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).
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.
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…
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.
Tactical Ordinance Inc.
Double Tap Sports
Holosun Technologies Inc.
Firearms Legal Defence
Korth Group Ltd.
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.
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.
Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada. Home of the 2014 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show; a.k.a. 2014 SHOT Show. This years show was held once again at the Sands Convention Center from January 14th to the 17th and would once again draw people from all over the world.
TPF Online arrived Saturday to an absolutely brisk 20°C with nary a cloud in the skies. This type of weather would continue for the entire duration of TPF-Online’s presence in Sin City.
Fast forward to Monday morning at Media Day, where TPF Online was on site and shooting suppressed .308 AR platforms by 8:05 in the morning, Kriss Super-V fully automatic suppressed SMG’s around lunchtime and followed in the afternoon by shooting trap with KSG’s and Beretta tactical shotguns… TPF also got to play once again with the IWI Tavor akin to the one being raffled off by Gun Owners of Canada; sign up and you can win!
After the extreme joy of Media Day, the next four days are purely SHOT Show and many kilometres of aisles. Over 1600 exhibitors were present and displaying their wares and sales staff across 5.3 hectares (13 acres) of floor space and divided by 20.1 Km (12.5 miles) of aisles. As a tidbit of information, note that the SHOT Show is the 16th largest trade show in North America, and attracts exhibitors and attendees from every US state and over 100 countries. Canada’s hunting, shooting, and outdoor trade industry is valued at roughly one billion dollars annually, and at the SHOT Show the value of the products on the show floor is equal to that. Most people do not realize that Canada is a huge marketplace for firearms, especially for manufacturers from the USA. For every 1,000 guns that are manufactured in the USA, approximately 96% are for domestic usage; sold via retail in the USA. That leaves roughly 40 guns that are exported per 1,000 produced, and Canada imports 35-37 of those. So in 2010 there were 5.5 million firearms manufactured in the USA, which roughly translates into roughly 150,000 US manufactured firearms imported into Canada annually. When you add in all the remaining imports of firearms from other countries, plus the few remaining Canadian manufacturers, it becomes apparent that the Canadian firearms industry is alive and well.
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association decided to host an event during the SHOT Show as most of the industry would be in Las Vegas that week to renew contracts and create new ones regarding firearms, ammunition, accessories and all things similarly related. TPF was present and from discussions with attendees and CSSA representatives, the event was beyond expectations. Hosted at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, the event was originally to be held in the Reno Room, but was shifted at the last moment to the Laughlin Room. There were representatives that reached across the gambit of the Canadian firearms industry. Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers, and Media were present for the event which had 150 or more attendees at its peak. Both Gun Owners Of Canada and CanadianGunNutz, the two largest Canadian firearms web forums were there as was Calibre Magazine, the only firearm magazine published in Canada. Other media celebrities were there as well such as Scott Funk of YouTube famous Funker Tactical, and Brian Lovig of the Daily Split, among others. There was some nicely present food trays of meats, vegetables and fruits, and the CSSA was fairly liberal in giving out drink tickets that evening. Unfortunately a couple of people left a bit early, but most attendees were present for the 9pm prize draws. Given away at the draws were several shirts, a bottle of Champaign, a heavy-duty backpack, and the grand prize, a Bug-A-Salt. This event had come a long way from the informal resort/hotel room get together with a score of individuals. So many thanks should be given to the CSSA for their initiative in hosting such an event, to the sponsors for making the event possible, and for all the attendees who made this first Canadian Industry SHOT Show reception as smashing success.
The Sponsors of the event were the following:
- Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA)
- Browning Canada
- Calibre Magazine
- Canada Ammo
- Marstar Canada
- O’Dell Engineering
- PGW Defence Technologies
- R. Nicholls (F.N. Sports)
- Select Shooting Supplies
- T.E.C. Trade Ex Canada
- Trigger Wholesale
- Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA)
Obviously many thanks should be given to the sponsors of the event so please feel free to click the links, buy their products or products offered by them and help our industry become even better. To those in the industry, TPF recommends you join the CSAAA if you have not already. Why? As the CSSA is roughly the Canadian equivalent to the American NRA, the CSAAA is the Canadian equivalent to the NSSF in America.
