WED | APRIL 17, 2024

Scholastic 3-D Archery hosted the third annual Western Indoor National Championship at the Easton Archery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 23rd-24th, 2024. Nearly 250 archers from twenty-one S3DA teams across the United States traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Remington Ammunition is proud to announce that Team Remington continues to compete at the highest level, taking home the championship HOA trophy as well as notching multiple wins at the 2024 NSCA Southeast Regional Championships.
Only a few open spots remain for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Mid-Range 3x600 event at the 2024 Eastern CMP Games, CMP Pistol and CMP Cup Matches. Additionally, those who attend the Eastern Games will also have two days of Long Range competition and the chance to purchase surplus .30-06, .30 Carbine and .22LR ammo – offered onsite.

The 13th Annual Nashville Sporting Clays Shoot, held Saturday, April 13, at the Nashville Gun Club, was a smashing success, with a record-breaking 41 youth participants on eight teams. This was the first year the Nashville event had local unions sponsor youth shooting teams, and it nearly doubled the turnout, going from 72 to 133 shooters.
Hornady congratulates Clay Blackketter for his performance at the Koenig-Ruger Precision Rifle Competition PRS Match, April 13-14, 2024, in Grand Junction, Colorado.
As the title sponsor of the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship, Walther Arms, Inc. would like to officially congratulate this year’s winners: Brian Shanholtz, Nils Jonasson, and Gregory Jordan. Congratulations are also extended to Lanny Barnes for capturing the High Lady, to Cole Shanholtz for High Junior, and Walther’s own Performance Division member, Gabby Franco.

Firefield announces its participation in the upcoming NRA 2024 exhibition May 17-19 in Dallas. Firefield will exhibit its latest advancements in night vision and variable optics, including the highly anticipated Hexcore HD 1-3x Night Vision Binoculars and the expanded RapidStrike Series.
For participants of all ages who are new to shotgun shooting – bring your own, or shotguns will be available. This event will start with the very basics (stock, action, barrel), then participants will be able to handle and shoot a variety of shotguns with diverse actions and see different types of chokes. Cost is $10.
The Hillsdale College John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Education Center will host an open house for center members and the public to experience the shooting sports opportunities at discounted prices.

BulletSafe announces its participation in the 2024 NRA Show, scheduled to take place from May 17-19 in Dallas, Texas. Attendees are invited to visit BulletSafe at booth 8052 during the event to explore its cutting-edge products designed for professionals and civilians alike.
INFORCE announces its participation in the NRA Show 2024, scheduled to take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Visit INFORCE at booth 8052.
For youth ages 10-17. Students will learn to shoot a .22-caliber rifle in the prone, sitting and offhand positions. Rifles and ammunition will be provided. Cost is $10; students will receive a free youth membership to Pheasants Forever for participating in the class.
Pulsar is gearing up to showcase its latest advancements at the NRA 2024 event in Dallas, Texas, from May 17th to 19th. This exhibition promises to be a landmark event for the outdoor industry.
Thunder Ridge Nature Arena, a decade in planning, development, and construction, announces its inaugural Concert for Conservation. This premier event, scheduled for May 21 at 5:30 p.m., offers a sneak peek into the breathtaking nature amphitheater and showcases spectacular talent.
Langdon Tactical Technology (LTT) is proud to announce its attendance at RECOIL’S CANCON. The event will take place at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix from April 18-20, 2024.

SIG Elite Store, Keystone Shooting Center in Mars, Pennsylvania will host the SIG SAUER ROSE Seminar Series featuring Team SIG professional shooter Lena Miculek this Saturday, April 20,2024.
Sightmark announces its participation in the NRA 2024 Annual Meetings & Exhibits, taking place in Dallas, Texas, from May 17-19, 2024. Attendees can visit Sightmark at booth 8052 to explore the latest innovations in optical technology and experience firsthand the exceptional performance of Sightmark products.
The Sagebrush Trail Scout from American Buffalo Knife and Tool embodies all the qualities of an exceptional multi-tool. The versatile multi-tool features a 3-inch main blade, leather punch, can opener, bottle opener, and screwdriver blade.

Real Avid is further expanding its AR-platform offerings to cover AR-10 models. New for 2024 is the Smart-Fit® AR15 Vise Block with Sleeve for AR10*, the Smart-Fit Vise Block Sleeve for AR10*, and the Pivot Pin Tool for AR10*.
Antler King’s Booner Buffet is specially formulated to produce the large, lush leaves that fuel antler growth for trophy-class bucks. A versatile mix that thrives from north to south, Booner Buffet can be planted in the spring or fall. It retails for $34.99 for a 3-pound bag and $299.99 for a 40-pound bag.
Designed for the discerning high-end knife user, the Tremor features a 3.5-inch S35V satin-finished blade with a full hollow grind and a contoured G10 handle with a stainless steel bolster.

