Gun World - - Contents - By Brad Fitz­patrick

Here’s a look at some of our fa­vorite new hunt­ing and shoot­ing gear for 2018—the best new prod­ucts that don’t go bang!

De­spite what many peo­ple be­lieve, the an­nual SHOT Show isn’t just a plat­form for launch­ing new firearms. Each year, hun­dreds of hunt­ing ac­ces­sories make their de­but in Las Ve­gas; many of them are just as ex­cit­ing and in­no­va­tive as the lat­est gun mod­els.

Here’s a look at some of our fa­vorite new prod­ucts for the new year—the best hunt­ing prod­ucts that don’t go bang! GW

Le­upold VX Free­dom Scope

The Le­upold VX Free­dom may of­fer the ab­so­lute best value in op­tics, re­gard­less of price point. This rugged, af­ford­able scope is de­signed, man­u­fac­tured and as­sem­bled in Ore­gon and of­fers an 6061-T6 air­craft-grade alu­minum body with a 1-inch main tube, scratch-re­sis­tant lens with Le­upold’s Twi­light Light Man­age­ment Sys­tem, and ¼ MOA fin­ger click ad­just­ments. The op­ti­cal clar­ity and lens coat­ing pro­vide crisp, clear images that sur­pass al­most any­thing else in the Free­dom’s price range (the 3-9x40 has an MSRP of $260), and you’re get­ting that trusted, made-in-Amer­ica Le­upold promise of qual­ity. There are mod­els specif­i­cally de­signed for rim­fires and muz­zleload­ers, and mag­ni­fi­ca­tion ranges vary from 1.5-4x all the way to 4-12x. Will this scope be­come the new stan­dard by which af­ford­able op­tics are judged? Count on it. It’s that good.

MSRP: $235–$390 URL: Le­

, Brown­ing Women s Buck Shadow Boot

For 2018, Brown­ing is launch­ing a women’s ver­sion of the Buck Shadow boot, de­signed us­ing a “last” (model) of the fe­male foot for a bet­ter over­all fit and im­proved com­fort. Many of the same great fea­tures from the men’s Buck Shadow carry over to this new boot, in­clud­ing a wa­ter­proof OutDry breath­able mem­brane, a Silent Grip sole with Rid­getrak lugs for im­proved sta­bil­ity on any ter­rain and a Silent Cell mid­sole that of­fers sup­port and com­fort for long days in the field. Thin­su­late Ul­tra in­su­la­tion keeps the feet warm, and sturdy laces en­sure a proper fit with plenty of sup­port. These boots de­buted at SHOT and will be re­leased in the fall of 2018—just in time for hunt­ing sea­son.

“We are so ex­cited to launch the Brown­ing’s women’s boots,” says Brown­ing Footwear’s Ash­ley Van­der­hoof. “Tak­ing the time to build a boot made for women, by women was very im­por­tant for us. They are re­mark­ably com­fort­able and durable and are made with ex­clu­sive fea­tures to give each woman the best ad­van­tage when hunt­ing in any ter­rain.”

MSRP: Start­ing at $180

URL: Brown­

Cham­pion Wheely­bird 2.0

Shoot­ing clays in the back­yard is one of the fastest and most ef­fec­tive ways to im­prove your shot­gun­ning, and Cham­pion’s Wheely­bird 2.0 of­fers a num­ber of great fea­tures at a very rea­son­able price. There’s a wire­less re­mote with an ef­fec­tive range to 100 yards; an op­tional, 15-sec­ond de­lay (ideal for prac­tic­ing flush­ing shots from a low-gun po­si­tion); and a short, 1.75-sec­ond cy­cle time for faster shoot­ing. The ver­ti­cal clay stack holds about 50 stan­dard tar­gets (108mm), and the solid wheels and rub­ber-molded han­dle make trans­port­ing the unit fast and easy. There’s also a foot pedal that al­lows for sin­gleper­son shoot­ing (great when you want to break a few clays af­ter work), and you can ad­just speed and an­gle for mul­ti­ple pre­sen­ta­tions.

MSRP: $530

URL: Cham­pi­onTar­

FLIR Ther­moSight

Pro Series

FLIR’s ther­mal imag­ing prod­ucts are chang­ing the way we hunt, and the com­pany’s new­est of­fer­ing, the Ther­moSight Pro Series line of op­tics, al­lows you to hunt preda­tors, varmints and pigs—day and night, thanks to its FLIR Bo­son ther­mal core. With mul­ti­ple color pal­lets from which to choose, the Ther­moSight of­fers a high level of cus­tomiza­tion. This ther­mal op­tic is light enough and com­pact enough to eas­ily mount on the top rail of your hunt­ing ri­fle. Con­tin­u­ous on­board video record­ing is ac­ti­vated by re­coil; when you fire, video data is kept for 10 sec­onds be­fore and af­ter the shot. This is an im­pres­sive fea­ture not found on other ther­mal op­tics. The unit comes with a built-in com­pass and an in­cli­nome­ter so you’ll know the ex­act an­gle of your shot in steep coun­try and can com­pen­sate ac­cord­ingly. Rarely has this kind of high-tech gear been avail­able to the av­er­age shooter—and never at this price.

