Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

SHOT Show 2018 Industry Day at the Range

SHOT Show officially starts tomorrow, but if you're lucky enough to get an invitation, the day before the show starts is Industry Day at the Range. This is the day when the manufacturers set up at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, which is an excellent facility near Boulder City, Nevada with tons of room for the over 200 manufactures who let us handle their new products. This is the day for actually shooting the latest guns and checking out the great new optics and gear.

If you've read John's gift guides in the past, you know that we are huge fans of splatter targets. These are the targets that make a nice big splatter in a bright color when you hit them, making it easy to see just where you hit. These targets are fun, and great for training for better accuracy, but they are quite a bit more expensive than regular paper targets. HD Targets is the new kid on the block when it comes to these targets, and they figured out how to make them for half the cost. This company is family owned, veteran owned, and they make their targets in California and Illinois. I'm all for saving money, how about you? Check them out at HDTargets.com.

We shoot a lot of sporting clays, and let me tell you, after a hundred rounds or so, your shotgun bore can get pretty nasty. Huntego has a new round called CleanShot that literally cleans your shotgun bore just by firing it. Inside the shell are a couple of layers of cleaning wad with squeegee layers in between. The payload creates resistance to actuate the bore cleaner and creates 360 degree outward pressure that causes the wad and squeegees to wipe the bore clean. So quick and easy! Of course, you still have to clean the action and the rest of the gun when you get home, but this is sure a great way to clean the bore in the field. A clean gun is a happy gun, and CleanShot can help you keep it that way. They are sold in 4-packs at Walmart for under $8. You can learn more about the CleanShot shells at huntegoltd.com.

Eye protection is a must when shooting. I can't tell you how many times I've been smacked in the face by hot brass coming from the shooter next to me at the range, and I'd hate to have that hit me in the eye. It stands to reason that the better you can see, the better you can shoot, and Gatorz Eyewear can help there. These awesome glasses are made in Yuma, AZ - 100% made in the USA. These are extremely high tech glasses that will really improve your vision, no matter what you're doing outdoors. Their coatings make them 5x stronger and more scratch resistant than other lenses, and they also have anti-fog coatings. Of course, they also give you maximum UV protection. Their anti-glare polarization lens technology is fused within the lens so it won't wear off like it does on coated lenses. Gatorz Ansi Z87+ line actually meets and exceeds US safety ballistic standards, and can withstand impact from projectiles at speeds of up to 250 feet per second. I once got hit in the eye by a bee while we were zipping down Lake Pleasant in a bass boat at 70 mph. I wish I'd had Gatorz on! Best of all, they can also make you a pair with your prescription. Just go online to gatorz.com and you can find out all about them and order yourself a pair. Prescription glasses range from $250 - $500, and the regular sunglasses retail for $180 - $230. Lenses come in a variety of colors, and there are several different frame styles and colors as well.

One thing everyone needs as some time or another is a good map. If you're a hunter, you probably know the pain of having to buy several maps to get your entire hunt unit covered with enough detail. I just happen to like maps, and since we do a lot of hiking and exploring and hunting, I have a lot of maps. One thing I've noticed is that no matter where I want to go, t seems like my spot is always right in the corner of a USGS topo map, meaning that I have to buy four maps and keep switching back and forth. Very annoying. That's why we love mytopo.com. This is a website where you can order a custom map and put as much detail on it as you like. You can also get maps of our Arizona game management units, as well as those for other states. These are excellent maps - tough, waterproof, detailed. You can center your map on any point you like, and you can also choose to add contour lines to lakes if you want, making them ideal for fishermen as well as hunters. They're really reasonable, too, and you can get them in a variety of scales and sizes. I absolutely love these things. Check them out at mytopo.com.

I mentioned that we shoot a lot of sporting clays, and mostly just for fun. One thing that keeps a lot of people from trying shotgun sports is fear of the recoil from a shotgun. This is especially true for smaller humans like kids and women. Aguila has a new 12 gauge shotshell called the Minishell and that's exactly what it is - it's a short shell with about the same amount of shot as a 28 gauge, and a lot less noise and recoil than a standard 12 gauge round. They also make it in buckshot for self defense guns. These Minishells won't work in semi-auto shotguns, but they're perfect for a side by side or an over and under. Mossberg is making an accessory that will allow you feed the smaller shells in a pump action shotgun. These shells are perfect for introducing someone to shotgun sports without the cost of buying a second gun. We got to fire some of these shells at the range and they busted the clays just fine - with very little noise and recoil. They'll be available at stores soon, and meanwhile you can learn all about them at aguilaammo.com.

Well that's it for today - we deliberately left out the firearms because we'll be covering so many of them over the next few days. Sometimes people forget that SHOT Show is more than just guns - it stands for Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trades, so there will be tons of stuff to cover for campers, hikers, preppers, and explorers, in addition to hunters and shooters. Stay tuned!


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