Jack Atcheson & Sons was busy from the opening bell, and for good reason. From North America to Asia and Africa, hunters crowded their booth to plan trips around the globe. As always, much of the talk centered on wild sheep and Africa, plus the great bears. Some great opportunities remain available for this year, and hunters were scrambling for those slots while looking ahead to next year and beyond. The lines became deeper as the day progressed, speaking to the strength of demand every bit as much as the trust of their clients.
The SCI Convention opened yesterday to strong, enthusiastic crowds taking in the very best of all things related to hunting. Sporting Classics was there to take it all in, and here are some of the highlights.
Swarovski was a hot spot as always, with much of the attention directed at the tremendous Z6 series of rifle scopes and their new modular spotting scope systems. Even though the booth was heavily staffed with factory experts, the crowd spilled over into the aisles as SCI members waited their turn to examine the optics.
“I wouldn’t go hunting without Swarovski glass,” one hunter observed. “Nothing comes close, and there is no better way to ensure the success of a hunt. Heck, I’d sooner leave my rifle in camp than hit a sheep mountain without my Swarovski spotting scope. Like I tell my guides, it keeps me from guessing.”
Swift rolled out a full line of premium ammunition, along with the new Break-Away solid bullets that feature a caveated front end and polymer tip. Testing reports show up to 74 inches of straight-line penetration with a .375 H&H Magnum. More importantly, field performance has been proven, including cold stops on two charging elephants.
Monarch Taxidermy, as usual, showcased some of the very best taxidermy and realistic habitat work to be found anywhere at the show. In addition to this tremendous Stone’s sheep, a fantastic lion mastheaded at the back of their booth was the subject of constant conversation and prompted many photographs. Owners Stuart Farnsworth and Tony Ward spent the day planning several large trophy rooms, in addition to many individual pieces, and made everyone feel welcome.
Spartan Precision Engineering, a new company and first-time exhibitor, unveiled what is probably the hottest accessory products on the floor: a family of modular carbon fiber bipods and tripods that offer quick magnetic attachments and multiple functions. Company principals quickly realized that manufacturing would have to be ramped up in order to meet the demand.
One well-known hunter summed it up this way: “I’m selling my other stuff and going with Spartan from now on. Nothing else on the market even comes close!”
Rigby showcased the new Rising Bite double rifle, something dangerous game hunters have been anticipating for at least two years. Superb in every respect, it was clearly worth the wait.
Even more spectacular was their display of Jim Corbett’s rifle,
and the spectacular bolt action commemorating Corbett that is slated for auction this weekend. It isn’t much of a stretch to imagine it will break all sales records for a modern rifle.
Check back with Sporting Classics Daily for more dispatches from Dwight Van Brunt at the SCI Convention!