MSRP: Around $2,200, de­pend­ing upon model and fea­tures URL:

Nikon BLACK RANGEX 4K Laser Range FInder

Need a rangefinder that goes the dis­tance? How about Nikon’s new BLACK RANGEX 4K, which can range tar­gets— over two miles away! This hand­held unit of­fers Tru-Tar­get Tech­nol­ogy that al­lows you to se­lect be­tween first tar­get pri­or­ity for rang­ing smaller items (as nar­row as a fen­ce­post) or dis­tant tar­get pri­or­ity that dis­plays the range of the far­thest tar­get within a group. 6X mag­ni­fi­ca­tion makes find­ing your tar­get fast and easy, and the HYPER READ tech­nol­ogy re­turns read­ings in just 0.3 sec­ond. The red OLED dis­play of­fers five dif­fer­ent lev­els of bright­ness to match am­bi­ent con­di­tions. The unit comes equipped with Nikon’s clever ID tech­nol­ogy that helps com­pen­sate for in­cline or de­cline and pro­vides an ac­cu­rate, re­al­world range based on your po­si­tion rel­a­tive to the tar­get. The unit is fog proof and wa­ter­proof and is cov­ered by a five-year war­ranty. You might ex­pect that this hand­held unit would cost four fig­ures ... but you’d be wrong: The BLACK RANGEX 4K runs less than $500, mak­ing it a great buy.

MSRP: $450

URL: NikonS­portOp­

Fed­eral Pre­mium Grand Slam

Fed­eral is launch­ing its new Grand Slam pre­mium turkey shot­gun loads just in time for turkey sea­son. The FLITECONTROL FLEX wad en­sures these loads pro­duce dense, even pat­terns through both ported and un­ported guns. The cop­per-plated lead shot is buffered to main­tain a round shape for more-con­sis­tent flight and bet­ter pen­e­tra­tion, and the roll crimp and clear card wad help keep the buffer­ing in place, pro­tect the shot charge and elim­i­nate dam­age. There are sev­eral load op­tions avail­able for 10-gauge (3½ inches), 12-gauge (3½, 3 and 2¾ inches) and 20-gauge (3 inches), with the op­tion for #4, #5 or #6 shot pay­loads. With ve­loc­i­ties at or around 1,200 fps, these new loads promise to hit hard, pat­tern evenly and trans­fer en­ergy ef­fec­tively. That trans­lates to lethal shots at a wide va­ri­ety of ranges. As an added bonus, pro­ceeds from the sale of Grand Slam help sup­port the con­ser­va­tion ef­forts of the Na­tional Wild Turkey Fed­er­a­tion.

MSRP: $15–$24/10

URL: Fed­er­

Bush­nell Im­pulse Cel­lu­lar Trail Cam­era

The Im­pulse trail cam­era is loaded with high-tech fea­tures that will help you scout for game with­out ever leav­ing your home. This cam­era con­nects eas­ily to any smart­phone. How­ever, you won’t be roped into a con­tract that re­quires ad­di­tional pay­ments be­yond your reg­u­lar phone bill. Ul­tra-fast pro­ces­sors snap one im­age per sec­ond, and those pic­tures can be sent straight to your phone. Plus, there’s an anti-theft mode with GPS alerts that pre­vents thieves from snatch­ing your ex­pen­sive trail cam­era. The 100-foot No Glow flash al­lows for bright images at night with­out the risk of scar­ing game; and, with the ca­pa­bil­ity to take 20 MP HD images and 1080 HD video, you’ll al­ways get the clear­est, crispest dig­i­tal pho­tos and video pos­si­ble. Bat­tery life is an im­pres­sive six months, but there’s also an op­tion for a so­lar charg­ing panel with in­fi­nite life­span. The Im­pulse ush­ers in a whole new era of trail cam tech­nol­ogy and pro­vides a wealth of in­for­ma­tion for se­ri­ous hun­ters.

