2018 SHOT Show Survival Guide

I have published a variation of the SHOT Show survival guide in years past and this is an updated version.

With the 40th Anniversary and 2018 SHOT Show just around the corner, there are many people attending for the first time asking what to expect.  Though I am by no means an expert in SHOT culture, this will be my 8th year and I have attempted to attack the show in different ways to try to get the most out of a limited amount of time.

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Here are a few tips to hopefully get you through and to maintain your sanity and have some fun along the way:

Ok, sure, a pair of camo Crocs may be comfortable, don’t be that guy/gal.  Have a little bit of self worth in public.

Wear Comfortable Shoes.    You will hear this over and over again from SHOT veterans, and for good reason.  With miles and miles of aisles and not so comfortable concrete laden floors only covered by extremely thin outdoor carpeting, your shoes will save or ruin you feet and legs after hours of being on them.  You will have to decide between comfort or fashion.  Also, try to take breaks, sit down for a few minutes and look for the booths that went the extra mile and purchased double-stuffed layering of carpet padding.  (You may not see it at first, but you will definitely notice the moment you step foot in their booth.  You may also not want to leave.)


NO_CARTLeave the Rolling Milk Crate Carts at Home.  With over 60,000 attendees in past years, the show floor gets a little crowded.  Add in everyone toting around those ridiculous milk crates with wheels and it becomes hazardous.  Trust me, you will trip over no less than a dozen of these obnoxious things as you either get cut off or when someone leaves it directly behind you when you are at a booth.  If you want to haul around brochures, bring along a backpack or something that is off the ground.

If you don’t believe how absolutely annoying these things are, check out this video compilation that my buddy Chris Tran did at SHOT last year.  CLICK HERE.   And follow him on IG while you are there.


Hydrate or DIE.  You are walking a lot at SHOT, plus all of that alcohol you had last night will suck the water right out of you.  If you can, stop by a Walgreen’s or somewhere and pick up a 12 pack of water.  There is a Walgreen’s on the strip, directly between the Venetian and the Palazzo.  The cost of a 12 pack of water will be probably the same as two waters on the SHOT floor.  Throw one or two bottles in your backpack, not your rolling milk crate cart, and you’ll be glad you did.  You may also want to throw in a Clif Bar or two each day as you may forget to eat or you may not want to spend $9 for a side salad at the cafe on the show floor.


Move with a Purpose.   We all know what sheep are.  Do not be one that meanders aimlessly through the aisles or stop dead in your tracks while others are trying to move with the flow.  Have some knowledge of your surroundings and act accordingly.  If you have to stop to figure out where the nearest pit stop is, step to the side and look at your map.


SHOT_Show_MapHave a Map.  You can find maps just about anywhere.  They are on the SHOT Show webpage, on the App, and in the publications you can find everywhere.  Know where the booths are or figure it out for yourself.  There have been over 1600 booths at the show in years past and add this years addition of the Supplier Showcase, there will be even more acreage to cover.  Chances are if you ask any random person where a booth other than the big name companies, they will not know where it is or have the time to give you directions through the maze of aisles to figure it out.  Need a map?  CLICK HERE.


Have a Plan!  Have a plan, but realize that it will not work out 100% unless your only plan is to meander.  In years past, I typically made a list of all of the booths that I may have a slight possibility of wanting to stop at.  Then I would take this list and break it down into priorities (Must Stop, Should Stop, Kinda Want To Stop).  The first day I would bounce between all of the rooms and floors and stop by my “Must Stop” booths.  Day’s 2 and 3 consisted of hitting the “Should Stop” and “Kinda Want To Stop) booths.  Day 4 was typically reserved for making one last round and tying up loose ends.

This year I will only be at the show from Tue-Thurs with Media Day on Monday, so I will have to attack it a little differently.  Most likely I will hit all of the side rooms and walk each aisle until I find a booth I need or want to stop at.  These rooms are a little bit easier to take a bite out of than the main floors.  Once these side rooms are done, I will find the booths on the main floors that I want to go to.  The side rooms are easier to check out in entirety without getting lost.


