SHOT Show floorThe first full day of the SHOT Show has come and gone, and it was quite a day! 

To be honest, it didn’t start well.  My personal bartender last night got a little heavy-handed, and I paid the price this morning.  These things happen, though…

It may have been just as well anyway that this was one of the slowest days I’ve ever seen at the SHOT Show.  The crowds were light, and there was actually room to walk and turn around. 

I didn’t really have a plan for the day, which can be a good way to get totally overwhelmed at this show.  I’ve written about it before, but there’s just no good way to describe how BIG this event really is.  If you walk in and think you’ll just focus on the things that strike your fancy, you’ll never get more than three steps through the door.  If you are a hunter or a shooter, this place is like the world’s biggest toy store. 

Even after all the years I’ve been coming to SHOT, this still happens.  Today, I was OK with it.  I’ve got until Sunday to “get the story”, whatever that may be, so I just enjoyed the thrill… mingled as it was with the headache and mild nausea. 

A couple of things did, somehow, come out of the day. 

First, I had a chance to start talking to manufacturers about non-lead ammunition.  I got some interesting info from Remington.  They are no longer loading the Lapua Naturalis copper bullets, but have developed their own copper bullets.  The “Copper Solid” ammo isn’t really a solid at all… it’s a hollow-point with a polymer tip.  More on this later.

I also got a feel for the big story in hunting guns this year…  adjustable or “custom” triggers.  The trend that I credit to Savage, has spread across the industry.  Winchester has the MOA, Browning has the Feather Trigger, and now Remington is introducing the X Mark Pro.  You can count on seeing them in other brands as well.

The very best part of today was tonight, at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Industry Dinner.  This dinner is a big shindig for folks in the Shooting and Outdoor sports industry, and really illustrates the power and purpose of the whole business.  There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than a lot of folks realize, and at the root of it… well, money makes the world go round.

I’ve drifted.  The idea was that the dinner is really informative and gives me a really good feel for what’s going on in the industry and what the drivers and issues may be over the coming year.  But even better is the quality entertainment.  Over the past years I’ve seen some incredible country performers, but this year was different.  This year we had a comedian, the first that I’m aware of… Bill Engvall. 

I’m not a huge fan of Engvall’s TV show, and don’t spend a lot of time watching his specials on TV either.  But I love almost any kind of live entertainment, and Mr. Engvall was no exception.  By about halfway through the show, I was practically in tears.  It was great!

The food, by the way… well, the dinner hit a new low tonight.  For the price of the dinner ticket (for those of us who actually had to pay), I’d really expect a little better. 

Tomorrow has a lot more focus, and I plan to bring some more useful info at the end of the day.