The year 2019 started off strong when it came to new gun introductions, including a huge surprise from Mossberg—its first handgun 100 years—to Colt’s, Walther, SIG Sauer, Springfield and others, who were next out of the gate with new models. By mid-January during SHOT Show's Media Day at the Range, our editors’ heads were spinning from the dozens more handguns, long guns, optics and accessories they were lining up to test and savor throughout the year. This made their decisions all the more difficult late in 2019 when it came to nominating and selecting their favorites from the crop of new products—a process reminiscent of heated debates that take place in the halls of Congress. In our case, however, consensuses were reached civilly and in a timely fashion, allowing us to present the following 2020 American Rifleman Golden Bullseye Award winners.
NRA Publications will present its 18th annual Golden Bullseye Awards and Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award at an invitation-only breakfast on Saturday, April 18, during the 2020 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Nashville, Tenn.
“We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Golden Bullseye Awards,” said Doug Hamlin, Executive Director of NRA Publications. “Selected by a six-member committee consisting of editors, graphic designers and veteran NRA Publications staff, they epitomize what NRA members seek in their shooting and hunting equipment—outstanding performance, innovation and value. Congratulations to those who have created the industry’s best new products.”
To qualify for consideration for a Golden Bullseye Award, the product must have been:
- Recently introduced and available to consumers prior to the selection of the Golden Bullseye Awards;
- Used/tested by a staff member or regular contributor to the magazine and/or affiliated media;
- Reliable in the field, meeting or exceeding the evaluator’s expectations;
- Innovative in design and function;
- Readily perceived as a value to the purchaser; and
- Styled in a manner befitting the shooting and hunting industry and, perhaps more importantly, its enthusiasts.
Whereas the Golden Bullseye Award acknowledges the finest products available in the shooting sports, the Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award specifically honors outstanding personal achievement. The Pioneer Award spotlights the exemplary achievement and cumulative body of work of an individual, or members of a family, team or partnership, responsible for the development and introduction of shooting equipment that has made a profound, positive and enduring impact on the way Americans shoot and hunt.
The winners of the American Rifleman 2020 Golden Bullseye Awards are:
Rifle of the Year, Mauser M18
Shotgun of the Year, KelTec KS7
Handgun of the Year, Springfield Armory Hellcat
Tactical Gun of the Year, Remington V3 TAC-13
Ammunition Product of the Year, Winchester 350 Legend
Optic of the Year, Leupold Freedom RDS
Accessory of the Year, Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
Women’s Innovation Product of the Year, Tactica Defense Fashion.
2020 Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award: Dennis Reese, CEO-Owner, Springfield Armory
“I could not be more honored to be given the National Rifle Association’s Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award,” said Dennis Reese, CEO-Owner of Springfield Armory. “From the earliest days of the company to where it stands today, our relationship with the NRA has been one that is extremely important to me, both personally and professionally. The Association’s work to promote our Second Amendment rights is absolutely necessary to ensure those rights, enshrined in the United States’ Constitution, are protected.”
Reese has been part of Springfield Armory in Geneseo, Ill., since its founding in 1974. Dennis worked with his father, Robert Reese, in the company’s early years and has been an integral part right through to his role as CEO-owner today, 45 years later. Building on his passion for civilian-legal firearms inspired by iconic military classics, Reese has taken a hands-on role from the beginning and steered the course though substantial change along the way.
Since its orgin, Springfield Armory has been deeply involved with the development and introduction of its M1911-A1 pistols, M1 Garand and M1A (a semi-automatic rendition of the U.S. military M14 rifle) for the civilian market. However, Reese has overseen the introduction of numerous other innovative products that have expanded the company’s product line beyond these classic platforms. From the XD series of polymer-framed pistols (including the popular XD-M and XD-S variations) to the 911 series of pocket pistols to the SAINT series of AR-pattern carbines and pistols, Springfield has stayed on the cutting edge of the consumer firearms market. Add to this the exciting new Hellcat micro 9mm, a pistol that has rewritten the rules on what shooters can (and should) expect from their CCW pistol, and you can easily see how Reese’s leadership has advanced Springfield Armory to become a leader in personal protection and tactical shooting.
Reese has also ensured that Springfield Armory gives back to the firearms community, supporting groups such as the pistol and rifle team of Hillsdale College in Michigan. By giving back, Reese has committed Springfield Armory’s help in nurturing the next generation of shooters and firearms enthusiasts. That includes steadfast support for NRA’s mission, and accordingly Dennis Reese was recognized for his personal commitment to American rights and liberties through an invitation to join the Association’s exclusive Golden Ring of Freedom.
“Springfield Armory will continue to do its part in helping protect our right to keep and bear arms, and will work hard to keep bringing exciting and innovative firearms to the consumer market. I am both proud and honored to receive this prestigious award from the National Rifle Association and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future,” said Reese.