Enough about the single greatest Canadian event at SHOT, let s get back to the SHOT Show itself! If you happened to be around and observant enough at the right times and locations, attendees of the 2014 SHOT Show could have seen all sorts of celebrities either at an exhibitor’s booth, or wandering around the show itself. As always nearly every top competitive shooter in the USA is there, nearly every hunting/outdoor channel personality, plus all sorts of celebrities including the following:
- Acting: R. Lee Ermey, Steven Segal, Les Stroud, Joe Montegna
- Racing: Bobby Labonte
- Military: Kyle Lamb, Robert Brown, Chris Costa, Larry Vickers
- Online: Colion Noir, FPS Russia, Hickok45, GunBlast, Funker Tactical
- Other: Jeff Foxworthy, Ted Nugent, Craig Morgan, Governor Rick Perry
The lists of people of greater than average fame, whom are present at SHOT Show are in the several scores of numbers. The number of attendees increased by 5,000 above last year’s total, to an excess of 67,000 attendees. As always there are literally hundreds and hundreds of new product launches at the show as well as celebrity endorsements for them. Whether the items are existing, revised, revamped, resurrected or truly new, the SHOT Show is where dealers will see it for their respective customers. TPF Online is lucky in that this was the eighth (8th) SHOW Show that was attended, and not a year goes by that something new is not learned or brought back to Canada. Hopefully you will be able to attend a SHOT Show in the future if you have not already.
SHOT Show 2015 is once again held in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the Sands Convention Centre once again from January 20th-23rd, 2015. We at TPF are looking forwards to it and the next CSSA Canadian Industry Gathering.
Since its inception back in 1999, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association has held a fundraising dinner which has since become known as a “Stick to your Guns” dinner. Originally an annual event, this dinner has been expanded to be held several times a year in various locations across Canada. These dinners have had such notable speakers like Sandra Froman (former NRA President, 2005-2007), and long time supporter and a true friend to Canadian firearms owners, MP Garry Breitkreuz. In recent years a specific annual version has become linked with the CSSA’s Annual General Meeting, and this one was held on April 28th in Gatineau, Quebec.
The last time the author was in the region, the city of Hull had not been amalgamated into Gatineau and the author had barely begun to become involved with firearms. It seems so long ago, but the city and region hold many worthwhile attractions for visitors. So if you get a chance, please ensure that you visit one of the many museums in the area. Now, as this was to be the first of the CSSA AGM’s held in the province of Quebec, there was some anxious times for organizers leading up to the event as turnout was an unknown factor, but all the their worries were for naught. Nearly ninety (90) individuals braved the somewhat chilly weather to attend the CSSA AGM, of which roughly half were from the province of Quebec. With many questions asked by individuals in attendance and a great wealth of information about the efforts of the CSSA, the AGM was alive and resulted in a large volume of information disseminated to those in attendance. As always the CSSA is humbled by the sheer volume of support from its membership, and hopes to be able to do even more in the coming months and years both domestically and abroad.
With the AGM wrapping up just after noon on the Saturday, the CSSA had decided to arrange a tour of parliament for the late afternoon prior to the fundraising dinner and this was available for attendees of the AGM. TPF was unable to attend the tour, but had heard that the tour was phenomenal with people being right on the House of Commons floor and sitting in both the seats of the Honorable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House as well as the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The entire structure of the parliament building is a monument to history and grand construction of generations gone by. With exquisite stonework and inlaid patterning, it is amazing how well made the building is when one considers that the wiring and plumbing is nearly completely hidden from casual sight as you walk through out the building.
