Shot Show Day 2 – Mossberg & Beretta
Maree Davidson, FOU US Correspondent.
Day two of the Shot Show led the FOU US team all over the 830 000 square feet of convention, looking for products that were about to be launched in Australia, and products that Australian importers and dealers should be offering the Australian shooting public. This search led us to the booths of Beretta and Mossberg. We specifically chose to make a serious visit to Beretta and Mossberg for two reasons. Firstly, at Beretta the APX handgun was a center piece display, as was the T1x MTR series of rifles. Both of these product lines are due for release by Beretta Australia. The reason for attending Mossberg was slightly different in that Mossberg are releasing some incredible products that hopefully Australians will see in the near future.
The Beretta APX handgun was developed as part of the recent program here in the United States to replace the M9A2. The APX is a full size polymer framed handgun in that follows the recently very popular striker fired operating system. Beretta state that the APX can be easily modified with replaceable grip frame housings and is simple to disassemble and maintain. The APX’s magazine release button can be easily reversed, and the slide stop is ambidextrous. Here in the United States, the APX received some very good reviews on release. Finally, the handgun is said to have a trigger break at six pounds, and a very short reset. The APX was released on our US market a year or so ago, and is now destined for Australian shelves.
On first sight, the APX full size striker fired handgun reminded us of two handguns we possess; the H&K VP9 and the Glock 17. Explained simply, the slide reminded us of the slide on the Glock 17, and the grips reminded us of those of the H&K VP9! The experience of the first view of this handgun is to imagine a world where the VP9 slide had been mixed with the Glock 17 slide, and then this combination had been run through an Italian fashion house to make the all-round package as sexy as a new Ferrari!
If you are into modern handguns for competition shooting, the APX hits all the right buttons! It has the look! We found the design extremely ergonomic. We found the medium size replaceable grip was the most universal size of the three, from small to large. We felt the feel with this medium grip size was slightly more comfortable than the incredible feel of the VP9. We thought the grip size would suit both male and female shooters and that the texture would assist in keeping a steady grip throughout any competition. We found that the aggressive full length slide serrations make manipulating the slide easy with both right and left hands. The serrations make it easy to keep a solid grip on the slide as you chambered a round. In short, we found that the APX handgun is simply an incredible handgun to hold.
On testing the trigger, we noticed that the trigger was around the six pounds advertised by Beretta. We also would agree that the reset was smooth and hard to detect. While we were unable to test the APX on the range due to time constraints and weapon availability, my experience as someone who carries a striker fired handgun every day for work, as well as someone who trains folk in firearms, leads me to believe that it will not just be the ergonomics and feel that Australian customers will be pleased with! If Beretta Australia makes the handgun available to us here in Vegas to test fire, we would hope to confirm our theory on performance. Until we can test fire, we can only recommend the handgun based on ergonomics, feel and trigger.
Our second stop at the Beretta booth was to view the Tikka T1x MTR. Beretta state that the T1x MTR (Multi-Task Rimfire) designed to handle an assortment of shooting tasks with a barrel designed to give you all the benefits of heavy barrel accuracy without an increase in weight.
The MTR is available in 22LR & 17HMR. Beretta told us that the 22LR comes in 16” compact and 20” version. The 17HMR comes in a 20” version. Whilst talking to Tikka representatives, they make the point clear that the T1x’s trigger mechanism is the same quality trigger unit offered in Tikka T3x centerfire rifles. They stated that the zero-creep trigger will improve your accuracy and make tight groupings easy! The magazine capacity on both rifles is ten rounds. After examining the T1x we were reasonably impressed. We thought the rifles were balanced well, with the barrel weight not dominating these small caliber rifles. We thought the overall weight was just right for going bush and enjoying the challenge and environmental friendly activity of hunting small game. When gripping the T1x’s we feel shooters will be pleasantly surprised by the textured and solid feel to the stock. We assessed the bolts as very smooth, easy to manipulate, and would easily allow a mad minute of fire! Overall, the physical appearance of the T1x is very pleasing to the eye and made us feel like it was time to go bush and do a bit of small game hunting! Again, we cannot comment on performance as we have not yet had a chance to test and review this.
There is one final point to note on the Tikka T1x. We found the magazine release was not suitable for going bush. In short, the magazine release was forward of the magazine, to short and the spring not hard enough to prevent hearing the magazine fall into the long grass with the Brown Snakes! Yes, imagine! It is 1 a.m., you have your gloves on and you need to replace the magazine. First, your gloves would need to come off. Second, you would be fiddling in the dark for a very small, flimsy, primarily recessed release. Next thing you know, you are searching the long grass for the magazine, or your exchange of magazines is slowed to where a quick change to get back on target is not likely. Therefore, after a short discussion of Australian conditions with the Italian design team, they are going back to Italy with one line in mind! That line is “five mill longer, 50 percent stronger!” In other words, an after-market release that extends another five millimeters, and a release spring that is 50 percent stronger! Luckily, the T1x magazine release is a screwdriver from replacement! We applaud Tikka for taking the suggestion on board to make the T1x just that bit more suitable for Australian conditions. (RRP seems to be between $850-880 AUD -Ed)
Now for something Australian importers should turn their attention to! In short, Mossberg is producing come incredible rifles. The top of our list, and one we see no signs of a possible Australian release, is the MVP Precision Rifle! This incredible tactical chassis precision rifle, coming in 6.5 Credmore or 7.62NATO, is the star of the bolt action rifles we have seen this year! The bolt is incredibly smooth to the point where your pinkie moves the bolt up, it almost takes off backwards, allowing you to finish the action by returning it. We live in the United States, which means we can purchase any semi or bolt rifle at the Shot Show. Out of all rifles we have seen at the show so far, and therefore all the ones we can purchase, this is the one to purchase! As Mossberg is saying, “Let freedom ring at 1000 plus yards!” For further information, please see http://www.mossberg.com/category/series/mvp-series/mvp-precision/
Summing up day two, it was exhausting but rewarding. Beretta was very pleasing, although we need to test, and a few improvements would add to a very good offering. Mossberg was the discovery of a hidden gem, and we found the recognition of Australia making a difficult and slow comeback as a shooting nation, was growing! If day two taught us anything, it was that Australian shooters need to do much more to unite and push a pro freedom and pro responsible shooting agenda. With this, many more manufacturers would be interested in helping further develop and supply incredible products to the Australian market.
All Day Two photos HERE
All photos kindly supplied by Keith Slater
Introducing our US Corespondent, Maree Davidson. Maree is an NRA Instructor & RSO, a writer, Ex-cop an,investigator,teacher, lecturer, and historian. She loves life,travel, the outdoors, firearms, and freedom. You can reach her direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org