2012 SHOT Show

(Ed. note: Click here for 2020 SHOT Show news.)

GunsHolstersAndGear 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 rumors may also find their way onto the site.

R Lee Ermey at SHOT Show

The SHOT Show, or Shooting Hunting and Outdoors 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 on over at BlueSheepdog.com: police gear at the 2012 SHOT Show. For all other firearms, shooting and related information stick around right here.

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.

17 Hornet trajectory comparison

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.)

New Rifle Testing at Media Day 2012
Wilson Combat 1911 at SHOT Show
Testing the new Para Rifle at Media Day 2012
2012 SHOT Show and Media Day at the Range
  • Navigate the 2012 SHOT Show
  • GSG-9 Pistol
  • 2012 SHOT Show Travel

2012 Media Day at the Range

Shooting a New Pistol at the 2012 SHOT Show

2012 SHOT Show

At the Blaser Booth at Media Day at SHOT Show
Bass Pro Shops Sponsors SHOT Show

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.

2012 SHOT Show Surefire

General Thoughts

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.

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: May 27, 2022