Hey all, the wrap-ups for days 2 and 3 of SHOT show have been delayed because frankly, Wednesday was my birthday and my friends took me out for dinner and out for a fairly late night of beers after. No particular apologies for that one, as most folks can understand that fairly easily. Not writing on Thursday night was the result of running into Bobby Bushcraft on my way to the room, and I ended up in Gillies country bar in Treasure Island with him and Swanagon. But much more on those later.

The day typically starts in the Media Room (above), a controlled access ballroom complete with both workspaces  (right) and a wonderful continental breakfast bar (left). The media room is a helpful tool in both networking and in simply providing an oasis where one can sit and relax for a few, detached from the noise and bustle of the show floor.

Our first meeting was not until mid-morning, so Mark and I walked around a bit, looking for companies which we had not scheduled with, or ones that were new to us in general. We never had a formal meeting with Rob Cabrera of Outlier Knife Company, but walked by him multiple times a day on our way into or out of the main hall. Outlier used to be Doublestar, a name which still holds cache in the gun world, but which was never able to gain the same traction on knives. They rebranded last year, and I think the change is a good one.

Our first official meeting of the day was with Hogue Knives’ Scott Bruhns. Hogue has been going through a period of change and mourning, following the death of Aaron Hogue at the Reno Air Races late last year.

Scott Bruhns is the son of Managing Owner Jim Bruhns, and it has been a lot of fun to watch Scott grow into an important role at the company, as well as get married and grow a family. Scott has several designs in the Hogue lineup, including the Extrak, which I wrote about in Knife News earlier this year. Scott is holding a Ballista XL out the side auto, which features Hogue’s new “Chroma-Cut” G10 scales.

We went on to do a couple of unscheduled drop ins at nearby booths, including an informal visit to Boker, who in my opinion won the show (in the knife category at least) with their new Z28 Damast knife. Made from reclaimed steel from a 69 Camaro.

I will have a bit more Boker in Day 3′ s post when we had our formal visit.

Next we stopped by at Kansept Knives, a Chinese company which was founded by a number of people who all left Kizer in a similar time frame a few years back.  It has been a while since I have been plugged into a good contact at the company, so hopefully custom knifemaker/Kansept designer Marshall Noble (below) will help me stay better abreast of Kansept goings on.

I wanted to take a minute to remind folks that these daily wrapup posts are not supposed to be exhaustive looks at the new releases, rather they are meant to be a general survey and impression of the experience of going around the show. Most companies will have a dedicated “New for 2023” full post, plus the SHOT Show print review, but those are coming soon.

German maker Puma is one of the oldest knifemaking companies in the world, which makes it interesting that the company is rapidly going away from a dealer model of distribution to a 90% e-commerce model. Old meets new all the time in the knife world, and this is no exception. I don’t personally have a lot of experience with Puma, but hope that I can remedy that sometime.

Mark does however, and goes back a loooong time with the folks at Puma.

Next up was Buck Knives. Biggest news coming out of Post Falls right now is the return of the Alpha Hunter and Alpha Scout.

Here are all of their new 2022 knives…

I will talk more about Buck in a bit, because they had a launch party for the Alphas at their booth at the end of the day.

Lotsa news from CRKT including the release of 2 American-made folders from MJ and Matthew Lerch.

Ken Onion’s son actually has his first knife design (seen above) coming out this year as well- the Bamboozled.

I actually did a CRKT 2023 preview already, which you can read here:

New for 2023: CRKT (updated)

We spent the remainder of the afternoon doing drop ins at various booths including ProTech,

TB Outdoor, a French company that is probably the biggest knife company in the world that Mark and I had never heard of.

 

They make a lot of knives for the French military, and apparently have for a very long time (1648).

Artisan Cutlery, where we talked to our buddy Russell, designers Dylan Mallery

and Mike Snody.

Nick Piatt can be seen to Mike’s right. He’s been working with David Sun at B’yond EDC, but I never ended up with a picture of their booth since David was meeting with buyers when we dropped by.

I wrapped up the show day at the Buck Knives booth again. As mentioned, they were having a launch party for the Alpha Hunters.

A great way to end my birthday on the working end. I am about as plugged into Buck as I am to any company, given the media junket to Idaho they just had me on.

But that wasn’t all. After a quick stop back at my room to change, it was off to the Tuscany Gardens for dinner, followed by beers at Pub 365.

 

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It was a wonderful birthday, and one I will never forget. Thank you to all who spent it with me.

Have a good one everyone. Part 3 will come out tomorrow.