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Shooting Industry May 2010 - Page 18

Lethal Lethal force Defensive Long Guns: The 2010 Class ore than ever, we’re seeing concerned Americans arm their homes with shotguns and carbines designed expressly for personal defense. You’ve seen it in your shop, and the industry has seen that same message in record sales. There was no shortage of new entries in the defensive long-gun market at the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. ARs are flowing into inventory again from their many makers, including more piston guns than ever. The AR-15 is so popular that even HK and SIG, famous for their own classic military auto rifle designs, have introduced AR clones. Do you ever notice when you’re showing a first-time AR-15 buyer how to operate the gun, they often find the T-handle charger in the back to be awkward? American Spirit Arms’ American Spirit is an AR-15 with a conventional charging handle that protrudes from the left side of the receiver just above the Massad Ayoob M Rifles & Carbines magazine. It has the same superior ergonomics as an FN FAL. Also consider the Del-Ton, a quality AR-15 with a remarkably low entry-level price-point. Don’t neglect Remington’s R-15. This is a “bridge” product between fans of modern military rifle design and the traditionalists. Remington is a maker the latter trust, and the guns are built by Bushmaster and DPMS, both sister companies with Remington in the Freedom Group. The general perception is that the R-15 Remington, heavily advertised as a hunting/sporting arm, has done much to “legitimize” the AR-15 in certain quarters of the firearms world. Speaking of the Remington ARs, the .30 Remington round they announced at last year’s SHOT Show in Orlando — built around the AR platform, geared to duplicate .300 Savage ballistics — is getting off to a slow start because of the extraordinary deAmerican Spirit Arms’ American Spirit AR-15 features mands on ammo production facilities an actuating lever on the left side — ideal for first-time for more established calibers, accordAR customers. Optic is by EOTech. ing to a Remington spokesman. Shotguns — Reintroductions And New Models B eretta introduces a semiautomatic shotgun for home defense, the Tx4 Storm, which holds five 12-gauge shells in its tubular magazine and a sixth in the firing chamber. It comes with Picatinny rails for accessories, and emerges from the box mounting a ghost ring rear sight and high-visibility front sight. The stock, of course, is tactical in style. Quality is high, as is price-point, but if your customers drool over it the way the dealers did in Vegas, it’ll sell. Mossberg isn’t letting go of its substantial corner of this market. The Model 510 Mini-Bantam, one revolutionary new entry, features an all-new action scaled down for the smaller shooter, weighs barely 5 lbs. and is available in 20-gauge and .410. At SHOT, I asked a 5-foot-tall woman to handle the shotgun — and it was love at first touch. She decided to order one on the spot. Twenty-gauge ammo might get a little snappy on recoil in a gun this light. In .410, it should be a pussycat. The slide action on the prototype on display was rougher than on a Mossberg 500 or 590, but a spokesman assures me it will be smoother on the production guns. The Mini will come with handsome spacers that fit almost seamlessly, allowing stocks to be lengthened as a person MAY 2010 grows into the gun. This should make the 510 Mini-Bantam an ideal crossover gun for young hunters and claybird shooters, as well. Brian Lasbey (left) and Mike Streeter, both of Remington, show off the affordable new Model 887 in Tactical (read: home defense) configuration, chambered for the mighty 3.5" 12-gauge Magnum. 18 Read SI DIGITAL

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