MSRP: $300

URL: Bush­

Canyon Cool­ers 150-Quart Nav­i­ga­tor

Whether you’re plan­ning a week-long camp­ing or hunt­ing trip or need a heavy-duty cooler to keep har­vested game fresh, the Canyon Nav­i­ga­tor has you cov­ered. Its thicker walls and a new cam-over pull-ring latch de­sign keep gear at a con­stant tem­per­a­ture, and a built-in bas­ket sys­tem helps you or­ga­nize the con­tents to max­i­mize space. Other key fea­tures in­clude 10 sturdy lash-down points that work with Canyon’s Jun­gle Cord lashing sys­tem, two ex­tra-large drain points (on the front and the side), seat pads, skid plates and even a bot­tle opener. The Nav­i­ga­tor has been cer­ti­fied IGBC bear-re­sis­tant and is backed by a life­time war­ranty.


URL: Cany­onCool­

CamelBak Tro­phy TS

The new Tro­phy TS from CamelBak of­fers a long list of user­friendly fea­tures you won’t find on com­pet­ing packs. There’s a large main com­part­ment and small in­te­rior com­part­ments so your gear will re­main or­ga­nized and close at hand. The Tro­phy TS also al­lows you to carry a ri­fle or bow in ei­ther the leftor right-hand po­si­tion. Once you’re on stand, the waist belt ex­tends and se­cures to the tree to pro­vide a func­tional shelf for your gear. There’s a blaze-or­ange rain cover to keep your items dry and alert other hun­ters when you are on the move, and the Air Di­rec­tor back panel keeps you cool on long treks. Of course, be­cause this is a CamelBak prod­uct, there’s a fluid reser­voir: The 52-ounce Chute Mag Water Bot­tle of­fers in­stant hy­dra­tion for long, ar­du­ous climbs in steep coun­try. Rarely has one bag of­fered so much to tree­stand hun­ters. Re­lease date is sum­mer 2018.

MSRP: $199


Real Avid Car­bon Boss AR15

More hun­ters than ever are car­ry­ing AR-15s into the field, and that means that ev­ery one of them should have a Car­bon Boss AR15 from Real Avid in the pocket of their pack or hunt­ing jacket. Car­bon foul­ing leads to a whole host of prob­lems—pri­mar­ily, fail­ures to func­tion. With the Car­bon Boss’s as­sorted brushes, tools and clean­ing points, you can wipe away the de­posits of a whole day’s shoot in just min­utes. This tool in­cludes bronze phos­phor bolt brushes, a bolt scrap­ing tool, Cot­ter pin puller, pin punch, fir­ing pin scraper, bolt lug scraper and so much more. In short, if there’s a func­tion­ing part of your AR that gets ex­posed to car­bon foul­ing dur­ing fir­ing, there’s prob­a­bly a tool in the Car­bon Boss to clean it.

MSRP: $30


SportDOG Sport Trainer 875

The new Sport Trainer 875 from SportDOG is a lightweight, sturdy train­ing col­lar specif­i­cally de­signed for use with close-rang­ing dogs. With 10 lev­els of static and con­tin­u­ous stim­u­la­tion, as well as vi­bra­tion and tone op­tions, you can re­di­rect your hunt­ing dog with the proper level of cor­rec­tion. Ad­di­tion­ally, with the Add-A-Dog col­lar sys­tem, you can train mul­ti­ple dogs at once. The sturdy SportDOG col­lars are among the most ro­bust in the in­dus­try. They come stan­dard with DryTek waterproofing, which pre­vents mois­ture from dam­ag­ing the elec­tron­ics and al­lows these col­lars to be sub­mersible to 25 feet. The easy-to-read OLED screen al­lows you to tog­gle be­tween dogs, view stim­u­la­tion lev­els, bat­tery life and more, and the con­trol unit is com­pact enough to fit eas­ily into the pocket of a vest or jacket. The unit runs on recharge­able lithium-ion bat­ter­ies that can be fully charged in two hours and run 50 to 70 hours be­tween charges.

MSRP: $220


Gear Keeper In­te­grated Re­tractable Hol­ster for Range Fin­ders

When I’m in the field, I’m usu­ally car­ry­ing a lot of gear, in­clud­ing a pack, ri­fle, bino, rangefinder, water and other items. If your gear isn’t well or­ga­nized, it can be a real has­sle find­ing the piece of equip­ment you need. How­ever, Gear Keeper’s new In­te­grated Re­tractable Hol­ster keeps one piece of im­por­tant equip­ment—your pocket rangefinder—close by and easy to reach. A padded Real­tree camo pouch holds the rangefinder in place and keeps it safe from nicks and dings. And be­cause it is teth­ered to a 32-inch ca­ble, you can eas­ily mea­sure dis­tance and re­turn the rangefinder to its pouch with­out the worry of lo­cat­ing or los­ing this valu­able piece of hunt­ing equip­ment. Plus, the rangefinder won’t be dan­gling from your vest or pouch, so it won’t make noise as you move.

MSRP: $45






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