2012 SHOT Show

Guns Holsters And Gear will be at the 2012 SHOT Show this year. This marks the fourth straight year of our attendance and reporting from the floor of the show. As with prior years, we will bring you news, photos and videos of all the new guns and gear months before most of the magazines will publish anything about them.

Of course, SHOT Show 2012 rumors may also find their way onto the site hinting at new products – be it military small arms, outdoor gear or innovative optics.

American actor R. Lee Ermey at the 2012 SHOT Show with Aaron Evans an author at Guns Holsters and Gear. Ermey was a member of the  United States Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War. He is now the spokesperson for Glock Ges.m.b.H. selling the Glock pistol.

The SHOT Show, or Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, is an industry event sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The SHOT Show is the largest firearms trade show in the United States and one of the largest trade shows of any kind in the US.

A major part of the SHOT Show is the law enforcement and tactical equipment section. The police gear will be reported here in addition to the other firearms, shooting and related information, so stick around right here. We’ll be hitting all of the booths in Las Vegas to get the details on all the new weapons. 

Pre-SHOT Show Announcements & Rumors

Hornady announced a 17 Hornet load for varmint shooters. The Hornady load pushes a 20-grain VMAX bullet to 3650 fps. According to Hornady, this load mimics the trajectory of their 55 grain .223 Remington load, but at a lower cost and with recoil akin to the .22 WMR.

The 17 Hornet is a centerfire cartridge made from the 22 Hornet case. According to Hornady, they are essentially necking down the 22 Hornet while increasing the sharpness of the case shoulder and removing some of the overall taper. The 17 Hornet uses the company’s efficient Superformance powder.

Shown here is a .17 Hornet trajectory comparison with the .22 Hornet, .223 Remington and .17 HMR centerfire cartridges. The .17 Hornet is a .17 caliber centerfire rifle cartridge originally offered as a "wildcat cartridge" developed by P.O. Ackley in the early 1950s.

The 17 Hornet has been around for more than 50 years, beginning life as a wildcat cartridge developed by P.O. Ackley. The Hornady round is the first commercial load of the round that I have found (I could be wrong – please post in the comments if you know either way.)

Here the author is doing new rifle testing on the shooting range at Media Day 2012. This bolt-action firearm has many accessories so no need to run to the gunsmith with this gun.
Shown here is a Wilson Combat 1911 at the SHOT Show. Based on the M1911A1 handgun, the semi-automatic pistol is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. Shown is a Nylon carry bag and a single stack magazine.
The author tests the new Para USA AR-15 rifle at the long range shooting range at Media Day 2012 in Las Vegas. Para USA was originally called Para-Ordnance. The semi-automatic carbine was chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. It had Picatinny rails for the attachment of accessories or a rifle scope.
2012 SHOT Show and Industry Day at the Range. This is held at the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club  located in Boulder City in Nevada. Boulder City is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States. It is approximately 26 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
  • Navigate the 2012 SHOT Show
  • GSG-9 Pistol
  • 2012 SHOT Show Travel

2012 Media Day at the Range

Shown is Richard Johnson is an American author, editor and entrepreneur. He is shooting a New Pistol at the 2012 SHOT Show

2012 SHOT Show

At the Blaser Booth at Media Day at SHOT Show. This booth is at Industry Day at the Range. The shooting range is located in the desert with mountains in the distance. People are shooting gun and firearm weapons that use smokeless powder and gunpowder. A gunsmith is in the nearby tent observing each gunshot.
Inflatable Bass Pro Shops tent. Bass Pro Shops is one of the hunting sponsors of the SHOT Show - and industry trade show for forearm manufacturers and retailers.

Show Wrap Up and Final Thoughts

The 2012 SHOT Show ended yesterday, but we are nowhere near done with reporting on the show. All of our writers have stacks of notes and gigs of video and photos to publish during the next few weeks, so stick around. We got to see some amazing new automatic firearms, a neat innovation in trigger manufacturing, a new AK publication, several high quality bolt-action rifles, a number of new 22s, plus a variety of new law enforcement and military products.

2012 SHOT Show Surefire booth. 	SureFire, LLC. is an American company headquartered in Fountain Valley, California. Their main products are flashlights, weapon-mounted lights, headlamps, and laser sights.

General Thoughts on SHOT Show 2012

More than 61,000 people attended the 2012 SHOT Show: a record attendance. When taking a cab to dinner one night, the driver showed us the list of conventions that they are given. According to “official” projections, the SHOT Show was supposed to bring about 45,000 people to town. It would seem that guns are hugely popular in spite of (because of?) a down economy.

The day before the SHOT Show at Media Day, the crowd of media folks hoping to get hands-on with the products on display – from fully automatic machine guns to guns like the ultimate slick 7.62 patrol rifle (and related products and other amazing stuff.) The products and services offered during the past year set up an attractive strategy using factory accuracy, custom bolts, quad rail rifles chambered in 5.56. 

Internet Media

There is still quite a bit of anti-internet media sentiment among some manufacturers and the traditional media. “Blogger” is a pejorative term, and applied to anyone operating online. With little exception, all of the online media I dealt with during the week were extremely professional and patient.

A few companies “get it” when it comes to social media and online media. Finding them on the show floor was refreshing, and you can expect to see a few of them coming on board with sponsorships here over the next few months.

I was sitting in the airport with another writer on Friday and overheard the conversation between two executives from one of the most popular firearms manufacturers. Their discussion: How do we tap into the internet media? Even though they were entrenched in “old school” approaches to media, it was clear to them that their customers were online, not watching TV or reading magazines.


The NSSF put on a great show. They managed to take the population of a small city, channel them into a single convention center and make sure everyone had a productive show. Problems will always pop up, but the NSSF does an exceptional job of promoting and running the event. Without them, there would not be an SHOT Show.

Last Update: June 1, 2024