Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014
— TOP STORY
Conservation organizations, outdoor personalities and other sportsmen have formed the Hunter Advancement Task Force. The initial session focused on development of short and long-range strategies to protect hunters from cyber-harrassment. | For More...

— ARCHERY
From industry trendsetter Barnett Crossbows® comes the revolutionary Ghost 410™. The Ghost 410™ builds upon its predecessor's specs by taking the Ghost™ series to new hunting heights. | For More...

— BOATING
With eight new inland locations on freshwater lakes this year, more inland anglers have access to the BoatUS, the nation's largest network of on water towing and assistance services, with over 300 nationwide locations and 600 towing response vessels. | For More...

— EARNING
Rocky Brands, Inc. yesterday announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2014. Second quarter net sales increased 15.8% to $68.8 million versus net sales of $59.4 million in the second quarter of 2013. | For More...

— ENFORCEMENT
At least nine trailered boats checked recently at Montana's roadside watercraft inspection stations have been found to be transporting live fish, which is illegal in Montana's Western and Central Fishing Districts. | For More...

— FISHING TOURNAMENTS
Inshore anglers from across Louisiana and surrounding regions will meet at Lafitte, Louisiana, on Aug. 2-3 for the final 2014 Louisiana Division events of the IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela's and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing. | For More...

— GEAR
Wildgame Innovations' Hex 225 feeder can be assembled in 5 minutes and requires absolutely no tools to assemble. Eliminate the hassle of assembling a feeder, when you can set up and hunt in minutes | For More...

— HUNTING
A survey of more than 12,000 mourning dove hunters from around the country was released yesterday, and will provide wildlife and natural resources managers with information to help them effectively manage and conserve this migratory bird species into the future. | For More...

The deadline to enter the annual drawing for elk licenses is July 31 - about a month earlier than in previous years. | For More...

Permit application for hunters planning to pursue wild turkeys in parts of Montana this fall are due July 31. | For More...

Hunters interested in obtaining a special permit to hunt sandhill cranes in the Sweet Grass, Wheatland, Meagher and Golden Valley counties portion of the Central Flyway, as well as in four areas of western Montana in the Pacific Flyway, must apply by July 31. | For More...

Eighteen lucky Washington hunters will have an opportunity to hunt for deer this fall on the 6,000- acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County. The deadline to apply is midnight Aug. 13. | For More...

The wait is over for eager hunters who applied for the upcoming season. Draw results for Arizona's 2014 fall deer, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo and pheasant hunts are now available online. | For More...

If you manage your property for whitetails, now is the time to plant some of your food plot acreage. | For More...

— INDUSTRY
With complete content integration across print, television, digital and social media assets, IMO and Sportsman Channel have created an incredible, multi-platform locomotive that enables consumers to enjoy outdoor lifestyle content on virtually any platform. | For More...

Eagle Imports Inc., an exclusive US importer of international firearm brands including Bersa, MAC, American Classic, SPS and Comanche yesterday announced a new creative and strategic partnership with outdoor marketing agency, Epicosity. | For More...

Sportsman Channel has consummated a new carriage relationship with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC). The announcement was made yesterday by Gavin Harvey, CEO of Sportsman Channel. | For More...

HatsanUSA, Inc. is pleased to announce its partnership with Odle Sales as its new sales representative in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. | For More...

Arctic Ice is proud to partner with New Maui Fishing Supply in Wailuku, Hawaii to bring their product offerings to the island of Maui. | For More...

Larson Boat Group announces an agreement to manufacture Gekko Sport's 4-models of tow-boats from their Little Falls, MN manufacturing facility. | For More...

Following up the company's successful product launch at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD), Simms announces the immediate availability of their Fall 2014 collection of fishing gear. | For More...

— LAND MANAGEMENT
Thanks to the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG), the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife was able to recently purchase a 70-acre parcel along Conneaut Creek in Ashtabula County which will provide direct public access for fishing and hunting. | For More...

Chestnut Hill offers a variety of soft masts at their extensive nursery. They have the following soft masts for your bowhunting food plots: persimmons, pears, apples, blueberries, grapes and mulberries. | For More...

— NEW PRODUCTS
Firefield® takes tactical concealment to new heights with its new Woodland Camo Facepaint. Made in the U.S.A., this military-grade, non-glare face paint aids in facial concealment that can be vital in hunting and tactical settings. | For More...

— ONLINE
Hodgdon®, has launched three new professionally produced how-to videos on its popular Reloading Data Center. Rifle, pistol and shotshell reloading basics are shown in an easy to understand step-by-step format. | For More...

— ORGANIZATIONS
Mike McShane, of Johns Island, South Carolina, was elected to Ducks Unlimited Inc.'s national board of directors during the organization's annual convention in St. Louis. | For More...

