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New Shooting Gear for Hunters and Outdoor Enthusiasts [2021]

Birchwood Casey 3D deer target and other targets on a table

At the recent 2021 Outdoor News America Writers’ Conference in Grapevine, Texas I was fortunate to cross paths with numerous firearm and outdoor product leaders and manufacturers in the industry. In addition, I was able to get my hands on and test many of the products for a brief time.

Most of these products are either brand new this year or will be released in the very near future.

The following is a quick overview of products that many outdoor enthusiasts may find of interest.

New Sights and a Picatinny Rail for Henry .45-70 Lever Guns from XS Sights

XS Sights rail on lever action rifle
XS Ghost Ring WS and Henry Lever Rail add new precision sight options to a big bore lever rifle.

For those who like to hunt with a big bore lever gun in .45-70 caliber, XS has a new sight and rail system just for the Henry .45-70 lever gun.

These sights and rails are precision machined in Ft. Worth Texas.

XS Ghost Ring WS Hunting Sights

The new XS Ghost Ring WS (white stripe) hunting sights pair with XS Henry Lever Rail for use on the Henry round barrel .45-70 models. This system will improve accuracy and faster sight acquisition.

Front sight of XS sights lever action
The white stripe of the front sight is where the WS comes from in the XS Ghost Ring WS.

The XS Ghost Ring WS is fully adjustable for windage and elevation and comes with two apertures, .230 inch and .191 inch for variable lighting conditions. The XS White Stripe (WS) front sight replaces the existing blade and ramp with a white on black front post that is highly visible in all lighting conditions.

  • Ghost Ring provides a great field of view for hunting
  • Rail offers a mounting point for any optic
  • CNC machined to withstand tough conditions
  • East do-it-yourself install
  • Fits Henry .45-70 round barrel models
  • Rail and sight are a rugged, all steel design
  • Made in America
  • Available now
  • MSRP $110 (Ghost Ring sight only)

XS Lever Rail

Side view of scope mounted on lever action rifle with XS sights rail
The XS Lever Rail allows more flexibility to mount a wide range of sights and optics.

The XS Lever Rail upgrades the Henry .45-70 round barrel models to allow for mounting of an optic in multiple positions. This lightweight anodized aluminum rail is machined to Picatinny specs and will allow for scope mounting directly over the receiver or forward for a scout scope and red dots.

The XS Rail for the Henry round barrel .45-70 is available now with an MSRP of $71.

XS sights make a variety of other quality hunting style sights along with self-defense sights for pistol, rifle and shotgun.

The Sidekick from Diamondback Firearms, An Outdoorsy Sidearm

Based in Florida, Diamondback Firearms has only recently announced a new revolver with an old west flavor. The Sidekick, a nine-shot revolver in single and double action in .22 LR or .22 Magnum.

For outdoor enthusiasts wanting a lightweight revolver for hiking, small game hunting and back country utility the Sidekick may just be the ticket. While the .22 LR cartridge is an all-time favorite, the option of the .22 Magnum brings out additional versatility for hunting and even self-defense. 

Both cylinders utilize a quick convertible swing-out arm allowing the user to switch between standard and magnum cartridges in a matter of seconds.

The Sidekick is reminiscent of the old Colt Single Action combining the often sought after classic western style and modern-day revolver features. It sports a 4.5″ barrel, smooth black Cerakote finish, and checkered polymer grip panels. An old school ejection rod allows for easy ejection of spent casings.

The revolver weighs in at 32.5 ounces overall with a 1:16 RH twist and six groove rifling barrel that sports a fixed front blade sight. Its rear sight is integral to the frame.

Diamondback The Sidekick .22 caliber revolver with extra cylinder on table next to it
The Sidekick revolver from Diamondback could make a great sidearm for hunters and hikers.

Specs and Features of the Diamondback Sidekick Handgun

  • Caliber: 22LR / 22Mag Convertible
  • Action: Single & Double
  • Grips: Checkered glass filled Nylon
  • Capacity: 9 rounds
  • Front Sight: Blade
  • Rear Sight: Integral on frame
  • Barrel length: 4.5”
  • Overall Length: 9.875”
  • Frame & Handle Material: Zinc
  • Frame & Handle Finish: Black Cerakote
  • Weight: 32.5 oz
  • Twist: 1:16 RH
  • Grooves: 6

The Sidekick will no doubt be a great pick choice for first-time gun owners, old west firearms enthusiasts and those wanting a good companion in the outdoors.

Diamondback will officially offer the Sidekick on November 22, 2021. MSRP for the Diamondback with both the .22 LR and .22 Magnum cylinders is $320.

GSM Outdoors Releases New Shooting Supplies Hunters Will Love

Whether you realize it or not, if your and outdoors enthusiast you have most likely used products from GSM Outdoors. GSM Outdoors specializes in developing and marketing innovative products for the hunting, sport shooting, and outdoor enthusiast market.

The new products for this year and leading into next were too numerous to detail here, but the following is a quick overview.

Walker Ear Pro, New Models

Walker's Razor Recharge hearing protection in packaging
The new Razor Recharge hearing protection from Walker’s.

All of these hearing protection products are new from Walker’s and GSM and offer a wide variety of uses and technology for the user.

Birchwood Casey Shooting Rests

Birchwood Casey shooting rests
New shooting rests from Birchwood Casey include the Alpha (front) and its lighter duty cousin the Echo (rear).

A shooting rest for every need can be found in these new releases from Birchwood Casey and GSM Outdoors.

Birchwood Casey Targets and Gun Maintenance

Some of the most common products from Birchwood Casey include their line of targets and gun cleaning kits. Below is a list of some new items worth checking out this year.

Birchwood Casey rifle cleaning kits
New this year rifle and AR-15 cleaning kits.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak as to what’s available from GSM Outdoors and new for this year.

As you can see there were plenty of new and exciting products for hunting, shooting, and firearms enthusiasts at this year’s Outdoor News Americas Writers Conference. With Americans ready to get back to the great outdoors, it’s good to see new and innovative products that will keep all of us where we like to be….in the field, woods and streams!


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