Shooting Sports News: Sig Sauer Partners With Flir; HSGI's Battle of the Belts

In the latest shooting sports industry news, Sig Sauer has partnered with Flir for its night vision operator course and High Speed Gear announces its "Battle of the Belts" winners.

Shooting Sports News: Sig Sauer Partners With Flir; HSGI's Battle of the Belts

Sig Sauer has partnered with Flir for a night vision operators training session in November at the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

In the latest shooting sports industry news:

Sig Sauer Academy, the leading provider of the highest quality firearms and tactical instruction in the world, is pleased to announce a partnership with Flir Systems for the Night Vision Operator course , to include the addition of cutting-edge Flir Night Vision and Thermal Imaging equipment.

“The addition of Flir products to our Night Vision Operator course will allow Sig Sauer Academy students to experience the latest and some of the most innovative night vision devices, and expand their operational capabilities. This partnership adds significant depth to the course curriculum and allows our students to train with the same equipment in use with Special Forces across the globe,” said Steve “Mato” Matulewicz, Vice President, Sig Sauer, Inc.

The Night Vision Operator Course is designed for law enforcement and military units to enhance their capabilities and safety with night vision and thermal imagining equipment for critical situations. Taught by experienced Special Forces operators, students will be introduced to equipment in use with law enforcement and the military while learning tactics to supplement existing methods and procedures.

“The addition of Flir night vision and thermal technology to the suite of optics offered at Sig Sauer Academy will better equip users with the tactical advantage to not only protect themselves, but complete their mission safely and effectively,” added Jamie Dery, Vice President and General Manager of Flir’s Outdoor and Tactical Division. “We’re excited to partner with an industry leading brand to better the lives and livelihoods of our customers.”

The next offering of Night Vision Operator is Nov.r 12 at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, N.H.

HSGI Battle of the Belts Winners

High Speed Gear concluded its month-long “Battle of the Belts” giveaway with its customers and dealers Sept. 6.

Participants voted on their favorite HSGI and Comp-Tac belts and features, with one winner announced each week. More than 3,800 entries were submitted. Each winner received an Operator Belt — the winning belt all four weeks — with later weeks rewarding additional HSGI and Comp-Tac products.

“We were very excited by the turnout on our survey contest,” said Allison Mitchum, HSGI director of sales and marketing. “We’ve received a lot of great input and insight, all of which can be used in continuing to make great gear our customers value and trust.”

Additionally, participants voted High Speed Gear’s "Made in America"  status as their most important aspect/feature, followed by the gear’s function and usefulness, with the overbuilt design and durability ranking third.

The most popular belts in the survey were as follows, listed most popular first:

Operator Belt with Micro Grip and Velcro Inner Belt: The Operator COBRA IDR 1.75-inch Rigger Belt is a low-profile shooter’s belt designed to work with both Molle and belt-mounted gear.

Slim-Grip Padded Belt – Slotted: This modular, padded-belt system has a neoprene interior and individual PALS platforms to allow the inner belt to be woven inside or outside the belt.

COBRA Rigger Belt – 1.75-inch D-Ring and 1.5-inch Variants: The belt is constructed to the same standards as the COBRA 1.75-inch belt, but is designed for daily wear around the office or in the field. This belt's excellent stiffness and rigidity will not allow the weight of holsters and mag pouches to “roll” the belt.

Duty-Grip Padded Belt: The Duty-Grip is designed with the patrol officer in mind and was fielded by numerous law enforcement officers and departments during the development process. Our proprietary neoprene padding creates a gel-like comfort while offering excellent grip and performance. The Duty-Grip features a complete series of vertical laser-cut slots that allow a rigger or duty belt to weave securely to expose any or nearly all of the belt for attaching belt-mounted pouches and holsters.

Zeiss Taps Bill Hicks & Co. for Wholesale Distribution

Zeiss has selected Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. as its exclusive U.S.A. commercial wholesale distributor for Zeiss Sports Optics.

