New Guns and Ammo from the 2013 SHOT Show

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The SHOT Show is bigger than a good-sized town. The attendance estimates from the 2012 show were around 60,000 people. We’re not sure if that many—or more—folks are here this year, but the walkways between the isles are darn sure crowded. 

Today we hit the show floor visiting Realtree partners and leading manufacturers in the hunting industry for a look at new guns and ammunition for 2013. And we found some pretty cool stuff. Take a look …  

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1 | CVA Optima V2 Rifle

CVA folks know a thing or two about building accurate muzzleloaders. And they’ve been recognized for years as the go-to gun for hunters shopping for a muzzleloader, but on a budget. This year, CVA incorporated many of the top-end, premium features of its Accura rifle into the budget-friendly Optima V2 Rifle. “V2” stands for Version 2. Shooters who’ve handled older Optima models might be familiar with the name, but not much else. New features include the trigger guard actuated breeching lever, Quick Release breech plug and the PalmSaver ramrod. The standard blued/black version retails for $307.95, while the top-end, thumbhole stock version with a Realtree Xtra Green finish retails for $425.95. www.cva.com 

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2 | CVA Optima V2 Pistol

See all that stuff we said about the Optima V2 Rifle? Repeat for the .50-caliber pistol version. Capable of accepting a 100-grain charge, the pistol features a 14-inch stainless steel barrel, scope rail, weighs 3.7 pounds and sells for $348.95 (black/stainless version). What does one do with a .50 caliber muzzleloading pistol? Well, it’ll work on whitetails. But it’s a ball for shooting raccoons and other varmints with a 50-grain powder charge, at least according to CVA’s Chad Schearer, shown here. www.cva.com 

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3 | Savage B.Mag .17 Winchester Super Mag

Winchester’s all-new .17 Super Magnum just debuted, and has created quite a buzz at this year’s SHOT Show. The fastest rimfire cartridge ever made, the .17 Super Mag launches a 20-grain plastic-tipped bullet at 3,000 feet per second, giving it quite a ballistic leg up on both the .17 HMR and .22 WMR. That new cartridge needs a new gun, of course, to go with it. Right now, the only game in town is the all-new Savage B.Mag. Fans of Savage rifles will immediately notice that this gun looks much more like a little centerfire than a rimfire. It has a thread-in, rather than pinned barrel; rear locking lugs and a cock-on-close bolt; hidden action screws; free-floating barrel; and of course Savage’s AccuTrigger. The rifle is fed by an eight-round rotary magazine, weighs a scant 4 1/2 pounds and retails for $349. www.savagearms.com

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4 | Remington Versa Max Sportsman

Remington’s Versa Max has proven itself in the duck blinds and goose pits the past few seasons, but it suffers from one glaring fault: it’s freaking expensive. Big four-digit price tags are becoming the norm for many autoloading shotguns, so we were pleased to see the new Versa Max Sportsman debuted this year. Make no mistake—with a price of $1,025 for the plain black synthetic version—the gun still ain’t cheap. But it’s several hundred dollars less than the standard Versa Max, and at that price, hunters should be able to find it on store shelves for under a grand. The differences are minor. There’s no rubber overmold on the stock forend, no recoil pad spacers and the gun only ships with a single modified choke tube (though it accepts all Pro Bore choke tubes, just like the standard Versa Max). We can live with all that. www.remington.com 

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5 | Remington Model 783

The Remington Model 700 is a hell of a rifle. Most bolt actions, regardless of manufacturer, are at some point compared to the platform. So when Remington introduces an all-new centerfire bolt gun, it’s a pretty big deal. The Model 783 doesn’t much look like the Model 700. The hefty receiver and narrow ejection port are the first things to jump out at you. That and the rest of the gun just have a beefier, more rigid feel than the old Remington classic. The gun features an adjustable Crossfire trigger, steel detachable magazine, standard long- and short-action caliber availability and a midrange price of $450. www.remington.com

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6 | Beretta A300 Outlander

Beretta wanted to produce a shotgun with their legendary performance and attention to detail, but at a price that won’t scare the waders and brush pants off the average wing shooter. They've done that with the new A300 Outlander. This is a no-frills, 3-inch, 12-gauge workhorse with an adjustable shim system—something we’re seeing more of in the waterfowl gun world. If a gun fits you better, you’ll shoot it better. Price is $850, a bargain given the Beretta pedigree. www.berettausa.com

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7 | Mossberg 535 ATS

Looked at Mossberg lately? They’re leading the way when it comes to pump-gun innovation. This year they’ve incorporated the harmonic dampeners found on Mathews bows into an all-new recoil reduction system. What’s that mean to you? According to the Mossberg folks, the dampeners interrupt the recoil wave, supposedly resulting in a 20 percent recoil reduction. Of special interest to us was the 535 ATS in Max-4. It has a price of $630. www.mossberg.com 

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8 | Browning A5

You might notice several things about this Browning A5. Though it has the classic humpback lines, this model is packed with modern improvements for today’s waterfowl hunter. Namely the recoil-driven semi-automatic action. Browning guarantees the gun will work “come hell or high water” for 100,000 rounds or five years. What we like most about it, however, is the fact that it’s decked out in Realtree Max-4. Browning had some Realtree camo clothing last year, but this is a first on factory available Browning guns. www.browning.com

