There’s a whole mess of new products introduced every year at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas. Some of these products will help you shoot more accurately, hunt more effectively, and have more fun in the field. But, do you really need any of these new products to actually go hunting or shooting? Nope.
But then again, the SHOT show isn’t really about need. It’s about surprise and innovation. At SHOT, manufacturers roll out products that they’ve spent months (sometimes years) developing. We get to comb the showroom floor and pick out the best among the bunch. Here’s what we’ve found so far.
SIG Sauer Cross Rifle
SIG Sauer unveiled a bolt gun (with AR ergonomics) at SHOT Show 2020 called the Cross. There is a lot to unpack with this new rifle, which has three interchangeable barrels: a 16-inch in .308, 18-inch in 6.5 Creedmoor, and 16-inch in SIG’s .277 Fury. The Cross has a one-piece receiver, and the stock is unique in that it folds forward at the press of a button, making it less cumbersome to pack in and out of wherever you chase wild game. The stock is also adjustable with a spring-loaded comb for better fit. You will notice the magazine release is somewhat hidden in the trigger guard so you don’t have to worry about it getting hung up on your pack or even losing a magazine. It weighs just 6.5 pounds, so it’s a great option for the backcountry. —Tyler Freel
Leupold RX Fulldraw 4
Leupold’s RX Fulldraw 4 features Archer’s Advantage software, which calculates arrow weight, arrow velocity and peep height for better accuracy. The Flightpath feature will determine if your arrow will clear obstructions, like hanging limbs, out to 150 yards, and the 6x magnification power should give you plenty of power to put an eye on big bucks. This unit is waterproof and fogproof, plus the OLED technology is adjustable to match display intensity for changing light conditions. —Joe Genzel
Kimber Open Range Pro Carbon Rifle
Kimber has long been known for its lightweight mountain rifles, and this particular model comes equipped with an improved carbon-fiber wrapped barrel. The Open Range Pro Carbon is a dual-purpose bolt gun that can be shot at longer ranges, but is also accurate in situations where you might do some continuous shooting. It weighs about six pounds and has a wider fore-end that you can mount a bi-pod on. For now, the Pro Carbon is offered in .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor, but I suspect it will come in a wider variety of calibers in the years to follow. The barrel is also threaded for a suppressor. —T.F.
Browning Safe Builder App
Browning created an app for your smartphone that allows you to virtually place a Browning safe in your home before actually buying one. The app allows users to pick from an assortment of Browning safes, and then once you have digitally placed it, get a price quote and find a local dealer. —J.G
Winchester Model 1895
Teddy Roosevelt anointed this gun “Big Medicine” on his famous African safari, and Winchester is commemorating the iconic lever gun with a steel/nickel finish and hand-chased engraving on each side of the receiver for its 125th anniversary. The eight-pound rifle is chambered in .405 Win. with a grade V/VI walnut stock, straight grip and traditional-cut checkering. It comes drilled and tapped for a receiver-mounted side optic, which you can add if you want TR to rollover in his grave. —J.G.
Primos Photoform Decoys
Primos took a perfect high resolution photo of a live turkey and then printed it on 3D molded foam. The result is a pair of turkey decoys that look pretty damn good, the head on the jake deke is especially realistic. Probably the best thing about these decoys is how light and packable they are. If you wanted to use three or four decoys in a spread, you could easily stuff them into a bag and still run and gun. One or two will pack into the back of your turkey vest, no problem. The other cool feature is the stake system. There’s a zipper on the bottom of the decoy that allows you to move the bird’s position. So with one decoy you can run three body positions—looking, feeding, and breeding. MSRP is about $84 and the decoys should start shipping in early February. —Alex Robinson
Winchester AA Diamond Grade
If you’re a clay target shooter, you’re going to be familiar with Winchester’s AAs—they’ve been a go-to load for decades. With the new Diamond grade shell, Winchester has increased the amount of antimony, which is a hardening element. The standard shells are 6% antimony while the new Diamond Grade pellets are 8%. Besides that, Winchester is also copper-plating the pellets. Both features make the shot harder, which leads to better patterns. Winchester is saying this is the hardest lead shot available. It’s going to be more expensive than the standard AAs of course, so this might not be your everyday clay-busting load (many target shooters just want the cheapest loads available). But, if you’ve got a big tournament you need to win (or you just want a little advantage over your shooting buddies), you might consider upgrading to Diamond.
