FRI | JULY 10, 2020

Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep is the first expanding 380 Auto load to consistently penetrate beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum in bare gel and through heavy clothing.
Congratulations to Team Vihtavuori member, Paul Phillips, on winning the 2020 Michigan Fullbore Prone Championship, F-TR division. Phillips loaded Vihtavuori N140 behind Berger 200 Grain Hybrids in Lapua cases to score 445-23X.
Bushnell and Realtree want to remind hunters that there are only a few days left to sign up for the Official Optics Sweepstakes, which ends July 10.

New to the Escort Versatile Tactical Shotgun lineup is the BTS bullpup. This next-generation shotgun is available in either 12 ga or .410 cal, and is offered in either black or FDE Cerakote.
Modular Driven Technologies announces the newly updated TAC21 Gen2 addition to their line of precision rifle chassis systems.
Henry has designed and donated 88 limited edition Henry “Ethan’s Army” Edition Golden Boy lever-action rifles to benefit the family of 2-year-old Ethan Shaw and assist with the medical expenses associated with childhood cancer treatment. These rifles are available now through Henry Repeating Arms’ website and the first in the series, ETHANSARMY01, is currently up for auction. All proceeds from the sales of the “Ethan’s Army” rifles will be presented to the Shaw family.

Silencer Shop and Orchid Advisors announced a strategic partnership that will provide the firearms industry with innovative solutions focused on consumer engagement, supply chain operations, and regulatory compliance.
Legacy Sports International announces the addition of the CITADEL Home Defense pumps and semi auto shotguns to the MGE Wholesale and Orion Wholesale distribution channels.
Anderson Manufacturing—one of the nation’s largest and most trusted manufacturers of rifles, parts and accessories—is proud to announce that it has once again been ranked number one in the U.S. Miscellaneous Firearms Production category.

Everest.com announced that Kristi Heuring has been appointed to the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Heuring, a 26-year marketing veteran and outdoor enthusiast, joins the Everest team after senior marketing roles with Aguila Ammunition and Aimpoint, Inc.
Jonathan Clemins has been named as S3DA West Virginia Regional Coordinator. He is an S3DA Advanced Instructor, NASP Coach and USA Archery Level 3 NTS Coach.
Styrka Optics is excited to announce a new partnership with ExpertVoice, a leader in reaching consumers through social media influencers.
The full-time position of Sales Representative would be located in the company’s Mount Joy, Pennsylvania headquarters.
Garmin International, Inc announced three new tactical GPS smartwatches: Instinct Solar – Tactical Edition, tactix Delta – Solar Edition, and tactix Delta – Solar Edition with Ballistics. In addition to increased battery life through solar charging technology, these new tactical GPS watches incorporate fitness monitoring, on-the-fly battery life customization, ballistic solutions provided through integrated Applied Ballistics Elite software, and more.
Galco's Ankle Trauma Medical Kit carrier is designed for convenient everyday carry of medical tools and supplies for first responders, gun carriers, or anyone who wishes to be prepared in an increasingly dangerous world.

Streamlight, Inc. launched the rechargeable Stinger 2020, the next evolution in duty-ready flashlights. The new light delivers 2,000 lumens and up to a 24-hour run time. The Stinger 2020 features an anti-roll body design, non-slip side panels and an ergonomic shape for a perfect grip.
Blackhawk announced that it has introduced a new T-Series Jacket Slot Leg Strap Adapter for use with the T-Series holster. The new adapter bolts into the bottom of the T-Series Jacket Slot Belt Loop Holster Platform and serves as the pivot point for the T-Series holster, allowing it to stay upright and secure regardless of your leg position.
Winchester Ammunition and the Scholastic Clay Target Program are once again teaming up — this time with new co-branded ammunition packaging.

It’s new gear, the pro-2A stance from the Libertarian Presidential candidate, and more, this week on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio.
Doug Koenig’s Championship Season returns to Pursuit Channel celebrating its tenth season. Join Shooting Pro, Doug Koenig and Leupold CEO Bruce Pettet, as they travel to the Majestic Mountains of Utah in Pursuit of Monster Bull Elk.
 

With conventions, concerts and live events having dropped like proverbial flies, there’s a serious bit of speculation around the outdoor industry concerning the biggest event in our industry: SHOT Show.

SHOT Show, despite all the complaining that accompanies any massive event, is the event of the outdoor industry. Despite it’s being too-large (and growing) to hope to see, even in a lengthened format, it’s still where the industry goes to do business. I’ve often compared it to a combination homecoming, tent revival and medicine show -with a good dose of carnival tossed in to give it some spice. It’s all of that, and considerably more.

What we often overlook is that SHOT is essential for the overall health of the industry. It’s where CEOs of major corporations mix with entrepreneurs, retailers and wholesale distributors. That yeasty mix is essential in an industry that still values entrepreneurship at the individual level. And “conversations” at SHOT have led to everything from collaborations to outright acquisitions.

None of those are bad things. They’re essential if the industry is to thrive.

