Crimson Trace

News | Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No April Foolery Here, No Joke

It was once our custom to hide a couple of "gotcha" releases in April 1 editions of the wires. Today, it's only fair to warn you we didn't try to pull any fast ones on you…no foolin'.

No Wires on Good Friday

In observation of this weekend's Easter holiday, we will not publish on Good Friday, April 3, 2015. News received after 5PM on Wednesday, April 1, will be included in our Monday, April 6 edition if still timely.

Redding Introduces New Premium Die Sets

New for 2015, Redding Reloading Equipment has introduced both Standard Full Length and Deluxe Die Sets with the most popular options already included. Branded as Premium Die Sets these new offerings include a Carbide Expander Button and a Micrometer Adjusting Seat Stem.

Golden Bullseye Award-winning Meprolight Mepro MOR discounted 20% from April 1- 15

To celebrate having been awarded the 2015 Golden Bullseye for Optics from the NRA's American Rifleman, The Mako Group, exclusive U.S. distributor of all Meprolight products, is offering 20% off for any orders of the Mepro MOR Tri-Powered Reflex Sight sight placed from April 1- 15.

Hooksett PD Chooses P320 SIG for Duty Gun

SIG SAUER, Inc. announces that the Hooksett, New Hampshire, police department has selected the .40-caliber P320® as its newest duty pistol. Designed with the input of a variety of law enforcement officers, the P320 is the first striker-fired, polymer framed handgun from SIG SAUER®.

Legally Armed America Raises Awareness for Autism

Legally Armed America Inc., the pro-gun network of companies dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment and enriching the shooting sports lifestyle, today announced a fundraising campaign designed toincrease awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in association with National Autism Awareness Month beginning April 1, 2015.

SHOT Show Review, New Products And More In April Issue Of Shooting Industry

The April issue of Shooting Industry takes a look at some of the best new products SHOT Show had to offer this year, and highlights those dealers selected as potential top-sellers.

USCCA to Give Away a Gun Each Day in April

On April 1st, the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) kicks off their annual Gun-A-Day Giveaway promotion spanning the entire month of April, and it's no joke…

Brinkhoff Gets High Score at Nebraska NASP Tournament

Joseph Brinkhoff of Mater Dei Academy in Omaha had the day's high score of 288 points in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Nebraska tournament in Lincoln on March 28.

Smith & Wesson Expands Military Appreciation Program

Smith & Wesson Corp. announces the expansion of its Nation's Finest rebate program, which is designed to provide qualified military personnel and disabled veterans with discounts on select Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms firearms.

Federal Premium to Host Shooting Celebs at 2015 NRA Annual Meetings

Federal Premium® Ammunition invites attendees of the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Show in their booth No. 1524 (Vista Outdoor Inc.) to meet Federal Premium history expert David "Doc" Frederickson, professional shooter Julie Golob, and famed online personalities "Hickok45" and "22Plinkster."

Arrest of School Shooter's Dad Shows Fatal Flaw of Gun Control Measure

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) says the arrest of Raymond Lee Fryberg, father of Marysville Pilchuck gunman Jaylen Fryberg, on charges of illegally purchasing the pistol used in that shooting demonstrates the fatal flaw of so-called "universal background check" legislation.

This Week on Shooting USA and Impossible Shots

This week on Shooting USA, it's the annual match with rack grade M-16s and M-4s and the M-9 Beretta. On Impossible Shots, Smith & Wesson Pro, Jerry Miculek is burning down steel plates with his M&P 15-22.

New Slider Gun Rack from Benchmaster

The new Slider Gun Rack from Benchmaster's Weapon Rack line attaches to any metal surface and holds your firearm in a ready position. Two strong magnets allow the Slider Gun Rack to attach to a gun-safe wall or any metal where you want quick and easy access to your firearm.

Beretta Offers the First Factory-Equipped Guide Rod Laser

The Beretta 92FS is now available from factory with a precision engineered internal Guide Rod Laser™ preinstalled. The new laser-equipped Beretta 92FS pistol represents LaserMax's latest collaborative effort with the world's oldest firearms manufacturer.

