This was my first Shot Show. Like I’ve said before, I’m a bit of a gear whore…so, for me, Shot Show was getting to actually handle the newest gear/guns, and see a bunch of stuff that’s not technically allowed in my state (so I would normally only get to drool over the catalog).
We’re trade show veterans, and we’ve been to NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), ISC (International Security Conference & Exposition), NECA (National Electrical Contractor’s Association) and Dwell on Design many times. We know to make a plan, wear comfortable shoes, pack a back-up battery for the cell phone, and bring a good backpack (because those little canvas bags they hand out just don’t cut it). For those of you that aren’t trade show veterans, let me elaborate:
- Wear comfortable shoes. I am not at all kidding about this one. I had just purchased 2 pairs of black Born boots for a New Orleans trip, so I had some cute and comfortable shoes to bring with me. If you have to choose between cute / comfortable – choose wisely.
- Bring a good backpack. I know, they’ll hand out those cute branded bags on the show floor but…trust me…they won’t have the capacity to hold all of the cool stuff you’ll want to carry. Get a backpack with good straps and a lot of room. Don’t forget water and hand sanitizer!
- Back-up battery. You will want to take lots of pictures (if the show permits) and post lots of updates to make your friends jealous. Pack a back-up for your phone so you don’t run out of juice right when you need it.
- Make a plan. This year’s shot show featured 12.5 miles of show floor! Grab a map, prioritize the booths you’ll visit, and go!
- Fitbit. This is optional, but fun to track your steps. We were averaging 12,000 steps per day!
Here are a few highlights from our experience:
Our first celebrity meet & greet was Les Stroud “Survivorman.”
I am a huge fan of Les, and he was a really nice guy. When my husband mentioned he is an Eagle Scout, Les immediately brightened and said he had spoken at many BSA events and given several commendations. I’m pretty outgoing, but I get tongue-tied in front of people I respect as much as Les. I started to tell him what a big fan I am, and then kind of laughed and said “well, probably the same thing the last 10 people said!” Les did think that was funny, but reassured me that he appreciates the viewers and support. I’ll be framing my signature and taking it in to work shortly…
Next up…THE GUNNY!!
I first became a fan of Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermy around 2002 with his show “Mail Call.” Viewers would write in and ask questions about military technology, and Gunny would go out, find the answer, and usually give us a great demonstration. My grandpa, who raised me, was also a Marine, so I’ve got that in my blood! Semper Fi!
Finally, wandering around on our last day of Shot Show, we bumped into Jim Scoutten from American Shooter. If you’ve never watched the show, I have to tell you – go watch it now! First, Jim has a fantastic voice. FANTASTIC. And it is as good in person as it is on the show.
Of course, there was a ton of guns / gear to check out. I’m a recent convert to the cult of 1911, so of course I had to go check out Smith & Wesson’s 1911PC.
After finally getting to hold the thing (since it isn’t on the CA Roster), I can vouch for how great this thing is put together. Everything fits, and the feel and finish of the total package is fantastic. I wasn’t able to shoot it, but from the live reviews I’m seeing, this is one great 1911.
Next up…fun gear! First, I found Tenzing. In only their second year at Shot Show, this is a gear maker that I’m really impressed with. I have a heck of a time finding hunting/gun packs that fit my 5′ tall self…and these fit the bill.
Dyneema panels and room for a rifle! What more could a girl want?
I also found these great gun cases from Shady Lady Shooting. Finally, fancy cases with NO pink! (They do have pink, if that is your thing)
Our next rifle will likely be a .308, and this one is a good candidate…
Finally…if Batman had a Yamaha, this might be it:
We had a great time at Shot Show 2014, and we look forward to next year!