SHOT Show scoop

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Shot show logo

The recently concluded Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas once again served as a good indicator of the overall health of the firearms industry. The results of this yearly check-up were plain to see: things are fine in the gun business, bordering on great, unlike what the “mass media” might try to spin!

Attendance seemed down a tiny bit but all the vendors we spoke with agreed sales were really brisk.

We also noticed “media” persons were fewer and mostly confined to those we recognize as working content producers. Vendors likewise noticed the decrease in “Personalities” pestering them for free stuff. The root driver of this change seems to be last year’s cuts in YouTube ad revenue — many of those folks aren’t making money anymore and can’t justify a costly week in Vegas.

There weren’t a lot of new guns announced but enough to show the industry remains vibrant. Above all the other noise of The Big Event, arguably the most interesting trend was the major gun makers who launched into new product spaces, such as Mossberg and Stoeger unveiling their striker-fired pistols and Daniel Defense taking on the precision rifle market with the innovative Delta 5. There were whispered hints we’ll see more such eye-openers in the future!

US Logo

2A Defense

Here’s a counterintuitive warning: be skeptical of pro-gun stuff coming from the U.S. House of Representatives!

The thinking goes like this — an Honorable Representative could introduce the most pro-gun bill in history into the House, knowing it would undoubtedly fail due to the Democratic majority. Then, while running for re-election two years later, said congressperson could thump his or her chest dramatically and point to the bill as their “claim to fame” in support of the Second Amendment. The whole exercise would make pro-gun constituents happy while never getting a serious look by lawmakers.

There are some good Second Amendment folks in the house, but as always, “Buyer Beware!”

Smith & Wesson

Passing

It wouldn’t be surprising if you didn’t know Dwayne Charron, but you’ve likely held more than a few of his products in your hand.

Charron passed away on January 16, 2019 at the age of 93 after working for only one employer his entire life: Smith & Wesson.

He joined S&W in March 1942, just months after Pearl Harbor, because he was too young to join the military. Then, aside from a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, Charron worked at Big Blue his entire career until retiring in 2010 at the age of 85.

During those decades, Charron literally worked his way up from teenaged food cart pusher to Director of Research and Development. In this role he was instrumental in developing such firearms as the Model 41, 39, 59, 469, Model 76 SMG and his crowning achievement, the Model 52.
They just don’t make them like that any more — guns or men.

Hodgdon Powder

Hit The Highway

This is a really cool idea from our friends at Hodgdon powders: the Reloading Roadshow.

Hodgdon is partnering with the biggest names in the reloading industry — the list is too long to include here — to bring a traveling training session to local Hodgdon dealers around the country in 2019.

While the reloading industry is still going strong, it is not typically a passion of younger shooters. With the roadshow, those interested in learning the dark arts (that’s a joke, people) can gain tutelage under real experts and learn all the advantages of rolling your own ammo without the risk of losing sundry fingers and eyes.

“Grandad started this concept over 50 years ago, personally traveling around the country to show consumers how to reload,” said Chris Hodgdon. “I think he would be proud to see his family and his company keeping this tradition alive.”

If you’re interest in attending a session, visit the Hodgdon website (www.Hodgdon.com) or Facebook channel to see the schedule. *

Ammunition

New cartridge

It’s time to buy another new rifle and set of dies because a new round has officially been born: the 350 Legend.

Following the SHOT Show in January, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) has given its official blessing to this new cartridge designed by Winchester as the “fastest production straight-wall cartridge on the market.” The ammunition claims to offer more energy than a .30-30 Win with less recoil than the .243 Win.

The round was born in response to straight-wall-cartridge deer hunting laws on the books in many eastern and Midwestern states. Such laws have been responsible for cartridges such as the .450 Bushmaster becoming so popular. Winchester is currently offering the 350 Legend in a 150-gr. Extreme Point, a 145-gr FMJ and 180-gr Power Point. The oddball of the group is the 265-gr open tip Super Suppressed subsonic. We imagine this round would also be legal in collegiate-level shot-put competition.

SHOT Show by the numbers

Attendance: 58,000

Media attendance: 2,400

Exhibiting Companies: 2,400

Total weight of exhibits: Seven million pounds

Number of display firearms on show floor: 15,000

Number of concealed firearms on show floor: None we could see

Economic (non-gaming) impact to Las Vegas: $90 Million

Most products launched by a major gun manufacturer: Savage, with 40

Dates of 2020 Show: January 21-24

Will GUNS and the FMG crew be there?: You betcha!

GUNS May 2019

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