SHOT Show 2017
Warning: This is a LONG entry, with numerous images.
The week of January 16th once again saw the Sands Convention Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada; host the the 39th annual Sporting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show; also known as the SHOT Show. For those who do not know what SHOT Show is or what it consists of, TPF will give you a quote direct from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) whom organizes the event.
The 39th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show opened its doors this morning at the Sands Expo Center with industry expectations running high in response to the energized market in America for firearms, ammunition and accessories.
Over the next four days, the show will attract nearly 65,000 industry professionals from the firearms and outdoor industry, including 2,500 members of the outdoor press-the largest gathering of outdoor media in the world-and showcase new, innovative products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes.
Owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, the SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world. The show is open to trade members only and not to the public; consumers will see the products unveiled at the SHOT Show on retailers’ shelves during the course of the year.
You read that correctly, not open to members of the public. We at TPF can already hear our readers rolling their eyes and thinking to themselves, “But we are the consumers!” Which is true, except that the consumers that are mentioned the service companies and persons who are directly related to the industry. Not the end user, otherwise known as the public, but those whom supply the products to the end users such as retailers, trainers, ranges, organizations, etc… That being said, there are ways that the public can attend, and do attend as is evident to many who have attended SHOT know. TPF-Online will not go into details or methods for the public to get into SHOT Show. We apologize, and suggest that you utilize your favourite search engine or firearms forum (for Canadians, we recommend Gun Owners of Canada or Canadian Gun Nutz).
So let us delve into the timeline of SHOT Show.
Day 0: Monday January 16th, 2017
There are TWO events that happen on the Monday preceding SHOT Show. One is the Advanced Tactics and Countermeasures Range Day at Nellis Air Force Base. The ATAC Range Day is a private event primarily for Military, Defense Contractors, and Law Enforcement, and invited guests. This year was No photos are allowed except in specific areas (and TPF heard that 2017 was a no photo event) and majority of anything on display is considered Prohibited to the Canadian end user. While shooting full auto and suppressed firearms is exceptionally fun when someone else pays for the ammunition, it does get pretty old quickly.
The other event is SHOT Show® Industry Day at the Range™, owned and operated by CMG Marketing & Events and was held at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club. Formerly known as Media Day, Industry Day showcased 209 exhibitors for hands on evaluation of products and services by over 1,500 consumers and media representatives. This was the 11th such event held in conjunction with SHOT Show and it has continued to grow every year. In this case Industry Day started as a clear sunny day just outside of Boulder City, Nevada with the air temperature hovering a shade above 7oC (45oF) at 8:00am PST.
There are many companies displaying products for all reaches of the industry. Firearms are of course the primary focus of the day from pistols, to shotguns to rifles of all shapes and sizes. The event is even a place for demonstrating optics, accessories as well as personal protection, aftermarket colouration, edged tools, targets, and so much more… There were even a couple of the previously mentioned fun guns that non-military end users can experience. Such a gun was a full-auto, suppressed AR chambered in .300 Blackout, which was demonstrating a manufacturer’s muzzle brakes. Yes, you read that correctly, just to demonstrating a muzzle brake. Such is Industry Day and it can be a very fun day. The editor’s pick for most interesting items at the show?
- Shepherd Scopes – The simple one shot zeroing method with dual reticals actually seems simple to use and TPF will hopefully be able to review one soon.
- Ravin Crossbows – TPF actually got to zero and shoot the R9 a couple times and it is incredibly fast and simple for anyone to crank and use.
- RAM trucks – The editor took a 2017 Ram Powerwagon off roading in what was great fun despite not having something directly to do with firearms.
Obviously these are not just things that are available in Canada yet, or may have higher price points than everyone can afford, but these were the few items which stood out as the most interesting and fun. Yes the Ruger Mk II Gen 4 has a great simple new take down method, and the ATI’s AR-15 .410 shotgun and 30″ Keltek KSG that holds 40+ Mini-Shot Shells were nifty as heck. Recall that the Editor’s pick is their own opinion only.
When the range closed down at 4:30pm it seemed as though the day went by so fast.
