concealed carry personal defense handgun that has very little in common with the rest of the high-capacity line. The XDMS is a double action, 6-round, 29-ounce gun chambered in .45 ACP with a single-stack magazine. Those familiar with XDM pistols will find a familiarly shaped and textured grip and trigger with an integrated safety, but that's about all it has in common with the rest of the line. One inch thick at it's widest point, the fully ambidextrous XDMS will make a wonderfully compact concealed carry pistol or backup gun for law enforcement. The .45 rounds in such a small gun force you to deal with a bit of muzzle flip, but after a couple magazines, groupings rapidly became smaller. See the <strong>Springfield Armory XDMS</strong> video here. <em>–DM</em>
<strong>Smith & Wesson Model M&P 300 Whisper</strong><br /> Anyone who lives in a state where silencers are legal and there is a serious need to cause a decline in the feral hog population, listen up. S&W has introduced their new Whisper AR rifle chambered in .300 Whisper, a very interesting caliber. The casing is the same diameter as a .223 round, with the length cut down a bit and blown out at the crimp and topped with a .30-caliber, 208-grain bullet that travels at 1,000 fps. The design of the casing means you can use standard 5.56 or .223 AR magazines and receivers. You would only have to buy the upper to convert an existing AR rifle into a Whisper. Loaded with .300 Whisper ammo and a suppressor screwed onto the 5/8-24 threads, I honestly wasn't sure the rifle had fired the first round until I heard a ping from the gong downrange. There was so little recoil, the gun could easily be fired like a pistol if you could hold it steady. The feed ramps and gas system have been optimized to run efficiently with a full range of factory loaded sub-sonic and super-sonic ammunition, bot suppressed and unsuppressed. The barrel twist rate (1 in 7.5") is compatible with a wide variety of bullet weights from 110 to 220+ grains. It would be excellent as a small game rifle and is powerful enough to be a solid hog slayer at ranges inside 200 yards. It's truly effortless to shoot and a would be a very fun plinker. The Whisper operates with or without a suppressor and can also safely fire .300 AAC Blackout ammo. <em>–DM</em>
<strong>Mossberg 464 SPX Centerfire and Rimfire Lever-Action Rifles</strong><br /> Why would you want a tactical lever action rifle? Well, why not. Mossbergs two new lever action rifles chambered in .22LR and .30-.30 Win. look pretty bizarre with an adjustable 6-position AR-style stock with an elevated comb and tri-rail forearm with ladder rail covers. Though these rifles weren't at the range and only shown at a press conference, I can't yet say how they shoot, but I do see the value in a small-caliber, lever action rifle with a stock that allows for a length-of-pull adjustment of nearly four inches. I could see this being a great first rifle that can grow with a young shooter. I can also see me putting a foregrip on that rail and having an awful lot of fun at the range with either of these bizarre-looking creations. The 464 SPX includes 3-dot fiber optic sights and will be available with or without a flash suppressor or muzzlebrake. <em>–DM</em>
<strong>Savage 10 FCP-SR</strong> From it's law enforcement line, Savage introduces the 10 FCP SR. Features include a 10-round magazine, AccuTrigger, AccuStock and threaded muzzle. The gun comes in .308 and is dressed in tan digital camo. At the range, this gun was smashing 5-inch clay targets out past 500 yards.

SHOT Show, the biggest outdoor industry event in the world, is finally here. We take an early look at 12 new guns that you’ll see on the range in 2012.