2018 Innovation of the Year

2018 Innovation of the Year
Photo: Michael Anschuetz

Guns & Ammo editors, contributors and staff present 2018’s pre-eminent firearms, optic, ammunition, suppressor and innovation awards. Only products made commercially available this last year qualify for nomination. Candidates that were introduced in 2018, but have yet to be shipped to retailers were excluded from our voting process.

During our roundtable discussions, products developed from the ground up and those that possessed the greatest potential impact to the greatest number of readers were given additional value when scored. When having to decide between two otherwise equally important new products, the more affordable choice typically broke the tie in our voting. This year, we have made our first exception to this rule with the shotgun category.

G&A acquired several samples of each nominee throughout 2018 for a comprehensive evaluation. Products that caused doubt in their reliability and manufacturing methods were eliminated from the list of candidates.

The winner for each category resulted from a point system once three criteria were met: First, the product must have been new and available for purchase in 2018. A line extension of an existing product didn’t earn the points as one possessing innovative features and engineering. Second, it must have demonstrated quality and reliability to a degree that met or exceeded its design objective. Lastly, the winner must offer the greatest appeal to the masses. G&A’s staff awarded points in this third principle following a survey of in-store availability and retail pricing to ensure the product exists and offers great value.


To protect the credibility of the Guns & Ammo of the Year awards, no manufacturers, advertisers or sales representatives were informed of our selection. What follows is a summary list of 2018’s best new products now offered by the firearm industry.


Innovation-of-the-year-award-2018-1
Photo: Mark Fingar

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

SIG Sauer BDX is not a scope, or a rangefinder or an app. It’s a system that benefits from the use of all three elements. When used together, it’s difficult to miss.

“BDX” is an acronym for “ballistic data exchange.” You only pay for the Sierra3 riflescope and Kilo BDX rangefinder. Then, download the free app to a smartphone. Through the use of Bluetooth, the rangefinder uses a shooter’s ballistic information that’s entered into the app to calculate the precise holdover of a target based on its ranging. It then communicates with the scope to mark a dot on where the holdover needs to be.

Applied Ballistics’ formulations is in the app. Select your bullet and load, or enter your own custom handload and muzzle velocity. You can also true the app to your rifle’s actual data. Then, pair the information with the rangefinder. The rangefinder will also display much of the same intel, which means that you don’t need to carry your smartphone into the field once the information has been shared.


BDX was designed for hunters and long-range shooters who desire simplicity and speed. An attractive selling point is that you can buy one component at a time. The Kilo1400BDX retails for about $300. The rangefinder has the Applied Ballistics Ultralite calculator built in and can be used with the app to determine what to dial on any riflescope. When you can afford it, the Sierra3 scope retails for $960.

What if the Bluetooth connection is lost? Well, you still have a functioning scope and rangefinder. The future is trending in this direction. 

 


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

A group of competitive shooters talk about new products from Aguila , the Aguila Cup, and everyone's favorite new guns launched at the 2019 SHOT show.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

A New Season of G&A TV

A New Season of G&A TV

In this new season of Guns & Ammo TV, we introduce two new series and bring back a viewer favorite - Camera's Don't Lie. We look at long-range tech and see how to make shots previously thought impossible. Next we visit ISS Prop House in Hollywood.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle. Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

Reminiscing on another great American lever action. Rifles

Review: Savage Model 99

Craig Boddington - February 11, 2019

Reminiscing on another great American lever action.

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best production-grade precision hunting rifle available. Rifles

Review: Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan

Joseph von Benedikt - March 25, 2019

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best...

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and deer; here's everything you need to know to make it work for you. Rifle

.350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know

Tom Beckstrand - April 02, 2019

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and...

See More Trending Articles

More Optics

How much of an edge do optics give shooters? In this segment of Pros vs. Joes, Guns & Ammo TV puts Coordinating Producer Jeff Murray against Professional Shooter Chris Cerino. Optics

Guns & Ammo TV: Irons vs. Optics

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 04, 2020

How much of an edge do optics give shooters? In this segment of Pros vs. Joes, Guns & Ammo TV...

Firearms and red dots are a match made in heaven. Since the principles of aiming and shooting are so similar, why not use a red dot on your camera? Attaching a red dot to your camera can be as effective as one on your firearm. Optics

Mounting Red Dots on Cameras

Mark Fingar - July 20, 2020

Firearms and red dots are a match made in heaven. Since the principles of aiming and shooting...

The Vortex  Razor HD Gen III 1-­10X retains all of the features of its predecessor, while offering a 66 percent increase in available magnification. The two scopes are the same length and weight, and have almost identical behind-­the-­scope characteristics. At maximum magnification, both make it equally easy to acquire a full field of view. Optics

Vortex Razor HD Gen III 1-10x24mm Scope Review

Tom Beckstrand - July 16, 2020

The Vortex Razor HD Gen III 1-­10X retains all of the features of its predecessor, while...

The Leupold RDS is made of 6061 T6 aluminum and has a beefy 34mm main tube. It comes mounted in Leupold's own AR mount, which has a substantially thick base. The underside of the base has three ribs machined into it to mate like a puzzle to a Picatinny rail. This thing is designed to be knocked around and stay in place. Optics

Leupold Freedom RDS Review

Alfredo Rico - June 23, 2020

The Leupold RDS is made of 6061 T6 aluminum and has a beefy 34mm main tube. It comes mounted...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now