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The IWA at Nürnberg, Germany is the world-leading exhibition for hunting, target sports, reloading and nature activities, now in its 37th year. It took place in seven halls of the Nürnberg Exhibition Centre from March 12th to March 15th, 2010. 1129 exhibitors from 55 countries attended, around 250 from the United States. During the four days of the exhibition 32,000 visitors from 106 counties saw the exhibition.

This year the segment of optics and outdoor clothing had expanded as well as the traditional main segments of hunting and shooting sports. The IWA is also the worlds biggest knife exhibition. In view of the increased need for security of citizens in many countries, the segment of service guns and security equipment for government agencies, security experts and body guards was this year more extensive than ever. One of the key issues here in Germany is gun security. Suppliers from all over the world offered a broad spectrum of secure storage and handling of sport guns with various systems ranging from code protected safes to devices for protecting individual guns against unauthorized access.

Admission to IWA is restricted exclusively to trade visitors. End consumers are not allowed to attend.

Burris SHOTCam

The SHOT cam is a camcorder that can be mounted under rifle barrels. It allows digital zoom up to 5x, and records on an internal 512 MB flash storage. It is switched on/off through a cable connected switch. Multiple applications come to mind: it could be used for rifle training to demonstrate and improve rifle handling. And of course you could use it to video your hunting adventures. Mounted under the rifle barrel it might change the barrel vibrations and thereby change the point of impact. Before using it against an angry elephant bull I suggest a test to find out if it can stand the hard recoil of an elephant rifle.

Price here in Germany is € 399 (US$501). It is a fascinating idea; I think that I’ll buy one. Have a look at

Blaser R8

Blaser’s new R8 bolt action rifle, introduced march 2010, held the central stage at the Blaser exhibition. They had some beautifully engraved "deluxe" edition R8’s on exhibit. The R8 handles and looks like the old R93. But it has a detachable magazine. I spike to the guy who did the test shooting of the new R8 for DEVA (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Waffen). This august body has been in existance since 1900 or so and does testing of loads, rifles, etc. This friend told me that receiver and lock of the R8 were considerably strengthened compared to the R93. It took a pressure of 14,600 bars (that is 211,758 psi! Yes, two hundred, eleven thousand psi) Must be the strongest action presently on the market! (For around US$70,000 you can buy this deluxe R8)

Due to the engineering changes the old R93 barrels and locks are not compatible with the new R8. The R8 that were shown were in small and medium calibres only. Further Blaser rifles are to come over the course of the year 2010. R8 in .458 Lott and .500 Jeffery (!) are in the making.

The R8 stock has a very nice crisp checkering and points naturally. The reason for this is that it follows the old English stock design. The pistol grip has a nice Wundhammer swell.

One of the main new features of the R8 is the detachable magazine. Of course the R8 can still be loaded filling in the cartridges from the top with the magazine attached.

For around US$70,000 you can buy this deluxe R8

The new program offers a wide range of different styles from plain elegance to precious engravings. R8 rifles of the Custom Line feature a bolt housing made of steel. Bolt housing and barrel are polished by hand to a high-gloss finish. Pistol grip cap and bolt handle ball are also made of steel and polished with care. Additionally, the bolt handle ball is knurled by hand. On request, the action is also available in steel. See

Mauser M03 Africa PH

Mauser had a new version of the well-known Mod M03 Africa on exhibit. It is the Mauser M03 Africa PH (Professional Hunter). It will be available in .375 H&H, .404 Jeffrey, .416 Rem. Mag., and .458 Lott. It has a sand coloured synthetic stock with ‘elastomer’ grip inlays.

The M03 Africa PH is fitted to the needs of hunting guides. Its synthetic stock with ‘kickstop’ is coloured in natural sand and features black anti-slip inlays. Due to a compact overall length (barrel length of the PH version will be 23.6 or 22 inches) this "pro rifle" will stand the test in daily use. Chamber, trigger and bolt handle are coloured in black.

If you have ever used during a safari a rifle with a beautiful wooden stock, as I did, you will be familiar with the despair that I felt when the stock was battered and scratched by the hard use during the hunt. A synthetic stock is a most useful item for an African hunt especially for a PH who has to lug around his rifle during the whole hunting season.


