Everyone see what I did there? Alternative titles included, “Beer and Bloating” and “Sneers and Gloating,” both of which, while completely apropos, didn’t quite roll of the tongue the way I wanted them to.
So we press on. SHOT show 2015! For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade show. It has become one of the largest weapons and related-gear shows in the world, with over 65,000 invite-only attendees gather for 4 days to check out the latest and greatest in death-dealing technology.
I had never gone before, but had heard stories. So I reluctantly bade goodbye to the local filthy hippies down at the seawall of my beloved San Diego beach community, and made the trek across the desert to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas! There really is no place like it. As soon as you crest that last hill leading up to the town, you can smell the desperation and greed wafting through the air like a thick smog. You can hear the cacophony of voices: the meth dealers, the haggard bottle servers, the degenerate gamblers at the sports book at 10 AM on a weekday; the hustlers in cheap suits and expensive shoes. A great, glorious, bubbling caldron of wretchedness!
My first stop was to meet up with a few of my old contracting buddies at the Luxor hotel. As soon as I walked through those glass doors, 2 things hit me. One was the stench of many years’ worth of stale cigarette smoke. I’m not sure what they are using to clean their carpets there, but they need to find something stronger. The second was the almost tropical atmosphere. I mean, it was probably only about 55 degrees outside, and it had to be 90 inside. My God, Luxor, mix in some AC for chrissakes.
Nevertheless, it was good seeing some of the old overseas crew again. We were forced to retreat when some ne’er-do-wells decided to start chucking large amounts of ice cubes over the railing of an upper floor down to where we were sitting. That’s the problem with Vegas: All the scumbags gravitate there, like roaches piling onto dog vomit. Long gone are the days when everyone wore ties in the Vegas casino. Hell, you’re lucky if they’re wearing pants.
The next day, Tuesday, was Day One of SHOT. I don’t think anything can prepare you for just how massive this convention is. I was blown away by looking down one of the aisles, and barely being able to make out the far wall. Then, I realized that this was only one room, on one level! There was still an entire floor to this monstrosity.
I didn’t really bother taking pictures of all of the AR platform rifles. There where more of those at the show than calories in a typical Michael Moore breakfast, which is to say, a metric fuckton. Not to mention that there has already been extensive coverage of those weopons. There were, however, a few things that caught my eye. To the photo album!
Mitusa Mag-pump: Very cool solution to irritating chore of magazine reloading. It doesn’t matter which way the rounds are facing. Just dump them in the top, crank away like a bastard on the handle, and you’re done.
Crazy Quail Quad skeet shooter: Let’s face it, any asshole can shoot one clay pigeon at a time. BOOOORRRINNNG. The crazy quail allow up to 4 rapid fire mounts to be towed into your local range. I’d recommend having a few ambulances on standby for the inevitable friendly fire carnage. And speaking of skeet shooting…
Laporte Sporting Arrows: In the future, all guns will be useless against our evolved scaly hides, with only well-placed arrows able to penetrate into our hearts. So when you’ve become bored with destroying clay on the reg with your double barrel, check out the skeet shooter for freaking ARROWS, BRO.
X-products Can Cannon: In the old days, when your drunken friend was screaming at you to get him a beer from 100 meters away, you’d have to get up and WALK that beer over to him. LAME. The can cannon upper attaches to your existing AR lower for a drunken good time.
Flashbang Bra Holster: Something for the ladies. Just don’t forget it’s there when the local Lothario is going in for the gazongas. Don’t want it to go off and rupture your implants.
Hazard 4 Poncho Villa: Get it??? The guys at hazard 4 took the time tested poncho design and beefed it up considerably. Instead of the traditional thin, cheap vinyl, this poncho is more like a technical soft shell materiel. You can stuff it into it’s own pocket, it comes with grommets for an improvised shelter, and the front flap opens up for access to your kit. Useful when dealing death during a torrential downpour.
