The largest trade show in the firearms industry is the SHOT Show. The acronym stands for Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade. Limited to industry folks, and geared mainly to distributors and dealers, it is not open to the public.
Literally miles of aisles, SHOT constitutes the world’s biggest gun show. For gun people, it’s like a gigantic county fair. And, yes, I’m gonna be there.
I’m still new to this bloggin’ thing. I understand the rule of thumb is a short post a couple of times a week. I’ve run a bit less frequent than that, but generally with longer posts to make up for it. The SHOT Show, however, is such a huge thing in the world of the gun that it warrants some deeper coverage. I’ll have a laptop with me, and we have access to a limited number of computers in the media center, so I’ll TRY to get a dispatch into this space each day, starting Wednesday if I can. “Try” is the operative word here, because a lot of the business at SHOT (and a lot of the investigative reporting) gets done after hours, at evening get-togethers and one-on-one debriefs with the principals.
Most of my work time there will have to be devoted to the firearms areas I focus on in almost all my research endeavors except for Backwoods Home magazine, to wit, law enforcement and personal protection firearms, ammunition, and related gear. However, I’ll make an effort to gather the latest on hunting and utility firearms for y’all, too.
The SHOT Show is managed by the industry organization known as NSSF, the National Shooting Sports Foundation. NSSF recently noted that in November, NICS checks increased an unprecedented 42%. NICS is the National Instant Criminal Background Check System run by the FBI. Last month, December, revealed a 24% increase. These firearms purchaser background checks, required by law, are a reliable indicator of firearms purchase rates. (The figures compare to NICS checks in the same months of the previous year.) Gee, I wonder if the election had anything to do with all that…?
Sales of defensive firearms have skyrocketed, while those of sporting arms have dropped. Consider one company, Smith & Wesson. In the last couple of months, sales of their polymer-framed high capacity Military & Police series of semiautomatic pistols soared to unimagined heights, as did orders for their version of the AR15 rifle. However, over the last several months, orders for their sporting arms (the excellent new line of S&W shotguns made in Turkey, and the fine blackpowder and cartridge rifles manufactured by their subsidiary Thompson/Center in New Hampshire), plummeted. We’re seeing the same pattern industry-wide.
I’ll look forward to sharing with you the new products that debut at the show, and also sharing the buzz from industry insiders as to what the imminent new Administration will bring in this area. So, I’m taking a shot at covering SHOT for the blog. Bear with me, ‘cause there may not be a dispatch posted every day.
The President-elect is now admitting that he won’t be able to fulfill the promises he made before the election. I’ve always found it easier not to promise more than one can deliver, to begin with.