New guns & gear ’95

New guns & gear ’95

Keefe, Mark A IV

THE Exhibit Hall at NRA’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits isn’t a place to buy or sell guns, but it is a gun show in the finest sense of the word. NRA members and visitors can handle everything from Browning’s new Model 425 over-under to Taurus’ brand new seven-shot .357 Mag. revolver, all under one roof.

On May 19-21 , three halls of Phoenix Civic Plaza totaling 140,000 sq. ft. will be filled not only with new guns and gear, but also with some of the most historic and collectible arms ever made. The latter are educational exhibits displayed by NRA’s gun collecting affiliates. A new addition this year is an entire hall of archery equipment.

A new compact pistol with an interesting rotating barrel design and a compact frame, the Model 8000/8040 Cougar, may be viewed at the Beretta booth. Available in both 9 mm Luger and .40 S&W, the Cougar has an overall length of just 7″ and can be had in double-action-only or traditional double/single-action trigger configurations.

Browning has devoted most of its attention to new shotguns for 1995. The firm now offers two bolt-action A-Bolt shotguns with 5″ Invector tubes or fully rifled barrels. The Hunter model has a satin finish walnut stock and matte blue barrel and receiver, while the Stalker comes with a matte finished composite stock and receiver.

The Browning 325 Gti sporting clays over-under has been replaced by the 425 and the “Ultra Sorter.” The Ultra may be had in 28″ or 30″ barrels and has a 13 mm to 10 mm tapered vent rib and can be had with an adjustable stock comb. The 425 has an untapered 10 mm vent rib and is also available in a back-bored 20-ga.

Finally, the Model 1885 “Low Wall” single shot is again being sold by the company that bears its inventor’s name. The 6 lb., 8 oz. Low Wall has a 24″ octagonal barrel and is chambered in .22 Hornet, .223 Rem., and .243 Win.

Colt will show its first shotgun in 30 years, the Armsmear. The 12-ga., 2-3/4″-chambered over-under is available with 28″ or 30″ barrels and features a detachable trigger group. Two grades of engraving and walnut stock selection are available.

A version of Colt’s semi-auto .22 pistol with a stainless 6″ bull barrel with removable sights and full-length barrel rib set up for scope mounting will be sold under the Colt .22 Target name.

A matte stainless version of the Colt Detective Special, the .38 Spl. SF-VI, features some internal changes from previous Colt revolvers. A double-action-only Custom Detective Special, available in blue or stainless, should be at dealers soon. The big Anaconda revolver can be seen in full-coverage camouflage.

The Martinsburg, West Virginia, firm of Gibbs Rifle Co. will be showing off the Mauser line of rimfire and center-fire rifles it now imports. Included among these is the new Model 94 with aluminum bedding and a 60deg bolt lift.

Building on its successful top-action, H&R 1871, Inc., has several new rifles and shotguns to its inexpensive line. The .45-70 Buffalo Classic Wesson & Harrington rifle with a 32″ barrel, case-colored action and straight grip stock will be welcome to entry-level blackpowder cartridge rifle silhouette competitors. New in the shotgun field is the 12-ga. Topper Deluxe Slug Hunter with a ported barrel and a 1:35″ rifling twist. As with other Toppers, the receiver is nickled and the stock is of black hardwood. Slug shooters will also want to check out the Model 980 Slug Hunter built on a 10-ga. action and using a 10-ga. barrel blank bored to 12-ga. Equipped with a Weaver-style scope-mount rail, a walnut-stained hardwood stock, sling swivels and matte finish, the 980 also has a rifled bore.

A first look at Heckler & Koch’s Universal Self-loading Pistol(USP) in .45 ACP will also be in the offing for NRA members. The USP (October 1993, p. 44) is also available in 9 mm Luger and .40 S&W in five different trigger/control variations for right-handers and four more for southpaws.

The economical Sport King line of High Standard pistols will be at dealers this year. Supplied with a tapered barrel and a non-adjustable trigger, this plinker is priced well below the maker’s competition pistols.

New to the M1911 pistol market is a pistol from the recently revived Kimber. Working with parts supplier Chip McCormick, the rifle maker has applied its fit and finish standards to a gun it calls the Kimber Classic .45. Kimber is also offering a seven-gun line of sporterized Swedish M96 Mausers with fluted barrels and synthetic stocks in cals. .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 6.5×55 mm and .308 Win.

Celebrating not only the company’s 125th year, but also the 100th anniversary of its Model 1895, Marlin Firearms Co. is presenting the 1895 Century Ltd. (CLTD) in .45-70 cal. The barrel is half-round, half-octagonal, and the receiver is finished in a “French Gray.” The rifle’s checkered stock is of American black walnut with a steel crescent buttplate.

Three new stainless and synthetic rimfires from Marlin will also be on display. The .22 Mag. Model 882SS is a bolt-action plinker with a seven-shot magazine, while the 70PSS Stainless Papoose is a self-loader with a fiberglass stock. The Model 995SS Stainless semi-auto .22 is fed from a seven-shot detachable box magazine. The rifle comes with a Monte Carlo fiberglass stock complete with molded-in checkering and nickel-plated swivel studs.