DAY 4.  Though I will not be at the show for Day 4 this year, here is a little bit of advice.  Do not try to make Day 4 the day you make all of the stops you need to make and try to do business.  The exhibitors are tired and/or hung over (hey, it’s Vegas) from almost a weeks work with little sleep and just want to tear down the booth and go home.  You can see it in their faces.  They have given the same speech over and over again about their products.  This is a good time to make small, short, casual conversations with the exhibitors.  Don’t be overly demanding on Day 4.


Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics announces the Agency Arms Classified Rifle during the 2016 SHOT Show.

You will have Competition!  With over 60,000 attendees, you may not be as important to the booth exhibitor as you think you are.  Do not expect to gather their undivided attention for hours on end while telling them about this one time that you did something cool.  Once again, if you have a purpose, get to it and move on.


SWAG.  No, not Swag as the annoying term used by today’s youth, but the acronym, “Stuff We All Get”….SWAG.  Yes, there is some free promotional items that companies hand out.  Some of it is actually pretty cool and some of it is junk.  Do not expect to go to SHOT Show and walk away with a whole arsenal of weapons and enough kit to make yourself a full time high-speed low-drag operator.  It’s not going to happen.  You might get some cool patches and some thumb drives with catalogs on it, but do not come to SHOT for that purpose alone…..and yes, I know of people who do that.


Speaking of Patches. If you have read this guide thus far, try to find me.  I will have and will be giving away 100 Limited Edition Patches for free.  This will be on an in-person basis and you cannot “pick one up for a friend”.  Keep an eye out on the ZERO7ONE Facebook Page for a photo of the pack to look out for during the show.


Lighting SUCKS!     For the pre-approved photographers/ videographers and media that are attending that are allowed to photograph booths and the products, sorry Chinese knockoff companies…not you, the lighting sucks.  There is a complete mixture of lighting temperatures from tungsten to LED to whatever the flavor of the day was when the company was building the booths.  Set your camera to AWB and hope you have a high ISO capability.  ISO 1600 is about the minimum you can get away with.  You can use a flash if you want, but I just don’t care to get the harsh shadows that it creates.  Some booths think of this ahead of time and will have adequate lighting.  For this I thank them.


Backgrounds suck too!  Do not expect to get magazine cover quality photos during the show.  Sometimes you can get lucky and sometimes you only have a casting couch to drop a rifle on to get that perfect angle.


Lights! Camera! Get out of the way!  While on the subject of media, if you see a photographer or videographer shooting an image or video footage, don’t get between them and the subject or person being interviewed.  When the video has to be retaken, you are wasting the time of the booth staff, which could be time spent talking to you.  Just have common courtesy.


Celebrities.  Yes, there will be celebrities in attendance.  Some appreciate the recognition and will give you the time of day.  Some are just plain d-bags.  I won’t mention names, but most know who they are.  The true celebrities at SHOT are the Military Heroes that are in attendance or guest-starring in a booth.  Take a few minutes out of your day and talk to them.  They are National Treasures and when they are gone, they are gone.  Just don’t be “that guy” that walks up to a Medal of Honor Recipient and ask them how they “won” their medal.

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant Major Jon Caviani. Sadly, SGM Caviani passed away on July 29, 2014. It was an honor to meet this man, even if for only a few minutes.
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant Major Jon Caviani. Sadly, SGM Caviani passed away on July 29, 2014. It was an honor to meet this man, even if for only a few minutes.

SHOT_Show_003Booth Babes.  Again, yes, there are some very attractive women who attend SHOT and some who dress in less-than-conservative  clothing and some come straight off the strip to help promote a product.  Though they probably have some thick skin after doing what they do, treat them with respect.  Don’t be the douche canoe who makes himself appear like some serial rapist that should be on a sex offender registry.


Networking.  SHOT is a great place to network with others.  The after parties are an even better place to network.  After a few drinks, you get to really know who someone is and if you would want to work with them in the future.  Try to get into one or more of these events if you can.


