Note: This event took place August 30, 2021. You may recognize some of the pics as they appeared in the CCFR TV ad during the Federal Election.
In all my travels to gun stores and gun shows one name keeps popping up; “Canuck.” Phil O’Dell and his team at O’Dell Engineering, distributors for Canuck, have clearly done a great job of meeting Canadian gun owners’ needs for quality products at an affordable price all backed by a company with great customer service.
There is no question that O’Dell has capitalized successfully on the growing appetite for tactical shotguns in general, and for mag-fed variants in particular, with offerings such as the Operator, Recon, Renegade, Enforcer, and Engage.
While O’Dell may be best known for Canuck shotguns, they also offer 1911s, both through the Canuck brand as well as through distribution rights for Rock Island Armory. O’Dell is also the Canadian distributor for Bergara precision rifles. Prior to the OIC ban, they were also the distributors for Radical and F-1 Firearms AR-15s.
O’Dell’s Annual Range Day, now in its seventh year, is an industry event that allows retailers to test the latest offerings and provide/receive direct feedback. The intention is to increase retailers’ first-hand familiarity with the products so they can better answer questions and better match firearms with the customer’s shooting needs. The event, done in collaboration with AmChar, the Glock distributor, is by invitation only with a cap of two reps per retailer.
Opening remarks by Phil O’Dell and Ian Mahler to the group of about 60 guests representing 25+ retailers
After which we split up and I headed over to the handgun/rifle range.
In terms of the guns on the line, the FD-12 was the most popular of the day with several people not wanting to put it down!
Rep from Ronin Sports
Canuck Pro-Staffer and CCFR Gunnie Girl Barb
Rep from Williams Arms
I first saw the FD-12 at SHOT Show 2020 and again at CSAAA 2020 and was very intrigued by the compactness of the bull pup box magazine design. The FD-12s being imported by O’Dell are quality controlled by a boots-on-the-ground employee (named Fatih) in Turkey. Guns that meet O’Dell’s standards are marked with an “OD” serial number and are fully supported for warranty work. Currently the O’Dell guns are only available in black and they have a nice weight to them given the abundance of metal components.
The second most popular gun appeared to be the new Commander size Canuck 1911. After years of development, it is finally available in .45ACP and 9mm in stainless or with a black finish. It has a 4.25” barrel and a Series 70 style trigger. Everyone who shot it gave positive feedback and a few even preferred it to the full-size model.
The rep from Victory Ridge
The two Kelly’s!
Dave from NAS Guns and Ammo
And more reps
My personal favourite gun of the day was the Rock Island Armory XT, a 1911 in .22 MAGNUM. While I did not get a chance to shoot it, I did shoot the even hotter .22TCM at SHOT Show 2020 and it was quite surreal to see such a huge flame coming out of a gun with such low recoil. I imagine the .22 MAGNUM would be just as fun!
Speaking of .22s, there were some great new offerings from Bergara on the line. The B14R is designed as a true rimfire “trainer” that follows the dimensions/layout of a REM700 platform. In fact, it can be set up to match the configuration of your centerfire rifle with REM700 compatible stocks, bases, and triggers. Even the magazine is built to the same dimensions as a standard short action AICS mag.
The Bergara Micro Rimfire, or BMR, uses a new scaled down Bergara Action design. It is available with either steel or carbon fiber barrel with match chamber for high accuracy. The BMR accepts aftermarket REM700 triggers.
Canuck Pro-Staffers and CCFR Gunnie Girls…Morgy
All of the Bergara precision rifles on the line were fitted with US Optics glass as O’Dell is the Canadian distributor for these top-of-the-line scopes.
Next I headed over to the AmChar range
Where the Gen5 Glock 22 was the highlight. Upgrades to the revamped .40 Glock include front slide serrations, a grip without finger grooves, a Gen5 trigger, and four sight configurations including standard, Glock Night Sights, Ameriglo Bold, and Modular Optic System (MOS).
All done at the rifle/handgun ranges, I made my way to the Lancaster Smokehouse food truck. This local favourite was on site serving up some of its legendary brisket, pulled pork, macaroni, and curly fries, a fitting meal for a range day.
Break time was also a great opportunity to check out the incredible selection of machine guns that the Canadian Historical Arms Museum had on display. I love the MG34, MG42, Bren MK1 and big belt-fed autos as much as any gunnut…
but I have to say the Mac 10 with its highly visible welding lines always puts a big smile on my face.
Thanks again to the CHAM crew for your generosity in sharing your collection and knowledge.
Ok back to shooting, this time at the skeet and 5-stand ranges to check out the Canuck Over Under Trap Combo with its beautiful Grade 2 walnut stock and the new Canuck Hunter 3” Inertia semi-auto. The Trap Combo has a 32” vent rib barrel, adjustable recoil pad and comb, fiber optic front sight, and 5 extended chokes. The Hunter has a 28” chrome lined vent rib barrel with fibre optic front sight, two tone bronze Cerekoted aluminum receiver and barrel, and a Mossy Oak Bottomlands Camo pattern buttstock and forend. It will also be available in CAMO MAX 5.
Throughout the day it was great to see so many familiar faces and catch up on industry news.
Dean from Select and Corrie from Code of Arms
And Corrie with Scott from BullsEye North
The crew from AmChar and Target Sports
The crew from NAS Guns and Ammo
Conservative Candidates, Connie Colvey and Tyler Calver, both of whom are RPAL holders, in attendance.
Some nice lawn signs
Lots of nice shades
The range day closed off with a prize draw for attendees. There were multiple great prizes including firearms from Canuck, Bergera, and Glock!
Attendees also received a great swag bag with Canuck and Bergara hats, tshirt, and other gear.
And we were not done yet! The celebration continued at the Duke & Duchess, a local British pub.
O’Dell’s decision to move forward with this event is a very encouraging sign for our sport and a testament of their commitment to it. So many other great events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely with all the lockdowns and havoc over the past two years, not to mention the current political climate.
Finally, some special thanks to all the volunteers including Canuck pro shooters and CCFR Gunnie Girls Morgy, Lynn, and Barb, to Dean and team from Select Shooting Supplies for supplying the coffee and PA system, to Steve Corlett from Vista and Federal ammo for sourcing the required munitions for the day, which is a growing challenge due to ammo shortages, to the Sportsmens Club Galt, and of course the O’Dell team for putting on such a great event. Oh, and Happy Birthday Phil!