The two Coolest things at SHOT Show

You know, if you told me 10 years ago that the two coolest items across the 13.9 miles of aisles and 2,500 companies exhibiting at the 45th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas would both be at the Palmetto State Armory booth, I would not have believed you.

However, it happened.

The company has brought back two icons: H&R M16A1s and a centerfire U.S.-made Sturmgewehr 44.

The H&R brand comes as a reboot of the old circa 1871 firearms company that PSA picked up for pocket change in Remington’s 2020 bankruptcy sale. Turning the refreshed brand over to NoDakSpud founder Mike Wettleland, they will be making classic M16A1 as well as Colt 723 and 635 models. The former were made by H&R as a Colt subcontractor in 1968-71.

The H&R M16A1 retro rifle is hand-crafted from proprietary forging dies with 1960s vintage government markings. As the guns made for the Army back in the Fortunate Son era were in the 2-million range, the new H&R will mimic that although will be distinctive in the fact that they have West Columbia, South Carolina rollmarks rather than the Worchester, Massachusetts marks of the original. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

This brings us to Hill & Mac Gunworks of Alpharetta, Georgia, a small gunmaker that had been working on an updated semi-auto Sturmgewehr clone made with modern techniques complete with a threaded barrel, a long stroke piston operating tilting bolt action, an HK style trigger pack, wooden furniture, and the possibility of being chambered in 5.56 NATO, 7.62x39mm, .300 AAC Blackout, or the original 7.92 Kurz– the latter is still in production by Privi Partisan in Europe.

Well, while HMG did sell some generationally similar CETME-L builds a few years back and marketed some reactive steel targets, their Sturmgewehr never made it to serial production and by 2020 the project largely fell off the radar after the company went radio silent.

Until now.

Popping up at Palmetto State Armory’s booth at SHOT Show last week was Mac Steil, the “M” of HMG, with news that PSA had stepped in to bring the project across the finish line. Advancing to the production stage, HMG customers that had preordered it from them back in the day will still get their HMG-marked gun while new guns for PSA will be under that company’s new “Battlefield” series.

The StG will still be offered in all four HMG calibers, use a STANAG mag pattern, and still runs an HK trigger pack. Caliber can be swapped by the user via a mag, barrel, and bolt change. There will also be things such as BFAs for reenactors, folding stock models, and more planned for the future.

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