Connie Parker, of Longboat, Florida, was elected to Ducks Unlimited Inc.'s national board of directors during the organization's annual convention held recently in St. Louis. | For More...

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!® (SAH!) is pleased to announce Carmen Chapin as the July, Partner in Action. Carmen is the Program Coordinator of the Great Lakes Exotic Plant Management Team and proudly supports SAH! throughout the National Park Service. | For More...

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a meeting of its Penaeid Shrimp Workshop Group Wednesday, August 13, 2014. The meeting will be held via conference call. | For More...

— PUBLIC LANDS
Hornady Manufacturing is calling on firearms owners, hunters and sportsmen to call Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and demand she reject a petition filed by the HSUS and others demanding rules that forbid hunting on public lands with traditional ammunition. | For More...

— PUBLISHING
To read "357 Magnum Brass" and the rest of Larry Potterfield's Short Stories, visit http://www.midwayusa.com/larrys-stories. | For More...

— RADIO
Dave and Karen Linkhart, a husband and wife team who serve as director of national and international affairs for the National Trappers Association, are featured on Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World radio. Also joining them to talk about trapping is Rich Faler, editor of American Trapper and Pennsylvania Outdoor Journal. | For More...

— SHOOTING COMPETITIONS
FOG Ammunition Congratulates FOG sponsored shooter, Heath Parsons, taking home 1st Place, High Overall in the Masters Open Division. | For More...

FMG Publications held its 12th Annual Shooting Industry Masters July 18-19 in Sebastian, Fla., with more than 400 members of the industry competing in a plethora of fun shooting events and enjoying the hospitality of the Treasure Coast. | For More...

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and Smith & Wesson announced that Brian Steskla will once again take the reins as Match Director of one of IDPA's most popular new events - the Smith & Wesson IDPA Back Up Gun Nationals. | For More...

— SPONSORSHIPS
Gamo® Outdoor USA (www.gamousa.com) has announced a new air gun sponsorship agreement with "Pigman: The Series" TV Show (airing on Sportsman Channel) and with its charismatic host, professional hunter Brian "Pigman" Quaca. | For More...

— STATES
The Private Land/Public Wildlife Council will meet Aug. 4-5 in Helena at the Jorgenson's Inn & Suites. | For More...

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing on proposed freshwater fishing rules for 2015 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at the N.H. Fish and Game Department in Concord. | For More...

— STUDIES
Results from a first-of-its-kind survey of the nation's mourning dove hunters has been released by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), National Flyway Council and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | For More...

— TELEVISION
Melissa Bachman grew up hunting whitetails like many youngsters in the Midwest - and her dream was always to find a monster whitetail to call her own. She's done that - and more - in her career and on this week's episode of Winchester Deadly Passion | For More...

Because of its value to waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway, California's Central Valley is a level-one priority for Ducks Unlimited. Much of the traditional habitat here has vanished, but DU and its partners are working to reverse that trend. World Champion goose caller and DUTV co-host Field Hudnall and Paul Bonderson, DU first vice president, complete a tour of Bonderson's Bird Haven Ranch for wood ducks, teal, mallards and pintails. | For More...

The one-horned bull elk that eluded Randy Newberg three years ago has crossed paths with him again on this this week's Federal Premium's Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg on Sportsman Channel, Thursday, July 24. | For More...

— WILDLIFE
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding people that if you see an alligator, in most instances it is not necessary to do anything other than leave it alone. Feeding or harassing alligators is illegal in North Carolina. | For More...

— WORKSHOPS
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Clay County on Thursday, July 31. | For More...

Get set for the fall grouse and woodcock season at a free workshop on Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Hunting on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness. | For More...

FEATURE
Business Movements
Beretta will expand their expansion announcement from earlier in the year. Now, they'll move ALL manufacturing to new facilities being built in Gallatin, Tennessee.
The most memorable quote from Beretta U.S.A.'s announcement they were moving a part of their manufacturing to Gallatin, Tennessee earlier this year was a flat observation about the notable Italian family's attitude: "Beretta's don't bluff."

They proved that point Tuesday afternoon with the announcement that the were expanding the scope of their planned expansion into Tennessee. Now, the entire manufacturing operation will be packing up and heading to Gallatin sometime next year, taking everything except the corporate HQ to a climate where the political environment would be less toxic for a company that manufacturers firearms known the world over.

Tennessee's gain is, once again, at the expense of a state seen as anti-gun. Being in Massachusetts this week to preview and test new products from Smith & Wesson, it was interesting to get a look into the minds of S&W's employees and managers. The majority of everyone I spoke with expressed little surprise that a company like Beretta wouldn't hesitate to move to friendlier surroundings.

It's becoming a familiar story through what was once renowned as America's "Gun Valley" as companies fed up with everything from overburdened union labor agreements to ridiculous regulations and a hostile political environment are heading out in what Texas Governor Rick Perry has called a timely migration to friendlier climes.

