At 8:30 this morning in Las Vegas, the doors to the 2018 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) exhibit floor swung open, and Field & Stream editors joined the throngs of industry pros pouring into the 630,000-square-foot space to eyeball the latest hunting and shooting equipment. Think of an empty Superdome. Now think of it filled with guns and gear. Our team will be in Vegas until those doors close on Friday, and each day we’ll update this page with reviews of the hottest new products, so be sure to check in all week. Follow our Facebook page, too, for updates, videos, and more from the 2018 SHOT show.
Kahr is the parent company of Magnum Research, which is well known for semi-auto handguns chambered for the .44 Magnum. For 2018, they worked with Outlaw Ordnance to offer something truly special. This new Desert Eagle 1911CSS is chambered for the .45 ACP, has a stainless frame and slide, and a 4.33-inch bull barrel. But what truly sets the pistol apart is the two-tone, distressed Cerakote finish with deep laser engraving of “We the People,” plus grips engraved with approximately 40 signatures from the Constitution. This might be the ultimate barbecue pistol! $1,225; Khar Arms —R.M.
Federal 224 Valkyrie
The Valkyries, you may recall, were Teutonic warrior ladies who rode hither and yon hacking people to pieces and screeching horrible music by Wagner. The 224 Valkyrie is a dedicated AR cartridge that comes in in loadings for competition, practice, medium game, and varmint hunting. It’s a very small round with hardly any recoil or report, but in its target loading, it’s good out to 1,000 yards (and more, if you’re enough of a shot), which badly outranges the .223. When you look at how small the Valkyrie is, you’ll be tempted to say, “Oh ho, what can you do with that?” Which is what I said a couple of years ago when I saw an F-Class shooter with a wildcat that was very similar to the Valkyrie. What he did was put 25 rounds into a teacup-sized bull’s-eye at 600 yards. I know because I pulled the target. Price depends on loading. Federal Premium —D.E.P.
Remington’s new 870 DM might be the buzziest shotgun at the show. People line up for a chance to compete with other attendees at the Remington booth to see who can reload this gun the fastest in a simulated 3-gun stage. The person with the best time at the show wins a new gun. Everybody else has to buy one. There are several versions, including a Model 870 DM Predator, clearly made for hunting, with a ghost-ring sight, 18½inch barrel, tight choke, camo finish, and Remington’s SureShot semi-thumbhole stock. The 870 DM is available with three and six-round magazines. All controls are easy to use. There’s a large paddle release at the front of the mag well and extra-large slide release behind it. The mag well itself is attached to the bottom of a standard 870 receiver. $529 for base model, $799 for the Predator; Remington —P.B.
OtterBox is shouldering into the crowded soft-cooler market with its Trooper line, and the 30-quart LT30 definitely deserve a look. Here’s what’s different: The hard-rimmed top opens and closes with one hand, and locks open as wide as a hippo’s mouth so you can see every nook and cranny inside. There’s an integrated backpack harness system stout enough to haul 40 pounds of meat. A zippered pocket on the front is large enough for a short stack of magazines, and a separate smaller pocket will swallow a medium-sized flybox. An accessory clip system holds a bottle opener and an Otter dry box (sold separately), and the armored bottom is waterproof so you can stow in a sloppy boat hull, or set it down on the beach or in a creek. Trooper LT 30 starts at $299.99 for marine blue and OD green; Comes in Realtree’s new Edge pattern for $349.99; OtterBox —T.E.N.