At 6:00pm the “Stick to your Guns” dinner officially opened and began the festive evening, with it being the first CSSA fundraising dinner since the historic April 5th, 2012. This was officially coined as the 1st Annual Dead Registry Celebration, as it occurred mere weeks after the historic passing of Bill C-19. Even with some last-minute scrambling for setting up the prize tables, the evening proceeded with very little snags and errors. With Tony Bernardo being the Master of Ceremonies and Mr. Brian Lovig of the Daily Split being a co-host, the evening was anything but dull. Not one, but TWO speakers were in attendance that evening with Mr. Garry Breitkreuz being the initial speaker and telling about the trials and efforts that have been endured and overcome by the CSSA and those who believe in firearms freedom. The keynote speaker was mister Phil Morlock, one of North America’s leading experts in promoting heritage outdoors activities that include hunting, sport shooting, fishing and trapping. The praise which came from the mouths of these two individuals was humbling to the CSSA but also invigorated those in attendance to continue to stand up and fight for the Canadian firearms community.
With good food and nearly one hundred attendees, the dinner started off on a great note and the sheer number of prizes were astounding. There were many spectacular prizes available and the top ones were two of the four rifles available that evening. To quote the host’s repeated mantra, “Did we mention that these rifles were UNREGISTERED?” Many thanks to those who won the Chaparral Winchester Model 1866, the Carl Gustav 63 target rifle, and the plethora of prizes that were available. Many thanks must also go to Mr. Brian Lovig for his professional assistance in auctioning off some prizes, such as the Model 1866, to the attendees. Some of the raffle draws were very well received and quite innovative such as the Joker Draw which was a beautiful stainless Ruger 10-22 rifle with laminated wood stock. The catch? There were only 12 tickets available so it was a 1 in 12 chance to win. Just amazing and so well received by the audience.
A special thanks to the following for their support and help in what was a truly extraordinary evening. These companies and individuals are part of Team CSSA and contribute to the success of the organization to keep the fight in the face of the gun grabbers and ensuring what is accomplished is lasting and stays beneficial for Canadians.
- John St. Amour, Marstar Canada
- John Mock, Stoeger Canada
- Bob Nichols, R. Nichols
- Daniel Legault, Browning Canada
- Anthony Toryni, Trade Ex Canada
- Ken McRory, Vortex Optics Canada
- Brandon Bulter, Battenfeld Technologies (Caldwell/Tipton)
- Ben Krete, The Gun Centre
- Mandy Esteves, Shooting Chrony Inc
- Dave Landsborough, Triggers and Bows
- Lee Morgan, Gunzilla Canada
- Tony Bernardo, Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
- Brian Lovig, The Daily Split
- Garry Breitkreuz, CPC Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville
- Hornady, Kershaw, Forster, Lyman, and several more companies
- Luc Thivierge, Chris Youngson, Norm Lapierre, and so many more individuals
After all the food had been eaten and all the prizes had been doled out to winning attendees, the evening was far from finished. The CSSA went the extra step and provided a live band for the remainder of the night. “Reloaded” was a garage band made up of some veteran and professional talent from the ranks of the CSSA itself. Armed with his Gretsch guitar, Tony Bernardo lead the group with professionalism, Rob Alexander invoked his keyboard with practiced skill, Brant Scott wailed with purpose on drums and Dave Weston put up the backbone bass with fingers flying. With the occasionally addition vocals provided by Tony’s daughter, Kira; the night was filled with electricity and was possibly the finishing stroke in completing a picture perfect day of energy and enthusiasm.
Many thanks to all who helped make the entire day a memorable one and hopefully TPF will see you again next year at yet another CSSA AGM, if not sooner at more of these fund-raising dinners.
