(April 2015: The NRA show is this weekend. Follow my coverage of that show by clicking here.)
It is that time again. Depending on when you are reading this, SHOT Show 2015 is either on the way, is under way, or has already occurred. But, no matter when you are reading, we know you are looking for news about all of the guns and gear that will be/has been introduced at the giant Las Vegas gun show.
If you are looking for a first look at 2015’s new guns, this is the best place to be. Once the show gets underway, we will be bringing you live updates right here. See that table of contents on the right? Each new gun will be listed there so you can jump directly to what you want to read about.
Prior to the show, we will be bringing you news and rumors of new gear. After the show, we will continue to bring you news of new stuff that we were not able to post during the world’s best outdoor trade show.
Every year, a wide range of new pistols and revolvers are introduced. In recent years, there has been a trend toward compact firearms for concealed carry. However, enthusiasts are certain to see new duty-sized handguns as well.
The following handguns have been introduced at the show, or shortly before. Some of the guns are rumors that I will attempt to prove or debunk while at the show.
If you have any specific pistols or revolvers you would like me to track down while I am at the show, please leave a comment below. I can’t promise I will get to all of them, but I will try to get at least some of them.
Olympic Arms K24P
Olympic Arms announced the addition of pistol caliber AR-style pistols during the fall and had the guns on display at the 2015 SHOT Show. These guns have a 11.5″ button rifled barrel and appropriately sized flash suppressor. These guns are available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. However, the most interesting (to me) caliber is the 10mm option. The MSRP has increased since the original announcement to $1,039.
ATI Polymer 1911
American Tactical Imports is now showing a polymer 1911 that has the ability to change calibers. Click here to read the full article on the new gun.
Caracal showed a pair of 1911-style pistols at the SHOT Show. One was a full-szie, while the second was a compact version with a bobtail. Both were chambered for the .45 ACP. No additional information was immediately available from Caracal, though they promised to send me a press release. If/when I get additional information, I will post it.
Remington R51 Update
I stopped by the Remington booth just long enough to get the word on the status of the R51. A very tired looking woman behind the counter told me “We were told to tell everyone mid-summer.” She did not provide any additional details regarding release dates or customer returns. Talking with another writer, I discovered he was told much the same by another Remington rep. So, don’t hold your breath folks – they are still a long way from returning to the dealer shelves.
Rossi Plinker in .22 Magnum
Rossi is now selling a trio of revolvers chambered for the .22 WMR (also known as the .22 Magnum.) The blued guns are called Plinker and come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ models. The guns hold eight rounds, have a fiber optic front sight and use the Taurus Ribber grip.
Rock Island Baby Rock Standard CS
Rock Island Armory had their new .380 ACP pistol at the range. It is a 1911-style pistol that they state was developed for personal protection. The gun ran reliably and had moderate recoil. I’ll have a full article on it shortly.
Taurus canceled the View from its product line rather quietly toward the end of 2014 (read my article here.) However, on display in the company’s booth was a new version of the View…or, well…non-View. The gun appears to be the same revolver but with an aluminum side plate instead of a clear Lexan one.
A Taurus rep said that was the new version of the gun the company was selling. Yet, the gun is not listed on the company’s website or in its 2015 catalog. The rep said the original View was discontinued because the clear plate showed a lot of dirt inside the gun after firing only one or two rounds.
No MSRP, shipping date or additional information is available right now.
Polymer Chiappa Rhino
The Polymer Rhino is a no show. Unofficially, I hear 2016 will be the earliest we will see its introduction. I had a chance to see the prototype at the 2014 SHOT Show (click here,) but it looked like it was still a ways from production. I guess it is still a long time from production.
Taurus TCP with Wings
Taurus has a new pistol…with wings. Click here to read the full article.
Smith & Wesson’s New Solid Snake Gun
S&W had a new suppressor ready, optics ready pistol on display at the Industry Day at the Range event. Solid Snake would be proud.
Smith & Wesson Carbon Fiber & FDE
S&W is offering new finishes on the company’s popular M&P pistols: carbon fiber and a color similar to flat dark earth. Read more about the carbon fiber pistols here.
Rock Island/Armscor .22 TCM Kit for Glock
Armscor previewed a Glock conversion kit at the Media Day at the Range event. The kit converts any G17/22 Gen 1- Gen 3 pistol to fire .22 TCM. The kits looked pretty slick and seemed to function well. Click here to read more in this article.
MasterPiece Arms MPA930 DBG
MasterPiece Arms announced they will have a new 9mm pistol at the SHOT Show. These guns are built on aluminum receivers and use standard Glock magazines. It is not known if they will accept G19 mags or only G17/18 magazines. The MSRP is $679.99.
