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SHOT Show 2018…

Another January has come and gone, and with it was once again the largest event of its kind in the world… The 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center from January 23rd through the 26th. Covering nearly 6 hectares (14.8 acres) of flooring, an excess of 2100 exhibitors displayed their products and services for some 60,000 attendees of the 4 day event. 2018 signified the 40th anniversary of the SHOT Show which started way back in 1979 with 290 exhibitors covering a comparatively miniscule 0.48 hectares (1.1 acres).

The 40 year exhibitors

Some companies have been at SHOT since its inception and never missed a single show


This year’s SHOT Show also marks the 20th time that SHOT has been hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada; and city that is larger than life seems to be a prefect fit for the SHOT Show. Last year saw nearly 3.2 million kg (3,500 tons) of exhibits moved onto the show floor. To put it mildly, the SHOT Show is unbelievably huge. However there is always a catch when it comes to the biggest and best; the SHOT Show is not open to the general public. That is correct, it is only open to members of the industry and trade. Manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, retailers, training, non-profit organization and media, all of which are involved in Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoors are able to apply to attend SHOT Show.

The SHOT Show is preceded by Industry Day at the Range on the Monday before the show. This day allows only exhibitor-invited media and buyers to come out to Boulder City Rifle & Pistol Club and experience first hand the products offered by over 160 companies. Everything from crossbows to handguns, throwing axes to fully automatic rifles and everything in-between. With over 1400 media and 800 buyers potentially being on site during this day, Industry Day continues to be the premier hunting and shooting event in the industry providing hands-on experience for attendees. The one caveat is the same as during SHOT Show itself, members of the public are not allowed.

The wait to get into Range Day

The lineup of Media personalities at 8:00am Monday morning at Industry Day at the Range


Early in the day, the parking is already pretty full and the buses kept coming all day long


1/2 of the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club

The view to the SE of the long distance area. Ram truck testing at the top, to the upper right is the shotgun area


the other 1/2 of the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club

Looking to the NW from the top of the long range shooting area


The only permanent cover at the range

View from behind the covered long-range shooting area


Targets galore

The closest steel is 50 yards from the shooting area, with 980+ yards for the ultimate reach. See the orange on the closer hills? Those are/were clays


This was the author’s 12th year of attending the SHOT Show and I was accompanied by some long time attendees who had an additional dozen or more shows under their belts. The SHOT Show is now less fun and exciting than it used to be, likely due to the more structured and business oriented planning now done by the author. However, attending the event has always left the author with a sense of awe at the sheer scale of firearms and accessories that are even out there. In perspective; Canada’s outdoor hunting, sporting market brings in roughly $6.5 billion in annual revenue. SHOT Show has that value of product and exhibits on display. Damned!

Now SHOT Show does bring in companies that have absolutely anything remotely to do with the firearms industry, and that includes law enforcement as well as other enterprises. However in a dozen years this had to be the first time the author noticed certain things that never had been at the show previously or escaped notice. With an excess of 1800 exhibitors, you will always miss something when attending, but some stuff is also new…

The author did a double take after passing this booth at SHOT

Professional equipment to dispose of firearms… See the scrolling “free demonstration”… TPF felt a bit nauseous here


A craft beer we would gladly arms ourselves with!

While it is a purely marketing gimmick, as a Canadian, the author will take the FAL please


Over 60,000 attendees in 4 days, no incidents

A quick series of images showing the scale of the show


Yes that IS correct... over a dozen miles of aisles

The other direction. This is the narrow width of the main room. SHOT is big…


The original Hulk actually likes guns...

Sometimes you can get lucky and notice some celebrities. In the centre is the original Incredible Hulk. Mr. Lou Ferrigno


A sampling of exhibitors at SHOT Show

A sampling of exhibitors at SHOT Show


IF you thought that the Industry Day at the Range would be the favourite of the author’s annual pilgrimage to SHOT, you would be very close indeed. However, it is the now huge Canadian event that keeps the author coming back every year. The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) once again stepped up and hosted the 5th Annual Canadian SHOT Show Reception, with the support of the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA). This event has literally blossomed from a dozen people gathered in a hotel room, to a huge event that draws in Canadians from every aspect of the firearms community. Hosted at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, the event was held towering above the city of Las Vegas 108 stories in the air. The view was incomparable, the food was great but extremely short-lived, and the casual atmosphere allowed for the Canadian contingent of SHOT Show attendees to unwind a bit and relax and talk to other Canadians about anything including shop talk. This past event hosted in excess of 300 individuals that otherwise rarely, if ever, communicate to each other except through emails and phone calls. However this reception in its current state is only possible through the sponsorship of multiple firearms related businesses and individuals. TPF would like to personally thank each of these for their support and will list each and every one here.

Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association
North Sylva Co.
Trigger Wholesale Inc.
Calgary Shooting Centre
Federal Ammunition

Calibre Magazine
Stoeger Canada

T.E.C. Trade Ex Canada
Nordic Marksmen Inc.

Tactical Ordinance Inc.
Shooters Choice
Wolverine Supplies
Double Tap Sports
Holosun Technologies Inc.
XMetal Targets
Outdoor Canada
Firearms Legal Defence
WGT Consulting
Vault Distribution
Korth Group Ltd.
Bowmac Gunpar
Browning Canada
Hudson Supplies

Thanks to these sponsors for making the Canadian SHOT Show Reception possible and for being a part of the event. Here at TPF we will be sure to visit each of the sponsors and look at what they have to offer to our Canadian firearms community. We hope that you would do so as well.

As preparations have already begun for next year’s 41st SHOT Show, which will return to the Sands Expo on January 22-25, 2019; so to have the preparations for the 6th Annual Canadian SHOT Show Reception. Companies and potential attendees are asked to contact CSSA Director Mike Duynhoven.
As a FYI to readers who are not Canadian, or are not familiar with our listed organizations; the CSSA is similar to the USA’s National Rifle Association, only more polite eh? They are the organization that represents the firearms consumers across Canada with training, and political outreach; but only have two decades under their belt compared to the NRA’s 150. The CSAAA represents the Canadian firearms industry and looks after their interests, similar to the National Shooting Sports Foundation which organizes and runs the SHOT Show.

Here is a few images showing some of our Canadian companies that are exhibiting at SHOT Show! Make sure to visit ALL of them and help them all out.

Genesis Enterprises

A decade of producing high efficiency LED products, located in East Ontario


Excalibur Crossbow

Kitchener, Ontario based manufacturer that has helped harvesting game for 35 years


Nanuk Cases

Based in Quebec, this 30+ year old manufacturers tough protective cases



CamPro harkens from Quebec with over 2 decades of manufacturing some of the best plated projectiles available


Vortex Canada

Canadian distributor of some truly fine optics for the last 15 years. Guelph, Ontario


Shooting Chrony

Over three decades of providing reliable speed chronographs to the Canadian market and worldwide. Mississauga, Ontario



Canadians created the loudest, most impressive binary explosive. Manufactured by Gryphon Energetics out of Winnipeg, Manitoba


Vault Distribution

Firearms distributor for nearly 20 years, based out of New Westminster, British Columbia


Tactical Imports

This Toronto, Ontario based firearms importer is one of the youngest with just under ten years in existence

There are currently over 30 Canadian companies that exhibit at SHOT Show with more and more doing so every following year. We at TPF will strive to get you a list and images of every single one of our Canadian exhibitors next year at SHOT Show 2019. Thank you for reading all the way through this small write-up of the 2018 SHOT Show. We will soon have more reviews and look forwards to future events for 2018.

Fun Fact: Canada, while only a tenth of the population of the USA, has a substantial number of legal firearms owners. For every 1000 firearms made in the USA, 95% of those remain in the USA for domestic sales, Canadian markets account for 80-90% of the those exported from the USA. That means out of every 500 firearms exported from US manufacturers, Canadian markets get 400-450 of those. This is the reason that most firearms manufactured have a slightly longer barrel to meet Canadian Restricted status instead of Prohibited, such as Ruger GP-100 is 108mm (4.2″) in length.


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.

SHOT Show 2012

Back in January, an event occurred, which the author has been privileged in attending now for the sixth year in a row. The event consists of a single day of practical hands on experiences for media and then four days of talking to an ungodly number of individuals whom are representative of the entire world for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Of course this equates to the 2012 SHOT Show which is the largest venue of its kind anywhere in the world.

