A first look at some of the shotguns, apparel and gear that debuted at SHOT Show and National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
Undoubtedly the biggest splash in the upland world is the return – or revision – of a classic, the Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
. Sixteen gauge shotguns are revered by some for possessing weight that’s closer to a 20 gauge while delivering a shot payload closer to a 12 gauge. The Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen checks in at 5 lbs. 13 oz. with an MSRP of $1,699.99.
Irish Setter Wingshooter Model #839
Speaking of upland classics, Irish Setter introduces a stylish addition to its venerable Wingshooter line. The #839 model
carries a handsome side zip & buckle option. Non-insulated and waterproof, the #839 is sharp enough to double as dress boot, but don’t be fooled, its Irish Setter Prairie Sole will cut through the nastiest brush. Look for the #839 and its suggested retail of $194.99 on store shelves in July.
SportDOG Brand TEK 2.0 Bluetooth Capability
Who says upland hunting isn’t high tech? This new feature will allow dog handlers to receive real-time audible voice updates on their dogs’ locations through any Bluetooth-compatible earpiece
– up to 21 dogs, in fact. The crystal-clear, in-the-ear sound capability will be available in early 2016 owners by downloading the software updated directly from SportDOG Brand. All TEK 2.0 products are Bluetooth-capable.
Franchi Catalyst Shotguns for Women
The universe of shotguns designed specifically for women continues to expand with a pair of 12 gauge offerings from Franchi. The Franchi Instinct Catalyst over/under and Franchi Affinity Catalyst semiauto both feature A-grade satin walnut stock and are chambered for 2-3/4” and 3” shells. While custom created to fit women wingshooters, the Catalyst series brings a sense of familiarity as both bring elements from existing platforms. The Affinity Catalyst carries a suggested retail of $999 while the o/u is, naturally, a bit pricier with an MSRP of $1,599.
Hoppe’s Gun Medic Line
Is your shotgun in a state of emergency? It might be time to call on Hoppe’s Gun Medic. The Gun Medic line features three musts for your field bag: a Cleaner & Lube Quick Fix
(in 4-oz. and 10-oz. sizes) all-in-one to get your shotgun back in action fast, as well Gun Medic Cleaner
and Gun Medic Lube
Stevens S1200 Semiauto Shotgun
The S1200, the first semiautomatic from Stevens (a subsidiary of Savage Arms), features an inertia-driven action and check in at 6.6 lbs. Just as lightweight is the repeater’s $573 price tag. The Stevens S1200 will debut in five different variations that include black synthetic (26” and 28” barrel options) and walnut stocks as well as two camo patterns (Mossy Oak camo patterns—Shadow Grass Blades and Bottomland).
FABARM USA L4S – Left Hand
To the “10 Percenter,” a new left hand offering is a big deal. New to FABARM USA’s L4S line this year are a pair of left hand models under the Initial Hunter
Merkel 40E Field-Grade Side-by-Side Shotgun
represents Merkel's first new shotgun offering in nearly a decade. Weighing in at approximately 6.2 pounds, the new 40E is available in 12- and 20-gauge with either double triggers or a single-selective trigger and the choice of a straight, English-style stock or a pistol-grip stock (a 28-ga. version with a single-nonselective trigger and built on the 20-gauge frame is also available in limited quantities). There is a special introductory price of $3,999 before it settles closer to its MSRP of $4,595.
CZ Upland Ultralight Green
CZ’s workhorse model gets a makeover with an anodized green receiver. But the changes are beyond aesthetic – the green variant’s 20 gauge (it also comes in 12 gauge) will tip the scales at a mere 5.8 lbs.
ALPS OutdoorZ Upland Game Vest X
The ALPS OutdoorZ Upland Game Vest X
is the latest in the evolution of bird hunting vests, continuing a trend of “vest meets pack.” This feature-loaded, 2 lb. 9 oz. option should satisfy flatlanders and chukar chasers alike, and will be available in early July 2016 for $139.99.
Written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever's director of public relations.