You know it yourself: not only the IWA OutdoorClassics had two years of corona-related break – many shooting ranges were closed too, and many gun retailers were affected by lockdowns and decreasing demand. Traditionally, the IWA is also the occasion for both manufacturers and specialist dealers to take stock of the industry data for the past year.
The corona-related lockdowns of the last two years have naturally also had an impact on sales of hunting and sporting guns. According to the 2020 production figures from the Federal Statistical Office, for example, the German production volume of hunting and sporting guns was 155 million euros, which represents a decline of about 22 percent from 2018. However, the preliminary production figures for 2021 available to date suggest that this downward trend has been halted and that a production value of around 175 million euros can be expected again, thus an increase of around 13 percent compared with 2020. However, the positive trend in 2021 is primarily due to a renewed increase in exports. The export value of the year 2021 has increased by about percent compared to the year 2020.
This also confirms the European view, as Nicola Perrotti, the president of IEACS (European Institute of Hunting and Sporting Arms) explained at the IWA press conference. IEACS represents more than 1,000 companies across the sector and some 150 civilian firearms manufacturers throughout Europe. Perrotti said, "The main markets for our products are the U.S. and Europe. In Europe, there are about 1,800 manufacturers of firearms and ammunition for civilian use, 200 distributors and 14,000 retailers, and more than 300,000 collectors whose business depends entirely or largely on the hunting or recreational shooting market. According to a recent survey conducted in our sector, the total annual turnover of the European firearms industry is estimated at around €6 billion." Politicians are also likely to find these figures exciting. "Demand for civilian firearms has increased over the past two years, mainly influenced by politics and the COVID-19 outbreak in some of our key target markets. "As a result, global production of civilian firearms has increased in recent years, as has European production, which recorded 3.6 million firearms produced in 2020, of which 2.7 million were pistols and 900,000 were shotguns and rifles. Compared to the previous year, this represents a 34 percent increase in European firearms production."The resulting optimism was indeed felt by all visitors and exhibitors alike at IWA from the moment it opened – we have therefore put together many appetizers for you.
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Long guns at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2022
Pedersoli Boarbuster Evolution, the evolution continues
With the Boarbuster series of rifles, Davide Pedersoli has redefined the concept of the lever action rifle, bringing it back to the attention of 21st century hunters. If until recently lever action rifles were considered as interesting objects only for the nostalgic of the Western era, in the last few years the number of hunters who choose to carry a modern, powerful and easy to handle lever action rifle in the field has grown substantially.
This is thanks to the constant refinement of the mechanics, which in contemporary models guarantees absolute reliability, and of the accuracy even at distances greater than the average engagement range for a hunting gun. One of the examples of this renaissance of the lever action rifle is the Boarbuster by Pedersoli, chambered in .45/70 Government and available in different versions.
At the IWA the Italian company presented all the latest models of its catalog, among which the Evolution stands out, a version of the Boarbuster that distinguishes itself for the possibility to replace the loading lever loop, which is in two pieces – an exclusive Davide Pedersoli patent. Another special feature is the stock made of American walnut wood covered with a silicone coating that provides excellent grip, so much so that the wood have no checkering. Moreover, the stock and fore-end are water-repellent and scratch-resistant.
The receiver finish, on the other hand, is Cerakote, with a pleasant matte shade. The rifle has as standard a Picatinny rail with a drven hunting rear sight and a front sight with fiber optic insert, but it can be fitted with a diopter sight or with the side optics mount developed by Pedersoli in collaboration with the specialist Contessa.
The barrel measures 483 millimeters and it is a first rate PMG (Pedersoli Match Grade) type, with six broached grooves and 1:18 twist. In the video you can see summarized all the most interesting features of this powerful rifle, ideal for the wild boar hunting, but perfectly able to stop bigger and tough game.
The price of the Pedersoli Boarbuster Evolution rifle is 2,196 euro (price may be different in your country).
Video: Pedersoli Boarbuster Evolution at IWA 2022
Derya: TM22 semi-automatic rifle in .22 LR and ZY B6 pistol in 9 mm Luger
At IWA, Derya Arms brought the TM22 semi-automatic rifle. This .22 LR rifle is visually based on the AR-15 platform. Here, the gun scores with a spartan look, but high functionality. The rimfire rifle has a blowback action. The stock, forend with M-Lok slots and the frame are made of aircraft aluminum.
