Wednesday, January 17, 2007

SHOT show

I was in Orlando this past week from Wednesday very late night through Sunday morning. Why would I be in Orlando? Two reasons: get the heck out of Kentucky for a little while, and to attend SHOT show.

SHOT stands for Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade show. Basically, any company worth its salt that is at all connected to any of those fields is there. This is the first big chance for retailers and wholesalers to get a look at new stuff and place orders. I generally call it "Disneyland with Triggers". There's everything from the junk Hi Point guns to sets of four Perazzi shotguns that go for $300,000. Yeah, you read that right.

I found a couple cool new things there. The Magpul Masada rifle is cool as all get out, and when it finally becomes available I will have one. That'll probably take a couple years yet, but I can wait. I also came across a cool new cleaning kit at the KG Gunkote booth. Its made by Lanigan Performance Products and even if it only works marginally well, at least it makes cleaning the bore more fun than it is with a brush. Basically whatcha got here is a CO2 powered propellant unit that shoots a felt plug down the bore of the gun to clean fouling out. If nothing else, its just plain fun to shoot those plugs around the homestead. It only runs about $35. I couldn't find the manufacturer at the show, and I didn't wanna pay the retail price at KG, so I'm gonna look into picking one of these up through work. What can I say? I'm poor.

There were a few other cool products, but that really meant very little to me at this show. The highlights for me were the people I met. I spent about an hour with the coolest guy in the world, custom knifemaker Bill Harsey. We talked knives, guns and watches, and I couldn't have had a more enjoyable time. That man has forgotten more about knives than I will ever know. He also introduced me to some pretty high speed guys. Mr. Harsey is very well known and liked, and has earned his title of Knifemaker to the Quiet Professionals. He's also a huge, huge man.

In addition to Mr. Harsey, I also got to meet several moderators and members of the forum I am an administrator of, I went to the Gemtech/SWAT/TR party, and within a short time, I was laughing my head off with a bunch of lifelong friends I had just met. Then a SWAT cop who goes by the screen name Hetzer busted out the artillery shell-shaped vodka bottle. Note to self: don't be so agreeable to take a shot from a glass that looks like a projectile. I only had a few, but one of my other new friends had several, and that's the kind of thing that lives with ya for a while. Overall, it was great, great fun. It wouldn't have been possible without the internet. As much as I dislike some aspects of the 'net, it has done an amazing job of bringing people together.

SHOT is in Vegas next year, and ATS should have a rather sizable booth there. I expect I'll be working the show, so stop by and introduce yourself.

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