The move comes in time for hunting season and in support of the 2019 Zeiss Field Days Promotion – which runs through Dec. 31. Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. will be able to provide product sales and support for shooting sports retailers, from the entire assortment of products within the Zeiss Sports Optics catalog.

“Bill Hicks & Co. brings a lot to the table for ZEISS Sports Optics.” says Tom Andrews, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, for Zeiss Sports Optics Division. “This highly strategic alliance completes our wholesale distribution objective, and further bolsters our Dealer Direct Programs. Bill Hicks & Co. provides the absolute solution for Zeiss by offering outstanding customer service, product availability, and attractive pricing for non-stocking shooting sports retailers.”

Contact information for Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. is as follows: 15155 23rd Avenue North – Plymouth, MN 55447. Phone: 800-223-0702

Koenig Wins Bianchi Cup Europe

Leupold Pro Shooter Doug Koenig won his sixth Bianchi Cup Europe title in August in Philippsburg, Germany, sporting a new-for-2019 Leupold Freedom RDS on his competition pistol on the way to the win.

Much like the USA-based Bianchi Cup – of which Koenig is an 18-time champion – Bianchi Cup Europe is an action pistol-style championship that demands accuracy and precision. Action shooting consists of four stages: a practical stage, barricade stage, falling plate stage, and moving target stage.

“There aren’t many competitions as challenging as Bianchi Cup – whether I’m shooting it in the United States or in Europe,” Koenig said. “The competition is fierce, and any one mistake can cost you a chance at the title. Having top-tier equipment is paramount to success, and it’s why I run Leupold whenever optics are permitted.”

GSM Outdoors Acquires Down & Out Blinds

GSM Outdoors has acquired Down & Out Blinds, broadening its already diverse hunting stand and hunting blind product line.

Down & Out Blinds occupy a unique place in the concealment segment due to a hybrid design that blends the light weight and portability of conventional pop-up blinds with the greater stability, optimal visibility, and robust feel more typical of permanent or hard-side blinds.

Down & Out blinds center on its patented BlindFold technology. This accordion-style, multi-panel design allows hunters to set up blinds in just a couple minutes with no tools required. Providing 360-degree visibility and shooting, screwed-to-frame fabric, all-black interior, and aluminum powder-coated panel frames, Down & Out Blinds are made to be left out all season long. Key features to the Scout and Warrior models have been engineered to ensure long-term durability and reliable function in any hunting condition. They include magnetic window and door closures, heavy-duty roof struts to withstand snow loads, heavy-duty 600 denier No-Shine Cordura fabric, full-length panel hinges, DarkOut black interior, and more.

"All of us at GSM are extremely excited to bring Down & Out Blinds into our portfolio," said Ben Smith, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. "These ground-breaking hunting blinds will fall under our Hawk brand and complement our current line of hunting blinds quite nicely—not only with the key price points we’ll be hitting but also with features and benefits, as these are truly unique blinds that blend the advantages of permanent, hard-side blinds with the easy set-up and take-down of pop-up blinds."

Hornady Shooter Claims Steel Challenge Title

Team Hornady shooter Dave Preston took first place at the Meaford Long Range Steel Challenge Sept. 1 in in Meaford, Ontario, Canada.

Preston used Hornady 6mm 110-grain A-Tip Match bullets.

“The A-Tips really shined in this match due to a strong left to right wind on Saturday” he said. “With no backstops and tall grass behind the targets, it was very hard to see a miss. Being able to get first round impacts played a huge part in winning this match."

The most striking visual feature of the A-Tip Match bullet is its long, uniform, precision-machined aluminum tip. The longer aluminum tips are machined to be caliber specific, and when coupled with highly refined AMP bullet jackets, aggressive profiles and optimized boattails the result is enhanced drag efficiency.

Bergeron New National Sales Manager for GPO USA

Dane Bergeron has been named national sales manager for German Precision Optics USA.

Bergeron will be responsible for maintaining, managing and resourcing the U.S. sales force for GPO. He will report directly to Mike Jensen, GPO owner and CEO.