The buffer tube has the same dimensions as the larger visual archetype, the AR-15, and all matching stocks can be mounted accordingly. On the top of the upper receiver is a slightly raised Picatinny rail, on which the entire range of optics – depending on the user's wishes - can of course find their place. The barrel of the TM22 measures 45.7 cm (18 inches). Derya makes it available not only in black, but also in fancier colors like Sniper Grey, FDE and Arctic White. Weighing 2,800 grams, the gun comes with a choice of a 10, 15 or 25-round magazine.
As the second novelty from Derya Arms comes a gun also based on the AR look. This is evidenced not only by the design itself, but also by the Picatinny rail mounted on the top of the receiver. This time, however, it is a pistol. We are talking about the new ZY B6 model. This is a semi-automatic pistol in 9mm Luger caliber. The receiver, forend and stock are made of 7075 aluminum.
The latter is interchangeable and can thus be customized to individual taste. Also included is a muzzle thread, while the pistol is available in different versions – also with stock. Derya has placed special emphasis on a particularly comfortable trigger. In addition to the variant shown with a charging handle modeled on the AR platform, another variant with a handle on the left side of the gun will also be available.
Handguns at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2022
Return of a revolution: from GLOCK, the Special Edition P80 pistol
It is now 40 years since GLOCK revolutionized the market with the original version of the well-known pistols. GLOCK is now celebrating this birthday with a special edition of the legendary P80. This is a historical reproduction of the gun that was introduced to the Austrian army at the time and was given the name GLOCK 17 for the civilian and law enforcement markets. With its innovative features, the pistol could and can impress the procurers: like the guns of the current, fifth generation, the pistol of that time and thus also the current Special Edition came with a polygonal barrel profile, the GLOCK Safe Action System, few parts for high ease of maintenance, a polymer grip and a high capacity magazine.
The limited special edition of the P80 comes in a collector's box which contains the actual gun case. In addition to the gun, it also includes the usual three items: two magazines, a loading tool and cleaning accessories along with the instruction manual. Being a limited edition, GLOCK also includes a certificate of authenticity.
Video: from GLOCK, the Special Edition P80 pistol
Slovenian manufacturer Arex Defence has been in business for more than 25 years and offers a range of service pistols. Not everyone likes guns with polymer grips, and that's where the Zero 2 with a light alloy frame come in. The 9mm Luger pistol, which is fed by an 18-round double-stack magazine, has a DA/SA trigger with a self-resetting disconnector so that the gun can be safely decocked by the user. Ergonomics of the new Arex Zero 2 have been improved and it now has thinner grips for a very firm purchase. The magazine release button, which can be swapped left or right at any time, has been ergonomically improved too. The cocking serration at the slide front and rear are more aggressive and easier to operate and manipulate. Sheet steel magazines, also available with a 20-round capacity, can be inserted more easily thanks to the integrated magwell. Only the version with iron sights was on display at IWA, but an optics-ready version will follow soon. The price is 850 euros for the standard version, while the "optics ready" version will cost just 50 euros more.
Video: Arex Defence
Optics at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2022
Leupold new VX-3HD and Patrol 6HD riflescopes, plus new PR2 Long Range reticle for Mark 5HD scopes
Leupold brought to IWA the latest addition to its top range of hunting riflescopes with the new VX-3HD. This 3x zoom optic features compact dimensions, low weight, HD glass and a 30-year guarantee. Leupold’s Elite Optical System guarantees excellent dawn-to-dusk light transmission, while the low-profile, one revolution CDS-ZL dial eliminates the need for holdovers on longer shots and provides precise adjustments with the security of ZeroLock. The low-profile throw lever is removable (a thread protector plug to use when the lever is removed is included). The VX-3HD is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. The models with the new illuminated Twilight Hunter reticle – a fine dimmable illuminated dot and fine lines with a large opening in the middle and tapering bars towards the outside, ideal for all lighting conditions – are the 1.5-5x20, 3.5-10x40, 3.5-10x50 and 4.5-14x50. Prices range from $499.99 for the VX-3HD 2.5-8x36 CDS-ZL Duplex, up to $899.99 for the 4.5-14x50 CDS-ZL Illuminated FireDot Twilight Hunter model.
