2013 SHOT Show Vicarious Round-Up
January 21, 2013
On Friday, my return trip from Spokane carried me through the Las Vegas airport. As I moved to my connecting gate, all around me I saw them… camo-clad, vendor hats sporting logos like Smith and Wesson, SureFire, Beretta, and much more. As I ate breakfast, I overheard conversations about the new .17 Winchester Super Mag, some hot new AR-styled rifles, the hot girls at a certain vendor booth, and the party at the Outdoor Channel’s Golden Moose Awards dinner. I felt like I’d just missed the biggest party in town, and honestly, when it comes to the hunting and shooting trades, SHOT Show is exactly that.
I’ve attended a bunch of SHOT Shows, and you might wonder if the attraction doesn’t wear thin after a while. In some ways, it certainly does. You get jaded, cynical, and hard to please. I used to think it was because I’m virtually a Nobody in the industry… just a small-time blogger in a sea of small-time bloggers. But I’ve got friends who are much higher placed than I am, and they feel it too. SHOT can be a grind. It’s interviews and presentations, picture-taking, talking to reps and engineers, and a LOT of walking. You see some awesome innovation, but to find it you pick through booth after booth of the same old thing, salted with the occasional idiotic idea and things that are just plain silly. Trying to see all there is to see at SHOT in three or four days is like trying to do the Smithsonian or the Louvre in an afternoon.
But it’s still a big event, and most years I find myself counting down the days of January like a kid waiting for Christmas. And Christmas didn’t come this year. So sad.
Then again, on the upside I’ve got friends who did make it this year, like Eric from Varminter.Com magazine, and Jesse, from Jesse’s Hunting and Outdoors. And, of course, I’ve got the Internet, the source of all knowledge. According to reports, there were approximately 1200 registered media at SHOT this year, and most of them have posted their reports on blogs, YouTube, and Facebook.
So, I guess at this point I could just point you to a bunch of other websites and call it good. Which is sort of what I’m gonna do, but it’s not because I don’t care… I do… I want you all to have a wonderful experience here on my blog, even if I only lived the SHOT Show vicariously.
First, my friends at Winchester have put up a handful of cool new ammo this year. At the forefront of my personal interests is the new Razorback XT in .44 magnum. You may recall that I had the opportunity to try out the initial release of the Razorback ammo a couple of years back.
I had no idea they were coming out with a handgun load this year, and I look forward to getting the chance to put some of it to the test on some Hill Country hogs or exotics… or at the very least, I’d like to try it on paper.
Speaking of Winchester, my friend Eric does a lot of writing (and shooting) about small calibers and varmint/predator hunting. Winchester really pushed the envelope this year with the release of a whole, new rimfire round… the .17 Winchester Super Magnum. Unlike the .17HMR or Mach2, the WSM is a whole new cartridge, from the ground up. Pushing 3000 fps with a 30gr bullet, it gets past a lot of the challenges that faced the previous .17s. It bucks wind, and carries way downrange.
To really make the most of it, Savage has created a new rifle to go with this round, the B-Mag. Eric was at Media Day and had the chance to shoot this thing (color me jealous), and his write-up is excellent. Check it out at the Varminter.com site.
On the big media side, Field and Stream sent their Gun Nuts guys to the show and came away with some pretty good info. Unfortunately, they host their own videos now, so I can’t send you to a YouTube site. But the blog is excellent, and well worth the effort to check out. I was particularly interested in Weatherby’s new rifle, which came off pretty good in Dave Petzal’s review.
YouTube has a ton of excellent video reviews, even without Field and Stream. My friend, Jesse, has a good collection of video on his YouTube TV station. One of my other favorite gun-related YouTube channels is Fate of Destinee. Yeah, she’s cute and that doesn’t hurt her appeal, but her videos really are informative and well-produced.
Anyway, that ought to keep you busy for a while. If you need more, let me know and I’ll see what I can dig up.
By the way, if you’d like a little more info about that Chiappa, triple-barrel shotgun in the first photo, check it out here.