How many readers can remember “March Break” as a time when one was glad to be out of the classroom for a week and enjoy what was supposedly the end of winter. It has been a long time for the author since school work and study dominated his daily routine, but “March Break still holds some semblance of freedom and desire, and that is the annual Toronto Sportsmen’s Show. As with each and every year, the city of Toronto becomes a focal point for tens of thousands of individuals who attend a multi-day event which is billed as “Canada’s Biggest Fishing & Outdoor Show”. The Toronto Sportsmen’s Show, hereafter referred to as TSS, started six and a half decades ago and has growth to encompass hunting, fishing, outdoor adventuring and to the surprise of many Toronto natives… GUNS!
With the show located on numerous levels and across two buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) from Wednesday the 14th of March until Sunday the 18th, the show was host to several hundred exhibitors and multitudes of individuals. Please allow a bit of reflection however on the history of the TSS. For sixty two (62) years, the Toronto Sportsmen’s show had existed in one form or another as an annual event located at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds (CNE), but due to the unfathomable machinations of, the previous Toronto Mayor, David Miller; forced the show to relocate to the MTCC in 2010. Why Miller’s anti-gun zealotry deemed it necessary to destroy so many decades of history and pride is beyond comprehension. Now on its third year away from the CNE, the TSS is once again running what is now their 65th anniversary. It was estimated that the City of Toronto lost nearly $14 million of revenue when the show shifted locations, the reason being that all revenue from the MTCC flows to the province of Ontario, not the city. Fast forward to 2012 and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is opening the show which he has attended since he was a child and the hunting hall is growing.
As always, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association was present at the TSS and with the help of many volunteers was able to once again have a successful show in terms of membership growth and engaging in discussion with probably thousands of individuals throughout the duration of the show. Many thanks to CSSA Regional Director Gus M. who volunteered far more than what was asked of him and to Mr. Andrew Craig of Canadian Reload Radio fame who brought in his custom centre-fire silhouette rifle and a small video which was a great draw and topic of discussion. The CSSA thanks all who helped them with another successful show and as always the main topic of discussion was the demise of the Long Gun Registry (which TPF is proud to state just passed clause by clause reading in the senate as the author edits this entry).
Over the five (5) days of the TSS, several tens of thousands of attendees were able to experience a full gambit of outdoor pursuits as the show caters to the public and the newest wares and a “One stop shop” for nearly every outdoor need. In fact many attendees left the show in possession of products which were impulsive purchases in the first place. TPF however will concentrate this TSS review in the Hunting Hall aspect of the event. As always the primary focus of the Hunting Hall aspect was for Outdoor adventures such as hunting, hiking, boating, with additional luxury products as well as some interactive displays and pavilions being present.
This year was a slight departure from the norm, not only were there far more firearms on display for sale by retailers, this year represented the first time in many years which restricted firearms were for sale, let alone on display. Many thanks to Tactical Imports, whom took the first step, with the assistance of Mr. Tony Bernardo and the CSSA, were allowed to bring in some of there more “exotic” firearm products for the public to not only view order from them. Initially the TSS was refusing to allow Tactical Imports into the venue as it did not fit in with the traditional “Hunting” definition. When pointed out that many of the exhibitors, such as that depicted in the previous luxury product image, had little if anything to do with “Hunting” and that a firearm is a firearm, the TSS removed their objections and Tactical Import set up their display. Showing both non-restricted and restricted firearms in their booth, Tactical Imports has started what may be a growing trend by other exhibitors/retailers at the show. At least that is the hope of TPF-Online and many attendees whom we talked to.
As always some things never seem to change and that is a good thing in the case of the Toronto Sportsmen’s Association (TSA). The TSA crew has been coming to the TSS for many many years, and has always been the ones who have run the air-gun and archery ranges at the show. They are a truly exceptional group of individuals who continuously are to be thanked for exposing the future generations to the shear enjoyment that is available in shooting sport disciplines. Many thanks to Mr. Edwards and his volunteer crew for all his time and efforts over the past several years for continuing to provide exceptional public awareness and hands-on experiences like these for our youth.
