SHOT Thought

I wanted to close out my first SHOT Show with some random musings I had, none of which were really worth their own post though.

The show is HUGE. When I was young, I walked around the circumference of Gibraltar, pretty much just to say I walked around a country. It took me less time to do that than it did to navigate the entirety of the SHOT Show.

You know how we’ve been hearing from the Joyce Foundation and other anti-gunnies that the hunting and shooting culture in America is dying out? If that’s true, than how come this year’s SHOT Show was by far the largest in the 30 year history of SHOT?

The show, held Feb. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, comprised 715,000 square feet of exhibit space, a gain of nearly 60,000 over last year, with 1,950 exhibiting companies, up from last year’s 1,870.

With a total registered attendance of 58,769, the show eclipsed last year’s attendance record of 42,216. The show attracted 30,686 buyers, 1,725 members of the press, 25,854 exhibiting personnel and 504 guests.

Yes, we’re a dying industry and culture, which is totally demonstrated by the literally hundreds of new products and thousands of new people at the Show.

The Cold Steel booth was both awesome and hilarious.  It was awesome because it was a veritable cornucopia of edged weapons, and hilarious because they had this promotional DVD running of a bunch of employees whacking the everloving hell out of all kinds of rattan mats, cuts of meat, and rubber gloves with Cold Steel’s various products.  I did get a copy of the DVD so I can watch the whole thing.

The last thing I wanted to touch on was Bitter’s post yesterday about opening SHOT up to NRA Membership.  She’s opposed to it, and so am I, for pretty much the same reason.  To explain, I’d like to point out an example from another industry, the E3 show in the video game industry.  E3 started as media/trade only show; from it’s founding up through 2006 it just grew and grew, until it got to the point where conducting business because difficult if not impossible due to the large number of non-industry attendees at the show.  In ’07, they made the decision to change E3 to an invite only conference and scale it down to the point where people there to do business could do that.

In the gun industry, we have the NRA Convention to unveil products to the general public and NRA Members; and by leaving SHOT for business only, it ensures that the NRA Convention will be packed each year with new products and cool goodies to fondle.

Other SHOT Thoughts, politics are very much on the mind of everyone in the industry.  I got into more than a few conversations about what a Clinton-Obama presidency would do for our gun rights, and the general consensus was “very bad things”.  Like I said, I’m going to keep beating the “buy your black rifles now” drum, because I worry that we won’t be able to in the next couple of years.  There was also a lot of talk about whether or not we should vote for McCain when he gets the nomination (which he appears to be a lock for now); my thoughts on that are that he is better than Hillary/Obama, and that’s the bottom line there.

SHOT was great; can’t wait for ’09!


  1. Actually, that’s a pretty good example. PAX is for the consumer to “fondle the goodies” as it were, it serves the same function as the NRA Convention by allowing the consumer to get a look at new toys and have some fun without inhibiting the ability of people to do business.

  2. I know you’re kidding, but that’s actually the response I’d be worried about people having. For the record, after having been to SHOT, I am in favor of it remaining industry only even if that means that I can’t go again.

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