By Gary Smith
|The new Freedom Arms red-dot sight base is very streamlined and does not detract at all from the graceful lines of the model 83 revolver shown here. A model 97 version is also available.
I almost decided to skip this year's SHOT show in Las Vegas but plans changed at the last minute and I was able to go. Attempting to land in 70-80 mph gusts in Las Vegas, we were forced to abort the landing and instead head for Ontario, California. I think most passengers including myself were somewhat relieved in spite of realizing that we would probably miss the entire Super Bowl, which we did, arriving in Las Vegas more than six hours late but in one piece.
For those not familiar with it, the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show or SHOT show is the premier event for manufacturers, buyers, and the media in the hunting and shooting market, including not only sporting goods, but police and military as well. I was only able to attend the show for two of the four days but there were a few products that I just had to have a look at including the new mini red-dot sight base from Freedom Arms (FA).
One of the reasons FA never made a base like this before is that no one was making a small red-dot that would hold up on the .454. Now that has changed and Trijicon and JP Enterprises are now making one that can withstand the Casull. The base is a great deal, retailing for under $50.00 and it's got a very innovative feature that other bases do not have, a sight channel so you can remove the red-dot in an emergency (like if it becomes non-functioning) and use the channel to align the front sight on the target. Bob Baker, Freedom Arms President, said that you should install the base and zero the gun then install the red-dot and zero it. That way if you have to remove the red-dot the base will already be zeroed in. Note: an allen wrench is required to remove the red-dot sight.
Freedom Arms also has modified their holsters to accept a gun with the red-dot installed, (photo shown below) so you don't even have to take a pocket knife to your existing holsters. Priced at about $70.00 the new holster is of the same high-quality as the rest of their holster lineup.
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Model 83 revolver, Freedom Arms is issuing a limited edition silver coin. More information about the new sight base, holsters and coin can be found on the Freedom Arms website.
Burris has added a lighted reticle, actually called the E-dot, feature to their popular 3x12 Ball-Plex handgun scope. It would have been nice if they had chosen to light the plex dots in addition to the point of intersection of the vertical and horizontal wires but it will still have a large appeal to those seeking a scope with a lot of magnification at their disposal. This scope may be the catalyst to make me switch out my old 2.5x7 Burris that has been sitting atop my 309 JDJ for the last 20 years or so. It could also be just the ticket for that leopard hunt I've always dreamed about.
By now most everyone probably knows that Ruger introduced a 10-22 handgun. Interestingly they don't seem to be marketing it to handgun hunters as much as they are plinkers (note all of the photos are showing it with a red-dot type of scope). All of the material I've seen is suggesting that it's great for shooting cans. Personally I would rather see a prairie dog town in the scope than a tin can, but that's just me. Regardless, it will probably serve both purposes extremely well and now we have a whole new platform on which to start customizing.
Possibly most interesting is the rumor that Remington is going to buy Smith & Wesson and Thompson Center Arms. I'm not sure this is a good thing for anyone and most certainly won't be good for the consumer. It seems as if many hunting and shooting related companies are being consumed by large holding companies these days. I suspect that the holding company won't really be concerned much with the quality and personal customer service some of these companies have been built on. Based on my experiences in other industries they simply look at the bottom line and draw a 'X' through anything that is meeting the performance standards.
| Burris Ball-Plex E-Dot
| Ruger Charger
| Freedom Arms Holster
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