As I have done many times before, I attended the SHOT show last weekend. This time it was back in Orlando, Florida, which I didn't mind. I wasn't really planning to go to SHOT, but then I looked at it from a different perspective: it was in Florida this year, in early January. Five days to get out of Kentucky's windy, cold winter to warmer climes. I decided I had to attend. Turned out to be fine timing, too, as on Wednesday as I was flying out, it was somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees. When I checked the Weather Channel on Thursday morning, it showed that Nashville was at 9 degrees. That's good timing.
I decided not to bother with taking pics this year. There are tens of thousands of shutter monkeys taking better photos than I am capable of. There's great photos of stuff I missed every year. Luckily, there are some pics of some of the shenanigans I was a part of. In the end, that was what SHOT was for me: shenanigans punctuated by a small amount of business, a large amount of playing with guns and knives, and an even larger amount of meeting people (customers, vendors, old friends, and what I call La Familia: the members of LF) and seeing some of my favorite people.
This show was about what I expected in terms of product. So many companies are cash strapped this year that they either downsized their booths or didn't attend with one. It appeared to me that TAG, for instance, only brought their new stuff to prominently display. They make great gear, and have some killer new MTV carriers. There were some cool new guns, most notably Daniel Defense's new in-house carbine. They're making just about everything with this gun, with the possible (I don't know for sure) exception of small parts like springs and detents. Its an awesome value, even moreso considering the parts that are on it. More on this rifle later when ours show up; we ordered a hundred of them. Due in end of February.
Overall, though, this show was more about the people than stuff. One of our moderators, and a friend of mine, is a Jacksonville SWAT cop who got in touch with a couple of shooters from the Austrian SOF. These two men proved that being a professional doesn't have to do with the size of a country's armed forces, it has to do with the quality of the individuals. These two were very, very professional, and were fanstastic ambassadors of their country. They were also incredibly good sports, putting up with the Americans in the bunch making "shrimp on the barby" jokes.
The Baconforce/MCLMM Representative from Scotland picked me up at the airport and then went to dinner with Jeromy and myself on Wednesday night. If all Scots are as cool as Brother Murray is, that's a country I have to visit. If they're not, I'll still go, as Murray is one of my favorite people in the world. I wish there was more time to spend together. Sometimes SHOT gets in the way of the very thing it helps to bring about.
I met some straight up shoot you in the face warriors, too. I was introduced to a number of Sergeants Major, some active, some retired, all amazing. One of the guys I met online that I met at the show works for LaRue Tactical. I met his dad through my friend Bill Harsey, who was at the Chris Reeve Knives again this year. The father is a former SOG RT guy from the Viet Nam era. The amount of information he has at his fingertips is pretty amazing. What a great man. That's to be expected, though, as all of Bill's friends seem to be pretty damn awesome people.
I'm going to have to continue this later, as I have to get ready for work now. I don't know if I'll edit this one, or start anew. I think I may continue the rambling in another post. The Meat Dot deserves a post all of it's own.
1 year ago