January’s SHOT Show, held in Las Vegas, Nev., is the time to see everything that’s new in the industry. Manufacturers bring out all their new products, and retailers and range owners have a chance to see, touch and order new products for their stores and ranges. The Range Report searched the aisles for a good cross section of targets, target-delivery systems, gun safes, maintenance equipment and other new items to give you a look at products that will help ranges make money.
Spectra Shot has shotgun shells with color-enhanced shot that fluoresces. Company President Blair Michel said that when someone shoots these shells under a black light, the shooter can see every pellet brightly illuminated.
“You can see your shot pattern and every pellet in your shot string,” he said, “so you can see where you miss. It’s amazing what happens when you can see what you’re doing wrong. You can make the necessary adjustments so you can break the target.”
This ammunition is also great for shotgun games, Michel said.
Ammo-Up has made some changes to their machines that pick up brass.
“We went with an aluminum handle and a new basket system,” said CEO Caleb Dudley. “The basket lifts off the front of the machine, which eliminates some of the steps that were involved in cleaning out our old machine. For indoor ranges, we’ve added small wheels that allow the machine to be more maneuverable.”
In the Gradient Lens booth, Jon Post said sales continue strong on their bore-scope system.
“Benchrest-position shooters want to inspect their barrels before they shoot and after they’ve shot a series, just to see how the barrel is performing,” he said. “A good bore system also is an invaluable tool for gunsmiths.”
Business Control Systems has added a number of features to their software specifically for ranges.
“Now we can do scheduling, membership tracking and lane assignments,” said President Alexander Want. “We’ve also added firearms and other rentals.”
Ranges can scan driver’s licenses to add and track memberships automatically.
“A driver’s license now can be used as a membership ID,” Want said. “The system will send an automatic notice when someone’s membership is about to expire. It also can keep track of family memberships, including each person’s individual photo.”
This works for groups of people—such as law enforcement departments—as well. You can use the system to manage class registration and keep track of how many seats still are available. It also will keep track of different categories of shooters.
“For example, you may have a shooter who is qualified for one type of competition but not for another,” Want said. “You can keep track of what his qualifications are in multiple areas.”
Radians launched Smith & Wesson and M&P brands of safety equipment in mid-year 2013; those lines are completely rounded out now.
“For Smith & Wesson for 2014, we’ve added a black polarized glass,” said company Vice President of Sporting Goods Joseph Smith. “We also have Smith & Wesson glasses we’re offering in a three-lens and four-lens kit. Glasses with interchangeable lenses have been good sellers for us.”
Radians also has new ear muffs in the Smith & Wesson and Bone Collector brands.
On the M&P side, the company has introduced polarized shooting glasses, as well as new styles available in a number of lens colors.
“In the M&P brand, we also have another electronic muff with an auxiliary input jack for an MP3 player,” Smith said. “It has independent volume control and a compression circuit.”
In the Remington brand, the company has widened its assortment of glasses with a combo kit and ballistic rated glass; this line includes women’s and youth sizes.
“We also purchased Crossfire, which already has a whole line of shooting glasses, and then we upgraded that line,” Smith said. “This year Crossfire will have a wide array of different styled glasses, most with tinted lenses. They had their genesis with Harley Davidson, so they already have a lot of style. We’ll also have HD lenses in this brand for a lot of clarity, as well as polarized lenses.”
In the SportEAR booth, CEO Ken Williams said the company’s best new product for 2014 is the ProSound.
“It’s a digital ear plug that’s an ear muff without the muff,” he said. “It fits in the ear. It has a hearing-aid electronic circuit and also compresses noise when it reaches 85 decibels. It uses a hearing-aid battery, and is small and sleek and will provide a 30 Noise Reduction Rating. For the active outdoorsman, it will enhance the hearing and provide a great level of protection.”
Battenfeld Technologies has a number of new targets in the Caldwell brand.
“We have several new Orange Peel targets,” said Vice President of Sales Bob Zara. “We also have silhouette flake-off targets and paper targets.