A line of .45 ACP M1911 pistols and .38 Spl. double-action revolvers (the Titan and Guardian) are the news from Mitchell Arms. The stainless Gold Series pistols have a number of competition features and are available in 10-round wide body or standard configurations. The Alpha, another pistol on M1911 lines, can take either 10- or seven-shot magazines and has three different trigger modules that allow single-action, double-action or double-action-only modes.

Much of Mossberg’s ’95 line is devoted to the slug shooting deer hunter. A 20-ga. Model 500 trophy Slugster with a 1:28″ twist rate rifled barrel and dual comb (two heights are offered) will interest those after a lighter, trimmer slug gun.

Maverick, a division of Mossberg, is offering a 12-ga. 3″-chambered, synthetic-stocked bolt-action shotgun. The new bolt gun is fed from a blind magazine and has a smooth bore, though a rifled choke tube version is in the works.

Savage Arms has a host of new rifles based on its Model 110 action. A lightweight .308 with a synthetic stock and matte finish leads the pack and is billed as the Model 110FM Sierra. Supplied without sights, the rifle has a single-stage trigger and weighs in at just 6-1/4 lbs.

Two new rifles have joined the 116 series. The 116SE “Safari Express” has features one would expect in a rifle with safari in its title, three-leaf express sights, a barrel band sling swivel stud, muzzle brake and availability in .458 Win. Mag., .425 Express, .338 Win. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag. calibers. The barreled action is of stainless steel, and two recoil bolts have been added to the stock. The 116 US is simply an all-stainless 116 rifle with an American walnut stock in calibers .270 through .300 Win. Mag.

Smith & Wesson’s design team has also been busy this year. The innovative Sigma series pistol (May 1994, p. 46) is now available in both .40 S&W and 9 mm Luger. The .22 cal. Model 41, long a favorite of competitive shooters, has received a facelift. Two new fixed-sight double-action 9 mm Luger autoloaders are also available; the 910 is fed by a 10-round, double-stack magazine, while the smaller-framed 909 uses a single column unit. Both come with bead-blasted matte-blue finishes, steel slides and lighter weight aluminum frames.

In addition to M1A rifles, sans bayonet lug and approved for NRA high power rifle competition, Springfield, Inc., is again offering sporter versions of the SAR-4800 and SAR-8 rifles. It also has added two new compact 1911-type pistols–the Ultra Compact weighs 30 ozs. and has a 3-1/2″ barrel and shortened grip frame. The V10 Ultra Compact employs a ported barrel, beavertail grip safety and a scalloped slide.

The biggest news from Sturm, Ruger & Co. this season is the introduction of the Woodside line of Red Label shotguns. The Circassian walnut buttstock extends forward into the side panels of the engraved action body. Either a pistol grip or straight English stock can be had in the 3″ 12-ga. or 20-ga. over-under guns. Another addition to the Red Label line is a 28-ga. version available in both straight and pistol grip stock configurations.

Stainless steel heavy-barreled rifles with laminate stocks in .22 Long Rifle, .22 Mag. and .22 Hornet are offered for the first time, and each comes with Ruger’s integral scope bases and 1″ rings. The P-512 .22 pistol is based on the successful 22/45 and has a blued 5-1/2″ bull barrel and adjustable sights atop its M1911-shaped frame.

A seven-shooter, the butt of many jokes in B-movie westerns, is now a reality from Taurus. Built on Taurus’ large revolver frame, the .357 Mag. Model 607CP will be offered with the firm’s new compensator system, a vent rib and 4″ and 6″ barrel length choices. A polymer-framed plinking .22 pistol, Taurus’ first, maybe seen at the firm’s stand. The 10-round capacity PT-52 has both fixed and click-adjustable rear sight options. Barrels are tapered at lengths of 4″ or 6-1/2″.

Fire Hawk in-line muzzleloaders are new from Thompson/Center. Available in .50 and .54 cals. with stainless steel barrels, they come with Rynite and walnut stock options. There are several new choices in the Thunder Hawk line, as well as a color casehardened receiver as an option in the Scout in-line rifle series.

Traditions has added a new Buckhunter rifle with a synthetic stock and an all-weather in-line pistol of the same name. Traditionalists will want a look at the firm’s just-introduced Pennsylvania rifle.

The Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System (BOSS) (December, 1993, p. 34), previously offered only on Browning rifles, may now be had on Model 70 Winchesters from U.S. Repeating Arms. Models with the BOSS option are the Classic Super Grade, Classic Stainless, Classic SM (Synthetic Matte) and the Classic Sporter.

Though they will not be available until later this year, the Winchester/Browning team is bringing back a limited edition Model 1895 lever-action rifle, one of Theodore Roosevelt’s favorites, in cal. .30-’06 in two grades of ornamentation. Both editions will be limited to 4,000 rifles.

In addition to the new guns, ammunition and gear, companies like Bausch & Lomb, Burris, Leupold, Nikon, Pentax, Redfield, Schmidt & Bender, Simmons, Swarovski, Tasco and Weaver will be showing off their new optical product lines as well.

Copyright National Rifle Association of America Apr 1995

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