Another novelty, the ultra-lightweight, low-profile Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 is designed for law enforcement use on medium-distance weapons, but is also ideal for dynamic shooting sports disciplines. According to the manufacturer, “the 1-6x24 riflescope combines the advantages of a red dot sight with true 1x magnification for use with both eyes open and a practically unlimited field of view with up to 6x zoom.” The Patrol 6HD is available with an illuminated, fine Fire Dot Duplex reticle and the CMR2 "horseshoe" reticle with fine aiming marks (both 2nd focal plane). The Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 Illuminated Firedot Duplex comes for $1,399.99 – the Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 CDS-ZL2 Illuminated CMR2 model is priced at $1,499.99.
Leupold also made the new PR2 Long Range reticle available for the Mark 5HD riflescope, an optic conceived for use at extremely long distances. The PR2 Long Range has been developed by top shooters expressly for PRS matches. Providing a clean sight picture free of the clutter of some overloaded Christmas tree designs, it is a fine reticle in the first image plane, available with holdover marks in MOA or MIL (to match the adjustment turrets) in the magnification variants 5-25x56 and 7-35x56 – the price tag is $2,099.99 and $2,299.99 respectively.
Video: Leupold new VX-3HD and Patrol 6HD riflescopes, plus new PR2 Long Range reticle for Mark 5HD scopes
Pulsar introduces new Merger thermal imaging binoculars and XG line of Axion 2 and Talion optics
Visiting the Pulsar booth at IWA 2022 gave us a pleasant surprise. Many European manufacturers would showcase the products largely presented previously at Shot Show, instead the Lithiuanian-based optronic specialist introduced a completely new thermal imaging binocular, the Merger LRF XP50, that follows the path already put forth by the Thermion and Digex riflescopes: design the device with a traditional overall form factor resembling a roof prism based daytime optic.
A familiar and compact shape, that easily blends in with mainstream daytime hunting binoculars, is easily accepted even by the most traditional hunter, that would appreciate the classic lines of a fine and lean, quality engraved Custom hunting gun. And like the Thermion would not be out of place on that same gun, the Merger would find its place slung over the chest of the hunter owning that fine gun.
The Merger LRF XP50 is in fact a feature rich thermal product, that includes a laser range finder capable of measuring up to 1000m, and that is based on a top of the line, 50 hz full frame rate, 640x480 resolution, 17 μm pixel pitch microbolometer sensor with a NETD of <25 mK. The eyepiece sports a color 1024x768 AMOLED microdisplay for crisp and clear images. The top control panel is easy to operate and the internal on-screen menu is the same that Pulsar uses on all its products – intuitive and with a smooth and easy learning curve. Other features include wifi support for Stream Vision 2 apps for Android and iOS smart devices, 16GB of internal space for A/V recording, two separate batteries (one easily replaceable in the field) providing up to 10 continuous hours of operation, a high quality 50mm focal length Germanium objective lens with a super fast 1:1 relative aperture, a native 2.5x magnification that can be digitally zoomed up to 20x and a sturdy, reliable Magnesium alloy construction that is also IPX7 certified. The Merger measures 196x143x76 mm and weighs 800 g. Pricing is yet to be released, but we have been told that the MSRP of the Pulsar Merger LRF XP50 will be aligned to the Accolade 2 LRF Pro.
The just released Talion riflescope and the Axion 2 LRF thermal imaging monocular family have a new addition, the XG models: they all share a new, high performance 640x480 resolution sensor with 12 μm pixel pitch microbolometer sensor with a NETD of <40 mK. The AMOLED microdisplay also has an increased resolution of 1024x768 from the previous 640x400 of the Axion 2 LRF XQ35. The laser range finder of the Axion 2 LRF XG35 is the same, with 1000m max measuring range and 905nm laser; and the fast 1:1 35mm objective lens coupled with the higher performing sensor extend the detection range from 1300 to 1750m, also increasing the native resolution of the monocular from 2 to 2.5x, and the digital zoom gains a 8x ratio in addition to the 2 and 4x.
Prices and availability of the XG high resolution and improved performance models is still to be released.
Video: Visiting the Pulsar booth at IWA 2022
GPO has launched the Spectra 6x 4.5-27x50i riflescope for sport shooters and hunters who want to hit the target reliably even at long ranges. Here, the illuminated LR Pro long range reticle is located in the first image plane. Adjustment is in increments of 1 cm/100 m, and the mechanism adjusts the reticle clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW) as desired by the customer. Useful features such as Zero Stop, extended throw lever for magnification and parallax compensation are of course all on board with GPO's Long Range ZF with 6x zoom.
