Media Day Musings

posted on January 13, 2014

Another SHOT Show and another Media Day: I have grown tired of these exercises, but this year I found enough nuggets to keep even this old dog’s tail wagging. It used to be the SHOT Show overwhelmingly emphasized the hunting component. That has changed profoundly. In the days of yore most of the participating media types wore camo clothing—and by camo I mean Realtree or Mossy Oak, not the digital camo patterns that are so popular today. The tactical guys were once relegated to a smaller room off the main part of the show. No more; the show is permeated with tactical clothing, shaved heads and tactical eyewear. This paradigm shift has infiltrated the hunters as well. Here are a couple of the coolest things I found today:

Ashbury Precision Ordnance
Known as APO, I met some of these gentlemen before we headed to the range. Matt Peterson was lugging photographer’s tripod with a ball top equipped with a Picatinny rail mirror image clamp. Just forward of that apparatus was a classic Harris bipod. I invited Matt to join me for a cup of joe and explain his contraption. The Anypoint Tripod-Bipod attaches to any Manfro camera mount for a tripod with a quick release clamp. It provides a rock-solid platform for shooting. It quickly disconnects to deploy the Harris bipod from a prone of bench position. At the range I tried it out with one of APO’s Asymmetric Warrior Precision Tactical Rifle’s chambered in .300 Win. Mag. The scope was already dialed in for elevation on targets at 860 yards, but I had to make a 1 1/2-minute windage adjustment from the stiff desert wind. Three shots yielded three satisfying “tinks” on the steel target a half mile away-from the standing position.

It speaks well, not only of the rifles—which are built on Remington 700-like action with a modern ergonomic stock and aluminum chassis—but the rest as well. The rifle was also equipped with a suppressor that keeps the whole shooting experience very civilized. I also shot a similar rifle in .338 Lapua, suppressed, and it was scary accurate as well. Good stuff ain’t cheap, and the products from APO are at the high-end price point, but if you want the best there is, you have to tote the note. Check out APO and its top-of-the-line products here.

Taylor’s & Co.
Taylor’s & Co. has made its reputation with 19th century reproductions, often targeting the cowboy action shooters and reenactors, and that remains its core business. I shot a Uberti 1873 Comanchero Model that comes from Taylor’s with a short-stoke kit and leather wraps on the buttstock and lever, and a Colt SAA replica that has been gone over to make it feel like a custom gun. But the real news is the new tactical guns Taylor’s is offering. The one that caught my attention was a full tactically enhanced 1911, and you’ll be seeing this in detail in the not-too distant future. Keri McDonald also caught the gleam in my eye for a cut-down Model 1887 replica with an 18-inch barrel and no buttstock. The 1887 may not have set the world on fire in terms of sales, but its cool factor has always been present, even before Arnold Schwarzenegger twirled one in the movies, and the cut-down model is even better. 

The SHOT Show is just beginning, and there’s plenty more to see!


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