Every year, the entire shooting, hunting and outdoor industry gathers at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. What sets this particular show apart is that it isn't open to the public, so most people have to wait for a few months before they can get a first-hand look at all the new products that are introduced. There's one exception: The Brownells/NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors get an all-access pass to visit the show...and they're usually the only young people on the 630,000-square-foot show floor. We asked them to put on their most comfortable shoes and keep a keen eye out for the stuff you, the Junior member, might most like to hear about. What did they come up with? Read on to find out!
Tyler Lirio, USA Shooting
Benjamin Trail NP XL 725
Pellet guns are all grown up! While it's easy enough for children to shoot, the Benjamin Trail NP XL 725 has tremendous power, a great feel and a look that lends itself to an older user as well. Its nitrogen piston system gives the gun its extreme knock-down power and accuracy. This gun also has a great bull barrel and is remarkably quiet. The Trail NP XL has a smooth, fully adjustable two-stage trigger that makes this gun great for beginners and experts alike. The hardwood stock has a beautiful look, and the thumbhole makes shooting and handling a breeze. The Trail NP XL 725 comes with a nice Center Point scope with a crosshair that features mil dots, which allows the shooter to make tough shots like a pro. This pellet rifle can be used for small- to medium-size game. The Trail NP XL 725 is the best pellet rifle I have shot, and I highly recommend it to shooters of almost any age who want a pellet gun that combines power and accuracy in an overall great-looking gun. www.crosman.com
The Joker by Lucky Duck
Formerly known as Edge Innovative Hunting, Lucky Duck has a great selection of predator hunting decoys and calls. My favorite is called The Joker, which is is the first predator decoy I have used-but it won't be the last. An easy-to-use to use remote predator decoy, The Joker's oscillating action will send any coyotes running straight into your sights. Its wireless remote features a simple on/off button that hunters can access while wearing thick gloves, and its range of about 100 yards makes hunting bigger areas much easier. Realistic enough to fool even the trickiest fox or coyote, The Joker has a variable high/low speed, a nice changeup for the wise predator that suddenly becomes suspicious. www.luckyduck.com
Pryce Pinney, National High School Rodeo Association
Walther SSP Target Pistol
The Walther SSP .22-caliber target pistol has a sleek overall design that offers a lot of eye appeal. The 3D-shaped grip with pro-touch surface texture is a unique feature that makes the grip feel firm without slipping. The overall weight of the pistol was a concern, at first, because of its lightweight design. As soon as I fired the first round, the concern of the overall weight of the pistol was no longer a problem due to the pistols' low barrel axis. The low-lying bore axis, along with the pneumatic motion control dampening system, sends the recoil of the shot back into your hand-which keeps the barrel more level and easier to get back on target. I really enjoy its top loading feature versus the bottom load of other pistols. The rear sight has a width and depth adjustment as well as left, right, up and down. The trigger has many adjustable features, which helps the shooter perform to his or her highest ability. The slide grips perform well when opening the action. There are many accessories for this pistol, including added weights, making it very versatile. When I field-tested the SSP, I was amazed at how well it performed and would recommend it to any serious shooter. I used several kinds of ammo and all performed well from an accuracy perspective. My immediate plans for this pistol include taking it to the Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colo., and many other competitions leading up to my dream of the Olympics someday. www.waltherarms.com
Anna Pfaff, NRA
Just Right Carbine
For a new shooter or even a shotgun shooter looking to get into rifle and pistol, there are so many guns on the market...but few that fit the more generalized needs of a first-timer. Caliber, style and versatility are all factors in rifles that I considered in light of the purpose for which I would most often use a rifle. A few months later, I got to test out a Just Right Carbine-a semi-automatic rifle that uses a Glock magazine and M4/AR15 trigger components. Not only can the bolt be switched to left or right ejection, it also has a mil-spec Picatinny tactical rail and threaded barrel that accept almost any AR accessories so that it can be easily modified for many different kinds of shooting situations. My favorite part about shooting the 9mm model was that the same gun that I used for target shooting could also be taken to the 3-Gun range, or even out for small-game hunting. There was a fair amount of muzzle rise for such a small gun, but the light frame was still easy to control when shooting quickly. With affordable ammunition, this is a gun that I would be ready to use every weekend. Another unique aspect of the JR Carbine is that with a conversion kit, the gun can be converted to other calibers, including .40 S&W and .45 ACP magazines. This feature not only means a greater range of uses for the gun, but it is especially useful for our present day with the uncertainty and variability of ammunition availability and price. Overall, the JR Carbine rifle was enjoyable to shoot and is easily adjustable to any person or shooting situation, making it a good choice for both first-time rifle shooters and those looking for a gun to use for competition, hunting or just having fun. www.justrightcarbines.com
Caesar Guerini Syren