Winchester XPR Stealth
The Stealth is a new factory variation of Winchester’s XPR. The XPR has earned its reputation as a dependable, accurate, and affordable rifle. The most significant feature of the Stealth variation is it’s 16.5-inch threaded barrel. This rifle is designed with a suppressor in mind, and if you hunt with a can, it lets you have a more conventional overall-length package while still using a suppressor. Now, you can expect to lose some velocity compared to full-length barrels, but for the average hunter, it’s probably not enough to make much difference in rifle performance. The XPR Stealth will be available in most standard shorter-action cartridges. MSRP: $620 —Tyler Freel
Federal Premium Solid Core
One ammunition offering from Federal Premium coming in a bit under the radar is the Solid Core handgun line. As simple as it is, this brings a new option to the fairly limited field of bear-defense handgun ammunition. The bullets are hard-cast lead, but feature Federal’s Syntech coating. Typical hard cast loads often have to be lubricated with wax and in some handguns can cause excessive fouling. The Syntech coating, popular with Federal’s practice ammo, is a clean-shooting, and minimal-fouling addition to a deep-penetrating lead solid. Offerings should be available in common handgun cartridges, including 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 magnum, and .44 magnum. —Tyler Freel
Federal Premium Hammer Down
Federal’s Hammer Down line is targeted directly to lever-gun hunters. Federal worked with Henry Repeating Arms on this project to solve common loading, feeding, and cycling issues with standard ammunition by deburring and adding slight chambering at key spots on the cases. They’re also using a higher quality bullet—a controlled-expansion bonded bullet that will perform better than typical lever-gun offerings. You’ll get reliable cycling, as well as expansion without sacrificing penetration. If you’re a lever-gun hunter, especially in straight-wall states, you’ll want to check this out. It’s going to be hitting the shelves in standard lever-gun cartridges from .327 Federal magnum up to .45-70. —Tyler Freel
Leupold has a new line of five sunglasses out this year that are purpose built for hunters and shooters, but even more importantly, these shades look cool. Three models (the Packout, Switchback, and Tracer) have an ANSI Z87.1+ ballistic rating, which essentially means that they exceed the industry standard for eye protection. The lens are interchangeable and compatible with prescription lenses. Street prices range from $160-200 depending on the model. The sunglasses should be available in April wherever you can find Leupold optics. —Alex Robinson
The Italian shotgun maker has entered the bolt-action market with a sweet new hunting rifle called the Lupo. The best term I can find to describe the Lupo is, hybrid. It is clear that that the lines of this gun are influenced by its Italian lineage, but the flexibility, modularity, and adaptability of the fit and finish allow it to be specifically adapted to the individual shooter. Benelli promises sub-MOA precision with three-shot groups, but my prototype shot a bit better than that (I actually got to hunt with the rifle earlier this fall). Key features include:
A rigid steel recoil lug embedded in the lower receiver that mates with a machined keyway in the upper receiver engineered to create a solid bedding platform for the barrel.
- A 22-inch, free-floated threaded barrel with a sub-MOA guarantee.
- A user-adjustable trigger that can be tuned to break between 2.2 and 4.4 pounds.
- A three-lug 60-degree bolt with a unique fluted bolt-body that allows cartridges to seat higher in the magazine resulting in a shallow approach angle for shells being chambered.
- A progressive recoil management system designed to reduce felt recoil and reduce muzzle whip.
The Lupo is currently offered in .30/06, but Benelli has plans to add the .300 Win. Mag. and .270 Win. in 2020, and the 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win. and .243 Win. in 2021. The MSRP is $1,599. Go here for a full review. —Mark Copenhaver
This system heralds a whole new way to charge muzzleloaders. Although the FireStick still requires you to front-load the projectile (which is how this still qualifies as a muzzleloader in many states—check your regulations), introducing the powder is much simpler. The FireStick is an encapsulated load of Hodgdon’s new Triple Eight black powder in a waterproof plastic hull, it accepts a standard 209 primer, and is removable, meaning that you no longer have to either ram out or discharge your powder after a day of hunting. The FireStick is compatible with Traditions’ new NitroFire rifle—both were developed in conjunction with each other. It’s worth noting that this is a proprietary system, so you cannot use a FireStick in your existing muzzleloader. —Andrew McKean
Savage’s Renegauge is one of the biggest introductions this year for a few reasons: 1) it’s the company’s first-ever semi-automatic shotgun, 2) it’s full of unique features, like a fluted barrel and patented gas system, 3) it’s a real gamer in the field. I had the opportunity to hunt with a pre-production model of the Renegauge on a sea duck hunt in December last year and my initial takeaways were that the gun absorbed felt recoil exceptionally well, it functioned flawlessly, and it pointed well. This is not a lightweight gun for covering miles in the uplands—the 28-inch barrel version weighs 7.9 pounds—but it was well-suited for a duck blind.
The Renegauge sports Savage’s AccuFit system, which the company has been using on its bolt-action rifles for years. The gun also comes with shims, which when combined with the cheek and butt pads, allows for 20 different variations. Most bird hunters don’t actually use shim kits, but that’s what’s great about the AccuFit system: It’s super quick and easy to use. You can swap out cheek pads without unscrewing anything. Simply peel off the pad and pop in a different one. (This will be especially useful for turkey hunters who want to run a red dot or sight and need more comb height.) Read the full review here. —Alex Robinson
Mossberg 940 JM Pro Competition Shotgun
This ready-to-roll 3-Gun competition shotgun from Mossberg was designed with plenty of input from, and named for, pro-shooter Jerry Miculek. It sports oversized controls, an extended magazine tube with a 10-plus-one capacity, a high-vis front sight, and an enlarged loading port, among other features. Best of all might be the price, which will appeal to folks who are looking to get into competition. You’ll be able to find the 940 JM Pro for around $900. —John B. Snow
Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat
Bottomland was one of the most innovative waterfowl patterns ever created—just walk into any duck camp or public Waterfowl Management Area east of the Mississippi River and you will see how popular it is. Shadow Grass Blades never quite had the fanfare of Bottomland, but Mossy Oak is hoping to change that with Habitat. It looks like a darker version of Blades, which is probably preferable to most duck hunters unless they primarily hunt flooded corn. But even then, as the season gets into late December and January most all plant life, including standing crops, turn a darker shade of brown, and this camo looks like it will blend in most any environment. —Joe Genzel
Filson Dry Bag Backpack
I had the chance to test this pack in Kansas in an absolute downpour this waterfowl season. And by test, I mean I left it in the bed of the truck overnight after we received at least five inches of rain. All my duck calls, gloves and camera (thank God) were bone dry. There’s plenty of room on the interior to store all kinds of gear, plus the side pocket is a great place for keys and your wallet. The zipper is heavy-duty, much like the ones you will find on Yeti dry bags and Sitka waders. MSRP: $TBD —J.G.