Insights From SHOT SHOW 2015
Each year we head off to Vegas in January for the SHOT SHOW.
For those of you who do not know, the SHOT SHOW is to the gun industry as the Detroit Auto show is to the car business.
All of the manufacturers are there showing their latest and greatest, and new releases are timed to allow reviewers to see, touch, and blast away with this years “must have” firepower.
There are also the same guns that have made many companies famous, on display as well as all of the other more pedestrian companies that sell accessories, business components, and swag that go along with the firearms business.
Nothing really gets sold at the show per se.
(If you arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here:)
The audience for the show are primarily buyers for gun business that are looking to see what they will stock their shelves and walls with.
Industry insiders also use the venue as a centralized meeting place to discuss business and nurture relationships.
We had an opportunity to participate in some training hosted by our friends at 5.11 Tactical Gear that,… while it took up a good chunk of our Wednesday… was extraordinarily valuable.
Thank you Steve Terani, (steveterani.com) Patrick Henry of Aegis Academy (Aegisacademy.com) and Greg Thompson (https://www.ussocp.com) for an awesome training experience!
Now for the larger picture:
When we first started attending SHOT we saw that the weapons typically displayed… specifically the long rifles… all had a decidedly “militant” look to them.
Sure, there were the wooden smoke poles, and the pearl handled revolvers and such, but the AR’s were serious guns, for serious people, that trained for serious missions.
Over the last couple of years,… most pronounced this year… that militant seriousness seems to be a little crowded out by some down right whimsical AR platforms.
Lower receivers that are multi-colored, handrails that look as though they were hand crafted by renaissance sculpting masters, and magazine wraps that evoke the slightly… no strike that… MASSIVELY EROTIC, images of modern day 1940‘s pinup girls were on display everywhere.
This was not exclusively relegated to the AR platforms.
Handguns that had a decidedly “designer” look to them were in abundance.
Along with these were the numerous vendors that were marketing products with one specific market in mind:
Yep… the single fastest growing segment of the gun industry are females, and manufacturers are starting to recognize that.
In the past a “women’s” gun was simply a smaller firearm that may or may not have some decorations on it.
If the female consumer wanted accessories to go along with her gun she bought the men’s stuff and got them on the small side.
Not the best way for manufacturers to endear themselves to this market.
Now, women are being courted by a growing number of manufacturers that are specializing in female oriented shooting accessories, clothing, and yep… (sorry Mr. Vice President)… AR-15 platforms as well.
All the toys not-with-standing… a firearm, a baton, or a can of OC Spray is only as effective as the person wielding it.
An individual with limited interest in training with their weapon is at a serious disadvantage to his opponent that has a dedicated interest in maximizing their “Skill at Arms”.
That is what made the training experience hosted by 5.11 so invaluable.
In the midst of of these shiny exciting new products was a reminder that nothing beats training.
Amateurs talk hardware… professionals talk software.