The IPC Shooting Industry Awards have been running for a number of years and celebrate the achievements of the different sectors within our industry. We are proud to present this year's winners
The standard of this year’s competition was impressively high, with a record number of entries making the judging all the more difficult. This certainly reflects well on the health of the industry as a whole, and signifies a strong focus on innovation and technology in the market, as companies strive to maintain their competitive edge.
BEST CLOTHING / EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Winner: Just Cartridges
This year the judges had a large variety of entries to choose from, however one stood out as the winner for the amazing growth it has undergone in a relatively short period of time and the unique way in which it has approached its business. Just Cartridges is the UK?s largest dedicated shotgun ammunition supplier. It focuses on keeping prices competitive, offering a great variety (currently 4,500 different listed products) and customer satisfaction. Peoples? shopping habits are changing, something upon which this online business has capitalised, showing real foresight by identifying and filling the gap in this niche market. Massive year-on-year sales ? 100,000 cartridges a week, with more than 1million web hits in the past year alone ? is proof in itself of a worthy winner.
For more information, visit www.justcartridges.com or tel (01865) 300066.
BEST SHOOTING GROUND
Winner: Mendip Shooting Ground
Highly Commended: West Kent
The judges found it very hard to separate two of our entrants, but the eventual winner was Mendip Shooting Ground, which received glowing endorsements from many of the UK?s most respected Shots. Its professionalism and expertise has seen it grow in stature, resulting in more frequent and regular visitors, continuous reinvestment and improvement in facilities. The ground caters for airgun and clay shooters of all levels. A family business, it is well known for its friendly atmosphere, promoting shooting to novices and experienced Shots alike in a safe and enjoyable environment. New features include a new gunshop, Sporting layout and clubhouse.
For more information, visit www.mendipclays.co.uk or tel (01749) 673471.
BEST CLOTHING PRODUCT
Winner: Beretta ? Garlands
Beretta?s stylish range of clothes, with its many innovative features, made this an outstanding entry amid a quality field, combining Italian style with practicality, comfort and cutting-edge technology. Since its launch seven years ago, Beretta?s range has seen considerable growth within this highly competitive market, and the collection now spans the spectrum of shooting clothing, from technical tweed jackets to early-season moleskins and accessories. It fills all the requirements of even the most discerningly-dressed shooter.
For more information, tel (01827) 383300 or visit www.beretta.co.uk
BEST GAMEKEEPERING PRODUCT
Winner: Tarrant Refrigeration
Highly Commended: Wraith Accommodation
This year, new legislation on storing shot game resulted in a real need for development in this sector of the market, which the winner recognised. Tarrant Refrigeration has been going for 25 years and produces a bespoke range of game larders and cold rooms for all shoots. It prides itself on a fast reliable service, with expert advice and at affordable prices.
For more information, tel (01672) 512586 or visit www.gamelarder.com
BEST FOOTWEAR PRODUCT
Winner: LaCrosse Footwear ? Viking Outdoor
All shooters know a good day?s shooting starts from the feet up. This year?s winner launched an innovative range of rugged lightweight footwear. LaCrosse specialises in footwear that is comfortable and effective in extreme conditions. Its new rubber boot uses the same kind of technical knowledge that is applied to running shoes. Shooting footwear has come a long way since the humble Wellington boot and LaCrosse ? making footwear for more than 100 years in the US, but only recently available in the UK ? made a big impression on the judges.
For more information, tel (01423) 780777 or visit www.lacrossefootwear.co.uk
BEST GUN SHOP
Winner: Sportarm of Dorchester
Highly Commended: D. J. Litts
Another tough category, the winner, for the second year running, was Sportarm of Dorchester, which not only continues to demonstrate excellence in all aspects of its business, but has also shown considerable growth and innovation in the extensive development of new ranges, its website and online sales. Sportarm is also to be congratulated on the exceptional quality of its entry.
For more information, visit www.sportarm.com or tel (01305) 268001.
BEST CARTRIDGES: FIELD
Winner: Express 28-bore, 28g ? Lyalvale Express
In a mature market, Lyalvale has come up with a new product for UK shooters, demonstrating the increased popularity of the 28-bore shotgun. In the past, this cartridge was only available in the UK sourced from US suppliers, but Lyalvale invested in developing appropriate machinery to reduce lead fouling in barrels. The result is ballistically excellent and significantly cheaper than imports, resulting in a product well received in the trade and by shooters alike.
