#ShotShow 2014 recap

Shot Show 2014 is in the books, and it was a crazy year. This was my 7th SHOT Show, and for me it continued the trend started in 2012 of seeing less product, and spending more time behind the curtain. Looking back on the show, a few things did however stick out for me.

The Remington R51 is going to sell like hotcakes
Despite the fact that it is actually a lot bigger than I’d been led to expect, the R51 is going to sell. On Friday, when things are normally pretty laid back, there was still a crowd at the Remington display surrounding the gun. With its street price point of $350ish, lots of people will buy it just because it’s affordable. It doesn’t matter if the gun works as well as the Shield or not, it’s going to sell.

Remington R51 Crimson Trace

The Glock 42 will also sell well
Initially, I didn’t think the Glock 42 would be a big hit. Then at the Show, word on the street about their actual retail price point hit. According to Glock reps, the new 42 will MSRP for around $399, which is a direct shot at the other small, concealable guns in that price range. The greatest advantage the Glock 42 is simple: it’s a Glock. All the controls are Glock controls, but it just happens to be a wee-little .380 that sells for less than $400.

There was more new, interesting product this year than 2013
In 2013 everyone was running triple overtime shifts trying to keep up with demand for black rifles. This year, everything had settled down, and companies were actually introducing interesting new products. The major manufacturers added guns for concealed carry and competition, but very few new black rifles from the big firms. There were some, but the major emphasis at this show seemed to shift back to the concealed carry market.

More new shooter focus than previously
This was by far the most I’ve seen SHOT focused on new shooters/new CCW holders. It was also by extension the least militant SHOT Show I’d seen since 2010, which could be attributed to the drawback in warfighting expenditures under the current administration. Multiple major brands had new products specifically targeted at attracting women and/or new shooters to their company’s products. There was a general shift in the marketing tone, with less Beardy McTactical Operator Warfighter style marketing and more marketing aimed at the aforementioned new shooter demographic. That’s a good thing.

3-Gun is the king of the shooting sports hill
If five years ago you’d have told me that USPSA would be the third most popular shooting sport in terms of numbers and dollars, I’d have laughed in your face. “It’ll never happen,” I’d have said. I would have been wrong. 3-Gun is by far the king of the hill in terms of sponsorship dollars and cash prizes – $75,000 was awarded to the winners of the 3-Gun Nation shoot-offs at SHOT Show. Meanwhile, IDPA has quite wisely positioned itself at the bell end of the new shooter funnel, and for every butthurt “I quit IDPA forever” post on Facebook, three new shooters sign up.

The industry is still going strong
We’re a 6 billion dollar per year industry. That’s a lot of money. Despite attempts by foolish legislators to kill jobs and American productivity, the firearms and shooting sports industry is still going strong. I’m interested to see what affect the midterm election will have on the political landscape, and how that may resonate in the gun industry.

Until then, we’ll keep writing, and you keep shooting.

8 thoughts on “#ShotShow 2014 recap”

  1. If I didn’t pick up a P938 SAS recently, I’d probably give this a serious look, still might down the road; certainly a svelte & interesting looking profile. Actually reminds me of the Sig P232 quite a bit.

  2. No IDPA club in my area and 3-Gun is going to end up as a rich kid sport. Ammo costs for a club level USPSA match: $20. Ammo costs for a club level 3-Gun: $60.

    1. 20 bucks for the ammo for a USPSA match? You must be in one of those places where ammo is absurdly easy to find and also incredibly cheap. A typical stage in USPSA is close to 30 rounds, making a six stage match (like I shoot in a local club) about 180ish rounds. If I could find 180 rounds of 9mm for 20 bucks I’d be all over that like white on rice in a styrofoam glass of milk in a blizzard.

      But yeah, 3 gun is hella spendy. My USPSA rig was close to 1k with all the fixins. An AR, shotgun, and pistol with all the fixins and the ammo (for practice and competition)….yikes.

  3. Bruce;
    I hope the US Carbine Association catches on. Two gun eliminates one of the three guns needed to compete and the cost of shot and slug shells as well as having appeal to military members who use pistol and carbine but has little to no professional connection with the shotgun.

    1. I see what u are saying about shotgun for military, but shotgun is sooo easy to learn and perfect. My first trap league I practiced about five times to learn it, and then led on our team with an average of 94/100. This was with no bird hunting experience at all, and I hit some 60+ yard clays that astounded the quick shots who didn’t even bother to fire outside of 40 yards lol. I had been a rabbit hunter since age 12 but don’t equate that with airborne targets. Heck, I can hit anything ground or air or target or whatever up to 70 yards with an 11/87 semi-auto 12 ga. I just don’t think shotgun is a difficult sport at all.

      As far as carbine goes, it isn’t all that tough either IMHO. What I find challenging is 50 yard one hand pistol, being I lost my index finger and metacarpal in line-of-duty, and have to use 2 fingers and thumb to hold and middle finger to squeeze the trigger. Try that sometime. Anyway, I’m just sayin well, whatever–2 or 3 gun is fine by me, and that shotgun just isn’t hard to pick up.

      Besides, I feel shotgun skill is paramount for home defense. I’d prefer it to pistol in my house.

      Just my two cents (two bucks with Obama’s economy hehe)

      ~s~

      1. I agree that shotgun has great defensive uses and is relatively to master in shooting. I guess I was thinking more about how shotgun use in 3-Gun seems more a loading exercise than a shooting one. For myself, as a military person the AR is my go to long arm for home defense just because of familiarity.

        I have a lot of peers that don’t own a shotty but they do already have an AR and a pistol at home. Lord knows the modern pentathlon is no longer a real military skills sport, maybe this will become a sport that can draw in a decent military crowd.

  4. I think we are getting in to an era where gun manufactures are running out of useful ideas. S&W came out with the 460 with a 3″ barrel for the hunting/camping market. Like the 454 Casull wasn’t quite enough to deal with racoons on the campground.

    Then at the gun shop yesterday, they showed me a Beretta pistol with a rotating lug system. Like the 92 turned out to be a failure.

    I think I’ll stick with my SP101, 92, and Sig P230.

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