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Shooting Industry May 2011 Digital Edition - Page 18

Lethal Lethal force Massad Ayoob Innovation Paramount In 2011 Defensive Long Guns S ome interesting long guns — some multipurpose ones, and some downright strange hardware — were introduced at the 2011 SHOT Show. There seems to be more innovation on the shotgun side of defensive long arms this year. Whether some of that innovation goes a little too far is a subjective question for dealers and customers alike. It’s welcome news that Colt is courting the retail market again. New modular versions of their AR-15 — the LE901 (multi-caliber) and SP901 (.223 and .308) — are worth looking at, if only because there are many purist enthusiasts Defensive & Sporting Rifles who carried Colt-made M16s in the service. Their feeling about this design is, “If it ain’t a Colt, it’s a counterfeit!” Many agreed with Jeff Cooper’s “Scout Rifle” hypothesis; namely, the best rifle for a man on foot in dangerous places was a very lightweight bolt-action .308, fitted with a forward-mounted, long-eyerelief telescopic sight. Ruger’s new Scout Rifle fills the bill, and adds an extended 10-round magazine that makes it look a little bit like an updated Lee-Enfield #5 Jungle Carbine. The very fact Ruger introduced it means they’re betting it will sell, and Ruger’s sales bets in recent years have generally paid off. Of course, the Scout Rifle crosses the line from the defensive arm to the sporting rifle. So does what the late Col. Cooper dubbed “the Brooklyn Special” — a 16" barrel lever action .30-30 carbine. Amply powerful for urban self-defense, it can be operated at satisfying speed with practice. It also makes a very handy woods gun. Marlin has resurrected this concept by reintroducing their Model 336Y, the suffix designating a “youth stock” with only 12" of pull length. Barrel length on this .30-30 is 16 1/2". Remind your adult male customers that while this stock length fits kids and petite adult females, it also works beautifully for average and larger-size adult males wearing very heavy, cold-weather clothing. Colt’s Model SP901 is available in .223 and .308 with an ambidextrous magazine release, safety and bolt catch. Visit High- And Low-Capacity Shotguns T here was a lot of interest at SHOT in the radical new shotgun from Kel-Tec, the KSG dual-feed, bull-pup, pump-action shotgun. Its design, coupled with twin-magazine tubes, creates a very short and easy-handling firearm, with a magazine capacity of 14 shells. When one magazine runs dry, the flip of a switch taps into the second magazine tube. Following SHOT, Kel-Tec responded to concerns about the KSG’s trigger system. Those who handled samples at the show reported the system prevented firing of the gun if the trigger was inadvertently depressed while pumping the slide. In response, Kel-Tec says their new KSG shotgun will have a trigger system with conventional function. While there also were concerns about the KSG’s MSRP, which will range between $800 to $900, the short overall length and easy handling will make the new Kel-Tec worth the price tag to the person who seeks its features. At the other end of the shell-capacity spectrum in defensive shotguns, Mossberg is touting their Maverick HS12, a two-shot over/under fitted with Picatinny rails for electronic sights above, and flashlights and/or lasers below. If this seems a bit of a non sequitur, consider that for many farm families, a two-shot 12-gauge has long been the traditional “working gun”; therefore, a short, handy one with 18 1/2" barrels, with a flashlight to find that fox in the henhouse, may make sense to some of your rural customers. Stoeger is offering the new Double Defense for those who prefer their double-barrel shotguns in side-by-side configuration. Also with Picatinny rails top and bottom, it’s available in 20and 12-gauge, with both options carrying an MSRP of $479. If high-capacity “tacticool” guns are “high speed, low drag, way cool,” then the “tactical double barrel” may spawn the phrase “low speed, high drag, but still way cool.” Kel-Tec’s KSG has an 18 1/2" barrel and dual tube magazines that hold 14 rounds of 12-gauge. Visit www. 18 MAY 2011 Read SI DIGITAL

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