Today’s edition of The Outdoor Wire covers nearly all of the bases in terms of this week’s hottest gun and gear introductions at the 2016 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show here in Las Vegas but one: It’s a “seller’s market” and demand for everything that shoots will remain strong.
The focus is primarily on handguns and modern sporting rifles. But there is plenty of interest to go around. Even shotguns and rimfire rifles and pistols seem to be in demand. Anybody who thinks the public interest in gun ownership is on the wane just might be delusional. At tonight’s annual “State of the Industry” dinner, there will likely be talk of a busy year ahead, a healthy industry, political challenges and more.
The SHOT Show is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. This is the show’s 38th year, and it has grown to be the largest such industry gathering on the map.
While lots of people are buzzing today about Kimber’s new revolver and Ruger’s new American Pistol, there were also lots of comments at Monday’s “Range Day” about how manufacturers are selling every firearm they can produce. While hundreds of pro-rights and anti-gun activists were gathered yesterday in Richmond to chat with Virginia lawmakers about a mountain of legislation in that state, they probably didn’t guess that such political activities fuel the current industry fire.
The Washington Post detailed yesterday’s activities at the Virginia capitol. The hundreds of people descending on lawmakers Monday pale in comparison to the tens of thousands of firearms industry professionals gathering this week in Las Vegas. But they’re all connected to the current gun sales phenomenon.
No doubt about it, the new Kimber revolver will likely enjoy waiting list status before the week is out. People will want this double-action-only handgun, chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, because it is new, well-built, and every blogger in town seems to be writing about it. Likewise, many will want any of the new semi-autos unveiled for gun writers yesterday by Rock Island Armory, Ruger, Glock and many other companies represented along the shooting line, which, after walking it a couple of times, seemed to stretch for a mile, all uphill.
This column sampled several firearms yesterday. Ruger’s new American pistol is a well-built, accurate and reliable model, in 9mm or .45 ACP. Savage has a new .22 Magnum semi-auto rifle that proved itself at 100 yards, making it a good model for target shooting or small game hunting.
At another range, Sig Sauer was hosting a separate event that was also well attended. It’s no gamble at all in the gambling capitol of the country that Sig will sell everything it can produce this year.
As the actual show opens this morning, the energy is high. Firearms dealers and wholesalers, from the chain stores down to the “mom and pops” will be crowding into the display booths talking business. Lately, because of the political climate and concerns about safety after San Bernardino, business has been brisk. It is the political and personal safety climate that may be the single biggest contributing factor to this seller’s market.
Examiner hadn’t been in the crowded press room for more than few minutes before someone mentioned Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Every time they talk about new so-called “gun safety measures,” you can almost hear the cash registers ringing. People joke about the two Democrats being the best gun salespeople in the country, and one look at the Sands Convention Center this week should bear that out.
The ironic thing about it is that neither of them would want to be within ten miles of this place, a sentiment likely shared by nearly everyone who walks through the doors this morning.
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