I’m a lefty. Right-handed equipment bugs me almost as much as pink-and-shrink. Syren’s latest shotgun is made for lefty (and righty) ladies, and it’s a beauty. The L4S Sporting is a semiauto that swings and handles like an old-school O/U. The stock features adjustable recoil-pad depth and accommodates for upper body curve, female cheekbone structure, and shorter reach. $1,895 right hand, $2,080 left hand; Syren —Kris Millgate
When Savage Arms introduced the AccuTrigger in 2002, they changed the production-rifle game. This year, Savage wants to do the same thing with stocks. The new AccuFit System is made up of five comb risers and four stock inserts that can tweak length of pull and comb height of any Model 110. This isn’t a tactical system with noobs and dials, so it doesn’t radically change the look or shouldering characteristics of a classic Model 110 stock. But with it, length of pull can be adjusted from 12.5 to 13.5-inchs and the comb can be elevated in 1/8-inch increments. A screwdriver is required, but not a gunsmith. It’s an affordable way to get a custom fit or perfect for a teenager that’s growing like a weed. As to whether the AccuFit will change the game like the AccuTrigger did, we don’t know, but from the floor of #SHOTSHOW2018 it looks possible. Savage Arms —Michael R. Shea
The Zephyr II is Steyr’s new rimfire rifle—and it might be my favorite new rifle of the 2018 SHOT show. Top three for sure. It has a classic European walnut stock with fish-scale-pattern checkering and the famous and elegant Steyr Mannlicher butterknife bolt handle, as well as a tang safety. Available in .17 HMR, .22 LR and .22 WMR, the Zephyr II has a cold-hammer-forged 19.7-inch barrel, and weighs 5.8 pounds. This is a rimfire rifle made for a grown man—and squirrel rifle extraordinaire. $995; Steyr Arms —R.M.
Lucky Duck Super Goose Flapper HDi
The Super Goose Flapper’s wings beat at your choice of five speed settings, essentially allowing you to flag birds without attracting attention to the blinds. The decoy is remote-controlled, and both the motion and the flocked decoy itself are quite lifelike. The reversible wings have a photo-realistic side and a black side to duplicate the traditional goose-flag look. They are powered by a 12-volt battery that comes with a smart charger. The one-piece decoy, which sits on a stable tripod base, has a flocked head and a wingspan of 50 inches. You’ll still get to wave your old T-flag at distant flocks, if you want, but when the birds are close and you need realistic motion without giving yourself away, the Super Goose can take over. $319; Lucky Duck —P.B.
I do most of my duck hunting on rivers, from a boat. And inevitably, I end up digging through my dry box at midmorning, trying to find something I forgot to put into my blind bag before daylight. I need the dry storage to protect extra boxes of ammo, plus emergency must-haves like fire-starting materials and toilet paper. But I also carry a traditional soft-sided blind bag for other day-hunt essentials. This new setup from Flambeau, which features a sizeable dry box wrapped with a 4-pocket blind bag, combines the two and offers a practical solution for hunters like me. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a blind bag to haul into the timber or out to a goose field, but for a bag-and-box that lives mostly in the boat or in a pit, this thing is smart. $80; Flambeau Outdoors —W.B.
This excellent new riflescope from Austrian based Kahles was specifically created for the 3-Gun market, but it has features that a hunter can appreciate. The 1-6x magnification range is ideal for most competition shooting as well as for big-game or predator hunters, and at 10.9 inches and 16.9 ounces, the scope is very compact and light. The unique 3GR reticle is in the second focal plane and broken into 1-MIL increments for holdover and windage correction. It is also illuminated—and that’s the cool part. The reticle has both an illuminated red dot at its center intersection, and another 2-MILs lower to be used as a quick reference for shooting at extended range. Street price is a little over $2,000; Kahles —R.M.
The Bongo represents the next level up for the South African knifemaker, who has always operated at a very high level to begin with. You get the usual full-tang blades of Bohler N690 steel, a high-carbon stainless from Austria, and for this new family of knives—the Bongo is one of four—the blades get a new mirror finish. The big change is in the handles—each scale is set into a recess machined into the tang, for a lighter weight and a significant increase in handle stability. There’s added jimping on the blade spine, too, and notches in the handle for better grip. The Bongo handle is made from the inner bone of the kudu horn, and it is a riot of colors and patterns. Simply gorgeous. Each knife comes with a kangaroo leather lanyard tipped with a kudu horn bead, which slips under a nifty safety flap on the kangaroo leather sheath, so you won’t lose the knife. Which you will definitely not want to do. $359; Arno Bernard —T.E.N.