Colts 1877

This is Colt's masterful foray into reproduction firearms, the 1877 Colt Gatling Gun which was the star of Media in TPF's opinion.

The Monday, January 16th, the temperature outdoors was quite decent and the sky was cloud-free which made Media Day, once again a fine day to go and play with some of the newest firearms and related products which are currently or soon to be available for the commercial markets. Optics, ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns, stocks, and a host of other items were available to over 1200 media individuals to experience first hand the products available. Some items truly stood out for the author and the number one item memorable experience was cranking the handle of Colt’s reproduction 1877 Gatling Gun. 20 rounds of 45/70 Government, flew by and seemed effortless as you turned the handle of this beautiful reproduction of history. High quality prototype 308 Winchester chambered bull-pup rifles, custom machined .50 BMG projectiles, the Slide Fire stock, are just a couple of the items that were experienced by the huge crowd of media types.

For the next four days the actual trade show ensued once again at the Sands Convention center. Over 1600 companies were there with in excess of 36,000 people coming to interact with them brought the total attendees to more than 61,000 people over four days. Stunning, especially when you consider that representatives from all 50 states were there as well as representation from more than 100 countries.

TPF will not go into the thousands of products that were displayed and showcased as there are multitudes of other websites and writers whom dwell on the little nuances. There were however an extreme multitude of famous and mentionable people in attendance or in some cases, on display at SHOT Show 2012. As usual the legends and successful masters of shooting disciplines were present, as well as TV sensations both past and present. Lou Ferrigno, was seen repeatedly examining various products as a guest of Barrett Firearms; as well, several participants of the TV Show Top Shot Season 4 were discovering the huge industry on display at SHOT Show 2012. Further highlights of celebrity fanfare was the feature appearances by the crew of Red Jacket Firearms from the TV show, Sons of Guns, and many others.

Les Stroud

Famous Canadian survivalist, Les Stroud (Survivorman) was in attendance and yes there was a lineup to met him.

A short, incomplete listing of well known people who attended Shot Show:

  • R. Lee Ermey
  • Les Stroud
  • Bear Grylls
  • Ted Nugent
  • Troy & Jacob Landry
  • Larry Vickers
  • The SeAL team/cast from the movie “Acts of Valor”
  • An nearly every known professional shooter, Outdoor TV series hosts, etc…

TPF isn’t going to go into the huge details about what was present and what new products were available for the US market. Suffice to say that the author would be able to write a short novella of several tens of thousands of words showing the various new non-firearm products, let alone new guns. We will however keep you, the reader, abreast of any products which these manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, graciously provide to TPF-Online for review.

Chiappa Rhino

Firearm designs like the Chiappa Rhino are being featured in future reviews by TPF-Online. So Stay tuned!

Much of the excitement and great moments at the SHOT Show is when the author met so many other Canadians on happenstance, Mrs. Page from Packing Pink, Mr. Krete from The Gun Centre, Mr. Hansen from Freedom Ventures, Mr. Muir from Lever Arms, Mr. Ruston from Tactical Products Canada, and a host of others representing Canadian businesses. Many thanks are to be given to these individuals and companies for attending and creating the contracts and arrangements which continue to supply our Canada market with firearms and related products.

If you are ever able to go, TPF-Online recommends that you do so and experience the multi-billion dollar industry which is partially displayed at SHOT Show. And recall that this is just a PARTIAL display as there are many many other businesses and manufacturers who are not in attendance. A great example is FWB, or Feinwerkbau, one of the oldest and most renowned Olympic class firearms makers, wasn’t present yet again in this year’s SHOT Show.

Frank Mellor

Top Shot, Season 4 competitor, Mr. Frank Miller was experiencing the scope of the firearms industry for the first time. This moment Mr. Mellor was admiring Ten-X's .50BMG progressive press.

The Great One

One of the most respected and well known action shooters, Mr. Rob Leatham, aka The Great One, is one of the best ambassadors that the shooting community has ever had.

