Getting a product manager’s attention at a major consumer show is difficult, so finding Browning’s Paul Thompson in a coffee line at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting was a stroke of luck. He was quick to tell me about three new guns from “the buck mark” and we walked straight to his booth.
Sweet Sixteen – For those who want more than a 20 gauge, yet don’t need the weight and recoil of a 12, the Sweet Sixteen squarely hits the mark. Aside from a really good looking shotgun with a glossy stock and classic Browning A5 humpback silhouette, one point of the new shotgun sure to draw attention is its featherweight nature, weighing less than 6 pounds. The current Sweet Sixteen offerings are chambered in 2¾ inch with 26 and 28 inch barrels. The Browning A5 autoloader operates by a Kinematic Drive System that uses kinetic energy so efficiently that the shotgun is guaranteed for 100,000 rounds or 5 years, one of the best warranties in the industry.
Black Label 1911-380 – “These .380s are not the handgun choice for those looking for trouble, but rather the light and handy handgun of choice for those looking to avoid it,” said the American Rifleman’s Mark Keefe. He is talking about Browning’s new Black Label 1911 .380s. Both the Model 1911 and the .380 ACP cartridge are inventions of John Browning, so who better to make a small, light and easily concealed handgun than the company that bears his name? The .380 Pro models offer three-dot sights, are finished in matte black, have barrel lengths of 4.25 inches and weigh about 18 ounces.
X-Bolt A-TACS – Thompson didn’t have to introduce me to the X-Bolt line because I hunted in Africa with one. The rifle performed well in a variety of hunting situations and proved to be very accurate. The new camo version might be seen as a tweak by some, yet I believe the new camo makes for a complete hunting system. The main features of the X-Bolt include a 3- to-5-pound adjustable trigger, free-floated barrel, X-Lock scope mounting system that features four screws, rotary magazine, 60-degree bolt lift and the option to have the bolt personalized with your name or inscription. Back to the camo pattern: Advanced Tactical Concealment System (A-TACS) is in step with a movement away from leaf and stick patterns to a more universal blending system. The fluted barrel is coated in a Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish for a completely camouflage look. No elk or whitetail will ever spot this rifle!
Images by Joe Byers