For both hunting and target observation at a distance, German Precision Optics recommends the two new Rangeguide 2800 binoculars. Both the 8x32 and 10x32 models score points for their compact dimensions and low weight, thanks to the magnesium housings. The model designation reveals the maximum range of the laser rangefinder, up to 2800 meters are possible with the multifunctional devices. The integrated OLED display reveals even more measured values, including angle, air pressure, humidity and temperature.
As a world premiere for sport shooters, GPO presented to the public for the first time a brand-new Mini Red Dot Sight (MRDS) under the name Spectra Dot. The tiny reflex sight is primarily intended for use on handguns, and its footprint is based on Leupold's "Delta" MRDS. Adjustment of the illuminated dot, which can cover either 3 or 6 MOA, is made in clearly defined click-stop increments of ½ MOA each.
The Spectra Dot regulates the switch-on, switch-off and the light intensity largely automatically. GPO has not yet finalized accessories and scope of delivery, but the max price will be 349 euros.
Ammunition at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2022
Ammotec: live show and individual product websites
Ammotec's individual ammo brands presented their new products in detail during Thursday's seven-hour live program. Those who missed it can also find all the information and videos on their own brand websites:
RWS: in the hunting sector, ammunition manufacturer RWS is coming up with a real surprise this year – the lead-free RWS Driven Hunt cartridge, which was specially developed for use in driven hunts. But there is also exciting news in match ammunition. Here you can find all the info on the RWS novelties 2022.
GECO just celebrated its 130th anniversary and for this year is focusing on expanding its popular product lines primarily in training and match ammunition. Here's all the info on GECO products for 2022.
Accessories at the IWA OutdoorClassics 2022
Rugged, stable and practical: this is the new ULL GTX Primaloft by Zamberlan, a boot created to accompany hunters in their walks in the mountains but also to protect them from the harsh climate while waiting. The Zamberlan ULL GTX Primaloft is a sturdy boot with a quick and comfortable fit, designed for hunting on rough mountain terrain where the structure of the boot ensures the hunter's walk. The technologies that must ensure walking stability are combined with materials designed for comfort and warmth. A 360° rubber band ensures long-lasting protection. The thermal insulation properties, thanks to the waterproof upper with additional Primaloft insulation and the Double BOA Fit System, make the ULL Primaloft boot suitable for static hunting in harsh climates. The special and practical adjustable lacing system allows the fit and adherence of the boot at ankle and calf level.
The synthetic fiber upper is highly resistant to abrasion and allows you to deal with both the vegetation of the undergrowth and rocky terrain. The boot's fit is wide according to the Zamberlan Wide Fit design to ensure full support both on the move and while waiting. The Zamberlan Vibram StarTrek II outsole design provides traction and self-cleaning action while walking.
Available in two different color combinations, camouflage and high visibility, the ULL GTX Primaloft boot has a modern design that can satisfy the different aesthetic tastes of hunters. The weight of about 965 grams is within the standard of a high and protective boot for winter climates. The dual-density PU wedge ensures better grip and comfort also thanks to the TPU heel insert. The insulating GORE-TEX lining and the durable edge with aluminum top layer provides thermal insulation and water repellency to experience hunting in changing or extreme weather conditions.
From Roedale a new titanium silencer
Ti48M, that's the name of the new suppressor from Roedale. The silencer, which weighs only 325 grams without the coupling piece, is made of titanium using modern 3-D printing. It was developed as a "Medium Pressure" device to develop a low back pressure for semi-automatic firearms. According to the manufacturer, the TI 48 M is thus intended to bridge the gap between hunting "High Pressure" models and tactical "Low Pressure" models.
The non-over-barrel silencer can also be used on bolt-action rifles, of course. In addition to screw-on installation using a wide variety of threads, the approximately 160 mm long suppressor can also be mounted on some muzzle flash suppressors in no time at all. The manufacturer claims a 32-38 db moderation performance. Prices start from 1,160 euros.
LPA sight with 1913 interface
LPA makes a retrofit sight for Smith & Wesson revolvers that has features an additional interface to accept red dot sights. Like the familiar aftermarket sights, the slightly wider new rear sight spout is simply fixed to the frame bridge with two retaining screws. The sight fits Smith & Wesson K/L and N frames without rework.