Don’t Get Sick!  Don’t get sick at the show.  Even better, don’t come to the show if you are really sick.  SHOT Show becomes the Petri Dish of Vegas every year as tens of thousands of people from all across the world emerge into one small place and touch everything you are touching.  I’m not a germ-a-phobe, but after how sick I got half way thorough the show last year, I am not taking any chances.  Now that I am thinking about it, I’m heading over to Amazon to stock up on some Emergen-C and Hand Sanitizer.  

For more information on SHOT Show, visit http://shotshow.org/

If you have specific questions, post them in the comments below and I will answer them as I have time between now and the start of the show.

Shot-Show

Fifteen Ridiculous Products for Gun Owners on Amazon

Amazon truly has just about everything from A to Z.  Granted, they do not possess a FFL (that we are aware of), but that does not stop them from selling gun-related items.  On a journey to find all things obscurely gun related, Amazon was the obvious choice due to sheer variety.  Here are Fifteen Ridiculous Products for Gun Owners that were found to be either ridiculously good or ridiculously bad, we are not sure, nor will we judge anyone who decides to include one of these items into their daily lives.

15.  Gibson AR-15 Cell Phone Case for iPhone SE, 5 & 5S (Pink)

14.  AR15 and Grenade Soap Gift Set – Includes Case

13.  Wild West Six Shooter Double Pistols Toilet Paper Holder

12.  Revolver 3D Wooden Puzzle

11.  Fired Shot’s Real Expanded Hollow Point Bullet10.  Chocolate Gun – Full Size Solid Chocolate Pistol with Case9.   Fred FREEZE! Handgun Ice Tray

8.  Bullet Push Pins

7.  Bullet Tire Caps6.  Ceramic Gun Mug5.  AK-47 Building Block Set4.  .45 Colt Nickel Bullet Engraved Personalized Cufflinks3.  16GB Metal Revolver Gun Novelty USB Flash Drive2.  Bullet Whiskey Glass

1.  Steampunk 6 Barrel Dummy Pistol Statue

 

Rainier Arms Overthrow Build Breakdown

This is the latest Build Breakdown revolving around the new Rainier Arms Overthrow Lower Receiver featuring a Spartan helmet.  The Build Breakdown series lists out the parts used to build the rifle as pictured with links to product information and purchasing.  Some parts not pictured are not listed.

Upper Receiver

Lower Receiver

 

Press Release: Phoenix Weaponry’s 45-70 Auto

The following is a Press Release from Phoenix Weaponry:
Phoenix Weaponry Logo

Phoenix Weaponry of Longmont Colorado is pleased to announce the launch of their .45-70 auto rifle platform.  That’s right, .45-70!  The classic round born in 1873 through the Springfield Armory and labeled “Government” and designed specifically for the Springfield Model 1893, or “Trapdoor Springfield”.  Phoenix Weaponry blown the lid off the marketplace with a unique twist to this classic cartridge as they have rebated the rim so that it can be adapted to a standard .308 bolt head and fired through a high pressure AR platform with shocking, sub MOA results, and a boosted performance curve.

45-70-auto

The standard rifle bears a 18” custom profiled Douglas barrel utilizing a 1:14 twist with 8 grooves.  Mated with a Phoenix Weaponry billet upper and lower, along with custom trigger and muzzle brake, this piece weighs in at just over 9 lbs.  Master gunsmiths have toiled to produce one of the most exciting rifle evolutions seen in the MSR industry since Stoner fielded the SP1, with the added benefit of delivering tremendous down rage punishment to anything that stands in its way.

Phoenix Weaponry 45-70

The beauty in the details is that this case, once rebated, can be reloaded easily using existing load information for the .45-70, based on Ruger No.1 loads, and the reloader can use standard .45-70 die sets with the exception of using a .308 shell holder.  Factory brass will be available shortly and available for purchase from Phoenix Weaponry.  Each rifle initially will be supplied with 50 pieces of brass to help the new user get started.

Immediate order slots are available now.  Rifle base price as advertised is $4,800 with a multitude of custom options that can be added to enhance your enjoyment of this weapon platform. Just call them and make your wish come true.

For more information, please click HERE.