I’ve wanted to talk about this rifle since early December, when I hunted with it in South Texas. But it’s been under embargo until the SHOT Show. This is the Italian shotgun maker’s first foray into the rifle market, and they went for the sub-$600 price point that so many hunters are buying today. They nailed it, too. The Momentum is a synthetic-stock bolt-action with a 3-lug fluted bolt; a cold hammer-forged, free-floating barrel; and an adjustable trigger. The stock is comfortable and ergonomic with a lot of thoughtful features built in, like recessed sling swivels and a checkered hand recess near the butt plate for shooting off a bench. The rifle I used in Texas was a .308, and it was a hell of a shooter. I killed one of my best bucks ever with it, along with a couple does, a javelina, and some pigs. (Yep, God Bless Texas.) The Momentum is available in both threaded and non-threaded versions, and also as a combo with a Burris Fullfield II 3-9×40 scope. It also comes with a 7-year warranty. MSRP is $609 for the rifle alone, and $729 for the combo—and you’ll find it on shelves for less than that. If you’re like me and consider your rifle a tool above all else, this one is a bargain. Franchi —W.B.
The term “black guns” usually describes semi-auto, MSR, or sniper-type carbines, intended for law enforcement or personal protection. It’s not the category where you expect to find a rimfire rifle. On the other hand, there’s really no other way to classify this new and unique rifle from Ruger. The Precision Rimfire is a bolt-action rifle chambered for the .22 LR, but built on a one-piece chassis stock with a highly adjustable and ergonomic stock. The rifle has a Picatinny rail for mounting an optic, feeds from detachable 10-22-style magazines, and features a free-floating handguard, surrounding an 18-inch cold-hammer-forged target barrel with a threaded muzzle. And, well, its black. Bottom line: If you want the most badass .22LR you can get (at a reasonable price), this is it. $529; Ruger —Richard Mann
Aguila ammunition has expanded its Minishell lineup for 2018 by adding 8 and 9 shot to the existing buckshot, slug, and 7½ shot offerings. Most people look at these 1 ¾-inch Minishells and ask. “How many fit into my Kel-Tech?” But they have more to offer than mere firepower. Actually, they have less to offer, but very much in the “less is more” sense. At 1,200 fps and with only 5/8 of an ounce of shot, Minishells are practically recoiless and are noticeably quieter than standard target loads. Yet they’re still powerful enough to break clays. That makes them a great training load for new shooters or anyone who hates recoil. Minishells won’t cycle in semiautos or even some pumps, but in a break-action 12, they are a joy to shoot. New for this year, they come in 25-round boxes in place of the old 20 rounders. $11.39 per 25; Aguila Ammunition —P.B.
Deer Season XP has been on the market several seasons now, and its reputation on whitetails is a lethal one. Still, as deadly as it is, a deep-penetrating bullet it is not—nor is it designed to be. But if you’re someone who prefers more penetration in a deer bullet, Winchester now has the answer for you. The new Copper Impact version of Deer Season XP uses a similar, large-diameter polymer tip up front and hollow-point bullet design for the signature rapid expansion—but an all-copper construction provides better weight retention and penetration potential. Nothing wrong with that when you’re faced with a quartering shot on a stud of a Midwestern buck. The line will initially be offered in .243, .270, .30-06, .308, and .300 Win Mag. $28 to $30 per 20; Winchester —W.B.
From Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the Cumberland River in Kentucky, I spent a lot of time duck hunting over Mojo’s King Mallard in 2017. The completely redesigned spinning-wing decoy had the same mesmerizing effect on ducks as the original Mojo Mallard, but in a much quieter, faster, and frankly better design. The King Mallard is a big, heavy thing, though, so Mojo has followed it up in 2018 with an entire line of decoys built around a smaller motor and housing. Called the Elite Series, the new decoys are available in Mini Mallard versions (drake and hen), Blue-Wing Teal, Green-Wing Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, and Wood Duck. At the heart of each is a self-contained box that includes the motor, battery, and wing assembly. The “duck” part of the decoy is a flexible, slip-over skin. They all work on a Cam Lock support pole that’s much sturdier than the old aluminum spinner poles. Hunters can save some money with these smaller decoys, too. The original King Mallard retails for $170, but the new teal are $80 each, and the Gadwall, Pintail, and Mini-Mallard versions are $90 each. MOJO Outdoors —W.B.
