The British Shooting Show was packed with industry big names and their product launches. Here are a few of them…
We saw not one but three new rifles on the Blaser stand – looks like it’s set to be a busy year for the German manufacturer. First up was the R8 Ultimate (top left), which boasts an ultra-adjustable stock with a ‘memory’ function, so you can adjust the cheekpiece and butt pad to your preferred spec, and instantly return them to the same place.
Elsewhere, the R8 Silence incorporates an integrated mod, which – as Blaser’s Robert Sajitz demonstrates (top right) – can be unscrewed to reveal the barrel, and adds very little weight to the overall package and also avoids unbalancing the gun. Finally, there’s a rimfire conversion kit (bottom left), meaning the R8 platform now supports calibres all the way from .22LR up to .500 Jeffery.
As if that wasn’t enough, Blaser is offering its own-branded scopes (bottom right) with its rifles, too!
Blaser 01483 917412 blaser-sporting.com
Browning X Bolt Pro Carbon
The newest version of Browning’s X Bolt comes dressed in a carbon stock – not a wrap, but a proper carbon chassis over a high-density foam core. The result is a stock that’s rigid, lightweight, weather resistant. A Cerakote finish will further add to its robustness – so this is a rifle that can really withstand some abuse.
Retailing at around £2,000 (packages with a Kite scope are also available), it’s set to come to the UK in .243, .270, .308, .30-06 and the increasingly popular 6.5 Creedmoor.
Browning 01235 514550 browning.eu
Strasser RS14 Evolution
Strasser’s Martin Skrivanek showed us the latest version of the RS14, which boasts an interchangeable barrel system that allows you to pick from 25 different calibres, from .222 to .458 Win Mag.
If you stay in the same calibre group, all you have to change is the barrel. The latest model adds a Picatinny rail on to the receiver, machined from one piece so there’s no limit on what can be mounted on top of the rifle – scopes, NV, thermal, you name it.
Costing around £2,500, the RS14 is well worth checking out.
Sportsman Gun Centre 01392 354854 sportsmanguncentre.co.uk
Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21x
The Exos 3-21×50 is the latest addition to the popular high-zooming Exos hunting line, designed to bridge the gap between Schmidt & Bender’s traditional sporting scopes and their PMII line. This one dials up the magnification from the previous 1-8x model, with a second focal plane reticle adjustable between 11 illumination settings. Designed to tight tolerances for precise shots, it’s also got parallax adjustment down to 25m for shorter-distance engagements.
Schmidt & Bender schmidt-bender.com
Vortex HD Fury 5000
Rangefinding binoculars are all the rage right now – here’s the latest addition to that sector from American optics giant, Vortex, demonstrated here by Bentley from Vortex’s UK distributor, Country Sports Wholesale.
These binos boast a whopping 5,000-yard maximum ranging distance – you obviously won’t be shooting at anywhere near that distance but you can have confidence in the strength and precision of the beam at hunting range.
Retailing at £1,299, it’s got several usage modes, equivalent horizontal distance calculator, rapid scan function and 0.1-metre accuracy.
Country Sports Wholesale
01462 743223 csw-online.co.uk
Production samples of the new Thermion scope-mounted thermal arrived with Thomas Jacks just in time for the show, and we’re glad they did – it’s a sight to behold, with an appearance akin to a standard day scope and fitting to standard 30mm scope rings.
There’s a new sensor inside, with 5.5x optical magnification and a further 4x zoom. Zeroing is akin to any other thermal; the battery is housed in the top turret, while the side turrets are for USB ports and main menu options.
Wi-fi and video out through the Stream Vision app come as standard. Look out for the Thermion and its sibling, the handheld Axion, in the summer.
Thomas Jacks 01789 264100
Sportsman Gun Centre used the BSS to showcase the latest addition their portfolio, Primary Arms Optics.
Initially SGC will stock a selection of the latest tactical, hunting and red dot scopes, expanding the range as the year goes on. Offering precision reticles with exceptional performance, impressive American build quality and great value, they’re set to be one to watch.
Sportsman Gun Centre 01392 354870 sportsmanguncentre.com
Night Master Trident
We got to see the new Trident torch in the flesh, which, as the name suggests, is based around three switchable LEDs – including an amber LED, which mimics street lighting in order to be less spooky to nocturnal quarry as well as easier on the eye.
It’s also got a rotary dimmer switch, easy-focus head, quiet switch, low battery indicator and beam lock-out function. One of the LEDs is IR, so it can be used in conjunction with night vision, too.
Night Master 01535 611688 nightmaster.co.uk
Leica CRF 2800.COM
Leica’s latest rangefinder boasts integrated Bluetooth, allowing it to communicate with your smartphone with the Leica app installed.
That means you can input your personal ballistic settings on the app, then let the Leica ballistics program calculate your holdover, send it to the rangefinder which adjusts for temperature, air pressure and angle, and display up-to-date click values for your shot. It’s a technological marvel, retailing for just £975.
Leica 0207 629 1351 leica-camera.com