IWA OutdoorClassics 2014: modern hunting – in harmony with nature

IWA OutdoorClassics has been one of the world's most important shop windows for hunting guns and equipment for over forty years. All the major international manufacturers are present in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg again this year from 7–10 March 2014, when they show their product spectrum and update the specialist trade and the trade press on the latest trends and technical developments.

A half a century ago, by far the majority of the population regarded hunting as a quite normal activity in our society. This position has changed noticeably for the hunting community, especially in the last two decades. Classic hunting constantly comes in for criticism, but this should be examined more precisely. There are certainly arguments worth considering, for example regarding the concentration of game and the renewed appearance of long-exterminated wild animals like the lynx and wolf. However, in our countryside dominated completely by civilization, hunting is still essential to maintain the biological balance. The hunter not only pursues a hobby, but also makes an indispensable contribution to preserving the ecosystem and thus to the general good. A prerequisite for education and acceptance is a high standard of training and ethical responsibility, which are a matter of course for every genuine hunter.

High-tech electronics and camouflage finishes
As in other areas of life, high-tech products also account for a constantly growing share of hunting equipment. These focus on night vision equipment and range finders, which are meanwhile key market segments. The industry is constantly developing improved equipment in these two product groups. The combination of binoculars and rangefinders has almost become standard in the past years and is now also being strongly launched in the medium-priced segment. Game cameras are part of the basic equipment of today's owners of hunting areas. A huge range of these useful aids is available – in all conceivable versions and price categories. And a decade ago hardly any hunter ventured to think about GPS tracking systems. This technology has now arrived on the hunting scene in remote regions within a few years.

Functional clothing is a comfort factor for the hunter under extreme weather conditions. Camouflage finishes are also another important issue, which is gaining more importance from year to year. The solutions for camouflage finish have long been tackled with scientific precision. They take the eyesight of the game into account just as much as the countryside in which the equipment is used. Camouflage finishes have long been found on all objects of equipment, ranging from clothing and hunting guns to binoculars and rucksacks.

An eye on the target
The optics segment has always been one of the major themes at IWA OutdoorClassics. New coatings result in high light transmission and excellent focus up to the edge of the image. The industry has developed overwhelming, indeed almost revolutionary manufacturing processes in this field over the last two decades. German manufacturers, who are among the world's leading suppliers of premium optical products, play a particularly decisive role here.

The spectrum of hunting guns offered ranges from mass-produced models to individual custom manufacture by craft firms. For the customers of the visiting retailers, IWA OutdoorClassics offers both fine hunting guns with artistic engravings and guns that are primarily a functional tool. Robustness and weather-resistance are shown by high-quality plastic stocks as well as by new coating processes that are increasingly replacing the classic bluing. The majority of modern plastic stocks are manufactured on the basis of glass fibre and Kevlar. Carbon stocks, whose low weight and high strength are hard to beat, are on the up, but so far can only be made for practical use in the premium price segment.

Despite all these high-tech products, IWA OutdoorClassics has been the shop window of the traditional gunsmith craft since the early days of this trade fair at the beginning of the 70s. Gunsmiths, stock makers and engravers combine their skills to create the finest hunting guns that are real works of art. Here the customers' individual wishes are no obstacle to production, but expressly requested – and in line with the company philosophy of the gun makers. New materials are also used increasingly in making these individual guns. For example, the Reimer Johannsen based in Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein presents its new System 98 hunting rifle with a titanium system produced one hundred per cent in Germany.

IWA OutdoorClassics – the sector's international gathering
The trade fair concentrates innovations and trends in all product segments every year. Besides guns and ammunition, the exhibitors present all products for experiencing nature, especially for hunting and shooting sports, archery, hiking and animal watching.

The exhibition also provides information about new kinds of sports, hobbies and the appropriate products, attractive set ideas and hunting gifts.Buyers from official agencies can expect a full range of service weapons and security accessories – from bulletproof vests, shields, functional clothing, holsters and ammunition to products for personal and body protection.

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