Each year, the NRA invites a number of outstanding youth to join us as the NRA/Brownells Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors. (The Ambassadors come to us from our co-op partners Boy Scouts of America, BSA's Venturing, National High School Rodeo Association, Royal Rangers, USA Shooting and one youth representing NRA.) What's more, each year, the Ambassadors assist the editors of NRA Family InSights with a dilemma: We may know what we think are the latest and coolest products on offer, but do the youth of today agree? Towards this end, the Ambassadors visit the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, to let us know what new products interested them the most. Today, Boy Scouts of America Ambassador Mason Lane is here to offer his opinion on what he found the most exciting.
Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical
The Remington Versa Max Competition Tactical is the first shotgun from the Remington factory optimized for 3-gun competition. Remington started with a Versa Max Tactical and added many of the aftermarket parts that have been seen on the 3-gun circuit.
The shotgun comes in the box with an eight-round extended magazine tube and a two-round extension. Both the magazine tube and extension are solid carbon-fiber coated. The controls, including the charging handle, bolt-release button, trigger guard and dome-shaped safety button, are all oversized. The shotgun features an oversized loading port for quick and easy loading on the clock. The gun comes from the factory with a one-piece welded carrier for easy, injury-free loading.
Fiber-optic front sight and XS adjustable rear sights come standard. All of the Versa Max series shotguns feature the Versa port gas system. In the chamber, there are seven gas ports to reliably cycle loads of lengths from 2 3/4 inches up to 3 1/2 inches. The length of the shell will cover different ports in the chamber so just the right amount of gas will be used to cycle the gun every time. The system makes for an extremely light recoil. With the padding on the supercell recoil pad and the Versa port gas system, the recoil of the Versa Max Competition Tactical is similar to that of a 20 gauge.
Remington claims the Remington V-Max has recoil similar to that of a 20 gauge. I was more than skeptical...that is, until I shot it. With high brass waterfowl loads the shotgun is surprisingly easy to handle. Another thing I noticed right off the bat is that the gun is capable of firing faster than I realized a shotgun could cycle. When asked to, the V-Max shoots very quickly without compromising accuracy at all. I shot 10-inch steel plates from 15 yards and found it easy to triple tap the steel and get a respectable amount of shot on target each time. I haven't ever found a long gun that is more well equipped for its job than the Versamax Competition Tactical.
SIG SAUER P320
The SIG SAUER P-320 striker-fired pistol breaks down into three distinct parts: the slide, frame and trigger group, and the plastic grip module. The grip modules come in three sizes to fit a variety of hand sizes. Since the trigger group is serialized, you can buy new grip modules and slides to change the size of the gun and the caliber of the pistol very easily.
The 320 shoots impressively flat. The slide of the gun is not dainty and is easy to manipulate with front and rear cocking serrations. The mag well of the 320 is large, and with the metal tapered magazines the the gun is easy to reload. More neat features of the 320 include three-dot SIG SAUER night sights, all metal exterior controls, and a relief in the frame that allows for fast removal of stuck magazines in the event of a Type 3 malfunction. The gun's sear moves when the trigger is pulled even when the pistol is not cocked. This is an incredibly useful feature for dry fire practice.
I got my 320 in May of 2014 and was immediately impressed. I switched from another striker find pistol to the P-320 and the transition jump started my shooting. I've shot the 320 at multiple major matches including the 2014 USPSA Nationals where I finished top 30 in the Production class. It is as if SIG took all the best attributes from previously existing striker-fired pistols and put them in one striker gun to end all striker guns. Great ergonomics, including being genuinely ambidextrous, and an impressive and consistent trigger all make the P-320 an excellent choice for any and all applications. The 320 is an incredible pistol and we will continue to see more and more of them present on the competitive pistol circuit.
About the Author
Mason Lane is a 17-year-old Eagle Scout, IDPA and USPSA Master, and a sponsored action shooter for the SIG Sauer Academy in Epping NH. He is a 2015 NRA Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador. He is a High School senior who lives in New Hampshire. He hopes to pursue a career in the firearms industry.