Nightforce Optics Announces NX8 Family of Riflescopes

The following is a Press Release from Nightforce Optics:

New 8 Power Series Kicks Off with a True 1x Capable Optic

Lavonia, GA, U.S. – (December 15, 2017) Nightforce® Optics, leading manufacturer and marketer of premium sport optics and related products including riflescopes, spotting scopes, and accessories, today introduced a completely new category of optics to their line of finely crafted and durable riflescopes. The state-of-the-art NX8™ series is built upon the legendary NXS™ family of riflescopes, well-known for their robustness and battle-proven design. Applying the latest technology and scientific advancements in optics, Nightforce designed the new NX8.
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The first riflescope unveiled in the NX8 family is the new NX8 1-8×24 F1 optic. Specifically designed for short -to medium-range shooting, the compact NX8 1-8×24 F1 riflescope delivers trusted Nightforce performance to virtually any rifle platform, and boasts true 1x capability.
“Constructing such a small riflescope to surpass the performance of most larger scopes entails a solid commitment to innovation and optical technology,” said Nightforce Director of Sales and Marketing, Gordon Myers.
NFO_ATACR_1-8x24_F1_Nightforce-1202-ZeroStop_DG
“The compact NX8 1-8×24 F1 has true 1x magnification and a daylight visible reticle with multiple brightness settings, it is versatile enough to use at close ranges, plus, has extraordinary capability at far reaching distances” stated North America Sales Manager, Alan Stilwell. “The NX8 1-8×24 F1 conserves valuable real estate on your rifle at only 8.75 inches in length, and weighs just 17 ounces,” Stilwell added. “Put it on your competition rifle for 3-gun, or use it for a variety of shooting disciplines; the NX8 1-8×24 F1 is also robust enough for professional use.”
NFO_NX8_1-8x24_F1_NX8_1-8x ZeroStop-Profile-Edit
As targets increase in distance, the intelligent FC-MIL™ or FC-MOA™ first focal plane reticle options provide precise hold points. For those preferring to dial for long shots, the turrets feature Nightforce ZeroStop® elevation-adjustable technology with windage limiter, allowing for a rapid return to absolute zero regardless of any previous elevation adjustments. Adjustments are a true .2 Mil-Radian or .50 MOA. And, to aid in fast magnification adjustments, the Power Throw Lever (PTL) is included.
NFO_NX8_1-8x24_F1_NX8_1-8x ZeroStop_Angle
On display at SHOT Show 2018, in Las Vegas, NV, the compact and lightweight Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 F1 adds flexibility to your shooting options with fast target acquisition at a variety of distances. Please visit us in booth #20449.
NIGHTFORCE NX8 1-8×24 F1 SPECIFICATIONS:
  • Focal plane: First
  • Objective outer diameter: 30 mm
  • Exit pupil diameter: 1x: 7.9 mm | 8x: 3 mm
  • Field of view @ 100 yards/100 meters: 1x: 106 ft. | 1x: 32 m
  • Eye relief:  3.75″ | 95.3 mm
  • Internal adjustment range for MOA: e: 100 | w: 100
  • Internal adjustment range for MIL-RADIAN: e: 30 | w: 30
  • Click value: .5 MOA | .2 MIL-RADIAN
  • Parallax adjustment: Fixed at 125 m
  • Tube diameter: 1.18″/30 mm
  • Eyepiece outer diameter: 40 mm
  • Overall length (in/mm): 8.75/222
  • Weight (oz/g): 17/482
  • Mounting length (in/mm): 5.7/144
  • PTL (Power Throw Lever): Standard
  • Reticles available: FC-MOA™/FC-MIL™
  • Illumination: Daylight visible, externally adjustable
  • Elevation Feature: ZeroStop®
  • MSRP: $1,750
For information on the new Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 F1 riflescope, click here.

American Defense Mfg Announces new ADM4 Receivers and Rifles

The following is an announcement from American Defense Mfg:

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American Defense MFG® (ADM) announced the release of their “ADM4” receivers and complete rifles. This design variant is purely aesthetic in nature. These lower receivers will retain their patented, fully ambidextrous controls that are intuitive in design and function. Perfect for retro builds (with modern features), NFA Engravings, and is also available to other manufactures wanting ambidextrous controls for their brand. Available now via their dealer network and direct from American Defense Mfg®.