The direct-to-consumer model works for optics, just like it does for so many other things. Tract scopes and binoculars have a great value reputation because they’re of high-end quality without the dealer markup in price. The 10x Toric binocular that won Outdoor Life’s Great Buy award in 2016 has been upgraded with new features for 2018 including SCHOTT High Transmission glass, flat multicoating, and a locking diopter ring. It’s pretty much impossible to evaluate optics on the floor of a trade show, of course, because they all look great indoors—but I’m betting these will be good. And $694 ain’t an altogether bad price tag for a quality binocular. Tract Optics —W.B.
What makes this field blind for Bowser so great is how easy it makes things for Bowser’s owner. Built with a hub and spoke configuration on the side walls like a pop-up blind, it takes all of about 5 seconds to set up. It’s super sturdy while deployed, and yet the whole thing breaks down into a 6×24-inch carry bag that easy to stuff into a day back or decoy bag and hump to a beaver swamp or other remote waters. I’m convinced the wariest ducks pick out my black lab, even in a camo vest and tucked tight into the trees. But kicked back in the Alpha Dog Blind and placed on a beaver dam, even a yellow Lab would vanish behind the magnetic dual-swing doors. $100; ALPS Brands —T.E.N.
Nightforce just added a low-power 1-8x scope to its popular ATACR lineup, and it’s screaming to be mounted on an AR or dangerous game rifle. The illuminated center dot of the first-focal-plane reticle is clearly visible in daylight, so at 1x the scope functions like a red dot. Swing the scope to 8x, and you’ll have enough reach to pick off a hog at 300 yards. The scope comes in at 10-inches and 21 ounces, and oozes that quality we’ve come to expect from Nightforce. At $2,800 it’s not cheap, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better variable low-power optic for an AR or dangerous game gun. —Michael R. Shea
If you can’t tell right away from the name, the new P365 from SIG is intended to be a handgun you can comfortably carry 365 days per year. Chambered for the 9mm Luger and rated for +P ammunition, this 5.8-inch long, polymer framed, striker-fired pistol has a 10+1 capacity and weighs less than 18 ounces. It comes standard with SIGLITE night sights, and has an affordable real-world price of less than $600. Concealed-carry holsters are available direct from SIG to help you make this your every day carry handgun. Sig Sauer —R.M.
Bergara HMR Pro
As a brand, I think Bergara is probably the best-shooting rifle around today. I’ve shot a bunch, and have yet to see one that was not outstanding. Made in Georgia, the HMR Pro is a dual-purpose (Hunting and Match) rifle with a No. 5 contour barrel, a new trigger that’s made by Trigger Tech, which is sensational, and an adjustable tactical stock with a full-length mini-chassis. The HMR Pro comes in .223, .22/250, 6mm, 6.5mm Creedmoor, and .308. It has a threaded muzzle and is based on the Bergara Premier action. Weight runs from 9.2 pounds to 9.6 pounds, depending on caliber.
The rifle I groped at Range Day in the video above came with a test target in which resided a three-shot group that measures .219. (Bergara tests all these rifles for accuracy, and puts the targets in the box with them.) This is very, very fancy shooting. Whoever does their testing can really lay ’em in there. If you can shoot this well you are a hell of a shot. The price, at $1,715, is a bargain. Bergara. —D.E.P
Ruger Super Redhawk 10mm
Do you need a gun the size of a Super Redhawk to handle the 10mm Auto? Of course not. But it sure is fun to shoot, even with big-boy hunting loads. With three included moon clips, it’s fast to reload, too. The gun comes ready to go with Ruger rings, meaning you can top it with a real handgun scope. Now to be clear, I think the 10mm cartridge hits its best stride as a dual-purpose defensive and hunting gun in a service-sized autopistol. Still, there are a bunch of good, new 10mm rounds out there that are perfectly capable on whitetails and hogs. And nothing beats a good pistol scope for hunting. For a dedicated deer gun in 10mm, this might be the best option on the market right now. $1,159; Ruger —Will Brantley
Sitka’s much anticipated hardcore wader went through nearly 4,000 hours of field testing before manufacturing was greenlighted, and now that it’s out, the Delta collection doesn’t disappoint. Made of 4-layer Gore-Tex, every square inch seems engineered to address an aggravating aspect of traditional waterfowl wader design. Slim suspenders use a ladder and hook system for quick adjustments—no shotgun stocks banging on buckles. A nonslip belt is designed into the wader—no hip belt dropping into the mud every time you remove the waders. And there’s an integrated D-ring for Texas-rigged decoys. Microfleece-lined pockets. Padded knees. Sitka teamed up with Lacrosse to build a boot system from the cleats up. The result wears like a pair of midweight hiking boots, except that it’s buttressed with armor to turn back beaver sticks and lined with a 7mm neoprene bootie for toasty toes in bottomed out temperatures. Spendy, yes. But yowser, what a pair of duck pants! Comes in both Marsh and Timber patterns. Standard $849, with zipper front $949; Sitka —T. Edwards Nickens