HK45 Colored Frames
Heckler & Koch will sell HK45 pistols with OD green and desert sand Cerakote finishes on the frame and slide.
Yankee Hill Machine YMH-15 Pistols
Yankee Hill will introduce two new AR-style pistols. One is in 9mm, while the other will be chambered for the 5.56 NATO cartridge. Read more details in this article.
Battle Rifle Company BR4 Attache
BRC announced a new 9mm pistol called the BR4 Attache. This gun is an AR-style, blowback operated pistol that uses Colt-type 32 round magazines. The gun will have a 10.5″ barrel, A2-style flash suppressor, Ergo pistol grip and a single point sling adaptor. A SIG arm brace is optional. The MSRP will be $1,395.
New LCP with Improved Sights
Ruger will be showing a new LCP pistol with larger sights. The front sight also has a “glow in the dark” photo luminescent dot, while the rear sight is a plain black notch. The trigger, oddly, is red. More information and photos are here.
CZ 1911 A1
The first US-made gun from CZ is… a 1911. I guess that makes sense in a way. The gun is a 5″ Government model closely matching the original A1 pistols. The MSRP will be $849.
Iver Johnson Frontier Four
Iver Johnson is bringing back the four shot derringer called the Frontier Four (aka Frontier 4). Last made in 2009, the gun has four 2″ barrels and is chambered in .22 LR. As with many guns of this type, it is a single action pistol. Total weight will be less than 6 ounces. No word on pricing yet.
Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander
Ruger will announce a new SR1911 pistol that uses an aluminum frame. The gun will be called the Lightweight Commander. More information is in the article linked here.
IWI UZI Pro Pistols
IWI US announced they would be showing the new UZI Pro pistols at the SHOT Show in January. The new guns aren’t cheap ($1,109 – $1,309 depending on model.) One will come with a folding arm brace.
Dan Wesson Silverback
Dan Wesson will release a new pistol called the Silverback at the show. The 1911-style pistols will be chambered in both .45 ACP and 10mm. Read more information here.
Smith & Wesson M&P Ported Pistols
Smith & Wesson announced a new series of Performance Center M&P pistols that feature a ported barrel and a slide cut to accept optics such as the Trijicon RMR and Leupold Delta Point. The sights are taller than standard.
A new texture is used on the palmswell grips and the trigger has been enhanced. The MSRP is $812.
New Bersa BP-Series Guns
Bersa will introduce two new pistols at the SHOT Show. Both of the new guns will be in the BP-series. One will be chambered for the .380 ACP, while the other will be chambered for the .40 S&W. We hope to get both of these guns to review. Read my review of the 9mm version here.
New Long Guns
Long guns cover both rifles and shotguns. This is probably the largest category of new products introduced in Las Vegas every year. From beautiful double guns to the latest tactical carbine, SHOT is always awash in new shoulder-fired weapons. When the show starts, we will list them all in this section.
As with the handguns above, please let me know if there is something specific about which you are hoping to see coverage. I will endeavor to get there and get you the details. I imagine that the 2015 show will have quite a few new .308/7.62 introductions.
Marlin 1895 Limited Edition
For the second year in a row, Marlin has introduced a limited run of 1895 lever guns. This one is limited to 1,500 copies. These guns have 24 carat gold inlay of an elk on one side of the receiver with the Marlin logo on the other. The trigger is gold plated. The MSRP is $1,350.
Nesika Tactical Rifle
The Nesika Tactical Rifle was on display at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The gun is offered in both 300 Win Mag and 388 Lapua Mag. The guns feature 15-5 stainless steel receivers, air gauged barrels, Timney triggers, a compsite stock and a five round detachable magazine. The suggested retail price is $4,499 for either caliber.
Angstadt Arms SBRs
Angstadt Arms let me handle their new 9mm pistols and SBRs at the company’s booth. The guns are very well balanced and look great. I was really impressed. Click here to see more photos and get my impressions.
Howa Kryptek Cerakote Highlander Rifle Packages
Howa showed the new Kryptek Cerakote Highlander rifle at the SHOT Show. The guns have a Kryptek Highlander camo dip on the Hogue Overmolded stock and an Austrian brown Cerakote finish on the barrel. These guns come with a 4-16×44 scope and retail for $985 – $1,000 depending on package and caliber.
Kel-Tec SUB-2000 Gen 2
For 2015, Kel-Tec redesigned the SUB-2000 pistol caliber carbines. The new guns are similar to the originals with a number of well considered upgrades. Click here to read the article and discover all of the changes.
