SHOT Show 2011 Day 1 – S&W Custom Shop, Liberty Safe, Perazzi, XRAIL, Pedersoli

Authors Current Events Paul Helinski

Day 1 at SHOT show is always a little crazy and this year was no different. With record attendance the isles were full of people and we often had 20 people at the booth (we are #1925) learning about GunsAmerica dealer services and waiting for T-shirts.

Today I will post the advertisement for our 2011 SHOT Show commemorative T-shirt. We have decided to honor the pre-sale price through the entire show because we have had some outages of the order site the last few days. We are using one of our Live Storefronts for the orders, and they were created for gun dealers to use, with dozens of orders per week, not dozens of orders per hour like the t-shirts.The site has been hammered and has held up, but we had to rework a few things to handle the load and we have had some frustrating down time. So if you have procrastinated ordering a shirt, don’t worry. The price hasn’t changed. It is a fantastic shirt and this special print run will be closed on Saturday.

Starting tomorrow we begin shooting GunsAmerica TV with our host, Silver Medalist and worldwide shotgun trainer Josh Lakatos. Rather than be redundant talking about all of the big stories at SHOT I’m going to cherry pick some of the smaller stories for the blog that I can find around the show. Here are the ones I found today.

Liberty Safe Survives 3 Hour 100,000 BTU Burn

It is difficult to find something novel to write about a welded and powder coated steel box with a lock on the front. A safe is a safe is a safe, or so you would think. But if you have the patience to learn more about safes than what is instantly soundbite-able, Liberty Safe, as a company, and the actual Liberty Safes themselves, are completely different than any other safe and safe company in the world.

New for 2011 is a story from late 2010, from a Liberty Safe customer named John Best from Hot Springs Arkansas:

“My name is John Best of Hot Springs, Arkansas. I bought a Fatboy from Liberty Safe about a year and a half ago to store my guns and papers in. On Friday morning October 15, 2010, I found my garage on fire where I also had my safe. The Fire Department was called and it took them three hours of fighting the roaring fire before they could put it out. The fire was so hot it melted aluminum and warped brass. The only standing item in the garage was the safe. You can tell by my pictures that it had been exposed to very high temps.
It was necessary to have a locksmith come out on Monday 10/18 and drill the safe open to get inside. After several hours of drilling he advised me the safe was open. When he pulled the door open we could see that about 95% my rifles and handguns were ok and all the papers and money were in great condition. There was some minor damage but nothing that we could not repair at little or no cost.
The fire inspector who came out to check the fire advised he had never seen a safe come thru a fire this hot with so little damage. He said he was going to advise his other inspectors of the quality of the Liberty Fatboy. He thinks the safe hit over 100,000 BTU’s for most of the 2-3 hours.
My statement to your company is job well done! We’ll talk up your product to all my hunting and shooting pals.
Thanks again from a very happy customer!”

The story behind the story is actually as interesting as the story itself. Liberty were the ones who sent the locksmith, on Monday (it was a weekend fire). And they didn’t do it for a PR score that they could use in marketing materials. The Liberty lifetime guarantee includes:

  1. Free on site opening and removal of the damaged safe.
  2. Free delivery and installation of the replacement safe.
  3. Free transferable warranty to the new owner if you sell the safe.
  4. Free service from a nationwide network of certified dealers and locksmiths.

There are equally compelling stories on the Liberty website from customers who had bad guys try to break into their safe for several hours to no avail, and torture tests of just about every kind. Time and time again Liberty comes out on top against adversity, and adversity is something that everyone faces in life from time to time. it isn’t an accident that Liberty is the largest manufacturer of safes, selling over 100,000 per year, and it isn’t just because they advertise on Glenn Beck. If adversity comes knocking, a Liberty safe isn’t a bad ally to have on your side.

Click to see the full size photos are on the Liberty website.

