Cobalt Kinetics B.A.M.F. Competition Rifle
Cobalt Kinetics, a company that makes bold-looking AR-platform rifles for competition shooters, had their remarkable looking B.A.M.F. rifle on hand at Range Day, and the way it works is just as innovative as its looks. Designed with 3-Gun shooters (and any other competitors that rely on lightning fast mag changes) in mind, the B.A.M.F. rifle features what Cobalt calls a Dual Drop, multi-functional bolt release. Flip a small switch on the opposite side of the magazine release, and it works like a regular AR. Flip it forward, and when a fresh magazine is inserted with the bolt locked open, the bolt automatically closes.
Additionally, when the last round is fired and the bolt locks back, the empty magazine automatically drops free with no need to hit the mag release button. The mechanism removes two entire steps from the reloading process, which could make a significant difference in competitions when fractions of a second count.
The company presented a prototype of the rifle at SHOT Show last year, but a company representative says Cobalt is at the point where the gun will be going into production this year.
Chambered in .223 Wylde (meaning it will run both .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO ammunition), the B.A.M.F. has excellent all around ergonomics, an extremely effective CK Pro muzzle brake, a wonderfully contoured M-Lok free-floating handguard, a beveled and extended magazine well, a light weight, low-friction bolt carrier group, and an extremely sturdy in-house stock featuring the CK Pro buffer system and a comfortable cheek rest. Combined with its unique bolt system and you have what could be the future of competition ARs. MSRP: NA. —David Maccar
Benelli’s Super Black Eagle has been around forever and has earned the reputation of being a great all-around hunting shotgun, but the weight and recoil of the big black gun can scare some people off. Enter the Super Black Eagle 3—this gun is sweet with a capital S. Benelli dropped about a quarter pound from the previous model, bringing the SBE3 in at just over 7 pounds. More importantly, they added their Comfort Tech 3 system that significantly reduces felt recoil through the elasticity in the chevron pattern on the stock and the Comb Tech leaf spring that controls flex on the cheek. It shoots smoothly, and the Super Black Eagle 3 in its various stock finishes, including camo, can do it all, from the duck blind to the turkey woods to the pheasant fields. MSRP: Starting at $1899. —Jodi Stemler
Mossberg 590 Shockwave and OPSol Mini Shell Adapter
Mossberg drew a lot of attention to a small, almost inconspicuous booth at Range Day with it’s new self-defense shotgun: the 12 gauge 590 Shockwave. Think of it as a cut-down 590, but there’s one big difference between the Shockwave and Mossberg’s various Cruiser models—it is classified as fully compliant by the BATFE and requires no tax stamp for a transfer.
How can this be? Well, instead of a pistol grip, Mossberg has outfitted the short shotgun with what they call the Shockwave Raptor Bird’s Head polymer pistol grip, which is slim near the receiver and swells to a bulb at the back for easy retention and less felt recoil than a traditional pistol grip. Paired with a 14-inch barrel, the Shockwave is 26.37-inches in overall length, fitting right into the federal regs for legal shotgun length. Because of it’s 14-inch barrel, the gun can hold 5+1 shells in its mag tube.
The gun also features everything else you’d expect from a Mossberg: an ambidextrous top safety switch, dual extractors, twin action bars, and a smooth operating anti-jam elevator, plus a forend strap to prevent a shooter’s hand from slipping in front of the muzzle while working the action.
Mossberg’s Director of Media Relations, Linda Powell was on hand with a cool accessory for the Shockwave and other Mossberg shotguns: the $15 Mini-Clip from OPSol, which attaches to the elevator assembly of any Mossberg 500, 590, 590A1, and Maverick 88 models and allows for the reliable feeding of 1.75 shotgun shells, like the Aguila Minishells. Using 1.75″ shells nearly doubles the magazine capacity of a tube-fed shotgun and the small loads greatly reduce felt recoil as well as noise. A Shockwave loaded with Mini-Shells would be an extremely viable home defense shotgun package, especially for small-framed shooters or those with shoulder, wrist, or elbow injuries. MiniShells are available in birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. MSRP: $450 —David Maccar
Federal Premium Hunter Match 22 Long Rifle Ammo: Loads for the Squirrel Sharpshooter
Match ammunition and hunting loads are typically two different things, with match ammunition made solely for punching clean holes in paper as close together as possible, while hunting loads are designed to provide just right amount of penetration and expansion in game. Federal says hunters get the best of both with their new Hunter Match 22 Long Rifle Ammo, which is designed to provide a flat trajectory as well as optimal performance on game out to 100 yards. Got your eye on a faraway trophy squirrel? This could be the ammo to make it yours. MSRP: Not available. –Mike Toth
Colt Delta Elite Rail Gun
Back in 1987, Colt introduced the Delta Elite pistol, credited as the first handgun chambered for the powerful 10mm Auto cartridge. It’s a modified M1911 pistol, Series 80. Colt dropped the pistol from production in 1996 due to poor sales and the growing popularity of smaller pistols with high magazine capacities chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W.
The Delta Elite got another chance in 2008 when Colt announced its return to the market and it hit gun shops in mid-2009. The new guns are mostly similar to the originals. At Range Day, Colt had a new version of the Delta Elite with a frame-integrated accessory rail that brings the gun in line with most other modern 1911-pattern guns that offer the ability to attach weapon lights, laser sights and other accessories.
With the power of a 10mm, the ability to add a light makes the Delta Elite a great choice for hunting wild hogs and other medium-sized game.
The powerful handgun is easy to control and wonderfully balanced, and the enhanced versatility brought by the rail addition makes this a wonderful addition to anyone’s 1911 collection. MSRP: $1,299 —David Maccar
Debuting at SHOT Show this year, Hudson categorizes their new H9 as a “1911-inspired” pistol. The 9mm pistol was awesome to shoot. The trigger, which is 1911 style, has a 4.5- to 5-pound trigger pull and was both smooth and accurate. The gun felt amazingly well balanced and the interchangeable 1911-style grip felt great in my hand. Recoil was extremely manageable. The slide release is ambidextrous and the magazine release can be changed from right to left-handed. The gun can be equipped with a thumb safety for left- or right-handed shooters. MSRP: $1147. —Annette Doerr
Walther’s latest 9mm, the polymer Creed has a 6.5-pound trigger pull with a 4-inch barrel and a 16-round capacity. Shooting the Creed was very comfortable with its textured, ergonomic grip. The gun was light to shoot and accurate. The hammer is bobbed, so the pre-cocked double-action won’t snag on your clothing or holster when you draw it. At an MSRP of just $399, the Creed is extremely affordable. —Annette Doerr
If you’re looking for a new field gun for upland bird hunting, one that fits a moderate price point but is still highly functional and beautiful in design, then Beretta’s new 690 Field I 20-gauge over/under might be for you. Because it comes in at a lower price point than the Silver Pigeon, you might think compromises have been made, but that’s not Beretta’s way. This gun is lightweight with a redesigned comb and stock allowing it to fit more comfortably for shooters with longer necks and higher cheekbones. The engraving and wood stock are gorgeous, and the Steelium barrel makes for outstanding ballistics. Most important, it shoots as good as it looks. MSRP: $2950. —Jodi Stemler
If you like to hear the ping of your bullet hitting a solid metal target but have to go to a range that has one set out whenever you feel the urge, Champion makes it easy to ring steel on your own with their new Center Mass targets. They’re available in 4- and 8-inch gongs as well as an 8-inch square. Champion says the 1/4- and 3/8-inch-thick targets will withstand hits by numerous calibers for years. MSRP: $12 to $30 depending on target diameter and thickness. –Mike Toth