Galco's Combat Master™, a professional-grade belt holster hand-molded by Galco’s experienced craftsmen to fit specific handguns, is now available for medium-frame 4.25” revolvers.
The Dead Ringer Beard Buster helps hunters kick bad habits and promotes proper posture for more consistent accuracy. Constructed with an aircraft-grade aluminum base and an orange ring molded from optical Lexan with large compass points, the sight allows for quick and easy target acquisition.
The Grind’s Hardwood Honey generates the sweet sounds that draw in spring gobblers. The call’s durable cherry poplar construction creates distinct two-tone yelps and sharp cuts that get stubborn longbeards to answer.

Chevalier Advertising, has been chosen to lead the public relations, creative, and media planning initiatives for X2 Dev Group.
Winchester Ammunition recently hosted legislators and outdoor industry representatives at a special event in Washington, D.C., to discuss Winchester’s commitment to providing the U.S. Military with the highest quality ammunition as well as the positive impact of shooting sports, hunting, and responsible firearm ownership.
SDS Imports is pleased to announce that the company has hired Christoper DiCenso as the company’s CEO. Chris brings over thirty years of experience to SDS, and most recently was a Managing Partner at Growth Strategy Partners where he specialized in helping mostly firearm and related companies accelerate their revenue, profit, and organizational growth.
Luth-AR, LLC, proudly announces its continued partnership with the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) at the Silver level. This collaboration underscores Luth-AR’s commitment to supporting the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Registration is officially open for the most widely attended and leading firearm industry-specific Import / Export conference. Join us in Washington, D.C., from July 30 - August 1 to learn more about policy and procedural changes BIS is implementing which directly affect your company’s export business.
The NSSF’s Protect Liberty Political Action Committee (Protect Liberty PAC) received a sizable contribution from Grasso Holdings. The $10,000 contribution will benefit Protect Liberty PAC’s efforts ahead of the November 2024 election to in key battleground states and congressional districts.
Ballistic protection specialist RTS Tactical introduces its latest crossover protection product, the Ballistic Armor Whiteboard. The Ballistic Armor Whiteboard combines the function of a whiteboard with RTS Tactical’s proven Level III+ armor plate technology.
Sightmark’s flagship riflescope, the Presidio 3-18x50 MR2, proved its merit in the most recent Rokslide test by the Weekend Warriors. The Rokslide test subjects optics to the most rigorous tests to prove functionality and durability in the most extreme environments.
Project ChildSafe, a program of NSSF, in partnership with the Raleigh Metropolitan Police Department, Wake County Sheriff's Department and Triangle Shooting Academy, launched a citywide firearm safety initiative to prevent gun accidents, suicides and thefts, which included the distribution of 5,000 free gun locks and educational resources to local gun owners.
The bloody rampage by a knife-wielding madman in Sydney, Australia over the weekend underscores the deadly danger of public disarmament in a nation whose restrictive gun control strategies are often envied by U.S. gun control advocates, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
The “Cartridge Talks” boys are back in the lab to put four popular turkey gauges to the test. Pellet counts will be tabulated, patterns meticulously studied, all so you can see which one comes out on top.
Hayman Safe Company developed the Minuteman Quick-Access personal defense safe for long guns, handguns and flashlights. The safe accommodates defensive guns up to 39-inches-long, like an AR-15 or shotgun, as well as handguns and accessories such as lights and extra magazines.
Legacy Sports International is happy to announce the addition of the New HOWA 1500 SUPER DLX Walnuts to their 2024 lineup with Short and Long Action models available in Blue or Stainless standard and magnum caliber options.
RTS Tactical announces the company will exhibit at the 2024 New York Tactical Officers Association (NYTOA) TacOPS North Law Enforcement Tactical Training Conference & Expo this week at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
Renowned hunter and champion turkey caller, Michael Waddell, is set to captivate audiences once again with his latest for MyOutdoorTV’s JUST SHOT™ Can't Stop the Flop.
Billy Barton and Isaac Lockwood are the two fastest Bill Drill Shooters from this season and they have been pitted against each other for the Bill Drill Showdown.

In the outdoor industry handshakes often seal agreements and paperwork is a formality. Sure, deals fall through, but seldom is the problem due to another suitor popping up.

That’s why the proposed acquisition of Vista Outdoors’ Kinetic group (the ammo makers) by Czechoslovakia’s CSG has gotten a lot of attention.

Yesterday, a pair of letters from CSG’s top management to a United States Senator and the CEO of the National Sheriffs Association seem to indicate there’s been a sophisticated PR campaign being waged against the CSG/Kinetic deal.

The letters address misconceptions, if not outright falsehoods, regarding the deal. They also raise another unanswered question: who’s trying to stop this deal?

Some Wall Street observers are saying- not for attribution- they suspect CSG’s being forced to address a disinformation campaign designed to drive the Vista Board of Directors to a possible alternative deal from MNC Capital Partners.

On February 19, after the announcement of the planned CSG acquisition, MNC Capital Partners (which includes former Vista BoD member Mark Gottfedson) entered a competing bid, offering $35/share for both parts of Vista, a $5 per share bump over Vista’s then-current stock price.

That bid was rejected.