This years SHOT Show was executed even better than last year and once again, anyone coming should bring a couple pairs of walking shoes to explore and experience the whole event and all booths. However, be forewarned that should you attend, plan your visits to the booths they would have roughly a minute for visiting each booth, and when you consider the sheer scale of the show, much of that time can be walking from booth to booth. There are many displays and extra events which can eat up several minutes of time, such as watching professional shooters show their skills, lining up to get autographs and pictures with celebrities, as well as hands on experience with the multitudes of firearms accessories and outdoor gear.

Displays @ SHOT Show

Veteran shooter Todd Jarrett shows off his skills in a display at the Blackhawk booth. Such displays are common and very well attended by to those wanting to learn and see the skill levels of the masters.

The 2012 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show is the largest event of it’s type in the world and TPF can guarantee that should you ever attend this event, every single product displayed at the show will be Practical, Tactical, or Fantasical.

A small example of how you can spend your time talking to one of the many representatives of companies in attendance. Presenting Angus Hobdell, who has been shooting CZ products since 1986 and a member of Team CZ-USA since 2003. In 2012, he is still a great competitor and 100% behind promoting CZ-USA.

On behalf of TPF-Online and the CSSA, many thanks Mr. Hobdell for your time and efforts.

As an added bonus, over the next few days and weeks, TPF will be releasing small video clips from many of the top action shooters in regards to the shooting sports and tips for improving your abilities. So stay tuned!

Ammo Vault – A advance in ammunition storage systems?

Whether a hunter, target shooter, or just a plinker; many people like to have their preferred load with them in a plastic lightweight ammo containers or pouches. Whether it holds a half dozen rounds, or several dozen; shooters seem to like the semblance of organization and protective value derived from ammunition containers. Two of the biggest names in this area are MTM and Frankford Arsenal, with a multitude of re-branded versions available as well (J&J, RCBS, etc…).


The traditional 20 round slip-top case

The specific version being discussed today on TPF is the 20 round slip-top style of ammunition container. A simple effective design to protect ammunition from casual abuse and the elements. The simple slip top design is also biggest problem of these boxes as people have had their ammunition spilled due to instances where the top slides off due to poor friction, container orientation or even mis-handling. Add into that the inability to compensate for bullet lengths and thereby risk tip damage from moving in the container and from container impacts.

Knowing this, Frankford Arsenal has decided to enter a new design into the ammunition case market which prevents such from happening. Introduced as the Ammo-Vault, this container has designed in many features that eliminate the major flaws and problems of the traditional slip-top design.

  1. Constructed from impact resistant materials to survive multiple drops without cracking or breaking.
  2. Includes a foam insert to protect bullet tips and to reduce, or even eliminate, rattling.
  3. Has a locking feature which prevents inadvertent top separation.
  4. Adjustable height for secure storage of many calibres and OAL.

Cutaway of the new Ammo Vault

Now the Ammo Vault reviewed here is the medium length version, designated the AV-RMD-20, and the list of calibres it supports is impressive at 70 designated calibres. However! Individuals such as myself, have different loads and overall lengths dependent on the firearm’s feed type, the bullet mass, let alone purpose for the ammunition. As such TPF measured the approximate working dimensions for the Medium Ammo Vault.

The Ammo Vault (AV-RMD-20) will hold 20 cartridges whose have a maximum case diametre of 12.7 mm (0.50″) and an overall length ranging from 61mm-90mm (2.4″-3.5″) long.  That means that very common calibres such as the .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5x55mm Swiss, .308 Win, and including the .30-06 Springfield (and child cartridges) will fit into the Medium Ammo Vault. At the longest listed dimension, the AV-RMD-20 is secured by a single set of teeth on the container. You CAN put in cartridges shorter that what is previously listed (such as .223 Remington) but they will rattle around and not be secured in place by the foam in the top. Obviously with the foam contained in the top portion of the container, bullets are to be placed in with tip “up”, but if unconcerned with tip protection, rounds like iconic .30-30 Win will fit in this case if stored “tip-down”.


The AV-RMD-20 with .308 & .30-30 snap caps

The Ammo Vault for medium length cartridges has $9.99USD MSRP and is available from many Canadian retailers who carry Frankford Arsenal products.

Frankford Arsenal’s Ammo Vault – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?