Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles
The Best New Guns, Ammo, and Hunting Gear from SHOT Show 2020
The Mossberg 940 JM Pro Competition Shotgun is turning heads at the 2020 SHOT show. (Stephen Maturen/)
There’s a whole mess of new products introduced every year at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas. Some of these products will help you shoot more accurately, hunt more effectively, and have more fun in the field. But, do you really need any of these new products to actually go hunting or shooting? Nope.
But then again, the SHOT show isn't really about need. It's about surprise and innovation. At SHOT, manufacturers roll out products that they've spent months (sometimes years) developing. We get to comb the showroom floor and pick out the best among the bunch. Here's what we've found so far.
The Benelli Lupo. (Benelli/)
The Italian shotgun maker has entered the bolt-action market with a sweet new hunting rifle called the Lupo. The best term I can find to describe the Lupo is, hybrid. It is clear that that the lines of this gun are influenced by its Italian lineage, but the flexibility, modularity, and adaptability of the fit and finish allow it to be specifically adapted to the individual shooter. Benelli promises sub-MOA precision with three-shot groups, but my prototype shot a bit better than that (I actually got to hunt with the rifle earlier this fall). Key features include:
A rigid steel recoil lug embedded in the lower receiver that mates with a machined keyway in the upper receiver engineered to create a solid bedding platform for the barrel.A 22-inch, free-floated threaded barrel with a sub-MOA guarantee.A user-adjustable trigger that can be tuned to break between 2.2 and 4.4 pounds.A three-lug 60-degree bolt with a unique fluted bolt-body that allows cartridges to seat higher in the magazine resulting in a shallow approach angle for shells being chambered.A progressive recoil management system designed to reduce felt recoil and reduce muzzle whip.
The Lupo is currently offered in .30/06, but Benelli has plans to add the .300 Win. Mag. and .270 Win. in 2020, and the 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win. and .243 Win. in 2021. The MSRP is $1,599. Go here for a full review. —Mark Copenhaver
This system heralds a whole new way to charge muzzleloaders. Although the FireStick still requires you to front-load the projectile (which is how this still qualifies as a muzzleloader in many states—check your regulations), introducing the powder is much simpler. The FireStick is an encapsulated load of Hodgdon’s new Triple Eight black powder in a waterproof plastic hull, it accepts a standard 209 primer, and is removable, meaning that you no longer have to either ram out or discharge your powder after a day of hunting. The FireStick is compatible with Traditions’ new NitroFire rifle—both were developed in conjunction with each other. It’s worth noting that this is a proprietary system, so you cannot use a FireStick in your existing muzzleloader. —Andrew McKean
Savage Renegauge (Savage/)
Savage’s Renegauge is one of the biggest introductions this year for a few reasons: 1) it’s the company’s first-ever semi-automatic shotgun, 2) it’s full of unique features, like a fluted barrel and patented gas system, 3) it’s a real gamer in the field. I had the opportunity to hunt with a pre-production model of the Renegauge on a sea duck hunt in December last year and my initial takeaways were that the gun absorbed felt recoil exceptionally well, it functioned flawlessly, and it pointed well. This is not a lightweight gun for covering miles in the uplands—the 28-inch barrel version weighs 7.9 pounds—but it was well-suited for a duck blind.
The Renegauge sports Savage’s AccuFit system, which the company has been using on its bolt-action rifles for years. The gun also comes with shims, which when combined with the cheek and butt pads, allows for 20 different variations. Most bird hunters don’t actually use shim kits, but that’s what’s great about the AccuFit system: It’s super quick and easy to use. You can swap out cheek pads without unscrewing anything. Simply peel off the pad and pop in a different one. (This will be especially useful for turkey hunters who want to run a red dot or sight and need more comb height.) Read the full review here. —Alex Robinson
Mossberg 940 JM Pro Competition Shotgun
This ready-to-roll 3-Gun competition shotgun from Mossberg was designed with plenty of input from, and named for, pro-shooter Jerry Miculek. It sports oversized controls, an extended magazine tube with a 10-plus-one capacity, a high-vis front sight, and an enlarged loading port, among other features. Best of all might be the price, which will appeal to folks who are looking to get into competition. You’ll be able to find the 940 JM Pro for around $900. —John B. Snow
Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat
Mossy Oak Habitat (Mossy Oak/)
Bottomland was one of the most innovative waterfowl patterns ever created—just walk into any duck camp or public Waterfowl Management Area east of the Mississippi River and you will see how popular it is. Shadow Grass Blades never quite had the fanfare of Bottomland, but Mossy Oak is hoping to change that with Habitat. It looks like a darker version of Blades, which is probably preferable to most duck hunters unless they primarily hunt flooded corn. But even then, as the season gets into late December and January most all plant life, including standing crops, turn a darker shade of brown, and this camo looks like it will blend in most any environment. —Joe Genzel
Filson Dry Bag Backpack
FIlson Dry Bag Backpack (Filson/)
I had the chance to test this pack in Kansas in an absolute downpour this waterfowl season. And by test, I mean I left it in the bed of the truck overnight after we received at least five inches of rain. All my duck calls, gloves and camera (thank god) were bone dry. There’s plenty of room on the interior to store all kinds of gear, plus the side pocket is a great place for keys and your wallet. The zipper is heavy-duty, much like the ones you will find on Yeti dry bags and Sitka waders. MSRP: $TBD —J.G.