Gerald Almy: New products for deer season
With modern rifle deer hunting approaching fast, here’s a rundown on some exciting new products that might be of interest for the coming season.
Many of these gear items will be useful whether you’re planning to hunt close by in the Shenandoah Valley or take off on adventure to Canada or the western U.S.
SPG Buck2500RT Hunting Pack. Signature Products Group has instituted a total redesign and upgrade of Browning’s hunting packs and this is one of the top offerings in the line. I tested this new pack recently and found it was extremely practical, rugged, and functional with a wide array of useful pockets, but also comfortable to wear. There were no aching shoulders and no marks where straps or belts fastened uncomfortably.
The SPG pack’s fabric is coated with a durable water repellent that performed flawlessly in the recent heavy rains, and the outer fabric was quiet for stealthy walking as I approached game (with a camera when I was testing it.) A new Baumshell fabric that’s never been used on a hunting pack before was lightweight, quiet and durable. It has twice the strength of traditional pack fabrics, yet weighs half as much.
An asymmetrical belt design allowed easy access to gear and balanced movement when hiking. A Mountain Crawler system made carrying the pack effortless with its high-density foam-packed shoulder straps that move with your body, independently of the pack’s weight. The back panel also features a three-layer padding system for comfort in that vital area.
The pack weighs a light 3.25 pounds, yet still offers 2,500 cubic inches of storage space. spgcompany.com; browning.com.
Mossberg Patriot Rifles.Mossberg has unveiled a complete new line of classically styled bolt-action rifles for 2015 called the Patriot. The lineup offers 11 caliber choices with either walnut, synthetic, or laminate stocks.
Models include the Vortex Scope, Deer THUG, Youth and Night Train, among others. All versions feature the patented LBA (Lightning Bolt Accuracy) Trigger that can be adjusted from 2 to 7 pounds and button-rifled, fluted barrels with recessed crowns. The Dropbox magazine holds four rounds, and a spiral-fluted bolt with a new bolt angle and knurl pattern ensures extra-smooth cycling. mossberg.com
Savage .338 Federal Rifles. Fans of the .338 Federal caliber will have six Savage rifle models to choose from new for this season. They include the 11 Long Range Hunter, 11 hog Hunter, 16 FCSS, 16 Bear Hunter, 11 Trophy Hunter XP, and 16 Trophy Hunter XP.
Introduced in 2006, the .338 Federal caliber has proven itself to be an extremely reliable and popular cartridge for big game hunting. Built on the .308 case and “necked-up” to hold a .338 diameter bullet, the cartridge increases the muzzle velocity over the .308 and does so with a heavier bullet. That combination allows the short-action cartridge to offer magnum energy and performancewithout magnum recoil. The 11 Trophy Hunter XP with its carbon steel barrel, black synthetic stock and Savage Accutrigger should be especially popular in the new caliber lineup. savagearms.com
Sierra Tipped MatchKing (TMK).Sierra’s popular MatchKing line of ammunition is now being offered with an acetal resin tip in .308 caliber 165 and 175 grain bullets, called the Tipped MatchKing. The new tip provides reduced drag, improving its ballistic coefficient, and more reliable feeding in magazine-fed rifles. Velocities range up to 2400 fps. With this blistering speed, Sierra recommends the Tipped MatchKing for target practice, competitive shooting, and varmint-sized game. sierrabullets.com
Zeiss Victory SF Binoculars. Zeiss’ new Victory SF binoculars feature a super wide-angle field of view (444 feet at 1,000 yards) that makes them perfect to use when searching for game. Both the 8×42 and 10x42mm models use a triple-link bridge design that offers strength andlightness, with the weight concentrated towards your face for excellent balance.
A fast-focus feature provides quick crisp images through the 7-lens Ultra FL eyepieces that are color-neutral and sharp edge-to-edge thanks to the use of field flatteners. Light transmission through the SCHOTT fluoride glass is 92 percent for superb dusk and dawn viewing. zeiss.com/sports
Olympia 5500 Battery Charger. If you want to stay in contact with the outside world while at hunting camp, chances are you won’t find any sockets handy to plug your cell phone and tablet into for recharging. The new Olympia SB 5500 solves this need with a rugged battery integrated with two fold-out solar charging panels.
The compact 5500mAh lithium polymer battery will charge two devices at once, a cell phone in about 2-3 hours and a mid-sized device like a tablet in 5-6 hours. It includes a micro-USB cable integrated into the unit, a micro-USB port, and an LED battery power indicator. olympiaproducts.com
Birchwood Casey Renewalube. Renewalube Firearm Oil and Grease keep your firearms functioning smoothly and protect them from corrosion and rust with non-toxic, environmentally friendly ingredients. That composition gives them a USDA Certified Biobased product rating.
Renewalube Grease uses a water-resistant formulation that penetrates and creates a bond with metal surfaces. It can perform in temperatures from -40 to 427 degrees F. and reduces friction 400 percent better than traditional gun greases. Renewalube Firearm Oil displaces moisture, inhibits corrosion, and lubricates moving parts.birchwoodcasey.com
Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.