MAYPORT – Christmas comes early for hunters and marksmen this year as one area company is aiming to make their day with a new locally designed rifle cartridge.
Longtime big game hunter and gun enthusiast Vince Dougherty, along with son Brian, will unveil the 5.7 Demon cartridge this Thursday, Oct. 15 at their business, Long Shot Ammo & Arms, off Route 28 between Hawthorn and Mayport.
“We’ve designed a more modern cartridge, a different shape cartridge,” Vince Dougherty said.
He explained that for decades, he used a .220 Swift for big game hunting, but started in the mid-1990s to experiment with faster twist barrel rifles that can shoot heavier bullets. He said that as the bullet travels down the rifle’s barrel, the higher the rotation speed translates into a flatter trajectory for the bullet over great distances.
Over the years, Dougherty said the idea of a new bullet cartridge began to form. Working with a brass company in Texas, the Doughertys refined their design and had custom brass cartridges made, trademarking the 5.7 Demon name.
After designing rifles optimized for the new cartridges, Dougherty said the products were tested for about six months.
“They have shown terrific promise,” he said, citing their superb accuracy, trajectory and deep penetration.
In fact, Dougherty explained, the 5.7 Demon was competition tested by accomplished bench rest shooter Jerry Frost during events in New York. In windy conditions, Frost finished first in both matches while using the Demon.
Exclusively sold at Long Shot, Dougherty said that along with the cartridges, there will be around 15 rifles also available.
“We’ve tried to use the best of everything in building the gun,” he said, adding that Long Shot is the official developer of the product. “They all shoot really well.”
While the 6.5 Creedmoore has become one of the most popular cartridges in recent years, Dougherty said the Demon offers a much flatter trajectory and less recoil.
In addition to the rifles already made, he said that the business can also help buyers create their own gun.
“We will make it with them,” he said.
The local Dougherty family of businesses, which also includes Brookville Glove, have partnered with Long Shot on the new cartridge, doing printing work as well as laser engraving that is offered on each rifle.
“It’s been nice to see all the businesses work together,” Becca Dougherty, Vince’s granddaughter, said.
Dougherty said the new product is good for a range of hunting, from small game to deer and other big game. And, he said, the new cartridges are very long life, able to be reloaded “over and over again.”
Along with the custom engraving option, Dougherty said the unveiling and sale of the new cartridges this week will also include other merchandise such as Demon T-shirts.
After realizing this dream that was many years in the making, Dougherty said he is working on ways for a larger manufacturer to pick up the new cartridge and take it to a much larger audience.