What a SHOT Show! The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported… “Overall attendance was 58,444, only several hundred shy of the show’s all-time record set at the 2008 Las Vegas Show and more than 11,000 above last year’s show in Orlando. The show attracted an all-time high of 31,280 buyers, and the 1,804 media professionals attending established a new record.”
From my perspective the show was packed and the Smith & Wesson booth was definitely busy. What struck me about this year’s show was the continuous traffic from start to finish. At some SHOT Shows I have attended in the past, there were noticeable end-of-the-day lulls, but this year that just didn’t seem to be the case. Of course, I am sure the latest and greatest in Smith & Wesson’s personal protection line played a big part of our steady booth stream. Debuted at the Show, the new Bodyguard Series created quite the buzz. I took a look at our new pocket .380 pistol and 38 Special revolver with integrated laser systems and have to say they are high on my personal wish list. Check out American Rifleman’s video from SHOT on the two new additions to the Smith & Wesson line.
On the competition front, I attended the NRA’s Competition Division Sponsor Appreciation Breakfast on behalf of Smith & Wesson. At our table were representatives from Safariland, Northwest Territorial Mint, Secure Firearms Products and the Brownell family (Brownells). I also met Mrs. Brenda Potterfield of Midway USA. In addition to all the generous sponsors who attended, Brownells and Midway USA are two companies that have contributed staggering amounts to the NRA and the shooting sports. I also had a chance to meet with reps from the Steel Challenge, IDPA, ICORE, USPSA and the NRA. If their goals are any indication of what’s in store for 2010, it will prove to be another exciting year for the shooting sports. Getting people out to the range and recruiting new shooters is high on the priority list and these organizations remain dedicated to bringing even more prestige to championship events.
I stopped in the Women Outdoor Media Association’s (WOMA) networking event. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet members of WOMA and talk about generating exposure for women in the outdoor industry. Kim Pezzeminti of Doeville.com graciously donated several door prizes to the attendees. One of these prizes was a beautiful bronze and peach, fresh water pearl and antler shed necklace with matching earrings. I admit to fully thinking, “oooooh pick me” for the drawing and it must have paid off. I was a happy winner in Las Vegas!
I also had a chance to visit the Louder than Words (LTW) booth. From their website, Louder Than Words is a not-for-profit organization whose primary goal is to provide material support to worthy charities, while simultaneously furthering the tradition of outstanding craftsmanship in custom firearms. LTW member gunsmiths collaborate to build one-of-a-kind custom firearms crafted to the very highest standards of quality and innovation. All labor and materials for the donation are furnished by the member gunsmiths and industry supporters to raise funds for deserving charities. I personally handled 1911’s built by the talented Stan Chen, Jason Burton and Pete Single. Every firearm in the case was a beautiful, yet functional work of art and a true heirloom.
Some other highlights of my SHOT Show experience included chatting with Natalie Foster. Natalie is working on a project to bring a fresh perspective to the female demographic with “Girls Guide to Guns.” A true celebrity of the show, I met Jack, a rescue dog, who was making his rounds sporting his specially designed Eagle Industries Vest. And of course, it was wonderful to meet and talk with all the people who stopped by for our Team Smith & Wesson signings. Thanks so much for your support and kind words! You truly made my show.