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NASGW report.

The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers is the place to learn what's new in the shooting trade. Many manufacturers hold their cards close to the vest and won't show new products until the SHOT Show, but when you have something interesting to share, it's difficult to keep it a secret.

Bear in mind that it often takes months to get new products out the door and onto your dealer's shelves, but here's an advance report on a number of items we observed at the recent NASGW Show held in Phoenix, Ariz.

Big News In Compact Pistols

Concealed carry is driving both nationwide handgun sales and manufacturer's R&D efforts. From Kahr Arms, look for a .40 S&W caliber version of the deservedly popular PM9. We examined a sample, and it's virtually the same petite size as the runaway success PM9. For both civilian CCW and law enforcement backup and off-duty use, this should be a winner.

Want another choice in a very compact .40 S&W? The Springfield Armory X-treme Duty sub compact will soon be available in a .40 S&W version. These are phenomenal guns, and the 9mm XD sub-compact is as comfortable to shoot as the full size version. If the .40 proves to share the same trail, it will be hard to beat.

Speaking of full-size pistols, SIG Arms unveiled its much-anticipated version of the 1911 pistol. Frankly, these "Granite" series pistols look good, and the "SIG-like" slide contour definitely distinguishes them from the pack. All the usual upgrades are in place: beavertail, extended thumb safely, Novak sights, match grade barrel and fitted slide and frame.

Somewhat more novel are the light rail fitted to the frame's dust cover and an external extractor. Two finishes were seen, a stainless version and one in a matte gray "Nitron[R]" finish. Two of the excellent Novak magazines will be furnished with each Granite series pistol.

Other 1911 news? Para-Ordnance was showcasing a number of potential upgrades to its pistols, including a novel frontstrap treatment that was both handsome and effective. An attractive alloy-framed, single action, Commander-size pistol was also on display. It looked good!

Springfield Armory is now offering a basic version of its 1911 pistol named conveniently, the "GI-.45." The sample examined was finished in an optional OD green Armory Kole finish--very nice! The frontstrap has been changed to match the contour of original GI pistols, and the result feels like shaking hands with an old friend. The best news? The price: $469 MSRP, or $545 in stainless.

On the shotgun front, keep your eyes peeled for Winchester's "Select" O/U shotgun. It's quite nice, with several variations offered including a handsome field gun priced around $1,000,

Rifles Of Note

A number of very appealing rifles were on display. To be brief, look for a racy, 16-inch barreled version of Springfield Armory's legendary MIA. From Winchester, we were interested to see a Model 94 chambered for the hard-hitting .450 Marlin cartridge and furnished with the slick XS Sight Systems ghost ring rear. Timber cruisers, you're going to like this one!

The Savage Arms booth held a surplus of good news. The wonderful AccuTrigger[TM] system will now be furnished on all full-sized centerfire rifles. The AccuTrigger has won the prestigious Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Award, and deservedly so. The wider availability of this feature on Savage rifles is truly great news.

Think you have no influence on the big manufacturers? Guess again. In the December, '02 issue of GUNS Magazine, we ran a story on the Savage model 30 Favorite including a simple modification to make it into a takedown rifle. Reader feedback to Savage was such that the company will now offer this delightful little woods gun in a takedown version.

And speaking of delightful, Savage unveiled the new Model 40 Varmint Hubter: a medium sized rifle featuring a handsome laminated stock and chambered in .22 Hornet or .223 Rem. This one looks like fun! Of special note is the very long receiver with perhaps five inches of barrel insertion. The result should be a very stiff barrel/receiver joint and a superbly accurate rifle. And the price is certainly worthy of note: $374 MSRP for the Hornet, $408 for the .223, which will be available somewhat later. Frankly we can't wait to get our hands on one of these.

There were far too many interesting items on display to report them all, but before we close, let us advise you to be on the look (all for a very novel pistol sighting system from Truglo. We can't share the details now, but this should be worth the wait.

Also for your pistol, PSI now has its versatile Novak adjustable rear sight available for Kimber pistols. These combine the ruggedness and compact profile of fixed sights with the convenience of windage and elevation adjustments.


Kahr Arms [845] 353-7770

Novak/PSI [203] 262-6484

Para-0rdnance [416] 297-7855

SIG Arms [603] 772-2302

Savage Arms [413] 568-7001

Springfield Armory [309] 944-5631

Truglo [972] 774-0300

Winchester [801] 878-3440

XS Sight Systems [817] 536-0136
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Author:Thurman, Russ
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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