I spoke with a Kel-Tec rep about the CMR-30 rifle. He advised the guns are in production at the tune of 500-700 units/week. The company is ramping up production on the rifles, and they expect to have full production capacity online in the coming months.
Olympic Arms MPR 308-15 Multi-Purpose Rifle
Olympic Arms is now selling a rifle that will shoot most any short action cartridge (such as the .308 and .243) plus any AR-15 caliber (such as the 5.56 NATO and 300 BLK.) Click here to read the full article.
Diamondback DB10 Rifles
Diamondback Firearms is now selling a number of AR-10 style rifles. Click here for the full article.
Remington Model 7 Stainless
Remington is re-introducing the Model 7 stainless. It will be available in .223, .243, .260, 7mm-08, .308 and 300 WSM. The MSRP will be $837.67 for all models. All guns will have a 20″ barrel except the 300 WSM that comes with a 22″ barrel. Guns will be equipped with the X-Mark Pro adjustable trigger.
DRD Tactical KIVAARI
DRD Tactical announced a new semi-automatic take down rifle chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum. The rifle will have a 24″ barrel, ambidextrous controls, a Magpul stock and handguard, SilencerCo QD brake, Atlas bipod and two 10-round mags.
The whole rifle breaks down in seconds and can be transported with the included Tactical Tailor Trekker back pack. Total unloaded weight is 14.6 pounds. All parts and materials are made in the USA. The MSRP is $6,900 and it will ship in mid-2015.
Mossberg Left-Handed Pump Shotguns
Mossberg now has a line of left handed pump 500 and 590 shotguns. Click here to see the full article on the guns.
HK G36 – Walther .22 LR Replica
Walther introduced a new .22 LR replica of the famous HK G36 rifle. I got a chance to shoot one at the range. Click here to read more about the gun and my initial impressions.
Mossberg Blaze Rifles
Mossberg has a whole new line of rimfire rifles. Some are fairly standard, while others are AK replicas. Click here to read the full article.
New Springfield Armory Loaded M1A
Springfield will show a new Loaded M1A rifle with a precision adjustable stock at the SHOT Show. The new gun will allow a shooter to adjust length of pull and cheek height. Also, it improves the pistol grip area of the stock. Lastly, the new stock adds an accessory rail under the hand guard. Read more about the rifle by clicking to this page.
Blaser R8 Professional S
Blaser introduced the new R8 Professional S – an evolution of the existing R8 platform. The new rifle appears to be the same as the original, with the exception that the trigger & magazine housing are removable. The MSRP will be $2,895.
Mossberg Patriot Rifles
Mossberg is replacing both the ATR and 4×4 lines with a single new line of bolt-action rifles called the Patriot. We got an early look at them here.
CMMG Mk47 Mutant
Announced just weeks before the SHOT Show, CMMG will introduce a new AR-style rifle that is chambered for the 7.62×39 cartridge. The specially designed receiver will take standard AK-47 magazines. Read more about it here.
New Ammo and Accessories
Ammunition, holsters, range gear, cleaning kits and more can always be found on the show floor. In fact, it seems that the entire lower level is nearly dedicated to all of the accessories that can be imagined.
AR500 Armor Kryron Rifle Plate
The folks at AR500 Armor were showing a prototype of the new Kryron rifle plate. These plates are using a new material made from injecting carbon nanotubes into metal. The plates are still in development and are expected to be ready by the 2016 SHOT Show. AR500 Armor staff stated the new plates would be about 5 pounds.
Streamlight EPU 5200
Streamlight showed a new portable battery unit to go with its USB powered flashlights. The unit is rated at 5200 mAh, has a built in flashlight and is ruggedized to survive a 2 meter drop. Additionally, it is waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. An included clip attaches to a belt or PALS webbing. The MSRP is $54, though street prices will be lower.
Wolf 6.5 Grendel
Wolf Performance Ammunition is now selling a new 6.5 Grendel cartridge. The load uses a 100 grain FMJ-BT bullet and steel case. The case has a “Combat Coating.” The ammo is sold in the company’s Military Classic line.
ProMag SCAR 17 Mags
ProMag is now selling 20 round magazines for the FN SCAR 17 in 7.62×51. The new magazines are black and carry a MSRP of $28.
ProMag introduced a new magazine with rollers in the anti-tilt follower. I was impressed at how smooth it felt. Click here for the full article.
Safariland 578 GLS Pro Fit Holster
I had a chance to talk to legendary holster designer Bill Rogers about the new Safariland 578 GLS concealment holster that is being introduced at the 2015 SHOT Show. The new rig uses a proprietary polymer that does not mar the finish of a gun, and the rig will fit a wide range of polymer pistols (M&P, Glock, HK, etc.) I’ll have a full review of this rig coming up shortly.
