This May guns and gear take center stage in the Lone Star State. From May 2-5, an estimated 550 companies will display their latest products across 445,000 square feet of space in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center during the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. This year it’s quite possible more attendees will gather than in 2012 in St. Louis, when 73,740 visitors showed up for the three-day event. Herein we provide a glimpse of noteworthy 2013 introductions that’ll be on display in Texas; however, there simply isn’t enough room to cover everything. Your best opportunity to see the latest and greatest new products firsthand is to head to Houston.
BARNES adds the .270-caliber Long-Range X (LRX) bullet to its component options. Designed after the best-selling TSX, the LRX increases ballistic coefficient values by lengthening the ogive and boattail to improve long-range performance. The VOR-TX loaded hunting ammo line includes .22-250 Rem. 50-grain TSX FB; .260 Rem. 120-grain Tipped TSX BT; .280 Rem. 140-grain Tipped TSX BT; and .300 Wby. Mag. 180-grain Tipped TSX BT.
BLACK HILLS augments its custom-like rifle ammunition with a 62-grain Barnes TSX bullet in 5.56mm; a 150-grain Hornady SST load and 178-grain Hornady A-Max in .308 Win.
CABELA’S evokes a nostalgic brand name known for quality and value with its introduction of a complete line of handgun, rifle and shotshell ammo it calls Herter’s Select Grade. Products include handgun loads from .25 Auto to .44 Mag.; hunting rifle loads from .223 Rem. to .338 Lapua; and shotshells comprising field loads, heavy loads and a target line for clay game enthusiasts. The retail giant also announces a line of defensive ammo called Herters TNJ (Total Nylon Jacket).
CCI debuts its Quiet-22 round that it says produces 75 percent less noise than standard velocity .22 LR cartridges. Its 40-grain bullet segments into three parts upon impact, making it a great choice for targets and vermin.
FEDERAL PREMIUM unleashes its Woodleigh Hydro Solid load for dangerous game that uses a “flared pressure ring” to create a larger wound channel than traditional solids. The Fusion MSR load in .223, 6.8mm, .308 and .338 Fed. gives hunters who choose to use ARs a better big-game option. Trophy Tip and Trophy Copper ammo lines also extend. Trophy Copper ultra-premium, all-copper bullets penetrate deeply and display 99 percent weight retention; new loads include a 225-grain .338 Win. Mag. Trophy Bonded Tips take the venerable old Trophy Bonded Bear Claw and streamline it with polymer tips that also help initiate expansion; choose from 29 loads in various calibers. For shotgun hunters, Federal offers its TruBall slug—a true-to-caliber slug made accurate by way of a polymer ball that seals its lead skirt to the rifling—in 3-inch 12-gauge and 3-inch 20-gauge.
FIOCCHI adds Barnes Tipped TSX bullets to its Extrema rifle hunting ammo line in .308 Win. and .30-06, and expands the Extrema XTP handgun line with the 125-grain XTP JHP in .38 Special +P, perfect for self-defense. For target and clay shooters, fast 11/8-ounce Super White Rhino shotshells now push loads up to 1400 fps, and budget-friendly Shooting Dynamics Target Loads are now available in 20-gauge.
HORNADY adds a 6.5mm SST 123-grain; .30 SST 125-grain; 8mm GMX 180-grain; 9.3mm GMX 250-grain; 9.3mm DGS 300-grain; and .375 GMX 250-grain to its line.
NOSLER debuts its AccuBond LR in 6.5mm, .270, 7mm and .30. The bonded bullet uses cutting-edge manufacturing techniques delivering the highest possible ballistic coefficient for long-range hunting while holding together even at close range. Jim Shockey’s signature series Ballistic Tip Muzzleloader bullet is a polymer-tipped, 300-grain, .50-caliber sabot bullet.
REMINGTON adapts its Hypersonic Steel shotgun ammo for the centerfire world, super-charging muzzle velocities for its most popular big-game loads in Hypersonic Centerfire ammo. Velocities are reportedly 200 fps faster than standard ammo; all loads features Remington’s Core-Lokt Ultra bullets; available from .223 Rem. to .300 Win. Mag. The company enters the hog-specific market with the Hog Hammer centerfire ammo line. Each round is loaded with Barnes Bullets’ all-copper TSX bullet to provide reliable expansion and 100 percent weight retention for deep penetration out to 500 yards. Offerings include popular deer calibers as well as .223 Rem. and .450 Bushmaster. Hypersonic Steel shotgun ammo now includes 10- and 20-gauge options.
SIERRA BULLETS unveils 130-grain .264 and 140-grain .284 hollow-point boattails in the GameKing line. A 350-grain .375 hollow-point, boattail MatchKing has an incredible ballistic coefficient of .805.
WINCHESTER unveils the world’s fastest rimfire, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum. This little cartridge pushes a 20-grain bullet up to 3000 fps while maintaining an ultra-flat trajectory far surpassing the ballistics of the .17 HMR and the .22 WMR. Varmint X polymer-tipped, rapid-expansion cartridges were designed specifically for varmint hunting in five calibers. Two offerings for the increasingly popular .338 Lapua Magnum are available: a 250-grain boattail hollow-point for precision competition and range shooting, and the 300-grain Accubond CT for big-game hunting. The Razorback XT line expands with the Segmenting Slug and 00-Buck shotshells, the .44 Rem. Mag. handgun cartridge and three centerfire calibers in .30-06, .270 Win. and 7.62x39mm, all built to penetrate thick-skinned wild boar. Blind Side High Velocity is available in No. 6 to BB that sends the Hex steel shot payload at 1675 fps. Blind Side Pheasant was created with shot sizes and payloads optimal for upland game. The AA shotshell line expands with the AA TrAAker, loaded with a highly visible colored wad, allowing shooters to see the flight path of the pattern and learn to hit targets quickly.