Another year, another SHOT Show. Another showcase of the latest and greatest products in the shooting and hunting industry–all of which are made with the intention of having us open our wallets wide and put our collective shoulder to the wheel of the GDP.
Most sportsmen rightfully approach this event with a dash of cynicism. Is there really any way another bolt-action rifle, semi-auto shotgun, or .308 AR-10 can be “new?” And, at the edges of credulity, do we really need another type of deer pee to help us hunt smarter?
I shook my 8 Ball and it said: Highly Doubtful.
But hope springs eternal. Maybe there will be something unveiled that will really blow my hair back, at least what remains of it.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m a bit curious–perhaps even excited–to see the new .264 caliber that Nosler is coming out with. The same goes for the 6mm Turbo. Who will be chambering new rifles for them? I want to see them, even though I know these new cartridges won’t really change the shooting or hunting landscape in any meaningful way.
I’m also curious–and somewhat leery–about the continued integration of electronics into our rifles, scopes and shooting gear. I wonder what we’ve got coming in the world of battery-powered marksmanship.
Then there are the new scopes. We live in a golden age of optics right now where incredibly useful and high-performance glass is available to sportsmen of modest means. And, at the high end of professional-grade glass, we are seeing some truly amazing designs, particularly in the tactical market.
So, while I don’t have any concrete desires for “must-have” shooting gear, I’m at least trying to keep an open mind as the doors open Tuesday morning in Las Vegas. Maybe there will be a pleasant surprise, or two, tucked away in the seven miles of displays scattered through the convention center.