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9 | Smith and Wesson M&P10

Chamber the AR-15 in whatever you’d like—6.8 SPC, .300 Whisper, .30 Remington AR—and it’s still a little gun (regardless of what Piers Morgan says). Those calibers are fun to shoot and will work on whitetails in a pinch, but they’re really specialized and quite underpowered to qualify as good deer loads. Things change when you step up to an AR-10, which chambers .308-sized cartridges. The new Smith and Wesson M&P10, available with a Realtree camo finish, is a great example. This one is a flat-top version ready for optics. It weighs 8.1 pounds, ships with a hunt-ready five-round magazine and is priced at $1,729. Pricey? Yeah. But that is one bad-ass deer rifle. www.smith-wesson.com 

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10 | Traditions Performance Firearms Vortek StrikerFire

Muzzleloaders have undergone, perhaps, the most wholesale of changes in the firearms world over the past decade or so. And just when you think everything that could possibly be changed has been, something new comes along that causes eyebrows to raise. Like this: a hammerless muzzleloader. The Vortek StrikerFire eliminates the external hammer and replaces it with an internal system. To fire the gun, you simply push the striker button forward until it locks and then pull the trigger. The system, when tested on the show floor, was pretty slick. Traditions claims that by removing the external hammer, lock times are reduced and the gun’s weight is also reduced slightly. The StrikerFire also features a two-stage trigger set at 3 pounds and is also available in full Realtree Xtra camo. Official pricing was not available but it should sell for about $600 in full camo. www.traditionsfirearms.com

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11 | Winchester .17 Super Magnum

What happens when you pair a nail gun with a bullet? A pretty wicked round as it turns out. The Winchester .17 Super Magnum is a rimfire cartridge that cranks out speeds of 3,000 feet per second and is born from a cartridge designed to drive nails into lumber. Yes, that’s right. It’s a rimfire. And, yes, it comes from a nail gun. Winchester took the case from a .27 caliber nail gun and necked it down to accept  .17 caliber bullet. The end result is the fastest rimfire cartridge available and a whole new way to wreak havoc on varmints at distances more than 200 yards. Savage Arms will be the first to offer a rifle for the new cartridge, which is available in three versions: a 20-grain polymer-tipped bullet, a 20-grain hollow point and a 25-grain polymer tip. www.winchester.com

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12 | Winchester Blind Side

Winchester is offering two new versions of its innovative Blind Side shotshells: Blind Side HV and Blind Side Pheasant. Both feature the unique hexagon-shaped pellets that deliver tighter payloads at longer ranges. The HV is a high-velocity load for waterfowlers, generating 1,675 feet per second. It’s offered in both 3- and 3 1/2 -inch shells. The pheasant load delivers 1,400 fps velocities and is offered in 2 3/4- and 3-inch shells with No. 5 shot. www.winchester.com

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13 | Franchi Affinity Compact

If you’ve never shot a Franchi Affinity you owe it to yourself to do so. You shoulder – and wallet – will thank you. Introduced in 2012, the Affinity is an affordable, sweet-shooting autoloader that’s a tremendous value. This year, Franchi is offering the popular Affinity in a compact 20-guage version that’s offered in black or wrapped in Realtree Max-4 camo. The Affinity Compact offers a 12 3/8-inch length of pull but also includes spaces to increase the LOP by a full inch. A shim kit is also included to customize the drop and cast. Barrel length is 26 inches. While the Affinity will certainly make a terrific gun for kids and small-framed shooters, it can also be an ideal late-season option when bulky clothing gets in the way of longer shotguns. Price is $999 with a street price at about $800. www.franchiusa.com 

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14 | Benelli M2 Field Compact

Benelli’s M2 Field shotgun is affectionately known as a “workhorse” in the Benelli line. It takes abuse and keeps shooting. Now, the gun is available in a compact version in both 12- and 20-guage models. As expected, the Compact version features a shorter length-of-pull. Both the 12- and 20-guage models offer 13 1/8-inch length-of-pull. Again, this is a gun well suited for young shooters. And, perhaps best of all, the M2 Compact can be fitted with a full-sized buttstock allowing the gun to grow with the shooter. Price for the 12-guage model is $1,359, while the 20-guage’s price is $1,409. www.benelliusa.com

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15 | Crosman Marauder Synthetic

There are some things you shouldn’t outgrow. Crosman has decided that shooting an air rifle is one of them. Crosman has been a leader in the tremendous growth of “big boy” airguns and the new Marauder Synthetic is another great offering. The new Marauder features a light, all-weather synthetic stock. It has an ambidextrous raised comb and is available in .25 caliber that generates speeds up to 900 feet per second, which is suitable for taking on small- to medium-sized game. It has a two-stage adjustable match-grade trigger and a cool eight-round magazine. It features a built-in pressure guage and Foster quick-disconnect fittings for fast, easy air charging. www.crosman.com

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16 | CCI Quiet .22

Shooting backyard squirrels is part of the job description for many of us on the Realtree.com editorial staff. Rumor has it a few squirrels have even met their demise during conference calls. Anyway, since some of our neighbors feed them, such squirrel shooting must be done discreetly. That’s why we were excited to try the new CCI Quiet .22 at the range yesterday. The rounds feature a segmented hollow-point bullet that travels along at 710 feet per second and is 75 percent quieter than a standard .22 Long Rifle round. It won’t cycle an autoloader, of course, but should work just fine in any repeating action. www.cci-ammunition.com

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