Recent Hunting Gear Reviews

Benelli MR1 Review: An Italian Coyote Rifle

Italian firearms aren't anything new, some of the finest guns made originate from the land that gave us spaghetti. The US Marine's combat shotgun for more than a decade has been the semi-auto Benelli M4 (military name - M1014). Its reputation has been built on their ultra-reliable ARGO (Auto Regulating Gas Operated) system. That same gas system has now been adapted into a semi-auto rifle in 223 Remington and I've been successfully hunting coyotes with one. For this review, we're going to take a look at the Benelli MR1 rifle.

Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Review - Part 2
A few weeks ago we reviewed the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in detail, in the first of our two part series looking at the "Rifleman's Rifle." The Featherweight is Winchester's least expensive wood stocked gun and for this second part we will be taking a closer look at the Super Grade, currently Winchester's most expensive rifle with a wood stock.
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Review - Part 1

The Winchester brand has long been associated with the North American hunter. Since its original introduction in 1936, the "Rifleman's Rifle" has regularly made the short list of top firearms. There have been literally dozens (if not hundreds) of reviews of the Model 70 since its introduction, so what at BigGameHunt could we add that hasn't been said before? We thought we would take a two part up-close look at two current production Winchester Model 70's, first the standard Featherweight, and in part two the Super Grade.

Stag Arms Model 6 Super Varminter Rifle Review

When I had the opportunity to visit the Stag Arms manufacturing facility in New Britain, Connecticut last year to film a television show featuring the company and their line of AR-style rifles, I wasn't sure what to expect. They were a relatively new brand (introduced in 2003), and I knew little about them other than they had taken the market by storm with their left-handed AR rifle. What I found was pleasantly surprising. The manufacturing process was efficient and quality control and pride in the finished product seemed to be at the nucleus of the entire operation.

Leupold RX-1000 TBR Review

Hunting is one of those endeavors that's timeless. The dynamics between predator and prey are similar to those millennia ago. However hunting tools have changed significantly and with the computer age, some tools seem to get a constant upgrade. For instance five years ago simply having a rangefinder when bow or rifle hunting was cutting edge. However now nearly every manufacturer in the market has raised the bar by including angle correction technology (an inclinometer with software) in at least one of their rangefinder models.

Thompson Center Venture Rifle Review

Thompson Center (T/C) has been known since the late 60's and 70's for their Contender single shot hunting handgun and their line of higher end traditional and modern muzzleloaders. From the start, T/C has been about blackpowder and single shot pistol and rifle hunting. Given this 40+ year background it was surprising when T/C brought out their first bolt action rifle, the Icon, a few years ago. We were excited to take a look at the new T/C Venture when it started shipping late last year.

L.L. Bean Big Game System Review
The number of choices for outerwear on the market is almost staggering, but they are certainly not all created equal. Many will leave you cold, wet or uncomfortable when they are put to the real test. The Big Game System took everything that my job could throw at it and performed beyond my expectations. The fit, function, durability and ingenious details that are in each piece of the outerwear system leave little doubt that they were designed by people that spend a great deal of time in the woods and by a company that stands behind what they sell.
Vanguard Endeavor ED 1045 Binocular Review
Previously we have favorably reviewed Vanguard's Spirit 1042 binoculars. The Spirit is Vanguard's mid-range offering, while the Endeavor ED is their top of the line offering. Vanguard is better known in the photography accessory market, but with the Endeavor ED series of binoculars they are making a strong push into the hunting and outdoor optics market.
Badlands OX Pack Review

Badlands is in the business of creating packs particularly tailored to the hunter. We have covered their Hypervent pack in the past. Like most small manufacturers that focus heavily on quality and service, Badlands has a loyal customer base. Previous Badlands owners have been highly anticipating the OX for several years and the company has somewhat released the pack in the past only to pull back. Officially this year, 2010, is the release of the finalized OX and we were able to get our hands on one to test.

ScentBlocker's Bone Collector Brotherhood Jacket & Pant Review

I recently picked up a ScentBlocker outfit. I know hunters who swear by odor elimination technology and, as the consummate skeptic I just had to try it for myself. I'd heard plenty about their new-last-year Dream Season apparel, but in the end I opted for the lighter-weight Bone Collector Brotherhood jacket and pant. During the fall of 2009 I put it to the test in warm, cold, wet, and dry weather hunting caribou on Canada's northern tundra, and pronghorn, mule deer, and whitetails in Alberta. I was pleasantly surprised.

