September 2013

Colt Defense LLC to Market All Colt-Branded Goods after Merge

Colt Defense LLC, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rifles and carbines for the military, law-enforcement and sporting markets, has acquired New Colt Holding Corp., the parent company of Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC. Colt’s manufactures firearms for the civilian and sporting markets. For the first time since their separation in 2003, a single company will now develop, manufacture and sell firearms under the Colt name for all markets. Colt has supplied military, law enforcement and individual customers in the United States and throughout the world for more than 175 years. A subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. Colt operates its manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut, and Kitchener, Ontario.

The Turnbull Commander has a retail price of $2,999. Only 25 pistols will be produced. They are exclusively available through Trop Gun Shop in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Turnbull Announces New Turnbull Commander Custom 1911 Pistol

Turnbull Manufacturing has announced a very limited run of custom 1911 Commander-type pistols, designed for the Trop Gun Shop. The pistol is based on the 1920’s era appearance of the 1911 pistol, if there were a Commander-size slide and frame in production at the time.

“The 1911 is a timeless design, and for custom gunmakers, the 1920s appearance is really the classic 1911 look,” said CEO Doug Turnbull when asked about the frame design, “and at the same time, the Commander remains the all time favorite version of Browning’s masterpiece. We combined those two things to get the essence of 1911 into a new pistol design for Trop.”

The pistol has a stainless steel 4.25-inch barrel and bushing with a carbon steel frame, slide, trigger, hammer and grip safety. The pistol features a Novak dove tail front sight and an Eliason-style adjustable rear sight. It comes in .45 ACP with a 7+1 capacity in a traditional single-stack magazine. All components are manufactured in the USA.

The frame is color-case-hardened using the original bone and charcoal method to get the best color and strength. The slide, trigger and hammer are carbon-blued via the original charcoal style. The grips on this work of shooting art are from giraffe bone and are hand fitted to each pistol.

“When the folks at Trop suggested we work together on a classic 1911 design, everyone here got excited about the project,” noted Turnbull of the collaboration. “They had an interesting concept and we have the artisans to make that an accurate shooting reality.”

Hornady Suspends Some Lines

To increase deliveries of its most popular ammunition and bullets, Hornady has announced that it will temporarily suspend production of 150 bullet types and 150 ammo types. A statement on the company’s website emphasized that these bullet and ammo products are not being discontinued, but these less-popular items will not be produced for the remainder of 2013. Reason: So the company can devote more machine time to the most-popular items.

From a company statement on the website:

As you are aware, 2013 has been one of the most challenging years ever in the sporting arms industry. We are proud of the increases in production we have achieved this year, but we are still faced with a demand that exceeds our ability to produce.

In efforts to increase production, we have reviewed everything, refining procedures, adding people, and equipment when possible. One area that will help us produce more: cutting the number of changeovers in our production machinery.

To reduce changeovers, we are announcing the temporary suspension of more than 150 ammunition items and 150 bullet items, for the balance of 2013.…

We realize that many of the suspended items are going to disappoint some of our customers. We have painstakingly reviewed our order status and order history and unfortunately had to make some tough decisions. It wasn’t easy, but we know that we will do a better job of servicing the industry as a whole by focusing on the items of highest demand.

Also, the company concluded with this: “Last, we feel compelled to address some of the conspiracy theories that we have seen posted. No, this is not a conspiracy effort to shape the industry, nor is it controlled by the government. We are simply being forthright about our manufacturing plans and our efforts to supply more product to the very hungry shooting sports industry.”

Bushnell Introduces Six Scopes in New AR Optics Line

Bushnell Outdoor Products has launched a new optics family for the growing number of modern sporting rifle owners. The new AR Optics product line from Bushnell includes six new riflescopes that range in configuration from a 1-4x 24mm scope for close target acquisition to a 4.5-18x 40mm scope designed for extended range shooting. Four scopes in the line feature side parallax focus, giving shooters the ability to obtain a clear sight picture at any range. With three bullet-drop compensation (BDC) reticles available in the AR Optics line, DropZone-22, DropZone-223 and BTR-1, the scopes are designed for ease of use and quick target acquisition. Each scope in the line features a fast focus eyepiece that can be quickly adjusted to bring the image into focus. The Bushnell AR Optics feature multi-coated optics and are waterproof and fogproof.

