Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014
— EVENTS
The Berkley Experience trailer is poised to set up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, giving consumers the opportunity to learn about the latest in fishing by visiting the D&R Sports Center April 17 - 19. | For More...

Few items in the world of sporting collectibles are more desirable than the vintage bullet boards and original promotional art associated with legendary firearms and ammunition manufacturing companies. The Hunting Heritage Trust is pleased to offer one of the most exceptional items it has ever presented at auction, the original "Nosler moose" painting by Lorenzo Ghiglieri. | For More...

Taurus®, the global leader in revolver manufacturing, congratulates pro-shooters Jessie Duff and Alex Larche for their recent wins at the USPSA Area 6 Championship in Covington, Georgia and the Oilfield Classic in Bellville, Texas. | For More...

It is not too late to register to Run Wild! Choose from a 10k or 5k through scenic, naturally challenging dirt trails at Nebraska's Eugene T. Mahoney State Park on May 17. Children can enjoy the 1-mile fun run. Proceeds benefit the Wildlife Conservation Fund. | For More...

The 19th annual Tim Farmer Archery Classic will be held May 17-18 at the headquarters of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in Frankfort, Kentucky. | For More...

— FISHERIES
Florida and Louisiana have joined Texas in refusing to accept unneeded restrictions on Gulf of Mexico red snapper fisheries. | For More...

— FISHING
The 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship will be held on Louisiana's Ouachita River, November 6-8. | For More...

Lake Erie anglers can expect to enjoy another year of diverse fishing opportunities in 2014, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) biologists. | For More...

— FOOD PLOTS
One of the most common problems with food plots is weed competition. The Mossy Oak Gamekeepers has some suggestions to help. | For More...

— GEAR
Game Slayer Hunting introduces the Release Catcher, the first wristband bow release catcher that captures your release and keeps it immobile and silent until you are ready to use it. | For More...

— INDUSTRY
Flambeau Outdoors announces Alliance Sports Group, LLC as its sales representation for the Southeast portion of the United States. | For More...

Benelli announces its new partnership with On The Road (OTR), the hit outdoor TV show featuring Aaron Lewis and Rock Bordelon. | For More...

GunBroker.com Names March's Best Selling Firearms. GunBroker.com has released its list of Top 5 best selling new and used firearms for March 2014. Browning Citori tops the list as the best selling Over/Under Shotgun. Ruger No. 1 holds steady as the best selling Single Shot Rifle.
| For More...

Savage Arms Announces Landrys of Swamp People as Brand Ambassadors | For More...

More than 475 attendees and 70 exhibitors attended Brownells 8th Annual Gunsmith Conference & Career Fair at the Downtown Marriott, April 1-2, 2014, in Des Moines, IA. | For More...

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has a NSSF Retailer Education Seminar scheduled at Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park, 4812 Deer Lake Drive West in Jacksonville, Florida on May 20. | For More...

The Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) announces that HiViz Shooting Systems will offer a $1,000 SPP College Scholarship in 2014. As part of its overall Bronze sponsorship, HiViz is also the SPP Junior/Senior National Championships FOCUS stage sponsor. | For More...

— NEW PRODUCTS
BLACKHAWK! will introduce two new SERPA holster models at this week's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. Attendees will see the new SERPAs designed for the Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD and GLOCK 42. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the BLACKHAWK! booth (#5209) to learn more. | For More...

One of the trends we are seeing in firearms right now is customization. Kahr Firearms Group has partnered with Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter, and is offering exciting new custom designs for two of their best-selling pistols - the Auto-Ordnance 1911 and the Kahr PM9. | For More...

— NRA SHOW
When the National Rifle Association's Annual Meeting opens in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 25th, Crimson Trace will be displaying more than a dozen new products in booth number 3648. | For More...

SIG SAUER® will play host to a pair of world champions at the 2014 National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, April 25-27. | For More...

Leupold® pro staff will be making appearances in the optics company's booth (#6245) at the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits throughout the weekend at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. | For More...

The NRA Whittington Center, America'a premiere recreation, shooting and hunting destination, is proud to announce the addition of precision and extreme long-range shooter Jon Weiler to their booth staff at this year's NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. | For More...

Five-time Olympic medalist, Kim Rhode, will appear in the Winchester Ammunition booth #5245 at the NRA Convention, Friday, April 25 from 9:00AMET to 11:00AMET. | For More...