That first day, according to my trusty iPhone 6 health tracker, I walked a little over 11 miles of convention floor space, and had barely scratched the surface. My dogs were BARKING. But the big Ranger Up party was going down that night at Da Club, so I sucked it up, slicked my hair back, put on my douchiest shirt, and got ready to roll out.
Now this was going to be exciting. All of the big deals of the gun world were there. UFC fighter and SF soldier Tim Kennedy was there! Matt Best and the ART-15 clothing crew were there! Brandon Webb (who shook my hand while having no idea who I was) was there! The guest of honor, Medal of Honor recipeint Dakota Meyer was there! The highlight of the night had to be when Dakota drunkenly screamed into the DJ’s microphone, “I’LL OUTDRINK EVERY ONE OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!!” Outstanding, Sergeant Meyer… Out-freakin-standing.
Speaking of celebrities, Amy Jane and her breasts were also spotted walking around the convention. Taran Tactical, who dropped Jane after she was caught mis-representing herself as a U.S. Marine, was also representing with his shooting team… I wonder if they ran into each other. AWWWWKKKWAARRRD. Amy was surrounded by 17 dudes when I walked by her, all of whom gave me the stinkeye. Easy, tough guys.
More gear that caught my eye:
FLIR one thermal for android: Impressive prototype coming out from FLIR. Choose from 9 different thermal contrast imaging modes, all in a D battery size unit that snaps onto your existing phone. Perfect for hunting deer or Taliban. Or perving out in your neighborhood.
Freedom Arms .45-70 single shot: If you only had one shot to take, and wanted to make an entire head disappear, than this single shot breech loading pistol from Freedom Arms is the one you’re going to want to use. This is a goddamn handheld howitzer. When I asked how bad the kick was, the old timers that create this cannon just laughed. You’ve been warned.
RONI Glock conversion kit: Cool idea. With the RONI, you just pull 2 pins, lay your Glock pistol inside, and wham; you’re ready for 100 meter accuracy with your pistol. That is, if you can’t do that already, which I know all of you gun nuts can.
S.W.O.R.D. International .338 Lapua “Sawman” edition: Ok, so there was definitely one rifle that caught my eye. Behold the Craig “Sawman” Sawyer edition of the legendary .338 Lapua. The boys at S.W.O.R.D. teamed up with OSS suppressors to build this beast, perfect for turning rhino poachers into pink mist from many football fields away. Impressive.
Safety Harbor Shotguns: This Florida company specializes in taking your existing Remington or Mossberg shotgun and turning it into a home defense monster in a compact 7″ barrel package. Very nice. Perfect for the “Joe Biden double tap.”
Traditions Performance Firearms muzzleloaders: If ‘ol George Dub and the rest of the revolutionary war boys had these updated flintlocks, we would have made England our bitch much, much sooner. If you are into traditional muzzleloading, .50 caliber ball ammunition, and creating very large holes in various things, this is what you want.
Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven/stove: Look, I get it. We are badasses. We can survive in the woods for a month with nothing but a piece of dental floss and a toothpick. We’re snake-eatin’, water-purifyin’, bear skinnin’ commandos who are as hard as those woodpecker lips I keep hearing about from the rednecks. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the ability to bake an apple pie out there every once in a while. WE’RE NOT SAVAGES.
I finished up my trip by sitting down for an excellent pasta meal with a couple of players with some serious street cred. My boy Josh, with whom I served in the military, has a great website devoted to all things trauma and tips to keep you alive in an emergency situation. Josh has extensive combat experience both as a USAF pararescueman and government contractor, and knows his shit. Get over to www.traumamonkeys.com for sound advice on both medicine and gear.
Also joining us was USMC veteran Grant Reynolds. Grant has a new show getting ready to premiere on Discovery Science called, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, in which he and his boys take internet fail videos and examine A): what the idiots did wrong, and B): How do do it correctly. Looking forward to checking it out. If the show is 1/10 as good as Grant’s hair, it’s going to be epic.
SHOT Show 2015 is in the books. Can’t wait till next year. As always send you hate mail and/or nude photos to @bkactual.