By Chris Brown
First order of SHOT Show business for Jackie Bushman was to present Mark W. DeYoung, president and chief executive officer of Alliant Techsystems (ATK), a plaque recognizing Federal Premium Ammunition's 25 year sponsorship of Buckmasters. Thank you, Federal!
You want it, they have on display at the 34th annual SHOT Show.
Big guns, little guns, ugly guns, sexy guns. They have them all.
Never in my life have I seen so much shooting and hunting stuff in one place.
If you want assault stuff, they got it. You want tactical, they got it. Hunting? Yep. Optics, yep, that, too.
I walked into the show today with Larry Teague, editor for our GunHunter Magazine, and I watched his face light up like a kid in a candy store.
"Gotta go boys!" I heard him exclaim, as he ran off in search of a firearm to salivate over.
Normally that would be funny, but this is Larry's 15th SHOT Show, so it's old hat to him. I'm the rookie, though, so I dug up a little scoop on the show: 1,300 exhibitors, 630,000 square feet of exhibitor space, over 60,000 of your closest friends walking around enjoying the show. You read that right. And every single square foot is used up.
First on today's agenda for a SHOT Show rookie like myself was a press conference by Bushnell.
Some neat new stuff, but one thing I thought was cool was a program they take part in called the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Bushnell is a partner in this nonprofit organization that helps the families of soldiers killed or disabled in battle with scholarships for their kids' college as well as support. We heard from Major Dan Rooney, the founder of this program, and a young lady, Sara White, who the Folds of Honor Foundation was able to help after her father was killed in a training accident in the Air Force. An emotional story and one we all should get behind to help with.
The press conference ended with country music star Craig Morgan singing two songs that he wrote about the Foundation's program.
Hot item at SHOT Show: Buck Knives line of eight Haley Heath ErgoHunter Adrenaline lockback and fixed blade knives. Developed to fit smaller hands, the knives feature easy to grip, colorful handles.
These songs will be available on iTunes later in the spring with proceeds going to the foundation. Hits for sure; we will keep you posted.
Saw some neat stuff from our good friends over at Buck Knives as they introduced Haley Heath of the Family Traditions TV show and the signature series line of ErgoHunter Adrenaline knives. There are eight knives total in the line with both fixed-blade and folding lock-blades.
Although designed with the ladies in mind, I just might have to have one of the lockbacks in my pack as well. What? They're not pink and besides, I'm secure in my manhood.
Another new product worth a mention is the new Thompson/Center Dimension Bolt Action rifle with interchangeable barrels, stocks and components.
Now I'm not a big rifle guy yet, but when I looked at this one and held it in my hand, I realized that it's the deal. Interchangeable barrels let you start at one caliber and work your way up or down or however. Add to that removable spacers in the stock for a better fit, competition-height cheek plate (very cool), Armorsoft grip (even cooler!) and much more. This is the rifle for me!
Getting lots of attention at SHOT: T/C's Dimension, with a LOC system with seven partsóa universal stock and receiver that accept multiple barrels, magazine groups (magazine and housing), bolts and bridge scope mounts. You'll be seeing more on this exciting new addition to the T/C family.
The T/C guys do a great job with their social media stuff as well and they've been talking about this rifle for weeks, so I wanted to make sure and see it early. Make sure you check them out on Facebook and Twitter here: www.facebook.com/TCArmsCo.
The afternoon was full of meetings with sponsors and potential sponsors once the Buckmaster himself got to town and the show.
One of his first meetings, though, was to stop by the Federal Premium Ammunition booth and present Mark DeYoung with a plaque, thanking Federal being a 25 year sponsor of Buckmasters. 25 years. Wow! That's a long time to be doing anything, and we are sure proud to have Federal in our wheelhouse. These guys make some great stuff that once you shoot it, you won't want to shoot anything else.
We also got a quick tour of some new LaCrosse boots while we had the chance, and one cool boot coming is a new Alpha Snake Boot.
Sorry, we did not get a picture of that, but we have a video that'll go up soon. The only thing Jackie asked for was an Alphaburly snake boot that came up to his hip.
Jackie is not real fond of snakes.
That wraps up Day One. I know, I know, it's only a slice of what there is to see here, but like I said before, never have I seen so much hunting and shooting stuff in one place at one time. Two days will hardly touch half the show. It's absolutely unreal!
Remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.