New from Smith & Wesson Custom Shop

The Smith & Wesson Custom Shop announced three new products for SHOT specifically for the handgun hunting market. If you are not familiar with the Custom Shop, these are not special order guns. Smith & Wesson maintains the Custom Shop to provide consumers with handguns that are a notch above, and have features and usability that would otherwise be done in an aftermarket setting by a gunsmith. By offering these guns as standard catalog items, S&W can provide its customers with a custom grade action job, a 10 pound recoil spring, integral accessory rails, fluted barrels, compensators and custom finishes, none of which are stock on an out of the box Smith & Wesson.

The first gun is the Model 629 in all stainless with a vapor deposition process coating. It comes with a Leapers red and green dot sight, a compensator and trigger block. The Model 629 is of course a .44 Magnum and capable of taking most North American game. The MSRP is $1,329.

The new Custom Shop Model 67 is a .17HMR masterpiece with a 12” fluted barrel, custom wood grip, and includes both a bi-pod and the same red dot, green dot scope. MSRP is $1,299.

And the big boy in our line up is the 460, one of Smith & Wesson’s super revolvers that has come to us only within the last few years. This new model is a custom package that includes an un-fluted cylinder (which is stronger and can withstand more pressure from hot loads), a 14” fluted barrel, a custom muzzle break made specifically for this .460 caliber pistol, and it ships with the bi-pod. MSRP is $1,419.

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Perazzi Half Rib MX2000

No gun is going to make you a great trap shooter. But if you want to be the best you can be, choosing a gun made for Olympians and World Cup Champions isn’t a bad start. You can count on one hand how many shotgun companies fall into that category, and Perazzi is one of them.

New for 2011 in the US (the guns have been in Europe for a couple years) is what Perazzi calls a “half rib.” The premise is simple. You never want to “aim” a shotgun. Great shotgunners point their guns. They don’t aim them.

Overcoming the tendency to want to aim, or line up the “sights” (even though a trap shotgun doesn’t have sights), is one of the fundamentals of shotgun training. Dan Bonillas, staffing the Perazzi booth at the show, explained it to me.

“Take your thumb and put it out in front of you where the rail of a shotgun would start” he said. “Now try to look past that and focus on something 30 inches away. The thumb in front “calls yours eye” to it, and it is an overwhelming distraction. Now think about the front of the rib on your shotgun. It is just like the thumb. Sure, the end of the shotgun is at the end of the rib, but your eye is going to try to navigate between the front in the back, begging your eye to aim, and not point. The half rib gets that front of the rib out from in front of your eye, so there is a large gap in your natural pointing sight plane, allowing your eye to open up and concentrate solely on the end of the gun. “

If this was some start-up company nobody every heard of billing the half rib as a “new technology,” I’d laugh it off like most of the new technology that comes to our industry. But coming from Perazzi, this is a very serious product to consider. It certainly looks unorthodox, but champions are built on finding the edge that puts you above the competition. The half rib might be that for you.

High grade shotguns aren’t for everyone. These MX2000s in the pictures can range from $20,000 to $80,000 depending on the options you get on the gun.. The Perazzi catalog itself is nothing short of a high end coffee table book. These pictures we could take at the show don’t reflect the beauty of the gun and you really need to visit a Perazzi dealer (like Pacific Sporting Arms who is a regular seller on GunsAmerica) to understand the options available on the guns and how to properly fit a trap shotgun to the ergonomics of your body.

The half rib barrel assembly is also available from Perazzi alone for $5,000-$6,000 if you already own one of their guns. If you shoot at that level or expect to shoot at that level, the half rib may be the edge you never expected.

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Add 8 or 16 Rounds to Your Combat Shotgun

Last year at SHOT, right before the show was over, I came across the most interesting product I saw at the show. It was a can-like contraption that you screwed onto the end of your shotgun magazine tube to add capacity. At the time the product was just coming out of prototype and was not commercially available, so I let it pass.
In the same exact booth space at SHOT this year I found the same product on Day 1, but this year it is commercially available, and the company that makes it, Roth Concept Innovations (RCI) has just opened up a new dealer program, expanding their sales into large gun shops across the US.

