SHOT Show Shorts: Despite the economic laments, things here at the largest shooting and hunting trade show in the world are looking up. The consensus is if it’s “black,” it’s putting manufacturers’ and retailers’ bottoms lines there, too. In other words, self defense firearms, tactical gear and related products (even if used by hunters, a la’ the AR-15-style rifle) are hot sellers despite (or because of) the credit crisis, political uncertainties and general down-in-the-dumpness.
That said, here are some more great new products for guys and gals like us:
Remember MAD magazine? Remember their ongoing cartoon “Don’t you hate …”? Well, most of us could have chipped in with “I hate plastic bumpers that sink after one puppy bite.” Innovator Tom Dokken (Dead Fowl Retrievers) has solved our problem with foam-filled plastic knobby retrieving bumpers. Available in 2-inch diameter size only, they will float until incinerated, appear impervious to puppy teeth and shot, and will also hold injected scent, just like his clever and realistic bird “bumpers.”
(Watch for a new book from Tom on retriever training, with eventually, accompanying video.)
I also saw another new shotgun, this one an autoloader from Weatherby that runs about $700. It’s made in Turkey with an eerily Italian look, and comes in both wood and synthetic stock choices. Weatherby says their Turkish gun differs from competitors in the use of machined rather than cast metal parts and a dual-gas valve system. Hmmm.
And kudos to Smith & Wesson, a relative newcomer to the shotgun market. They received a Field & Stream magazine “Best of the Best” award for their Elite Gold SxS shotgun. A sweet, nimble shooter at $700.
Duty calls – cocktail parties to visit. Gotta go!