We’ve been lucky enough to attend SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week (Jan 18-21, 2022) and it has been a firehose of amazing products that make gearheads like us go bonkers!
The SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) is the biggest tradeshow for hunting and shooting sports as well as the tactical, law enforcement, and overall gun industry. It’s an industry only event that’s not open to the general public and it’s oozing with beards, bullets and bravado. This is where buyers for major outdoor retailers come to meet with brands big and small to sniff the new stuff and sign deals.
Every major gun maker, ammo manufacturer, and innovator in the hunting industry is here, and this is where they often announce and release new products. There are way too many to cover them all, but here are some of our favorite finds from brands you know as well as some small businesses we should all support.
1Browning X-Bolt Speed SR Rifle
Browning is a big fish when it comes to hunting rifles and gear in general. They recently retired the popular Hells Canyon lineup and replaced it with a new generation of speed guns. A new camo print, a beautiful light bronze barrel finish, and an updated stock with more ergonomic grips set these hunting rifles a part. And for the more technical hunters, these barrels are machined differently to better accommodate suppressors without giving up too much velocity.
2Retay Masai Mara Shotgun
Retay shotguns come out of Turkey and they have a few unique and patented features that make them different from the big brands. Their Inertia Plus system ensures the action fully locks up no matter how softly you release it, which prevents rattle and misfires from jarred actions. Their barrels are deep bore drilled instead of hammer forged so they’re dead straight. And what I found really cool on this high-end model was the feature that lets you remove the entire trigger group in about two seconds. All the parts in the trigger assembly are aluminum, no plastic. So if you drop your gun in the muck, you can very quickly remove the trigger assembly, clean it out with water in the field, and be back to shooting within seconds. Very easy and very cool!
3eBikes from Eunorau and More
We were blown away by the number of eBike companies exhibiting at SHOT Show. These near-silent, stealthy, fat tire vehicles have certainly started making waves among hunters. While Rambo Bikes was there in force, we were impressed by the specs and price points of lesser known brands like Eunorau, Backou, and QuietKat to name a few. The pictured Eunorau Defender S retails for under $3,000 and it has dual batteries, dual motors, and is full-suspension. That’s an all-wheel drive fat tire bike that more people can afford!
Most rifle bipods seem to be designed more for the competitive shooter in mind and turn out to be more cumbersome for hunting than they are helpful. Swagger bipods are different. They are lightweight and they move differently. Their unique springy design means you don’t have to twist or clamp anything to adjust the rifle position. Instead of trying to adjust your body to the bipod to line up your shot, you can stay put and simply adjust the rifle position to your body. I’m looking forward to trying it out.
5Eberlestock Hunting Apparel
Straight out of our very own Idaho, Eberlestock is a growing brand. Known for their tactical and hunting packs, they are now expanding into full on apparel for hunters. While they are made primarily for western big game hunters, some of their camo patterns would do well with waterfowl and any of it could be used for whitetail hunting. The outerwear feels good to the touch and we expect it will be an affordable option for the everyday hunter.
6Covert Optics ThermX TRF Thermal Rangefinder
Feradyne Outdoors has a number of different product lines from cross bows to trail cameras and more. We got a peek at the unique Covert Optics ThermX TRF thermal rangefinder that is great as a handheld optic or mounted on a bow or crossbow. Rather than destroying your night vision by putting your eye up to the optic to see the image, you simply view from several inches away. With a reticle you can turn on or off and a range of 1600 yards, this is a highly versatile tool.
7LyteHorse Stand-up Electric ATV
I though I’d seen every EV idea come to life already, but LyteHorse proved me wrong with their stand-up electric ATV. What separates it from any old four-wheeler is that it’s electric and you stand up. So the rider has a better vantage point, but you can still ride on any terrain. Each wheel has its own motor and battery and the suspension is extremely cush. Their aiming this product at law enforcement, hunters, and even military for all-terrain applications where you need stealth and to get on and off quickly. We’re looking forward to them visiting Idaho so we can take it to the hills and give it a full review!
8Savior Equipment Gun Cases
I don’t own any of these gun cases yet, but I expect I will soon. Savior Equipment makes high quality cases and sells them at low prices on Amazon and elsewhere. They use materials like 600D polyester instead of nylon so your guns don’t get scuffed up. And they even make TSA-approved hard cases shaped like guitar cases but with cutouts for your guns so you can travel discretely. Having touched and felt several of their products the day I wrote this, I was impressed by the build quality and am looking forward to some hands-on reviews soon.
9Barra PCP Air Rifle
Barra makes a lot of sexy airguns from cowboy models to pistols. They’ve now come out with a new PCP air rifle that is very well built and could provide real utility for hunting small game. Once you charge the high pressure reservoir you’ve got about 30 high-powered shots before you need to refill with air. The magazine holds 10 rounds and the action is all metal, so now cheap plastic parts that are bound to break. While it’s not as cheap as a lot of typical break barrels, this air rifle looks like a lot of fun.
10Blackhound Evolve Rifle Scopes
Optics, optics, optics. So many optics at SHOT Show! Blackhound is a brand we hadn’t heard of before but we were impressed by their clear, high-quality Japanese glass. They own their own manufacturing facilities and do all the design in the US, so quality control appears to be a priority. Their Evolve line is their mid-grade product and has great specs for the typical deer hunter. Competitive on price, rings or cantilever included, and a lifetime guarantee make this an intriguing optics brand we are eager to try out.
11Stone Glacier Backcountry Outerwear
Straight out of Bozeman, Montana, Stone Glacier is all about hardcore backcountry sheep and goat hunts. They make technical apparel from high-end materials, ultralight tents, and packs that were built with the hunter in mind. Keep an eye out for this stuff if you’re into technical gear and difficult hunts.
12Klymit Klymaloft Sleeping Pad
I learned about Klymit when they were just starting out and they won an entrepreneurship competition in college. They’ve come a long way and now they’re known for ultralight backpacking and camping gear, especially everything you need to sleep outside. The Klymaloft Sleeping Pad is plush without the lard and I think it’s worth a close look if you like to sleep well but travel light.
13Yukon Outfitters Waterproof Floating Gun Case
The product name may not be sexy, but at least you know exactly what it does. This Yukon utilitarian gun case is well-made, waterproof, and yeah, it floats even with a gun inside. It retails for $69 and I think it makes a lot of sense for any hunter who wants to protect their shotgun or rifle without the bulk (and cost) of a hard case. If your a waterfowler, it’s a no-brainer. I’ll be picking one up myself.
14Spypoint Flex Cellular Trail Camera
Trail cameras were abundant at SHOT Show and the Flex is a new product from Spypoint out of Quebec, Canada. They tried to take the hassle of configuring the cellular connectivity out of the mix on this product by having it all ready to go right out of the box. It comes with SIM cards from both AT&T and Verizon pre-installed and they manage the cell plan for you so you don’t have to mess with the cell carriers directly. You get 100 free thumbnails per month or you pay for monthly, quarterly, or annual plans. And what’s nice about this one is it will use either Verizon or AT&T depending on whichever carrier has the best service where you mount it. Seems pretty user friendly.
15Browning 1911-380 Pistol
Another gem from Browning is this new 1911 style handgun in .380 auto. This is a compact 1911 that is lightweight and feels really good in the hand. Small enough to conceal or easily carry as a sidearm on a hunt, this gun looks like a real nice addition to the gun cabinet.
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