Streamlight ProTac HL USB
Another of the new flashlights from Streamlight at the 2015 SHOT Show is the ProTac HL USB. This is similar to the original ProTac HL (click here for my review of that light,) but has a rechargeable battery. The battery is charged via a micro USB port. On high, the flashlight throws 850 lumens and 10k candela. A full charge will run the light on high for 90 minutes. Watch for my review of this light soon.
Real Avid Shotgun Micro Tool
Real Avid is now selling a field shotgun tool that performs 17 different functions including acting as a choke wrench, pin punch, scope adjuster and more. It is made of stainless steel.
Fobus IWB Holsters
Fobus is now selling a line of IWB holsters. They look very similar to a lot of the current IWB rigs that are on the market.
Barnes RangeAR Ammunition
Barnes is introducing a new 5.56 and 300 BLK ammo that uses a zinc core to reduce the buyer’s cost. Zinc is lighter than lead, so the bullets are light for their size. The 5.56 round uses a 53 grain bullet, while the 300 BLK uses a 90 grain bullet. The MSRP has not been announced, but we should be able to get that from the Barnes staff at the show.
Streamlight TLR-2 HL G
For 2015, Streamlight has upgraded the TLR-2 G light to the TLR-2 HL G. I’ve got one of the originals (click here to read my review of the TLR-2 G) and the HL G looks to be a nice upgrade to it. It has a brighter while light (720 lumens, 14k candela,) 90 minute run time and improved green aiming laser. The laser has been moved out of the reflector and is now under the light. Additionally, the laser will operate at a much wider temperature range. Watch for a review of this unit soon.
Magpul PMAG 17 GL9
What exactly is a PMAG 17 GL9? Oh, it’s a 9mm Glock magazine made by Magpul with a MSRP of only $15.95. Interested? Yeah, so are a lot of other people. No word on when these will ship, but I plan on taking a close look at these in the Magpul booth.
UTM RBT Civilian Target Ammunition
This is a system to convert your standard AR-type rifle or pistol into a training tool that is safe to use in non-range environments. The system swaps your bolt carrier group for a modified unit that will only fire proprietary training ammo. The training munition weighs less than a gram and generates less than 400 fps muzzle velocity. The company claims good accuracy (slightly over 1″ at 30 m). The kit will retail for about $350 and 50 round boxes of ammo for $29.50.
Full auto and Magnum rated, the Omega is SilencerCo’s latest .30 caliber sound suppressor. It weighs 14.0 ounces and is said to be one of the quietest .308 suppressors in the industry. Watch the above video for a look at how it does with 300 BLK, 7.62×39 and .308 Win. The MSRP is $1,100.
TacProGear Medical Kits
Florida-based TacProGear is expanding the company’s offerings in tactical medical gear. Being shown at the SHOT Show are a waterproof IFAK, individual trauma bag and a Combat Lifesaver pack. Custom gear and equipment will also be available.
Magpul AK-47, AK-74 Accessories
Magpul is now selling even more AK accessories. I have one of the company’s pistols grips and a pair of the AK-47 mags. The new handguards and stocks look MUCH better than just trying to mount AR products on the AK.
For 2015, TacProGear is introducing a line of flashlights at the show. The lights range from a tiny 400 lumen light to a rather large 980 lumen light. No word on the specs for these yet. But, I will be making my way to their booth to get more information and will update you.
Meprolight M21H Sight
Meprolight is now making the Mepro M21H, a hunting version of the military M21 red dot dight. The illuminated bullseye reticle is lit via fiber optic and tritium sources, so no batteries are needed. The sight will be available in forest and desert camo options. The MSRP is $623, though street prices will likely be much lower.
LaserMax CenterFire Weaponlight for Glock 42
LaserMax will show a new weaponlight for the Glock 42 at the SHOT Show. The light mounts to the trigger guard and throws a bright white light. Read the full article here.
SIG is getting serious about suppressors. The company announced they have an entire silencer division that has been developing new mounting and sound suppression technologies. The company states a number of new cans will “hit the market in Q1 2015.” I’m guessing we will see a number of these at the SHOT Show.
Kestrel Sportsman Ballistics Weather Meter
Long appreciated for their wind meters and other long range shooting accessories, Kestrel will introduce the Sportsman Ballistics Weather Meter at the SHOT Show. The new unit is an affordably priced weather station that has a ballistics calculator. This unit has a wide range of features. More information can be had here. The MSRP will be $429.