AcuSports Offers Pistol/Silencer Combo

AcuSport, the firearms distributor based in Bellefontaine, Ohio, is offering an exclusive pistol/silencer package pairing an Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC)–marked Remington 1911 R1 and a silencer. MSRP is $2261.

Tina Marshall, brand manager for AcuSport Corp., said, this marks the first time in industry history that a pistol and silencer have been paired together as a packaged kit. She said the package is available to Class III retailers, and all NFA rules apply to the purchase of this product.

This silencer and pistol combination is equipped with a Pelican case with custom-cut foam, a Tirant45 silencer and two magazines. The product also features high sights, a black threaded barrel, custom Grey VZ “Grenade” AAC logo grips, the Skull Xguns logo on the right side of the slide, and “Advanced Armament Corp” on the left side.

“We are proud to have partnered with AAC to create a unique product for the industry,” said AcuSport Category Manager Dave Regula. “This pairing will be well received by consumers who want to outfit themselves with the latest technology.”

Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC)–marked Remington 1911 R1 and Tirant45 suppressor.

TrackingPoint Launches Super Gun Project

TrackingPoint is working on a new “Super Gun” capable of consistently hitting a target at more than 3,100 yards, or farther than the longest confirmed long-range small-arms shot of all time.

TrackingPoint’s Super Gun initiative would not result in a commercially-available rifle, although the company is having an internal discussion about how to apply the technology once it has been proven. The company has released various blueprints and sketches on its Labs blog that indicate how the Precision Guided Firearms optics could be applied to a McMillan .50 caliber rifle.

Jason Schauble, TrackingPoint CEO, said, “Our ‘Super Gun’ project will push the boundaries of perception in the firearms and shooting communities. In the process we hope to find inspiration for a whole new generation of tech applications.”

The current record for a confirmed long-distance hit is held by a British soldier, who shot 2,707 yards in November 2009 during the war in Afghanistan. Unconfirmed claims have been made for a shot of 3,079 yards in October 2012 by an Australian soldier using a 50-caliber rifle. The shot, if officially confirmed, will be the standard to which TrackingPoint holds its Super Gun capabilities.

NSSF Studies First-time Gun Buyers

A study commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation reveals that first-time gun buyers are largely active in one or more shooting activities and that women are motivated to purchase their first firearm predominately for personal defense. The study, “NSSF Report: First-Time Gun Buyer,” was done to help determine the motivations for the first firearm purchase and how these firearms are being used. The online research was conducted in March -- April 2013 and involved consumers aged 22 to 65 who bought their first firearm during 2012. InfoManiacs Inc., conducted the research.

Key findings include…

The majority of first-time buyers (60.3 percent) tend to be active, using their gun once per month or more, with one in five reporting usage of once a week or more.

Target shooting is by far the most popular shooting activity among first-time gun owners, with 84.3 percent of respondents saying they used their firearms for this purpose, followed by hunting (37.7 percent) and plinking (27.4 percent). Practical pistol shooting (17.3 percent) and clay-target shooting (14.6 percent) were shooting sports also enjoyed by first-time buyers. First-time gun owners who have participated in hunting (53.2 percent), practical pistol shooting (46.3 percent), clay-target sports (44.0 percent) and gun collecting (42.4 percent) said they want to increase their participation in these activities.

The top-ranking factors driving first-time gun purchases are home defense (87.3 percent), self-defense (76.5 percent) and the desire to share shooting activities with family and friends (73.2 percent). Women, in particular, are highly focused on personal defense and self-sufficiency.

Compiled by Gun Tests Staff GT