The 2018 SHOT Show has come and gone. I had a great time, there was a lot to see, and there were also a number of disappointments. For those of you who do not know what the SHOT Show is, it is the largest Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in the world. It is hosted every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendance is estimated to be at least 60,000 people.
For 2018, the show started with Range Day on Monday, January 22nd. To attend range day, you had to be invited, and/or had to be part of an established media organization. I am not sure of the exact details, but people could not walk off the street and attend range day.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
I woke up around 8:00 am, got a shower, brushed the teeth, got dressed, gave the wife a hug, told he dogs good-bye and out the door I went. Breakfast was at a donut shop on HWY 190 which runs through Jasper, Texas.
From Jasper, I drive to Jack Brooks airport in Nederland, Texas. The address for the airport is Beaumont, Texas, but the airport is closer to Nederland than Beaumont. Maybe just the mailing address is Beaumont? Anyway, Jack Brooks airport is a small airport that serves the local community. I was able to get a puddle jumper that went from Nederland to Dallas. From Dallas, I boarded a larger plane which took me to Vegas. The flight from Dallas to Vegas was a little less than three hours long.
A shuttle service took me from the Vegas airport to hotel I would be staying at – Treasure Island. While checking into Treasure Island, I ran into some of the people who work for The Firearm Blog. I had seen them on YouTube, but it was great to meet them in person.
After putting my luggage in the room, I proceeded to find something to eat. I had not eaten since breakfast, and it was now 9:00 pm. As luck would have it, there was a power outage affecting part of the strip near Treasure Island. I eventually turned around, went back to the hotel, and ate at a restaurant there.
Everything in Vegas is designed to take your money. Just a cheeseburger was $17.95, plus a drink, plus tax. In fact, just about everything on the menu was $17.95. With my belly full I went back to the hotel room to get some rest.
Monday, January 22, 2018
This was Industry Day at the Range. SHOT Show provided a shuttle service from the hotel to the range, free of charge. First shuttle left the hotel at 7:45 am, and I was on it. I woke up Monday morning at 6:00 am, got my shower, brushed the teeth, got dressed, went downstairs, ate breakfast, then waited on the shuttle.
To even board the shuttle people had to show their media pass.
It was almost an hours drive from the hotel to the range.
Upon arriving at Industry Day at the Range, media personal got off the shuttle, went through another check point where our badges were scanned, and then everyone was handed a pair of ear plugs and a pair of safety glasses.
Imagine 100 shooting ranges, all side-by-side. That is what Industry Day at the range was like. Several booths had their own 100 – 200 yard range with dirt mounds on each side. Other booths did not have dirt mounds on the side. In those booths, we were shooting downrange into the desert.
I passed through check-in, turned left, went all the way to the end, where the fully automatic rifles were at, and started there. From there, it was a matter of walking booth to booth, getting in line, shooting, then going to the next booth. I was able to get some voice interviews, and a couple of videos, but before long the noise was overbearing the videos. Once the noise got too much for recording, it was just shooting guns and taking pictures.
Everything someone could possibly imagine, except machine guns and bombs, was at Industry Day at the Range. I shot everything from full auto AR-15s, to brand new just released Kimber revolvers.
I estimate the booths all lined up together may have equaled at least a quarter mile.
While at Industry Day at the Range I ran into James Yeager. James was awesome enough to do a video.
To make things even better:
- Tickets were provided for a free meal.
- I ran into Ian from Forgotten Weapons.
- Met Colion Noir.
- Ran into some of the guys from The Firearm Blog.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
I could barely sleep after all the excitement on Monday. Tuesday Morning, I got up at 7:00 am, same routine as before, then walked over to SHOT Show to wait for the doors to open. Arrived a little early and had to wait around 25 minutes.
There must have been hundreds of people waiting just like I was for the doors to open.
When the doors did open, the first place I went was to the Primary Arms booth. Primary Arms is just a couple of hundred miles from my house, and their customer service has always been friendly.
It just so happened Primary Arms was at Industry Day at the Range and I was able to shoot an AR-15 with one of their optics.
SHOT Show is so large, it is overwhelming. There were thousands of displays, and tens of thousands of people.
Tuesday was dedicated to meeting with people I had talked to on range day. As I went through the booths on Monday, shot and talked to people, I got business cards. On the business card I wrote their SHOT Show booth number. When I walked into their booth in Tuesday, I had hands-on experience with their products from Monday.
Lunch on Monday was a sandwich and a coke, which I ate and drank while sitting on the floor in a hallway.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Wednesday was dedicated to non-firearms gear. This included stuff related to camping, hiking, prepping, hunting… etc. Since reloading is one of my favorite topics, I was sure to hit the reloading companies. It was nice to see Lyman, Dillion, RCBS and Redding at SHOT Show.
Even though I like to reload, I have not had a bench set up in over a decade. I still have most of my gear, but have not had the opportunity to set up a reloading bench in a very long time.
It i just a matter of time before I get a shed built and get my reloading stuff set back up.
As Wednesday drew to a close, I headed back to the hotel room.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Thursday started off as the others – shower, got dressed and eating breakfast. Rather than going to the 2018 SHOT Show, I sat outside the hotel and waited on a shuttle bus.
Shuttle dropped me off at the airport, where I had lunch at Burger King while waiting on the flight. From Vegas I flew to Dallas and finally back to Nederland. From Nederland, after almost a two hour drive home around midnight.
2018 SHOT Show Final Thoughts
Some of the companies I visited:
- Adams Arms
- Alps Brands
- Ascendance International
- Daniel Defense
- Dickies Clothing
- Franklin Armory
- Inland Manufacturing
- Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT)
- Palmetto State Armory
- Primary Arms
- Windham Weaponary
- Yankee Hill Machine
I am sure there are more brand names, but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.
Even though this was supposed to be an “outdoor trade show”, there were no bass fishing boats, no rod and reel companies, no lure companies, no ATV companies… etc.
I was rather disappointed not to see Yamaha, Honda, Ranger Bass Boats and other such companies. Why they were not there, I do not know.
Overall, I had a great time and hope to do it again in 2019.