2022 Golden Bullseye Awards

posted on April 19, 2022
2022 Golden Bullseye Awards

Each year, we examine scores of products designed for personal security, but only a select few stand above the others to be worthy of the coveted Golden Bullseye Award. In order to stand out, a product must offer a combination of innovation, utility, reliability, outstanding performance and value to the consumer. During tumultuous and uncertain times, these qualities are more important than ever before. This year’s award recipients embody those traits with aplomb. Here are the best of the best products for self-defense, training, concealed carry and home protection introduced during the past year.

Kimber R7 MakoHandgun of the Year | Kimber R7 Mako
While Kimber’s newest handgun is a major departure from the company’s traditional line of feature-laden 1911s, one can understand the motivation to enter the hottest sector of the handgun market. But, Kimber wasn’t merely following the crowd with the R7 Mako. This double-stack micro 9 mm has everything a shooter could want in such a pistol, including the ability to mount an MRDS of their choice or buy a pistol with an optic already installed. Add to that a tractable trigger, outstanding grip texture and a host of other concealed-carry-friendly features, and the R7 Mako stands out from the crowd. (888) 243-4522, kimberamerica.com

“When I first popped open the case and looked at this pistol, I was primed to dislike it. Over the course of a total of half a case of ammo, it has earned my grudging respect. It’s been reliable, easy to shoot well and it’s small and light.”
—Tamara Keel, Handgun Editor

Winning Features
• Available with Crimson Trace optic installed
• Flat-face trigger
• One-inch width
• Beveled edges for enhanced comfort

Caliber: 9 mm
Capacity: 13+1 rounds
Barrel Length: 3.37 inches
Overall Length: 6.2 inches
Weight: 19.5 ounces
MSRP: $599; $799 with optic installed

Rock River Arms RBG-1SRifle of the Year | Rock River Arms RBG-1S
Long-range shooting has doubtless become mainstream, and the RBG-1S from Rock River Arms is proof. First, it is a precision bolt-action rifle—and we mean precision; in testing, one load averaged .5-MOA—from a manufacturer known almost entirely for its AR-pattern firearms. Second, it is chambered in perhaps the hottest round on the market, the 6.5 Creedmoor, which was designed for shooting things at great distance. This chassis gun is well thought out for precision shooting and delivers spectacular results. While not inexpensive, it costs significantly less than most other similar platforms that can offer such superior performance, making the RBG-1S a true star. (866) 980-7625, rockriverarms.com

“… for a serious long-range aficionado who does not want to spend six or seven grand on a full-blown custom rifle, the RBG-1S is an excellent alternative.”
—Bryce M. Towsley, Field Editor

Winning Features
• KRG Whiskey-3 chassis
• 20-MOA canted optics rail
• Threaded barrel
• Adjustable Trigger Tech trigger

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 24 inches
Overall Length: 39.5 to 43.5 inches
Weight: 10 pounds, 3 ounces
MSRP: $4,235

EAA Churchill Optics TacticalShotgun of the Year | EAA Churchill Optics Tactical
Normally, we give the Golden Bullseye award to a single product in each category, but EAA released two outstanding shotguns in its Churchill Optics Tactical line, and both are worthy winners. Beyond that, they are nearly identical apart from their operating systems. The 220 is a semi-automatic shotgun, while the 620 is a pump-action version of the same gun. That is essentially the only difference between the two, as they sport the same dimensions and wear the same, included, red-dot sight. They also functioned in an outstanding manner, and their 20-gauge chambering makes them appealing to anyone looking for a shotgun’s power without its punishing recoil. (321) 639-4842, eaacorp.com

“Bottom line, EAA’s Churchill Optics Tactical line of shotguns represents an affordable, out-of-the-box offering with lower recoil for any shooter.”
—Jay Grazio, Executive Editor

Winning Features
• Enlarged loading gate
• Breacher choke
• Fiber-optic front sight
• Red-dot sight installed

Gauge: 20; 3-inch chamber
Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 37.5 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
MSRP: $427 (620); $561 (220)

Trijicon RMRccOptic of the Year | Trijicon RMRcc
The latest micro red-dot sight from one of the pioneers of that genre of optics brings the reliability and durability of Trijicon’s renowned RMR to a more concealed-carry-friendly size. Where the standard RMR and RMR Type 2 work well with full-size pistols, on smaller or thinner guns these sights tend to overhang the slide quite a bit. The RMRcc was designed to work with smaller pistols like the current crop of micro-9 mm double-stack handguns that have become extremely popular in recent years. It’s still the same rugged, works-if-you-hit-it-with-a-brick RMR, just slightly smaller and more compact. Trijicon deserves kudos for recognizing the need for a smaller sight with the same properties, and then putting it into production with outstanding results. (800) 338-0563, trijicon.com

“I’ve had the opportunity to shoot several pistols equipped with the RMRcc, and if I’m honest, it’s boring. The sight, like its bigger brothers, just plain works.”
—Jay Grazio, Executive Editor

Winning Features
• Legendary reliability
• Ease of use
• Long battery life
• Fits a multitude of pistols

Magnification: 1X
Objective Lens Dimensions: 19x14 mm
Reticle: 3.25- or 6.5-MOA red dot
Adjustment: 150 MOA windage and elevation in 3-MOA clicks
Length: 1.8 inches
Weight: 1 ounce
MSRP: $699

Federal Force X2 BuckshotAmmunition Product of the Year | Federal Force X2 Buckshot
Buckshot is buckshot—that’s what makes it appealing. At least that used to be the case, until Federal introduced the revolutionary Force X2 Buckshot. Designed from the ground up for defensive use, this innovative shotgun load utilizes split pellets that break in two as they begin to penetrate, functionally doubling the number of wound channels the load creates while minimizing overpenetration concerns. At the same time, because the split pellets penetrate less efficiently, they begin to tumble, which further increases their ability to quickly incapacitate an attacker. Such innovation seldom comes to defensive-shotgun loads, but when it does, it provides a tremendous benefit to anyone who uses a scattergun for home defense. (800) 831-8100, federalpremium.com

“For the defensive shotgun there’s not been a lot to talk about, but with the new Force X2 load, Federal has changed that situation. It’s the most important defensive-shotgun-ammunition advancement I’ve seen.” —Richard Mann, Ammo Editor

Winning Features
• High-antimony-content lead core
• Split pellets for increased wound-cavity creation
• Twelve-percent lighter weight versus traditional buckshot
• Copper-plated shot

Axil Ghost Stryke ExtremeAccessory of the Year | Axil Ghost Stryke Extreme
Most shooters view hearing protection as an unexciting, but necessary safety precaution that we wear on the range. Axil’s Ghost Stryke Extreme might change your mind about the utility of hearing protection, thanks to its multitude of features. Not only does it protect against the high decibels of gun fire, it can also amplify sounds you want to hear like range commands or instructions, like digital earmuffs. It also boasts Bluetooth connectivity, so they make excellent earbuds for use while listening to your favorite tunes off the range while maintaining the ability to amplify extraneous sounds, so you can maintain awareness. Best of all, the Ghost Stryke Extreme is comfortable to wear and extremely lightweight. MSRP: $199.99; (801) 566-0240, goaxil.com

“For under $200, the Ghost Stryke Extreme offers excellent hearing protection, Bluetooth compatibility for your smartphone and amplification of external noise when needed.”
—Jay Grazio, Executive Editor

Winning Features
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Doesn’t interfere with cheek weld
• Extends hearing range for hearing-safe levels
• Superior sound quality


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