Cuddeback Capture IR Review
At first glance, the Cuddeback Capture IR digital scouting camera looks almost identical to its cousin, the Cuddeback Capture. In fact, the only visible difference is the presence of 48 small, infrared LEDs at the top of the unit in place of the less technically advanced flash bulb. The Cuddeback Capture had performed impressively in my product review and I was anxious to see if the IR version would perform as well and solve the problem of spooking game with a nighttime flash.
Thompson Center ICON Review

Ever since Thompson Center Arms introduced the ICON rifle, I've been intrigued by their claims. After all, it's not every year that a manufacturer introduces a completely new rifle design; typically, we just see minor variations of existing designs. However, with the ICON, the guys at TC claim they started with a clean sheet of paper, trying to incorporate everything we currently know about rifle reliability and accuracy, which could be squeezed into a price point available to the average gun owner.

Woodman's Pal Review

Seven decades is a long time. When it refers to a company's existence, it is very uncommon. When it refers to the continuous production of a single invention, it is almost unparalleled. In 1941, Frederick Ehrsam wasn't thinking seventy years down the road. He was simply trying to design a tool that would replace the unbalanced, bulky and often unsafe machete used by professionals in the forestry, agricultural and horticulture fields to clear brush and cut trails, and his innovative Woodman's Pal did just that.

SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger Review
I can't believe it took as long as it did, but SPOT came to the rescue, a couple years ago in fact. Now becoming hugely popular, the rugged SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker is a must-have for anyone and everyone who ventures into remote places or participates in high-risk activities. Whether you're a hunter, angler, backpacker, paddler, snowmobiler, or even a globetrotter - this little unit is a keeper.
Savage Edge Rifle Review
The last few years has seen growth in the entry level rifle market. The Marlin XL7, Mossberg ATR and 4x4 rifles, T/C Venture join rifles that have been around for awhile like the Weatherby Vanguard, the Remington 710/770, and the Stevens 200 that we recently reviewed. Just shortly after reviewing the Stevens 200, Savage released a new entry level rifle called the Edge.
Swarovski Z5 Rifle Scope Review
Mention the name Swarovski to most hunters and they immediately think of quality. Over the past two decades I've been able to experiment with most major manufacturer's optics for one application or another. My conclusion - you don't always get what you pay for... but, thankfully sometimes you do. Such is the case with my latest acquisition - Swarovski Optik's Z5 5-25x52 P BT L rifle scope. The letters simply refer to the ballistic turret, a recent innovation introduced to facilitate long-range shooting.
Vanguard Spirit 10x42 Binocular Review
The hunting/sporting optics market in the 21st century is highly competitive. New manufacturers and brands seem to crop up regularly and even established companies with long histories are continually updating their product line. In this competitive marketplace it's easy to get lost in the variety of products out there. Keeping this in mind we were a little skeptical when we were approached by Vanguard of Whitmore Lake Michigan to take a look at their flagship Spirit 10x42 binoculars. In a crowded optics marketplace, why bother with yet another manufacturer? It turns out the Spirit line of binoculars is worth your consideration.
Knight 50 KP1 Review
In the last 20 years or so there have been a lot of changes in muzzleloading rifles. They took the cap and ball types and put the primer inside the barrel, as opposed to the conventional nipple on the outside. The new inlines shoot more streamlined projectiles at higher velocities and are accurate at longer ranges. It takes the muzzleloader from a 100 yard gun to a 300 yarder. For this review we will take a look at the Knight KP1 inline muzzleloader.
Browning Barracuda Review
When I first started bowfishing, I ignored the advice of experienced bowfishermen who suggested that I use a bow dedicated for that purpose. Instead, I chose to use my treasured high-dollar deer hunting bow. I quickly realized the error in my decision after only one bowfishing trip filled with many tense moments of watching my Mathews being subjected to very wet conditions, several hard clashes with the bottom of the boat as we bounced across the lake and a couple of dry fires as the heavy fiberglass arrow pulled itself loose from the string during the draw. As soon as I returned, I focused my attention on finding a bow that was designed for bowfishing. I knew I wanted something that was short, had the power of a compound and the quickness of a recurve and could take the abuse of an all night bowfishing trip. The Browning Barracuda seemed to fit the criteria.
Stevens 200 Rifle Review
At the most basic level firearms are a tool. This message is sometimes lost in the wide array of situations that firearms are discussed and used. Sometimes you don't need a lot of frills when making a new tool purchase, you just need the tool to do exactly what it is supposed to do, even better if you can save some money in the process. If this description fits your hunting rifle needs, the Stevens 200 won't disappoint.