Steiner Light-Laser Combo
Steiner eOptics is launching a new weapon light/laser combination unit. The device has a 500 lumen light combined with a green aiming laser. No details yet on pricing, run time or battery type. The unit appears to be designed for handguns.
New Scopes from SIG SAUER
SIG is teasing to a new line of gun optics on the company’s website. It appears these will be a little more than just another piece of glass. I wonder what the company has come up with that they identify as revolutionary.
Remington Golden Saber Black Belt Ammunition
This ammo was introduced at the 2013 SHOT Show. However, to my knowledge, it never made it to market. At the 2015 show, Remington is expected to show the ammunition with re-branded boxes and additional information. The number of loads has been reduced from the old announcement to five: two in 9mm, two in .40 S&W and one in .45 ACP. Read more information about the ammo here.
New Meprolight Sights
At the 2015 SHOT Show, Meprolight will be introducing several new sighting options for your firearms. First of all they will have two new lines of night sights for handguns. Secondly, the company will introduce a line of self-illuminated reflex sights for hunters. Lastly, the company will offer a new generation of 4x daytime scope.
New BulletSafe Products
BulletSafe announced they will have a number of new products at the show. Among them are:
- a lightweight rifle plate
- a K-9 vest
- a new vest called the Alpha
- a bullet resistant ball cap
SIG SAUER Practice Ammo
SIG SAUER is expected to show a new line of FMJ ammo to compliment the V-Crown line of defensive ammunition they already sell. Right now, I know about the 230 grain .45 ACP load. I am attempting to find out what additional loads the company will show off at SHOT in January.
Update: I’ve got the scoop on a bunch of new SIG ammo. Read the full article here.
Ruko 161B TI Tactical Knife
This new fixed blade knife has a 6.25″ blade made of 7CR17MoV steel with a fine edge. The spine of the blade has a saw. The overall length of the knife is 10.5″, and it weighs in at slightly less than a pound. The MSRP is $80.
Delta Grip for LCR
One of the more interesting accessories introduced at the 2014 SHOT Show was the Delta Grip from Ergo Grip. This new Delta Grip is a wedge-shaped rubber grip for the snub-nosed Ruger LCR revolvers. More information on them is here.
SureFire UDR Dominator
Announced just before the show, SureFire will show a new 2,400 lumen flashlight in Las Vegas. Click here to read more about this light.
Event Photos and Videos
This area will contain general photos and videos not included in one of the sections above.
Looking for the leaked information or guns that have been hinted at leading up to the show? This is where you will find those. We’ve already got a couple that I am trying to vet right now. Stay tuned.
New FN Rifles
It looks like FN will show three new AR-15 rifles at the show in January. I’ve got a complete run down of what I expect we will see right here.
Heizer Defense Pocket Sniper & Pocket AK
Heizer Defense will likely announce two new hand-breaking pistols at the SHOT Show: the Pocket Sniper (in .308) and the Pocket AK (in 7.62×39). Read more about them here.
Charter Arms Pit Bull in .45 ACP
Many years in the coming, it sounds like Charter Arms will finally release the .45 ACP version of the Pit Bull revolver. Originally, these guns were to be called the CARR, or Charter Arms Rimless Revolver. However, the guns were ultimately released with the Pit Bull name. 9mm and .40 S&W guns have been on the market for several years now, and people have wondered if the .45 ACP would ever enter production. Sounds like they might.
Trijicon Night Sights for Beretta Pico
Trijicon is expected to introduce a set of night sights for the Beretta Pico. The company already makes a set of sights for the Nano. It only makes sense that they would support the Pico also.
Beretta Pico Frames
I am expecting that Beretta will introduce new frame color options for the Pico pistol. Similar to the options available for the Nano, shooters will be able to purchase additional color frames for the guns. The new colors will include:
- Ranger green
- flat dark earth
- black with a LaserMax light built in
The frames will have a MSRP of $37, with the exception of the LaserMax frame that carries an MSRP of $199.
Hogue AR-15 Pistol Grips
I’ve heard that Hogue will introduce a new line of pistol grips for the AR-15 rifle. They will come in a variety of colors (from tan to purple) and will have the option of having finger grooves molded in.
S&W Shield Accessory
I had a chance to hold an accessory designed for the Smith & Wesson Shield that makes the gun significantly more functional for me. I’m not allowed to talk about it – yet. But, I’ve been told that it will be on display at the SHOT Show, so stay tuned. I really like this one.
