2016 produced some remarkably innovative products in the form of firearms and accessories making the decision for the 2017 Golden Bullseye Awards particularly difficult. According to executives at NRA publications, the 2017 winners are everything that their members desire in both shooting and hunting equipment combining outstanding performance, value and innovative design. Check out our next blog for the remaining categories of Ammunition, Optic, Accessory & Women’s Innovation Product of the Year.
How Do You Qualify to Win the Golden Bullseye Award?
To qualify for Golden Bullseye award, the product must have the following attributes:
• Recently introduced and available for use to consumers prior to the selection of the Golden Bullseye Awards.
• Tested or used by a staff member, regular contributor to the magazine and/or by a member of an affiliated media source.
• Must be reliable out in the field and must meet or exceed the evaluator’s expectations.
• The product must be readily perceived as valuable to the individual purchasing the item.
• The item must also be styled in a way that is befitting to both the hunting and shooting industry and even more importantly the individuals using the product.
Winners of the 2017 Golden Bullseye Awards
Rifle of the Year — LWRCI IC-DI
With its uniquely crafted cold-hammer-forged and spiral-fluted barrel, the LWRCI IC-DI is an exceptional example of craftsmanship and value that is sure to stand out in a crowd. The rifle is the company’s first direct-gas impingement design and it has proved to be remarkably accurate in the field. For this evaluation, it was fitted with a Nikon M-223 2-8X 40mm riflescope.
Shotgun of the Year — Blaser F16
The German gun maker Blaser has successfully achieved the promise that the Blaser F16 Shotgun was designed with natural pointability as one of its first priorities. This feature can be seen in lower receiver height of any 12-ga shotgun. The lower center of gravity minimizes muzzle rise which instinctively lowers the recoil by sending the blow rearward into the shoulder rather than upward into the cheek. Lowering the receiver also aids the shooter by allowing his or her eyes and hands to be closely aligned with the bore.
Handgun of the Year — Walther PPQ 45
The Walther PPQ in .45 is a formidable example of a large automatic pistol. Recoil-operated, it functions on the basis of the tilting barrel principle pioneered by the legendary John Browning. The gun weighs 28ozs with the magazine empty and takes a double-column magazine of 12 rounds making it one of the larger capacities around. Like many of its contemporaries, the Walther PPQ has a receiver made from polymer, which is topped with a steel upper and barrel unit.
Tactical Gun of the Year — Springfield Armory Saint
At first glance, the Saint promises to be a fine example of workmanship and design and it doesn’t disappoint. It consists of a direct-gas, semi-automatic center-fire rifle that is chambered for 5.56x45mm Nato (0223 Rem). The saint also sports a mid-length gas system that feeds from a AR-style box magazine that is detachable. The 16″ chrome moly vanadium barrel in the A2- or Government-style contour, sans M203 cut, rifled with a 1:8″ right-hand twist and capped by a birdcage-style flash hider. The design is versatile and designed with the shortest possible overall length to provide for a wide range of bullets from 55 to 77 grams in weight. The barrel is lined with Melonite inside and out which improves both the durability of the treated surfaces without adding an additional layer of materials.