Minneapolis, MN – The world leader in firearms information and values is proud to announce the 2015 Blue Book Top Ten- Awards for innovation in the Firearms Industry.
This marks the second year of the Blue Book of Gun Values ( http://tiny.cc/dop4vx ) Top Ten Firearms Industry Awards for innovation and excellence in firearms and related accessories. Armsmakers at the 2015 SHOT Show did not disappoint, making this year especially tough for our panel of editors and experts to select the best of the best.
True innovation through 2014 has been harder to come by than in years’ past, mainly due to lagging sales of existing product line ups in a down market. However, the following list contains some remarkable and truly unique firearms, optics, and even a suppressor. Our panel gave high marks to all on the grading criteria of quality, market need, and significance of updated design/features.
The following products represent the highlight of an industry rich in talent and true innovation.
Standard Mfg. Co. LLC DP-12
Merging the best attributes of both a pump and double barrel shotgun, the innovative new DP-12 challenges the conventional action of both pumps and doubles. One slide of the action allows for two trigger pulls, unlike its competition, the UTS-15 and KSG, which require a slide of the action after each trigger pull.
We liked not only this gun’s innovative action, but also its quality. Plus, it’s made by a well-known manufacturer of premium double barrels shotguns. This new Standard Mfg. Co. LLC DP-12 is quite a departure from what they’re known for, and we’re excited to see this model hit the market.
For more information, visit Standard’s website: http://store-jxztkc.mybigcommerce.com/
Benelli Model 828U
Well-known gun maker Benelli has a great reputation for making best-in-class auto-loading shotguns since the early days of its famed inertia-driven actions. Now, they’ve not just dipped a toe in the waters of the over-under shotgun markets; it seems they’ve jumped in head first. We had a chance to handle this new 828U model at the 2015 SHOT Show, and we give it high marks for quality and true innovation.
Benelli has achieved a remarkable feat in stealing the most desired and appreciated features of its auto-loading shotguns and expertly married that into a wonderfully styled over-under shotgun. Features like a fully adjustable and “shimmable” stock, billet aluminum receiver wrapped around a steel locking system (for light weight), crio-treated floating barrels, and a removable trigger mechanism make this shotgun truly unique from other over-unders.
Bravo, Benelli; you have a winner on your hands and wing shooters everywhere will appreciate these innovative design features that make this shotgun VERY shootable.
See more of this new model here: http://www.benelliusa.com/828u-shotgun
Savage Model A17
A semi-auto .17HMR that just plain works deserves some recognition. We’re happy to spotlight one that not only works, but shoots AND is at a typical Savage price point! (Google some of the challenges that Ruger, Magnum Research, and others have encountered when trying to leverage this high-pressure rimfire cartridge into a blow-back designed action.)
Savage solved the previous problems by incorporating an innovative new lug that holds the bolt in place just long enough for the pressure to drop, and it seems to have successfully squelched the prior problems of early unlocking and case ruptures.
CCI has also developed a new variant called “A17” that shoots a staggering 100fps faster than typical .17HMR loads out of this rifle.
We think varmints, ground hogs, and other vermin won’t appreciate this new rifle as much as we do.
See a great video of this rifle from our friends The Gun Nuts at Field and Stream: http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/the-gun-nuts/new-semi-automatic-17-hmr-savage-arms-a17
Remington’s 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader
After a six-year absence from the modern muzzleloader market place, America’s oldest gun maker is back. On April 23, 2014, Remington announced the arrival of their new Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader, the most technologically advanced in-line muzzleloader we have seen to date.
Built on the 700 action with a closed breech system, this muzzleloader is providing centerfire-like performance. The U.M.L. (Ultimate Muzzleloader) ignition system utilizes a breech plug that is push fed a uniquely sized .308 case with a Remington 9 1/2 large magnum rifle primer. This patented ignition system creates a gas seal in the flash hole of the primer, resulting in a cleaner, hotter ignition and increased range, energy, and accuracy.
The Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader is available with either a synthetic or a laminate stock with primed case storage, 26 in. fluted stainless steel barrel, X-Mark Pro adjustable trigger, 24 primed cases, 24 saboted projectiles, and a hard case. Loaded with 200 grains of Triple Seven pellets and a Barnes’ Spit-Fire T-EZ 250 grain saboted bullet, the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader can reach velocities over 2,400 fps. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSR) on the 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader is $995.
See more of this new model here: http://ultimatemuzzleloader.com/
AirForce Airguns Texan Model
After a couple years of research and development AirForce Airguns revealed the most powerful U.S.-made hunting air rifle, the Texan. The Texan has the famous AirForce look and feel, but it is a .45 caliber pre-charged pneumatic airgun that shoots a .45 slug at power levels in excess of 500 foot pounds. AirForce founder and CEO John McCaslin said, “When we started toward a serious hunting gun, we knew it had to be a larger caliber than most on the market today. Going with the .45 gave us the best balance of energy, accuracy, and stopping power.”
