SHOT Show news: derpy AR triggers and guns you can’t buy

Switching gears this morning to bring you the worst of SHOT Show, and we begin with a company called Fostech, best known for making the AK Bumpski stock, which is a fun piece of kit for turning money into smoke and noise. At SHOT, they announced their new drop in AR trigger, called “Echo.” Here’s what it is, and why it’s derp: when you pull the trigger to fire your AR, it fires a round. Then when you let the trigger reset, it fires another round! It’s such a dumb, pointless, and potentially unsafe idea I predict it will sell like hotcakes to derpy-clownshoe guys who just can’t wait to drop one into their shitty homebuild AR so they can do wicked sick double taps at the range with their idiot friends. Ugh.

Up next in red-hot derp, we have the perpetual purveyors of putrid products, Kel-Tec. Oh yes, my favorite whipping boy is bringing out three new products, which means they’ll ship two to Oleg Volk for photography and never actually send any to dealers. First up, is an NFA-ready Kel-Tec Shotgun, to which I have to ask…why? Who wanted this product? The only people who actually own Kel-Tecs are some pretend operators who throw them around padded rooms. Anyway, now they have a version that drops the capacity by four rounds and shortens it up so it’s an NFA item. It also comes with a vertical handguard that will probably shear off under vigorous operation so can pump a round into your hand!

NFA ready KSG photo courtesy Outdoor Hub, click to view their coverage
NFA ready KSG photo courtesy Outdoor Hub, click to view their coverage

They’re also introducing a new version of their Sub-2000 carbine, which is a gun I really want to like except for that fact that I’ve seen two of them blow right the hell up from out of battery detonations. But now you can blow yourself up using M&P magazines, or Sig P226/Beretta 92 mags all in the same gun! Awesome!

But really, the worst offender is this stupid trigger. It’s just dumb. It’s also potentially dangerous, but then again the sort of people who buy it probably aren’t really overly concerned with safety anyway.

I need a drink.

SHOT Show and Booth Babes

leeanna vamp evike

Hey, it’s SHOT Show again which means it’s time for the annual shouting match about booth babes. As you might be able to tell by the image above, I have done a bit of a 180 on the topic of booth babes over the years. There was a time where I was adamantly opposed to them, but any more I just don’t care. I am still opposed to the subset of girls with guns that’s all weird and porny, but having been to a lot of SHOT Shows I’ve never seen booth babes cross that line.

But now that SHOT Show is here, it’s time for people to complain about booth babes. The first sort of people who complain are women who feel like booth babes devalue actual professional women in the firearms industry, which I can sort of see a point to. But then when I start to dig in on that idea, I don’t think it really matters, because no one is going to confuse a booth babe with an actual product expert. At this point, we all know what booth babes are here to do: look pretty and attract people into the booth. They’re models and their job is to look hot. No one is going up to a booth babe and asking them how Colt determined that 17 pounds was the ideal spring weight for a 1911.

However, I don’t really have a problem with women objecting to the use of booth babes. I may disagree, but hey at least professional women in the industry are in a position of some authority on the subject. There’s one group of people that I can’t stand though, and it’s the White Knights who decide to rail against booth babes in hopes of receiving a head-pat from Estrogen Voltron for showing how progressive and forward thinking they are. If someone ever writes a post that says “I’ll never buy a gun from Brand X because they use booth babes” all they’re doing is virtue signaling for other people to show off how un-sexist they are.

At this point, my feelings on booth babes are pretty straightforward:

family guy who cares

So yeah. It’s time to calm down about booth babes, everyone. To the white knights out there, no one is going to sleep with you because you’re just so offended by booth babes, so calm down. No one is putting a gun to the head of those women and forcing them to go work our trade show, they’re professionals. They’re getting paid. That image up at the top? That’s of Leeanna Vamp, who is a well known cosplayer and professional model. You think she just showed up in the Evike booth one year for giggles?

A blogger went to SHOT Show…

In case you live under a rock, SHOT Show starts in less than 2 weeks. In case that rock you live under is huge, SHOT is the biggest and best trade show for the firearms industry. I noticed this week as I was prepping for the show that my feelings about the show have changed over time as my position in the industry has changed. I went to my first SHOT in 2008, in Las Vegas. I was there again in 2009, skipped it in 2010, was back in 2011 and haven’t missed a year since. This show will be my 7th SHOT, and it’s actually pretty fun for me to look back and see how different things are now.

shot shot logo

In 2008, I was just a peasant blogger. I had no business going to SHOT, I was barely pulling down 50k pageviews a month, I hadn’t even rebranded the site as Gun Nuts. But a friend made a call to a friend, and BOOM next thing I knew I had a press pass to the show. It was awesome. It was like being an Ethiopian in a grocery store for the first time. Acres and acres of guns in the Las Vegas convention center, and here I was with a media badge that basically gave me unfettered access to EVERYTHING. It was awesome, and I was in heaven. I still had a real job at the time, so I think I was only there for a couple of days. I made a couple of important contacts at that show, which would serve me very well in years to come.