ADM ADM4 Receiver

ADM4 billet 7075-T6 lower receiver features a Type III Teflon impregnated hard-coat anodized finish, outfitted with their patented ambidextrous magazine release, ambidextrous bolt catch and release, and their dimpled take down and pivot pins. The trigger guard is ready for winter gloves without manipulation. Radii and chamfers throughout make this billet lower a marvel that stretches the capabilities of modern production CNC manufacturing. A 20-degree competition style mag well is concealed in the design, allowing lightning fast magazine changes. An integral upper/lower tension adjustment screw allows the end user to compensate for tolerance between your upper receivers and your favorite lower.

The ADM4 Lower Receiver has a MSRP of $284.95.

Click HERE for more information.

ADM ADM4 Rifle

ADM Universal Improved Carbine (UIC) ADM4 Mod 2:

Built on a billet aluminum, fully ambidextrous upper and lower receiver set, the ADM UIC ADM4 MOD 2 is the flagship carbine of the UIC line.

Features

ADM Universal Improved Carbine (UIC) ADM4 Mod 2 has the following features :

Lower Receiver

  • Slick Side Mag well
  • Fully ambidextrous controls featuring a right side bolt catch and release lever and left side magazine release.
  • Ambidextrous safety selector
  • 20 degree competition style mag well.
  • Enlarged trigger guard
  • ADM HD Buffer
  • 2-Stage Match Trigger
  • QD Endplate
  • Integral upper/lower tension adjusting screw

Upper Receiver

  • 16” 1:8 twist, .223 Wylde Chamber, 4150 CMV Criterion Barrel.
  • Milspec Enhanced BCG with a Nitride QPQ finish.
  • Ambidextrous Charging Handle.
  • Milspec mid-length gas system.
  • 13.5” MLOK Handguard.
  • Battlecomp 1.0 muzzle device.
  • Magpul PRO BUIS.
  • **Model specifications may change at any time due to component availability**

Materials & Construction

  • 7075 Billet Lower and Upper Receiver.
  • Hard coat type 3 Mil-Spec anodized for a lifetime of performance.
  • Made with pride in the U.S.A.

Specifications

ADM Universal Improved Carbine (UIC) Mod 2 has the following specifications :

  • Weight: 6.2 Lbs (Unloaded)

The ADM4 Mod2 Rifle has a MSRP of $1,850.

Click HERE for more information.

Primary Weapons Systems AR Build Breakdown

A lot of times I am asked about the parts that make up a rifle build, so I am revamping a series of “Build Breakdowns” that explain what parts were used to put a certain rifle together.  Each part or grouping of parts will be listed below the image and will be hyperlinked to the Rainier Arms website, or another site if not available on Rainier, where you can learn more about the parts or to make a purchase.

This build focuses on a Primary Weapons Systems Build that I recently put together.  The build started as a separate upper and lower receiver set that were mostly complete from the factory.

Primary Weapons Systems Mk1 Mod2 Lower and Mk1 Mod1 Upper Receiver with Vortex Viper PST Scope in a Bobro Engineering Precision Optic Mount 003-1000

If you see a build that you want to know more about, please let me know.

 

Battle Arms Development Releases New CA Compliant Magazine Release Block

The following is a Press Release from Battle Arms Development:
BATTLE ARMS DEVELOPMENT, INC.© Is excited to announce
that it will be releasing the BAD-MRB (Magazine Release Block) – CA Compliant Fixed Magazine on December 1st, 2017.
Battle Arms Development BAD-MRB Cali Compliant Mag Release Block
After months of anticipation the new CA Compliant Fixed Magazine service will be available at BATTLEARMS website. This will be the first of services provided online via a Conversion Work Order Form right at the BATTLEARMS services page (http://www.battlearmsdevelopment.com/services/). This page will include details with a video demonstration, options and what is and not included in the service.
BATTLEARMSDEVELOPMENT,INC.© is a recognized manufacturer of next generation firearms and firearm components through innovative engineering and functionally aesthetic designs. If you have any questions about this announcement, or any of BATTLEARMS products, please email info@battlearmsdevelopment.com or visit