The Texan features a 34-inch precision rifled barrel and a side lever for loading and cocking. The lever is designed for smooth, easy action. All of the features that have made AirForce one of America’s favorite pre-charged airgun brands are present on the Texan, including the distinctive and unique AirForce look. The gun weighs 7.65 pounds and has an overall length of 48 inches making it easy to carry and handle.
AirForce Airguns has been innovating, designing, and producing precision pre-charged airguns at their Fort Worth, Texas headquarters for over 15 years. They are known for developing some of the most technologically advanced airgun shooting systems in the world and for making the original (and favorite) black airgun. The Texan is available in several shooting kits that include a scope and rings. MSR on the Texan (gun only) is $1,054.95.
See more of this new model here: http://www.airforceairguns.com/The-Texan-by-AirForce-Airguns-s/118.htm
AM-TAC Precision Hush Puppy
A cartridge that hits harder than any other round (beyond 150 yards) from a standard-sized AR , plus looks COOL as hell ,and only requires a barrel swap? Sign me up!
AM-TAC has introduced a very well thought out cartridge that adds additional performance and eloquently blends the best features from .300blk and .458 Socom style cartridges. It has hard-hitting up-close performance with a sectional density that rivals the .458, and the long range ballistic coefficient enables it to hold its speed at a great distance. We really think this will be more than just a novelty if manufacturers and ammo suppliers take notice. http://www.am-tac.com/416_HP_Hushpuppy.php
Silencerco’s Salvo 12
A commercially-viable shotgun suppressor. Not much more needs to be said, but we will say that this suppresser is elegant, functional, and brings the noise down to a respectable 136db, well below the OSHA ear-safe minimum. Really, it’s a true first in the shotgun world for suppressors, at least from a viability standpoint as all the others we’ve seen are little more than proofs of concepts.
We’re as impressed with their “#FightTheNoise” marketing campaign as we are with the suppressor itself. By positioning “evil silencers” in a more suitable and less threatening light, (as they truly are!), we’re hoping the general public takes notice and suggests to their respective politicians that NFA regulation of these devices is unwanted and unnecessary
What’s the first thing everybody does when they receive a new gun? They toss that ridiculous and flimsy cheap red cable lock. It’s clumsy to use, clunky, and the same goes for the typical trigger lock.
Enter Gun Locker’s new take on disabling the use of a firearm. This device is small, elegant, and very effective from what we saw at SHOT Show. The tiny device resides in the chamber and barrel of the pistol and completely renders the pistol useless, but without being obtrusive, flimsy, or in the way. Really, it’s a clever design and one that we think will catch on at the OEM level, as there is not only a likely cost savings over the typical red cable lock (once manufacturing economies of scale are refined), but also a branding and user acceptance gain as it’s functional and likely to be put into use by the gun’s owner. www.Gunblocker.com
Leupold & Stevens D-EVO
Remember the advent of picture-in-picture TV? Well, this completely new style of optic from Leupold offers a very distinct advantage over traditional scope/magnified optics and red-dot style sights. Virtually on the same plane, the shooter is afforded a magnified (6x) optic with tactical holdover reticle just below a rapid acquisition red dot sight. Really, without head movement, the shooter can choose two styles of optic with just slight eye movement without flipping a lever, twisting a ring, or flipping a magnifier over. It’s really an innovative step forward in our opinion.
In typical Leupold fashion, the optics are clear, the reticle crisp, and the application of the sight is rather ingenious. http://www.leupold.com/hunting-shooting/scopes/d-evo/d-evo/
Sharpshooter 22 Long Rifle Reloading Kit
Right now, .22LR ammo is as tough to find as an honest politician. Once plentiful and cheap, .22s have just flat out disappeared, and the light at the end of the tunnel looks pretty dim.
Enter the Sharpshooter .22 reloader kit. It’s a comprehensive kit to enable one to cast his/her own bullets and reuse the once discarded .22 casings. It’s very similar in concept to traditional metallic cartridge reloading, but with a few nuances unique only to rimfire cartridges. You’ll need to take a few extra steps in reloading this ammo, especially compared with the sheer volume one can crank out with a modern progressive press (this may leave you slightly disappointed), but you can STILL RELOAD .22S!
We think this will catch on (given the shortage continues). Refined and component availability (bullets) and further mechanization will allow for even more viability with “rolling your own” .22s.
At a cost of three bricks of .22s in today’s prices; $149 isn’t unreasonable. http://22lrreloader.com/design-details/
About Blue Book Publications, Inc.
Originally founded in 1989, Blue Book Publications, Inc. has been the leader for both up-to-date gun values and relevant information, in addition to publishing many other value guides on everything from guitars to pool cues. It also has published a wide variety of best quality publications on engraving, automobiles, and modern black powder reproductions and replicas. Now in its 35th Anniversary Edition, the best-selling Blue Book of Gun Values has over 1.5 million books in print worldwide and remains the leader within the firearms industry.