There’s not a bit of bling on this knife, nothing over the top, nothing to detract from just how close to perfect a blade they’re making in Michigan. White River builds all of its knives in its family-owned facility, of 100-percent U.S. materials, and the Small Game Knife is just a beauty. It’s designed to excel on upland birds and small game, but it’s perfectly capable of breaking down a deer-sized animal or better. The full-tang blade is 2.6 inches long, of premium CPMS35V powder steel, with a fetching handle of paper micarta that has a wonderful wood-grain look and feel. The modified drop point shows off the blade’s hunt-oriented cred, keeping the tip away from an animal’s organs while dressing and skinning. But the spine is pretty straight for a drop-point knife, enabling greater control for finer cutting tasks such as caping or breasting a duck. Frankly, I had a hard time putting it down. This is one sweet knife. $165 with leather sheath; White River Knives —T.E.N.
“That looks like a nice pair of hunting slippers.” Those were the first words I said after seeing Rocky’s new Broadhead EX boot line. They’re incredibly lightweight and distinctive looking, with a (mostly) one-piece upper that eliminates many of the seams usually built into a hunting boot. Seams, of course, are where problems eventually leak in. The outsoles are also out of the box, with rubberized heels and a unique tread. Picture a hard-rubber meat mallet, and you’ll get the idea. The boots are available without insulation, or in 400- or 800-gram options. $139 to $159; Rocky Boots —W.B.
Nikon is making a big push into the tactical space. But they had their new reflex sight mounted on a camo shotgun—and it’s called the Spur. In other words, it’ll work as well for chasing spring gobblers as for kicking in doors. The sight has top-end multicoated optics and a Trucolor coating that’s designed to minimize some of the glare and bluish tint that you frequently see when looking through a reflex sight. The Spur has 10 brightness-level settings that are adjustable with the push of a button, and a standard Picatinny-style mounting system (though plates for various handguns are supposedly in the very near future). Best of all, it retails for only a little over $200. I’m not a big optics-for-turkeys guy, but I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve whiffed with a plain bead, either. A fast, low-profile sight like this is a good idea for a turkey gun. Even if it does say “tactical” on the side. $219; Nikon Sport Optics —W.B.
“M” stands for “Mag-Fed,” and this new version of the Model 590 accepts 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-round double-stack polymer magazines with steel feed lips. When I shot the 590M yesterday at Industry Day, I was impressed by how easily and securely the magazines snap into place. Once you empty a mag, you push an ambidextrous release at the front of the trigger guard, and it pops out. The double-stack detachable magazines also give the gun a much different, better-balanced feel than a gun with an extended magazine.
In all other ways, this is the same Mossberg 590 that met the rigorous MilSpec 3443 requirements for a pump action shotgun. It features a top-tang safety and comes in both a bare-bones 18.5-inch-barrel version and a tri-rail version with rails for accessories, a vented handguard, and ghost-ring sights. The 590M comes with one ten-round magazine, and more are available as accessories. Starts at $712; Mossberg —Phil Bourjaily
Bill Wilson, who is one of the foremost firearms innovators of the new millennium, has taken the MSR platform to a place it’s never before been. Wilson Combat’s new 7-pound, 5-ounce Ultimate Hunter rifle is chambered for a cartridge capable of taking any animal on this planet—and probably any other for that matter. With its 18-inch barrel and mid-length gas system, this AR-15 sized MSR will push the 300-grain bullet from the .458 HAM’R cartridge to 2,100 fps. It’s mean, nasty, elegant, and exquisitely crafted. $3,055; Wilson Combat —Richard Mann
Federal’s new Tungsten Super Shot turkey loads deliver dense long-range patterns the likes of which you’ve never seen. TSS is so dense that No. 9 shot has the same penetration as No. 5 lead, meaning you can sling payloads of up to 900 lethal pellets at distant turkeys, or downsize to a 20 gauge or even a .410 and still have plenty of pattern density for normal-range shots. Loads in 12 and 20 gauge feature Federal’s FliteControl Flex wad to give tight patterns through any choke. From $6 to $10 per shell, depending on gauge; Federal Premium —P.B.