Day 1 through Day 4: Tuesday, January 17th through to Friday, January 20th
But how can you lump all those days together you may be wondering… There is a simple reason. It is all a blur of guns and accessories. Rinse, lather and repeat. Until you are bone tired and worn out. From January 17th until the 20th, there were in excess of 1800 exhibitors exhibiting their wares and services across 5.85 hectares (630,000 sq. ft.) of floor space. If you wanted to stop and talk to every single one at SHOT Show, you would have just over one minute to move and talk to each exhibitor. The time mechanics work out to exactly 1 minute and 8.32 seconds. That is how big shot show is. Now add in over 65,000 attendees trying to vie for the attention of exhibitors over those four days and you can easily understand how time is a premium at SHOT Show.
What can you see at SHOT Show? Ummm… Almost everything that is currently available and some things that are prototypes and one offs? Some examples of past concepts that have been introduced in past SHOT Shows. Some were successful, others were not. Some examples…
- Kel-Tec KSG (2011) – Dual tube fed pump shotgun (2017 saw a 25 round capacity version prototype at Industry Day)
- Taser XRep (2010) – Long range conducted energy immobilization device (aka a 12ga Taser Shotgun, since discontinued due to cost of ‘ammunition’)
- Magpul Masada (2006) – Now known as the Remington/Bushmaster ACR (2010)
- The.Ma. Rhino (2003) – Now the Chiappa Rhino (2009)
Now 2017 did bring forth a whole slew of new firearms and accessories as well as outdoor gear, clothing, knives, tools, training aides, etc… In fact there are far far too many for any single person or even group of people to accurately report on if you recall just how much time is available per booth. In the case of the editor, who while at SHOT Show is working for the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), readers can imagine the list of contacts that must usually be renewed at the show face to face. This year marked the eleventh year of SHOT for the editor and his contact list of nearly 300 exhibitors, plus any new ones for 2017. Remember the time per booth stat earlier? That number did not include any breaks for lunch, nor travel time between booths. Luckily this time around the editor had two assistants to help for part of the list, at least when they were healthy and not in meetings…
So the average time between booths for the TPF crew was approximately 12-13 minutes each, which does not sound too bad until you realize that there was a lot of backtracking being done as well as scheduling time slots and waiting… The editor’s activity monitor during the show recorded an average distance traveled of over 12 km (7.5 mi) daily. With every company trying their best to interest/entice/woo people and their businesses to invest, purchase, and retail their products; there are sometimes huge line ups and severe wait times between meetings with representatives of the exhibiting companies. Add in distractions such as celebrities, acts, education seminars, eating, etc., and your available time goes very quickly. Add in every single monitor/TV/computer displaying the inauguration of President Donald Trump… Well you hopefully get the point.
Here is just a tease of a couple new products that Canadians can get and a feature or two that make them note worthy out of the reams of new products for 2017.
- Ruger Mk IV – .22 LR Semi Auto Pistol
- Push button/hinge take down and ambidextrous safety.
- S&W M&P 2.0 – 9mm/.40/.45 Semi Auto Pistol
- Improved trigger, aggressive checkering, longer lower frame rails, optional safety
By Friday however, the luster of SHOT Show had dwindled. Replaced by sore feet and a weary exhaustion, with old contacts renewed, new contacts introduced, and future communications planned. Hopefully TPF-Online will be able to get back on the saddle and bring you multiple reviews of products available to the Canadian firearms community.
For first timers at the SHOT Show, expect to have your mind blown by the sheer scale of the show. The Canadian shooting, hunting and outdoor trade generates $6,000,000,000 annually in sales. There is literally the same amount on display just at the SHOT Show. Here at TPF-Online, preparations have already begun for next year’s 40th anniversary SHOT Show, which will return to the Sands Expo on January 23-26, 2018. Before then, in a future installment, we will bring to you one of the highlights that happens during SHOT Show. The Canadian SHOT Show Reception, so stay tuned.
The 2017 SHOT Show – an annual showcase of everything Tactical, Practical, and Fantastical to the Canadian firearms consumer.
TPF did promise images….
That was just Industry Day… of which TPF-Online spent nearly 8 hours “experiencing” firearms…