For many women finding the perfect shotgun is a difficult task. This is why one of the most exciting products that I saw at this year's SHOT Show was Caesar Guerini USA/Fabarm USA's new line of Syren USA shotguns, a model that is truly a women's gun beyond appearances. I was aware that the weight and recoil had been reduced and balanced, but when I raised the 12 gauge over/under to my face, I was shocked when years of flashbacks of taping down removable combs, slapping on moleskin, and cutting off stocks all disappeared. This is because Syren USA has redesigned the stock for women, rather than simply making it shorter. First, the Syren stock is a Monte Carlo, meaning that the comb drops downward toward the heel. In order to see down the barrel without bending their heads over, women often try to bring the gun higher on the shoulder which concentrates the impact of the recoil to only a portion of the butt. With the Monte Carlo stock, I was able to bring the comb straight to my face and keep the entire butt on my shoulder. The Syren stock also has a shorter length of pull (LOP) and a tighter grip radius for a more firm hold on the gun, and therefore better control. Finally, the stock is toed out so the butt pad didn't dig into my chest. While these seem like minor changes, I saw the big difference they make when I mounted the sporting model 12 gauge and opened my eyes. Considering that even as a competitive shotgun shooter I've never seen the top of the rib without adjustments to raise the comb, one thing stood out despite all the frenzy of SHOT Show in the background: I could see the bead. This is a sight that more women should experience when they pick up a shotgun, and with the Syren, I think this will soon be possible. (Note: This gun is not yet available to the public, but it's coming soon!) www.gueriniusa.com
Angie Winterton, Venturing
Crosman-Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker Pistol
The Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker Pistol is a fantastic air pistol. With its light weight, you can take it hunting and not feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you just want to hunt small game, this is the gun for you. If you have someone who is new to hunting, this is the perfect gun. It is very lightweight, and when you pull the trigger, there is no recoil. I took this gun to an outdoor range, and onlookers absolutely loved it. It even comes with a scope. How cool is that? I really enjoyed shooting this gun, and I know you will too! www.crosman.com
Savage Arms' 93R17 BSEV, .17 HMR
Savage Arms' 93R17 BSEV, .17 HMR is a great-looking gun. When I first laid eyes on it, I fell in love with both the look of the gun, as well as the way the stock is hollowed out. For me, finding a gun is hard. I am only 5 feet tall, so usually guns are too long for me; however, this one worked for me. By having the stock hollowed out, it made the rifle easier to grab. I am also a lefty when it comes to shooting and even though the action is on the right side of the gun, the hollowed-out stock made it easier to handle. www.savagearms.com
Matthew Miller, Boy Scouts of America
Crosman has delivered with their new version of their Benjamin Marauder precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. The Benjamin Marauder is well known to many air rifle enthusiasts for its unprecedented quality and value. PCP air rifles have an advantage over spring and pump air rifles due to their internal air reservoirs, which enable them to fire consecutive rounds without recharging between each shot. The Marauder boasts many exceptional qualities, such as its high out-of-the-box accuracy and high velocity.
When Crosman released the new Marauder in November of 2013 they upgraded it to include some new features such as a lightweight and durable synthetic stock, a reversible bolt for lef- handed shooters, an adjustable cheek rest and trigger, and a "de-pinger" to make the rifle even quieter than ever before.
The Marauder comes in .177, .22, and .25 caliber to suit your needs. Whether you are shooting targets or hunting varmints and predators, the Marauder has you covered. www.crosman.com
Savage Model 11BTH
My eye was immediately drawn to the beautiful wood laminate stock on the Savage Model 11BTH. When I picked up the rifle, I expected it to be quite heavy, but to my surprise the rifle was amazingly light. I also noticed that the rifle felt quite comfortable in my hands largely due to the grip formed by the thumb hole. The Model 11BTH comes with Savage's famous AccuTrigger, which features an adjustable weight and a pull that is as crisp as breaking glass-every time. Another noteworthy feature of this rifle is its free-floating barrel that ensures absolute precision. The Savage model 11BTH comes in a variety of calibers to meet your needs no matter what they might be. With so many features the Savage Model 11BTH has quickly become one of my favorite rifles! www.savagearms.com
Luke Cooper, Royal Rangers
Oilfield Camo is an innovative camouflage pattern inspired by today's construction work force-with an emphasis on the oil and gas industry. Oilfield Camo has created a camouflage to represent their lifestyle and who they are, because they love the outdoors like so many of us. It is quite impressive how they used images of tools and Oil and Gas industry equipment to make a hunting, working and everyday-use camouflage. This intricate camouflage was born around a campfire, with a group of friends gathered around, talking about past hunting trips and the outdoor lifestyle in Louisiana.
Some might be skeptical about this new style of camouflage, but it only takes one look at it to understand their success. I'm confident it will get the job done for both new and experienced hunters in a variety of hunting applications. It is durable and rugged work clothing that you can wear anywhere...and may be the most comfortable camouflage I have ever worn.
I can't wait for hunting season to try out my new Oilfield Camo, but it has already come in handy recently. I've worn it while shoveling all the snow that has fallen in my hometown here in southwest Missouri, and it kept me plenty warm. Still, it's good to know that there is also camouflage with moisture-wicking material for the warmer days.
Oilfield Camo offers multiple packages you can choose from: whitetail deer or turkey hunting, water-resistant waterfowl, or if you just like shooting they have a shirt for you. They also have hardhats, duffle bags, backpacks and much more. They say it's not just a pattern, it's a way of life....and I believe it!
I was able to wear my Oilfield Camo gear at the National Royal Rangers LEAD Conference recently in Dallas, Texas, where over 400 Royal Rangers Leaders were in attendance....and, I might add, I received plenty of compliments! www.oilfieldcamo.com