Savage Fox A Grade
Savage has brought one of the great names in American shotguns back with the A Grade Fox, the first double gun made in the USA for who knows how many years. Savage bought A.H. Fox in 1929, and made its guns through World War II, when they met the fate of all the great American doubles—death by progress. Expensive to make and out of step with a post-war taste for repeaters, the Foxes, Parkers, Ithacas, and others disappeared. Now the Fox is back. Made for Savage by Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company and styled after the original A.H. Fox shotgun, internally this gun bears a strong resemblance to CSMC’s excellent RBL double.
It’s a traditional double with straight grip and twin triggers, and it comes in 12 and 20 gauge versions, with 26 or 28 inch barrels. The gun has high-grade walnut and a beautifully case-colored receiver sculpted and lightly engraved in the style of the original A Grade Fox. The flush-mounted, nearly invisible choke tubes are one sign that this gun, despite its old-school looks, is a thoroughly modern 21st century double gun. $5,000; Savage Arms —P.B.
Buck 110 Auto Elite
For this one, we need some history. Back in the 1950s, people were hysterical about juvenile delinquency—punk kids, dressed like Elvis Presley, fooling with switchblade knives. Congress, in its wisdom, passed a bill called the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act, which was as idiotic as its many gun-control efforts. The Act said that you could buy an automatic knife, but you couldn’t carry it, and the law holds in some states and not in others.
So Americans ignored the Act, and for years it’s been possible to buy automatic knives in all sorts of places, and quite likely the Act will be repealed later this year. In the meanwhile, Buck Knives, which is as far from juvenile delinquency as you can get, has morphed its legendary 110 folder into the 110 Auto Elite. The brass frame is replaced by nickel silver; the Macassar ebony scales have given way to G10, which is not pretty but is indestructible; the blade is now S30V instead of 420 HC, and it pops open with the push of a button and stays open via a lockback mechanism. The 110 Auto Elite is a much better knife than the original, and if you see one for sale, buy it. You may not always have two hands available to get your knife open. $230; Buck Knives —David E. Petzal
Taking shots at long range is the fastest-growing shooting discipline right now, and for that task, the new 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) cartridge from Hornady offers what is in my opinion the best balance of power, recoil, and size, of any commercial cartridge on the market. The cartridge case was built from the ground up specifically for distance and is loaded with the highest ballistic coefficient bullets available. It will drive a 143-grain Hornady ELD-X bullet to 2,960 fps, with more efficiency than any of the previous 6.5 caliber cartridges on the market, including the wildly popular Creedmoor. And that’s saying something. —R.M.
Here is a surprise. If you’re familiar with classic Mausers with controlled-feed actions, you’re aware that they sell for $7,000 to $14,000, which may be why you don’t own a new Mauser. The M18 is designed, so their marketing copy says, to put Mauser back in the hands of the people, which sounds vaguely Marxist, but refers merely to rifles.
Unlike the controlled-feed M98, the M18 is about as modern a turnbolt action as I know of. It’s a pushfeed that employs a detachable box magazine, has a synthetic stock with soft inlays, and comes in seven calibers from 6.5 Creedmoor to .300 Win Mag. Weight, I would guess, is around 7 pounds without scope. I shot one, and it’s an easy gun to hit with. The price is $699.99, and without a doubt this is the best finished and fitted $700 rifle I’ve laid eyes on. Because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s cheap. You can buy a $400 or a $500 centerfire and you’ll save $200, but it won’t be anything like this one. Mauser —David E. Petzal