Krytac’s Rimfire Version of War Sport LVOA Rifles
Krytac, a division of Swiss arms maker KRISS Group, will introduce a series of .22 LR and airsoft versions of the War Sport LVOA rifles. The guns will be intended for both recreation and as serious training tools. I’ve had a chance to handle other airsoft guns from Krytac and found them to be very high-quality builds. I look forward to seeing what they can do with a .22 LR trainer.
Angstadt Arms UDP-9 Carbine
Promising to “redefine the pistol caliber carbine,” the North Carolina company Angstadt Arms is teasing a new 9mm PDW. The UDP-9 appears to be an AR-style SBR with an adjustable stock. According to the company the guns will use Glock magazines, have a KeyMod hand guard and uses standard AR-15 controls. I look forward to seeing what they show at SHOT.
Hardcore X Rifles
CORE Rifle Systems announced they would introduce a number of new AR-15 rifles in a line called Hardcore X. The rifles will be chambered in 5.56 NATO and come with a sub-MOA guarantee. No word on pricing, but they are including Frog Lube.
New SIG Pistols
As to be expected, SIG SAUER will introduce a number of new pistol variants. Osage County Guns is reporting that included in the new gun line up are a bunch of P320 variants including versions with OD green and FDE color frames. They are also stating SIG will introduce:
- P250 chambered for 22 LR;
- a TACOPS version of the P227;
- a P229 with tall sights (suppressor ready?) and an FDE frame;
- compact 9mm 1911 with a 3″ barrel; and
- a variety of new P238 and P938 models.
New Crimson Trace Products
If the past is any indication of future performance, we can expect to see some new gear from Crimson Trace. That should not be a surprise, but Michael Bane hinted at something (or somethings) that sound very interesting. In episode #391 of the Down Range Radio podcast, Bane described a trip to the Crimson Trace factory. He stated the company has something “smaller, lighter, cooler” set up for introduction at the 2015 SHOT Show.
Bane also talked about green lasers, though he stopped short of saying any of the new products used green. CT uses green lasers in some of their recent products. It will be interesting to see what the company will have on display.
Single Stack Glock in 9mm
This one seems pretty solid. When I spoke with a Glock rep at the 2014 show, he gave me a wink and nudge when I asked about a 9mm version of the Glock 42. Since that time, I’ve heard several people talking about it. However, the strongest rumor I caught was at the 2014 NASGW Show when I ran into another industry person who claimed to have seen a working prototype of a Glock 42-like pistol in 9mm. Lets hope this one is real.
Another Striker-Fired Ruger Pistol
This should be a no-brainer, but Ruger will announce a new strike-fired pistol a few days ahead of the SHOT Show. No real word on what it is, but it is supposed to be in the self-defense category. I know – it is a very generic rumor. However, the person who was giving me the information was trying to be very careful to avoid problems with his boss.
New to the SHOT Show?
What’s that? You’ve never been to the show before? No problem. We’ve put together a guide with insider information on attending the show. Much of the official information can be found through the NSSF, but they will not give you the low down on where to stay, how to get around or tips on being credentialed. That’s where we come in.
The crew from GunsHolstersAndGear.com has been attending this annual event for many years now. Fortunately, we’ve not just survived, but we have thrived. So, read on for a few ideas on how to prepare for the big show.
What is the SHOT Show?
Some say the SHOT Show is the biggest gun show in Las Vegas. While technically true, this does not accurately describe the event. The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show is a huge industry exhibition that is only open to those that work inside the industry. (Skip to the next section to see who may attend.)
The show is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF. The NSSF organized the very first SHOT Show in 1979, and has continued every year since. The expo is a chance for all of the people in the shooting, hunting and law enforcement industries to come together and do business. Manufacturers show all of their new products for the year, while dealers and distributors get a chance to plan their purchases. If you want to see the new guns for 2015, there is no better place to be.
Calling the show “huge” would be an understatement. The exposition fills the entire Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. The show floor is actually two floors, with the additional floors of the center reserved for private meetings, conference rooms and media work areas.
Tens of thousands of people jam the Sands every year. In 2014, there were more than 67,000 attendees. The NSSF projects a 2015 attendance of about 65,000 people.
2015 Show Dates
For 2015, the SHOT Show will run from January 20 through January 23, which is Tuesday – Friday. A range day, called Industry Day at the Range, is a separate event and is held on Monday, January 19. Scroll down for “Media Day at the Range” for more information on the Industry Day event.
Who May Attend
As you might expect, not everyone may attend the event. The NSSF tries to keep a tight leash on who may exhibit and who may attend. The purpose of the event is to do business, and opening the doors to the general public would not interfere with the ability many companies have to get deals done.