In addition to introducing the STAR Stock, the first rifle stock made from a solid block of aluminum, Sisk is stepping up the innovation by adding a high lumen flashlight inside the rifle stock. The STAR Stock and all its innovations will be on display at the Sisk Rifles Booth (#8456) at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis April 25-27. | For More...

ARES Defense will roll out a new rifle platform for the American sportsman at the NRA Show in Indianapolis, April 25-27. The patented ARES SCR™ (Sport Configurable Rifle) is the first of its class of firearms that is legal in all 50 states. | For More...

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics announces that former professional cage fighter Matt Hughes, TV host of "Uncaged", along with Larry Weishuhn, TV host of "Trailing the Hunter's Moon", and Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo, TV hosts of "Archers Choice" & "The Choice," will be appearing in the Zeiss booth (#6854) at the 143nd Annual NRA Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis (IN), April 25-27, 2014. | For More...

Secure Firearm Products (SFP) will be offering super-saving discounts to all shooters-distributors, dealers, clubs, ranges and individuals attending the 2014 NRA Show, April 25-27 on all of their premier-quality target/shooting systems. Stop by/register for a daily drawing to win a Secure Mat (Neoprene Magnetic Cleaning Mat) in Booth #4065. | For More...

— OLYMPIC SHOOTING
Before she even stepped on the line for the Women's Three-Position Rifle Final at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) already had the title in the bag. | For More...

— ORGANIZATIONS
Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has renewed life insurance policies for each of the 532 game wardens in Texas in 2014. | For More...

The National Rifle Association announces their 2013 Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year recipients, recognizing outstanding efforts for the grassroots fundraising program at the local and regional levels. | For More...

— PARTNERSHIPS
Zippo Manufacturing Company has renewed the promotional partnership of its Zippo Outdoor lineup with the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit for the third consecutive season. | For More...

— RECORDS
A massive bighorn sheep that died of natural causes and was later found by wildlife officials could be a new World's Record, according to the Boone and Crockett Club. | For More...

— RETAIL
Arctic Ice partners with Bowie Outfitters to bring their thermally regulating cooler panels to outdoorsmen online and in the Baton Rouge, LA area. | For More...

— SHOOTING COMPETITIONS
There's no place like home - and winning a National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship (NJOSC) on your home range? It doesn't get much better than that for Abby Votava. | For More...

— SPONSORSHIPS
Blade-Tech Industries has signed on to be the title match sponsor for the Blade-Tech 2014 USPSA Area 1 Championship set for Benton City, Washington at the Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility, May 16-18. | For More...

— STATES
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other partners in a summer boating safety campaign, "Saved by the Zone: The Life Jacket Zone." | For More...

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are tagging crappie on Lake Washington to estimate what proportion of the population is caught and harvested by anglers. | For More...

An elk tag will be auctioned off at the Nebraska Big Game Society (NBGS) banquet May 2 in Lincoln. | For More...

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has divided the state's Hunting Zone D (from Pensacola to Tallahassee) into two deer management units (DMUs), each with a unique set of antler-point requirements and antlerless deer harvest days. | For More...

Shawn Roche, a kayak instructor for the Mountain Road Trading Post in Raymond, New Hampshire, will demystify kayak fishing at a free outdoor adventure talk. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in Concord. | For More...

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has approved federal grant funding for 53 projects that will assist and improve fire departments and fire associations serving communities with populations under 10,000. | For More...

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a series of six open house meetings across the state to gain public input on proposed Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations. | For More...

— TECHNOLOGY
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an enhanced version of "How's My Waterway," an app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. | For More...

— TRAINING
Lights, Sights, Lasers LE/MIL US Tour will deliver free accredited training to Law Enforcement and Military personnel today and tomorrow (April 21st & 22nd) hosted by the Independence Township Police Department in Great Meadows, New Jersey. | For More...

— WILDLIFE
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announces a partnership with three other conservation organizations to help the northern bobwhite (quail) and youth shooting programs in Florida and Georgia. | For More...

FEATURE
Looking Ahead
Initial reports from around the country seem to indicate that the outdoor business is going to be up, although only slightly, from last year. As we get ready to head into the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana next week, it's probably appropriate to give a Q1 look at how things have gone for various segments.

