International IWA Shooting Day 2019: "Experience the 2019 product innovations in action"

On March 7, 2019, RUAG Ammotec GmbH in Fürth opened its doors for the IWA Shooting Day (formerly International RWS Shooting Day). In its sixth edition, this event has almost become a tradition. The invited journalists could not only find out about new products from the hunting industry one day before the start of the IWA 2019, they could also test them directly on site. After the event did not take place last year, exhibitors and hosts were all the more motivated to offer a breathtaking program this year.

IWA Shooting Day 2019: the context

Flags of the partners at the IWA Shooting Day 2019
At the IWA Shooting Day 2019 numerous companies were represented.

During the IWA Shooting Day, the selected guests benefit from the advantages of the RUAG Ammotec factory site on which, among other things, the RWS company produces its ammunition. In addition to the production facilities, it is above all the shooting ranges that make this event one of the highlights of the IWA. In addition to the 100 m shooting range, there is also a 200 m and an open 300 m shooting range ready to be used by the journalists. Furthermore, there is a 500 m indoor shooting range on the premises, which offers the best conditions for measuring ballistic curves of bullets. Press representatives can shoot here with the latest hunting guns, optics and ammunition and thereby convince themselves of the quality of the presented products. Although all products will also be introduced at the IWA from March 8 to 11 in Nuremberg, they can only be directly tested at the RWS Shooting Day. It is therefore hardly surprising that the places for the guest list are extremely hot. In addition to the shooting ranges, there are also other facilities on the factory premises that are used for product presentation.

Continue with the novelties from the rifles, ammunition, optics and accessories areas, which we were allowed to test at the sixth IWA Shooting Day.

New from RWS: new Short Rifle cartridges and new caliber with Speed ​​Tip Professional bullets

The increased use of suppressors seems to be unstoppable as a trend among hunters. After RWS already successfully introduced  its Short Rifle cartridges in .308 Win caliber last year, at the IWA the product range will be supplemented by further loads in .308 Win., .30-06 and .300 Win calibers. RWS Short Rifle cartridges are now available with both HIT and Speed ​​Tip Pro bullets. Furthermore, the 8x57 JS and 9.3x62 calibers are being added, initially with HIT bullet only.

Various caliber RWS Short Rifle cartridges.
RWS Short Rifle cartridges are now available in 5 calibers.
RWS Short Rifle rifle cartridges on the shooting range
The RWS Short Rifle, here in caliber .308 WIn on the shooting range.
Sawn-off rifle barrel
For a better demonstration, the barrel of a Merkel Helix Speedster bolt action rifle was further shortened.
Velocity test of the RWS Short Rifle cartridges
After each barrel shortening, velocity was measured again.
Blackboard with velocity values
A direct comparison shows the superior velocity values of the Short Rifle cartridges.
RWS Speed Tip Pro rifle cartridges next to a Haenel R9
The RWS Speed Tip Professional. Here in the powerful  .338 Lapua Magnum caliber.

In addition to the Short Rifle loads, the range of cartridges with Speed ​​Tip Pro bullet will be supplemented by additional calibers. From June 2019, the bullet in 8x57 JS, 8x57 JRS and 8x68 S calibers will continue to meet the demand for powerful hunting cartridges. The Speed ​​Tip Pro by RWS is known for its good stopping power on game and has enough effectiveness to convince also on longer shooting ranges.

New from Norma: Bondstrike Extreme rifle cartridges and Match Line sports cartridges in 6.5 Creedmoor

The traditional Swedish manufacturer showed its Bondstrike extreme rifle cartridges at the IWA Shooting Day for the first time in Europe. The cartridge was basically designed for use over long ranges. Due to the special properties of its bullet, this rifle cartridge can be used for almost all shooting ranges. The polymer tip in conjunction with the latest bonding and a boot tail, ensure maximum effect over all ranges. This is no coincidence: Norma Bondstrike Extreme has the best BC value of 0.615 in the 30 caliber.

Norma BONDSTRIKE Extreme rifle cartridges packaging
Norma's Bondstrike Extreme offers accuracy over long and medium distances.
Norma BONDSTRIKE Extreme rifle cartridges before shooting.
On the shooting range, the Bondstrike Extreme cartridges by Norma were tested.
Norma BONDSTRIKE Extreme rifle cartridges after shooting.
Examining the results after shooting at 300 m.
Norma BONDSTRIKE Extreme rifle cartridges ballistic test
Ballistic gel shows the uniform wound channel.
Norma Match Line in 6.5 Creedmoor
Norma sports cartridges in 6.5 Creedmoor are designed for long range shooting.

In the field of sports cartridges Norma introduced a Match Line cartridge in 6.5 Creedmoor. The muzzle velocity of this cartridge is 869 m/s and the BC value is 0.548. The 6.5 Creedmoor caliber was developed in 2007 and has been specially designed for long range shooting.

New from Swarovski: X5i riflescope in metric version, VPA mobile phone adapter and BTX / ATX telescopes

The Austrian manufacturer Swarovski Optik has been offering premium quality riflescopes and optics for many years. Once again this year there will be a number of new products, which will be presented at the IWA. In addition to the consistent development of existing products, Swarovski also presented some novelties.

We have already reported that the hunting X5i precision riflescope from Swarovski Optik will be available in a metric version as of April 1, 2019. At the IWA Shooting Day we now had the opportunity to see and use this rifle scope up close. The X5i from Swarovski Optik is offered in the X5i 3,5-118x50 and X5i 5-25x56 versions.