Those who may attend include:
- commercial buyers of firearms and related accessories
- commercial buyers of hunting gear and supplies
- commercial buyers of military, law enforcement and tactical firearms and gear
- manufacturers who are exhibiting at the show
- industry affiliated media
If you own a gun store, work for a distributor or are involved in the purchasing decisions for a police department, you probably qualify to attend. Attendance is not free, and you must submit documentation that you meet the eligibility requirements. Documentation can include things like a current Federal Firearms License or a state resale certificate.
|Category of Attendee||Fee|
|qualified buyer: pre-registered & NSSF member||$35|
|qualified buyer: pre-registered||$70|
|qualified buyer: after pre-registration period or onsite & NSSF member||$70|
|qualified buyer: after pre-registration period or onsite||$140|
|non-buyer: after pre-registration period or onsite||$350|
The NSSF is generally very easy to work with to obtain press credentials for the show. There are certain requirements that must be met to maintain the integrity of the program, and the credentialing team works very hard to make sure only valid, working media gain access.
If you have attended the most recent SHOT Show as credentialed media, you will most likely be eligible for early registration in early September. The NSSF staff will e-mail you with the early registration information then. When you receive this e-mail, simply follow the directions and you should be registered.
If you do not receive the early registration e-mail, you will have to enter the normal registration process to get your SHOT Show 2015 tickets.
Media Badge Requirements
Regardless of your prior attendance, there are certain requirements you must meet to attend the show. These include:
- current membership in an outdoors media organization (for example: POMA), or
- employment with a recognized news organization (for example: Fox News), or
- editorial position with an outdoors magazine/industry or other publication (for example: Combat Handguns), or
- recently published contributor to an outdoors/industry magazine or other publication, or
- assignment to cover the show from an outdoors/industry publication, or
- regular contributor to an outdoors/industry website or web-based radio or video program.
Depending on your media affiliation, you can be issued one of three different types of media badges: Editorial, Broadcast or Exhibitor. Editorial covers everyone, including online media, that is not working exclusively in TV or radio broadcast. Broadcast covers traditional and internet-streaming audio and video broadcasting. Exhibitor media badges are for companies who are exhibiting at the show that also provide editorial coverage of the event.
In previous years, there was a fourth badge just for internet media. However, this has been done away with, and those that had been in that category will now be lumped into one of the other categories.
Staying on the strip is often the best choice for many people attending the show. There are many hotels near the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. Many of them are within a 15 minute walk. The Venetian and Palazzo are both attached to the Sands and offer the greatest convenience. However, they also offer some of the highest prices – typically $250/night or more.
Some hotels on the strip have very affordable rates, sometimes as little as $30/night. However, don’t expect great service at these locations. As they say, you get what you pay for. We have stayed at the Flamingo, Harrah’s and the Venetian. Service was exceptional at the Venetian, and pretty good at the other two. I have had poor service from the bellhops, aka porters, at Harrah’s, but generally they have been pretty good.
The SHOT Show does have a hotel service you can use to find accommodations. However, we have always gotten better deals through the hotels themselves. Your experience may vary, but we strongly suggest you shop around to get the best deal.
Media Day at the Range
In recent years, there has been a shooting event called Media Day at the Range. This event has been coordinated by CMG Marketing and Triple Curl Advertising, but until recently has not been an official part of the SHOT Show itself. Recently, however, the NSSF has become involved in the event.
Starting in 2014, the name of the event changed to Industry Day at the Range. This was done to open the event to more than just media. For example, if an exhibiting manufacturer wanted to bring a distributor to the range to shoot a new gun, they can now do so.
For 2015, the Industry Day at the Range is split into two parts: a morning session and an afternoon session. The morning event is open to invited media only. If you are not part of the chosen 1,000, you are not likely to get in unless you are working for one of the big media companies. At noon, the event opens to an additional 700 invited dealers, distributors and other industry folks.
If things hold true, the invitations are submitted by the exhibitors – not the event sponsors. So, if you do not get an invitation, you should probably do a little better job of staying in contact with the company reps. As I understand it, those are the folks handing out the invites. Media registration information for the event is expected to be finalized in September.
Update: I have confirmed that, as stated above, media invites to the Range Day events are requested by the manufacturers and coordinated by the event organizers. This process will be finalized in September.
Media Day will be at the best Las Vegas shooting range: the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club. The range is very nice, but can be hard to find. If you are staying at one of the hotels on the strip, you can catch a shuttle bus to the range. If you prefer to drive, you want to check out the map below:
Directions to the range can also be had here.
What’s at the Range?
So, lets assume you are attending the event. What can you expect? A lot of cool guns, the opportunity to meet with the designers of those same firearms and the possibility of some wild weather.
