It seems like SHOT Show 2020 was the last blast of “Normal” before the WuFlu shut down society. Ironically, It is my belief, and that of many others, that the infamous “SHOT Show Flu” was actually Covid last time around, and that many in the industry, Mark and Myself included, got it out of the way early. That said, I chose to sit this year out, as I have an inlaw who lives with us and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. KNIFE Magazine Publisher Mark Zalesky is there, and has been sending pictures and commentary back to me in the office.
The vibe is reportedly strange, with many companies simply not showing up for booths they reserved.
That said, there is plenty of SHOT Show content trickling out, and I will use this post to bring it to you.
For a good “on-the-ground” narrative, check out SOFREP’s coverage:
“After I dumped my gear and had a drink I headed over to the Venetian where just a day before SHOT the convention center rooms appeared to be nowhere near showroom ready, and I just know there will be people working all night to make it so. There are millions of dollars in firearms at this event and security has to be a nightmare to keep all those firearms secure.
I had already gotten my show credentials at the airport, but not the lanyard and cover which were at the Venetian, God knows why. Except they only had lanyards and not covers(insert COVID and supply-chain excuse here).
Las Vegas is open for business or trying to be amid ridiculous mask rules that the enforcers at the hotels seem almost embarrassed to enforce, so you walk wearing a mask and then sit down at the slots, doff the mask and have a drink and light an Arturo Fuente Special four feet away from the people walking by wearing masks. It’s all like believing in the Tooth Fairy at this point, it’s stupid and we all know it makes no sense, but we just go along with it anyway.”
As this post unfolds, I will share what I have found online, and the photos that Mark has passed along. Look for updates throughout the week, so be sure to check back.
Update: Here are a few more “macro” posts about the 2022 SHOT Show itself. I have also gone back and added more companies to the list, as well as added new content to those I covered in the first batch.
As someone who has attended most of the shot shows in the last decade, the most obvious difference in 2022 is the ability to move through the halls and aisles at the show without the crowed press of people seen at previous shows. Attendance is down by a significant amount. The exhibitors who are present seem to be attracting good interest, such as with the Aimpoint exhibit.
Some major players have a limited presence at the 2022 SHOT Show. This Colt location would normally be covered in exhibits and people instead of considerable empty space, as pictured.
Some deals are being done at the table behind the sign. In many previous shows, the aisles were elbow to elbow.
Many people were wearing masks, as required by the decree of the Democrat Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak.
A mask was required to enter the Venetian Towers’ accommodations. A mask was required to enter the dining facilities at one of the major restaurants in the Pallazo-Venetian Casino complex.
Adherence to the mask mandate was mixed, at best. Masks were worn in slipshod fashion, limiting their usefulness to declarations of obedience to the mandate. Many people wore masks below the nose, or at times, hanging from one ear.
Reports of many flights reduced attendance significantly. Once a potential participant understood they would not make the first day of the show, many decided not to come. Others could not come because of illness.
If you’re a regular viewer/listener of Bearing Arms Cam & Co, you’re already familiar with today’s guest. Ryan Petty has joined us on several occasions over the past couple of years, generally to talk about preventing attacks on schools, like the one that took place in Parkland, Florida in 2018 in which Ryan’s daughter Alaina was murdered.
Ryan has devoted a lot of time and energy since that horrific day helping school districts and law enforcement agencies put policies and practices in place that can effectively mitigate the risk of a similar attack, including Florida’s school Guardian program that ensures there will be a trained and vetted armed response on every school campus. Petty doesn’t believe that the best way to prevent these types of attacks is through more gun control measures, though he says he dug deep into the research after the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas before coming to that conclusion.
Now Petty, who’s been a gun owner for decades, has taken the next step and become a Federal Firearms Licensee. He’s hoping his new company Solid Gun Works will soon not only be selling firearms, but manufacturing them as well, and he’s in Las Vegas this week for the 2022 SHOT Show to, as he put it, “learn what it is I don’t know” about the industry.
Being a veteran of the tech industry, Petty has seen his fair share of trade shows, but there was a still a little “wow factor” when walking into SHOT Show for the first time. More than anything, though, Petty says he’s been impressed by the innovation on display, including the Modulus Platform Conversion Kit debuted by ZroDelta.
And on to the companies…
ACTA non VERBA: Acts, not Words is new to the international scene; watch the video and you will know as much about them as I do. They are a Czech company, so they have that going for them .
A new auto is in the works, but I can’t yet find details. The shot above is from Mark, and it looks like a combo bali/auto like the multitool they released a couple of years ago. But don’t quote me on that. I have a call into Russell, and will get you more info as soon as I can.
We have shared the new Benchmade products earlier.
Liong Mah brought a whole new product line to SHOT Show 2022: the Eutektik budget series. There are three models in the line so far; all three will look familiar to fans of Mah’s previous work, but the materials make them more affordable than the premium pieces in his main LMD line.
Blade steel across the board is D2, the current gold standard in affordable knife steel thanks to its high edge retention and toughness. The handle material options are twofold, either blue G-10 or foliage green Micarta. All three knives comes with reversible pocket clips, but dedicated lefty models are also on the way.
They have some decent import folders, but the domestically produced Old Hickory slipjoint is exciting.
Mark hasn’t droppped in on them yet, but BladeHQ has.
Quality Service Price is the name behind the QSP acronym. A newish Chinese company, they are beginning to make waves.
Wednesday, End of Day is our traditional sit down with Joyce from Spyderco, so I don’t have anything from Mark yet, but here is BladeHQ.
One thing that is unique about TOPS is that they “open prototype”. That is, they show off prototypes long before production, as opposed to keeping such product development behind the curtain. So there are always some interesting things on the TOPS table at both SHOT and Blade.
If you’ve ever been to SHOT Show, you know that the TOPS booth is one of those must-see stops, with an absolute avalanche of prototypes on display for ogling and handling. It doesn’t look like the skipped SHOT stopped TOPS from coming back this year with a bang, showcasing 19 new knives.
We weren’t able to be there in person this year, but here’s our breakdown of everything TOPS showed off. Remember, these are prototypes, which means that details, materials, and releases are all TBD and subject to change.
2021 was a big year for Work Sharp. 2022 should continue this trend. Their Precision Adjust sharpener remains the best value in a sliding bar style sharpener.
That is all I have for now, but as I said, please check back. There will be lots more to come.