Industry outlook for ammunition hasn't improved much, but ammo is coming available. OWDN photo.
With firearms, a quick summation is pretty simple: ammo still in extremely high demand and short-although slowly improving- supply, but hard-to-get calibers aren't showing much improvement. That's starting to impact some of the calibers that aren't so popular because their time on the manufacturing machines is being reallocated to try and meet demand. Yes, manufacturers are stepping up and buying additional machinery and expanding, but that takes something consumers don't want to hear about- time.

As far as the trickle-down impact that has on the secondary industries, components are still selling well, but ranges across the country are reporting some drops in traffic. They say much of that drop is attributable to the short supplies of ammo and still crowded shooting lanes in peak times.

The real concern there is that while some new shooters are joining shooting groups, many are turning away from shooting because of ammo shortfalls.

Boating is seeing a second consecutive year of gains. They're not huge, but certainly beat the drops of the past few years.
If you're a reloader, we're not ignoring you or your continued complaints about the shortages of supplies. That's one segment where there's not much positive news. There are plenty of pieces of reloading gear available, but the quantities of powder, primer, cases and shot or bullets just aren't. Manufacturers are facing a business problem: it's tough to convince owners that it's sensible during a very high-demand time to sell components for lower margins that your own branded ammunition. Supplies are being allocated, but the high-demand calibers are, unfortunately, the same as the box-ready ones.

Boating, like RVing, is an industry that takes it on the chin when economic times get tough. A consensus of manufacturers and dealers I've spoken with as the winter show schedule wraps up is that things are getting better. More people are buying into the entry-level boats and the high-end market has remained fairly steady. The good news: there are more people trading up to larger or better equipped boats. The middle is where activity has been absolutely flat for the past three years - and represents a critical component of overall industry health.

And recognizing that not everyone is in the market for a $50,000+ fishing boat, manufacturers are putting out packages that can put an angler and/or his family on the water for less than $20,000. Margins are described as "pretty tight" on boats in this price range, but the industry knows from experience that getting people out on the water is essential to keep the sport viable.

Trolling motor, video camera, live well, cooler, rod holders...on a kayak? You bet. They're as equipped as you'd like them today.
As far as the RV market, the largest RV show of the year reported good traffic and orders being written. There is still, however, the challenge of a glut of new models from last year sitting on dealer's lots. They're being offered out with incentive programs, so RV enthusiasts are reporting good buying opportunities.

As far as other trends we're seeing- or hearing about anecdotally - it looks as if there is still a growing interest in outdoor activities. Kayaking, birding, mountain biking and camping are leading the trends as consumers are finding new technical gear across virtually all price points, from the affordable-for-a-family general purpose kayaks and bikes to the "performance at any price" units that equip kayaks with enough gear to fish competitively against any other type of boat to uber-lightweight mountain bikes that are in the rarified atmosphere of the super-enthusiasts.

It looks like the outdoors can have a pretty good 2014- if and when we can finally evict the cold weather and get some semi-stable summertime weather.

As always, we'll keep you posted.


--Jim Shepherd
Apr 26-27
Crowne Plaza Houston, 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas
Apr 27
Ridgeway Rifle Club, Ridgeway, PA
May 3-4
Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, 1402 County Rd. 276, Columbia, MO
May 4
Dutchess County Pistol Club Wappingers Falls, NY
May 5-10
NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico
May 9-22
USAMU's Pool and Phillips Ranges, Fort Benning, GA
May 10
Statewide
May 10-11
Augusta Archers, 99 Archery Lane, Staunton, VA 24401
May 10-11
Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill Area, 30 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
May 16-18
NE New Mexico
May 21-24
Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, Columbia, MO
May 24-25
Coshocton Sportsmens Club, 21280 Jackson TWP Rd. 283 Coshocton, OH 43812
May 30-Jun 1
Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska.
May 31-Jun 1
Hamilton Rod & Gun Club, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Jun 1
USAMU Ranges, Fort Benning, Georgia
Jun 7-8
Mill Creek Rod & Gun, Newmanstown, PA
Jun 9-11
Springfield, Massachusetts
Jun 9-11
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel 1 Monarch Place Springfield, MA
Jun 21-22
Coonhunters Association, Batavia, NY
Jul 8-14
Estes Park, Colorado
Jul 15-18
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
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