Monday, January 24, 2011

Chip at SHOT Show 2011

Here it is!  Finally.  The account of my trip to SHOT Show 2011 has arrived.  In this post I will share a few of my experiences, as well as some pictures to better illustrate what took place.  (Sorry for the quality of many of these pictures.  Apparently my new little camera has two settings: Web Quality and High Quality.  Somehow it kept ending up on Web Quality despite my best efforts). 

We headed out on the open road about 10 O'Clock on Monday morning, due to a delay in picking up our rental car.

Our journey began by passing through flooding and quite a bit of snow.
I arrived at the convention center on Wednesday morning early...  But clearly not early enough.  This was the press room, already buzzing by the time I arrived.

Yup.  I was a genuine member of the media elite. ;)
There were displays everywhere for just about everything you could think of.  I can't even tell what is in this picture I took.
Every display just about had crowds of people gathered around. 
This was part of a FAL rifle, as I recall. 

Most of the displays were geared towards drawing you in for a closer look.  These bolt action rifles were rather interesting, as I recall.
This display described in detail the important survival weapon niche we call "Zombie Guns".

And yet more people....
This was a cool setup with a tricked out AR platform that included everything but a can opener.
There were a few non-firearm items here and there, including this little off-road warrior.
I saw and handled more ARs than I ever thought possible.  There was an AR for every possible use from defense, varmint-hunting, launching bottle rockets, and cooking hamburgers.
These AK-types were very ergonomic and comfortable.
More ARs...
Did I mention people everywhere?  (50,000+ attendees is the figure I heard).
Even the US Census Bureau was there.  Hmmm....
Some crazy cool crossbows were in the building....
Hunting supplies of various classifications...
Gazillions of sporting rifles of every conceivable configuration.
This guy didn't move the whole time I was watching him...
I really enjoyed handling some of these older designs, as even the nifty modern black rifles can get a bit boring after the first couple hundred.
I really liked the shotgun on the upper left.  Should do quite well in a wet, humid climate like my region, don't ya think?
I'm planning an upcoming podcast about the various calibers available out there and this would be the perfect visual.
This was from the Century Internation Arms booth.  Needless to say, I had a lot of fun handling all the different types of AK knockoffs. 
The wooden stocked ARs were one of my very favorite firearms I saw.  They felt very comfortable and looked great.
I think this UZI was the first and only real one I'd ever handled.  After doing so, I can't quite figure out why they were so popular when I was growing up in the 1980s.  
I checked out a number of revolvers from different companies, but found that I pretty much like what I like.... Which basically runs along the lines of old Rugers and the concealable 5-shot snubbies.
And more people....
The Hungarian AK with the folding stock in the lower right corner was pretty cool, but after a while all the black rifles start to look and feel the same.
Quite a number of autos found there way to my hands as well, but nothing really blew my skirt up... Until I got to the Kel Tec booth that is (see below).
The new 14-shot Kel Tec Shotgun (KSG) was very cool.  I spent some time handling it and listening to demonstrations/product overviews.  It'll probably be a while until they're commonly available but what an innovative idea.
The display for the new Kel Tec Shotgun.
Another KSG demo.
One of the Kel Tec .223 pistols.
And as I said above, the new PMR-30 really blew my skirt up.  So light, yet carries 30 .22 magnum rounds.  Problem is, you can't find them anywhere yet.
Cool car....  I wonder what caliber it's in?
Tomorrow's episode is about this company.  I really like their carbines, but there pistols take some getting used to.
More stuff...  And people.....
The Hi Points are ugly, but seem to have a good reputation for accuracy and dependability.
There were a lot of fine rifles I could never dream of affording too.  But it's fun to imagine....
The return of the Winchester 94 was nice to see.  I love this design in any caliber.  Guess it was those John Wayne movies growing up....
The other gun that blew my skirt up was the Rossi Wizard, available in 20+ calibers, shot gauges, and rimfire variations.  I've always liked the NEF Handi-Rifles but I think this offering from Rossi is going to cut WAY into their market.  (See Thursday's podcast).
Chip and the kiddos after walking the Strip the last night. 
And back to the hotel for one final night before our 4am departure (to beat the traffic). 


  1. Hey Chip, how was the weight of the wood stocked ARs? I really like the look of them, but am wondering how much weight the wood adds.

  2. Hey Andrew,
    I really like the feel and "heft" of the wood stocks on the ARs. They felt surprisingly well-balanced and didn't seem to add much weight at all. My greater concern would be the quality of the internal parts fit by the folks at Century, as they have something of a hit-and-miss (often miss) reputation. But the wood stock itself adds a little something special to the AR. I'm guessing other manufacturers will begin offering them in an attempt to make their ARs stand out from the crowd.