In years past, the event is roughly divided into four main areas. One end of the facility is dominated by short (25 and 50 yard) ranges. This area is largely occupied by handgun manufacturers, though shotgun and rifles can also be found here.
A middle section of the event is elevated and is set up for long range rifles. Here, shooters can engage targets to 1000+ yards. At the other end is a mix of ranges that typically feature shotguns, subguns and rifles. Of course, this is not absolute. There will also be pistols here also.
A final area is located near the first end. This area is a show area only – no ranges or shooting here. Holster, optics and accessory makers will often be found here. This will not be a huge section like at the SHOT Show, but it is still worth viewing.
Here are a few additional things you might want to know about the range and event:
WiFi – Nope.
cell coverage – We’ve used AT&T phones and Verizon phones at the range. Both work, but we have had much better luck with the Verizon coverage. In 2014, we were able to get good voice connectivity and respectable data coverage with an iPhone 5 and Verizon service.
We last used an AT&T phone at the 2012 event, and the coverage – both voice and data – was lousy. It is very likely that AT&T has improved coverage in the intervening years, but it is possible they have not.
lunch – Lunch is a changing event, and frankly, we are not sure what we might see in 2015. In prior years, lunch was catered by a local restaurant. This usually worked out pretty good, but sometimes the lines got a bit long and there was rarely enough seating. (For whatever reason, when the show was in Orlando, it seemed to have more seating.)
However, the 2014 Media Day changed things. Instead of getting a catered lunch, you got a voucher to use at one of about six different food trucks. Unfortunately, the food truck system was not any faster than previous years. In fact, it took longer for me to get my sandwich in ’14 than it ever did to get grub in the old method.
We expect the food truck thing to continue into future events. Assuming it was no more costly to the event organizers, having food trucks roll in and serve chow is probably a lot easier for them. Also, having five or six different vendors should give people some options in selecting what to eat. The only downside to the food truck thing is many of them want to be original and trendy, so it is difficult to get a normal burger or sub. Expect to pick from a variety of oddly named taco dishes and sushi products.
Things to Bring
Depending on your needs and plans, you may want to bring a variety of products to the range. Based on our experiences as media members covering the event, these are a few of the things you want to bring to the range:
- electronic hearing protection – Yes, the Media Day staff provides you with cheap plugs, but you will have a far better experience with your own amplified muffs. Don’t have any? No problem. Check out our review on this Howard Leight model you will see us wearing there.
- eye pro – I’m pretty sure the range provides some cheap eye protection, but we strongly suggest you consider wearing your own. We really like the stuff from Revision, but there are plenty of brands out there that will provide much better protection than the cheap glasses they provide on site.
- backpack – You will be at the range all day, and you will wind up picking up everything from media kits to catalogs to t-shirts. There is no way you will be able to carry all of that in your hands. The marketing company who sponsors the event tends to provide some sort of tote every year. Although nice, the problem is you have no idea of what they might provide until you get there. It could be a nice backpack or a cheap shoulder bag. Bring your own so you will be prepared.
- dry snacks – Granola bars or similar snacks can be a real life saver. The lunches are very crowded, and the busses are slow. There are plenty of opportunities to get hungry without a way to deal with it unless you packed it in yourself.
- water bottle – You don’t need to go overboard on this. A single bottle of water is likely all you will need. Yes, you are shooting in a desert, but the staff does an excellent job on providing a lot of water on site.
- hat – This should be self-explanatory.
- weather-appropriate clothing – Believe it or not, but I have been in 40º rain at this range before. Anyone who attended the Media Day event in 2008 can tell you it was rainy and cold. Some years it is just plain cold. There is always a strong wind. Plan ahead and dress accordingly.
- extra power – There are no easy ways to charge anything while at the range. If you are working off of a laptop on site, make sure it is charged before you leave the hotel. The same goes for your phone and camera. I highly recommend picking up a Limefuel external battery pack. I’ve tried a number of battery packs, and this one is the best. It has multiple USB ports so you can charge more than one device at a time. It has enough juice to fully charge my iPhone 5 several times. Even if you don’t like this one, you definitely want to bring something if you will be relying on electronics when at the event.
Footwear is something important to consider as well. If you see all of the exhibits at the range, you will do quite a bit of walking. So, comfortable footwear is important. However, the range is very rocky and it is exceptionally easy to turn an ankle. I suggest a good boot with excellent ankle support.
Keep in mind that anything you bring will have to be carried around with you. There is no coat check. Keep it all man portable and you should be ok.
Make sure you keep checking back for all of the new guns and SHOT Show 2015 information.