The show was crankin’ – and is bigger than ever
Dates: Jan 17-20, 2023
Attendees: 52,000 (from 115 countries and all 50 states)
Exhibitors: 2,500 (covering more than 816,000 square feet in the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum, making it the biggest SHOT show yet)
Media: More than 2,000 credentialed media
Scheduled meetings: just a few this time around but PLENTY of spontaneous meetings with new brands, new contacts, etc.
There’s often a din as you walk around The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show; the constant sound of firearms being charged and dry-fired as retailers, media, shooting teams and other trade professionals check out the latest offerings.
In addition to firearms (LOTS of firearms), there are also plenty of accessory brands exhibiting too, from products directly related to firearms (such as ammunition, cleaning supplies, optics, etc.) or other gear for hunters, such as apparel, trail cameras, footwear and more.
“The 2023 SHOT Show was a return to form in terms of attendance and number of companies exhibiting,” said Bill Brassard, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior director, communications (and OWAA board member). “Aside from the numbers, you could sense from the opening hours that people were upbeat and happy to be there. Reviews of the show were positive across the board. This was my 25th SHOT Show, and the energy of it made it one of my most enjoyable.”
Here are just a few of the more interesting products I spotted at SHOT:
While I had the opportunity at the Outdoor Retailer show to check out the hiking line of Lowa, while at SHOT I was able to check out the hunting stuff from this OWAA Supporting Group. The first photo is of their Renegade GTX mid series, which women often use for hunting, while the second image is of the R-8S GTX Patrol, Z-8S GTX C, and Z-6S GTX C boots (from left to right).
ATN’s ThOR Gen 5 is a thermal scope that features a new Quad Core processor with enhanced sensors to provide sharper image quality, night and day. The optic is precise at up to 1,000 yards and offers an array of features, including automatic recording of your shot (via recoil-activated video), e-compass, smart mil-dot reticle, HD video, IOS and Android apps, dual-stream video options, technology for coordinating a group, human detection range of up to 4,000 yards (depending on model) and much more.
The women-owned hunting apparel brand (and new proud OWAA sponsor), kind of crushed it at SHOT. This was Ditale Outdoors‘s first year exhibiting yet they had a continuous progression of people looking to get to know the new women’s hunting apparel company, including buyers, media, and other hunters. Their website says it all, “Made for Women, Made by Women.” They also add in an appropriately cheeky, “No More Shrink It and Pink It Here!”
The Seattle-based Beyond offers a modular approach to backcountry clothing, providing options for an entire eight-layer system of apparel, from base layers to polar insulation (photo: Dasche L3 Jacket). Their fabrics provide breathability and quick drying across each layer to protect you from the elements – even in climates as low as -70°F. They say their system can, ‘Take you anywhere in the world in five layers or less.’
One of the oldest names in firearms, Charles Daly was initially founded in 1865. Their triple-barreled, break-action shotguns are notable and fire in a right, left, top sequence.
This brand is part of the Italian Firearms Group, which includes F.A.I.R., Davide Pedersoli, and Tanfoglio. Each brand represents at least one of their four primary categories of firearms: competition handguns, hunting and precision rifles, state of the art shotguns, and historical reproductions. Fossari is a higher-end brand under F.A.I.R. and one of their shotguns can cost in the $6,000 range.
In addition to its patriotic display in the photo, the storage case brand Plano exhibited several cases for firearms and bows, in addition to ones for general storage. The Field Locker Element line is their higher end line, followed by the Rusticator, All Weather and then Stealth. They’ve also recently gotten into the cooler game with the Frost Cooler.
Those who attended OWAA’s Vermont conference may have gotten a look at one of the QuietKat ebikes, as they were an exhibitor there. At the SHOT show, they had a full complement of bikes on display. Their bikes are designed for hunters, anglers, overlanders and general all-mountain enthusiasts (as well as commuters too). I had the pleasure of demoing one of their bikes in snowy Park City, Utah a few years ago and found that they are both utilitarian and FUN.
Under Armor’s hunt line is head-to-toe, including everything from footwear to base layers to outer wear – even gloves and hats. Their Forest All-Season Camo is designed to conceal wherever trees are found, regardless of season or foliage. The Barren Camo palette blends where foliage is more spartan, including rocky mountains, high deserts, sage fields and late season woods. Pictured, left to right: UA Raider Kit, UA Infil Windstopper Kit, and UA Alpine Ops Kit.