Gun Digest

New Guns And Gear May-June 2020

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Big-bore beasts and some of the top gear of the year, your wish list is about to expand with these 21 pieces of new guns and gear.

What Are The New Guns And Gear:

Savage Axis II Precision

It’s difficult to make the case that Savage’s new chassis rifle is a big gun—until you get a gander at the price tag. Among the most affordable precision rifles to hit the market, the Axis II Precision could well have an oversized impact on the market. However, while the rifle is affordable, it doesn’t skimp. Savage partnered with well-respected chassis-maker Modular Drive Technologies, mounting the Axis-barreled action in an exclusively designed chassis. The rig’s rigidity makes the long shot come in and boasts plenty of M-Lok slots on the forend to attach your accessories. Outfitted with a 22-inch carbon-steel, button-rifled heavy barrel, this rifle has excellent harmonics. It’s available in six chamberings, including 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester.
MSRP: $949

Stoeger Freedom Series P3000 Supreme

Big guns have a place in home defense, especially when you’re talking about a 12-gauge shotgun. Maximizing the bore’s performance and your spending power, Stoeger has introduced one of the most affordable tactical options available. Perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of the Freedom Series P3000 Supreme (aside from its ability to digest 3-inch magnum shells) is its buttstock. A six-position telescoping unit, it features an adjustable cheek rest and folds up for compact storage and transportation. This shotgun comes with a rubberized pistol grip, ghost ring rear sight, integrated sling attachments and a fixed cylinder choke. It weighs 7.3 pounds, so it’s more than enough to protect hearth and home. MSRP: $469,

Henry Lever-Action Axe .410

Uniquely in its own class, the Henry Repeating Arms Lever-Action Axe .410 might lack in overall practically, but it’s one of the most enjoyable guns you’ll ever strip from a scabbard. With a barrel length of just 16 inches, the firearm is extremely nimble, surprisingly controllable and fast on target acquisition. It fires 2½-inch .410 shells and boasts what Henry calls its “Axe Handle” grip. You can work the lever and get her to sing. A side-loading gate also means you can keep it in action, giving you a fast means to top off its five-round tubular magazine. And, because it’s made by Henry, there’s plenty of walnut and blued steel to give this smoothbore a timeless look. MSRP: $970,

Wilson Recon Tactical .350 Legend

Caliber-wise, the .350 Legend might not qualify as big gun fodder, but performance-wise, this ingenious straight-wall cartridge more than falls into this class—especially out of Wilson Combat’s excellent Recon Tactical Rifle. It’s a new chambering to the legendary line, making a hard-hitting legend a practical/tactical option. Decked out with a match-grade barrel, mid-length gas system and two-stage M2 trigger, the 16-inch-barreled rifle is operationally sound and extremely accurate. It’s also long on top-end components, including a lightweight M-Lok rail, BCM Starburst Gunfighter Grip, Roger’s adjustable Super-Stoc, and NP3-coated premium bolt and bolt-carrier group. Weighing a manageable 7 pounds, the flat-top Recon Tactical is agile enough to guard the homestead or put meat on the table. MSRP: $2,250,

Limited-Edition 150th Anniversary .444 Marlin

Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Marlin has introduced limited-edition guns to commemorate the moment. This includes one of Marlin’s most popular big-bore lever-actions: the .444 Marlin. Chambered for the smashing .444 Marlin cartridge, this rifle is long on custom-grade extras that make it an instant classic. Among these are a 24-inch, half-octagon/half-round barrel, an American black walnut stock and Skinner ladder sights. Of course, there’s even more: eye-catching scrollwork and gold inlay, as well as traditional checkering on the stock. The rifle ships in a commemorative box and has its own special serial number. If it’s caught your fancy, don’t wait too long: The limited-edition .444 Marlin will only be around as long as the company’s anniversary. MSRP: $1,899,

Expand Your Gear IQ:

150th Anniversary .444 Marlin 265-Grain Softpoint

If you opt for the commemorative Marlin (and even if you don’t), you need something to send out of that baby. Marlin has you covered. In conjunction with its special-edition, 150th anniversary guns, Marlin has also introduced a limited-edition ammunition line—including a whopper for the .444 Marlin. A 265-grain load, topped with Remington’s softpoint Core-Lokt bullet, this ammo should prove an excellent choice for taking nearly any game. Furthermore, the load has been optimized for top performance out the .444 Marlin’s 1:20-inch-twist barrel. In short, this stuff is accurate.
MSRP: $45 (box of 20),

VersaCarry Padded Cobra Sling

Big guns generally have a big problem: weight. VersaCarry removes this burden with its premium Padded Cobra Sling. More than good-looking gun leather, this rifle sling is designed to evenly distribute the weight of a firearm. It also provides cushioning so the strap doesn’t bite into your shoulder. Handcrafted from water buffalo hide and reinforced at load-bearing points, this sling is up to the toughest field conditions, and it’s made to last a lifetime. You’ll be glad you have the Padded Cobra Sling every time you hit the field. MSRP: $80,