The Canadian Military has been present as well in the last few years with an ever increasing display of equipment and public outreach. The author ensured that every one of our men and women in uniform whom was met at the show was thanked for their service and their efforts. TPF-Online will side step here briefly and state for the record that Support The Troops ribbons, pins, and decals are not being pro-war, but pro-survival. One does not have to believe in the circumstances which led to Canadian military involvement, but we should all wish our fellow brothers and sisters in uniform to come home safely and with as due speed. A full gambit of military hardware was present for display for TSS attendees to look at, ask questions about, and receive answers.
The Toronto Sportsmen’s Show is an annual event and it looks as though it is starting to grow out of the “traditional” mold of what constitutes our hunting aspects of outdoor recreation. That being said, the TSS is a huge endeavour which caters to the outdoors-man in most people in the Toronto region. So if you do not mind paying for parking and what some claim are excessive admission fees, you too can experience “Canada’s Biggest Fishing & Outdoor Show” every year. As TPF-Online looks forwards to next year’s show once again, we put forward the standard question: Is the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show; Tactical, Practical or Fantastical?
Video games such as Call Of Duty, Battlefield, and other first person shooters have greatly increased the appeal of firearms to the younger generations. For this TPF cannot apologize, as despite knowing that such video games turn violence into a hyped up and marketable commodity, it has done more to get the next generation of shooters into the sport than almost any other combination of approaches. That in itself shows how much farther all shooters need to reach to not only accept the newest members of our sport and hobby, but how much they need to get off their own derrieres and teach the unknowing masses what they are missing.
Unfortunately it seems that fewer people nowadays are hunting and the reason for that is because for the last couple decades, firearms have become publicly of crime and unlawful activities. Nothing can be further from the truth as 99.9% of firearms owners are caring, safety conscious individuals who, outside of hunting and wilderness survival, would find it very difficult to ever commit any form of violent act against another living creature. TPF authors personally know individuals who are firearms owners and refuse to even consider playing paintball or air-soft games for the simple reason that to play those games one would have to point a “gun” at another person. That being said the author has no issues with paintball, nor air-soft, as both are akin to the firearms community. They build teamwork, camaraderie, and just as actual firearms usage, safety is the number one responsibility of all those involved.
While hunting with firearms appears on the surface to be in decline, the reality is that more and more shooters are gravitating towards handguns, “black rifles” and action shooting sports. Readers should recall that in June 2011, TPF did indeed mention some of the various action shooting disciplines available to people. This time around TPF-Online is proud to have been able to enlist several individuals who compete professionally and have them give a tip or two about what to do if you are interested in this category of extreme sports. Be advised that many of these shooters are based in the United States and have a much more prominent network for action shooting information and contacts.
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 1! – On behalf of TPF-Online and the CSSA!
First up is Canadian shooter Sean Hansen. President of Freedom Ventures Limited, and a multiple IPSC Provincial Champion in Nova Scotia, is a strong supporter of action shooting and enjoys many years of good memories and experiences regarding his efforts in action shooting and has many more years to create more.
Next up is Blake Miguez, whom at just over 20 years old holds the title of 2011 ISPC World Champion and is proof that shooting for fun can lead into more opportunities.
The lovely and talented Julie Goloski Golob shares a bit of insight on the simple and easiest method of getting into action shooting.
Talking to these individuals is a great pleasure for reasons mentioned previously. Such individuals are thankfully not rare in the action shooting sports, and by that TPF-Online is heartened by the open and welcoming attitudes which many, if not all, of these top competitors have.
TPF hopes you the reader, and viewer in this case, hold your judgement until you see some more future shooting personalities in later installments, but as always; action shooting. Is it Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?
Just a bit more to whet your appetite as well…
Jerry Miculek – The fastest trigger in the world and arguably the best revolver competitor that ever existed.
Todd Jarrett – A world level competitor with millions upon millions of rounds of of experience and a great ambassador to the shooting sports as well.