San Diego, Calif. - The Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence has announced the final nominations for its 2011 awards. The Academy considered a record 193 entries in 14 categories before selecting 45 for the final ballot, which includes top products and service nominees. Twenty-eight companies are recognized, with Hornady, Kimber, Leupold and Ruger leading the way with three nominations each. Viridian Green Laser Sights, Butler Creek and Battenfeld Technologies make their Academy debut as first-time nominees.
"The voting members have some extremely difficult choices to make in every category," said Randy Molde, Academy director. "This year's nominees represent the class of the industry."
The 500-member voting Academy, which includes manufacturers, distributors, executives, storefront dealers and outdoor writers, is now considering the final nominees with a second, final round of voting. The winners will be announced in conjunction with the Shooting Industry Masters July 22 at the Holiday Inn University Plaza in Bowling Green, Ky.
The 2011 final nominees are:
Accessory of the Year - Butler Creek: Baby UpLULA Loader; Hornady: Lock-N-Load
Magnum Sonic Cleaner; Leupold: Integral Mounting System (IMS); Nikon Sport Optics: M-223 AR Scope Mount.
Self-Defense Product - Crimson Trace: LightGuard Tactical Light; SureFire: G2X Tactical Flashlight; Viridian Green Laser Sights: C5L Subcompact Laser/Light.
Optic of the Year - Leupold: VX-R 3-9x40mm Riflescope; Nikon Sport Optics: M-223 AR Riflescope 3-12x42SF BDC 600; Trijicon: HD Night Sight, GL101Y.
Hunting Product - Bushnell: BackTrack Point 5 GPS; Leupold: RX-1000i TBR with Digitally eNhanced Accuracy (DNA) Rangefinder; Trijicon: AccuPin/AccuDial Combo Bow Sight and Mount.
Ammunition of the Year - Federal: Prairie Storm FS Lead Ammunition; Hodgdon: Hornady Superformance Powder by Hodgdon; Hornady: Superformance Varmint Ammunition.
Safety Product - Battenfeld Technologies: Lockdown Gun Vault Accessories; GunVault: AR Vault; SureFire: EP3 Sonic Defenders Earplug.
Knife of the Year - Benchmade: 915 Triage; Buck Knives: Lux - Pro Folder; Leatherman: MUT Multi-Tool.
Handgun of the Year - Kimber: Super Carry Pro .45 ACP; Ruger: LC9; Smith & Wesson: Bodyguard 380.
Rifle of the Year - Kimber: Model 84L Classical Select Grade .30-06 Sprg.; Remington: Model 700 SPS Tactical; Ruger: Gunsite Scout Rifle (M77-GS); Savage Arms: AXIS Rifle.
Shotgun of the Year - Benelli USA: Super Vinci 12 Gauge; O.F. Mossberg & Sons: 500 Pump Action with LPA Trigger System; Remington: VERSA MAX, 26-inch Barrel.
Citizenship Award - Ellett Brothers; Hunter's Specialties; Kimber.
Distributor of the Year - Brownells; Ellett Brothers; Sports South.
Manufacturer of the Year - ATK Commercial Products; Hodgdon; Hornady; Ruger.
Shooting Industry Award - Mark DeYoung, ATK Commercial Products; Bob Nosler; Nosler; Larry Potterfield, MidwayUSA.
For more information on the 20th annual Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Awards, including all 2011 award entries and Academy member application, visit http://www.shootingindustry.com/2011Nominees.html
. Contact Elizabeth O'Neill, Academy of Excellence coordinator, at 1-888-315-3641 or firstname.lastname@example.org