Galco FasTrax PAC Elite Waist Pack Holster

Waist packs might not be every armed citizen’s cup of tea, but they certainly have a place in the pantheon. Particularly with how Galco has rethought the implement. Utilizing an innovative pivoting holster and an external activation cord, the FastTrax Elite Waist Pack Holster is fast and convenient. The cord opens the pack in the wink of an eye, while the holster consistently presents your piece, so you aren’t left fishing around. Miles away from the way old waist packs worked. Made of soft leather and Galco’s Comfort Cloth, the pack is an excellent option for active types that find it a challenge to carry on-body. MSRP: $99,

CZ Shadow 2 SA

A CZ Shadow 2 with a single-action trigger? Sign me and about anyone else who cherishes speed, accuracy and capacity. The renowned Czech-American manufacture recently expanded its line with exactly this model, aptly named the Shadow 2 SA. CZ has baked everything about the original pistol—from 17-round double-stack magazine to trademark blue aluminum grips and CZ ergonomics—into the new iteration. Only this one comes with a featherlight trigger that breaks like thin ice, especially compared to the first pull of the older DA/SA Shadow 2. Given its snappy trip, the Shadow 2 SA should prove an excellent option for a full-fledged competitive match or simple precision plinking. MSRP: $1,349,

Ruger PC Charger Pistol

Arguably the perfect gun to pair with your PC Carbine, the band new PC Charger Pistol has everything its big brother has … and more. To the more, the 6.5-inch barreled pistol most certainly is more nimble and convenient to tote around, perhaps the ideal backpack guns. To the fine point of the 9mm, like the carbine it also feeds off SR and Security-9 magazines, as well as Glock, giving it plenty of versatility. Furthermore, it has the same dead-blow blow-back system as the long gun, making it a real smooth shooter. A tungsten weight at the back of the bolt reduces recoil and shorten bolt travel, helping eliminate muzzle rise and picking up its shot-to-shot pace. It’s a wicked little devil and a great partner for Ruger’s popular carbine. MSRP: $799,

MTM In-Safe Handgun Cases

At first blush, handgun cases designed for a gun safe sound self-defeating. But take a second and look at your vault and think if some sort of organization system might be warranted. If you’re like most gun owners, the answer is most likely yes. This is exactly what MTM offers in these handy polymer cases. Stackable and lockable, they keep your pistols and revolvers in perfect order until you need them. At the same tick, they save on precious safe space. With closed-cell foam padding at the bottom, they also ensure the integrity of your guns over the long haul. Best of all, the cases are sold in packs of three, so you can get your handguns—all of them—in order right off the bat. MSRP: $16.95, 3-pack of 9-inch cases; $18.95, 3-pack of 12-inch cases;

FN 503 Slim

Spreading like a prairie fire, slimline pistols optimized for concealed carry have become among the dominant styles of defensive weapons. Now FN is in this game. Purpose-built for on-body defense, the 503 Slim is perfectly proportioned to comfortable stay under wraps. Much of this is thanks to its 1.1-inch width, but FN didn’t stop with the pistol’s overall proportions. The gunmaker also outfitted the 6+1 (8+1 extended mag) 503 Slim with low-profile, snag-free three-dot iron sights and a minuscule 4.6-inch height. FN didn’t compromise performance for convenience, giving the 3.1-inch barreled pistol a very crisp 5-pound trigger and a very aggressive grip texture, so you maintain control. The single-stack 9mm is more than ready to be your next everyday carry piece. MSRP: $549,

Zeiss Precision Rings

A precision rifle and precision scope require another element to live up to its full potential—precision rings.
Look no further than Zeiss to fill this role. More than familiar with the needs of high-quality optics, the German manufacturer has introduced six new rings to its Precision Ring line. The new offerings include two 30mm ring heights along with four 34mm options.Like the original, the new precision rings are sleek, lightweight and Mil-Spec grade, yet up to the most rugged environments and include some pretty dandy extras. Some of these include an integral recoil lug and anti-cant bubble level. MSRP: Starting at $179,

MDT Crossover (XRS) Chassis

Outside of pure long-range match work, rifle chassis are becoming more flexible. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) looks this direction with its XRS chassis. At its heart are the same rigid aluminum, monolithic receiver and V-block bedding. But on the outside is a polymer skin, keeping the system light and rugged. The chassis features an adjustable length-of-pull spacer system with 2 inches of play, as well as comb rise. The 12.5-inch forearm has ample M-Lok slots for the easy addition of accessories. And, of course, the system is fully compatible with ACIS magazines. Nice package for a do-all system. Currently available for Remington 700 short action with Rem783 SA; Tikka, Savage, and Howa 1500 short action variants soon to come.
MSRP: $99.95,

Sako S20

The Sako S20 tactical stock configuration.