Bergeron has more than 13 years experience in the sales and service field and three decades of active service in the United States Army Special Forces. For the past 10 years, Bergeron has owned and operated Blue Light Tactical Solutions, a consulting firm providing security and special operations for the U.S. Special Operations Command. Prior to that, he held a position as a regional sales representative, handling top lines in the outdoor industry.

“We are excited to have Dane join our team to lead our sales force,” Jensen said. “We aim to combine his knowledge, experience and expertise with our growing brand to help further drive growth opportunities for our customers, as well as his ability to create product solutions for our customers.”

A graduate of Liberty University, Bergeron holds a BS in Business Administration/Project Management and an MBA in Business Administration. He currently resides in DeRidder, La.

Walther Launches Updated Website

Walther launched a new, innovative website that helps customers educate themselves on Walther history, products, shooting techniques, and where to buy.

One of the most significant changes is the integration of Walther Defense and Competition products. Customers can now go to one destination for info on the Walther Defense line of products (PPQ, PPS, P22, PK380, Q5 Match, and PPK) and the Walther Competition line (KK500, LG400, FP500, GSP Expert, SSP, and LP500).

Customers can experience a unique interaction with Walther products with new videos, articles, and augmented reality. Choose any of the Walther models by narrowing down products through the new Usage section, or learn comprehensive cleaning and disassembly strategies along with shooting techniques in the Walther Campus.

“We are very excited to launch this new website," said Cody Osborn, Marketing Manager of Walther Arms, Inc. "As the performance leader in the industry, we wanted our website to reflect the performance that our products provide. Owning a Walther is an experience, and we want our customers to feel like they are part of our team.

"The Walther Campus allows our customers to learn from our employees, shooting team, pro-staff, and industry professionals. This overall experience helps new and existing shooters to have a better understanding of who Walther is.” 

SAAMI Accepts Federal Ammunition Submission

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute has approved and accepted Federal's 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel cartridge and chamber designs as an official new cartridge recognized by the organization.

Technical data and drawings for the cartridge, known as the Shorty Shotshell, are now published and available to the industry and public.

“This is big news for our new Shorty Shotshell ammunition,” said Rick Stoeckel, Federal’s Shotshell Product Director. “The 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch cartridge has been around for more than a decade, but it was never brought to SAAMI to be considered by its Technical Committee. Once we decided to start manufacturing this load, we immediately submitted it to SAAMI for industry standardization. We’re excited about this approval and we deeply appreciate SAAMI’s support.”

Federal’s Shorty Shotshells deliver similar full-sized performance without the length of standard shells. Although just 1 ¾-inch long, new Shorty shotshells offer similar patterns, energy and accuracy as full-size counterparts. They are available in No. 8 shot, No. 4 buck and rifled slug loads, perfect for fun at the range.

“SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing it within the industry,” Stoeckel said. “Their work creates industry standards for the cartridge, and will hopefully inspire shotgun manufacturers to purposely build pump-action and semi-auto shotguns to specifically run 1 ¾-inch loads.”

SAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for accepted cartridge and chamber designs. These are posted within New SAAMI Cartridge & Chamber Designs under their Technical Information section, found at

A direct link to the 12-gauge 1 ¾-inch Smooth Bore Barrel Cartridge .PDF document can be viewed here:

American Tactical Partners With Tactical Gear Distributors

American Tactical, U.S. manufacturer and world-wide importer of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment, has partnered with Tactical Gear Distributors.

Tactical Gear Distributors of Aberdeen, N.C., is the leading wholesaler of performance firearms and tactical gear for military, law enforcement and shooting sports retailers. It is committed to stocking the right assortment of proven sellers that meet the varying needs of retailers across the country.

"We are looking forward to our new partnership with Tactical Gear Distributors," says Tony DiChario, President of American Tactical. "We are excited to see new successes together as we continue to bring the best firearms products to the industry and to our customers."


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.