The product is called the XRAIL, and the slogan… hold onto your seat… is, “Why Reload? Just Shoot.” Whew! That’s my kind of shotgun magazine!
The XRAIL screws into the end of the magazine tube on any out of the box FNH, Benelli and Remington shotgun and adds 8 rounds in the compact can and 16 rounds in the long can to the standard capacity of the gun. No gunsmith is required, and the can is rugged aluminum with high tech polymer tubes and stainless steel mechanism parts inside. Mossberg and Winchester can also be adapted to the XRAIL, but the company hopes to sell them directly on new guns through arrangements with both companies in the coming year.

If you live in a magazine capacity restricted state you can’t order the XRAIL, sorry, but otherwise this is a product you can order directly from the company and have delivered right to your door. The compact size carries a retail price of $649, and the 16 round version is $699. I hope to get a can from them for a review after the show, so hopefully we will update this story in the blog very soon. This could and should be a huge product this coming year and I can’t wait to give it a try.

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Pedersoli Gibbs African Hunter

The Pedersoli booth was not the same this year without Dick Trenk who passed in June of 2010. Dick has been a giving contributor to world of black powder shooting for more years than I can remember and he will be missed dearly. Dick has always been the guy who, when I stopped at the booth for a good story, always picked out just the right gun that had just the right story people would be interested in that year.

In deference to Dick I didn’t pick a BPCR gun this year. My selection from the “new this year” was this Gibbs African Hunter. It is a .72 caliber muzzleloader with an integral tang peep sight adjustable for windage and elevation. It fires from a standard #11 percussion cap and is rifled with a 1 in 75” twist, optimized for a .715 roundball. The barrel is 28” and the length of pull is 14” with an inch and a half drop. . The MSRP is $1,646 and Dixie Gunworks has them in stock at $1,450.

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  • DANA D. LANGDON January 21, 2011, 1:12 am

    Where do I find the answer to my question I asked on 19 Jan 2011?

  • DANA D. LANGDON January 19, 2011, 11:58 pm

    I spoke with Denny Wilcox, product manager for Browning USA, sometime in 2010 while I was trying to find a Browning
    X-Bolt Hunter in .375 H & H Mag. If I recall correctly, he said Browning would be displaying something along
    this line at the SHOT Show in 2011. Can you tell me if this is so and anything about this specfic rifle and where I
    can purchase one?
    Thanks. Dana D. Langdon

  • bobbie r clem January 19, 2011, 11:48 pm

    someone let me know what remingtons rifle of the year is cal cdl last years was 700 cdl 280cal

  • steve January 19, 2011, 11:46 pm

    The XRAIL is a slick tool … I would love to see this in action. How much does it way?

  • TangoDown January 19, 2011, 10:58 pm

    XRAIL looks like a dream come true. Granted, once it’s released to actually put into operation, only then can we really make a fair assessment.

  • ken January 19, 2011, 8:10 pm

    very good,thanx ken

  • Debo Debod January 19, 2011, 6:24 pm

    You should do a story on which “Semi-Auto” 12GA & 20GA “actually” has the “Lowest PSI Recoil” at the butt.

  • Mark Schneider January 19, 2011, 4:54 pm

    The X-RAIL magazine extension is absolutely, one of the “Coolest Playtoy’s” I have ever seen!!!

    Will you post info on where the average “Joe” can order these from, or purchase locally?

    Mark Schneider
    Dayton, Ohio

  • Clif Hampton January 19, 2011, 2:35 pm

    My friend Ed Minshew is at the show this year, no booth, just meeting people to support his new gun manufacturing business.
    If you get a chance give him a page, he is quite a character. Ed was the engineer at STI for several years, is a great machinist “including plastic engineering”, and should be entertaining to meet.
    Yours truly,

  • Mark Waldo January 19, 2011, 1:55 pm

    Please go by the PSA booth and do a right up on the Baby Browning it is an incredible firearm that people need to know about.

    Thank you

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