SHOT Show 2012

Well, we survived another SHOT Show in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with SHOT Show – it’s the largest shooting, hunting and outdoor trade show in the world. Each year, Western Sportsman staff attend, to meet with our advertising clients and to source out what’s new and exciting in the hunting and shooting world.

SHOT Show is huge — more than 1,600 exhibitors, 60,000 attendees (all trade members) and over 2,000 members of the media.

What did we find in 2012?

Well, as you’ll see on this website and in the pages of our print magazine over the next few months, there are a lot of exciting new products from manufacturers like Bushnell, Rocky, Browning, Leupold, Winchester, Stoeger, Sitka, Barnett, Remington, Hornady, Steiner, Nightforce, Zeiss, Swarovski, Gerber, Crosman, … and well, too many more to mention.

We also noticed more than ever before a shift in the show towards the “tactical” side. I counted a total of four camping tents on display, at three booths (out of more than 1,600), yet I lost track of the amount of booths displaying body armour, night vision goggles and fighting knives…

In the past, most tactical gear was reserved for the “Law Enforcement/Military” section of the show. Now, and especially with the trend of “apocalypse survival gear” and modern sporting rifles, it’s hard to tell where the “Law Enforcement” ends and the “Hunting” begins.

Times, they are ‘ changing. For Americans, Homeland Defence is big business. I would like to see a shift in SHOT Show — back to being a true “Outdoors” show, rather than a gun show serving mostly the law enforcement and military (and para-military) side.

(PS: Zombies were a big trend this year too… are people really concerned about this?)

A lot of readers have expressed interest in attending SHOT Show. Let me be frank — it’s not a consumer trade show. It’s a working trade show — there’s nothing for sale. No seminars on how to fish or hunt. Just working members of the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade doing business. So save your pennies for a hunting trip; SHOT is probably not for you. (PS: the requirements for getting inside are also very strict — working media or buyers/retailers only. Be prepared to show credentials.)

All and all, it was a successful show. I’m really excited about showing you some of the new products we uncovered — some from the usual suspects, others from small manufacturers you may never have heard of.

Stay tuned. Me? I need to get some rest. I can still hear the slot machines ding-ding-dinging in my ears…

See photos from SHOT Show 2012 HERE.


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