1 | Beretta
Beretta Xtrema 2 with B-Warm Grip: Rumor has it Beretta will be introducing a synthetic waterfowl version of their Xplor autoloading shotgun this spring, but for now, one of the coolest things we saw was the B-Warm grip, an addition to the Xtrema 2. The pistol grip opens up to accept a handwarmer. If you’ve ever held onto your shotgun with bare hands on a cold day in the blind, you know this is a good idea.
2 | Thompson Center
Thompson Center Venture Predator Rifle: Introduced mid-year last year, the Venture Predator is built on the bolt-action Venture design and designed for predator hunters. It comes with a MOA accuracy guarantee and is available in .204, .223, .22-250 and .308. The gun also featuresT/C's new Weather Shield technology.
3 | Winchester
Winchester Blind Side Shotshells: Winchester’s new Blind Side waterfowl load is a radical departure from a standard steel load. It’s loaded with Winchester's Hex shot, which, as the name implies, is hexagonal shaped. This allows the pellets to be stacked inside the shell, so a 3-inch shell will hold 172 No. 2 Hex pellets, vs. 152 round pellets. Winchester’s Diamond Cut Wad system keep the shot together for tight patterns up close and at long range. Expect to pay $20 to $25 for a box of 25.
4 | Smith and Wesson
Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22: Smith’s M&P 15-22 has been a hit with AR enthusiasts looking to plink on a budget. This year Smith and Wesson has complemented the line with a Realtree APG model that’s equally at home on the range or in the squirrel woods. The rifle comes standard with 10-round magazines but can accept 25-rounders. It includes standard AR accessories such as a quad rail handguard for optics, adjustable stock and a match-grade precision barrel.
5 | Benelli
Benelli Super Vinci: Benelli’s Vinci, which among other things featured modular construction for extreme cleaning ease, has already caught on big-time with waterfowl and turkey hunters. Now,Benelli is offering a new Super Vinci model, which can handle 3 ½-inch shells (the original Vinci was a 3-inch gun). The Super Vinci sports several enhanced features as well, including a larger trigger guard and safety for use with gloved hands.
6 | Federal
Federal Heavyweight Mag-Shok 2 ¾-inch 20-gauge Turkey Load: Premium pellets and loads have certainly helped make the 20 gauge a viable turkey gun—in fact, many turkey hunters now prefer a 20 because of its light weight and low recoil. Federal has taken that concept a step further this year with a new 2 ¾-inch Mag-shok 20-gauge turkey load. It’s loaded with 1 1/8 ounces of premium No. 7 Heavyweight pellets.
7 | Remington
Remington Versa Max: Remington's new gas-operated Versa Max is already getting high marks from waterfowl hunters. The gun is designed from the ground-up for perfect reliability and minimal recoil with everything from 2 ¾-inch trap loads to heavy 3 ½-inch magnums. Suggested retail is about $1,600.
8 | Savage
Savage Model 93R17 XP Snow Rifle: This rimfire package, available in either .17 HMR or .22 Long Rifle, comes standard with a 3x9 boresighted scope and is available in a Realtree AP Snow camo pattern. Perfect for wintertime varmint shooting. MSRP is $456.
9 | CVA
CVA Powerbelt AeroLite: CVA has introduced an upgrade to their popular PowerBelt bullets. The Powerbelt AeroLite has the same popular features as the original bullet (easy to load and highly accurate), but has a more solid construction for deeper penetration. It’s designed for use with lighter 100-grain powder charges. Available in 250- and 300-grain weights.
10 | CCI
CCI Tactical .22: Capitalizing on the popularity of tactical style rimfires, CCI has developed a new round specifically tailored for totally reliable operation in semiautomatic rifles. The 40-grain solid bullet should make for a great squirrel and small-game load, too.