Between the ’08 and ’09 shows, I started freelancing a lot more for various publications. I had bylines in Outdoor Life, a lot of the Harris pubs, and of course was still blogging my little heart out. So I went to the ’09 show in Orlando (which by the way is a way better venue than the Sands) with an actual mission. Unlike 2008, where I was just “kid in a candy store” gawking at things, in 2009 I actually wanted to see some guns, meet some people and get good coverage. Again, the blogging and writing was still mostly a hobby, but I had an inkling that I could make some coin doing it, and I figured “get good content” was probably the best way to do that. 08-09 had also been when I started attending writer’s events, thanks in a large part to the contacts I made at the 2008 and 2009 shows. So my attitude in 2009 was different – I was looking to keep expanding the professional side of what I was doing. 2009 is also when I rebranded everything to Gun Nuts, and started getting serious about competitive shooting and bringing in sponsors and advertisers.

2011 was a whole new SHOT Show experience for me. I was now a full time writer, blogger, working for GunUp, a sponsored shooter – it was all quite mad, and it marked a real transition point for me. It was the first time I was at SHOT to really conduct business; getting good content was secondary to meeting with marketers and advertisers and wrapping up ad contracts for Gun Nuts and GunUp. It was also the first show I brought an additional person to, which seems to have worked out pretty well for me so far. I would say in 2011 I was about 60/40 split between selling ads and getting content.

That trend has continued for the next three years, from 2012’s show all the way to last year’s show. Yes, I’m still media, and I do take photos and put up blog posts, but now days I go to SHOT for two things: sell ads, and see friends. That’s really what the show has become for me, a great time to sit down and shake hands with some awesome people I only get to see a few times a year. And you know what? That’s awesome. Going to SHOT helps keep me in business, doing something that very few people ever get the opportunity to do. Sure, I’ve gotten burned out on competition shooting (except for Bianchi Cup), and sometimes being your own boss can be frustrating. But every year, despite the dread, despite the hard work and aching feet, SHOT Show reminds me that the best part of this industry are the people who work here.

If you see me at SHOT, please stop me and say hi. I can’t promise I’ll have a lot of time to chat, but I genuinely enjoy meeting readers. I’ll be the midget in the natty sport coat and jeans.

Winchester Knows What Beginners Need

20140310-102844.jpgThis year at SHOTShow, some manufacturers were still questioning how to appeal to the “new shooter” (aka not-yet-a-gun-geek) while others were already hitting it out of the park. Enter, W by Winchester Amunition. They cought my attention at Media Day at he Range, where Rob Pincus was offering something of a Pepsi Challenge. This was a brilliant way of presenting a product that might otherwise blend into the background.

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Women’s Outdoor & Shooting Industry Dinner at SHOTShow 2014

Natalie Foster, Jacquelyn Kelley Gabby Marcuus and Britney Starr at women's dinner at SHOTShowAt this year’s SHOTShow the Second Annual Women’s Outdoor & Shooting Industry Dinner was held. Put on by Britney Starr of Starr & Brodhill African Safaris and Jacquelyn Kelly of Armed in Heels, the event took place at V bar in the Venitian hotel. The theme was Old Hollywood Glamor and, as you can see, almost everyone ran with it! This year the gathering saw some new sponsors as well as a few familiar faces, including Laser Max and GunUp Magazine.

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CZ’s P-09 Updates

20140129-105037.jpgHave I mentioned I’m a CZ fan? This year at SHOTShow CZ brought to the table products that were better than brand new. They brought previously introduced products that had been given BIG updates for 2014. After all, if it ain’t broke… One such offering is the updated P-07 which now has the great features introduced last year in the P-09. These include interchangeable backstraps and the option to change between a manual safety and a decocking leaver. So the P-07 is now better but just a small P-09, so let’s talk about that bad boy instead.

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Glock 42: First Impressions

It seems lately everyone has been asking me what I think of Glock’s new slim-frame .380. I didn’t shoot it at Media Day and I only handled it briefly at SHOT. Why? Because it’s a Glock. Imagine a slim-frame Glock .380. Congratulations, you now have an idea of what the Glock 42 is like. Everyone I spoke to who shot the gun said the same thing. Of course, a Glock-y Glock is far from a bad thing. Continue reading “Glock 42: First Impressions”

CZ’s New 3-Gun Ready Shotgun

20140124-135830.jpgAt the beginning of SHOT Show I made a bee line for the CZ-USA booth. The company has held a special place in my heart since I purchased my first pistol, a CZ 75 B, and they haven’t let me down since. I didn’t know it as I visited the CZ booth, but later that day I would find out that the first ever ladies only 3-gun major match was about to be announced. What made this news even more exciting was that it would occur in Covington, Georgia, surprisingly close to my home in Atlanta. Thus began my crash course in 3-gun competition. Back at the CZ booth I was shown their brand new 3-gun ready 712 Practical shotgun.

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Don’t Tell Anybody, We’re Marketing to Women

20140122-121730.jpgThe big secret a SHOTShow 2014 was everyone’s interest in marketing to women. Actually, it wasn’t much of a secret. For the past three years, I’ve been writing about how pink guns will not be the end of it. However, what I found most interested, was the way many of the manufacturers would look around and then whisper to me, “we really want to market to women”, as if it were a racial slur or something.

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