North Carolina's Pre-Collegiate Shooting Sports Championship Set

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 37th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 25 at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County.

Smith & Wesson® Offers Consumers Three Free Magazines With Purchase Of New M&P® Pistol

Smith & Wesson Corp. announced that the company is currently offering consumers a limited opportunity to obtain three free magazines with the purchase of a new full-size or compact M&P pistol.

Kinetic Concealment Introduces Holster Combo Pack

Kinetic Concealment, known for their patent pending neoprene-backed leather hybrid holsters, is proud to announce a new Holster Combo Pack option. Retail Price for the Kinetic Concealment Combo Pack is $97.95.

Get The Best of The Basics With Breakthrough's® New BT-101 Cleaning Kit

Breakthrough Clean is proud to announce its newest product, the BT-101 Cleaning Kit, which now makes it easy to get the best cleaning technology and cleaning accessories all in one kit.

Mid-Atlantic Arms Expo Taps CMG Marketing & Events As Event Management Company

American Hero Promotions, LLC, is pleased to announce that CMG Marketing & Events has been chosen as the event management company for the Mid-Atlantic Arms Expo (M-AAX) to be held on November 6-8, 2015 in Ocean City, Maryland.

Proposed Shooting Range Rules Only for VT F&W Ranges

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is proposing strengthening rules for the shooting range it owns at Hammond Cove in Hartland and any others it may open in the future. The proposed rules would not apply to any other shooting ranges.

NC Wildlife Commission Temporarily Closing Cold Mountain Shooting Range for Maintenance

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close the Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range on Cold Mountain Game Land in Haywood County April 13-17 for routine maintenance and repairs.

SIG SAUER Introduces SIG FMJ: Full Metal Jacket Centerfire Pistol Cartridges

SIG SAUER Inc. continues to expand its popular Elite Performance Ammunition line with the introduction of full metal jacket (FMJ) centerfire pistol cartridges for practice and competition shooting.

Ruger Introduces SP101 in .327 Federal Magnum

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is pleased to introduce the SP101® in .327 Federal Magnum, a six-round, small frame, double-action revolver with a 4.2 inch barrel and adjustable sights.

Mossberg® Appoints John MacLellan to Vice President of Sales and Marketing

O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc, America's oldest family-owned and operated firearms manufacturer, announces the promotion of John MacLellan to the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing, effective immediately.


Industry Focus: Wilson Combat

Along with other media members, I attended the open house festivities at Wilson Combat's expansive new facilities – just up the hillside from their previous location near Berryville, Ark.

We – I was there with Number 1 Son – had a chance to see the extensive phone center operate before the tour. They were busy taking calls – likely orders – for their large product line. It took only a few minutes to see that a pair of coordinators were assigning incoming calls to the customer service call-takers, speeding up the process and minimizing wait times.

How had he gotten here from a garage in Berryville?

I'd previously visited Wilson Combat in 2000. It was a smaller operation then. Craftsmen worked at a few stations, there was a test fire range out the back door. The whole thing took less than a half-hour.

Bill Wilson started in the mid-1970s working on other people's pistols – predominantly Colt Government Model pistols. In the mid-90s, he began production of slides and frames to make Wilson Combat pistols. He did "packages" – specific types of pistol – but customers ordered from a whole selection of options, making each gun a true custom firearm.

Along with way, Bill picked up Scattergun Technologies of Nashville, Tenn. They still have it and turn out shotguns – but the biggest part of that business is refurbishing police 870s. Some years back, Ryan and Bill Wilson turned their attention to the AR15, making some very nice rifles along the way.

Where are they today? The business is nearly neck-and-neck Wilson Combat 1911 pistols and AR rifles for completed guns – and Wilson sells a lot of barreled upper receivers for the AR. They run a land office business on sights, parts, springs and magazines.

Bill has been an ammunition reloader for many years. In advance of the ammo drought resulting from reasonable fears of government nonsense, Wilson Combat came out with a line of ammunition – which they've recently refined.