The rejection, as explained by Vista Board official Michael Callahan, was due to a lack of confidence that MNC actually had financing sufficient to close their nearly $3 billion offer.

At that point, the Vista/CSG deal appeared to be moving, subject to requisite federal review (CFIUS) when any U.S. company is being acquired by a foreign entity.

On March 25, MNC made a second unsolicited offer- this one at $2.50/share above their earlier $35/share bid. Significantly more than the Vista/CSG’s proposed purchase of the Kinetic business.

Now it appears a simultaneous PR and political lobbying effort was being mounted by someone to stop the CSG deal.

On April 8, the CSG issued a detailed statement outlining the benefits of the their planned acquisition. Principal among those benefits was the fact the deal was an “all-cash acquisition including fully committed financing (my italics) backed by ‘leading U-S Bank JP Morgan Chase.”

Their statement also reminded readers that : 1) the proposed transaction had already received FTC clearance, 2) CSG was a “significant supplier to NATO” with several companies with top NATO security clearances, and, 3) CSG already operated ammunition facilities in Arkansas and Missouri acquired via a CFIUS transaction in 2022.

After yesterday’s letters, it appears this was CSG’s initial attempt to stop the whispers.

Apparently, that didn’t work. But it did raise the question as to why anyone would object to the sale, especially since CSG already owns-and operates- ammunition facilities here in the United States.

That’s when a “blurb” in a financial research newsletter caught my attention.

On Tuesday, March 26, Gordon Hackett Research Advisors’ newsletter asked a simple question: “Who behind the grassy knoll is aiming at VISTA?”

The piece raised more questions than answers, but it did make it fairly pretty apparent that a full-court PR press was is in place against CSG.

U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) has apparently got involved after sending a January letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raising concerns over the deal.

Vance’s letter accuses CSG of “a long record of wrongdoing” and “well-documented connections to American adversaries.” It went on to accuse CSG of dealing with Russia’s Vladimir Putin as well as violating international arms embargoes.

That, it seems, was a bridge too far for CSG owner and CEO Michal Strnad.

Yesterday, Strnad sent an open letter to Vance, saying he was “shocked by the false accusations.”

“Senator,” the letter reads, “with all due respect, your assessment of us was profoundly mistaken. CSG is one of the most important private supporters of the Ukrainian military effort, a country to which we have supplied much-needed weapons systems dating back to 2018, well before the outbreak of open Russian aggression.”

“CSG Group companies,” the letter continues, “are also suppliers to the U.S. military and have a significant history of cooperation with major American defense industry corporations.”

“Any speculation about the CSG’s connection to the Putin regime,” Strnad wrote, “should be considered nonsense.”

For the record, CSG stopped supplying trucks to Russia’s mining industry after the Ukrainian invasion. CSG, it says, has never been investigated, much less sanctioned, for violating any arms embargoes.

The letter (a link to the entire letter is below) then says the most convincing argument is “one you can experience yourself” and invites Vance to visit “CSG member companies in the U.S. and Europe to experience first-hand who we really are.”

Late yesterday, CSG took aim at another group opposing their acquisition: the National Sheriff’s Association. That organization sent an April 9 letter to the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretaries expressing their concern-if not outright opposition- to the CSG/Kinetic acquisition.

The Sheriffs Association had expressed concerns that the acquisition could cause a “disruption in access to affordable and reliable American-made ammunition and primers.”

CSG’s AMMO division CEO David Stepan responded that his company had “publicly stated our pledge to maintain Vista’s manufacturing operations in the United States, led by the same topflight American management team that runs its operation today.”

“We have no plans,” Stepan wrote, “to move any employment or production overseas.”

He also reminded Association Executive Director and CEO Jonathan F. Thompson that foreign ownership, including Fiocchi (now majority-owned by CSG) and South Korean ammunition maker PMC, both sell to U.S. law enforcement.

His response to the “trepidations” members might have regarding CSG’s relationships with U.S. adversaries in unmistakable terms:

“The short answer is, we have no ties. CSG is among the top providers of artillery ammunition for NATO and recently announced we intend to invest several hundred million dollars in our ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities by expanding our supply of artillery ammunition, tanks and artillery systems in the country.”

“All of us,” Stepan concluded, “at CSG are committed to transparency. We are also committed to doing what’s best for all our future customers in the United States.”

Having met and spoken at length with CSG officials, I have found there’s very little they won’t discuss. Those discussions with them actually explained why companies like CZ and CSG are interested in U.S. businesses.

If you’re in the civilian firearms or ammunition business, the U.S. is the one place - globally - where the firearms market is actually expanding.

As to MNC, there’s very little information available. As the Gordon Hackett report stated, “Other than seeing it described as a Dallas-based family office, details on MNC are in short supply.”

Today, as on March 26, their website is nothing more than a landing page. Other than Gottfredson, who was a member of Vista’s Board of Directors until January, little else is known. Nothing else is being offered.

We’re watching. And, as always, we’ll keep you posted.

— Jim Shepherd

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