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* There's a couple of new goodies from the folks at Kimber which they have chosen to introduce mid-year rather than wait 'til the next SHOT Show. Southpaws will be pleased to learn that prior to turning over a newly-installed machining center to the exclusive production of the much anticipated mini-Mauser .233 Model 84, a limited run of left-hand Model 82s in .22 LR were turned out early this summer. Production took place only during June and July so there ain't a whole lot of 'em.

The portside version is being offered in two grades, the Classic and Custom Classic, at $515 and $645, respectively, sequentially serial numbered from LH1.

The other new item is a K-Hornet version of the Model 82. It all started last year when, at numerous customer requests, kimber agreed to retro-convert existing .22 Hornets to the K-version. It proved popular enough that the factory has decided to build a small batch of "factory K-Hornets."

The "K" stands for Lysle Kilborne, a prominent ballistic experimenter of the 1930s who came up with the most popular among a number of various improved versions of the cartridge. Because of the original Hornet's sloping shoulder and long neck, its capacity increases appreciably when the neck is shortened and the shoulder angle increased. In the case of the K-Hornet, the shoulder angle is increased from 5-1/2 to 35 degrees; the neck length decreased from .323 to .238 inches. The resultant, roomier cartridge gets about 100-125 feet per second (fps) over the original's nominal spec of 2,690 fps, all other things being equal.

Like the .22 LR left-hand version, the K-Hornet is being offered in Classic and Custom Classic grades carrying sequential serial numbers starting with KH1. Retail prices are $618 and $748, respectively.

Kimber collectors or those just plain interested in either of these limited run models better act quickly by contacting your nearest dealer or writing Kimber direct at 9039 S.E. Jannsen Road, Dept. GA, Clackamas, OR 97015. These guns won't be available long. ARMSON "ATOMIC" SIGHT

Who'd have thought that to put a new sight on your rifle or handgun you'd have to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Such was almost the case with a sight introduced a couple of years ago called the Armson O.E.G. (Occluded Eye Gunsight). Developed in South Africa primarily as a combat sight, the Armson is "powered" by 160 millicuries of tritium and as such is radioactive. How radioactive is that? Well, some digital watches have up to 200 millicuries of tritium to backlight the liquid crystal display. 'Nuff said.

The fact the Armson was a gun sight rather than a watch, however, triggered the typical bureaucratic response of paper and red-tape inundation. To make a long story short, the Armson people finally got their sight "deregulated" by the NRC so that no special license is required to purchase.

At this point you're probably conjuring up all kinds of sinister Bond-esque type weapons with infra-red, laser or other exotic sights. Uh-uh. The Armson utilizes tritium sealed within a glass capsule simply to provide a glowing red aiming point similar to that of the Aimpoint-type sights that have become so popular in combat pistol shooting. Obviously, with no batteries or on/off switch, the Armson has a tremendous advantage. Its "glow life" is said to be 10 years.

This is not to say that other than lacking batteries, the O.E.G. is similar to the Aimpoint, Tascorama and similar sights that you look through as one does with a conventional scope. Looking into the ARmson's 4-1/2-inch-long "scope" you see a tiny red dot against total blackness. Period. For the Armson to work you need both eyes, both open, because it relies on the principle of superimposition or accommodation that the human eye does naturally. Shooters accustomed to closing their "off" eye when aiming will require some acclimation but the hang of it comes easily.

As the gun is shouldered the master eye (in my case, the right), sees the light dot while the left superimposes it upon the unmagnified scene as seen with the left. If it sounds complicated, it isn't, really. In fact, in our newest sister publication, International Combat Arms, the O.E.G. proved to be the fastest and most effective sight at ranges up to 100 meters among the 14 various combat sights tested utilizing light intensified, laser, LED, radio, radio-nuclear and ambient light aiming systems.

My interest in the Armson was in its possible use on a brush gun or DGR (dangerous game rifle), since either application is well within the non-magnified or 1X optimum range of the sight. I mounted it on a Marlin lever action in .375 Winchester caliber. Since eye relief is non-critical and the Armson is short and light enough to be mounted in a single Weaver-type base/ring, I used the forward holes to position the O.E.G. about 9 inches from my eye in normal offhand shooting position.

Most of the time I was able to keep my shots under 6 inches at 50 yards with the Armson; that's with elbows on the bench rather than with the gun on sandbags. I found that the O.E.G. is really what they say it is: a fast, combat sight designed to provide torso hits up to 100 yards or so. Whenever I snapped the gun and fired I usually hit within about 3 inches of where I expected at 50-yard range, but if I hesitated and tried to "aim" in the usual sense my decidedly stronger master eye would take over. Also, whenever I blinked or shifted focus the dot would drift several inches, almost like the effect of a floating contact lens.

At 100 yards I found the tendency to aim even stronger. I've put only 50 rounds through the Marlin and thus far I haven't got the kind of consistency I'd want out at the 100-yard range. I don't know yet if it's me or the Armson . . . but I sure plan to find out.

Those interested in learing more about the Armson should write Leadership Keys, Inc., Dept. GA, Box 2139, Farmington Hills, MI 48018. PRAIRIE DOG POP-OFF

Just returned from three days of wrecking havoc and mayhem on the prairie dog populations around Goodland, Kansas. This marked the fifth year now that Goodland's most upstanding citizens (at least they were before we got there), got together with various shooting industry sponsors to host the Great Prairie Poodle Pop-Off for a bunch of members of the firearms press.

