The industry debut of new products didn’t ignore shooting ranges
The SHOT Show in January is the time for everything new. That’s when manufacturers bring out all their new products for the year.
The Range Report searched the aisles for a good cross-section of targets, target-delivery systems, gun safes, maintenance equipment and other products to help ranges make money and stay in business.
Ammo Broom was back for only its second year at the SHOT Show. This wire “roller on a stick” picks up spent brass. Designed after a similar device to pick up nuts, it lets the user collect
the brass and then dump it into a bucket, all without bending over.
Also from Ammo Broom is the Gunsmith Clear, which allows a gunsmith or range operator to clear a firearm without going onto the range to do so. It safely handles pistol and rifle rounds up to .300 Win Mag.
Ammo-Up has tweaked the technology of its brass-collecting equipment very slightly to prevent jams. Based on the design of the Bag-A-Nut—which is owned by the same parent company— the Ammo-Up machine picks up brass over a large area and deposits it into a hopper for easy removal. It works for rifle and pistol ammo, shotgun shells and paintballs.
If your range repairs your rental guns or offers on-site gunsmithing, Brownell’s is a one-stop shop for tools, parts, accessories and a wide array of gun-cleaning supplies.
Tetra Gun Care has a professional gun vise that provides stability when working on a firearm. The feet and all the gripping surfaces are rubberized to prevent marring or scratching of the working surface or the firearm.
ARS Business Solutions has a complete range-management program that allows the range operator to enter all the lanes, track customers who come onto the range, track firearm rentals and see how long each lane has been in use; color coding shows when a customer is over his time limit on a lane. It’s useful for both indoor and outdoor ranges, and provides full inventory management and point of sale functions. By linking it to the range’s website, the range operator can allow customers to make lane reservations online.
Business Control Systems’ range management program offers membership tracking (including membership expiration dates) and tracks rental guns and flags them for service, allows customers to “run a tab” and tracks training sessions. Range operators can set up mailings and e-mailings to their membership, file photo IDs in the system, set up membership IDs or use driver’s licenses for identification.
E. A. R. has introduced a filtered ear plug called the Hear Defender that’s a variable attenuator; as the noise level rises, the sound suppression increases. The Hear Defender is available in three sizes and two colors. For range operators who wish to add an educational
component about hearing and hearing protection, E. A. R. has developed a music video called “Acoustical Confusion: Talking Hearing Loss Blues,” available on CD or viewable on the company’s website.
The newest thing from Howard Leight is the Impact Pro ear muff. It has all the same electronic capabilities and features of the Impact Sport model, but has a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 30. It runs on two AAA batteries and has an MP3 player interface.
Radians has a new licensed Bone Collector line of hearing protectors and safety glasses that will become available in March. The company also has signed a license with Smith & Wesson for both the Smith & Wesson and M&P brands that will involve glasses, hearing protection, gloves and high-visibility and reflective wear. A number of other “Made in the USA” products are available from Radians; some are new this year, and some already are well known.
Champion has added two new pairs of shooting glasses to its lineup, one full-frame pair and one half-frame pair. Both are ballistic-grade glasses with smoke mirror lenses; both wrap around for safety.
For ranges with high-end guns they need to secure, Stack-On has a line of tactical gun safes designed for modern sporting rifles (MSRs) but suitable for any collection of long guns. These safes have slots specifically for guns with different barrel lengths and AR-style stocks, with adjustable barrel rests to accommodate any rifles. The cabinet interiors can be adapted to house two racks of long guns or one rack of long guns and one of handguns, extended magazines and ammo or accessories.
Liberty Safe & Security also went tactical this year, with the introduction of two new safes for MSRs. One holds 24 firearms, and one holds 48; both have flexible interiors and a Velcro door panel for storage of a shotgun on the interior of the door. Extra tactical and utility cases, ammo cans and accessory trays add to the functionality and flexibility.
Browning has added new lighting and storage options to the company’s existing safe line. The new Axis Shelving System turns each safe into a customizable storage system; shelves can be adjusted for maximum storage space. Standard on the Platinum Plus, Gold and Select Series Safes and optional on the Medallion and Silver Safes, new interior LED lighting makes finding items in safes easy.
Portability has come to Laser Shot, with the Portable Small Arms Training Simulator (PSATS). The unit is small enough for one person to carry and is capable of using laser inserts for commonly available firearms. It’s a “plug and play” system that can turn any room into a virtual shooting range, with a number of hunting and target games available. The law enforcement version of PSATS includes skill drills, judgmental training software with 50 scenarios and a pro shooting challenge.
Meggitt Training Systems is integrating the simulation experience with traditional range time. Its simulator provides both hunting scenarios and judgmental scenarios for law enforcement and home defense. The system works with Bluetooth
wireless technology; laser inserts in commonly available firearms provide shot analysis and show shooters how to improve their performance.
Brownell’s is carrying more targets, including Action Target, ZMB Enterprises, Birchwood Casey, Challenge Targets, National Target, LaserLyte, MGM Targets and many others.
At Custom Metal Products, the emphasis this year is on Cowboy Action Shooting. The company has developed a line of Cowboy Action targets including a cowboy plate rack, a sequential tombstone plate rack with successively smaller targets, resettable cowboy poppers and various cowboy-themed silhouette targets. Shotgun targets include a bird-thrower popper.
Do-All Outdoor has a new .17 to .22 helicopter spinner. The company also has some new Impact- Seal ground-bouncing targets for outdoor ranges, including the Shooting Star, the Great Pyramid and a new skull-shaped target called the Bone- head.
The Impact Seal Deer Crossing Target from Do-All Outdoors allows shooters to indulge the whim to shoot at a “deer crossing” sign. The company also has two new Impact Seal silhouettes, one of which has a handgun-rated metal plate behind the main target area so shooters can hear the “ding” when the bullet hits the target.
Rimfire targets are hot at MGM Targets this year. New targets include resetting poppers, a dueling tree, a plate rack, a spinner and a whirligig that resembles a Texas Star. Birchwood Casey has a new Pregame series of photo-quality wildlife targets, including duck, turkey, deer and coyote targets. The company also has some new “game” targets (shooting games, not game for hunting) such as the Starburst and the Checkered Flag; both of these allow shooters to compete with one another in “fun” matches. Birchwood Casey also has added to its line of zombie targets for 2013.
Champion Targets has added several new zombies to its already long list of targets. Their six pack of zombie targets includes two each of “Crazy Clown Takedown,” “Wild Turkey Terror” and “Brain Starved Buck;” the “Grizzly Bear Scare” comes in a 50-count bulk pack.
Champion also has a number of new Dura-Seal targets, including a bowling pin wobble target, a zombie-head target, a hanging ball swinging target, and two ground-bouncing targets. Two interlocking swinging targets round out the company’s new Dura-Seal products.
Look for four new steel targets from Savage Range Systems.
All are rifle-rated; the lineup includes a windmill or Texas star, a dueling tree, a dual spinner and a self-setting target for long-distance shooters.