SHOT Show Day 1 kicked off at the Las Vegas Sands convention center to the usual large crowds. This year we are covering SHOT Show in conjunction with Accurate Shooter and Sniper’s Hide.
This was really day 4 for us as we arrived on Saturday and wasted no time surveying the shooting scene:
- On Saturday we visited the NRL Championship match being held outside of Las Vegas. What really struck us was the evolution of equipment just over the past two years. The Arca Swiss Rail system is clearly a new standard with a majority of rifles either retrofitted or factory built to be compatible. The Really Right Stuff tripod, or facsimiles thereof, could be seen everywhere. The folks from Schmidt Bender set up a table at the match with their latest offerings illustrating the relevance of the sport to one of the most established and highly regarded scope manufacturers.
- On Sunday we had the opportunity to visit the ELR Central World Record Event and witnessed a world record being set by Nate Stalter who is the son-in-law of David Tubb. What really struck us was the difficulty of hitting targets even with purpose designed extreme long range rifles at the relatively modest distance of 1,500 yards. Next time we’ll feel a little better if we don’t always hit those 1,200 yard targets that occasionally show up at precision rifle matches. We also noticed a completely different vendor ecosystem ranging from actions to components. Most folks shoot solid bullets from two primary vendors Cutting Edge and Warner Tool, although a few competitors did use jacketed bullets. While Lapua is seen as the go-to brass in precision rifle, Peterson is seen as the go-to brass in the ELR game. At least we can use our same Kestrel 5700 Elites if we wanted to shoot ELR. The event also benefited from a top notch range officer – none other than Frank Galli.
Frank Galli keeping a watchful eye over David Tubb
- On Monday we attended Industry Day at the Range. The crowds were a bit lighter than previous years which some attributed to the government shut down. We had a really good time at the Legacy Sports booth where we were instructed to shoot as much as we could to demonstrate the robustness of their rifles. Needless to say we undertook this task with the greatest sense of urgency. We also took an interest in the Ruger 9mm PC Carbine which was just a blast to shoot.
Ed trying out the Dead Air Wolverine Suppressor
Today we had a chance to visit with 11 different vendors to understand what they have in store for 2018. We also had an opportunity to sit down with the National Rifle League to discuss their success over the past year. When we met with them in 2017, they had set out a very ambitious agenda and quite frankly there were some doubters at the time. Based on their accomplishments over the past year, it’s fair that the NRL is here to stay and is positioned to play a very prominent role in the evolution of our sport.
Here are some of the highlights from our vendor visits:
- Annealing Made Perfect demonstrated their innovative Aztec and Sort functions. The Aztec function will allow you to analyze brass and select the correct annealing program without having to send them brass for testing. The Sort function will allow you to measure the mass of the brass which might be the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to eliminating those random unexplained flyers. These new functionalities can be had with a simple firmware upgrade available for $250 USD. We also got to see with AMP Mate automated feeder in action which will retail for $299 USD.
- The folks at Magnetospeed demonstrated a prototype of their T250 target indicator. This product is aimed at rimfire matches and has the unique ability to track multiple target hits by displaying different colors. We also discussed firmware updates to the V3 chronograph which will allow shooters to retrieve archived data.
- Accu-Tac appeared on the scene a few years ago with a really unique bipod. We were really impressed with some of the changes they made to the cant function as represented by their HD50 bipod. This functionality will also be available on their flagship SR5 bipod. It’s really encouraging to see a company that listens to their customers.
While this is only our first day covering the show, we continue to see companies offering rifles for entry level shooters – a theme we observed in 2017. We also heard a lot of discussion about rim-fire no doubt driven in part by the popularity of the NRL rim-fire matches. In the remaining days we will dig a bit further into the rim-fire scene as there are a number of new offerings on the market including Remington 700 footprint rim-fire rifles.
We will be releasing videos in the next couple of weeks, meanwhile please come back to www.65guys.com for daily SHOT Show updates.
Editor: Ed Mobley (email@example.com)
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