We were split up into groups and taken on tours. Bill was the tour guide for our group – admitting this was one of few days he'd be in the Wilson Combat Headquarters this year. His office is quite small – reflecting the time he spends in the shop. According to Bill, Ryan Wilson does the hard work – and he's doing it quite well. We saw pistol and rifle fabrication, barrel manufacture, finishing, shipping and the final inspection/shooting operation.

Remarkably, there were people who'd worked at Wilson Combat since the early 1980s – some who had offspring and other families now working there. There were a number of craftsmen working individual projects, others who worked to keep CNC machinery programmed and running.

While still selling "packages" in the pistol, rifle and shotgun lines, there are many options upon which buyers must decide. In final assembly, Bob Chaney – the boss in that section -- showed us a pistol and a work order.

"We have to make sure the pistol being shipped is compared to the work order," he said. Checking each detail is their job. In the case of the pistol he'd picked up, he found the front sight had a red fiber optic tube – the work order called for green. He handed it to one of the staff to be changed.

The pistol is then taken into the indoor/outdoor range for function test, accuracy test and zero. Pistols are run about 78 rounds – if everything works as planned. If not, back it goes.

Much of that ammo is factory hardball, "the toughest round for the 1911 to feed," Bill noted. His 200 grain semi-wadcutter lead rounds will feed in guns that choke on mass-produced ball.

Finally, we got to go out back and shoot some of their guns – Beretta 92A1 and Brigadier Tactical (Ernie Langdon consulted with Wilson Combat on the Beretta project), CQBs of various flavors, the Tactical Carry, a full-size 1911 pistol set up as a Vickers Special, and a couple of carbines – a suppressed gun in 5.56mm and one of the new .308 rifles.

The rest of the group got to go down and look at the Wilson Combat ammunition plant. We had to leave the new 71,000 square ft. facility for the drive home.

I'm looking forward to spending some time with new Wilson Combat guns and on reporting on them for you.

-- Rich Grassi

Grassi is founder and editor of our companion service, The Tactical Wire (

Apr 11
BSA Camp Hinds, Raymond, Maine
Apr 10-12
Music City Center, Nashville, TN
Apr 11-12
Smokey Valley Archers, Lindsborg, Kansas
Apr 17-18
World Shooting and Recreation Complex, Sparta, Illinois
Apr 18-19
Cinnamon Creek Ranch, Denton, Texas
Apr 18-19
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
Apr 25
Sig Sauer Academy, Epping, New Hampshire
Apr 25-26
Lake Guntersville, Alabama
May 2-3
Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, Columbia, Missouri
May 5-8
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
May 5-8
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
May 7-9
Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky
May 20-23
Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, Columbia, MO
May 23-24
Coshocton Sportsmen's Club, Coshocton, Ohio
May 30
Blue Grass Sportsmen's League, Wilmore, Kentucky
May 31
Dragoon Trail Chapter - Izaak Walton League, Elkhart, Iowa
May 30-31
Augusta Archers, Staunton, Virginia
May 30-31
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
May 29-31
Heartland Public Shooting Park, Grand Island, NE
Jun 6-7
Hamilton Rod & Gun, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Jun 12
Schultz Resort Rod & Gun Club, Muskego, Wisconsin
Jun 19-20
Western Wayne County Conservation Association, Plymouth, Michigan
Jun 19-20
Como, Mississippi
Jun 20-21
Coon Hunters Association, Batavia, New York
Jun 28
South Central Gun Club, Freetown, Indiana
Jun 26-28
Knoxville, Tennessee
Jun 27-28
Straight Thru Archery, Aurora, Minnesota
Jul 4-5
Capital City Bowmen, Olympia, Washington
Jul 13-18
World Shooting and Recreation Complex, Sparta, Illinois
Jul 18-19
NFAA Headquarters, Yankton, South Dakota
Jul 25-26
Sparta Rod & Gun Club, Sparta, Wisconsin
Aug 1-2
Bass and Bucks, Wabash, Indiana
Aug 15-16
Saginaw Field and Stream, Saginaw, Michigan
Aug 13-16
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, NM
Aug 29-30
Echo Valley Archers, Fayette, Iowa

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