The M03 PH is available in a lightweight version that weighs about 1 pound less than the standard version (at about 10 pounds). This should well make sense for PH’s. One of my PH friends carries a .416 Rigby. He had the weight reduced to about 7.7 pounds. Now, this rifle kicks; he allowed me to try it out. But, he reasons that he only shoots it a dozen times each year. Then he can stand the recoil–but he has to carry it all the time during the hunting season–and there one pound less makes quite a difference!


Smart Gun System from Armatix

The days of purely mechanical systems are over. The Armatix Smart System iP1 Pistol together with iW1 wristwatch provides access control and permission of use only for the person duly authorized. If a weapon is snatched away, stolen or lost, it is automatically deactivated and rendered unusable. The pistol is equipped with integrated locking electronics and actuators that make it possible to activate and deactivate the weapon safely and reliably.

The weapon is ready to fire as soon as it is connected to the activated iW1 wrist watch. If the weapon is put down, snatched away or moved out of range of the iW1 watch, it is deactivated and thereby automatically secure. Armatix licenses the globally patented system to selected manufacturers. The system is certified in the USA. It can be transferred to a large range of handguns and other weapon systems.


3M Sound Protector

Great hearing protection from 3m:

  • Slim cup design

  • Level dependent function in stereo

  • Last setting is stored when switched off

  • Totally independent dual earphone system for level dependent and external radios signal, for maximum security.

  • Automatically switches off after two hours if no function is used.

  • Two signals are emitted as a warning that the ComTac will switch off in one minute if no function is activated.

  • Battery life is about 250 hours. Three warning signals are emitted every 30 seconds for five minutes when power is low, then the headset switches off.

  • from Peltor:

    1–8 x 24 Riflescope from Schmidt & Bender

    The Schmidt & Bender people told me that the design of this scope followed requirements of the security sector. If it is used at the lowest magnification it works like a parallax free Redpoint device for short distance shots. With both eyes open due to its large field of vision (36 m at 100 m distance) it is ideally suited for short range shooting at attacking buffalos or other dangerous game or for quick shots at fast moving game. If you turn off the illumination the red dot disappears and the normal reticle remains.

    If you want to do some precision shooting at long distances you have the 8 x magnification. That should be more than enough for any safari situation I can imagine.

    The scope illumination unit offers five levels for daylight use. You have three more levels for low light situations and three additional levels which can be used with night vision devices.


    Rangemaster CRF 1600 from Leica

    Leica is a pioneer in the field of rangefinders. The Rangemaster CRF 1600 is the newest addition to its product line. With a large 115-meter field of vision and 7x magnification, the Rangemaster takes just 0.3 seconds to display the precise distance to any target from 10-meter to approximately 1500-meter (1600 yards) away.

    In addition the Rangemaster CRF 1600 offers an integrated ballistics computer with a choice of ballistic curves. In making its calculation, the system automatically adjusts for barometric pressure and temperature. You simply choose the appropriate ballistic curve and the Rangemaster CRF 1600 shows you the precise aiming point.

    Unique within the premium rangefinder segment, the Rangemaster CRF is held vertically. This means it is equally easy to use for both left-handers and right-handers. Weighing only 8 ounces, it is extremely light and, thanks to its compact design, it sits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Even when you’re wearing gloves, it is easy to hold and carry.

    The Rangemaster has the size of a pack of cigarettes and slips easily into any small shirt- or pants pocket.

    The brightness and sharpness of its LED display have also been significantly improved. The figures remain clear and distinctly legible even if you measure against the dazzling brightness of a snow field. Its red LED display is as bright as day and absolutely tack-sharp. Its display brightness adjusts automatically to ambient lighting conditions.

    The intrepid Hans J. Wild is 74 years old and has been involved in the IT industry for 40 years. He is a veteran safari hunter and has been on 12 African safaris so far including safaris to Zimbabwe and Namibia. He plans to continue his safari career this year…

    Depressing the button activates the opto-electronic system and a second press starts the measuring process. Constant pressure on the button activates the Rangemaster’s scanning mode. This means that the Rangemaster now measures continuously and can "track" game on the move.

    The LEICA RANGEMASTER CRF 1600 will be available from August 2010 at a recommended German market retail price of €720 (US$904).



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