The sad part of the process is that with each of the move announcements, longtime workers are impacted while the politicians whose ill-conceived eyewash legislative actions pay none of the costs associated with running jobs and tax revenues out of their state.

Meanwhile, it's the opposite problem in the Springfield, Massachusetts headquarters of Smith & Wesson. Their massive production facility is essentially maxed out, with dozens of computerized manufacturing machines cohabitating with milling, grinding and polishing machines that were very likely to have been running since shortly after World War II.

That, however, doesn't mean S&W's considering moving. After all, they have other manufacturing facilities including Thompson/Center's former HQ and Deep River, the Smith & Wesson holdings company that handles the injection molding for the myriad of polymer-based S&W and Thompson/Center firearms.

First on the review agenda (above), the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard -with laser sighting system. The .38 special model is steady, features a long trigger press and fairly short reset, and is surprisingly mild to shoot, despite its light weight and the ability to shoot +P rounds. The Bodyguard 380 (Below) suffers very little discomfort when shooting and takes advantage of the terrific advances in bullet technology in the past few years.. Both feature firearm specific Crimson Trace lasers designed to prevent you from having to worry about the sight picture in an emergency situation. Jim Shepherd photos.

As a result of what Smith & Wesson Director of Marketing Paul Pluff calls the "gigantic expansion" of interest in shooting by new shooters, the company is working to keep up with a domestic demand that has lessened- some- but is still a long way from turning back into the typically slow summer months.

There are, according to S&W's Paul Pluff, some new normals in the firearms business, particularly the personal defense firearm . "Where new buyers in the past used to buy a gun and box of shells and stick both in a sock drawer, today's shooters aren't putting them up and forgetting they own them," Pluff told writers on Tuesday, "now, they're getting instruction, concealed carry permits, mixing with their friends at the ranges and in many cases buying their second, third or even fourth gun.

"Those people are where the ammo demand is coming from," Pluff says, "along with the delays we're facing in filling orders. But they're gradually closing those dates."

It's hard to ignore the fact that new shooters are helping drive the bus when it comes to gun sales. "Long guns and hunting handguns," Pluff explained, "traditional guns, have been in a bit of a slow spot when compared with self-defense handguns and AR-style rifles."

So solid has that growth been, he explained, that somewhere between 32 and 35 % of all gun sales are first time buyers. Those first-timers, according to S&W research, are fueling an overall sales bump where 75 percent of all sales have been in the personal defense/black rifle categories.

And the revisions to the Bodyguard line are reflections of that trend- and manufacturing improvements that make better guns possible without increasing demands on workers or equipment. With the addition of Wilsonville, Oregon-based Crimson Trace's lasers on those new guns, Pluff says the line moves under the Military & Police line - the higher-end personal defense, duty and competition line.

Among some of the improvements over prior Bodyguard lines are some very subtle changes inside the laser housing. In the models we've been testing, the small screws that are typical in the small-diode lasers are captive, joining the Bodyguard 380's captured recoil spring. What's that mean? "Well," says Pluff, "it doesn't mean you'll be crawling around on your hands and knees looking for tiny screws or a spring that's flown across your cleaning area."

The changes are more pronounced in the Bodyguard Revolver. It's still a five-shot .38 Special that's capable of shooting the +P lines, but despite it's very familiar outline and resemblance, it's definitely not the traditional S&W J-frame revolver.

"This gun is a next generation one," Pluff explained, "it has an ambidextrous thumb cylinder latch that's in a totally new position compared to the J-frame, and it's not a one-piece frame, it's an aluminum frame and barrel shroud with a steel reinforced polymer lower."

And it's worth knowing that Smith & Wesson's forays into polymer aren't exactly new. In the 1960s the company produced test guns made of a delryn plastic with a steel barrel liner. They didn't go into production because that plastic, unlike polymers, couldn't take the strain of shooting and split after approximately 500 rounds.

"We've always been an innovative company," Pluff says, "and we're far from done with the innovations."

According to our schedule, we'll see the latest new product from the company tomorrow -but we won't be cleared to talk about it for several weeks.

When we can, we'll keep our promise: we'll keep you posted.

- Jim Shepherd
Jul 24-27
U.P. State Fairgrounds, Escanaba, Michigan
Jul 24-27
The Classic Center, Athens, Georgia
Jul 26
Shoshone County Public Shooting Range, Smelterville, Idaho
Aug 2-5
World Shooting & Recreational Complex, Sparta, IL
Aug 5-10
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
Aug 6-16
World Shooting & Recreational Complex, Sparta, IL
Aug 13-16
Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association Range, Bend, Oregon
Sep 12-14
Newport waterfront along America's Cup Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island
Sep 26-28
Hyatt Regency O'Hare Airport, Chicago, IL
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