This years SHOT show was a bit different than last year. There were way more interesting releases in the gun market. Also, there were some leaps in the gear market as well, to include ammunition. But there were also changes in the personalities of the convention as a whole. For example, there was alot more armed security this year and alot less swag. Also, I noticed that manufacturers this year were very specific and strict about who could be on camera speaking about the products they were releasing. Just alot of new stuff was going on this year, and I found it quite odd.
Personally, I find it incredibly short sighted when people go to SHOT thinking that they are gonna be catered to and worshiped because they are in media. I was relieved of that idea right away one the first two days of last years SHOT show. The people working the booths are there to work and they get sucked up to by alot of people promising all these great things.They go away from SHOT with a huge stack of business cards of people wanting free stuff. I noticed that the best way to be respected is to be tactfully honest and not think you are going to get anything from anyone, even if they claim that they are gonna send you all these goodies. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to be in this mindset that promises are gonna be kept.
If there is any wisdom I would pass onto other people going to SHOT, it would be that you should never go to a booth with the intent of trying to get free stuff other than swag. When I go, I am there as a reporter, and to give them feedback. After all, I am the one who publishes my opinion on their products, so I might as well speak honestly about what I think. This is not saying to find something wrong with a product, but rather to use your eyes and experience to give them feedback on what the general consumer may think of the product. For example, this year I went to the Walther booth and told a few of the employees there that people generally love the way the CCP shoots and works, but many of us feel that they should consider going back to the drawing board and redoing the pistol because the problems it has is only tarnishing the Walther name.
This year overall was quite interesting. I met some guys who are with Corvus Defensio who were in the Austrian military, and really knew the AUG inside and out, and I had a 2 hour chat with them about the AUG. That was a highlight of the show for me, since I love the AUG. Also, I enjoyed feeling up and shooting the retro 5.56 ARs from Brownells. There was also the Bond Arms bullpup pistol and the Tavor7 that excited me. Just alot of good stuff coming out this year that it is hard to choose which was the best. Overall, I went into the show and was pleased with how much new stuff there was. Some of the stuff like the PPQ Subcompact were things that I assumed were going to be coming out, but wasn't sure quite when. My hopes for this year are to be able to test guns and gear as usual, but I can't make any promises about what I am going to get, since I am at the mercy of my own budget. But you can expect that I am going to explore alternative options and more budget friendly, less popular options.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and his wife