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Academy of excellence awards.

In Recognition of Excellence:

The recipients of these awards have been recognized by the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence for an outstanding contribution to the shooting industry for 1992-1993.

The select group of retailers independent writers and industry executives who together form the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence are dedicated to recognizing and rewarding excellence in product design, quality and service to the industry.

The exemplary contribution recognized by the Academy represents a standard of excellence by which others will be measured for years to come.

Proudly Presented by Shooting Industry Magazine

The Shooting Industry Award

William B. Ruger Sr. - Sturm, Ruger & Co.

The Shooting Industry Award is presented to the individual who has made meaningful, sustained contribution to the firearms market. William Ruger founded Sturm, Ruger & Co. in 1949 and has been a leader, innovator, and spokesperson ever since. Mr. Ruger and his company continue to produce high-quality, reasonably priced firearms of all types, bringing safe shooting enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of people.

Handgun of the Year

Ruger - Vaquero

Based on the design of the Ruger Blackhawk, this classy revolver makes single-action, Western shooting fun available to everyone. Fixed sights and a simulated case hardened frame give this revolver a "cowboy" look. The Vaquero is available in blue and stainless steel with 4 5/8", 5 1/2", and 7 1/2" barrels.

Optic of the Year

Swarouski - SLC Compact Binocular

Traveling afield or to the ball game, customers want compact, light-weight binoculars with all the quality of a full-sized product. For these needs, Swarovski provides the new SLC 7x42 and 10x42 binoculars with multi-layer lens coating, phase corrected roof prisms, and soft eyepieces to accommodate eyeglass wearers. The 10x42 also features an extra-wide field of view.

Rifle of the Year - Remington Model 522 Viper

Manufactured and marketed for the first-time shooter, the inexperience shooter, or any gun enthusiast who wants an enjoyable, easy-to-shoot rifle. Minimal maintenance and plenty of safety are built right into the Viper with a synthetic stock, a trigger disconnect safety, and a visible cocking indicator.

Shotgun of the Year - Browning Arms BSA 10

As steel shot becomes common, more and more 10 gauge shotguns are appearing in the field. This state-of-the-art 10 gauge, the BSA 10, features a short piston stroke to expose the interior of the receiver to as little combustion gas as possible. The BSA 10 is available with either a composite or walnut stock and comes with a vent rib sight and Browning's Invector choke system.

Best New Specialty Product

Cold Steel - The "Recon Tanto" Knife

With the sweeping curve of a classic Japanese Tanto and the rugged reliability of a Carbon V blade, the Recon Tanto has captured the attention of knife collectors and hunters everywhere. A non-slip Kraton handle and a Cordura nylon sheath complete the image of this high-tech blade.

Accessory of the Year

Hogue Grips - "Handall" Grip Sleeve

The perfect accessory for one of the most innovative guns in the last 10 years -- the Glock -- is the Handall. This simple rubber sleeve with finger grooves and ergonomic palm swells slips snugly over the grip of all Glocks and most other semiautomatic handguns.

Ammunition of the Year

Winchester/Olin - Black Talon Rifle Ammunition

For a second consecutive year Winchester/Olin has taken the "Ammunition of the Year" award with their innovative Black Talon ammunition. Last year the Black Talon pistol ammunition was honored, this year the award went to the hard-hitting, dependable Black Talon rifle cartridge. With the unique Fail Safe bullet, Black Talon rifle is available in several .30 caliber chamberings.

Excellence in Marketing Promotion

NRA - The New NRA "They Think Your Rights Are Wrong"

Utilizing a photo of then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton embracing HCI spokesperson Sarah Brady, the NRA has illustrated that now, more than any time in the past, dealers and firearms enthusiasts alike must defend their rights or have them taken away. This ad is displayed on many a gun store window and sales counter around the country.

Manufacturer of the Year

Sturm, Ruger & Company

For the second year running the industry has recognized Sturm, Ruger & Co. as leaders in the field of firearms manufacturing and technology. Shooting Industry staff writer John Taffin once said of the company, "If you want to know where the firearms market is heading, just look to Bill Ruger."

Wholesaler/Distributor of the Year

Ellett Brothers

Each of Ellet Brothers' sales executives goes through an extensive 400-hour product training course, and each of them receives daily updates on the latest industry news and product information to assure they are ready to help dealers with all questions and problems. Pictured here, Ellett Brothers President Joe Murray stands with pride in front of the company's Chapin, S.C., facility.

The Polling Procedure

There are literally hundreds of awards given in the shooting industry every year. Most are awarded on the basis of advertising dollars, sales quotas, or performance requirements. Only one -- the Academy of Excellence Award, sponsored by Shooting Industry magazine -- truly recognizes the trendsetters and innovators within this business.

The Academy of Excellence is comprised of 157 members, firearms activists and experts ranging from manufacturing consultants, wholesalers, corporate presidents, and firearms writers right down to simple shooters and gun shop owners. This select group of individuals has volunteered their time and effort in order to make these awards possible, and for that Shooting Industry offers sincere thanks.

The award selection process began at the 1993 SHOT Show in Houston, Texas, when the Academy members convened to examine the best and most innovative products the shooting industry had to offer. After the show The Academy spent numerous hours reviewing the best products, marketing programs, and distributors they had seen at the show and during the course of the previous year.

Finally, in the first weeks of February, the first ballot went out and the members of the Academy were asked to make three nominations in each category. No suggestions or recommendations were given to them -- each of the 11 categories was wide open.

Several weeks later all the ballots were collected and the results were tabulated by an independent staff. The top three choices (or four in the case of a tie) were tagged as the category finalists and another ballot was sent out to the Academy. This time the choice was simpler, yet more difficult: Choose the one nominee that represents excellence in their field.

For the second consecutive year, the Academy of Excellence Awards were presented at the Outstanding American Handgunner Foundation awards dinner in Nashville, Tenn., at the NRA Convention on April 23. Attendance at this year's banquet was up more than 65 percent, due in part to the industry's tremendous support and respect for these Awards after their introduction in 1992.

The Awards were presented by SI's Editor Scott Farrell and Associate Editor Ann Smith. Many of the nominees were on hand to either accept their Awards or to congratulate the winners.

"All the nominees are really winners," Farrell said. "Being nominated for this award means you've been acknowledged as a leader by your peers within the industry. Not by some advertising agency."

Noteworthy is a new category this year: Best New Specialty Product. SI felt that there were just too many fine products that did not fall under the general description of "accessory," such as air guns, knives, archery equipment, and reloading products. Specialty products, therefore, are any which stand alone and do not require the purchase or ownership of a firearm to be sold.

It is Shooting Industry's hope that by recognizing the achievements of these companies and individuals, others will be inspired to such greatness in the future.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipients of the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:The spring handgun review!
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