Birchwood Casey has developed new bulk package configurations to give ranges more choices in how they purchase targets.
“Ranges should be able to sell more targets using the new packaging,” said Marketing Manager Todd Binsfeld. “We’re also making some new silhouette targets in the smaller reactive styles. And our larger 16-x24-inch reactive silhouette target is in an IPSC version.”
Target shooting games are continuing to sell well, Binsfeld said.
“Shooters like to compete against each other,” he said.
|Custom Metal Products’ new Texas Star|
Custom Metal Products has two new targets for ranges.
“Our new Texas Star is about five feet in diameter,” said Vice President Jerry Eddens. “It’s made of 3/8-inch-thick AR500 hardened steel. It’s a challenging target that’s a lot of fun. We’ve also added a military E-style target that’s 40 inches high and 20 inches wide. You can get that on a stand or as an auto-reset.”
Do-All Outdoors has added to it line of Impact Seal targets.
“We have some new ground bouncers, including the Paddle Wheel,” said Sam Lynch, Account Manager for Do-All Outdoors. “We’ve also brought down the size of the Ball and the Box and made them more affordable. The Money Shot looks like a poker chip and a playing card and gives real good spinning action.”
Other new Impact Seal targets include the Chicken and Egg spinner and a Deer Crossing sign. In steel targets, Do-All Outdoors has introduced the Cowbell for .22s.
MGM Targets has changed the design of some of its targets.
|MGM Targets; newly designed Flash Target|
“On our long-range flash target, we went with a half-inch UHMW pendulum in order to eliminate false reporting and misses that hit the pendulum shaft instead of the pendulum itself,” said Justin Bennett, MGM’s Production Manager. “Shots will pass through the UHMW and won’t give a false report.”
UHMW, he said, stands for Ultra High Molecular Weight, which in turn designates a high tech recycled plastic.
“It’s very dense and is used as a wear surface for a greaseless bearing,” he said. “It holds up very well to being shot.”
Do-All Outdoors has created the Raven trap, which is a heavier machine than the company has had in the past.
“We included a taller stack that will hold about 50 clays,” Lynch said. “We put it on wheels and gave it a handle so it has greater mobility, and changed the drive from a clutch system to a chain drive. And we added a knob-turn system to adjust the velocity of the throw.”
The Raven also has a safety-release system that locks the throwing arm to prevent accidents when the machine is being moved or when it’s stored.
Darren McGlothlin, General Manager of Laporte America, said the company archery trap—introduced two years ago—continues to be popular.
“It’s been a big hit for us,” he said. “On the gun side, we have some new-style magazines for some of the machines for this year. We’re always making changes and improvements.”
Meggitt Training Systems has introduced its Gen 3 wireless target-retrieval system.
“It runs 10 feet per second and charges while it’s in the home position,” Larry Sunderlin said. “There are no cables driving it back and forth, so there are no cables to get shot. It’s a direct-drive system with two motors. If one of the motors fails, it will still work, but it’s slower.”
Sunderlin said range owners can program the Range Master Control System for each customer or club member so he or she can log in and store league scores and other information.
“While they’re on the range, they also can order more targets so someone can deliver them to the stall,” he said. This encourages shooters to keep shooting and increases potential revenue to ranges.”
10601 Theresa Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32246
P. O. Box 492
Pounding Mill, VA 24637
5885 W. Van Horn Tavern Road
Columbia, MO 65203
|Meggitt Training Systems
296 Brogdon Road
Suwannee, GA 30024
7887 Fuller Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
17891 Karcher Road
Caldwell, ID 83607
|Business Control Systems
1173 Green Street
Iselin, NJ 08830
5305 Distriplex Farms Drive
Memphis, TN 38141
|Custom Metal Products
5781 Westwood Drive
Weldon Spring, MO 63304
901 W. Congress
Lafayette, LA 70501
1207 16th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
8683 South 700 West
Sandy, UT 84070
|Gradient Lens Corp.
207 Tremont Street
Rochester, NY 14608