SHOT Show 2021 is hard to describe at this point. Today, however, this kind of crowding likely won’t be permitted. OWDN Photo

Rather than speculate on SHOT 2021, I reached out to the guy who’s responsible for it: Chris Dolnack, NSSF’s Senior VP and CMO.

In our conversation yesterday, we touched on a lot of topics. It left me feeling enthusiastic about SHOT 2021, but frustrated because no one can answer some of the most cogent questions.

Six months from now is far further than anyone can reasonably predict where the nation will be because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two weeks ago, most of us felt the tough times were behind us. Today, we know that was wishful thinking, not rational decision-making.

There’s no reasonable way to know what the situation will be. No one ever expected Las Vegas would to close- for anything. But it did.

Now, Nevada, Clark County and City of Las Vegas’s governing officials are taking a more systematic approach to the future.

“We’re still on,” Dolnack told me, “we’re full speed ahead in planning. But there’s still no absolute certainty that government won’t say ‘no’.”

That however, hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm. He’s still looking forward to SHOT 2021. But he and the NSSF staff are now forced to plan for more variables that most of us ever imagined. The COVID-19 working group (formed months ago) is trying.

So what do we know?

“We know SHOT Show 2021 will be different,” Dolnack answered, “but how different remains to be seen. We know buffet lines are a thing of the past, and food service won’t mean coffee stands and cups out for everyone- it will mean food and coffee behind glass barriers with servers.”

The NSSF has already made some big changes. To me, the biggest is the elimination of on-site registration. Let’s be clear here: there will be no on-site registration.

“It’s the only way we can avoid 2,000 people queuing up for credentials,” Dolnack explained.

Badges, he tells me, will be mailed this year, although there will still be the ability to print credentials in Las Vegas. This year, however, there won’t be print stations at Las Vegas’ McCarron Airport. It’s an attempt to prevent lines and gathering of people in one of the city’s occasionally most crowded places.

As far as physical changes, he says there will be more sanitizer stations and masks will be available.

However, he said unequivocally “If it’s mandated by local government that everyone must wear a mask we will follow that regulation.”

Transportation, especially when it comes to those ubiquitous shuttle buses is still very much up in the air.

If they’re not allowed, how attendees get around will have to be addressed. As anyone who’s ever visited Las Vegas knows, it’s a challenge to get around in normal times. But the working groups of NSSF are putting together contingency plans for that, along areas that most of us hadn’t even considered.

Today, for example, hotels are only permitted 50% occupancy.

Will the pandemic situation stabilize enough to allow for additional capacities? If you answer, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll be right, but the equal odds say you’ll be wrong.

Potential limits on working personnel might have sever impacts on preparations for erection- or removal of exhibition spaces. That could mean booths would need to arrive sooner and ship later. That has the potential to impact any of the myriad shows that follow SHOT.

All this contingency planning requires a “decision tree” that Dolnack laughing admitted was “pretty involved” . When you start playing “what-if”, you quickly realize there are many more variables than a majority of us could ever imagine, much less consider.

“The whole premise of potential limitations and additional regulations goes against the grain of this industry,” Dolnack admits, “we’re an industry that exists because the work of a lot of individual entrepreneurs over the years.”

One thing hasn’t changed, Dolnack said “ Our goal: we want to deliver a great experience that helps the industry grow.”

SHOT Show 2021 without the pandemic craziness would already different enough to squeeze some comfort zones. Its expansion into Caesar’s Palace opens another significant exhibit space. Anchor companies like Ruger, Davidsons, LWRC and others, have put their not-insignificant presences there, along with a myriad of smaller companies. Some had been on a waiting list that at one point was more than1,000+ companies long.

The expansion, despite the complaints of those of us who try- and fail-every year to cover then entire show, is actually a benefit in this crazy time.

An additional 300,000 square feet of total space (150,000 feet of exhibits) allows the crowds to spread out.

More space means more people, even in the time of social distancing.

This year, might not see the announcement of significantly more attendees when the show closes. There’s still no way to know if government regulations will force limits on total crowd allowed inside the SHOT facilities. If it does happen, work arounds could mean anything from assigned entry times to one-way traffic through the miles of aisles. It could also force a hard limit on the number of exhibitor, attendee and non-exhibiting manufacturer badges.

That’s a lot of unknowns.

But, Dolnack assured me, there’s no need to worry that exhibitors will lose their money if SHOT were to be cancelled. If conditions dictate cancellation, half of any payments will be refunded ASAP, with the remaining amounts applied to SHOT 2022.

To me, that represents a significant commitment. Other industries are rife with cancelled events where exhibitors received nothing but terse apologies.

The NSSF puts out a regular SHOT Show Insider report on the latest news for members.

I’m pleased to let our readers know that we’re also going to be giving regular updates on SHOT Show 2021 going forward.

It’s all part of the NSSF’s plan to see as many of us as possible in Las Vegas in January. It’s all part of our longstanding promise: we’ll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd

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