For more information, visit www.lyalvaleexpress.com
BEST CARTRIDGES: CLAY
Winner: Eley VIP FITASC ? Eley Hawk
The winner of this award has succeeded in producing a cartridge with a very broad appeal among competition shooters and one that is used by many of the top performers. The Eley VIP FITASC is a high-performance low-recoil cartridge, designed specifically for the longer range targets. Its use last year by several champion Shots resulted in a dramatic increase in sales.
For information, visit www.eleyhawkltd.com or tel (0121) 352 3272.
BEST CARTRIDGES: RIFLE
Winner: Federal Fusion ? GMK
After some debate between the judges, first prize in the category of best rifle cartridge went to a cartridge that appealed because of its high-tech nature and certain design features geared specifically towards deerstalking. The Federal Fusion uses modular technology to ensure that the ammunition delivers extremely high energy to the target. In addition to this, the tip of the cartridge is scived, which programmes it to create a specific expansion pattern on impact. Finally, this cartridge was found to have been designed with the perfect centre of gravity, affording less drop over distance and allowing for extreme long-range accuracy.
For more information, visit www.gmk.co.uk or tel (01489) 587500.
BEST AIR RIFLE
Winner: Logun Eagle ? Airgun Sport
This year?s award goes to an expert in the field of air rifles, a firearm that consistently delivers results to shooters. The Logun Eagle is a precharged pneumatic single-shot air rifle, which offers excellent value for money and has moved airgun design on to a new level. It is packed with fantastic design features that greatly enhance both the airgun experience and the rifle?s performance. The two stock options ? synthetic, with unique battery-carrying capacity, and hardwood ? add to the rifle?s versatility and it?s easy to see why it has been flying off the shelves. In the first six months of the rifle?s launch, the result has been that demand has consistently outstripped supply.
For more information, visit www.airgunsport.com or tel (01902) 722144.
Winner: Winchester Model 70 Coyote Lite Rifle ? BWM Arms Ltd
This year?s winner is the ideal stalking rifle. The Model 70 has been an industry standard for ?out of the box accuracy and legendary reliability? for more than 70 years. The Coyote Lite is continuing in that vein, with modern features to embrace the technological age, such as black Bell and Carlson synthetic stock, weatherproofing, reduced weight of barrel fluting and an overall contemporary look.
For more information, tel (01235) 514550 or visit www.bwmarmsltd.com
BEST NEW GUN
Winner: Lanber Gold Deluxe ? GMK
Highly Commended: Holloway & Naughton
This was another difficult decision for the judges, with two guns at opposite ends of the spectrum emerging as contenders. The Lanber Gold Deluxe was eventually chosen the winner, however, and is a consistently reliable gun at a great price. This new model illustrates Lanber?s dedication to improving the style and performance of its products. It is a true sporter?s gun, with an extra touch of class in the shape of a beautiful gold inlaid gamebird on a colour-hardened action. In fact, so sure is Lanber of customer satisfaction that the company offers a five-year guarantee with every new purchase.
For information, visit www.gmk.co.uk or tel (01489) 587500.
BEST OPTICS PRODUCT
Joint winners: Kahles Optic ? BWM Ltd and Leupold VX-L Riflescope ? GMK
Unable to separate two highly innovative optical products, whose design and build were described as outstanding, joint first went to Kahles Optic and Leupold VX-L Riflescope.Kahles impressed the panel with its design innovation on the multi-zero scope, allowing ?sighting in? at up to five different distances, while Leupold, which is well-known for scope technology and design, launched the VX-L this year, a unique patented innovation of radically different design.
For more information, tel (01235) 514550 or visit www.kahlesoptik.com
BEST OF THE BEST 2006
Winner: Sportarm of Dorchester
The best of the best award goes to a company that continues to push boundaries and identify ways of expanding its business. Sportarm is focused on the task in hand and deliver results accordingly. Worthy winners ? for the second year running ? of this year?s best gunshop award, the company was an obvious choice for best of the best. Their entry massively impressed the judges ? there really was no contest!