The cover of our second issue of Rifle Firepower reads May 2012, but springtime is still a good rifle shot away as snow falls on the cornfields and mountaintops across many parts of our nation. That’s called lead time in the magazine business. In the dead of winter, we gear up for spring and summer issues to be delivered to mailboxes and newsstands worldwide. This delay between the start of the process and its completion is simply the nature of the print beast.

For gun writers, editors and publishers, January brings the annual rite of passage known as S.H.O.T. Show—Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade—where gun and related gear makers and service providers unveil new products that will be in production over the course of the calendar year. Again, there’s always a lead-time issue. Just because products gets introduced at S.H.O.T. doesn’t mean the are heading to gun shops and big box stores immediately.

But fear not, the Internet Age has allowed RF staffers to more or less kick lead time in the tail. Please check out our complete show coverage on There you’ll find that our crack team hustled through the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada—where 1,600 exhibitors filled booth space covering 630,000 net square feet—to get the scoop and photos of hundreds of new products. This year’s show is being touted by all exhibitors we’ve come in contact with as the most successful ever, as it attracted industry pros from all 50 states and 100 countries.

In addition to the jaw-dropping assortment of goods we feature online, this issue’s Gun Shop column offers up some sneak peeks on some new and truly innovative rifles that our editors uncovered. Look for those rifles to be fully tested and evaluated in the coming months of 2012 and beyond.

But the May 2012 issue hits certainly don’t stop there. Our two cover guns—Benelli’s new R1 and Rock River Arms’ Advanced Tactical Hunter—as different as they appear, are both hard-hitting, high-performing game busters.

Dangerous game rifles and wildcat cartridges get fully covered by safari aficionados Wayne van Zwoll and Bryce M. Towsley. Those pieces aren’t simply rifle reviews. Both dive into shooting and hunting tactics, plus stories about charging Cape buffalo that will get your blood pumping and make the hair on the back of your neck stand tall.

For those ready to go way downrange for critters, competition or LE duty, don’t miss the features on Savage’s 12 F/TR and McMillan’s TAC-308. And in the same long-range vein, learn about the optics trifecta and how to mount a riflescope so that all of your shots are the absolute best they can be!

In keeping with our aim to please every RF reader, we also have covered the following: rifle setups and training for young guns, plinkers of the tactical variety, backwoods survival hardware, modernized primitive rifles, airsoft, handloading, and special hat-tips to the founders of both Hornady Ammunition and long-gun legend William B. Ruger.

And to wrap up the issue, we were fortunate enough to be able to have a S.H.O.T. Show sit-down with Colt’s no-bull CEO, General William M. Keys. Now there’s a combat-proven Marine we’d want leading us if we found ourselves on the front lines or in the hunting fields.

Remember to holler at us with feedback at [email protected].


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