Left view Swarovski Optik X5i
On the 300 m shooting range the X5i riflescope could be tested in the metric version.
Right view of the Swarovski Optik X5i riflescope
The X5i riflescope from Swarowski Optik impresses with its precision and first-class workmanship.

The VPA (Variable Phone Adapter) from Swarovski Optik is the interface between binoculars / spotting scope and your mobile phone. Compatible with nearly all mobile devices (iOS and Android), the VPA enables easy and uncomplicated entry into the world of digiscoping. With just one hand, all observations and close-ups can be captured and immediately stored.

Not completely new, but even more precise: the BTX / ATX spotting scopes from Swarovski Optik. Thanks to their modular design, the scopes can be adapted to the user’s needs and be modified as necessary. In these optics, a distinction is made between the eyepiece and the objective module, which can be changed independently. Thus, different eyepieces and objectives can be combined and adapted without having to acquire a new scope. This modular spotting scope set is completed by the STX modules.

Swarovski Optik BTX spotting scope
The modular design of the BTX / ATX / STX series allows for the interchange of lenses and eyepieces.
The Swarovski Optik ATX at the IWA Shooting Day 2019
The Swarovski Optik ATX eyepiece module with 65 mm lens module.

New from Merkel: HLX suppressor

The manufacturer from Suhl in Thuringia has been one of the top producers of hunting rifles for many decades. Its competence is still in the field of gunsmithing. Of course, Merkel has also expanded its offer with additional hunting products.

Front view of the suppressor.
The HLX Suppressor can be mounted on any barrel with an M15x1 thread without lengthening it.

The Merkel HLX suppressor was developed together with the Swiss specialist B&T. The peak sound pressure of the muzzle blast is verifiably reduced by 30 dB or more in all calibers. The peculiarity of the Merkel HLX suppressor is the installed thread. It fits on any barrel with a M15x1 muzzle thread.  Fitted on a Suppressor barrel, the barrel together with the suppressor is no longer than a standard barrel. In contrast to other silencers, the barrel is therefore not extended and the muzzle remains unrestricted. In addition to the reduced muzzle blast the Merkel HLX suppressor also reduces recoil.

New from Nitehog: TIR-M35 Chameleon and TIR-M50 Chameleon thermal imagers

The Berlin-based Nitehog company is still relatively new in the scene of thermal and night vision devices, but has quickly gained a good reputation. The Nitehogs, as they call themselves, rely on the highest possible quality and application-oriented technologies. As thermal imaging and night-vision devices are also becoming increasingly popular among European hunters, Nitehog has come into contact with the times and offers innovative solutions for the hunting challenges of today and tomorrow.

The TIR-M35 Chameleon Thermal Imager by Nitehog can be used both as a handheld monocular and an adapter. It features a VOx sensor with a resolution of 336x256 with 17 μm pitch. the housing is CNC machined from a magnesium ingot and is thus sturdy and at the same time very light. Other features include the digital 4x zoom and the color screen.

Nitehog products at the IWA Shooting Day 2019
Nitehog provided a good product selection for the test.
Nitehog TIR-M50 Caiman
Like all thermal imaging devices from Nitehog, the TIR-M50 Caiman is also machined from magnesium ingots.

The big brother of the TIR-M35 is Nitehog's TIR-M50 Caiman. The VOx sensor of this thermal imaging device has a 640x512 resolution with 17 μm pitch. The lens is characterized by a focal length of 50 mm, hence the number in the name. Like all Nitehog products, the TIR-M50 Caiman is also filled with nitrogen and tested by the in-house maintenance service.

New from Steyr Sport: Pro X Bullpup Match Airgun

The STEYR match air rifles are known for their accuracy and reliability. The history of the company goes back to the middle of the 19th century. Until 2001, the sports department belonged to Steyr Mannlicher, before establishing itself as Steyr Sport GmbH, an independent company. Steyr Sport's match guns are still among the best tools for marksmen all around the world.

Match Air rifle STEYR Pro X at the ready
The Pro X Match Air Rifle by Steyr Sport features a 10-shot drum magazine.

The Pro X Bullpup Match Air Rifle from Steyr Sport impresses with a rear-mounted trigger unit, which allows for a barrel length of 650 mm with a very short overall gun length. Furthermore, this match gun features a 10-shot drum magazine. Being a semiautomatic gun, these 10 shots can be delivered within a very short time. The Steyr Pro X is available in 4.5 mm and 5.5 mm calibers. In the 4.5 mm caliber the shooter has the choice between the 7.5, 16 and 24 Joule variants. The rifle in 5.5 mm offers an energy of 16, 24 and 40 Joule.

New from Sitka Gear: clothing and backpacks for hunters and outdoor fans

Established in 2005, the American brand Sitka Gear is committed to providing functional and comfortable clothing and equipment to meet the needs of modern hunters. The slogan of Sitka is: turning clothing into gear! Hunting without compromise! Nothing to add from our side. That's hoe modern and functional gear should look like.

Sitka Gear at the IWA Shooting Day 2019
Sitka outdoor and hunting clothing uses only the highest quality materials.

Of course, at the IWA Shooting Day 2019, Sitka Gear could not present all the new products. But our guests and invited journalists could gain an impression of why the brand is now one of the world's leading suppliers of hunting clothing in the Optifade camouflage pattern.

Find all the news from IWA 2019 here at

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