Industry sponsors this year were the Patton-Morgan Corporation, importers of Korean-made PMC ammunition; Sierra Bullets; Fiocchi of America, the folks who are now bringing in the well-known Italian shotshells, rimfire and centerfire pistol ammo; MTM, Inc., makers of all those handy little ammo boxes we all use; and Alberts Bullets. Local sponsors were C.W. Wade, Keith Bracelin, Garold Paxton, Jim Busen and Dick Henderson.

All told there were some 25 of us fanning out each day in groups of three or four seeking out those ranches where our hosts had made prior arrangements for our visit. Thanks be there are still some land owners who appreciate the sporting opportunity afforded by manageable size dog towns and refuse to resort to poisoning. However, if and when a town gets so large as to remove significant acreage from production, then one can understand its use. It's a shame that in the short span of five years that the Pop-Off's been held, the size and number of dog towns has diminished appreciably because of poisoning.

Most of our shooting was done on relatively small towns covering 25 or 30 acres up to maybe a hundred at the most. Still, the action was such that each shooter could easily keep two rifles going and never have a cool barrel. And most did. Me, I just brought one gun, a Sako Varmint in .22-250 with a 10X Zeiss scope. I'd shoot 20 rounds in five or ten minutes, then set the gun aside to cool down. At that pace the action was plenty fast enough for me.

One of the most interesting developments of the GPPPO was what I call "The Transformation of Wally Hart." Readers who recognize the name know that Wally is and has been for some time now one of the premier barrel makers extant; his tubes have won more than their share of benchrest and silhouette competitions, often with him doing the shooting.

Anyway, Wally's a quiet, mild-mannered sort of guy--Kinda' like the Clark Kent of barrelmaking. During all the years he's been making match-grade barrels with many of them winding up on premier varmint rifles, Wally's been content to let his customers do the hunting. Indeed, Wally had been invited to attend the Pop-Off every year since its inception and every year he begged off. This year, though, I guess he figured he couldn't say no a fifth time . . . gracefully, anyway.

So he showed up, as much, I suspect, to please his industry friends and colleagues as to see for himself what this silly prairie dog shooting was all about. Overhearing as much conversation as he must have that first evening get-together, I think I sensed apprehension on his part that he had perhaps fallen in with a truly demented crowd. The next night, however, after a day of shooting he was a different man.

"Well, how'd ya' like it, Wally," I asked upon seeing him at dinner.

He grinned. "Hell, I didn't know you could have that much fun with you clothes on. And to think I've been missing out on it all those years letting my customers have it all to themselves."

Two days later he was telling me with wild-eyed enthusiasum his plans for building not one, but two rifles for next year's bash.

Such is prairie dog shooting. FIOCCHI AMMUNITION

A new and truly world-class manufacturer has decided to do what few, if any, foreign ammunition companies have ever done before--make a serious effort to break into the American market. Guns, yes; many European makers of handguns, rifles and shotguns have successfully carved a satisfying niche for themselves and a credible amount of consumer loyalty on these shores. But ammo? No one has ever really established themselves here with the possible exception of Norma. Norma Precision imported many sporting loads for the umpteen-thousands of military rifles that were still being used in our game fields. Norma established itself by offering sporting ammo for foreign military rifles available nowhere else, and by catering to the handloaders with unprimed brass, bullets, primers and powder. But it was often difficult to find.

This year the Italian firm of Fiocchi, Europe's largest ammo manufacturer, has decided to make another and more serious effort at establishing its product among we American shooters. I say "another effort" because a few years ago Smith & Wesson was distributing Fiocchi ammo here but nothing much came of it.

Throughout the rest of the world Fiocchi ammunition is very well known, especially for its shotgun shells on the European trap and live pigeon circuits. I've used it to a limited extent on both live and clay birds in Spain and Italy; it certainly did its job when I did mine.

Fiocchi offers an extremely comprehensive line of loaded shotshells for competition and hunting, as well as an extensive line of empty, unprimed shotshells in both plastic and paper-hull varieites.

Though best known for its shotshells, Fiocchi manufactures a broad line of handgun ammunition ranging from the 5.75 Velo Dog (believe it or not), and .25 Auto to .44 Magnum. Fiocchi will be bringing into this country some pistol ammunition seldom seen that will be greatly appreciated by shooters of exotic arms. These rounds include the 7.62 Nagant, 7.65 Luger, 8mm Gasser and Lebel, 10.40 Italian Ordnance, .32 Short and Long, .450, 9mm Ultra and other hard to find shells. They're also known for the excellent match-grade pistol ammunition, including a full line of .22 rimfire fodder specifically formulated for the various types of competition--.22 Short Olympic, .22 LR Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, Moving Target and Biathalon. There's also a full line of .22 sporting ammo ranging from .22 Short standard velocity to Long Rifle hyper-velocity. Noticeably lacking, however, is a line of centerfire rifle ammunition.

Fiocchi will import, warehouse, distribute and sell its own products here in the U.S. through independent dealer reps. Though they have a reputation for excellent ammunition, they're going to need more than that to succeed here. They're going to need two other things; first, the product must be readily available, I.e., good distribution, and second, it must be priced attractively enough to make us want to try it. Fiocchi of America's new corporate honcho, ol' friend Mike Bussard, tells me we can expect both.
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Title Annotation:new firearms and accessories
Author:Sundra, Jon
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:column
Date:Oct 1, 1984
Previous Article:Parting shot.
Next Article:The academic roots of the anti-gun movement.

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