Have you ever been to Shot Show? It is an industry convention held annually. This year reported more than 62,000 attendees! Imagine getting a cab at the end of the day there! Shot Show is not open to the public, you must prove you are “in the industry” as an instructor, retailer, manufacturer, media, etc.
How can I describe Shot Show? If you have never been it is hard to imagine, 2 plus floors of exhibitors with everything from outdoor hunting equipment to the latest technology in laser sighted rifles (which was really cool if you have about $22,000 laying around). Shot Show was held in Las Vegas, at the Sands Expo. Where else will you find Guns, Knives and Elvises (yes, more than one Elvis) all in one place? The Sands Expo is attached to the incredible Venetian and Palazzo hotels. There was one hallway with an arched ceiling covered in renaissance murals and an inlaid marble floor that looked an Escher cubes.
It was a week of firsts for me; meeting my first Olympian, Michael Theimer, Youth Programs and Athlete Development Manager, USA Shooting. Met my first Reality TV Star, long time internet friend and winner of the first season of Ammo and Attitude, Becky Lou Lacock. My first pro-shooter and inspiration for National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day, Julie Golob, my first Medal of Honor recipient, Sergeant Major Jon R Cavaiani, USA Retired, a very humble hero, and many more.
I met many friends, old – new – and in between. The Gun Diva crew were so nice! Janette, who had done an amazing job with her NTYDTTRD event; Rob Pincus, who developed Combat FocusShooting and whose work I respect greatly; Athena of Gun Goddess; who is even lovelier than her name implies! I even got to see an acquaintance whom I respect, admire and really like, Kathy Jackson of TheCornered Cat. I met Lisa of Flashbang Fame, check out the new Ava holster in the pinup line, it was so sumptuous, I’ve already ordered one!
I had a chance to check out the new Ruger LC380. It is exactly the same size at the LC9, which is a little bigger and heavier than the LCP, making it easier to handle and control, but still compact, but with enough size to hold on to and enough weight to manage recoil if you wanted to scale down to a .380, maybe as a backup. I asked for a review gun, and I have my fingers crossed, I can’t wait to try it out! I also got a look at the S&W M&P line, up close. The Medium backstrap felt custom made for my hand. (Honey, if you are reading this, I would like one in .45 caliber J)
There were rifles, shotguns, knives, bows, pistols, gear of all types, books, optics, celebrities…WOW! And, a LOT of security. Not being open to the public helped, I did hear rumblings about protests outside, but didn’t actually see anyone. The Presidential address was broadcast into the main hall on JumboTrons, and you could have heard a gnat sneeze. Obviously, a hot topic at the show.
I got to test fire a simulator version of a new rifle that retails for about $22,000, yep, same one mentioned in the second paragraph. It is on my lottery list. There were tricked out cars, trucks, ATVs, a 60s era mini-bus and even a bicycle with mounts for rifles on the handlebars!
I had an opportunity to participate in a Focus Group put on be the event company that organizes the show and sponsored by NSSF, to provide feedback on what they did well, what could be improved. In my group, all first timers, we wanted better maps and maybe GPS to help us find our way around! I was actually thrilled to be asked and offer my opinions, and I got lunch!
Overall, this was one of the most amazing weeks I’ve ever had. It was bad timing, breaking my toe less than two weeks before the show, but…I hobbled around and made it through. Now, I can’t wait until Next Year!Check out some of my Favorite Photos in the Shot Show album on Facebook , I couldn't get them to upload here!