As I sit here Sunday evening, putting the final touches on this post, I find it odd how quickly the demands of everyday life seem to overwhelm the sense that at SHOT, the industry quite literally becomes your life. So it is always a strange feeling to be straddling the two worlds, as I will be for the next month or so.
As per usual, the day started out with long walk from the monorail to the Media Room, but when I got there I ran into the only person who rivals Ethan Becker as “The World’s Most Interesting Man” – Jim Shepherd. Jim was one of the original 7 founders of CNN, founded and sold Golfwire, founded and runs Outdoor Wire, substituted for Howard Stern for a week in the 90s, and has a voice which could have provided a full time career in voiceover work instead of it being only one thing he does. In short, the man is a legend, whom I met in person for the first time when we were on the Buck Knives junket last November. Mark has crossed paths with him for years of course.
I introduced myself to someone completely random. Yehuda Remer goes by the moniker the “Pew Pew Jew”.
Yehuda writes children’s gun safety books, and sells some fun merchandise, including a “Come and Take It” cannon flag, with the Texas star over the cannon replaced by a Star of David, and the words in Hebrew. He also wears a Bagel Holster…
Nice guy. Glad to have met him.
We stopped back at Boker, to see the rest of the knives that aren’t made from 1969 Camaro parts.
Including this CF scaled gentleman’s framelock, and a knife with a Barry Wood swinging lock style mechanism.
Just a reminder, we will be posting detailed breakdowns of each company’s new knives in print and in these digital pages over the coming month. These posts (Day 1) (Day 2) are intended to give you the feel of SHOT Show, and provide a sort of POV look at my day walking through the show.
A visit to TOPS Knives found us speaking with Dylan, who had won last year’s Employee Knife Design contest. This year’s winner was a pair of dive knives.
The top one for swiftwater rescue/freshwater use, and the bottom more geared towards salt. They are still in the prototype stage, but that is one of the fun things about TOPS…
…they share their prototype designs at shows like SHOT and Blade from an early stage in their development.
On the way to visit some other booths, we ran into Ryan Hoover (FitToFight) and his partner Amber.
Ryan is friends with Terry Bullman, whom I used to train Krav under. Because Terry trusts him, I trust Ryan as well.
There is a ton of garbage out there, and 4 of the only people I trust in the self defense realm are Ryan, Jared Wihongi, Michael Janich, and Allen Elishewitz.
We ran into David Andersen when we stopped in to see Igor at MKM (Maniago Knife Makers)
Mark and I were particularly enamored with the new Bob Terzuola designed TPF Defense (Terzuola Pocket Fixed-blade)
Nearby in the area of the show dubbed “Little Italy” we also dropped in on Viper, which like so many Maniago makers has a multi-generational family history.
Fox Knives has 3 new karambit designs, one with Jared Wihongi, one with Doug Marcaida (fit my hand the most comfortably), and one with Brighton Blades, shown below.
LionSTEEL is finally shipping their Blade Show award winning accessory – the EGGIE keychain multitool.
Unfortunately, my photos of it, and their new knife called the Willy, did not turn out, so I included the stock photo above.
Maserin had several cool culinary designs, but this bayonet-inspired beauty stole the show.
I want their pizza cutter though…
We spent so much time in Little Italy, that we were actually late for our visit with Case. Luckily, Mark and Fred Feightner go way back.
Fred showed us Case’s new Westline series of assisted open knives, which are being made in-house by Case in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
They are really well done, and have a fantastic action.
Mark and I split up after lunch for a while, and dropped in on Microtech. I don’t have a lot of experience with them, mostly because their knives typically reach into the price point at which I am looking at custom knives. So I am happy to say that the first new knife that they are debuting their “Ram Lock” bar lock on is the MSI (Microtech Standard Issue) manual folder which has an MSRP of just $250.
The RAM Lock also appears on the new manual version of their popular Stitch auto (top knife below).
Rike had a convertible push dagger and a no-tool disassembly manual OTF in their new for 2023 lineup.
The former can be seen above, it transforms somewhat like the CRKT Provoke, or a similar model that WE released last year.
I stopped in to see my old friend Rick Klug at Morakniv. Rick has been a rep for a bunch of companies, during my time as a blogger, and I am sure he will do some great things now that he is at Mora. They have something big coming down the pike, which I will be on at the earliest opportunity. Stay tuned.
Apropos of nothing at all, here is a belt-fed .22 caliber hand crank gatling gun. I need this in my life.
Havalon is the company that put the replacement blade knife on the map.
Their new scalpel is a hit with the minimalist hunter crowd, because unlike so many new handled varieties, this can be completely cleaned.
Headed over to the Caesar Forum where there were even more exhibit halls, and dropped in on Spartan. I would normally say that this Les George designed Raider Dagger is the Belle of their Ball this year. (they Airdropped a glamor shot right there from the booth.
I love Spartan Knives, and Curtis their CEO is a super nice guy. But for an ex-Special Forces guy he had a hard time keeping a secret about this…
NEW KABAR MAGNACUT SUPERSTEEL COLLAB!!!!
He said to me “I shouldn’t be showing you this…” so of course, I was respectful and didn’t take pictures. Just took good notes so we could put it in the upcoming print magazine when it came off embargo. But the cat is out of the bag since he did the same “I shouldn’t be showing you this…” to David Andersen while the camera was rolling. I cued it up for you.
Of course I am teasing Curtis in jest. He was a “hat” after all (to use his fellow Green Beret Kim Breed’s terminology). I wonder if he’d prefer to run me through with the George or a Magnacut KABAR?
That was about it for the show, and Mark and I headed to the monorail. Mark had to head north for a Bowie knife event. I caught the train south back to the Horseshoe. I dropped my stuff off, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and I was going to be a dutiful Digital Editor and head back to the room to do a little writing when I ran into Bobby Bushcraft.
I went with him for a beer while he grabbed some food, and the next thing I knew we were picking up Josh Swanagon and were all together at Gillies at the Treasure Island.