Shooting at one rifle to do it all, Sako has come up with an ingenious new system with its S20. Billed as the first true cross-over bolt-action, the rifle lives up to its moniker adapting to both precision and hunting applications. Sound like a stretch, but more than doable with an interchangeable chassis stock system. A thumbhole version it’s the perfect configuration when you’re heading out to put meat on the table; then slap on the sniper-precision stock when you’re looking to ring steel a mile out. Inside the S20 stock is an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis that carries all the recoil forces. The durable structure of the frame has been carefully designed for maximum stiffness to increase accuracy and robustness. Available in eight calibers, the S20 is made to do about anything. MSRP: TBA,

TriStar Trinity Over/Under Shotguns

Think a sharp-looking and shooting over/under is out of your price range? Think again. TriStar’s newly minted Trinity line delivers both beauty and function to every smoothbore aficionado, no matter the size of their pocketbook. Right off the tick, it not only comes with eye-catching engraving, but also 24K gold inlay, which gives the Turkish-made 12-gauge an heirloom look. Topping this off is a rich stick of walnut, semi-gloss finished. Yet it’s more than just a looker, with the 3-inch chambered O/U featuring a solid frame, self-adjusting locking lugs, top tang safety selector and safety and steel mono-block barrels. The gun comes with 5 interchangeable Beretta/Benelli Mobil style choke tubes (SK, IC, M, IM, F), choke box and choke wrench. MSRP: $685,

Leica Amplus 6 Riflescope Series

Nearly without peer, Leica is no stranger to producing top-performing riflescopes. Though, recently, the German optics maker might have outdone itself. Its new Amplus 6’s features are designed to get you on target, no matter your application, deliver unparalleled clarity and accuracy. Chief among its assets, 6x zoom, which brings your target up-close and person, allowing you to precisely place your shots. This is complemented by a sharp illuminated dot and large exit pupil, giving you not only a clear mark of where you’ll place your bullet, but the ability to quickly transition targets. Available in 1-4x24mm up to 3-8x44mm, the line has an option for every potential shooting situation. MSRP: Starting at $1,199,


With performance as wicked as its looks, the BOSS25 is in charge. A creation of Citadel (imported by Legacy Sports), the 12-gauge is based on the popular AR-15 rifle making it an ideal and familiar choice for competition or self-defense. Capable of chambering 3-inch 12-gauge shells, the magazine-fed shotgun also has plenty of versatility and is long in features. Some of the more notable include an 18.75-inch chrome-lined barrel, muzzle brake, textured grip fore-end, fully adjustable folding sights and top-Picatinny Rail for the addition of an optic. Weighing in at 8-pounds, it’s no lightweight, but proves a fairly manageable shooter. MSRP: $579,

Dan Wesson Vigil 1911 Series

Dan Wesson pistols are many things … inexpensive isn’t one of them. Though, the custom gunmaker is pushing to get more of their excellent 1911s into more shooters’ hands with the introduction of the Vigil Series. An entry-level option, the aluminum-frame pistols come in well below most of the Wesson’s other lines, yet offers the company’s trade-mark performance. Lightweight, the Vigil Government Model, for instance, comes in nearly 6-ounces lighter than comparably-sized pistols, and has a slew of other features. Beveled magazine well, carry bevel treatment, undercut trigger guards and hand-polished flats all come standard. As does an extremely crisp, creep-free Dan Wesson trigger, set at 3.5 to 5 pounds. Available in Government, Commander and CCO (compact) models, in both 9mm and .45 ACP, there’s a Vigil for every shooter. MSRP: $1,298,

Stoeger STR-9 Compact

Glock performance at a fraction of the price, Stoeger pulled off quite a coup with the STR-9. Now, the gunmaker is aiming to continue to capitalize off its dandy striker-fired with the introduction of a made-to-carry iteration. With a 3.8-inch barrel, 6.9-inch overall length and 24-ounces in weight, the STR-9 Compact is certain to prove popular with those shooting at an affordable carry piece. While its price is rock-bottom, Stoeger has skimped on the STR-9. The 10+1 capacity 9mm (13+1 extend), outfitting it with sturdy three-dot iron sights, with the option to upgrade to Tritium night sights for a bit extra money. Like the original, the compact has a snappy trigger and easy-to-manipulate slide, thanks to aggressive cocking serrations. MSRP: $329,

RRA LAR-15M .450 Bushmaster

While there have been advancements in straight-walled cartridges, when it comes to hunting—particularly with an AR-15—the .450 Bushmaster still reigns supreme. Rock River Arms (RRA) now gives you the perfect way to launch the behemoth. Offering 1-MOA accuracy at 100 yards, the LAR-15M, is the perfect option for hunting season or if you’re simply looking for a precise large-bore rifle. RRA delivers this down-range performance through a top-end build, which includes a 16-inch stainless-steel, cryo-treated barrel. It enhances the system with a high-performance proprietary two-stage trigger and six-position Operator CAR stock. Topping it off is a lightweight, free-floated handguard with plenty of M-Lok real estate so you can add your must-have accessories. The LAR-15M is the whole package and a little bit more. MSRP: $1,100,

The article originally appeared in the May and Shooter Guide 2019 issues of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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