Airsoft Action 07 - Mar 2012 - Page 24

“That’s new!”: The Umarex H&K SL8 real-steel version, the airsoft SL8 comes with a 35-round mag and can accept any standard G36 mag (real-steel SL8s in the USA have to be modified not to accept standard G36 20/30-round mags, only 10-round mags are permitted). It comes complete with upper and lower rails plus a bipod, and should be available in the UK sometime around May. Just before I wrap up this whiz-round of SHOT 2012 I want to mention a company I knew little about before the show: Bushnell. Bushnell’s mission statement is “To develop and market optical products that enhance the experience of outdoor and sports enthusiasts,” and it has been an industry-leader in high-performance sports optics for over 50 years – so Bushnell knows what it’s talking about! Of particular interest to me was its range of scopes and sights – of which the company markets a huge range and variety, including night vision and red-dot – one of which caught my eye (no pun intended): the new First Strike sight. The First Strike is a fully water and shockproof, 5MOA (Minutes of angle), compact, reflex red-dot sight that takes just one CR2032 battery. Even under the bright lights of the show the red-dot was brilliantly illuminated, because the sight features self-regulating brightness which automatically adjusts according to available light conditions (and powers the sight down when the protective hood is in place). The First Strike is part of Bushnell’s ‘Tactical’ range which has been developed in conjunction with a panel of military and law enforcement experts, as well as competitive shooters. Another of its products, the Elite Tactical Riflescope, is claimed to be ‘the world’s most advanced tactical riflescope’, used by the American military. Bushnell doesn’t just market its own products, it also supplies a wide range of other brands, such as Uncle Mike’s (holsters), Tasco, Millett and Butler Creek to name a few. These are just some of the companies that I spent time with over the four days I was at SHOT, many of whom are actively considering airsoft as a potential outlet for their products. This can only be good news for us and will bring greater strength, stability and choice to all of us – and bodes well for the future of the sport in general. Ultimate CQB primary: Magpul PTS PDR-C The SHOT Show is huge and there are already dates in the diary for the next two years at least. It is probably the only place in the world where you can get to see so many guns in one place – but guns aren’t the whole story. The number of support and ancillary product suppliers far outnumbers those that manufacture guns and there were some amazing items on display. Airsoft was well, if not overly represented, and I expect future shows will see more airsoft companies attending. No one with an interest in any form of shooting could fail to enjoy the Show, and I was delighted at the reception and compliments Airsoft Action received, not only for its content and quality but also for what we are doing with airsoft in the UK. Las Vegas is an amazing place and SHOT is an amazing Show – the two go well together! ■ 024 March 2012